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Want to remove advertisements from Microsoft Live Messenger?

Feb 19

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Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:14 PM  RssIcon

Are you tired of seeing flashes out of the corner of your eye when you have Microsoft Messenger up?  Read on for a sneaky, cool and geeky way to get rid of that.

If you're using Microsoft Live Messenger, maybe you've seen advertising flash at the bottom of the program.

 Microsoft Live Messanger with advertisements

hhhhmmmmm I might want a vacation, but right now, I just want to get my development specs written up so I can get back to coding!  To stop the adverts from flashing on your screen and distracting you from coding, here's a quick trick.

Edit your c:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file and add the following to the end (chances are there is only one line with localhost, that's cool, just add this after that):

The Windows hosts file is an old way to tell your computer/network where to find certain servers by name, in this case the server named  That's one of the servers MS Live Messenger gets its advertising information from.  By adding this, you are effectively short circuiting the call to get advertising information and replacing it with, well, nothing.  That is a magic IP address which gets mapped back to itself (yup, your own computer, that's ok).  The request eventually times out and no advertising is displayed.  Cool trick. 

Now, there are two ways to make this trick "take effect."  The first is to for your computer to reload the hosts file by issuing the following:

ipconfig /flushdns

Then you have to close and reopen Messenger, and you should be good to go.  Failing that, the second option is to reboot.

Once you do this, you will still see a picture at the bottom, but as far as I can tell, it doesn't change, it's just a logo for Messenger now.

Microsoft Live Messanger without advertisements

Yes, there is some inefficiencies with this solution (namely always timing out the network request) but the alternative is downloading another program, which will change MS Live Messenger's files.  I'm not very comfortable with running other programs which change existing DLLs/EXEs to remove or add something.

Yes, this is a sneaky hack but also a very easy way to stop the adverts from distracting you without risking your computer's health.

Grab a coffee and get coding! :>



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Location: Blogs Parent Separator TechTidBits

2 comment(s) so far...

Re: Want to remove advertisements from Microsoft Live Messenger?

Great! A hassle free solution!

Keep up the good work!

By MiNd on   Monday, September 14, 2009 1:51 PM

Re: Want to remove advertisements from Microsoft Live Messenger?

Glad I could help NiNd, and thank you for leaving a comment. I hope I can put up more content to bring you back again. Hope to see you soon.

By phenry on   Monday, September 14, 2009 1:52 PM

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