Windows Essentials now available

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 8, 2012
Updated • Jun 16, 2018
Software, Windows software

With all the name changing that is going on it is sometimes hard to keep an overview of what is going on. Microsoft has just released Windows Essentials 2012, which many of you probably know as Windows Live Essentials instead.

Update: Microsoft retired Windows Essentials in 2017 and has removed all downloads as a consequence from its websites. You can grab the latest offline installer here.

As far as compatibility goes, all products of the program collection are compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8. I read that Vista users can also install at least some of the programs but could not verify that.

Microsoft is offering a web installer, which downloads the programs that you select during installation and requires an Internet connection because of this, and an offline installer for Windows Essentials 2012:

  • Windows Essentials 2012 offline installer  Note: if you want the program in another language, simply change the en to that language code, e.g. de for German, es for Spanish or hi for Hindi. Vishal has a full list of offline installers available on his site.
  • Windows Essentials 2012 web installer Same process here to change the language.

When you launch Windows Essentials 2012 afterwards you are presented with the following screen that is highlighting the applications that you can install, and the apps that will be updated on the system automatically.

windows essentials 2012

On Windows 7 you get access to the following apps:

  • Messenger
  • Mail
  • Writer
  • Photo Gallery and Movie Maker
  • Family Safety
  • Microsoft SkyDrive

Photo Gallery and Movie Maker have been updated by Microsoft for this release. The updates are only available for Windows 7 and Windows 8, and add the following new features to the programs:

  • Video stabilization
  • Integration of AudioMicro, Free Music Archive and Vimeo Music into Movie Maker
  • Text effects
  • H.264 is the default format when saving movies
  • Auto Collage feature for Photo Gallery
  • Vimeo is now an official partner, so that videos from Movie Maker and Photo Gallery can be shared directly to the video hosting website.

Microsoft has yet to make an official announcement about the release. While the company has highlighted the feature changes in Movie Maker and Photo Gallery, it did not update the official Windows Live Essentials website yet, nor did the company make an announcement at the official Windows Live blog (which probably will be renamed soon).

Older News about Windows Live Essentials

Microsoft to launch Windows Live Essentials 2011 Later Today (2010/09/30)

Microsoft are set to launch the final version of Windows Live Essentials  2011 later today according to NeoWin.  I suspected something was happening when I awoke this morning to see that Microsoft senior vice-president Steven Sinofsky had changed his profile picture on Facebook to the Windows Live Essentials 2011 logo, the story from NeoWin then confirmed my suspicions.

Windows Live Essentials is commonly called just that, essential for Windows users.  The latest version will not run on Windows XP because it takes advantage of hardware graphic acceleration that was introduced with Windows Vista.It includes old favourites such as Windows Live Messenger, which has also today been confirmed for Windows Phone 7, and utterly indispensable programs such as Live Photo Gallery, Live Writer and Windows Live Mail.

When it becomes available properly you will be able to download it at

The last beta-refresh of the suite was a month and a half ago, on August 17th and the beta was first released to the public on June 24th.

The new suite takes full advantage of the ribbon interface originally seen in Microsoft office 2007 but now also implemented into Windows 7 features such as Wordpad and Paint.

New programs in the Live Essentials 2011 suite include Live Mesh (formerly Live Sync) that allows you to automatically synchronise files and folders across multiple PCs and better tools to help integrate Windows Live messenger into other programs such as Microsoft Outlook.

Windows Live Essentials Released, Offline Installer Download (2010/09/30)

Microsoft has just released the final version of Windows Live Essentials 2011, the popular software compilation that contains programs such as Messenger, Photo Gallery, Mail or Movie Maker. There is no announcement yet on the changes, except that the 2011 edition of Windows Live integrates fully with Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 7, including full support for jumplists and other features of the OS.

The official Windows Live website links only to a download of the web installer of Windows Live Essentials 2011. The web installer has a small size and requires an Internet connection during installation, as it retrieves all application files from the web.

windows live essentials 2011
windows live essentials 2011

Some users may prefer an offline installer, especially if they want to install Windows Live Essentials 2011 on a PC without (permanent) Internet connection. Those users can download the offline installer of the software suite here.

The system requirements offer virtually no surprises, especially for users who already took a look at the beta release of Live Essentials. Like the beta, Windows Live Essentials 2011 is only compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, and the Windows Server 2008 releases. Sorry Windows XP users, no Live Essentials update for you this time. Windows XP users are stuck with the 2010 releases of Windows Live.

