Windows Essentials 2012– Installer File Officially Removed from Microsoft Servers

Summary:  Microsoft officially removed the ability to download the Windows Essentials 2012 Full Version installer file from their servers.



  • Last week Microsoft officially discontinued the ability for end-users to obtain(download) the Full version installation file for Windows Essentials 2012. (The web version installer was removed some time ago)
  • The removal of the installer file has been expected since Microsoft ended all support for Windows Essentials 2012 in January 10, 2017.   Windows Live Essentials 2011 and 2009 installer files were removed and ceased support quite some time ago.
        • End of support means no further updates(patches/fixes/compatibility), no security updates, no Junk Mail filter updates, and no support for use on current Microsoft supported operating systems(Windows 7/8.1/10)
  • The Windows Essential 2012 installer file may be available from other avenues(friends, third party sources) though caution is warranted from obtaining installation files from outside sources.
          • [Editor note: Not recommended and proceed at your own risk]
  • It would be prudent, if still using a Windows Essentials 2012 products(Mail, PhotoGallery/Movie Maker, Writer) to consider investigating and/or switching to an alternative program for your computing needs and experience.
        • Continued use of Photo Gallery(which is primarily a Photo Viewing application with some editing capability) may be acceptable from a risk standpoint
        • Open Live Writer, compliments of Microsoft, a replacement for Writer remains available as an open source program and has been since 2015
        • Windows Live Mail and its continued use as a mail/news client is feasible but do note that no future security updates will ever be released for the product(nor have any been released for some time) or definition updates for its built-in Junk Mail filter thus always practice safe computing when opening/previewing email and ensure a resident Anti-virus/Anti-malware client is running on your chosen operating system(e.g. Windows Defender on Windows 10)
  • It would also be a good idea to consider archiving any important data to an external source outside of Windows Essential application programs(e.g. email messages and Contacts exported/backed-up to an external thumb or hard drive).
  • FYI – The Windows Essentials suite of products (fka Windows Live Essentials) had a lifespan of just short of 10 years(first released in May 2007 as ‘Windows Live Installer’ comprising of the unified(web based) installers for Messenger, Mail, and Writer)



March 24, 2017: Initial Draft Date

March 26, 2017: Initial Publish Date

Windows Essentials 2012 – Download (Last Chance)

Summary:  Windows Essentials 2012 Download Full Version Installer – Possibly Last Chance before being removed from the Microsoft Server

Note:  This Blog entry is now obsolete – Windows Essentials 2012 installer files are no longer available from Microsoft. 

For additional and later information see this ===>> Blog article



  • Windows Essentials 2012 includes Windows Live Mail 2012, Photo Gallery/Movie Maker, and Windows Live Writer 2012
  • Ever since Windows 8.0 was released the possibility of the Windows Essentials 2012 suite of products no longer being available and/or not supported has been a valid concern.
  • Windows Live Essentials 2011 and 2009 Full and unified web version installers are no longer available from Microsoft web site and servers.  Windows Live Essentials 2011 and 2009 are no longer supported products.
  • Windows Essentials 2012 Full version installer remains available on the Microsoft server (How long = unknown)
  • If using one of more of the Widows Essentials 2012 suite of products, it is highly recommended to download the Full version installer for archive purposes in the event a reinstallation is necessary, clean installation on a new or different pc, and/or backup requirements.
  • It is safe to assume that Windows Essentials 2012 will not be supported in the future.  End of support does not always mean, no longer capable of being used but it does usually mean end of availability to obtain its installer files.


How to:

Note:  The Direct download link above is for the English language installer. For a different country specific version please replace the ‘en’  in the above link with the local language code.


July 1, 2016: Initial Draft and Publish Date

March 26, 2017:  Added Note on article obsolescence and link with further explanation

How to Remove or Hide a Last Name from a Windows Live Profile


  • Method to remove and/or hide the user’s (Live ID or Microsoft Account) last name from being visible to the public, contacts, and/or connected social network services.


