Remove ICQ Ads

08Dec05

Last updated October 23, 2006

Stop ICQ version 5.1 (May 10, 2006) ads –
In the ICQLite folder, go to subfolder LiteDataFiles (use Run… cmd)

  • delete the file called banners.xml
  • make a new dir called baners.xml
  • make the folder attrib -a +s +r +h
  • delete the file called clbanner.xml
  • make a new dir called clbanner.xml
  • make the folder attrib -a +s +r +h
  • delete the file called psearch.xml
  • make a new dir called psearch.xml
  • make the folder attrib -a +s +r +h

(Note September 1, 2006: ICQ 5.1 – one port 80 connection required for login ??) Then at the Login screen (if you cannot get there, use from the ICQ Main Menu -> Logout username) select Setup (ALT+S):

ICQ Login dialogue ICQ Settings dialogue

  • ICQ Server login.icq.com
  • Host: login.icq.com
  • Port: 443
  • Proxy Settings ->
  • Using Firewall
  • Not using proxy

.. or you can put above ‘Using Proxy’ if you use a proxy to connect to the net (this can be seen under Internet Options in the Control Panel); if you select to use a proxy, you can also chose to ‘Use proxy to resolve hostnames (ALT+x)’.

Once you are set-up this way, you can instruct your firewall to allow ICQ Outbound connections to ports 5190 and 443 only. All other connections can be blocked, especially port 80 which ICQ uses to connect to the ads server and to the ‘Welcome to ICQ’ screen, etc. Blocking all connections will disable you from sending/receiving files from anyone, playing games etc., but those can be enabled on individual basis (by IP).

Now you can do a few registry edits:

  • open the Registry editor (run>regedit)
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mirabilis\ICQ\ICQLite
  • change LiteBannersActive to 0
  • change LiteCLBannerActive to 0
  • change LiteInterOpActive to 0
  • ShowWelcomeScreen 0

These should all be DWORD values (unless I’m mistaking) and also these settings should be protected, so that ICQ does not change them back.

  • select ICQLite key in the right pane (registry tree) and right-click Permissions
  • open Advanced tab and clear the “Inherit from parent …” check box and click “Remove” in the appearing dialog (choose copy when asked).
  • go back to the Permissions tab and remove all permissions except read (do it for every listed account); or delete all & create a new ‘Everyone’ account with only read permissions.

.. ICQ should be closed when doing the Registry edits.

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