Windows Live Essentials For Windows 8 – What You Need To Know

Chris Hoffman 04-02-2013

windows live essentialsMicrosoft is in the process of phasing out Windows Essentials, formerly known as Windows Live Essentials. Microsoft has included Modern-style replacements for many of the Essentials applications in Windows 8 – email, calendaring, contacts, messaging, photo management, and cloud file storage are all built in. However, some Windows Live Essentials applications have no Modern equivalent, and you may want to the desktop versions of some applications.


Microsoft has come full-circle – after including many of the Windows Live Essentials apps in Windows Vista, they were removed in Windows 7 and available as a separate installer so that Windows 7 could be a more lightweight, minimal operating system. They’re now being integrated back into Windows 8 by default.

New Windows 8 Apps

Microsoft wants the pre-installed Windows 8 apps What Are The Best Apps To Get Started With Windows 8? Read More to take the place of the older, desktop-based Windows Live applications. You’ll find the following replacements pre-installed on Windows 8:

windows live essentials

  • Family Safety: The Family Safety application has been replaced by integrated parental controls in Windows 8, which are also called Family Safety. Access Family Safety from the control panel to set time limits, restrict access to websites, and get reports on your kids’ computer usage.

live essentials

You may also want to install Microsoft’s Skype application for Windows 8 from the Windows Store Simply Install Apps And Games In Windows 8 One of the key benefits of the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview is the addition of the Windows 8 Store, absent from the previous Windows 8 Developer Preview. This new tool streamlines the process, allowing... Read More . Skype will soon replace Windows Live Messenger entirely.


However, if you want to edit movies, write blog posts, or sync files on the desktop, you’ll still need some of the classic Windows Live Essentials applications.

Windows Essentials For The Desktop

The Windows Essentials installer package is still available for Windows 8. It will download and install the familiar Windows Essentials desktop applications on your computer, although many applications – such as the Bing Bar, Outlook Connector, Messenger Companion, Windows Live Mesh (replaced by SkyDrive), and Family Safety (Windows 8 has integrated parental controls) have been removed.

Microsoft is de-emphasizing these applications, although several have no Modern equivalent yet. You may want to install:

windows live essentials


You probably don’t want to install:


Want more information about Windows 8? Download Getting Started: Your Guide To Windows 8 The Windows 8 Guide This Windows 8 guide outlines everything new about Windows 8, from the tablet-like start screen to the new "app" concept to the familiar desktop mode. Read More .

Do you still use Windows Live Essentials on Windows 8, or have you found better Windows 8-style app replacements to them? Leave a comment and let us know!


Related topics: Windows 8, Windows Live.

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  1. Diane
    December 18, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I want to download my pictures but I cant find out where. Cortana said Windows Essentials. I downloaded it but there is nothing there.

  2. Alex Mackie
    June 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Windows 8 is the worst system that I have encountered , Who designed it infant school kids . You should be ashamed to put this rubbish on the market yours disappointed Alex

  3. Louise
    June 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    The windows 8 inbuilt photo viewing application is terrible and I can't wait to get rid of it. Windows Live Photo Gallery is so much better! However as there is no version for windows 8 I am concerned that it may not be compatible to download on windows 8. Could you please advise?

  4. Jill Siegel
    May 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I used Skype and Live Mail and other apps with Windows 7. I got a computer with Windows 8 installed and none of the above mentioned apps, Skype, Mail, Calendar,. People, Photos, Maps, Skydrive, Maps, Messaging and others work! So, I'm trying to find a way to use Skype and mail. I am not impressed with Windows 8.

  5. tee
    May 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    where is WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER?!?!!?!?!?!?!???!?!?!?!!?!?!!?!?!

  6. Stig Lundqvist
    April 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    I´ve recently also switch from Msn to Skype( not by choise). The video call quality is poor, and there are no games to play.Why they burried Windows Live Messenger is an enigma. Sorry but Skype is no fun.

