Install Windows Essentials 2012 on Windows 10 or 8.1

Microsoft recently released Windows Essentials 2012 for Windows 7 and it includes support for Windows 8. The software suite has been renamed and some new features have been added to Movie Maker and Photo Gallery.

Update 05/17/21: This software is no longer supported. Windows 7 is no longer supported, and Windows 8 has reached the end of mainstream support.

Windows 8.1 reached the end of Mainstream Support on January 9, 2018, and will reach end of Extended Support on January 10, 2023. With the general availability of Windows 8.1, customers on Windows 8 had until January 12, 2016, to move to Windows 8.1 to remain supported.

About Windows Essentials 2012

We’re no longer offering the Windows Essentials 2012 suite for download, but if you already have it installed, it will continue to work as it does today. It reached end of support on January 10, 2017, and it isn’t available in Windows 10.

Windows Essentials 2012

Microsoft recently released Windows Essentials 2012 for Windows 7 and it includes support for Windows 8. The software suite has been renamed and some new features have been added to Movie Maker and Photo Gallery. Here’s a look at installing the package on Windows 8 and what’s offered.

You don’t have to install everything, even though it’s recommended. To select only what you want, click Choose the Programs you Want to Install.

What to Install

Because I want to test and show each of the apps on Windows 8, I’m installing everything. It installs in the desktop view.

Windows Essentials 2012 Installing

After it’s done, you’re prompted to agree to the Microsoft Services Agreement.

Windows Essential EULA

Then you’ll find the Windows Essentials programs on the Windows 8 Start screen, but they all run in desktop view. Here I created a group for them.

Windows Essentials Start Screen

Here’s a quick look at each of the apps included in Windows Essentials 2012. We’ll be covering them in more detail in future articles, but this will give you an idea of what to expect.

Photo Gallery

This is an app to organize and manage photos on your computer. It also lets you create panoramas, photo collages, and supports popular online photo sharing services – including a new partnership with Vimeo.

Photo Gallery App

Windows Messenger

The familiar Windows IM client works as it always has. It lets you connect to your IM contacts as well as Facebook, LinkedIn and support for audio and video chat.

Compact View

Windows Writer

If you’re a blogger or thinking of starting, one of the best publishing apps to use is Windows Writer (formerly Windows Live Writer). It works with all of the most popular blogging services like WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, and more. It’s dead simple to use and lets you upload your posts with pictures and video. It’s our software of choice for publishing articles here at groovyPost.

Windows Writer

Windows Live Mail

It’s still called “Live Mail” probably so it’s not confused with Windows 8 Mail included in the OS by default. If you want a more robust client for managing your mail – without dealing with Outlook, Windows Live Mail is a solid choice. It will manage your Contacts, Calendar, RSS feeds and of course your messages. If you do have Outlook installed on your system it also includes the Outlook Connector Pack to manage your Hotmail account.

Live Mail

Movie Maker

This was introduced in the first version of Live Essentials as a replacement to Windows Movie Maker in XP. It’s received some enhancements like Video stabilization, new effects and easily adding background music to your videos. While it’s weak compared to professional tools like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro on Mac, it’s a perfect free tool for creating your own personal short videos to share online.

Movie Maker

Now you can add music from AudioMicro, Vimeo Music Store, and the Free Music Archive. Now you can upload videos directly to Vimeo from Photo Gallery or Movie Maker.

Movie Maker Add Music

Microsoft SkyDrive — Now Known as OneDrive

While SkyDrive is included as a default app in Windows 8, this makes the storage service easy to use from the desktop. It integrates with Windows Explorer and if you’re new to the service, you get 7GB of free space.

SkyDrive Windows 8 Desktop



  1. Steve Krause

    August 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Brian, have you noticed anything new with the new Windows Writer? I’ve not played with it yet. Great to see they are still rev’ing movie maker. Great App!

    • Brian Burgess

      August 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      Nope. Nothing new that I’ve seen or read about. In fact, I’ve read speculation that MS isn’t going to be updating WLW anymore…which would be horrible — unless there is a new updated Writer app coming? Time will tell.

      • Steve Krause

        August 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm

        Hmm. Perhaps they are folding it into Word?

        Sent from my Mobile

        • Brian

          August 28, 2012 at 12:34 am

          Perhaps. I mean you can already blog from Word, and I have started playing around with that capability in Word 2013 and it’s pretty slick. Will have an article about it soon. But I just wish they would continue to upgrade and enhance Windows Writer…sigh.

  2. Tye

    April 22, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    now that Microsoft has stopped allowing download of the Essential 2012 software can you tell me where I can get a copy of it so that I can get the Windows live photos gallery installed on my tablet that has windows 10?

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