Windows Live Mail R.I.P

When I recently reinstalled all software on both our laptop and desktop computers, I could no longer successfully reinstall Windows Live Mail which I had used since Outlook Express.
The desktop had failed to automatically install the latest version of Windows 10 but the laptop was up to date and Windows Live Mail was still successfully operating on both.
Microsoft has obviously done something to now prevent Windows Live Mail from being successful reinstalled and the Windows Mail program built into Windows would have to be one of the most useless things I have ever seen.
Perhaps it is just a plan to try to get customers to buy Office 2016, which I did, but as I paid less than $20 for each license on eBay, there would not have been much profit there.


Did you have the downloaded windows live package or ? As you noted, Microsoft abandoned it, but it should still install and run.

You will find windows essentials and thus live mail from the links here.


I downloaded and installed it on both computers but it would not run properly and it would not import the emails I had stored before reprograming the computers.
After I installed Outlook 2016, I converted the stored files from eml to pst and successfully imported them.
P.S. I see that you have changed your avatar.


I never messed with live mail, but it is possible it needed compatibility mode set, or an sfc run, or one of the myriad runtime redistribution packages is now missing, but since you went further

it was a one-way trip.

My perception of outlook is that it is an A380 solution for a piper cub problem. Even when I had to use outlook when working I could not understand how people could tolerate it, but enjoy.

I am a thunderbird fan, myself.

I am flattered anyone noticed :wink: This one is a Philippine Eagle. I just like the expression. I was first tempted to use a bald eagle but with the current state of the US most bald eagles are in hiding.


The fact that Windows Live Mail continued to work normally from when I upgraded the laptop to Windows 8 and built the desktop with Windows 8.1 through the automatic Windows 10 upgrades, but will not work when Windows 10 is reinstalled, suggests that Microsoft has done something that does not affect existing installations of Windows 10 but stops WLM from being successfully reinstalled on new installations of Windows 10.
The laptop had the latest version of Windows 10 when I replaced the hard drive. I downloaded Windows 10 from the Microsoft website.
Another peculiar thing is the Windows Product Keys. Despite installing a particular Product Key when installing Windows, and each installation displaying a unique Product ID if one converts the Product ID to the Product Key using Magical Jelly Bean, the product keys are then all identical.
The computer business where I purchase my parts from said that all Windows 7 installations have the same number, all Windows 8 installation have their same number, as with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Now when one installs Windows 10, it asks you to enter the Product Key or click “I don’t have one” for which it states that the Product Key will be entered later, but it then completes the installation without asking for the Product Key.
Very strange indeed.


Second guessing, the previous chain of upgrades carried along a plethora of ‘olde junque’ from Win7 and 8. If you did a clean install of 10 from the ISO that ‘olde junque’ went missing. If you skipped a step in the upgrade chain (ie 7->10 or 8->10, not 7->8->10) but used Win 10 ISO to upgrade, that also may have lost some ‘olde junque’ Essentials needs.

That thought fixes nothing, but perhaps helps understand what might have transpired. Maybe @grahroll has better insights?

Windows 10 translates its original key (or the free 7-8->10 upgrade ‘key’) into a hardware specific hash based on the motherboard. When Win10 is reinstalled the Microsoft license database validates based on the motherboard. If it does not make a hit it expects a license to be entered, and once that is done back to the motherboard based hash being the ‘key’.


As noted by the @PhilT you probably need to be running WLM in compatibility mode (select Win 7 as the type) and you will need to run it as Administrator. To make these changes you:

  • will need to go to the WLM directory (if installed on C: drive this typically will be in 64 bit systems something similar to C:\Programs(x86)\Windows LiveMail or on a 32 bit system C:\Programs\Windows LiveMail). If having difficulty finding the folder search for the wlmail.exe and go to the program location by right clicking it on the listing and selecting Open file location

  • find the wlmail.exe file and right click it.

  • From the menu click Properties then click Compatibility.

  • In this section click Run this program in compatibility mode for: and choose Windows 7 from the drop down list

  • then click Run this program as an administrator (if you use more than one login you may also want to click Change settings for all users)

After you have made these changes click ok or apply and then ok.

Next just in case the firewall settings are not correct (and as you have reinstalled Win 10 from fresh this could be the case) you will need to adjust them.

  • Find the Windows Firewall application/settings, to do this search for Control panel in the search box select it and in it’s box find and select the Windows Defender Firewall

  • In the left hand side menu select Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall

  • Click the Change Settings button (it may prompt for you to allow this so select Yes if it does)

  • In the Allowed apps and features list find and allow for both public and private the following:

Windows Live Communications Platform
Windows Live Communications Platform (SSDP)
Windows Live Communications Platform (UPnP)

  • Save the changes (if any) and restart your computer

After you login try WLM and see if it works for you now, be sure no other Mail client is running at the same time eg Outlook when doing so. Hopefully your WLM will now work for you.