Windows Live Mail not working in Windows 10? We’ve got solutions

Aleksandar Ognjanovic By: Aleksandar Ognjanovic
7 minute read
windows live mail wont open

Home » Windows » Windows Live Mail not working in Windows 10? We’ve got solutions

Many users reported that Windows Live Mail won’t open on their PC. This can be a big problem, especially if Windows Live Mail is your email client of choice, so today we’ll try to fix this problem.

More than a year ago, Microsoft decided to discontinue support for Windows Live Mail, one of the most used e-mail clients. Nonetheless, since many users disliked the pre-installed Mail app in Windows 10, they decided to stick with the outdated but still functional Windows Live Mail client.

And that’s when the majority of them run into a pile of issues.

There are various reasons why Windows Live Mail won’t function in Windows 10. We considered various culprits and provided the list of possible solutions below.

If you’re having a hard time with your favorite vintage e-mail client, make sure to check the enlisted solutions.

Note: If you cannot fix Windows Live Mail issues or you simply decide to get a good working email client, we would strongly recommend Mailbird. A leader on the market, that can meet all your needs in mailing management.

Windows Live Mail won’t open on Windows 10? Fix it with these solutions

  1. Run the Windows Live Mail as Admin and in a compatibility mode
  2. Reconfigure Windows Live Mail account
  3. Check Windows Firewall and third-party firewall
  4. Remove current and create a new Windows Live Mail account
  5. Repair installation
  6. Reinstall Windows Essentials 2012
  7. Try third-party alternatives
  8. Disable your antivirus

Solution 1 – Run the Windows Live Mail as Admin and in a compatibility mode

Some users managed to get Windows Live Mail started with a rather simple workaround. Namely, it seems that just a simple tweak in compatibility settings can resolve most of the issues that plague Windows Live Mail users.

The fact that Windows 10 and WLM are on the wrong foot from the start speaks for itself and, by switching to a different compatibility mode, the problems should be resolved.

In addition, it should help to run the application with an administrative permission. If you’re unsure how to make those changes, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Windows Live Mail or C:\Program Files(x86)\Windows LiveMail.
  2. Right-click on the wlmail.exe file and open Properties.
  3. Select the Compatibility tab.
  4. Check the Run this program in compatibility mode for box and, from the drop-down menu, select Windows 7.
  5. Check the Run this program as an administrator box.
  6. Confirm changes and restart the Windows Live Mail client.compatibility windows live mail not working

Solution 2 – Reconfigure Windows Live Mail account

Another obvious solution is to reconfigure Windows Live Mail account preferences. Things were much easier on the previous Windows iterations back in the days, however, Windows 10 brought a bag of issues.

Specific problems emerged due to the conflict between Windows Live Mail and newly introduced Mail and Outlook apps.

In order to avoid the conflict and configure Windows Live Mail thoroughly for Windows 10, check this article. We made sure to provide you with the detailed explanation.

Solution 3 – Check Windows Firewall and third-party firewalls

Now, troubleshooting of any connection-dependent application requires Firewall checkup. Since, Windows Live Mail needs to connect to a dedicated server in order to access your inbox and sync it, make sure that it’s allowed to do so.

That, clearly essential action, depends on the Firewall that might block Windows Live Mail.

So, follow the steps below to allow Windows Live Mail through Windows Firewall:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type Firewall and open Windows Firewall.
  2. Click on the ”Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall” link.
  3. Click on the ”Change settings” button. You’ll need the administrative permission for in order to change Firewall settings.
  4. In the ”Allowed apps and features” dialog box, scroll down and enable these protocols for both Private and Public network:
    • Windows Live Communications Platform
    • Windows Live Communications Platform (SSDP)
    • Windows Live Communications Platform (UPnP)firewall settings windows live mail not working
  5. Confirm changes and restart your PC.

Since the procedure deviates on difference third-party applications, we advise you to google your own, disable its firewall temporarily and look for changes. Furthermore, if you’re unsure how to do it, you should remove a third-party solution completely from your PC.

Solution 4 – Remove current and create a new Windows Live Mail account

Due to aforementioned forced changes that Microsoft made, your old Windows Live Mail account might misbehave in Windows 10.  The sole fact that it’s not supported anymore and that can’t be obtained as easily as one would expect of Windows native app, makes us think that something is wrong with certain accounts.

