How To Remove Ads From Windows Live Messenger 2011

Update: Windows Live Messenger is a discontinued product and has been replaced with Skype.

Windows Live Messenger (previously MSN Messenger) is a groovy way to communicate with your friends online, but the advertisements are really annoying and often inappropriate.  Thankfully Microsoft routes all of the ads on messenger through one unique address, all we have to do is block it and those ads will be gone for good.

Step 1

In Windows 7, Browse to the following system folder:


browse to drivers/etc

Step 2

Open the file called hosts.  Windows won’t know what program to use so it will ask you to select one from a list.  Select Notepad and Click OK.

open hosts in notepad windows 7

Step 3

In the hosts file, Scroll down to the bottom.  In the first blank line Type in the following:

After you’ve typed that in, Save the file and exit.

modify host file windows 7


Now your ads should be removed from Windows Live Messenger.  If for some reason they are still showing up, it is because your computer hasn’t picked up the changes yet.  You can try restarting, or just flush your DNS, it should then be ready and ad-free!



  1. Robert

    When I try this, I get the message that I dont have enough rights to change that file. Im the only user of this laptop and for as far as i know, im the administrator. How do I take care of this?

  2. Alex

    I had the same issue. It would not allow me to modify. Do the following:
    * Right-click this file > [Properties] > [Security Tab] > [Edit] > Add your account

    worked for me

    • grooveDexter

      You could also use the Take Ownership tool after you add it to the context menu.

    • feride senel

      i’ done everything you have mentioned and as “account” i wrote my email, is that what oyu mean by account because it didnt work for me

  3. shockersh

    The problem here is this is a system file so you need to launch notepad as an Administrator. Here’s my solution for ya (although there is about 10 you can use).

    Solution 1

    1 – Click windows search and type Notepad. Right Click on it when it pops up and Click RUN AS ADMIN.

    1a – Now inside Notepad, Click File, Open, and open C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

    Edit and save as you need.

    Solution 2
    My favorite solution is to create a shortcut on the desktop for Notepad which runs as Admin each time you launch it or drop files on it to edit them.

    1 – Right Click the desktop and Click New, Create Shortcut.
    2 – Type notepad.exe and Click Next a few times.
    You should now have a shortcut to Notepad.exe on your desktop
    3 – Right Click the new Notepad Shortcut and Click Properties, Click Advanced Button on the Shortcut Tab, Check Box – Run As Administrator. Click OK
    4 – Navigate to the Hosts file in the ETC folder and just drop the file on your Notepad icon. It will launch the file and you can edit it in Administrator mode.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Robert

    Ok, I ran notepad as admin. That did the trick. The only thing left in the bottom from messenger is the add from messenger itself. Thats it. Nice.

  5. Robert

    I just started Messenger again and i wanted to sent a message to some dude. But the only thing I get is a white empty screen. Im unable to sent a message. I have to close messenger because it stops working at all.

    Messenger starts working again after I have removed the “” line and a restart. So this tip isnt working for me. Could it be because Im running win7 x64? Maybe because its a file thats in a Windows32 folder?

    • ÜberRookie

      same here…this “patch” freezes messenger everytime i open a chat windows.
      I’m also on w7, but it’s x86

      • Lukke

        same here.. same system

        • Tester

          Its not “freezing”, you’re just not patient. I get a delay when opening up chat windows. More than likely because its trying to connect to the ads but times out. After about 5-10 seconds, my chat window opens up and works fine. The delay is a bit annoying, but I have NO ads.

          • Tester


            I added both AND to the host file ( is first) and now I don’t have a delay at all. So, you might want to look into that as well. Now, my messenger is working perfectly.

          • Steve Krause

            Great tip — will play with that myself!

          • Brian Burgess

            @Tester….thanks for the update!

      • Fortississimo

        Instead of using try
        This will remove the ad too, however the add box is still showing, most likely it’ll show you an error message too. (it’s likely that the actually does the same)
        But, you still win, cause there is no annoying flashy ad =)

        Good luck!

  6. Zephid

    Win-7 64-bit

    MSN locks up when i start a chat.

    But the adds where gone :)

  7. Jim

    I am running on Win7 Ultimate x86, and it works flawlessly, with no errors
    all i had to do was restart messenger

    however… it does seem to lagg me a bit when i try photo share with my contacts
    maybe its just my computer? o.o

  8. Mikeylikesit

    Awesome, nice simple fix.

  9. JasonBlack

    Downloaded todays most recent version and added

    to the hosts file. Don’t know which worked – don’t care.

    Am on x86. Thanks guys.

  10. Alan

    Don’t use the patch that does not work.
    Instead simply do this:

    To remove the image ad banner in the conversation window, untick the “Show expanded footer in conversation windows” option under the Tools > Options > Messages window in the Windows Live Messenger options.

    • Myself

      I can’t seem to locate the “Show expanded footer in conversation windows is that because I’m using w7 or what?

    • sexinthelounge

      OMG thank you very much!!! :D

  11. Clueless

    Finally the ads are gone! They’ve been bugging me for ages!
    Thanks a bunch for the help!

  12. Stephane Poulin (@spoulin23)

    Well.. this will help to not show de ad, but I still want to get the ad zone out of my contact list…

  13. Joshua

    Do I do the same thing in Vista? I want to remove the ads too. It seems like MSN may not have had ads before it created Windows Live Messenger. After it changed from MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger, it added ads, and the ads seem like they may be getting worse.

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