  • Operating system: 32- and 64-bit editions of Windows Vista Service Pack 2 with the Platform Update for Windows Vista, or Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 and the Platform Update for Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 1 GB of RAM or higher
  • Resolution: Minimum: 1024 × 576
  • Internet connection: Internet functionality requires dial-up or broadband Internet access (provided separately). Local or long-distance charges may apply. High-speed Internet access is recommended for some features.
  • Graphics or video card: Windows Live Movie Maker requires a video card that supports DirectX 9 or higher and Shader Model 2 or higher.

Have you downloaded the 2011 version of Windows Live Essentials? What's your first impression of it? Did you use the web installer or offline installer?

Windows Live Essentials Beta Updated, Download Now (2010/08/17)

Windows Live Essentials will be the next iteration of Microsoft's popular Windows Live applications suite. The first beta was released back in June (see Windows Live Essentials Beta Download), and several news sites were reporting that beta 2 would be released in this week. The day of the release has come, as download links went live a few hours ago.

The Liveside blog discovered all download links prior to the official announcement by Microsoft, which is expected to hit the official website later today.

Below are the web and full download links for all supported languages of the beta. As you can see, seven languages next to English are available: French, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.

  • English: Web - Full
  • French: Web – Full
  • German: Web – Full
  • Dutch: Web – Full
  • Portuguese (Brazilian): Web – Full
  • Spanish: Web – Full
  • Japanese: Web – Full
  • Chinese (Simplified): Web – Full

The full installer comes at a size of about 151 Megabytes, the web installer is considerably smaller, but requires an Internet connection during setup to download additional program packages.

So what's new in the new beta version of Windows Live Essentials?

This new version of the suite, incorporates new icons, new features, many bugs fixed since version Beta releases and what more important… The incorporation Windows Live Language Setting with all language packs (MUI) & (LIP) for example Catalan and Euskera for Spanish version.
This program brings new features like the ability to change languages or install (automatically for the web) the additional languages.

Additional information will become available once Microsoft announces the new beta version official on their Windows Live blog.

Update: The post is live, and it contains lots of information about the Windows Live Essentials 2011 Beta Refresh:

Performance and quality of service improvements

A quicker Messenger – The time it takes to sign in, and to refresh contacts and social feeds, as well as animation speed, are all faster than in previous versions of Messenger.
More efficient video chat - Messenger video chat uses 30% fewer CPU resources by offloading work to the GPU.
Better facial recognition - Photo Gallery facial recognition is improved significantly and works more quickly.
Larger movie uploads - Movie Maker will upload higher resolution movies to SkyDrive (480x640 vs. the previous 320x480).
Higher bit-rate movies - Movie Maker now supports higher quality (bit-rate) content.
Better spell-checking - Writer has significantly improved the quality of its spell-checking.
Better integration with Office - Writer is much better at retaining all formatting when you copy and paste from Word and other Microsoft Office programs.
Better handling of Gmail – Mail now automatically handles Gmail’s spam and trash folders properly.
Faster web filtering - Family Safety web filtering is 35% faster than in the previous version.

Facebook chat in Messenger

Many of you have been asking for Facebook chat, and it’s finally here. More than half of all Messenger customers also use Facebook. With the previous beta, you got a rich social view that brought together all your updates (including those from Facebook) and gave you one place to see and comment on them. With the new Facebook chat integration, you now also have one place to chat with all your friends. And if you use Facebook but don’t use Messenger today, you now have an always-on “people app” on your PC that gives you instant access and notifications as people come online in Facebook or Messenger.

New Facebook chat integration
New Facebook chat integration
Connect to Facebook and Windows Live
Connect to Facebook and Windows Live

Quick previews and improved tree view in Photo Gallery

One of the benefits of the new ribbon user interface in Windows Live Essentials is the ability it gives you to preview a change before you apply it simply by hovering over the option. With the beta update today, we’ve also added preview capabilities to the “Find” tab in the ribbon. So before you apply a filter (date, rating, people tags), you can hover over one of those filters and see the results instantly.

Flickr video publishing and Snapshot in Movie Maker

With the new Snapshot feature in Movie Maker, you can select a single frame from a video as it appears in the preview window and add it to your movie. This allows you to quickly grab an image that you want to keep or perhaps use for your movie’s intro or closing.

In addition, because we know many of you use Flickr for photo sharing and have enjoyed publishing to Flickr right from Photo Gallery, we’ve extended support to Movie Maker, so that you can now publish videos directly from Movie Maker or Photo Gallery to Flickr too.

