Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Shutting Down MSN Messenger

Do you get strange boxes with advertisements popping up in Windows XP? These boxes can cause your screen reader to not read a program correctly, besides the fact that it is just annoying. MSN Messenger is the program that causes these boxes to pop up on XP users. This tip will show you how to stop them, but first, a little background.

Microsoft decided to make MSN Messenger a built-in default feature in XP. A nice gesture, but for some, yet another useless feature that gets in your way.

If you just remove it from your system you might run into trouble. So just do the next best thing-disable it. Here's what you do...

  1. Click on the "Start" button, or hit your "Windows" key.
  2. Hit the letter "p" until you get to "all programs" and then press "enter". Mouse users click the "all programs icon".
  3. Use your arrow keys to find the "MSN Messenger" entry of your Programs Menu and press "enter". Mouse users click on the MSN Messenger icon to open the program.
  4. go to "Tools" by either clicking on the icon, or by pressint ALT+T.
  5. Use your arrow keys to navigate to "Options", or click it with your mouse.
  6. Use control+tab to get to "Preferences", or click it with your mouse.
  7. Screen reader users will tab through the options until you hear "Run this program when Windows starts". Press the "space bar" to uncheck this box. Continue to use your "tab" key until you hear "Run this program in the background", and press "space" to uncheck this box. Mouse users should also make sure these boxes are unchecked.
  8. Click, or tab to OK.
  9. Close the program.

That should do it. No more annoying MSN Messenger coming up when you turn on your computer or try to surf the web! Also, if you ever do decide to get in on the IM craze, you still have the program on your system.

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