Microsoft released the last version of Microsoft Windows Live Essentials, or Windows Essentials, back in the year 2012. While that is a long time ago, it is the case that some included programs are still useful and that first-party alternatives may not really be available.
Microsoft ended support for Windows Essentials 2012 in 2017 and removed all downloads of Windows Essentials and individual programs from its web properties.
Windows Live Essentials included several programs, most notably Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, Mail, Messenger, Writer, and SkyDrive (OneDrive).
Some of the programs don't work anymore; Microsoft retired Messenger, Mail functionality is limited, and SkyDrive has been replaced with OneDrive.
Windows Live Essentials requires at least Windows 7 but it runs fine on newer versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system including Windows 10. While some programs don't work at all anymore or only limited, others, like Movie Maker or Photo Gallery, work fine and provide all the included functionality.
You can download an offline copy of Microsoft Windows Live Essentials 2012 from Archive.org. Offline copy means that you can install the application suite directly; setup requires no Internet connection and won't download any data from Microsoft as a consequence. The reason why that is important is that web installers will fail as Microsoft removed the files they require to complete the installation.
The download is provided as a web and torrent file, and the file itself has a size of 130 Megabytes. Downloads were not super-fast when I tried regardless of the method that I selected to download the installation file.
The installation itself is straightforward but you may run into issues installing the programs on Windows 10. You get the option to install all programs included in the bundle or only select programs.
I suggest you select the later (choose the programs you want to install) as some don't work at all or well anymore so that installing them would be a waste of space on the device.
The two programs that you may be interested in the most are Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, and Writer. Problem is that the installer won't let you uncheck Messenger or OneDrive updates, and that it did quit on a Windows 10 version 1803 system because of that. Installation completed without issues on a Windows 7 test system, however.
I don't know whether there is a way to extract individual programs from the installer to only install those; if there is, let me know in the comments. Windows 7 (and maybe 8) users who want to use some of the programs included in windows Live Essentials can download the package and install it on their devices to use them.Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.