Several of the improvements and new features improve the user experience a lot. Facebook chat integration will appeal to a lot of users, the new option to upload movies and photos to Flickr is plain awesome, the improvements in movie maker that now supports higher quality content, coupled with the increase in movie resolutions that can be uploaded to SkyDrive show that Microosft is on the right way.

We suggest to download the Windows Live Essentials Full installer which offers several advantages including the possibility to distribute it to several computer systems without having to download the program packages over and over again.

Have you tried the second beta of Windows Live Essentials? Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

Update: The beta releases are outdated and have been removed. You can download the latest Windows Live Essentials release from the official website now.

Windows Live Essentials Beta Download (2010/06/24)

The Windows Live Essentials beta download has just been enabled by Microsoft. Interested users can download the next iteration of Windows Live directly from the official website. Downloads are provided in seven different languages including English, Chinese, French and Spanish.

Only the Web Setup installer is offered on the site. The setup routine on the local system downloads and installs the different programs automatically upon execution.

windows live essentials beta
windows live essentials beta

Two different clients are offered on the Explore Live website. The first wlsetup-webd.exe will automatically download and install the Windows Live Essential applications, the second wlsetup-webc.exe offers a selection menu to install only specific applications as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite.

windows live essentials programs
windows live essentials programs

The available programs are:

Family Safety
Outlook Connector Pack
Photo Gallery and Movie Maker
Messenger Companion
Bing Bar
Microsoft Silverlight

It is recommended to download the second client to prevent the installation of programs that are not needed (by clicking on Choose the programs you want and selecting a language)

This beta release of windows Live Essentials is focusing on two things: Connecting Windows to the cloud and making everyday tasks simpler.

We’ve designed Essentials to connect your Windows experience to the web services you already use – not just the ones from Microsoft. The new betas of Windows Live Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail, Writer, and Messenger connect to photo and video sharing (SkyDrive, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, SmugMug), social networking (Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin), email (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail), blogging (Spaces, WordPress, Blogger), and document productivity (Office Web Apps) services. And the new Windows Live Sync keeps your files synchronized across multiple PCs and in the cloud. You can even directly access your PC over the web with Sync's new remote desktop feature.

People like to get creative on their PCs as much as they like seeing what everyone else has been up to. Whether it’s Retouch, Panoramic Stitch, or Photo Fuse in Photo Gallery, Auto Movie in Movie Maker, or photo email in the new Windows Live Mail, we think you’ll be excited by the new additions to Essentials that make advanced tasks, well, easy. If you haven’t yet tried PhotoFuse to merge together the best of several photos, it’s a lot of fun.

Windows Live Essentials is only compatible with Windows Vista and Windows 7 but not the widely used Windows XP operating system. Windows Live users need to make sure to follow this link to the beta page over at the Windows Live website to be able to download the beta installation clients. No direct link is provided on the Windows live page.

No Windows Live Wave 4 for XP says Microsoft (2010/04/23)

Things are not looking bright for users of the Windows XP operating system as companies are starting to drop Windows XP support or compatibility. Microsoft for one said that the upcoming Windows Live Wave 4 suite would not support Windows XP at all. Windows Live is a collection of popular applications including Windows Messenger, Windows Live Mail or Movie Maker.

Current releases of Windows Live will continue to be supported on XP and the web based services of Windows Live Wave 4 will also be supported. Only the desktop applications won't be supported anymore.

Windows XP is nearly 10 years old and simply doesn’t provide the same level of platform support for graphics, and we recognized early in our work on Wave 4 that we could do much more in our software on a modern graphics platform. As a result our new version of Essentials will require the new graphics platform and controls that are only available on Windows 7 or Windows Vista and therefore will only run on these platforms.

Windows Live Wave 4 is on the other hand not the only Microsoft software that will not be made available for Windows XP. Microsoft's upcoming Internet browser Internet Explorer 9 will also lack Windows XP support.

Windows XP users on the other hand have many solid alternatives at hand that they can use without difficulties. But so do Windows 98 users.

Windows XP is currently dominating the operating system market with a market share of about 60% followed by Vista with roughly 16% and Windows 7 with 10%. The trend on the other hand shows a decline of about 10% in the last ten months.

Windows Live Wave 3, One Day On... (2008/09/19)

The public beta release of Windows Live Wave 3 was released yesterday. I’ve had a day to play around with it and am really enjoying the new features and capabilities of the software suite.

The New UI

I’m a little undecided on the new look for the Windows Live suite.

On one hand I don’t like to critique design changes until I’ve had a real chance to play around, get used to it and determine whether or not it is actually for the better. The Wave 3 UI however isn’t dramatically different from the Wave 2 ‘aero’ theme however it’s now much lighter and a bit sleeker, it also removes all icons from the toolbar which is what I don’t like at all.

