How to Get Rid of Windows Live Messenger

You know how it goes. You install something that you think might be useful or interesting, and it installs something else that just. won’t. go. away. I ran into the problem while setting up a new Windows 7 system at work. I installed Windows Live Essentials mainly so that I’d have them available if I ever had to talk someone through tech support, and it included Windows Live Messenger.

I don’t use Windows Live Messenger. I don’t even have an account on Windows Live Messenger. But every time I logged in to my system, WLM would pop up a window and ask me to log in. Every single time.

There was no obvious way to disable it, and most of the suggestions I found online only applied to earlier versions of Windows.

It doesn’t provide an option to stop it from launching on startup. Or rather, it does, but only if you’ve logged into WLM. Since I didn’t have an account, I couldn’t do that, and I wasn’t about to create one just to turn it off!

It wasn’t in the Start-Up folder.

I didn’t see it in Services, so I couldn’t disable it there.

I tried running System Configuration and disabling it in the Startup tab, but that didn’t work.

I couldn’t even find it in the list of programs to uninstall.

But you know what?

I finally got rid of it! And it was easier than I expected.

It turns out that if you uninstall Windows Live Essentials, you don’t have to remove the whole thing. You can choose which pieces to remove! Just tell it to uninstall, and it’ll bring up a checklist of the pieces that are on the system. Check off Windows Live Messenger, leave the pieces you want to keep, and hit Continue.


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