›› Messenger

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The Messenger service allows programs to send pop-up alerts or messages to users on a network. Messenger and Alerter seem to go hand-in-hand in that they are both used for sending pop-up messages through a network. According to Microsoft, the difference between Alerter and Messenger lies in the fact that Alerter is used for sending administrative alerts, while Messenger allows applications or services to communicate with users and one another.

It is important to note that the Messenger service that we are talking about here is different from "MSN Messenger" and "Windows Messenger". Both "MSN Messenger" and "Windows Messenger" are instant messaging clients, while the Messenger that we are talking about here is a Windows service.

Frankly, there are a multitude of reasons as to why Messenger should be disabled on your computer. For one, spammers are taking advantage of this service by sending advertising pop-up messages to unprotected computers from all over the Internet. Along those same lines, Messenger leaves your computer vulnerable to security risks as well. These risks stem from the fact that Messenger requires your computer to have an unattended open server running on the Internet at all times to be able to receive messages. In addition, Messenger is not widely used or needed because most applications have messaging capabilities already built-in, rendering Messenger useless.

Service Name Messenger
Display Name Messenger
Executable File Name svchost.exe
Dependencies Plug and Play, Remote Procedure Call (RPC), Workstation
Reciprocal Dependencies None
Default Startup Type Automatic (XP Home and Pro), Disabled (XP SP2)
Recommended Startup Type Disabled

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