What I don’t like about the new theme is that it brings with it a whole new load of UI inconsistencies between applications and services, something I hope successive releases would work on improving, not accentuating. Now the Live services contain a range of themes ranging from the original ‘Flair’ UI through to the new Wave 3 UI which itself contains two different themes – the new Live Messenger UI and the rest of the applications.

So my conclusion is the new UI is nice, but unnecessary and brings perhaps more annoyances then benefits.

The Live Suite Applications

As far as the applications and new features go this is a great release. The standout of course is the calendar synchronisation across Windows Live which is something we’ve been missing for years now.

Yes it’s a beta release so there are bugs. The customisation button for changing colours isn’t working very well right now, Writer has the occasional problem with refreshing blog themes, Windows Live Photo Gallery spikes the CPU when scanning for photos or detecting faces and also sometimes fails to fully shut down the process when closing the program. The ‘unread’ counts in Live Mail are also pretty buggy as I’m sure you’ll notice and experience when using the application.

Aside from those minor issues which are expected in a beta release, the applications are actually considerably faster and more responsive – particularly Live Photo Gallery which I was most impressed with.

Windows Live MovieMaker

The odd one out is the new Windows Live MovieMaker which is actually so basic as to be not even worth using, however it is worth taking a look at as obviously over the next year it will be improved upon in the same way the other live applications have.

I really don’t understand however why this application which has been rumoured for years now is so lacking… how can the biggest software company in the world take so long to create something like this? I hate to go on so much about it considering it is a beta release, but seriously Windows MovieMaker was basic to begin with, Vista barely improved it and now for Windows 7 we are essentially going to get exactly the same product but this time as a downloadable app rather then bundled.

So Moviemaker is at the same place it was at 10 years ago?

Windows Live Wave 3 is available (2008/09/18)

Martin pointed out a few hours ago Windows Live Wave 3 would be up for download soon, well good news! It’s finally here and you download it right away!

I’m typing this is as I sit here waiting for the 134mb file to download so I can’t give you my opinions on the update yet but here are some views from nerds others who stayed up all night waiting for a software download for a scoop:

The surprising Live MovieMaker is sporting the Ribbon UI:

“Making its first appearance in the Windows Live suite, Movie Maker Beta is a solid new application lacking in basic features to make it actually useful.” - LiveSide

The vastly improved Live Mail:

We’ve been using Windows Live Mail to manage our LiveSide email for our individual accounts and for feedback and tips, and it already has been far superior to Outlook, even with the Connector, for managing multiple Hotmail accounts.  Now with better performance and a new calendar, we’re even happier” – LiveSide

The fantastic Live Writer:

Alot of what is in this new beta was seen in the Live Writer CTP back in June, like the SDK we have already discussed, and nothing is new from that point of view. Obviously the UI has changed to look more in line with the rest of the Wave 3 products” - LiveSide

The elegant Live Photo Gallery:

Photo Gallery had been a solid tool that does what it should do, and with additional features that helps you to better manage your photos and share them with the rest of the world… The software, although still in beta stages, is quite stable and functional. However, it is quite disappointing that it doesn’t have the consistent look and feel with the other Wave 3 application” – LiveSide

It also includes a new API which is going to be great if developers and online photo haring services begin taking advtanage of it:

brand new, simple framework that enables developers to create photo and video publishing plug-ins. The framework defines a set of interfaces that facilitate communication between Photo Gallery and the plug-in. The plug-in developer has creative control of the user interface of the plug-in and handles the details of communication with the 3rd party service” - LiveSide

The less advertising focused Live Messenger 9.0 has too much new stuff to describve in just a few sentences so download it yourself if you’re that interested!

looks awesome, despite reports about Microsoft backing away from a supposed WPF-based design” – Paul Thurrot

There are also updates to the Windows Live Toolbar and Family Safety software, but who cares about them?!

Haha, anyway enough of that. My download is finished so I’m closing Writer down to update and trying all of this for myself!

Windows Live Wave 3 Betas Available (2008/09/17)

Public beta downloads of Windows Live Wave 3 will be available for all users later today. If you cannot wait to get your hands on the newest beta of Windows Live you can download the installers right away. This installer contains options to download all Windows Live applications, the latest beta versions, directly from Microsoft servers to the local system.

You can either download all programs at once, or select the programs that you want to download or update. If a program is already installed on the system, it will be automatically updated to the latest beta version. Programs that are not installed yet, can be installed.The available programs are Messenger Beta, Mail Beta, Toolbar Beta, Photo Gallery Beta, Family Safety Beta, Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Beta and Writer Beta.

