Microsoft Windows Live Offline Installation

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 27, 2008
Software, Windows, Windows software

If you install Microsoft Windows Live on your computer system you download a single setup file which will download all the applications from a Microsoft server. This is bad news for users with multiple computers because it would mean to download the setup files multiple times from the Internet. It could also be impossible if the computer was not designed to have Internet access.

There is however on solution available where you only need to download the setup files once and can use them again on additional computers. You start by downloading the Microsoft Windows Live setup files from the official Windows Live website. Microsoft is actually providing the download tool for Microsoft Windows Live in two different versions. The file wlsetup-web.exe is the online installer with a size of only 1 Megabyte. This installer can be used to download only selected Windows Live applications like Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Messenger or Windows Mail.

The other setup file wlsetup-all.exe has a size of 134 Megabytes and contains all programs that can be installed. The download can take a while depending on the Internet connection though.

The full installer with the name wlsetup-all.exe from the Microsoft Windows Live website can be used for offline installations. All that needs to be done is to move the file to the other computer systems. This can be done with a network transfer, removable devices or burning it on a DVD.

If you have downloaded the other installer with the name wlsetup-web.exe instead you can do the following. Start the installer and pick the Microsoft Windows Live applications that you want to install. Those will be downloaded afterwards to the computer.

The files that are used for the installation will be stored in the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Windows Live\.cache directory. The installers will be located in hex encoded directories. Only one file per directory and they use names like writer.msi or messenger.msi which should make it easy to identify them.

Just copy those files over to the other computer and run the installers there. The Microsoft Windows Live applications will then be installed on the other computer without additional downloads from the Internet.


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  1. Martin said on March 12, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    An even quicker way to open Task Manager is by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

  2. archie bald said on March 12, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Win+Pause used to be the goto shortcut for me since… W95… Ms recently hijacked it and you now get Sysinfo. Device manager is still accessible this way: the second to last link at the bottom.

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