Posts Tagged ‘Windows Essentials’

Summary:  Microsoft officially removed the ability to download the Windows Essentials 2012 Full Version installer file from their servers.



  • Last week Microsoft officially discontinued the ability for end-users to obtain(download) the Full version installation file for Windows Essentials 2012. (The web version installer was removed some time ago)
  • The removal of the installer file has been expected since Microsoft ended all support for Windows Essentials 2012 in January 10, 2017.   Windows Live Essentials 2011 and 2009 installer files were removed and ceased support quite some time ago.
        • End of support means no further updates(patches/fixes/compatibility), no security updates, no Junk Mail filter updates, and no support for use on current Microsoft supported operating systems(Windows 7/8.1/10)
  • The Windows Essential 2012 installer file may be available from other avenues(friends, third party sources) though caution is warranted from obtaining installation files from outside sources.
          • [Editor note: Not recommended and proceed at your own risk]
  • It would be prudent, if still using a Windows Essentials 2012 products(Mail, PhotoGallery/Movie Maker, Writer) to consider investigating and/or switching to an alternative program for your computing needs and experience.
        • Continued use of Photo Gallery(which is primarily a Photo Viewing application with some editing capability) may be acceptable from a risk standpoint
        • Open Live Writer, compliments of Microsoft, a replacement for Writer remains available as an open source program and has been since 2015
        • Windows Live Mail and its continued use as a mail/news client is feasible but do note that no future security updates will ever be released for the product(nor have any been released for some time) or definition updates for its built-in Junk Mail filter thus always practice safe computing when opening/previewing email and ensure a resident Anti-virus/Anti-malware client is running on your chosen operating system(e.g. Windows Defender on Windows 10)
  • It would also be a good idea to consider archiving any important data to an external source outside of Windows Essential application programs(e.g. email messages and Contacts exported/backed-up to an external thumb or hard drive).
  • FYI – The Windows Essentials suite of products (fka Windows Live Essentials) had a lifespan of just short of 10 years(first released in May 2007 as ‘Windows Live Installer’ comprising of the unified(web based) installers for Messenger, Mail, and Writer)



March 24, 2017: Initial Draft Date

March 26, 2017: Initial Publish Date

Summary:  Windows Essentials 2012 Download Full Version Installer – Possibly Last Chance before being removed from the Microsoft Server

Note:  This Blog entry is now obsolete – Windows Essentials 2012 installer files are no longer available from Microsoft. 

For additional and later information see this ===>> Blog article



  • Windows Essentials 2012 includes Windows Live Mail 2012, Photo Gallery/Movie Maker, and Windows Live Writer 2012
  • Ever since Windows 8.0 was released the possibility of the Windows Essentials 2012 suite of products no longer being available and/or not supported has been a valid concern.
  • Windows Live Essentials 2011 and 2009 Full and unified web version installers are no longer available from Microsoft web site and servers.  Windows Live Essentials 2011 and 2009 are no longer supported products.
  • Windows Essentials 2012 Full version installer remains available on the Microsoft server (How long = unknown)
  • If using one of more of the Widows Essentials 2012 suite of products, it is highly recommended to download the Full version installer for archive purposes in the event a reinstallation is necessary, clean installation on a new or different pc, and/or backup requirements.
  • It is safe to assume that Windows Essentials 2012 will not be supported in the future.  End of support does not always mean, no longer capable of being used but it does usually mean end of availability to obtain its installer files.


How to:

Note:  The Direct download link above is for the English language installer. For a different country specific version please replace the ‘en’  in the above link with the local language code.


July 1, 2016: Initial Draft and Publish Date

March 26, 2017:  Added Note on article obsolescence and link with further explanation


Note:  This article is obsolete – Microsoft has removed all software for Windows Essentials and Windows Live Essentials applications from their servers. Downloading the Full or Web Version installer is no longer possible from Microsoft.  The links shown below will no longer function.  Main article left intact solely for archival purposes.

  • Links to download the current version (now called) Windows Essentials 2012 applications/programs
  • Links to download the 2011 version of the Windows Live Essentials 2011 applications/programs
  • Links to download the 2009 version of  the Windows Live Essentials 2009 applications/programs
  • Earlier versions (Windows Live Essentials 2008) are no longer available from Microsoft


  • Windows Essentials 2012
  • Windows Live Essentials 2011 
  • Windows Live Essentials 2009


Direct download to Microsoft server for the installer executable file

Full Version 2012 installer – English Language Version

Web Version 2012 Installer – English Language Version

Full Version 2011 Installer – English Language Version

Web Version 2011 Installer – English Language Version

Full Version 2009 Installer – English Language Version
Web Version 2009 Installer – English Language Version

Note: Direct download links above are for the English language installer. For a different country replace the ‘en’ with the local language code.