All downloads are available in English, German, Italian, French and Spanish with more to come later today. Each setup displays the list of programs available. By default all are selected but the user can select those that he does not want to install. Once the selection has been made they can be downloaded and installed with a click on the install button in the interface.

windows live installer beta

If you are new to Windows Live, you may find the information displayed on the right helpful as it provides you with a short description of each program's functionality.

Joshua has posted an article about Windows Live Wave 3 previously which contains a good overview of the changes in the new version.

Note: Microsoft has phased out the Windows Live brand shortly before the release of Windows 8 in August 2012. Programs and services are still available, and most kept their name, but they all lost the Windows Live brand tag in front of them. The last to shut down is Games for Windows Live in 2014.

Windows Live Wave 3 (2008/09/08)

I have no idea how soon before we see a general release of the next wave of Windows Live services, however more information is becoming available and a lot of new features are being announced:

Windows Live Mail

Windows Live Mail is a great little program, a desktop mail application which provides a simplified Outlook kind of experience, Wave 3 will continue to develop this and complete the process of turning it into a Personal Information Manager (PIM) with Windows Live Calendar synchronisation (Finally!).

Windows Live MovieMaker

No MovieMaker isn’t great, but it’s good enough for say… people like my Dad. Although it’s been known to be coming for a long time now Live Movie Maker will be released for the first time with Wave 3. Emphasis will be on creating simple, easy to make movies which can then be published to sharing websites online, similar to what Live Photo Gallery offers for Flickr publishing.

Windows Live Photo Gallery

Google stole Live Labs’ thunder by introducing people tagging in Picasa first, but it’s still good news Live users are getting it as well. If you’ve used Facebook photo tagging you’ll know how it works, the big feature however is that ones you’ve tagged someone, Live Photo Gallery will be able to recognise people and tag them in all your other photographs.

It will also connect up the people tagged in your photographs with their Windows Live contact details, if they have one. Now I think that is pretty darn cool.

Windows Live Messenger

An old Live Messenger 9 leaked ages ago, however I won’t get too excited about it until it includes multi-client support, and I don’t think that’s ever gonna happen =( More unknown features are coming in the Wave 3 final build.

Windows Live Writer

A lot of the new Writer features are already available in the Technical Preview, however the final Wave 3 release will also include support for Windows Live Events (and I know we all use that), uploading videos to YouTube, Soapbox and possible other video services and also has a slightly redesigned UI. Thankfully that includes this:

image thumb

  … which for me is going to go right down with ‘word count’ as the most useful features in Live Writer =P


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  1. Anonymous said on February 22, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    The full quote is:

    “The content is not stored or seen by any human unless donated as part of the feedback mechanism.”

    How much time before that data collection and processing become consentless, like Microsoft likes to do ?

    “Another way you can help refine this feature is to donate your actual emails so we can analyze their contents and improve the quality of suggestions in the future.”


  2. DaveyK said on February 22, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    Am I the only one that wishes that MS would instead focus on fixing some of the more glaring issues with their software before implementing silly new gimmicks like this?

    Outlook still loves to hang for several seconds at a time if there’s any issue accessing a mailbox (particularly a problem if you have several mailboxes open, or if your VPN connection temporarily drops). Quite why the server processing seems to share the same thread as the UI is beyond me.

    I’m also sick of the recent bug in Outlook that won’t let you attach a document to an e-mail if it is open in another window. Thus forcing me to close the spreadsheet, attach it, then re-open it again. Weirdly, if it is in the “recent” list, it will attach without complaint.

    Add onto this the horrible, cluttered interface in Outlook these days (so much white space and other huge elements) that make e-mail navigation a pain on a small screen and I can’t help think that fixing basic issues like these and improving the accessibility of the programs should be a far higher priority than a feature which 99% of people will probably just disable.

    1. Bob Bailey said on November 25, 2021 at 8:23 pm

      I want them to fix Windows 95. Instead, they flounder along with “upgrades” until they realize … oh, look: that “evolved” into an unfixable mess … lets “move on” to make a new shiny OS, and leave another bit of debris and more abandoned users in our wake.

    2. Anonymous said on August 22, 2023 at 2:23 am

      This article is about Open Office, which is not connected to Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous said on August 22, 2023 at 6:45 pm

        Open Office is connected to this article about LibreOffice .. unless its about how you shouldn’t use OO..

  3. Anonymous said on February 22, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Good for people who can’t spell This feature could be very annoying.

