Many people have been using Windows Live Mail since it was first introduced and now they are finding out that this service is going to be ending and they are left wondering what they are supposed to do not.
First, Windows Live is a desktop email program that was introduced by Microsoft as a replacement for Outlook Express. The program is a part of the Windows Essentials suite, which offers several other programs such as Live Writer, Live Mail, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, and OneDrive. Unfortunately, there have been no updates to the suite since 2012 because Microsoft started developing touch applications instead.
Windows Live Mail is not going to just stop working altogether. People will still be able to use the platform to download their emails from any other standard email service. However, Microsoft will be moving all of their email services including Hotmail, Office 365, MSN Mail, Outlook, Live Mail, etc. to Outlook.com and Windows Live Mail will not support the new application programming interfaces that are required to fully synchronize with outlook.com. While Windows live could be updated, Microsoft is asking its users to choose to switch to a different email program instead.
Suggestions from Microsoft
For those who are currently using the Windows Live program, Microsoft has offered a few suggestions. One option is to use either the free mail app from the company or to use Outlook. Outlook comes with a price, but Microsoft is currently offering all Live users a free Office 365 subscription for a year. The catch is that after the first year you will have to pay for either a subscription to Office or a standalone copy of it.
Either way you go is a bit awkward as you are either downgrading to using mail or upgrading to using Outlook, with no option to stay at the current email level you are used to. The free mail app is simple to use, but has less to offer than Windows Live as there are limited options for email sorting and you will not be able to send out group emails. Another drawback of using the mail app is that it can be used on Windows 8/8.1 and 10, but does not work with Windows XP, Vista, or 7. This means that individuals using one of these older version of Windows will need to upgrade in order to use the mail app.
Outlook offers many more advanced features than Live for contacts, emails, lists, and calendars. However, you may not need these features or you may already use different apps for these already.
The final option for Live users suggested by Microsoft is to use a web browser for your email. Your email addresses and email services from Live, Hotmail, and Outlook.com will still work even if the Live account does not. Of course, using web based email has some drawbacks such as not as many features, limited number of sorting options, and it is a bit slower to use.
Staying with Windows Live Mail
While it has been made quite clear that Windows Live Mail is definitely becoming obsolete, you can still choose to use it if you want. In order to keep using it you will have to create a new account with your current email address and then check the box to manually configure the server settings. On the incoming server you will use the IMAP address imap-mail.outlook.com with Port 993. On the outgoing server you will use smtp-mail.outlook.com with Port 587.
Once you have created these new settings you can then drag and drop your emails from your “old” account. Make sure that you do not delete them because this new account can only be used for emails, which means that your calendar features and the address book and contacts will be lost.
If you choose to switch over to Office Outlook or to the mail app you are going to have to import your current emails from Windows Live. There are several ways that this can be done and Microsoft has provided instructions that are fairly easy to follow with the announcement that they were killing off Windows Live Mail.
Emails through Windows Live mail are stored in .eml files, which makes them easy to back up and then move from PCs or between programs. One issue is that some people may have emails stored on their personal computers that are not on the server any longer. If this is the case you will want to refer to the instructions provided for locally stored data.
There are also other email programs that you may want to consider in addition to the options provided by Microsoft. These third party suppliers offer several different choices to consider and you may find one that better suits your needs. Free email clients such as Gmail or Yahoo can be useful or you can try eM Client, Thunderbird, or Mailbird, to name a few.
Recovering your Password
One other issue that you may have when changing your email account is determining your password. You will need this in order to set up your new email program. There are a few free utilities that can be used in order to extract your password if you have forgotten it. Both Live Mail Password decryptor as well as Mail Pass View can help. Alternatively, you can simply reset your password if you have an alternative email address or phone number set up with the account in order to receive the security code that will be sent.
The new system by Microsoft began its rollout last year. When your account is converted you are not going to be able to use your Live Mail account any longer. The current deadline for using the accounts is June 30th, 2016, so it is a good idea to start the switching process as soon as possible.