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How To Remove Ads From Windows Live Messenger 2011

Remove Ads from Live Messenger 2011Windows 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!

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24 Responses to How To Remove Ads From Windows Live Messenger 2011

  1. Robert November 12, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    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 November 12, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    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 November 12, 2010 at 9:04 am #

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

    • feride senel March 24, 2012 at 11:47 am #

      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 November 12, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    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 November 14, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    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 November 15, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    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 January 2, 2011 at 4:57 am #

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

      • Lukke January 16, 2011 at 10:53 am #

        same here.. same system

        • Tester February 21, 2012 at 11:19 am #

          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 February 21, 2012 at 11:33 am #


            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 February 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

            Great tip — will play with that myself!

          • Brian Burgess February 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

            @Tester….thanks for the update!

      • Fortississimo January 21, 2011 at 2:39 am #

        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 January 19, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    Win-7 64-bit

    MSN locks up when i start a chat.

    But the adds where gone 🙂

  7. Jim April 18, 2011 at 3:11 am #

    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 June 28, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Awesome, nice simple fix.

  9. JasonBlack July 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    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 December 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    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 February 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

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

    • sexinthelounge June 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      OMG thank you very much!!! 😀

  11. Clueless February 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

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

  12. Stephane Poulin (@spoulin23) May 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    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 May 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    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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