• 2000001: Back up Windows Live Mail

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    AKB2000001: Back up Windows Live Mail

    By @CanadianTech

    Published 4 Feb 2017 rev 1.0

    Backup your Windows Live Mail mail and contacts

    1. Open the mail section, click on the down pointing arrow (in the blue icon) in the top left corner, choose Export Email, then choose Email Messages, then choose Windows Live Mail.
    2. Now choose where the backup is to go. Create another folder inside your backup drive folder for this entire backup and name it email yourname dd-mm-yy.  This will create a backup of your mail.
    3. Open the address book (Contact list) section of Windows Live Mail
    4. On the top towards the right, find the Export icon. Choose comma separated values
    5. Click the browse button and navigate to your external hard drive folder for this backup and create yet another folder named address book yourname dd-mm-yy.
    6. On the next screen choose which data elements to backup. I choose them all

    Move your Mail folder

    WLM holds all of its data in one folder.  It sets itself up in a very inconvenient place.  It is hard to find it.  There is no reason not to move it to a more accessible location on your hard drive.  This is a one time thing.  Once you do it, you will never have to do it again.  Now, make backing up that folder a regular part of your regular backup procedure.

    To move it:

    1. With WLM open, click on the little blue rectangle with the arrow in it on the top left of the WLM window
    2. Click on Options then Mail, the Advanced tab, Maintenance, Store folder
    3. Click the Change button.  A navigation list of your hard drive pops up.
    4. Now navigate to the C: line, click once on it.  (You can place the folder in any place you like so that you can find it easily.)
    5. Click Make new folder
    6. Type your name followed by the word mail, click OK, Click OK
    7. Close all the open windows.
    8. Close WLM
    9. When you next open WLM, it will take longer because that is when it actually moves your mail folder

    The reason you should do this is that in the future, you will be following the back up procedure above, but ALSO you will be backing up that Mail folder to your external hard drive.  The reason to do this is that if ever your system needs to be re-built, the re-builder can copy that Mail folder to the right place in your “new” system and all of your mail, contacts, calendars and your WLM settings, will be in effect in the new computer.

    So, now copy that WLM folder into your backup folder.


    The following has worked for me probably 10 times.  It has failed me once or twice.  I do not understand why it does or does not work.  I just know that when it works, it works very well.  The result is WLM that looks and works exactly as it did before the rebuild.  Because I cannot guarantee this, I strongly recommend a full backup as described in the forgoing.  IF, it does not, you will need to import your mail and contacts and will lose your accoun setup(s) and calendar.

    Once Windows is re-built and all is working, download WLM.  WLM is no longer supported and I strongly encourage you to download and store a copy of the full program as soon as possible before it becomes no longer available.  WLM is part of a cluster named Windows Live Essentials.

    The 2011 version works better than the 2012 one.  The main advantage of the 2011 version is that Groups do not work in 2012.  If you do not use groups, it won’t make a difference to you.

    Once you have re-built your system and installed WLM:

    1. Start your newly installed WLM and ignore all messages   
    2. In WLM, click the tiny arrow in the blue icon on the nearly top left.  Choose Options, Mail
    3. Click the Advanced tab, now Maintenance, Store folder
    4. Use your mouse to select the entire content (the location where your mail is installed in the new installation) shown in that window, Ctrl+C to copy it.
    5. Close WLM
    6. Click the Start globe (bottom left), put your cursor in the box that pops up.
    7. (Ctrl+V) to paste the location of the folder where WLM stores its data, press enter
    8. Delete all the contents of this folder, but not the folder, which will now be empty.
    9. Copy the content (not the folder) of your backed-up WLM folder, and paste it into the empty folder used by the newly installed WLM.
    10. Start WLM, and you will have everything back just as you had it before.  No importing, no having to go and reset everything back the way you like it.  You won’t even have to set up the accounts again.  This even has your passwords.
    11. Type indexing options into the text box above the start globe
    12. Click Modify and add your new Windows Live Mail folder.

    You should now use the “move” procedure above on your new or newly re-built PC.

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    • #91442

      Hi CanadianTech,

      Thanks for an interesting, and useful, article.

      One question though.

      You didn’t mention where to download a copy of the full program (WLM 2011) – any ideas where I might find a safe download location?

      Searched the MS web site, but no sign of a download link.



    • #91860

      Thank you jmwoods.

      I’ve checked out the filehippo web site and the WLM 2011 download, but not run it (because I already have it installed). Just wanted a copy stashed away for a rainy day, as suggested by CanadianTech. 🙂

      However, I’m worried that the download is only a stub, and will try to connect to MS to download the whole program, which would be a waste of time because it’s no longer supported. Like JohnR, I’m after the full offline installer for Windows Live Mail 2011.

      Do you know if the filehippo file is the full offline installer or only a stub?



      • #92112

        You are exactly correct AusJohn. The Filehippo link is a stub. I am pretty certain that if clicked it, it would either give you no longer available message or shift you to 2012 version.

        Some people, me among them, managed to download the fill program some time back. It works very well.


        • #92116

          I have been using a stub (small file size says not the whole thing) for Win Live Essentials 2012 and it still works. MajorGeeks may be another trusted download source if you can’t find it on Filehippo.

          • #92215

            Direct MS link to the 131MB download for the last full Windows Live suite (2012?), released in early 2014, including version 16.4.3528.0331 of Windows Live Mail:

          • #2487225

            While going through the knowledge base 2000001 I saw where people were trying to find the stand alone installer for the Windows Essential group of programs. I have an original download from Microsoft of it from when I used Win 7. I just used it to test install it on Win 10 Pro version 21H2. It worked OK for installing photo gallery and email programs. I found a download for Windows Essentials at:


            I downloaded the file and did a checksum of my original setup file and the one I downloaded from APPUALS.COM today. The check sums were identical. I have attached a PDF file of these results. If anyone still wants this standalone installer I believe this would work. Both files were 134,112 KB’s. I disconnected my eithernet cable when installing Windows Live Essentials using my original file from Win 7 days. I think that the newly downloaded file would work also. On APPUALS.COM page listed above, go down about half way on rh side to step 1. In the contex there is a option to download Win Live Essentials.

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