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Disabling Tabs in MSN Messenger 7

Posted April 2005 by Steve Sinchak

Microsoft has just recently released MSN Messenger 7.0.  This new version of MSN Messenger has had many cool new features added such as better firewall support for file transfers and web video/audio. On top of the various architecture updates, there are several new visual enhancements that appear on the contact list and message windows.

I am very happy with all of the new features and the new look but I wish that it was possible to customize the user interface a little more.  One part of MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger that I have always hated was the tabs.  I just like to have a clean messenger interface and do not want to have it cluttered with tabs on the left side of the window.  Using Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger it was very easy to disable the tabs.  Just click on tools and select options.  Then on the manage tabs screen uncheck the box.  In MSN Messenger 7, for some reason the whole option was removed.  No longer can you just uncheck the box because Microsoft removed it.

After doing some research I was finally able to remove my tabs by editing the registry.  I wish that Microsoft would make it easier to remove the tabs without having to edit the registry, but oh well.

Like I said earlier, you will have to edit the registry to remove the tabs in MSN Messenger, so go ahead and start up regedit and follow the steps below:

  1. If the registry editor is not already started, click on the Start Button and select Run. Then type in regedit in the text box and hit Ok. - Navigate through HKEY_CURRENT_USER, Software, Microsoft, MSNMessenger, PerPassportSettings, and then the numbered folder. - Right click on the numbered folder and select New and then DWORD Value. - Type in DisableTabs as the name of the new key. - Next, right click on the new key you just made, DisableTabs, and select Modify. - In the value box, key in 1 and hit Ok.

You can now close the registry editor.  Once you completely restart MSN Messenger, a reboot may be required for some, your tabs will now be gone.

Note:  If you have multiple numbered folders listed under the PerPassportSettings folder, repeat the above instructions for every numbered folder.

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