I have been receiving these annoying pop-ups that say that Windows XP has a security leak in it’s messenger that allows my IP address to be leaked and allows these annoying pop-ups to occur even without my browser open. They try to get me to buy their software to stop the pop-ups. Do I need to install their software or is there something I can do?
First off, never trust a company that exploits a technology to advertise that they can prevent it. Second, yes you can stop these. We ran the tip two months ago, but it seems I’m getting this question three or four times a day, so here’s your “summer re-run”.
You are probably familiar with Windows (a/k/a MSN) Messenger which is used for Instant Messaging. There is another program called Messenger that is used in networks to transmit and send Alerter service messages between clients and servers.
Even though you’ll never use it, unless you are on a network, by default it is turned on, causing an open hole in your XP firewall for pop-up advertising to get through. Here’s what to do if you want to stop Messenger…
Go to Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services (or Start / Run and type in ” services.msc “). This will bring up a long list of Windows services that are running or available on your system.
Find “Messenger” and double click to open the Properties box. In the “Startup Type” field, change the setting to “Disable”. If any services depend on Messenger and fail to start, then change to “manual”.
Click OK to save changes.
Thanks Uncle Bill for yet another useless program to shut off.
PS: This only stops a specific kind of pop-up that comes through the Messenger program in XP. Disabling it will NOT stop the pop-ups you get from web pages or even your ISP. To stop these, you need a pop-up stopper like iClean . That goes for everyone with other flavors of Windows—95, 98, ME—if you are surfing the web, then you need software to stop pop-ups.