1. System Requirements (2012 version) -suggested reading

2. Release Notes (2012 version)  – suggested reading

3. Windows Live Essentials 2009 – Earlier version still available for compatibility and use on no-longer-supported operating systems Windows XP  and Server 2008.  **Not recommended for use on Vista or later Windows operating systems.**

4. Photo Gallery and Movie Maker in Windows Essentials 2012 were rebranded as Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker. No name change in branding for Windows Live applications (Mail, Messenger, and Writer)

5. Photo Gallery and Movie Maker in Windows Essentials 2012 install as one combined, single package.

6. Windows Update KB 2741355 is a pre-requisite for DirectX 9 support in Movie Maker on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 systems.

7. Windows Live Messenger was deprecated but remains included in the installer since the installer pre-dates the deprecation. Windows Live Messenger is no longer functional and should not be installed. Windows Live Messenger has been replaced by Skype. Skype can be downloaded here – 

If Messenger is installed then after first use a prompt to upgrade to a ‘new version’ of Messenger will appear. The ‘new version’ is Skype.  Upgrading to Skype via the prompt will uninstall Messenger. Messenger can also be uninstalled manually via the Control Panel (Programs and Features/Windows Essentials 2012 or Programs and Features/Windows Live Essentials)

8. Live Mesh (included in 2011 version) was discontinued and no longer available.  Live Mesh replacement is OneDrive (fka SkyDrive).



May 8, 2015:  Original Draft Date

May 9, 2015:  Comment section updated

May 10, 2015: Original Publish Date

March 27, 2017: Added Note about blog article obsolescence regarding Microsoft removal of software from their servers


  • Windows Live Mail stores and exports Email and News messages on a pc in a viewable text file format.
  • Email messages use the file type extension ‘eml’; News messages use ‘nws’
  • Both Email and News messages use a hyphenated numerical/hexadecimal format as the filename
    • Two examples for Mail are 00294823-00000147.eml and 26A6701F-00000002.eml
    • Two examples for News are 0FDD08FE-0003DBFF.nws or 63F86350-0003DB89.nws
  • Neither of the above filenames by default show the message’s ‘Subject’ or ‘Title’ field when viewed in Windows Explorer


  • If using Windows Windows 10, 8.x or Windows 7, the ‘Subject’ field can be enabled in Windows File Explorer (aka Windows Explorer in Windows 7)


  1. To add the ‘Subject’ (or ‘Title’ field via the Windows File Explorer menu)
  2. Open File Explorer  (aka Windows Explorer)
  3. Navigate to the Windows Live Mail email account folder or the location of the exported message folder
  4. The default location for your mail and news folders/subfolders in Windows Live Mail is:
    • C:\Users\<your Windows logon id>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\<your email or newsgroup account name>
  5. The location for exported messages willl be the same folder/subfolder location where the messages were exported (or dragged from Windows Live Mail to another user desired location – e.g. Desktop, user created folder, etc.)
  6. Click on ‘View’ on the Explorer menu or press Alt V
  7. Scroll and select ‘Choose Details’
  8. Scroll and select ‘Subject’ and/or ‘Title’ (see Note below for additional available fields)
  9. Click ‘Ok’


  • Applicable to all released versions of Windows Live Mail (2012, 2011, 2009, 2008)
  • Other fields in addition to ‘Subject’ are available (e.g. To Address, From Address etc) when configuring the ‘Choose Details’ option in  Windows File Explorer
  • Method is applicable for use when a supported version of Windows Live Mail is installed on Windows 10, 8x, 7, and Vista


Dec 8, 2015:  Original Draft Date

January 6, 2015 : Original Publish Date

March 15, 2015:  Added note on applicability for Windows versions – 10, 8x, 7, and Vista

Summary:  Method to expand message thread conversations in Windows Live Mail


  • This article is based on Windows Live Mail 2012


How To:

1. Open Windows Live Mail

2. Click Blue button (upper left), Options, Mail, Read tab
– check ‘Automatically expand grouped messages’

3. Click the View tab (tabs are located on the Ribbon to the right of the Blue button))

Suggested settings on the View tab
Filter Messages = Show all
Conversations = On
Sort Order = Descending
Sort by = Sent
Message List = Automatic
Reading Pane = Right of message list and Show header
Calendar pane = Off (setting is a toggle)
Compact View = Off (setting is a toggle)
Storage Folders = On (setting is a toggle)
Status Bar = On (setting is a toggle)



August 3, 2013: Original Draft

September 7, 2013: Original Publish Date

December 7,  2013: Updated to itemize View tab recommended settings, republished to Windows Unplugged blog