Update for Windows Live Essentials 2011 now available

Update for Windows Live Essentials 2011 now available

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Today, we released an update for Windows Live Essentials 2011 in all 48 languages. This minor release includes numerous updates across all of the programs in the Essential package, including Windows Live Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Family Safety, Writer, and Mesh. In the coming weeks, customers on Windows Vista SP2 and Windows 7 will receive a notification prompting them to upgrade to the new version. Since this release contains critical fixes for the Essentials package, in a few months, the update will become required for all eligible customers.

Current customers moving from Windows Live Essentials 2009 to 2011 will see a whole host of new features, including new social features in Windows Live Messenger, the ability to chat with Facebook friends, photo fuse in Photo Gallery, new themes in Movie Maker, and much more.

You can download the update now at the Windows Live Essentials website.

Steven Abrahams
Lead Program Manager – Windows Live

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  • I see no updates for WLW other than the number in the About dialog to 16.4.3508.728

    In particular tables are still broken (try inserting a simple one at the start of a post), then switch to Source tab, and then back to Edit, and then back to Source.

    There also doesn't seem to be a way to work through Blogger 2-step verification using WLW.

  • cquirke
    15 Posts

    Forced updates?  Sounds like Google, doesn't it - this, and poorly-documented changes, isn't typical Microsoft, but is likely being "tried out" in the arms-length Live brand.  It may be the reason it exists, in the first place, as so many Live apps parallel other Microsoft-branded tools - the idea being to break software industry norms (offline re-installability, user-controlled updates, etc.) as a push towards the lower bar in client relations that Google brings to the party.

    I wonder if "Live" is fading away, to be replaced with an even more aggressively "be online or it won't work" Metro-UI'd successor?  Odd to see no new Writer development for so long.

  • So you've finally started behaving like Microsoft again and are moving to assassinate the formerly great program "Windows Live Photo Gallery." I really, really, wondered what had gotten into you that caused you to behave so differently and make a good computer program for a change. I was amazed at the quality and usefulness of Windows Photo Gallery. Obviously there was some sort of skunk works that kept this quality work secretly hidden from the normal Microsoft "business as usual" executives. I see they've found you out! What a shame. What I'm talking about is the "An update is required" forced upgrade. Either upgrade or you can't continue to use this program. I'm a computer professional and this is the first forced upgrade I've ever seen. Of course it's no surprise that it should come from you. I refuse to be coerced, so I'll be uninstalling as much of the Windows Live suite as possible and will look elsewhere for my photo organizational needs. Luckily I have all my photos backed up on non-erasable DVDs because I would not, at all, put it past Microsoft to delete all of my photos out of spite. They've done it before.

  • bkqc
    3 Posts

    Also, for WLM, iCalendar support is a must! QR Codes recognition could be great too.

  • bkqc
    3 Posts

    Is thie product dead or will we see new versions? WLPG is a great product but many features are still missing that could be made available in an update (pinpoint geotagging, map browsing, hierarchical people grouping (genealogy / contact trees), photo bucket to prepare for mass upload / modification, color coding organization, ...

    Long life to WLPG!

  • VIB
    1 Posts

    Like others after updating, Live Mail couldn't find my Contacts and the Contacts button wouldn't even bring up the Contacts ribbon menu.  I've been using an email address from my ISP, so never bothered to actually log on to Windows Live Mail.  What I found was that I had to log on once after the update for Live Mail to properly find my Contacts and for the Contacts button to work.  Since then, it's been working fine without having to log on.

  • Dear Steven. I cannot enter to the Live Mail program because a window appears with the following message: "An update is required. Click to install the latest update for Windows Live Essentials". I´m affraid about the possibility of loosing all my messages and contacts if I click on "OK". Please could you advice about what is the risk of loosing information if the update installation process is accepted. Thanks for your support and best regards. Felipe Baritto (VENEZUELA)

  • belle
    1 Posts

    I couldn't open my Windows Live Photo Gallery without installing the update, so I did it.  Now my entire photo library is gone.  Why did this happen???

  • Rab
    2 Posts

    I tried again to open Live Mail after it was installed. This time I tried to be patient whilst it seemed to be searching. It eventually opened up (10 minutes?). I think it seems to be ok now. We will wait and see!!