  4. Matthew Brockway said on February 22, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    I will be turning this feature off, when it comes out for Word. I have been typing for decades, and know what I want. Having predictions come up regularly is a real pain and distraction. So I turn them off in email and on my iPhone and iPad.

    1. Jo said on August 9, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      I agree with Matthew B – after the latest Windows update, Word started doing this and it’s incredibly annoying. I can touch-type so I don’t need the predictions – it creates errors and slows me down.

  5. Anonymous said on February 23, 2021 at 12:36 am

    Thanks Martin. The suggestions were annoying and sometimes inappropriate. I told Microsoft about it. I wanted to disable the suggestions and now I have. Good information.

  6. Charlie said on February 23, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    I see the option in Outlook web and it is turned on, but I see no evidence of it actually working as I type a new email.

  7. neil said on February 24, 2021 at 10:25 am

    and fix the issue of search. search has been about the worst thing MS ever did in Outlook & since moving to the title bar has not improved and the fact default searches now are FROM: is bonkers /rant

  8. anonymous said on March 23, 2021 at 12:40 am

    this new feature is sh*t; it’s like a rearview camera (actually, its way worse, but the analogy is coming): the machines are taking over our need for intelligent thought.

    But honestly, MSFT really ought to run focus groups that include people who have ADHD or photosensitive epilepsy. For us, this attempt to help productivity only significantly decreases it.

    (It feels like we are all being treated to a dose of that brainwashing technique you see on the SyFi channel that involves a lot of flashing lights and images)

    the worst part about any of this: that our comments, reactions, suggestions, thoughts… are never actually heard or acknowledged by any of these tech companies who just shove new crap onto our corporate PCs and don’t think twice about end user experience.

    sorry y’all, rant over. for now.

  9. Anonymous said on June 5, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    I absolutely hate this feature. Thank you so much for the how-to to turn it off. Now that you pointed it out, I will know to check the tiny bar in the left corner, but I spent time I shouldn’t have had to trying to turn this feature off before finding your post.

    I think “features” like this should be opt-in, not opt out, or should be much easier to find to turn off. And I agree with the suggestions above – there are plenty of other issues Microsoft needs to fix before adding “helpers” like this. One that wasn’t mentioned above – terrible grammar in the suggested grammar fixes. As often as they’re right, they’re wrong. And the database programmers need to learn the use of apostrophes…. Thanks for the rant space. :)

  10. anonymous said on June 26, 2021 at 3:36 am

    Thank you for posting this where I could find it and use it after an MS Office update today.

    Sadly, this nonsense is the same thing I see my company implementing and me coding for them: window-dressing trinkets that are this year’s Christmas toys that everyone needs to be told that they want, while data-integrity code defects go un-addressed because no salesperson can make a commission off of us publishing their correction.

    Our society is evolving, and being run by a generation that learned to communicate in broken grammar on their smartphone while nursing a five-second attention span.
    They _want_ the machine to think for them. It is so much easier than thinking for one’s self.

    Abdication of personal responsibility.
    Corporate America is only too willing to step in, for a modest fee and your privacy.
    We aren’t going to get Microsoft or anybody else to stop. There’s far too much money to be made at it.

    As above, thanks for the rant space.
    We will survive this, somehow.

  11. anon said on July 1, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    So, Microsoft wants to use what we type to improve AI while charging me a hefty annual price for Office 365 subscriptions. Then someday AI will tell me what to see, think and do and its happening already. Someone needs to get a hold of the monster and put it back in the pit.

    How will they profit from improving AI?

    Thanks for this article, this behavior started on my machine yesterday no doubt a sneaky effect of an update. It was easy to fix using your instructions, but I suspect Word and Outlook are still “phoning home” everything I type even though the predictive text is shut off.

    They think we’re all stupid. They should be paying us.

  12. Tammi Naumann said on July 7, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you for the resourceful article! I looked for the status bar entry, but I couldn’t find it in the web version of Microsoft Word. What I did find, however, was Editor (between Dictate and Designer) above the opened document, and the option to disable suggested text was in there. Scroll down to Text Predictions and click the item’s “button” to turn this annoying feature off. I think Off should be default. I hate when developers set defaults for items they think I need. Adobe is another company that does that when people want or need to download the free or pro version of its Acrobat PDF Reader. I often tell my students to uncheck the boxes next to the McAfee antivirus and Chrome extension options before downloading the reader because they likely do not need them. I think these options should be unchecked by default. Let the consumers make up their own minds.