    • Kevin Fields
      May 5, 2013 at 5:33 am

      If your video call quality is poor, it is most likely due to your Internet service, or an issue with the installed video codecs on your computer. Skype has been the dominant player in video chat and VOIP for years. Windows Messenger, on the other hand, has been plagued with technical issues over the years. Sometimes it's been good, other times horrible. But with Microsoft's purchase of Skype, there was no reason to keep two video chat programs around, especially when Skype actually generates a lot of revenue.

  7. Chris
    April 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    A concise and up to date article. I'm really put off by the idea that the new modern style apps are somehow supposed to replace the desktop programs. Besides the cumbersome (unless you're using a tablet) full-screen interface, they lack the majority of the functionality the desktop versions have.

    The modern apps are only for content consumption and viewing. There is almost no functionality for editing, creating or managing anything. Mail mail basically only lets you read, reply and write messages. Photos only lets you view and crop photos - nothing else. They're like the trial versions of software that don't have the paid feature unlocked.

    Windows 8 has some great new features but for what I need to do on my computer I couldn't care less about the modern apps.

    • Elizabeth Ritchie
      April 24, 2013 at 9:43 am

      I agree with you. What really annoyed me is there is no DVD maker for the movies I make there was a great one on the start button on windows 7 very Dissapointed.

  8. Umer Mehmood Riaz
    March 27, 2013 at 9:56 am

    When will Windows live mail (Desktop) new version be available?

    Secondly will this app be available or discontinued like outlook express?

    Whether social updated will be available in future or not.

    I am using this app since last 3 years and like very much. I do not like to switch outlook 2013 on Win 8.

    I bought a laptop with win 8 and thinking whether to choose Win 8 mail app, WLM 2012 or Outlook 2013.

    I have to configure my email, If this would be discontinued in near future than should I start to use outlook 2013.

  9. Anders Bendsen
    March 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I found the SkyDrive app very useful, but it does not work on Windows XP. So, I decided to switch to alternative client syncDriver. You can try syncDriver for SkyDrive from here It’s working fine on Windows XP.

  10. Jerome Klein
    March 20, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    You've succeeded in creating a virtually empty computer requiring the further purchase of virtually every required program. Congratulations on the rip off of the century.

  11. Aaron Couch
    March 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    "Microsoft is de-emphasizing these applications, although several have no Modern equivalent yet."

    - SkyDrive (desktop)
    - Windows Movie Maker
    - Windows Live Writer

    This makes me want to punch "them" in the face. Is that not being professional? I'm sorry, but this is stupid. As a new found Win8 user, I'm confused as to why MS has completely dropped the ball on these... ok maybe they haven't COMPLETELY dropped the ball on SkyDrive, but you certainly don't get the full user experience without the desktop app -- so why leave it out then?

    Great article though Chris!

  12. Omar Hiweish
    February 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I find the Windows 8 Mail app very useful, it is much easier to check my email using it. One click and I can see all my email accounts!

  13. sri
    February 6, 2013 at 7:44 am

    windows opening problem in new windows 8,and working is not good...........

  14. Nevzat Akkaya
    February 5, 2013 at 6:41 am

    I've recently made the switch from MSN to Skype, I feel that video call quality is increased.

    • Alexander
      February 5, 2013 at 10:01 am

      Skype is quite famous for having great video call quality :)

      • Nevzat Akkaya
        February 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm

        Now I know why :)

        • rohith
          February 6, 2013 at 7:42 am

          new windows 8 not working properly...........

      • Stig Lundqvist
        April 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm

        No that is not true. Skype video call quality is very bad.
        Windows Live Messenger was better, but now it´s gone, and I am so mad.

  15. SaapeXD MoHods
    February 5, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Where is security Essentials?

    • Chris Hoffman
      February 16, 2013 at 6:12 am

      Good question! Windows 8 includes Windows Defender, which is basically Security Essentials with a new name. So: The Security Essentials antivirus comes with Windows 8. It's about time Microsoft finally includes an antivirus!