Microsoft Ending Support of Windows Essentials 2012 in January 2017

Microsoft is officially pulling the plug on its Windows Live Essentials suite of free applications. Here’s what you need to know if you still want to use these programs.

Ray Ozzie, a former Microsoft Chief Software Architect, introduced the Windows Live platform in 2005. Since then, Microsoft has embarked on releasing a suite of multimedia apps and services over the years. Windows Live Essentials included apps previously bundled with the Windows Vista operating system, such as Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail, and Messenger. At the time, Microsoft was competing with Apple in the digital lifestyle wars. Apple’s iLife digital media suite got rave reviews for its integrated collection of easy-to-use software such as iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and iTunes.

Microsoft aggressively focused on delivering a similar experience for the Windows PC. Eventually, Microsoft’s fight against new rivals Google on the web and Apple in mobile took center stage. It was no longer about PC software but about tapping into the new trends in computing: mobility, internet search, and touch. Eventually, software like Windows Essentials suffered. The last version was released in 2012 and included support for Windows 8; there is no Windows 10 release for Windows Live Essentials, but the last version is still available for download. But not for long. Microsoft is planning to close the chapter on these still popular desktop apps and services.

End of Support for Windows Essentials 2012 on January 10th, 2017

If you plan to use Windows Essentials 2012, now would be a good time to download a backup copy; Microsoft will be removing access soon. The software will continue to work with some caveats. Windows Mail 2012 does not officially support the new (you can tweak your settings to use POP or IMAP).

 “Windows Essentials 2012 suite will be available for download until it reaches its end of support date on January 10, 2017.”

“Already installed applications will continue to work as they do today. There is an increased security risk associated with use of unsupported products past their end of support date”

A list of recommended alternatives.

  • Mail is available as a free built-in application for Windows 8.1 and above.
  • Photos is available as a free built-in application for Windows 8.1 and above. 
  • Live Writer is available as an open-source solution. 
  • One Drive is an inbox feature for Windows 8.1 and above.
  • Family Safety is an inbox feature for Windows 8.1 and above. 
  • “Movie Maker will soon be available from Windows Store for Windows 10 users.”.

via Microsoft


How to Install Windows Essentials 2012 Offline

If you go to the Microsoft download page, you’ll be given a 1.18 MB file called wlsetup-web.exe that is just a front-end for downloading the actual applications. This won’t work after January 10, 2017. What you’ll need is the offline installer, which includes all the applications. It’s a bigger download (130 MB), and it’s called wlsetup-all.exe. You can grab it here: Windows Essentials 2012 Offline Installer.

As promised, Microsoft has pulled the final version of the Windows Essentials 2012 Offline Installer. I’ve hosted a copy in my personal google drive (for personal use). A few readers have also posted a few links leveraging Obviously, Microsoft is no longer supporting the tool or patching it for security updates. Keep this in mind if you download it from anywhere online.


Over the years, Microsoft has deprecated many apps that still have a loyal following of holdouts. Windows DVD Maker, which was removed in Windows 8, is a prime example. Similarly, Movie Maker has not seen any updates since 2012 or a universal version optimized for Windows 10. With its new desktop bridge technology, it looks like Microsoft will be moving the existing version to the Windows Store soon. Future revisions of Windows 10 might trigger compatibility problems when attempting to use apps within the suite. Apps like Photos in Windows 10 and Mail are the future, and Microsoft expects users to embrace them. So far, many users have complained about missing features and functionality in the modern versions of Mail and Photos. Microsoft is sticking to its strategy, though, and I believe with the new release cadence and Windows Store model of updating apps, users will eventually see missing features added over time.



  1. Ziggy

    December 19, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks for the offline installer link, Andre! Of all the apps Windows Photo Gallery and Movie maker are my favourite. I’ve been looking for the installer for some time without luck, so great to see it here on GroovyPost!

  2. Tim Pate

    December 20, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Windows Movie Maker – the original was the best – what a simple and powerful movie creator/editor.
    The Essentials movie maker is a compromise (a big one). As the article says, there are so so many applications that Microsoft simply lost interest in and they were so good.

    My main want is a movie maker that was as simple and powerful as Movie Make (original). Have not yet found one.

  3. Goldntreasures

    December 20, 2016 at 6:20 am


    Not computer savvy. Does this mean that if we don’t install the Windows Essentials 2012 offline installer, we will not be able to open our photos?

    If not, please offer suggestions. Please reply. Thank you.

  4. Noel Hayward

    December 20, 2016 at 6:32 am

    HI Andre, thanks for the notice of closure of Windows Live Essentials. I only use the Photo Gallery application, it is simple to use and you can tag the photos to make it easy to locate a specific photo or topic. I will certainly download a back up copy..for just in case.

    • Goldntreasures

      December 20, 2016 at 7:47 am

      Hi Noel,

      As I mentioned to Andre…I’m not computer savvy and I need some help in knowing how to save and download this Windows Live Essentials link.

      I only use the Photo Gallery for my photos, because I list on eBay.

      Can you or someone else out there help me please? Thank you.

      • Ziggy

        December 21, 2016 at 5:01 pm

        @Goldntreasures. There are two ways of getting Windows Live essentials.

        One) Click on the link provided by Andre in the article – it will ask you to save the offline installer, which you can keep for future reference – it’s 131 megabytes in size. Then just run the installer.

        Two) Get the online installer from Microsoft which is smaller in size, and then run that installer. Note that you won’t be able to run that next year, so it’s better to get the installer provided by Andre’s link. Here’s the Microsoft link for the online installer:

        Hope all goes well for you…

        • Goldntreasures

          December 22, 2016 at 11:51 am

          Thanks Ziggy, really appreciate your help.

          Merry Christmas and have a great New Year.

