Some time around March 10 2001, ICQ - the world's most widely used instant messaging service - turned on ads in all its newer clients. This prompted intense discussions on how to turn them off. There are several banners, and several possibilities:

The SMS banner can be removed by going into the Icq/partners dir and replacing partner.xml with a 0 byte file.

The message window ads can be removed by renaming or removing the icqateima32.dll, icqateres.dll and icqateimg32.dll files. This will still leave the ad frame, displaying "ICQ ATE browser 1.0".

In order to remove the entire ad frame, the ICQCore.dll needs to be replaced by an older or hacked version. If you wish to edit it, use a resource editor (I used Restorator, and load ICQCore.dll. Select Dialog resource 2566 and set the window height to 70 like this "2566 DIALOGEX 0, 0, 314, 70, 0". Save the file.

All these fixes are known to be valid for ICQ 2000b build #3279 and cannot be guaranteed to work with other versions.

If you want to remove the banner adverts from the non-split-mode message windows you will also need to reduce the height of dialog resource #2503 to 156 and #2507 to 164. This has been tested with ICQ 2000b build #3281.

Sometimes the banner ad on the outgoing message window appears, but underneath the other buttons. Even if this happens to you, you still save on the screen real estate that the banner ad used to gobble up.

Remember - back up your IcqCore.dll file before messing with it. If you screw up totally then you'll have to reinstall ICQ, so make a copy of your settings first.

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