Prevent Messenger from Running In Outlook Express

Instant messaging has both advantages and disadvantages.  Instant messaging may provide a quick and easy way to communicate with other people, but can also prove to be quite a bother when messages pop up at the most inopportune moments.

An easy to do registry tweak can stop Windows Messenger from running when you are in Outlook Express.  This will work for Windows XP based computers.  Before you do any editing to your registry, we advise you to create a back-up as changes to the registry cannot be undone otherwise.

To do this registry tweak:

  1. Go to Start.  Click on Run.
  2. Enter regedit.  Your Registry will come up.
  3. Locate the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder.  This can be found on the left side of the box.
  4. Once you’ve found the folder, expand it and look for the Software folder.
  5. Under the Software folder, you should find a folder named Microsoft.
  6. Expand the Microsoft folder and locate Outlook Express.
  7. Right click on the white part of the right side pane of the box.  New should come up.
  8. Select DWORD and rename the value to Hide Messenger.
  9. Double click Hide Messenger and enter 2 as the Value Name.  This will prevent Messenger from loading.
  10. Exit the Registry and reboot.

That is just one method.  Another method to prevent programs (like Outlook 2002, Outlook Express 6 and the Remote Assistance feature found in XP) that use Messenger APIs from accessing Windows Messenger is listed below. 

Again, a back-up should be created before tweaking the Registry.  Should certain issues occur, you can restore your registry to the original state if you have a back-up.

  1. Go to Start and click on Run.
  2. Enter regedit.exe and wait for the registry to pop up.
  3. Is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client already present?  You can check this by expanding each folder in the key from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE until you get to the Client folder.  If the value is present, proceed to step 10.  If the value is not, proceed to step number 4.
  4. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft. 
  5. Once there, click on Edit near the upper left hand corner of the box.
  6. Click New and select Key.
  7. Name the key you created Messenger.
  8. Now click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger.
  9. Go back to Edit on top and click New again.  This time, name the key you have just created Client.
  10. Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client.
  11. Go back to Edit near the upper left hand corner of the box and click New.  This time, select DWORD.
  12. Name the DWORD value PreventRun.
  13. Right click PreventRun and then click Modify.
  14. Type 1 in the value data box.
  15. Exit the Registry and reboot your PC.