          • Ziggy

            December 22, 2016 at 3:54 pm

            You are most welcome Goldntreasures and thank you for the festive season wishes. To you (and all the readers/contributers on GroovyPost) have a very Merry/happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year.

            Ziggy from Australia – enjoying a very hot summer’s day!

  5. Sonjia

    December 20, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I really like my Windows Live Mail program and don’t want to change. I plan to continue to use it, after Jan. 2017. Hope updates for Win.10 won’t affect it. I’ve yet to find another mail program I would want to use like WLM. I’ve downloaded I downloaded and saved the Windows Essentials 2012 Off Line Installer you gave the link for.

    • Marvin

      April 1, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      Sorry to bother, can I get a copy of the offline installer? It’s no longer available from Microsoft and I can’t seem to find it anywhere else on the web.

  6. Jean-Michel

    December 21, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Great to read from you André ! Really good stuff done there.
    Personnally, I am using Movie Maker (WMM) from WinEssentials and it is actually a tool suited for handling videos according to my needs.
    Following on your recommandations I’ve already downloaded the offline installer and backed up it.
    I hope to be able to continue using WMM as long as it will be possible.

  7. Andre Da Costa

    December 22, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Glad you found the article helpful everyone!

  8. Tony

    December 26, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve been using Open Live Writer as my blog editor for nearly a year and can advise, that it is a great application for use with Wordpress. An excellent replacement

    • Steve Krause

      December 26, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Good to know Tony. I’ve been looking for a solid, free option. For whatever reason, just not a fan of using Word to blog… I’ll give Open Live Writer a shot.

  9. Bill

    December 26, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    I couldn’t make it work – I got to the GoUnzip box titled Add Files, but nothing happened after that?


  10. John Erik

    March 8, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Thanks a lot for the installer. This means that my mother (83) can use the programs she is used to on her new computer. Makes life a little bit easier.

  11. T3chGuy77

    March 24, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Can anyone get an IT Admin a 1 time link to download? In need of for a student and my copy is gone! Thanks in advance.

    • Ziggy

      March 24, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      @T3chGuy77: Search MajorGeeks and then in their search box type Windows Live Essentials 16.4.3528

      The direct link is

      • Steve Krause

        March 25, 2017 at 6:48 pm

        Thnx Ziggy. I’m looking for the latest copy also. Grabbed it before MS pulled it. Will add it here to gP as well.


        • Ziggy

          March 25, 2017 at 10:42 pm

          Hi Steve! Glad to be of assistance. Looked all over the place but it looks like M/soft have pulled their link and MajorGeeks was the one place that I could find the offline installer. Checked the downloaded file for viruses and all good on that front. I’ll give that site’s owner (Timothy) a big thank you next time I’m visiting his site.

          • Steve Krause

            March 26, 2017 at 7:03 pm

            Yeah bud you bet! Glad you found a source!

    • Ziggy

      March 25, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      T3chGuy77: You will find it at MajorGeeks. Just search for it within their site.

    • Marvin

      April 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      The one on MajorGeeks is an older version.
      The official download links have been taken offline now, but the files are still hosted on the Internet Archive. For example, for the English version you can use this link:

      • Ziggy

        April 2, 2017 at 2:00 am

        @Marvin. Nice find. Good to have another source and a newer version. Thanks.

  12. Jean-Mi_44

    April 2, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Hi Marvin
    Good to read such an information. I’ve just tested it and I confirm it is working well on my own W10 1607 configuration.
    Thanks a lot for that update !

  13. Richard

    April 14, 2017 at 7:13 am

    The offline installer no longer works.

    It seems criminal that Microsoft has removed this software. It’s like saying you can’t open a Word document or can’t watch a video made with Movie Maker. I have 20k+ photos and hundreds of hours tagging people, tagging, captioning, describing etc. and now I am told I can’t even see my own work.

    How can this be right. It’s like they reached into my computer and deleted all my work

    • Marvin

      April 17, 2017 at 10:54 pm

      Hmm… No I just checked the download from Microsoft and it downloads and installs just fine.
      Here’s the link again for you:

      • Richard

        April 18, 2017 at 6:24 am

        Thanks, that was useful. I notice that installing it required other downloads or, at least, asked to download and to access the internet. I wonder if it will always be able to be installed. My plan is to create a W7 Virtual Machine with the install and not much else, maybe even VMWare and Hyper-V.

        I do see that there are ways of migrating facial information. Microsoft didn’t use a standard, maybe because they were early into the field but the metadata can be converted. Other metadata can be converted but how it is treated depends on the software, some, for example, take a caption and make it the description and title (or some combination of those three).

        Now to find an alternative for facial recognition that uses metadata and I trust. No disrespect for Adobe but LightRoom is the same annual cost as Microsoft Office is for the whole family.

        Thanks again.

        • Marvin

          April 18, 2017 at 8:44 am

          Yes it does require the .NET framework to install correctly.
          From what I understand the server that the link I gave points to is an archive server so it should remain there indefinitely.
          Also once the programs are installed you can use them as long as you like.
          There is no mechanism in place that “uninstalls” your product later.

      • kev

        April 19, 2017 at 8:21 am

        thanks for that Marvin.

        i wonder if you can help with wlxphotobase.dll is missing……

        i ran into problems after using a program to delete supposedly obsolete files and all my windows essential programs disapeared, and microsoft office.

        • Marvin

          April 19, 2017 at 10:02 am

          Will those programs not re-install?

  14. Morrie12

    June 16, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve been using Windows Live Mail 2012 happily on my Windows 10 laptop for over 6 years.

    It’s now June 2021 and I’d love to install Windows Live Mail 2012 on my brand new Windows 10 laptop.

    Does anyone know if Andre’s copy of Windows Essentials 2012 Offline Installer still works?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

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