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Do I need Windows Live Essentials?

Question: 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.

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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.

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52 comments on “Do I need Windows Live Essentials?”

    • 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. 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. 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.

      • I’m having he__ getting Thunderbird to accept my Yahoo Mail account. It ACTS like it’s going to, then clunk!! It tells me a few things;like The server may be down, is my account name and password correct, etc. I understand Yahoo is making (or has made) a number in the primary email, so I’m wondering what I’m not doing that I should be…or what else is causing the issue. I made all the changes to switch from Popmail to IMAP, and I’m at a loss.


  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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?

    • 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. 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.

  10. Leo:
    It was so very nice to find someone on the Internet to whom I can ask questions about the PC and the Internet.
    I never bothered to use the complicated and cumbersome Viti-Virus/Spam/Malware/Spyware, etc. program on my Desktop PC (Made by ZT – bought at CostCo in 2012) or DELL Laptop Inspiron. WIndows 7 SP1 on both machines came with the Microsoft Security Essentials and and I thought the MSE was going to do a reasonable job against Internet Cyber Attacks.
    My Desktop PC has become so very slow after years of my two daughters playing with games and downloading all kinds of stuff. So, with the 24 x 7 Technical Support of the ZT Systems, I was able to completely Reinstall the Windows 7, and everything seems to be working much faster. Now here are some of my questions: 1) First, I did the Windows 7 Reinstall by myself by inserting my WIndows 7 “Recovery DVD-ROM” and Running the SETUP; but it took 7-8 hours. 2) Then, I called the ZT Technical Support. They told me that the way I Reinstalled the Windows 7 was NOT the proper way.
    They asked me to disconnect Internet Cable from my PC from the Verizon FIOS Internet Router, Insert the Windows 7 Recovery DVD-ROM on the Driver Port, and then asked me to go through various steps (such as “deleting” all “Partitions”, and turning the Power Off and starting the Power On while keeping to tap on the F12 Key, and so on). This time, the Reinstall took about 15 minutes or so. 3) Did this Reinstall eliminate any and all possible Viruses that might have been hiding on on PC – Viruses that might have gotten onto my PC that Microsoft Security Essentials did NOT catch?
    If the Reinstall completely eliminates any and all VIruses, then doing the Reinstall once in a while would NOT be that bad…..? E.g. I would once in a while get some soft of Warning about my PC having some soft Viruses or Malwares and and that I need to call this 800 or 888 number for help – seems to me to be just an Ad, except, sometime I cannot just “X” out. My screen gets stuck, and the only way to get out of this is to either Shutdown or sometime even shutdown does not work because I cannot move my mouse’s Cursor control (in which case, I have to Power Off the PC). After I Power On again, then things seem to work again. But, I noticed that these instances appear to be associated with my PC having become very very slow lately – until the ZT Technical Support walked me through step by step to “Properly” Reinstall WIndows 7 on y PC. 4) About Anti-Virus (or All Bundle Anti-Virus) Packages. My Internet Service Provider Verizon tells me that they already provide some Basic level of Virus Protection at no charge, but I need to pay about $11 per month for more/better/higher-level Protection. Then there is Kaspersky and Norton, etc. Then, a friend of mince tells me that he uses VGT (Free Download). My friend tells me that Anti-Virus Protection Package companies are in competition with each other, and therefore, in order to solicit/attract new customers, they entice new customers with FREE basic package(s) and charge more for higher-level/more/better packages. What do you think about all this? Is the Free Basic Package good enough? If not, what is the best one and the best deal. Buy an individual one (such as Kaspersky, etc.) or buy an upgraded one through my Internet Service Provider? Is MS Security Essentials NOT good enough? IF not, why?
    5) If the Windows Reinstall was done using the Recovery DVD-ROM and with the Internet connection cable DIS-connected, would the Reinstall put my PC’s system condition back to the way if was when I bought it in 2012?
    Does that mean, hundreds of “Windows Updates” would have to be performed? If there has/had been WIndows SP1 or SP2 that came after my initial purchase of the PC in 2012 (My Recovery DVD-ROM says Windows 7 – not WIndows 7 SP1), then how does my PC with Windows7 get upgraded to SP1 or SP2? Is the Upgrade automatically taken care of once I re-connect my PC to the Internet? What about all of the “WIndows Updates”? Do these also get automatically updated once I re-connect my PC to the Internet?
    6) My friend told me to DISABLE the “Windows Updates” – because these “Updates” are not necessary and they just slow down your PC. I thought WIndows Updates are necessary stuff, but my friend tells me that one of the reasons for the Windows Updates is for Microsoft to gather information from me. Is this true? Can my PC do as good of a job WITHOUT WIndows Updates – especially if I get hold of a very good Anti-Virus Protection Bundle?
    7) What is a) “Create a System Repair DISC”? b) “Create a System Image”? (expected to take 76 Gb – so, I guess I need to buy a Thumb Drive that is 128 Gb – what is the best/most reliable brand for the thumb drive – Kingston?)
    8) Your expertise is in IT, mine is in Finance and Investment. I worked for the FDIC for 31 years. I have BS, MS, MBA, and I was once invited by Johns Hopkins University MBA Program as a guest lecturer on the U.S. Stock Market History and Investment Portfolio Management Practices. Given this, I would like to personally offer you my ideas/opinions and answers to your questions about Financial/Investments – in appreciation of you providing me your ideas/opinions and answers to my question about the computers. I know I wrote a novel for you with my questions. You can write me a novel, too., with question about Finance. P.S. I will NOT be selling anything to you (trust me). Thank you.

