Troubleshooting Windows Live Essentials…

The Windows Live Essentials is an integrated and bundled suite of software applications by Microsoft that work seamlessly with Windows Live online.

Windows Live Essentials programs [ click here ]
Photo Gallery
Movie Maker
Family Safety

Optional Programs [ click here ]
Office Outlook Connector
Office Live Add-in
Microsoft Silverlight


 My experience with the Windows Live services has been a positive experience; however, recently I experienced an issue where my Windows Live Writer and the uninstaller for the Windows Live Essentials was broken. For whatever reasons, Live Wirter would not launch AND the uninstaller component to Windows Live Essentials was corrupted. Windows Live Writer is the software I use (and recommend) to prepare blog articles. I eventually figured out a fix on my own, which required a full day of thinking it out and a visit to the Windows registry.

Resources, including Microsoft’s support, for my particular issue, was not very helpful. I was instructed by support to locate and email the Windows Live Writer log which I did. The support person contacted me, via email, to inform me that they were escalating my issue to another level. At that second level I was instructed via email to uninstall and reinstall the application which I had already informed them that the uninstall component had been broken. I also would like to point out that there is very limited information on the internet at this time about the resolution to problems that people may be experiencing with the Windows Live Essentials. As a result of my experience, I decided to list a few things that may be helpful to others who find themselves in a situation where the “Windows Live Essentials” software and services are not playing well and you need a launching point to start troubleshooting.

  1. For support assistance and instructions for any of the Windows Live services [ click here ].
  2. The installer for the Windows Live Essentials is a standalone installer [ click here ] that you download (filename: wlsetup-web.exe) which will subsequently download the full installation files for the application you choose to install.  In my case this did not work toward resolving the issue which I experienced. Personally I do not care for these type of installers.
  3. The full installer for Windows Live Essentials is very difficult to locate, but I found links to the full installer (for different languages) posted on the blog “My Digital Life” [click here] . The full installer (approximately 137 MBs) was very helpful in resolving the problem which I experienced. I thank the author(s) of “My Digital Life” for posting the links and making them publicly available.

Keep in mind the links I have posted were up-to-date at the time this article was composed and are subject to change as the Windows Live Essentials software continues to evolve.  This article was posted with the “good” intention of providing options and resources in the event you experience issues with any of the Windows Live Essential software applications.



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14 thoughts on “Troubleshooting Windows Live Essentials…

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  1. Rick–
    As a Help and Support tech, I cannot have you posting such helpful D-I-Y repair advice artices.. do you want my children to starve???

    Seriously, though, your article points out the general unhelpful state of Microsoft’s free e-mail support (let’s be honest.. anybody’s free e-mail support). I have never had a good experience with it. However, in those very rare instances when an issue is beyond my ken, I have never failed but to be impressed when I call them up, and agree to their quite reasonable fee (help with Update issues are always free). I’m not easy to impress.. I’m a tech!

    Just a shot-in-the-dark question.. did you by any chance recently run a “registry optimizer”?


  2. TechPaul,

    As always I welcome on input and expertise on these matters. I initially thought I was going to get a responsible answer back from MS, due to how fast I received a reply. I was like, WOW, they are going to help me. Long story short, I am now wondering if I was not dealing with an automated tech bot… In regards to this issue, I thought to myself, “OK Rick, what did you do or install or configure to cause this mess!” I really came up with nothing… No, I had not run a registry optimizer and even went down that road wondering did I?

    Again, I so welcome your comments and “praise”…



  3. Well, in my experience, the cause for some program “that was working fine yesterday” and now is not (and the uninstaller corruption is a clue, too) is:
    * A patch or Update gone awry.
    * A conflict caused by installing a different program (that shares the same .dll’s).
    * A Registry “optimizer” was run.
    * Malware corrupting files.

    With the exception of that last.. System Restore works 9 times out of 10 (though, you may have to run it a few times..)
    and then, cmd= sfc /scannow; then chkdsk /f

    When an application’s uninstaller won’t work, I suggest Revo, then re-Install the troublesome app.

    I’m not really giving away any “geek secrets”, there — that’s the ABC’s.. and I’m sure you tried them all first. Occasionally, we run into real “headscratchers”, and there’s no shame in turning to a pro. We do have secret ways and means.. but we start with the ABC’s, too. “Please reboot your machine..”


  4. I had a similar problem with MS Live, and particularly with Live Writer which stopped working.

    Can’t remember what I did to solve the problem (probably a re-install), but like you I found dealing with MS a waste of time.



  5. Bill,

    I am glad I’m not the only one that experienced a meltdown of Live Writer… I’m still plucking my brain as to what maybe I had done to propagate the problem…

    Thank you for visiting the blog and or your input on this issue.



  6. Id love to know how downloading the installer program helped you. I am trying to uninstall Live Messenger as it wont lainch, and neither will Windows live Essentials uninstaller. I downloaded the installer program (full dl) and id does me the favour of telling me I already have messenger installed….which is real helpful. I still have no working messenger and no working uninstall, what the hell do I do besides burn life like replicas of bill gates?


    1. Ian,

      You sound as frustrated as I was with Windows Live Writer… Several times, after I wrote the article, I had Live Writer completely stop working. I would go into the Add/Remove programs, select Windows Live Essentials and attempt a repair of Windows Live Writer. That would not work; then I removed the Windows Live Writer completely; however, the everytime I would attempt to download and install that component (Windows Live Writer) it would say it was already installed. I eventually searched the registry and removed (be very careful) any instance of Windows Live Writer. The only way I could get it to install was to use the full install… Have you tried Microsoft’s support for your issue with Messenger (which could be a completely different circumstance).


  7. I am having a problem with logging in everytime i try to log into my account on windows live essentials i just get a error message and i have to close it any suggestions?


  8. Hello,
    I realize this post is 8 months old at the time of my comment. I have been surfing and googling live writer troubleshooting and landed on this page. I, too, am trying to get some help with this program that I just downloaded. I can’t even get the program to launch. I get the same message “windows live writer has encountered a problem and needs to close.” I’ve written to support three times and they keep asking for the log file which is under the help menu which I can’t access because I can’t get the darn program to open! I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled and that didn’t help. Any suggestions as to what to do. I would really like to use this software.


  9. I landed here while looking for ways to trouble shoot my Windows Live Writer. I do realise I am a year too late to the party, but I would really appreciate any help I cant get!

    I have been using WLW for almost two years and every so often, I get the error message that it is unable to connect to remote server on my blog (both blogger and wordpress). Usually an uninstall and re-install works perfectly, but not this time! I wondered if the problem was my anti-virus and uninstalled that – didnt get WLW to work. Then somewhere on the web I read that I could use WLW from a different user account on the same pc – that works! But it is annoying to have to transport all my files to a sharing folder, and then log into the other user account for posting. I’d much rather get it to work from my current user login. Can you give me any tips/suggestions?


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