Windows Live Mail Tutorial

What version of Windows Live Mail do I have?


From Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail If you are running Windows XP or a later version of Windows, there's a version of Windows Live Mail available for you, in addition to any email program that may come with the operating system (Outlook Express, Windows Mail, or Windows 8 Mail). Note that when it was first released, Windows Live Mail was called "Windows Live Desktop Mail", to differentiate it from Microsoft's webmail offering, which at the time, was officially called "Windows Live Hotmail". It reflected the fact that this email client was specifically designed to be part of the Windows Live software package (not part of Windows, as Outlook Express and Windows Mail were).

What version of Windows Live Mail am I running?

Windows Live Mail menu button If you see the blue menu button (upper left corner of the window), click on it and choose "About": a dialog will open and show the year: Windows Live Mail 2012 ("Wave 5"), or Windows Live Mail 2011 ("Wave 4").

If you don't see that button, hit the Alt+H keyboard shortcut to show the Help menu, and click on "About": you will either have Windows Live Mail 2009 ("Wave 3"), or the first version (12 - "Wave 2") - only those two are supported on Windows XP.

Version History

Here's the breakdown of the 4 versions in existence: while Windows Live is still actively maintained and supported, no major version of Windows Live Mail has been released since the major redesign of 2012, which included the Ribbon introduced in version 2011.

Name and VersionYearRuns on
Windows Live Desktop Mail ("Wave 2")2007Windows XP, Windows Vista
Windows Live Mail 2009 ("Wave 3")2008Windows XP, Windows Vista
Windows Live Mail 2011 ("Wave 4")2010Windows Vista, Windows 7
Windows Live Mail 2012 ("Wave 5")2012Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 Pro

What is the latest version of Windows Live Mail?

Windows Live Deskop Mail icon The latest version is Windows Live Mail 2012, called "Wave 5", available to Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. If you are running Windows XP, the latest version available for you is Windows Live Mail 2009 ("Wave 3").

Tip: the application was completely redesigned in version 2011 to incorporate the same ribbon found in Microsoft Office 2007 / 2010 / 2013 (which replaces the traditional, "classic" toolbars). See our Windows Live Mail tutorial for XP whenever tutorials on this site don't match what you see on screen!
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