Hidden Uninstall Wizards In Windows XP and 2000

Occasionally, you may need to remove an application from Windows, like Windows Messenger. Windows Messenger does come with an uninstall wizard, but the wizard is not normally accessible thru the Add / Remove Programs applet. First, you have to make the wizard visible.

  • Open folder "C:\Windows\inf", using Windows Explorer.
  • Locate and open file "sysoc.inf", using Notepad or another text editor. If "sysoc.inf" isn't visible, you'll need to configure Windows Explorer.

    • Select Tools - Folder Options.
    • On the View tab, under Advanced settings, enable "Show hidden files and folders".

  • With sysoc.inf open in Notepad, look for (in this example) "msmsgs".


  • Change the substring ",hide," to ",,".


  • Save the file, and close Notepad.
  • Restart Add / Remove Programs, and the previously hidden applet should be visible.

Now, just start the wizard. Soon, no more Windows Messenger.