  13. Robert Cohn said on July 8, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Thanks so much for telling us how to disable this intrusive feature – predictive text! It’s like having a know-it-all teacher always looking over your shoulder. Very irritating!

    I can appreciate why some people would love this feature, and in some cases it makes sense where time is more critical. But it should not be the default.

  14. Bill said on July 8, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Unfortunately, it seems to me that the programmers job is made simpler when the human conversation is simpler. Predictive text, if used, limits the conversation to a box only as big as a programmers imagination and literary ambition. I know a lot of programmers. Imagination is not their strong suit – no offense to creative programmers intended. Broadly speaking, to predict the manner in which I prefer to speak would require far more resources than they would ever allocate.

    If it were up to me they would go the opposite direction as a software company. I want a far simpler interface with basic editing function and attachments. Anything more than that is a distraction and I can honestly say, totally ignored and certainly a distraction making me wish I wasn’t on outlook.

    In the end, I disable nearly every “improvement” Microsoft offers, and check “metered connection” to prevent it’s downloads from happening in the middle of mastering a single for a customer. Of course that is not supposed to happen but we all know how real life works.

    Ill pay 5x what they are charging if they strip it down to an OS that works as a background product and doesn’t need the internet and isn’t of bloatware. That OS would be pure gold, worth every penny.

  15. Helen said on July 26, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Grateful to have found out how to turn it off. If this is how good AI is supposed to be then we’re in worse trouble than I thought.

  16. Unca Alby said on August 5, 2021 at 12:33 am

    Microsoft, and they’re not the only ones guilty of this, need to stop “giving us nice things” without asking us *FIRST* whether we want it or not.

    I am sick to death of finding some new app running on my machine that I didn’t see before, didn’t ask for, and didn’t authorize. Then I look up on the web and it’s 15 steps to get rid of it. Christ, it wasn’t hardly ANY steps to get it!!

  17. David Scott said on September 25, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    A true annoyance. I couldn’t believe this feature when it appeared and after tolerating it for a few days I did a ‘net search for disabling it. I’m a writer by trade and living, and this is antithetical to creation, whether fiction or non. In my mind, it reflects the whole dumbing down of this generation – it can give someone the appearance of being articulate, only to discover that they are anything but upon first meeting (or interview). Beware.

  18. anon said on November 2, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for the tip on how to turn it off, was the first hit when I looked it up. I’m not really willing to slow down and check what suggestions they offer me as someone who can type 115 wpm ?

  19. JoeF said on November 7, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Predictive text has sprung up on the desktop version and this article does not address that version. There is no “Text Predictions” on the desktop version to turn on or off.

  20. L Harwood said on November 10, 2021 at 2:17 am

    I finally figured out how to turn it back off!! when it starts to add the prediction hover the mouse over the prediction and it will take you to ‘text prediction’ and you can deselect it.

    Why ANYONE would want this is a question that boggles the mind.

  21. L Harwood said on November 10, 2021 at 2:20 am

    It is VERY clear to me that every time the programmers have some lovely little hack they like, they are convinced ALL of us would like them. Not. I’m with what Bill said last July – I would pay a HUGE amount for a version of Word that would just stay the same and do what I want and that doesn’t have a bunch of bells and whistles that aren’t necessary. Please!!!!

  22. Bob Bailey said on November 25, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you!! I looked in vain in the too-full and too-many “Options” screens for a way to turn off this annoyance.

    I wish there was a Notepad-on-caffine mode — not the wannabe one-size-fits-all unstable multimedia-editor-on-crack mode that might change erratically from day to day.

    There are too many bells and whistles in Word. Remember WordPerfect? It behaved like traditional software: Do this until I tell you to do otherwise — and the current settings were visible in an optional “codes” pane. Instead, Word buries formatting, styles and who knows what else in the paragraph marker. If I want to change the format of something, it may presume to change all similar items in both directions in the document. Feh!!!

    Back to your excellent post: thank you for letting know how turn off this unwanted “help” from the presumptuous twenty-somethings at M$.

  23. Bob Bailey said on November 25, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    The status bar toggle removes the annoyance in the current document, but it may be baaaack in a new document.
    There is perhaps a more permanent way to dispose of this annoyance:
    In the “File” menu, choose “Options”
    Then in “Advanced” pane (listed at the left of the options), navigate to the “Editing options” section.
    In that long list of micro-text, uncheck the box “Show text predications while typing.”
    My hope is that this will get rid of “just one of the intrusive PITAs.”
    The navigation above is for Word in Microsoft 365 Apps running on a desktop machine.
    YMMV in other versions, and these instructions may be broken when M$ spews another “upgrade” of the version I am using on this machine.