  11. G’day Leo,I totally agree with you over this Mail,and if only for a break with a few Paragraphs to break up the continuous babling away,and a few Hyphen’s where needed,as L

  12. I am running Windows 8 and using the email program provided. I have not installed Windows Live mail and I do did wish to. However,
    I cannot scan and send documents or do much else without the Windows Live product, is that correct? I am getting all my emails just
    fine, but I am not using the Windows Live, I tried once to change it and lost all my email and my contact list. Is there a way a scanning
    and sending documents with using the Windows Live product?

    Thank You Kindly

  13. Hi Leo, hope all is well. I need your advice on windows essentials 2012, I recently experienced computer intermittent freezes,
    e.g. I would download a link on an e-message, it would freeze, as do other computer applications, started out as a minor
    problem, and it kept getting worse up to now. Some of the links that I download, will freeze up before I even open them. I
    called my security people (Trend Micro Systems) discussed the problem with them, they were very helpful, performed a Trend Micro
    Air Support, where you give them permission to do a picture of your computer. They conveyed that nine programs, some quite old,
    no longer valid, I myself did not monitor the status of my programs, did not even realize I still had them, they helped me delete
    these programs, but I did not delete the Windows Essential 2012 program, as they had suggested, as a possible conflict with the
    Trend Micro Security program, that I have been using, for about three years, and they have served me well.

    My question is, is it safe to delete the Windows Essential 2012 program, without causing any problems to the other windows operating
    programs, that are now part of my system? Windows essentials 2012, has support links to – Messenger, photo Gallery and Movie Maker,
    Family Safety, Mail, and writer. What can I safely delete that will keep my system in check, without affecting other programs? I do
    a collection of photo’s, if I delete the photo gallery, will I lose my photo’s? I also use Windows live Mail for my E-Mail, is that connected
    to the Mail in Windows Essentials? If Windows Essential 2012, could be part of my computer freezing, or is there something else, that I
    should look at, that may be causing the freeze up, from time to time. By the way, I am using Windows 7, as my operating system, they
    also advised me not to use Windows 10, at least for another year, because there still remains some operating issues with Windows 10,
    that need to be resolved, I’m not sure about postponing the switch, I’m happy with Windows 7, I can download 10 for free, for now
    anyway, how long that will last, I don’t know.

    Any help or ideas on the Windows Essential 2012 program, will be greatly appreciated, and of course the problem with my system freezing,
    that could possibly lead to a complete system freeze, and damage to my system.

    Thanks Leo – and have a great Easter – All he best – John R. Vicente

    • MS Essentials are simply a set of programs which Microsoft offers for free. If you don’t use them, they are safe to remove. If you remove MS Security Essentials, be sure you have another antivirus program running.Windows should warn you if you don’t have an active AV running.

  14. OK. I don’t see my problem represented here, so here it is; every time I attempt to uninstall Windows Live Essentials, it intstead runs a repair program and reinstalls Microsoft Silverlight. How do I get rid of the entire package without using the “Uninstall A Program” feature in “Control Panel”?

  15. when i open win live mail i get this
    Unable to send or receive messages for the Hotmail ({email address removed}) account.

    Server Error: 3219
    Server: ‘’
    Windows Live Mail Error ID: 0x8DE00005

    how do i fix this?

    • You don’t. As was announced by Microsoft some time ago that approach to accessing your hotmail account no longer works. You’ll need to reconfigure to use IMAP instead.

  16. Hi Leo I tried upload to my older comp. with windows 7 antivirus program from eset and have problem . In red comes message ( the signature of this program is corrupt or invalid ) . What can I do to resolve this issue . Appreciate your answer . Thank you .

  17. Window live Essentials 2011, yes I know it comes pre-loaded on Windows 7.
    When I click on a certain businesses E-mail address the Windows Live Essentials 2011 service agreement screen comes up. What exactly is Windows Live Essentials 2011? What is it mainly used for? Is it safe and secure? Why would a business use this?
    When I try to send the business ( S B C ) in short an E-mail to them directly using the same email address, using g-mail’s compose they, come back marked : Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently: and then it gives the exact email that they gives me. I have only one out of four gone through. Is this happening because the company wants us only to use the W. L. E. 2011 program only?

    • Microsoft is ending support for Windows Live Essentials, so it’s time to look for alternatives. Windows Live Mail, an Essentials component will no longer be supported after Jan 2017. For most people, Thunderbird is probably a viable alternative.

      It’s highly unlikely that anyone would insist you use a particular email program to send them emails.You’d have to specify exactly what the reason the email bounce alert gave for the failure.

  18. Thank you Leo and ‘team Leo’
    Stumbled across this and appreciate the frank, real answers. Saved me loads of time.
    Good to know there is a no b.s. place to ask questions.
    Cheers !

  19. i have the same problem as gus but mine is with any pictures i want to send, from outlook how do you reconfigure imap
    im a novice with computers, i get the same server error 3219 and windows live mail error id 0x8de00005

  20. I used Windows Live Photo Gallery many times & one of the Windows 10 updates seems to have deleted it. Is there any way to recover the program?
    Thank you,

    • Well, that’s not much to go on, I’m afraid. Does anything work? Can you send/receive at all? Every time? Sometimes? What version of Windows are you running? There are just so many possibilities and details matter.

  21. Hi Leo,
    Long long time reader Please change my address from {email addresses removed}. I will cancel my old Address I figure all my old companions
    have got the message and I do not need all the scams but your email I wish to receive, even so, I understand less and less about modern computers as you may know I still hanging with Win 7 64 bits and all the old programs that I own and paid for and know how to use.
    Joe Thiel


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