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In Windows XP, if you have logged onto Windows Live Messenger at some point, then it'll start displaying how many unread messages on the Windows login screen. How can I turn it off?

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migrated from serverfault.com Jul 29 '09 at 5:28

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

For folks who don't like the idea of playing around the Windows registry (for good reason!), you can use the TweakUI Powertoy to get rid of it completely for you safely and painlessly:

In TweakUi do the following:

  1. From the left pane expand Logon and then Unread Mail.
  2. Deselect the option “Show unread mail on Welcome screen.”
  3. You can choose whether to apply this only to your account or for all users on that computer.

Download TweakUi from the Windows XP Powertoys website.

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Quick Google search gives this site as a result: http://outlook-tips.net/howto/winxp_unread.htm. Basically, it boils down to the following registry keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail

There is a key for every account configured on the system. Under each key, a value for "MessageExpiryDays (DWORD)" needs to exist and be set to 0.

Change that, reboot and you should be good to go.

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I suppose that means that Thunderbird could be hacked to play along for us folk who have never installed or run Outlook and friends... –  RBerteig Jul 29 '09 at 6:54
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