Windows Live Mail Phased Out

Email image for Windows Live Mail BlogWindows Live Mail is a desktop application that enables you to download your e-mails from your host’s online server (e.g. live.com, msn.com, gmail.com, yahoo.com, etc.) to your computer. Other desktop programs that provide this service are Microsoft Office Outlook, Windows Mail, and Mozilla Thunderbird. Windows Live Mail is a free software available through the Windows Live Essentials suite released with Windows 7, and also initially compatible with Windows 8 and 10. However, this program is being phased out by Microsoft in favor of a new outlook.com experience and the Windows Mail app.

What Should Windows Live Mail Users Do?

Outlook.com is based on a new infrastructure with more reliability and security, which you can read more about on this Office blog. Windows Live Mail 2012 does not meet the requirements for this newer security, and therefore, Microsoft accounts aren’t supported within it any longer.

If your e-mail address is through @outlook.com, @live.com, @hotmail.com, or @msn.com, it will no longer work with Windows Live Mail 2012, and you should have received an e-mail notice from Microsoft about this. Other non-Microsoft accounts are not affected at this time. However, if you purchase a new computer with Windows 10, you’ll need to find an alternative program anyway.

Alternative 1:  Use the Mail app that is pre-installed in Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. It is more limited than Live Mail, but good for the basic user.

Alternative 2:  Purchase Microsoft Outlook, either as an individual license, or as part of the Microsoft Office Home and Business suite. Outlook is more complex than Live Mail, and perhaps better for the business or above-basic user, especially because it’s a paid product.

Alternative 3:  Download Mozilla Thunderbird. This product, by the makers of Firefox, can be downloaded for free. As long as Mozilla provides support for Thunderbird, users won’t have to worry about switching between Microsoft’s ever-updating (and discontinued) mail software.

Several steps are required to configure your e-mail account to send and receive messages in Outlook, or Thunderbird, including entering the username and password for the account. The e-mails and contacts stored in Live Mail can be imported to either of these programs.

Alternative 4:  Check your e-mail online only and forgo a desktop application. Whether or not you have a separate e-mail client software, you can always access your e-mail by logging in online (at live.com, google.com, yahoo.com, etc.). However, depending on your settings, the online server may or may not sync with your desktop. For instance, if you have your desktop set to download e-mails and then delete them from the server, anything downloaded will not appear on the web interface. The address book is another feature that may not sync.

If you are still using Windows Live Mail, take action now to make sure you don’t lose any of your important communications. If you need assistance transferring to a new program, PC Ninja is happy to reconfigure your account.

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