Microsoft Messenger 6 for Macintosh was released in September. The new version is a Universal application built to run on both PowerPC-based and Intel-based Macs, and brings a number of new features, including spellchecking, improved corporate server compatibility, and the ability to communicate with friends on the Yahoo! chat network.

There is one security feature we’ve been hearing complaints about: Messenger 6 now begins every IM session with a stern (and longwinded) warning:

Warning text: “Never give out your password or credit card number in an instant message conversation. To help prevent infection by a computer virus or worm, never accept or open any file or link in an instant message until you verify its authenticity with the sender.”

There’s no checkbox or preference to turn off the persistent warning, but if you’re willing to pry into Messenger’s application structure there’s a hack to make it go away for good.

Note: This tip requires manipulating files in the Microsoft Messenger application bundle. While the process described here is safe, be prepared for the possibility that you’ll need to reinstall Messenger if a mistake is made.

Tip: Want more information about application bundles — also called application packages? Read Apple’s technote: What is a Bundle?

Step 1: Control-click on Microsoft Messenger. Choose Show Package Contents.

Find the icon for the Microsoft Messenger application in your Applications folder. Hold down the Control key and click on it to bring up a contextual menu. Choose Show Package Contents from that menu.

A new folder window will open showing the contents of the Messenger application bundle.

Step 2: Edit the file named “InstantMessageWindow.strings” using TextEdit.

In the Microsoft Messenger folder (the application bundle we just opened), you’ll need to dig through several folders to find the appropriate file to edit. Here are the list of folders you’ll need to navigate through to find the needed file:

Microsoft Messenger > Contents > Resources > Englist.lproj > InstantMessageWindow.strings

Open this file using Apple’s TextEdit application.

Step 3: Change the IMWarning entry at the bottom of the file.

Scroll to the bottom of the text file and remove the warning text (shown highlighted in our screenshot). Make sure to leave the quote marks. Save the file when done.

Step 4: Close all open windows, and try Microsoft Messenger.

Give Microsoft Messenger a try. If everything worked, your next chat should no longer start with that annoying long warning message.

Source: This tip researched and documented by Creativetechs’ newest consultant Jordan Bojar.