  24. Chris O'Leary said on January 31, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Just noticed this was turned on, presumably by business IT admin. It’s atrocious, not at all usable, like Google’s is. Instead of accepting my typed words, it refused to allow me to add a space between words as I typed, instead waiting for me to accept or reject the suggested words. So unintuitive it’s not funny. Turned it off immediately.

  25. mcswell said on April 12, 2022 at 1:12 am

    You need to *right* click on the thingy in the status bar; left click brings up the Options dialog, and if this predictive typing thing is on the options dlg, I sure can’t find it. Right click brings up a long, unorganized (afaict) list of options that you can check or un-check, and somewhere in that long list is predictive typing.

    I’m not sure how you’d turn predictive completion back on if you decided you want it, but that’s someone else’s problem.

    Now if they’d only fix automatic number, which has been broken in every version of Word I’ve ever used.

  26. J. Typing Efficiency said on April 10, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    The abruptness of it popping up and diverting my attention from my flow of thoughts is very distracting. I tried it for a short while and quickly decided it was slowing me down, making me stutter in my thoughts, and just generally getting in my way. I type plenty fast on a PC. Now on current phones with screen typing that is slow and prone to typos, yeah, you might want some predictive stuff to survive there. But I still do not want anybody snooping my info, so there is that.

  27. Anonymous said on August 8, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    How are you suppose to read this article when the adds are constantly popping up where I am reading and no matter how many times I knock them down, they return with the same message. Most times with a video that is over what i was reading. I am certain this article was helpful but I will never know because I got fed up with the ads that were trying to pull me away. One just popped up here because I am telling you about it.

  28. Arne Anka said on August 21, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    What’s up with this place? All I can see in the comment sections of new articles are VERY OLD (as in several years) comments.

    1. Arne Anka said on August 21, 2023 at 4:14 pm

      And my comment, posted in one article, is posted in a completly different one…

      1. Anonymous said on August 21, 2023 at 7:16 pm

        Very strange. This is the second time this week where there is a disconnect between the article and its comments!

  29. Anonymous said on August 21, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    I have had LibreOffice 7.6 for over a week. The only fault that I can find is that the help function still does not work in Ubuntu. It tries to find a web page that does not exist. This occurs in both the menu function of help and pressing F1.
    I found this in earlier versions of 7.x, and reported it, but was brushed off.
    I think it works in Windows, but I am not sure.

    1. Anonymous said on August 23, 2023 at 5:08 am

      Did you download and install the separate optional help package, that does not come with the base package ? If not, I wouldn’t wonder.

  30. kalmly said on August 21, 2023 at 5:01 pm

    Interesting. Article about Libre Office, but comments on MS and Word, dating back to sometime in 2021. Who’s in charge here?

  31. Seeprime said on August 21, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    LibreOffice is great. Some of our customers are still using outdated MS Office versions. With there okay, we install it and set the saved file formats to MS, Writer font as Calibri. About 90% still use it years later. The ones that don’t typically require Microsoft 365 for work.

  32. Anonymous said on August 21, 2023 at 11:56 pm

    Notepad2 is all I find myself using these days.

    1. Anonymous said on August 22, 2023 at 11:19 am

      Notepad ? Why don’t you use Vi ? (well or Vim if necessary)
      Notepad as nearly as terrible and unnecessarily feature-bloated as Emacs.

      But if you are truly hardcore, you’d use ed or edlin and nothing else.

      1. Anonymous said on August 23, 2023 at 12:36 pm

        No, not Notepad, Notepad2, which is a completely different application. On top of that Notepad2 is a Windows only application, so mentioning Linux text editors like Vi(m), Emacs, ed and edlin does not really make sense.

  33. Scyld said on August 22, 2023 at 9:06 am

    In the past I didn’t like LibreIffice but after they improved a few things in 7.4 and 7.5 I actually like it and use it. Mostly Writer. In terms of features it is much better than any other software of this kind except MS Office. In terms of customization it seems the best. Guys who prefer minimalism may use OnlyOffice, but work is way more comfortable and productive in LibreOffice. As for questionable improvements, Libre gets them but as long as I can turn new features off I don’t really mind.

  34. John G. said on August 22, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    Comments are broken or something. Oldest is from February 22, 2021. :S

  35. Georgiro said on September 24, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    And the MAIN PROBLEM is that the software is not working, my intention was that I would download a video from a specific website and it worked, but when I tried to get another video, it stoppend to work and it is not working at all, Would you have any idea, what a mistake I am doing . Thanks

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