Force Windows to Use a Different Instant Messenger

Instead of hiding or removing Windows Messenger, you can change the settings in Windows so that it recognizes another program as your default instant messenger. The advantage of this is that it keeps Windows Messenger intact and ready to use whenever you want it.
This option works only on Windows XP computers that have a minimum of Service
Pack 1 installed.

To designate a different instant messaging program:

  1. Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of Windows.
  2. Click the Control Panel. (If you don’t see this option, then your Start menu is in classic mode. In that case, click Settings, and then select the Control Panel.)
  3. Double-click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. A window opens. In the left window pane, click the Set Program
  5. Access and Defaults icon.
  6. Click the Custom button.
  7. Scroll down until you see the Choose a Default Instant Messaging
  8. Program heading. Click the Use My Current Instant Messaging Program button. Next, put a checkmark in the Enable Access to This Program box
  9. Click the OK button.

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