Do I need Windows Live Essentials?

Windows 7 often comes with several pre-installed components that were part of the Windows Live Essentials package. They're not required to run Windows, and can be uninstalled or replaced with more recent components.

//
My Dell Vostro 1520 came with a lot of software including Windows Live Essentials, Windows Live Mesh, etc. I think I don’t need it. Are they necessary to run Windows 7 on my laptop?

The very short answer is no. You don’t need that to run Windows 7. Those are simply additional pieces of software that are provided as a convenience as part of the initial install.

Those are all components of what was called “Windows Live Essentials”. While they’re not necessary you might actually want some of them, or some of their replacements.

Windows Live Mail

The most common one in the Windows Live package that I think people end up using is Windows Live Mail.

If you want Windows Live Mail, you might want to check out exactly which components of Windows Live Essentials are in fact installed and then pick and choose which of the components you actually want to keep.

You don’t have to keep them all. You can just install the ones you actually use.

Phased out or discontinued programs

Windows LiveNow, Windows Live Essentials is in the process of being phased out. So it’s possible that you may want to go ahead and install individual pieces or uninstall the entire package anyway.

That doesn’t mean you can’t access the products individually or upgrade. If you take a look at the various services that are part of Windows Live Essentials, many of the products in that suite have been broken out. Windows Live Mesh doesn’t really exist anymore. It’s all Sky Drive, which is a separate product.

Other products have been discontinued. Windows Live Messenger is in the process of being migrated to Skype (which is a separate download that’s not part of Windows Live Essentials at all).

Many of these services can be downloaded elsewhere separately if you need them.

Go ahead and uninstall if you like

So, the short answer is yes, you can uninstall the whole thing. You can pick and choose which components of the suite that you still might want to use or you can go out and get the separate components yourself.

There are 15 comments:

    • Leo Reply

      Windows Live *what*? Windows Live is just a brand. I’d have to know exactly what it is you’re attempting to remove. If you mean Windows Live Essentials, then IF it’s there in Windows 8 (I doubt that it is) it should appear in Add/Remove programs just like in Windows 7.

  1. Ed Rusnak Reply

    I had accidentally Deleted all windows essentials e mails from my Shaw Web Mail. yuuk.

    How do I recover them from my PC?

    Hey you sound ghreat. I like your web commnets.

    • Connie Delaney Reply

      Ed,
      I think you might be in trouble. If this is actually web mail, like you say, then the files were never on your computer. So you won’t be able to recover them from there. You might want to read this article from Leo about how to back up web-based email. It will save you for the next time.
      http://ask-leo.com/do_i_need_to_backup_my_webmail.html

  2. Danielwhateley Reply

    I’m curious… there’s no 2013 package coming out so far, for windows 7 which i will never turn away from even though windows 8 is out, how can i get my hotmail a syncing program that will replace windows live mail, do i HAVE to seek an alternative email service, i like having this friends feature that microsoft has, and i have a friend who hasn’t been online for a while but will eventually come back, my hopes and concerns are that microsoft wont just shut us out in the dark and make us turn to other mailing applications.

    • Leo Reply

      You can use Hotmail’s / Outlook.com’s POP3 support to use any desktop email program you choose. I’m a fan of Thunderbird.

  3. Tonya Reply

    I like your website talking bout tec stuff, but the actual website is aggravating to have a disappearing roll up and down bar. I would fix that if it were my website. Make it easier for novice users to see where they can navigate up and down.

    • Leo Reply

      I don’t do anything to control the scroll bar. This sounds like it might be a function of your browser, not the site.

  4. Dennis Reply

    Leo. I have Windows Live Mail (WLM) installed in my Windows 7 Home Edition. It is my primary mail program. I also have GMail installed. I have Hotmail installed but I’m having a problem with it; I am getting spammed in my junk email folder and cannot setup any filters, I’ve read that I can only do so with mail that is on the pop3 server (where my WLM is) and not on HTTP server where the Hotmail is.
    Do you have a work-around for that?

    • Leo Reply

      I don’t understand … “spammed in your junk email folder” sounds like things are working exactly as they should. The whole point of the junk mail folder is to be the place where spam is automatically placed.

  5. Julie Reply

    Hi, I have windows 8 with windows anti virus installed, do I need to install a secondary anti virus program or is the windows one enough?
    Thank you

  6. Barbara Casseldine Reply

    Can’t assess window live mail account block. Tried changing password and supplied verification form. They need a code but don’t reply on another email account. As the account is blocked what happens next

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article. Seriously. You'd be shocked at how many people make comments that prove they didn't.
  • Comment only on the article. If you have a new, unrelated question start with the search box at the top of the page.
  • Don't post personal information. Email addresses, phone numbers and such will be removed.

VERY IMPORTANT: because of a rise an comment spam that's making it through our filters any comments that do not add to the discussion - typically off topic or content-free comments - run a very high risk of being flagged as spam and removed.

If you have a new question unrelated to the article above, ask it on the Ask Leo! ask-a-question page.