In order to address this, you can at least try to sign in with an alternative account and look for changes. Even though this is, presumably, a long stretch workaround — it just might work.

Firstly, make sure that you use exclusively Windows Live Mail on your Windows 10 PC. If combined with other email clients, the WLM client won’t work. Especially if you’re using one Microsoft account (Hotmail, MSN, Outlook etc.) on multiple clients.

So, basically, there can be only one and that’s Windows Live Mail. So, make sure to sign out of all other e-mail clients.

After that is settled, make sure to follow the instructions below:

  1. Open Windows Live Mail.
  2. Click on the Account icon and choose Sign out of Windows Live Mail from the drop-down menu.sign out windows live mail not working
  3. Now, Sign in with an alternative email account and look for changes.sign-in windows live mail not working

Solution 5 – Repair installation

Experienced users recommend this as one of the best-suited remedies for various issues. Rather than reinstalling the whole Essentials Suite, it’s advised to turn to a repair function. That’s analogous to reinstallation to some extent and it should resolve the problem easily.

Follow these steps to repair the Windows Live Mail installation:

  1. In the Windows Search bar type Control and open Control Panel.
  2. From the Category view, select Uninstall a program.
  3. Double-click on Windows Essentials 2012.uninstall windows live mail not working
  4. Click on the Repair all Windows Essential programs and wait for the procedure to all windows live mail not working
  5. Restart your PC and look for changes.

If this solution fell short, you can always turn to a reinstallation and move from there.

ALSO READ: 5 email-scanning software that detect and remove viruses and spam

Solution 6 – Reinstall Windows Essentials 2012

On the other hand, if you’re unable to resolve the issues with the reparation, the reinstallation is the next obvious step. Namely, the main instigator for the majority of issues is Windows Update that tends to break Windows Live Mail application in Windows 10.

In addition, Windows Essential programs are frequently affected by other, pre-installed applications that cover the same category. So, if you’re able to, make sure to uninstall Outlook and use Windows Live Mail exclusively. If you’re not sure how to do so with Windows Essentials 2012, follow the steps below:

  1. In the Windows Search bar type Control and open Control Panel.
  2. From the Category view, select Uninstall a program.
  3. Double-click on Windows Essentials 2012.
  4. Click on the Remove one or more Windows Essentials programs.remove windows live mail not working
  5. Check the box next to the Windows Live Mail and click on Uninstall below.uninstall mail windows live mail not working
  6. Restart your PC.
  7. Download Windows Essentials 2012 here.
  8. Right-click on the setup and run it as admin.
  9. Install either all Windows Essentials applications or select only Windows Live Mail. It’s up to you.install windows essentials windows live mail not working
  10. Look for improvements.

Solution 7 – Try third-party alternatives

Finally, if none of the above-mentioned solutions resolved your issues with Windows Live Mail, we advise you to leave it be and check for alternative solutions. There are many great email clients available, you might want to consider the following. 

Mailbird is our main recommendation, and also eM Client which has a similar layout to Outlook Express. Both these applications offer great features, so feel free to try any of them.

We understand your displeasure with the Outlook client or Mail app since there are certain drawbacks when compared to Windows Live Mail. However, this, like so many other programs from the past era, is the discontinued program and the sole fact it still works for some users in present day is amazingly peculiar.

Luckily, you don’t need to stick with applications Microsoft forced upon you. There are so many third-party alternatives and one of them will, eventually, check all the boxes you need. If you’re not sure what third-party e-mail client to use, make sure to check this article for the thoughtful insight on available solutions.

Solution 8 – Disable your antivirus


Another cause for issues with Windows Live Mail can be your antivirus software. Sometimes your antivirus can block certain applications from running, so be sure that Windows Live Mail is added to the list of exceptions in your antivirus.

If Windows Live Mail isn’t blocked by your antivirus, perhaps you can fix the problem by disabling or removing your antivirus. Certain antivirus tools just aren’t compatible with older software, and if you’re unable to run Windows Live Mail, try removing or disabling your antivirus.

If removing the antivirus solves the problem, this might be a perfect moment for you to consider switching to different antivirus software. There are many great antivirus tools on the market, but if you’re looking for a reliable antivirus that won’t interfere with applications such as Windows Live Mail, feel free to try out Bitdefender.

What’s the main trait you need from an e-mail client? 

Make sure to tell us in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.



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