Removing adverts from MSN Messenger 7 and 7.5

One of the things that annoys me about MSN Messenger is its flashing adverts at the foot of the main Messenger window. The excellent Messenger Plus! used to be able to remove these until Microsoft got wise to it and changed the way that they appear in the window — they are now ‘hardwired’ into the layout of the window itself rather than an imported extra. As I recall, Patchou, the author of Messenger Plus!, said that while it was possible to do it wasn’t feasible to change this from a setting within Messenger Plus! as it involves editing the actual Messenger executible (.exe) file.

Matthijs van de Water, however, has a page of instructions for the removal of advertising in MSN Messenger 7.0. And the good news is that it works! It involves downloading an application called Resource Hacker and having a poke about in the guts of the msnmsgr.exe file.

I have the latest MSN Messenger 7.5 installed, and there is one minor change that Microsoft have made to the location of the advert banner in msnmsgr.exe. Where Matthijs says look for

element layoutpos=top layout=verticalflowlayout(0,2,2,2) padding=rect(2,0,3,2)

this now reads:

element layoutpos=top layout=verticalflowlayout(0,2,2,2) padding=rect(2,5,3,2)

(I’ve highlighted the change in bold.)

It works! But if you do this, remember to backup your original msnmsgr.exe file first (even though Resource Hacker also makes a backup for you, called msnmsgr_original.exe).

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Former Scrum master at Safeguard Global, Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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