  • Rab
    2 Posts

    I have installed this update (it wouldn't let me open Windows Live Mail unless I did). However, when I try to open my Live Mail it doesn't open it up - just searches and searches. I then just go back to a restore point and I am able to open up my Live Mail. But the next day I have to go through the same thing again. Any help please?

  • Hombre
    2 Posts

    New problem now. If I click on my contact list (which is EMPTY), then try to go back to the inbox, the inbox is blank.

    WOW! I just checked all of my files in Live Mail and all of them are blank.

    I'm running Wndows 7 and I need some help here

  • Hombre
    2 Posts

    Just the same as Tish..."I have just installed this update (it wouldn't let me open Windows Live Mail unless I did) and now my contacts list has reverted to an older version and I have lost all my new contacts.  Can anyone help please?"

    This is my problem too, except it wiped out all of my contacts. I tried to restore from before the update, get my contact list, then install it. It wouldn't let me do that either

    Does anyone check this stuff out before you force feed it to us??

  • SteveA
    1 Posts

    Just the same as Tish..."I have just installed this update (it wouldn't let me open Windows Live Mail unless I did) and now my contacts list has reverted to an older version and I have lost all my new contacts.  Can anyone help please?"

    Is there anyone taking responsibility for this and doing anything about it?

  • Tish
    1 Posts

    I have just installed this update (it wouldn't let me open Windows Live Mail unless I did) and now my contacts list has reverted to an older version and I have lost all my new contacts.  Can anyone help please?

  • I'm having the same issue as stevietnz... HELP!

  • I am having issues updating. I click to install, it says it is successful, but later on I get the icon saying updates are available, again. Is anyone else having this issue? I run Windows 7 Home 64-edition.

  • Are you aware that this update has caused problems for many users and there is no way to "roll back" the changes?  Users are getting an error "unable to initialize canvas" when we try to open our mail and a similar error when trying to send email mail.  I have found no fix for this and no way to rollback the changes.  My email is basically useless now.

  • GalanB
    1 Posts

    Steven, is there a community forum for Windows Live Essentials? I'm not seeing one.

    I let the latest update install last night, and today I began having Internet issues. Turns out, just like when WLE first installed (on my Win7 x64 laptop), some IPv6 packets were killing my wireless router.  I had to uninstall both Messenger and Mesh, and now all's well again. Last time it was just Messenger I had to uninstall, as Mesh didn't exist yet. Anyway, I'm looking for support on it.  :)



  • @Noel: Thank you for the tip.... but.... Surprisingly (or not, according to your philosophy) if you search on Windows Live Writer from the main Answers search page you find ZERO relevant hits on the first page.

    Secondly, none of my old threads from the Solutions forum are there. Or have been so thoroughly hidden as to be gone. Because you can't pre-filter the topic by Windows Live Writer ( and basically most of the keywords are ignored so you get a lot of irrelevant posts ).

    It would have been simple enough for Microsoft to migrate the threads assigned to my profile to the new forum (which has the same login details) and it would have been polite to inform me of such. Rather they proved themselves neither competent nor caring enough to mitigate any of the pain. Since I had open requests to support these are nicely cancelled I guess which is a win for them.

    This is the sort of poor customer follow up that used to disgust us in the Microsoft product groups.

  • ¡Firedog
    16 Posts


    At the Answers site, look for forums under the heading 'Hotmail, Messenger and SkyDrive'. You'll find all the WLE products there, including recent threads from the old Windows Live Solution Center.

  • ¡Firedog
    16 Posts

    @Steven Abrahams

    This update is currently being pushed out to existing users of WLE. It has had disastrous consequences for many users of WLMail, who are reporting that their default contacts lists have disappeared or reporting .NET faults involving 'File not found' errors and others. The automated update is clearly flawed, and the support staff at the Answers site have no clue how to deal with the problems it's creating. Those same support staff will not respond when asked directly what is being done to mitigate the adverse effects of the update. The only concrete response has been "if you didn't have a backup of your contacts, they're gone."

    This is a repeat performance of the (eventually mandatory) upgrade from v.14 to v.15 in October 2010, which caused similar problems and undoubdtedly cost MS thousands of customers.

    Are you aware of these situation? What is being done about it?

  • All the forums for Windows Live Essentials have disappeared, supposedly "migrated" to the Answers forums. However when you go there, there are no headers for Windows Live, and if you search on Live Essentials or Live Writer, you get ZERO hits.

    My profile doesn't have links to any of the support issues I was tracking on the Live forums.

