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.


    • 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

    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.

  2. Danielwhateley

    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.

  3. Tonya

    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.

  4. Dennis

    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?

    • 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

    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

    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

  7. Mike

    I found this article when I was looking up if this stuff is even necessary, I am bumping up an old computer to see what happens when it’s maxed out and if it’s all good I thought I’d try a upgrade on it to windows 7. So I have been going thru the update process with windows update after having done a full reload of windows XP sp3. this last one has provided me with the choices you have written about here.
    I realize my OS is out of date but I thought it odd that it was not even mentioned. I am a little confused why the options are being offered that were mentioned as being phased out or in the process. I mean for an old OS. I am starting to lean towards not installing any of this stuff since I have lived without it for all this time. I am thinking it will just seem like bloat ware and I don’t think that would be good at all. But I didn’t want to mess anything up with this install either. what I was thinking is I should get this all loaded up, create a restore disk for just in case, and then try the windows 7 deal. This system is only capable of 4 gigs of memory however, I’m not sure how it will operate with 7 and Ia m fairly certain that 8 will not work at all and although I have only used 8 for a short time on a friends computer, I hated every second of it anyway. Funny to me that I have heard 7 will not even be available for sale after this month ( oct 2014) and it still seems like a new OS to me. But i am sure it will be supported at least so i am good with 7 , I don’t like 7 much either compared to xp which seemed ideal. This computer I am refurbishing is a lap top 265M ( I know right? a Gateway) the thought used to make me ill of owning one, I have found this to be kind of cool to tear into though and since it was free i thought it was worth a shot. I did a screen replace on it, worked great, bumped the memory to max, I was told it would accept any slot P so I have ordered a super cheap T8300 SLAPA 2.4GHz 3MB 800MHz cpu , I could have went larger but not for this price. at barely 15.00 I thought it quite a bargain and the bump from the T5450 is quite a jump for that price. I am wondering, since I have heard that the OS is the decider of how much memory is seen, if the memory max will jump up to 8 when I do the windows 7. also I just realized that no one is probably going to answer this since it has little to do with the article now. LOL but if someone does happen to read this and knows the answers or has any tips. I’d love to hear them. Thanks for the help with this essentials thing. The words “Tool bat add on” just scream Hijacker out to me and that was my main reason for going to the desktop to look this up.

  8. Tony

    Is the essentials program just linked to… say Windows Mail? or is it actually the Windows Mail? I’m a little confused. I have Vista, I don’t think I have ever used Essentials, and I have a full hard drive… I’m trying to get it cleaned up by deleting stuff I don’t need. But I don’t want to delete the Essentials email, if that is deleting my Windows Mail box… am I making sense or am I confusing you as much as I am confusing myself?

    • Mark Jacobs

      Essentials is a suite of programs which includes Windows Live Mail, MS Security Essentials, Movie Maker, Live Writer, Photo Gallery and One Drive. You can install any one or any combination of these programs. If you are using Windows Live Mail from MS Essentials, that is the program which controls the mail box. If you delete that you would lose your emails. You can safely delete the other components of Essentials if you have them installed without affecting Windows Live Mail.

  9. Marty B

    My problem is that I installed (according to the check boxes) ONLY Movie Maker, yet now after removing Movie Maker through Add/Remove, I still have sizable folders for journal, mail, photo viewer, and portable devices, none of which I have ever used. I would like to get rid of these as well, but I keep running into the “trusted installer” block, and I am unable to change file or folder permissions to allow me to delete these.

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 in 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.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *