Preventing automatic Photo Sharing in Windows Live Messenger 2009
UPDATE (Aug 20/09): The latest version of Messenger will break the patch here as the new version is a different file. Fortunately A-Patch has now been updated with this option, and works with the updated version of Messenger, so I would recommend you use that tool to make this change instead. If there’s any real demand, I’ll update this patch here, but I expect there will not be. For those manually patching themselves, the new offset is hex 164118.
It took much longer than I personally expected, but the automatic Photo Sharing function in Windows Live Messenger has finally been patched. Surprisingly it was done by Rafael Rivera (of uxtheme, Blue Badge, and other fame) and not in one of the common Messenger patches (not yet anyway).
Rafael documents what needs to be changed on his site, but if you want to skip that or you’re not comfortable editing binary files, I threw together a quick patcher using PatchWise Free.
Download the patcher (see update above as this may not work on your version)
You’ll need the latest Messenger installed, but since the latest mandatory update, you should already have it.
What this does exactly
This allows you to drag-and-drop images into the Messenger conversation window or copy/paste image files into Messenger without the Photo Sharing feature being triggered. Instead, Messenger will send the images as a normal file transfer. If you still want to use Photo Sharing however, just use the Photo button in the toolbar of the conversation window and the function will work there.
What’s wrong with Photo Sharing?
The only real problem with Photo Sharing is that you can’t turn it off. Photo Sharing is quite useful for showing someone an image quickly that they may or may not want to keep, but if you’re sending screenshots or other detailed images, it really becomes a nuisance as you have to go through the whole Save, switch to desktop, open file procedure repeatedly.
Doesn’t Plus! do this already?
The latest Plus! version contains a special registry value you can add to deal with when you copy/paste actual bitmap images. It does not deal with copy/pasting files themselves or a drag-and-drop operation. For those not aware, the value is OverrideImgTransfer and would go at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Patchou\Messenger Plus! Live\WindowsLiveID@Emailaddress.com\Preferences (where WindowsLiveID@Emailaddress.com is your Live ID). Rafael’s change deals with this situation as well, so this key is not required.
Don’t thank me, I’m just the messenger (pun intended). Head over to Rafael’s blog and leave a comment there for him!