    So what now, all support for Live products is blown off?

  • bkqc
    3 Posts

    Will there be a 2012 edition? If yes, is there any planning for adding sidecars XMP to videos? I recently had to move my library and lost ALL people tags on videos... :'(

  • waeras
    2 Posts

    I know that this probably isn't the proper forum for this, but hopefully someone might read it and have some answers.

    I would like for the Windows Live Mesh's 5 GB SkyDrive Synchronized Folder to be accessible from the SkyDrive app in Windows Phone (and maybe in the win 8 metro app aswell). As it is now I can't access the files from my synchronized folder on my windows phone (unless I log in via internet explorer), it would be a lot better to be able to access it from the SkyDrive app itself.

    Is this something that will work in the future, or are we doomed to use Internet Explorer while on the phone to access the files from the Live Mesh Skydrive folder?

  • Stilgar
    10 Posts

    Mesh still working with Fake Skydrive? When will you sync via Real Skydrive?

  • No useful information.  Typical Microsoft.

  • Dch48
    2 Posts

    Just give us a better mail program. Live Mail is terrible. If the hideous ribbon wasn't enough, you can't get all your mail from all accounts to go to a single inbox or deleted items and sent items folders. You should have stuck with Windows Mail, it was much better. I have uninstalled all Live programs.

  • Typhoon87
    27 Posts

    So Steve, any word on what fixes are included yet? Given by the few comments as well as those on Liveside.net I do not intedn to upgrade unless a changelog is made avaiable. Something like this post would do (windowsteamblog.com/.../coming-this-week-an-update-to-windows-live-essentials-2011.aspx)

  • Blaine
    23 Posts

    I found the following link to Windows Live Essentials 2011 - Release Notes.  It's not exactly a changelog or a "What's New" but it does hint at some current issues:


    I agree it would be very nice if there was a comprehensive place to go to know what changed in each of the releases from 2009 through to this latest one for 2011.

  • Where can we find a KB or change log?  I'm reluctant to install without first knowing what was updated.  Also, is a fix being created for the Live Mesh issue I keep reading about?

  • ImranS
    1 Posts


    Apologies for the experience you're having with the most recent Mesh update. The following forum post provides more information which should be helpful:


  • It is actually worse than I thought. Essentially the update broke my perfectly working Mesh installation entirely. Since I updated I did nothing else, but now a) folder that were synced before are now shown as not synced, b) the folders that are still synched all show that they have to download x files still, but none of those numbers is moving, which I interpret that it actually is doing nothing. If you look at the blogs and twitter, I am clearly not the only one to whom this is happening. How on earth can such a buggy update be released? One that BREAKS everything??? And why is the team not responding in emergency mode to reports like that? Fail, fail and fail, unbelievable.

  • Same here, the updates messes up mesh entirely, it wants to redownload EVERY single file in every folder I have but is actually not doing anything. What a buggy update. Advice to anyone: don't install at this point, wait until they fix this. I hope you will not push this version out via auto update to everyone. What's up with quality control?? At this point I am really wondering whether the Live division is up to the task of providing the infrastructure for Win8 clould stuff...

  • I see that Windows Live Photo Gallery is STILL corrupting Exif metadata. So that hasn't been fixed, then. This has been an issue for well over a year now, and still no resolution: windowslivehelp.com/thread.aspx

  • An update: Removing all synced folders from all machines and re-adding them made Live Mesh happy again. Not pretty but at least it's a workaround.

  • Hi Steven,

    I am getting the same problem as described here http://www.freitasm.com/8013.

    My files were all in sync across 3 machines now none of them think they are in sync.

    I'm not sure if they are all trying to re-download off each other.

    All 3 machines have been updated with the latest version.

    Please help :)


  • xpclient
    50 Posts

    There were many issues with Windows 8 Consumer Preview and WLE Wave 4 QFE 2. Is this QFE supposed to work well with Windows 8?

  • Typhoon87
    27 Posts

    As the first few people said please give us a change log or a KB artical with changes listed.

  • Kvad
    1 Posts

    A change log would be nice. Instead of a generic 'oh hey we just updated this, it haz updates. nuff said'

  • So... That means we won't see WLE2012? :(

  • Would it kill you guys to offer up some kind of change log? Not that I'm opposed to updating... in fact, I wish you'd do more updates. I just wish we knew what you were updating.