  • A Windows Live ID (or Microsoft Account) requests the entry of a last name, initial or other acceptable character during the Live ID (Microsoft Account) account creation process.
  • For privacy reasons (personal reasons, use of multiple Live ID/Microsoft Accounts, displayed when using the Live web services – Hotmail, SkyDrive, etc.) some may prefer to not share or broadcast their last name to the public, network contacts and/or other connected social network services
  • The last name field  can be edited and an optional ‘blank’ character entered by using a common available Windows provided ‘Accessories’ application called  ‘Character Map’
  • Character Map can be found on the Start Menu (All Programs/Accessories/System Tools)

How To:

1. Logon to the respective Live ID’s Profile (at

2. On the Profile home page click on Details (or Edit Details)


3. Click on the Edit field adjacent to the user name


4. Select and clear the last name field



5. Open Character Map (in a separate window) and select the ‘Arial’ character mode


6. Scroll down to and click on the character named ‘U+202A: Left to Right Embedding’ to cue (place the focus) on the ‘U+202A’ character in ‘Character Map’, then click the ‘Select’ button


7. Click ‘Copy’ to place the character on the Windows Clipboard


9. Paste the contents of the clipboard to the ‘Last Name’ field then click on Save to finalize the changes.


10. Once ‘Saved’ you will return to your Profile home page allowing verification of the change.

(Two examples below)


 LiveID_Profile_Done_02 [after the facelift] 🙂


  • Changing your name will impact all places your name appears when using Windows Live (Profile, Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, SkyDrive) and/or transmitted to other social connected services.
  • Changing your name will also impact the name that appears on Windows 8 (Microsoft Account Windows logon name)


October 31, 2011: Publish as ‘Draft’ Date

March 15, 2012: Republish Draft after testing on Windows 8 (Consumer Preview)

April 23, 2012: Original Publish Date

How To Install Windows Live Essentials 2011


Overview and explanation of the Windows Live Essentials 2011 installer’s choices for installing all or selective Windows Live Essentials 2011 applications and optional components on Vista Sp2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 Sp2 R2 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Installation Process and Choices:

The Windows Live Essentials 2011 (WLE 2011) installer will first notify that is it ‘preparing to install’WLE_QFE3_02

Once preparation is complete the installer will provide two installation choices:

  1. Install all of Windows Live Essentials”  = Install ‘Everything’ (a minimum of 8 to a maximum of 12 applications and optional programs)
  2. Choose which programs you want to install” = User option to selectively install 1 or more items (Custom mode)


If comfortable with Microsoft’s’ recommendation to ‘Install all’ select the first option, allow the installer to finish until completion and begin using one or more of any application (fyi – upon completion Windows Live Messenger will automatically be loaded)

On the other hand if preferring the ability to decide which applications will be installed (since many users may not need or want the full compliment of included applications) then select the second option ‘Choose the programs you want to install’.

It is extremely important to note that even when choosing the second option all programs are ‘pre-checked’ to be installed (i.e. you must ‘Opt-Out’ of any application or it will be installed).  The graphic below contains additional text added by this writer reiterating the need to ‘Uncheck’ any program in order to prevent installation.


An example of a more typical selection of the six primary WLE 2011 application programs (Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Writer, and Mesh) is shown below (at least one program must be chosen).


Once the ‘Install’ button is clicked the installation process will provide a ‘completion status’ until ‘Done!’




WLE_QFE3_13  WLE_QFE3_14

Once the installation is ‘Done!’, click the Close Button, Shutdown/Restart (even if not prompted) and start using any of the installed Windows Live Essentials 2011 programs.


  • The Outlook Connector Pack includes the Outlook Hotmail Connector and the Windows Live Messenger Provider for the Outlook Social Connector. The latter is only installed if the Outlook Social Connector is already installed.
  • The Outlook Social Connector is included in Office 2010 and available (as a download) for Outlook 2003/2007.
  • Windows Live Downloads – link to obtain the latest WLE 2011 installer (full or web version)
  • Windows Live Essentials 2011 Version Numbers – link itemizing version numbers for WLE 2011 individual applicationprograms
  • WLE 2011 requires Vista Sp2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 Sp2 R2 or Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
  • WLE 2011 can also be installed on Windows 8 Consumer Preview though prior to installation it is highly recommended to  first enable .NET 3.5 (includes 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5) in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. To enable .NET 3.5  see:  Installing the .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows 8 Consumer Preview 
  • This blog article was written due to the large number of questions (always welcomed) received via E-mail and Instant Messaging regarding the applicability/compatibility of installing WLE 2011 as a supplement and/or alternative to the current available Windows 8 Consumer Preview ‘Apps’. Also special thanks to Amber for providing the MSDN Windows 8 .NET 3.5 install link.


March 27, 2012: Original Publish Date