Do this to block pop-up ad in XP


November 06, 2003|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Using a technique that you've suggested, I have not been able to eliminate the problem of annoying pop-ups that exploit holes in the Windows XP operating system.

When I go to "Start," "Run" and type in "services.mcs" as you suggested, a message tells me that it "cannot find the file" or "did I type in the command correctly?"

I fear that in my decision to attack this awful problem of pop-ups posing as part of Windows when they're nasty ads instead, I managed to garble one reference needed to open the menu to fix the problem. The correct command is services.msc - not services.mcs, with the "mcs" ending.

Anybody afflicted with the Windows Messenger pop-ups can stop them by halting a feature of Windows XP called Messenger Service. That command of services.msc brings up a menu of dozens of these so-called services, and one can scroll to the one called Messenger and click a Stop command in the panel at the left.

A friend of this column wrote to report a new tactic: The perpetrators of these pop-ups have found a way to make the window scroll off the top or side of the screen, leading people to click on them to move them.

Let me sound the alarm. Anybody who gets a pop-up with the top off the screen needs to type the Alt + F4 keys to eliminate the box rather than using the mouse. This Alt + F4 command is a keyboard shortcut that will shut whatever window is selected at the time it is invoked.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. You may contact Jim Coates at

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