Fixing Spark Instant Messenger Too Many Custom Status Messages

I know a lot of companies out there use Ignite Realtime’s Openfire Server, and their Spark Instant Messaging client. Mostly because it’s free and easy to set up. It’s a great product and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re looking for a good Open Source instant messaging server with a lot of functionality behind it.

It’s got a couple of annoying things that it does though and I’ve got a couple of fixes I’ve found that should help out my fellow SysAdmins. First one here is how to fix that issue really quickly when users add too many custom status messages and they don’t want to delete them one at a time.

Note: This assumes the Windows version, you could PROBABLY apply this to the Linux and MAC versions fairly easily by looking in the equivalent places on their machines.

How To Delete All Custom Status Messages in Spark

Step 1: Get access to user’s computer. Typically you can remote into their machine’s file system pretty easily, depending on how you have your network set up something like this: \\pchostname\c$ and just see their entire root drive if you’re a Windows Administrator.

Step 2: Navigate to their User Profile folder and find their Spark account folder. Here’s where to look in various versions of Windows:

Windows Vista/7/8/10 (Probably, might be some slight variation between versions, this is for Windows 7 specifically)


Windows XP (Probably, you may have to wing it, I don’t have an XP machine with Spark on it handy to confirm this. If someone wants to let me know I’ll post it.)

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Spark\user

Note: You can usually get almost where you want by typing %USERPROFILE% in the Start Menu or in the Run Command if you’ve remoted directly into their desktop. 

Step 3: Find and open the user’s Spark profile folder in the ‘user’ folder. It’s going to look something like this: “username@servername”.

Step 4: There should be a file called “custom_messages.xml” in there. Delete it.

Step 5: Success.

Note: You do NOT have to shut Spark down to do this. I’ve tested this on version 2.7.1 and 2.6.3. Probably works on some older versions but they probably won’t have the files in the same place because older versions just put the app in the user profile. Concept is the same though.

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