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

Windows Live Messenger – End of Service


  Windows Live Messenger will be retired on March 15th 2013 globally everywhere (except mainland China)


1. Microsoft Skype is the client replacing Windows Live Messenger

2. Updating to Microsoft Skype will retain your Contacts and the ability to:

  • Instant message
  • Video call
  • Call phones from your devices (PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, Android mobile, Kindle)
  • Share your screen
  • Video call and IM with Facebook friends
  • Group video call with up to ten friends at once (requires a Skype Premium account)

Subscriber Notification:

  • Email notice on January 8, 2013


Additional Information:

So, what’s happening between now and 15th March?
Messenger will continue to work as you know it today. If you are signed in with Messenger on your desktop** you will see a banner notification to upgrade. When you click on the banner, an installer window will open with the request to upgrade. This will take you through our installer flow to install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger.
So, what’s happening after 15th March?
Messenger users on desktops** will not be able to sign in and will only be able to upgrade to Skype. If you attempt to sign in, a notification will appear, and if you continue, you will be taken through our installer flow to install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger at the same time.

** Newer versions of Messenger will be able to receive the optional upgrade notifications. Older versions will not receive the notifications and you will have to download Skype manually.



Jan 8, 2013: Original Published Date