How Do I Disable Windows Live Messenger

June 4, 2011, By Christian Cawley

With the Windows Live Essentials suite, you get the chance to add to the standard Windows 7 default list of applications with Windows Movie Maker, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Messenger.

While it is a simple matter to select which components of the suite you don’t want to install you may find that you don’t need or like the new award-winning Windows Live Messenger, and decide to turn it off, disable it or even remove it. Thanks to the simple user interface with which Windows Live Essentials applications are equipped, this is easy to do. Once you have followed the steps below you can forget that Windows Live Messenger was ever on your PC!

(Note that this article specifically refers to Windows Live Messenger rather than the older MSN Messenger or Windows Messenger clients that it surplants.)

There are various ways of disabling the chat client. If you don’t mind leaving Windows Live Messenger on your PC, you can easily disable it from automatically launching and logging you in to chat whenever Windows loads.

How Do I Disable Windows Live Messenger?

To do this, while signed in to Messenger, tap the ALT key on your keyboard to reveal the toolbar menus. Go to Tools > Options > Sign in and clear the checkbox option Start Messenger when I log in to my computer. Click OK to confirm this, or Apply if you wish to make any other changes.

With this option applied, the next time you boot your PC or laptop, Messenger will no longer automatically start. In fact, you won’t even know it is there until you manually launch the chat client.

Turn Off Windows Live Messenger

If all you are looking to do is simply to turn off Windows Live Messenger, then this is probably the simplest option of all of those listed here.

With Windows Live Messenger running, whether you are signed in to chat or not, all you need to do is to select the application where it is docked on the Windows toolbar and right-click. Select Exit Messenger to close the program (note that Close window will also quit the chat client).

This option is best used if you want to retain the chat client on the system but don’t want to use it at this moment.

Rather than bothering with any of the above, if you do not plan to use Windows Live Messenger, you can easily uninstall it. This will free-up used space on your PC as well as prevent you ever having to check if the application is running in the background.

To uninstall Windows Live Messenger, go to Start > Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a program and double click Windows Live Essentials 2011. You will now be able to Uninstall or Repair Windows Live programs – choose Remove one or more Windows Live programs to proceed, and in the next screen tick the box next to Messenger. Click Uninstall to continue, and the software will be removed.

Next time you boot up your computer, you will find that the instant messaging client has gone!

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