Using Windows Live Mail-Beginners Guide

Windows live mail is a desktop email client that runs on Microsoft Windows XP,Vista,windows 7,windows 8,and Windows 10.

You can use it to manage e‑mail , calendars, contacts and  RSS feeds.

[outline style=”yellow”]Windows Live Mail replaces outlook express on Windows Vista, windows 7 and later.[/outline]

Unlike outlook express windows live mail isn’t part of the Windows install, and you will need to download it separately and install it.

It comes as part of the windows live essentials package and there are several versions.

Since the first release in 2007 there have been a total of 5 versions.

The last version that ran on Windows XP ( XP version)  was 2009 and the latest  that runs on  vista/windows 7 ,windows 8  and Windows 10 is 2012. See Wiki

Note: You cannot install outlook express on Windows Vista or Windows 7

Windows Mail vs Windows Live Mail

Windows Vista included the windows mail email program as a replacement to outlook express.

Windows live mail effectively replaces both outlook express and windows mail.

Windows Mail on Windows 10  vs Windows Live Mail

Windows 10 comes with a new email client (App) called Mail.


It is the same App that comes on windows mobile but on windows mobile it is called Outlook Mail.

If you upgrade from a machine that already has Windows live mail installed then the upgrade preserves your old emails and settings.

It doesn’t import them into Windows Mail.

If you have a fresh install of windows 10 then you will only have the Mail App installed by default, but you can install Windows Live mail on windows 10. See this article.

Windows Live Mail Overview

Windows Live Mail  can be used to access your email on Yahoo Mail,  Gmail,  http based mailboxes like hotmail and, and any Mail provider that supports POP3/IMAP4 access.

Windows Live Mail allows you to setup multiple accounts for use with multiple email accounts.

Because you can configure Windows live mail to access multiple email accounts it can be used for consolidating your email accounts.

Using Windows live mail instead of the web based client to access Yahoo mail, Gmail and Hotmail has the advantage of:

  • Not being bothered by ads
  • Much Faster
  • Can easily access multiple email accounts through a single interface
  • Only one interface to learn.

Windows live mail supports secure email access using SSL and TLS, providing your email provider supports these access types.

It also supports access to a calendar both offline and online and RSS feeds.

Setting up Email Accounts

Windows Live mail can be used for accessing email on any POP3 and IMAP4 email provider.

You can use it for access,for example,your Yahoo email and also your work email.

Here are detailed instructions for Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail (

If you are using another email provider then see these general email setup instructions.

Common Setup Problems

Security– Almost all Email providers require authentication for SMTP if you forget to enable it you will have a error when trying to send email.

Encryption and Ports– When you enable SSL for POP3,IMAP4 and SMTP the client will try to use the default ports. Some ISPs use non-default ports with SSL so you will need to check.

Bad Username -Most Email servers require a user name of the form [email protected] (i.e. the email address). The client usually defaults to testuser1 (i.e. the display name).

Windows Live Mail Settings

The main configurations settings for Windows Live Mail are found under options.

Click the main menu tab at the top left hand corner (step 1)and it reveals a drop down menu. Click on options (step 2) and select Mail. (step 3)


The Options menu should open. If you are familiar with outlook Express you should be very familiar with this screen.


Note: on the XP version of Windows Live Mail go to Tools>options

The Main Options that you may need to change are:

General> Sending and Receiving Email Interval – When new email arrives on the email server the client isn’t notified. The client must periodically check the email server for new messages . Don’t set to less than 5 minutes.

Signatures>Email signatures– If you need to include graphics i.e. a logo in the signature then you need to create it as an external file.

See adding a signature for more details
Read>automatically expand grouped messages – This is used as part of the conversations settings which you must first turn on.
Read>Font Size– May want to make it bigger. Choosing a different font can also make the messages easier to read

Spelling>Languages – Set you default language for the spell checker.

Advanced>maintenance>Store Folder – change where the client stores your email. Not normally changed, but used to find location when doing moves.

Advanced>maintenance>Purge Deleted messages when Leaving IMAP folders – Not enabled by default and not needed on Windows live mail, but you usually need to enable this on other clients that mark messages as deleted (a line appears through the message) but don’t delete them unless you purge them.

Common Questions

Q- Can I use Windows live mail as well as the Windows mail that comes with Windows 10 or with outlook?

A- Yes you can. You can use multiple email clients on the same PC. It is a good way of keeping business and personal accounts separate.

Q- I’ve heard that windows live mail will not work with is that true.

A- My understanding is that the new API for and Hotmail isn’t compatible with the latest version of WLM, and Microsoft will not be updating Windows live Mail in the future.

Windows Live mail normally uses HTTP to access and Hotmail email.This means that as Microsoft switches to using the new API it will stop working.

However you can still access and Hotmail using IMAP4.

This is just the same way as you would access a Google account or a Yahoo account.

So you can setup a new account using IMAP4 and delete the old account that used HTTP. See this article for more details.

Window Live Mail (WLM) Tutorials

Send Email Using Windows Live Mail – Beginners guide including video on how  to Send  Email.

Adding Email Signatures to Windows Live Mail–  How to create plain text or HTML signatures for logos images and even social share icons and add them to your email.

Adding Picture Attachments to Windows Live Mail  – Because of the way Windows live mail integrates with Onedrive adding a picture attachment to an email l isn’t as simple as it first appears.

Moving Windows Live Mail to a New computer – If you are upgrading computers you can easily take you email with you.

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