Monday, June 18, 2007

Ad free Windows Live Messenger

It's actually very simple. Windows Live Messenger get's all it's ad information from a host called (remote advertisement?) and since it's possible to tell Windows to look up invalid IP addresses through the host file, one can quickly get rid of the ads in Messenger.

You need administrative privileges for this, and if you are running Vista with UAC enabled you need to make sure you launch both Notepad.exe and Cmd.exe with elevation (Shift right-click them in the start-menu and choose run as administrator).

  • First, find you host file, Microsoft Windows (NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista) is located in %SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc by default.
  • Second, open Notepad.exe as administrator (and with elevation if you use Vista and UAC) choose File > Open... and navigate to the host file (make sure you show all files) and open it. It's called "hosts" without a file extension.
  • Now add the following new line at the end of the file: "". Save the file and close Notepad.

It will tell Messenger to look up an invalid IP address for ads, and thus display no ads. You need to flush the DNS cache for this to take immediate effect, and it can be done by opening the command prompt Cmd.exe (as administrator) and type "ipconfig /flushdns". If you wait long enough Messenger should stop displaying ads but the quickest path to salvation is restarting Messenger as well.

Enjoy your Ad free Windows Live Messenger.