If you’re using MSN Messenger as your chat and videoconferencing tool, you may never use Windows Messenger anymore and have removed it from the startup group to keep it out of your way. However, you may have seen it pop up on occasion and had to struggle with closing it down. The reason that Windows Messenger makes these impromptu appearances is that Outlook, Outlook Express and even some Microsoft Web pages can still make it load automatically. Fortunately, you can banish Windows Messenger from your desktop by making an alteration to the local group policy with the Group Policy Editor. Here’s how:
1. Access the Run dialog box by pressing [Windows]R
2. In the Open text box type Gpedit.msc and click OK to launch the Group Policy Editor.
3. Go to Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Messenger.
4. Double-click the Do Not Allow Windows Messenger To Be Run setting.
5. In the resulting dialog box, select the Enabled option, and click OK
6. Close the Group Policy Editor.
Note: This tip applies only to Windows XP Professional.