Microsoft has killed off Windows Live Mail

Updated: May 19, 2019


windows live mail


Windows Essentials 2012 suite reached end of support on January 10, 2017 so if you haven't all ready changed to Outlook or some alternative, now is the time to start looking.

Microsoft suggests using either its free Mail app or Outlook, the email and personal information manager that is part of Microsoft Office. Outlook costs money, but Microsoft is offering Live Mail users a free subscription to Office 365 for one year. (You should have received this offer by email, but if not, the details are online.)

The obvious catch is that, after the first year, you’d be paying £59.99 per year for Office 365 Personal, though this does include full copies of Microsoft Office programs plus a 1TB free online storage. Alternatively, you could buy a standalone copy of Microsoft Office Home and Business 2016 (£164) or Microsoft Office Outlook 2016 instead. These don’t expire.

Either way, it is a slightly awkward choice: you can upgrade to Outlook or downgrade to Mail, but you can’t stay at the same level.

The Mail app is simpler but less powerful than Windows Live Mail: it has limited options for sorting emails, and it cannot send emails to groups. Outlook is far more powerful than Windows Live Mail and has more advanced features for emails, contacts, calendars and to-do lists. However, you may not need them, or you may already be using a range of apps instead.

The Mail app has another drawback: it runs on Windows 8/8.1/10, but not on Windows XP/Vista/7. Some people who want to use the Mail app will have to upgrade to Windows 10 to get it.