Windows Live Mail fails to start up correctly

I've used WLM ever since the 'demise' of Outlook Express and generally, have found it to be OK. However, over the past year, both with Windows 7 & now Windows 10, it has rarely started up correctly. It starts up with a window-wide black bar in place of the tools ribbon & a continuous 'wait' rotating circle. The only way to 'kill' it is via the Task Manager, and then try again.

It used to start up correctly about one time in five, but now the only way to start it is to do a 'Windows Live Essentials' repair via the u-install facility. It then normally starts up OK. Once it is running, it is fine and behaves as expected.

How do I fix it so that it starts up correctly every time? I do have a host of Storage Folders (is there a number limit on these?) and quite a lot of messages in the'IN' Box - but I do try & keep on top of these by moving them to the storage folders.

If I can't fix it, I guess I'll need to move to something like Mozilla Thunderbird. However, if anyone has any ideas as to what's wrong, please let me know!


Hi ussnorway

Yes, I run Spybot Anti-Beacon, although I had the problem before I installed that. When I tried your link to Microsoft I didn't get anywhere and when I tried reaching personalised ad preferences directly, I got a message:
"The server at can't be found because the DNS look-up failed. DNS is the network service that translates a website's name to its Internet address. This error is most often caused by having no connection to the Internet or a misconfigured network. It can also be caused by an unresponsive DNS server or a firewall preventing Google Chrome from accessing the network"
I haven't seen that message in a while and every other web site I have tried has worked OK, although I do have problems on cash discount web sites such as TopCashBack & Quidco which end up with a blank '1x1' web page.

Funnily enough, when I started WLM this morning, it worked OK first time!


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I had similar issues with Live Mail.
After using it for a long time I found that it often wouldn't open.

I reinstalled and it seemed OK for a short while but then started again.
I never found a permanent solution, and finally switched to Mozilla Thunderbird which I've used ever since.

Sorry that I don't have an answer but at least you know your aren't the only one.


Hi Mike

Thanks for the comments. I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that it's time to switch to Thunderbird. The problem with WLM might have something to do with the overall memory size of all the folders / messages. I have 76,618 files in 2,135 folder amounting to just on 10GB total. That's a lot to keep track of!

Today, it has started up first time of asking most times I've asked it to. It's a mystery!



Essential Member
Premium Supporter
I have never had problems with WLM.
But, I do not use it as a storage facility, and your observation regarding the size of your contained files could well be the problem.

Hi davhc

So how do you store all your old email (some which may contain important info such as T&Cs or web order details) so that you can access them easily / quickly from WLM without manually having to transfer them into a WLM folder first?
I'd be interest to know!

My WLM always starts up OK after I've done a Windows Essentials repair via the facility in the un-install options. (i.e. I don't un-install it; just repair it.) Does that indicate what it might be correcting?


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
Moot point!

I don't. I think it would be unsafe, both from the computer and the security point of view, to keep them. Periodically I delete old Email.which I have determined has no importance. I am a dedicated computer nerd, and anything of a factual nature, such as you have indicted are copied and pasted into docs in other folders which exist on externals..

What you can do is open a specific folder for the purpose, and export from time to time. Not so convenient for a quick look though.

Just came back to add. My principal Email, two family and one official, accounts are This online program itself, periodically archives old material, which can quickly be reinstated.

All my emails are kept on a separate physical drive anyway and I back these up every week to an encrypted external drive. (That used hardware encryption - which is great if you need to look at it using another PC, whilst still securing your files if it is stolen via a house break-in).

I think I'll need to think about switching to Thunderbird!


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
? So, you could empty all the folders in WLM and see if it solves the problem.

You're right of course davehc, but that would probably take me longer than installing Thunderbird & transferring all the folder contents to that app! (Since I have so many folders. I understand is more 'robust' than WLM.)


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
Your choice. No longer than transferring all that lot to another client, I would suggest.

Apropos nothing, I am getting a little too old to remember the contents of anything past about 50 Emails. I envy you!

I probably share the lack of memory past the last 50 email since I'm fast approaching 72!

However, about 4 years ago we built out own house here and I have a mass of emails relating to that - notes to / from the Primary Contractor, Kitchen designers, electricians, and endless suppliers. If I need to challenge one of them (which I am at present as I can't get spares for 6 taps units that came with a 10-year Warrantee!) I need to look back & see what the committed to. The total files size for that 'project' is over 5GB - most of which will be the emails!


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I do have some private folders that I move stuff to, but not anything like the amount that you are talking about so I can't say that Thunderbird will be able to handle that or not.

I'm 77 so my memory is a little on the short side as well. LOL



Honorable Member
What I see is, that WLM often fails to startup when the network is busy.
And this is the case just after start up when for instance updates are being downloaded or checks are performed whether update are needed.
You may see a spinning blue 'busy' circle when you hoover with the mouse over the taskbar.

It is rediculus but I wait until that circle has changed back in to a pointer before starting WML :confused:



Essential Member
Premium Supporter
Having said all that. I woke up today to find this little Xmas present sitting on my Email. I copy in full:

"In a few weeks, we will be making some changes to our email services that might impact your, @hotmail, @live or @msn email account. These changes will prevent your email from being delivered to the Windows Live Mail 2012 application that you use.
In order to continue using Windows Live Mail 2012 to send and receive email for your account, you need to install the latest update published here.
If you use Windows Live Mail 2012 on Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, we recommend that you switch to the built-in Mail app in Windows to stay connected and get the latest feature updates on Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Windows Live Essentials 2009 and 2011 are not supported any more, and you will need to update to Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10 and use the Mail app, or use To learn more about the Mail app, please click here.
We also recommend all Windows Live Mail users on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10 and use the built-in Mail application to stay connected and get the latest feature updates. "

So, back to square one.


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
Unbelievable. When I apply the "fix" which is recommended
in the Email, I get this


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
The "Fix" seems to have worked on a couple of my other computers. I guess mine is a little too customised. I will reinstall it to its iniktial state and see what happens.


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Unbelievable. When I apply the "fix" which is recommended
The sad thing is that type of catch 22 bullshit is fast becoming normal for Microsoft... they just don't put the same effort into testing now days.


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
See.- I'm an MVP. But, Bullshit is too mild. I got the fix to run by reverting back to the uncustomized windows Live Mail. Now, everytime I click anything in Live mail, the program stops working.

So, Options.
Temporarily put my image back
reload Live Mail, which sets me back to this uncertainty
Change my email program.
Thank You MS

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