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What Windows Messenger Service Allows to Happen on Your Computer

Should a pop up box appear on your screen with the words "Messenger Service" in the title bar such as the one below, chances are that you have Windows Messenger Services enabled.

 

In their initial state, Microsoft Windows operating systems (98, ME, XP, 2000, NT) allow anyone on the internet to pop up Windows on your screen. There is no need for them to know anything about your computer and your computer does not care who does it.

Even less savory individuals may pop up messages on your screen that try to fool you into taking actions that may not be in your best interest.

The important thing to remember is that anyone, anywhere in the world can pop up one of these messages on your computer. At this time it looks as though all these messages will have "Messenger Service" in the Window title. It would be wise to verify with support staff any such message that appears on your computer that instructs you to to take actions that may divulge sensitive information, change your password, leads you to a web site, or take other, unusual actions on your computer.

Also know that spam senders are using the Windows Message Service as another way to distribute their advertisements.

Keep in mind that faculty and staff are advised to check with their computer support staff before disabling any service so that you do not inadvertently disable a service that your department uses.

Disabling the Messenger Service

To remove the ability for anyone in the world to pop up messages on your computer, you can disable the Messenger service. Its easy to reverse at a later time if you wish to do so.

Windows 2000

  1. Click Start-> Settings-> Control Panel-> Administrative Tools->Services
  2. Scroll down and highlight "Messenger"
  3. Right-click the highlighted line and choose Properties.
  4. Click the STOP button.
  5. Select Disable or Manual in the Startup Type scroll bar
  6. Click OK

Windows XP Home

  1. Click Start->Settings ->Control Panel
  2. Click Performance and Maintenance
  3. Click Administrative Tools
  4. Double click Services Scroll
  5. down and highlight "Messenger"
  6. Right-click the highlighted line and choose Properties.
  7. Click the STOP button.
  8. Select Disable or Manual in the Startup Type scroll bar
  9. Click OK

    Windows XP Professional

    1. Click Start->Settings ->Control Panel
    2. Click Administrative Tools
    3. Click Services
    4. Double click Services Scroll
    5. down and highlight "Messenger"
    6. Right-click the highlighted line and choose Properties.
    7. Click the STOP button.
    8. Select Disable or Manual in the Startup Type scroll bar
    9. Click OK

Windows NT

    1. Click Start ->Control Panel
    2. Double Click Administrative Tools
    3. Select Services-> Double-click on Messenger
    4. In the Messenger Properties window, select Stop,
    5. Then choose Disable as the Startup Type
    6. Click OK

Windows 98 & ME

Windows Messenger Service cannot be disabled

The info on this page was copied from the University of Virginia Web Site

 

 

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Last modified: 09/13/2014