Windows Live Mail Tutorial

Windows Live Mail could not be started (Error 0x80041161)


Windows Live Mail could not be started - Error 0x80041161 Once you've downloaded & installed Windows Live Mail on your computer (and/or other programs from the Windows Live Essentials suite), you may receive the following error message: "Windows Live Mail could not be started. It may not be installed correctly. Make sure that your disk is not full or that you are not out of memory. (0x80041161)" This tutorial walks you through four ways of fixing this problem, which is nearly always doable. We'll start with the most obvious (running out of resources), which is also the quickest to rule out. By the end of this tutorial, you should have a fully functional Windows Live Mail, without having to reinstall anything!

Step 1: Check available hard drive space and RAM

To check the amount of free space on your hard drive, launch Windows Explorer (hold down the "WinKey" - the key on your keyboard that shows a Windows logo key and press "E"). Make sure that the main drive -that's "C:\", usually- has plenty of free space. If you can't see that in your current view, just right-click on the main drive and choose "Properties". As long as you have over 200 megabytes of free space, you are technically fine (but if you are anywhere close to that low number, you urgently need to clean up your drive!) As you can tell from our screenshot, and it's probably also the case for you, there's plenty of disk space left, and RAM available: Free disk space and available memory (RAM)

RAM still available for Windows Live Mail To check that you aren't running out of memory (RAM), right-click on an empty area of the taskbar and choose "Start Task Manager". (You can also press these three keys at the same time Ctrl+Shift+Esc to launch it.) Select the Performance tab, and look at the lower left corner of the window, under "Physical Memory (MB)". "Available" shows, in megabytes, the minimum remaining RAM for programs and background processes. As long as that last number is over 300, you have enough memory for Windows Live Mail. A quicker -but less accurate way- of checking for available RAM left: just look at how many more green bars could fill the Memory graph (like the screenshot on the left).

Step 2: Confirm that you have the .NET Framework 3.5, Service Pack 1

The ".NET Framework" is a set of reusable code that some Windows applications rely on. That version of the framework should be installed on your computer (delivered by default through Windows Update), but it could have been uninstalled or turned off.

Turn Windows features on or off Open the start menu, and type "feature" in the search field: click on the "Turn Windows features on or off" at the top of the search results, under "Control Panel". Look for "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1" in the listing: is the checkbox unchecked? If so, read on; otherwise, close that popup and skip to the next section. If .NET 3.5.1 is installed and enabled, it should look like this: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 installed and enabled!

Click on the "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1" checkbox: it will become darker, not checked, because there are other features that won't be automatically enabled. No need to turn those back on. Click OK to apply. Once Windows has re-enabled that feature, try to relaunch Windows Live Mail: if you still get the error ID 0x80041161, restart your PC and try again. If Windows Live Mail still doesn't start, let's try the repair tool. Re-enabling .NET Framework for Windows Essentials 2012

Tip: if you don't see it, or get an error message when trying to enable it, go download that version of the framework from this page on

Step 3: Repair Windows Live Mail / Windows Live Essentials

For scenarios like this, the Windows Essentials installer includes a tool to address common problems. This is one step short of uninstalling Windows Live Mail, and will fix error 0x80041161 most of the time. Don't worry: this will NOT uninstall Windows Live Mail!

Uninstall Windows Live Mail from the Control Panel Open the start menu, and type "uninstall" in the search field: then, click on the first result under Control Panel, labeled "Uninstall a program". Locate Windows Live Essentials in the listing . Right-click on "Windows Essentials 2012" and choose "Uninstall/Change" from the context menu: Launch the Windows Live repair tool

When the uninstaller opens, just make sure to click on the "Repair all Windows Essentials programs" button, not the "Remove..." Let the process run its course - it may take a while (but generally less than 15 minutes). If the repair tool fixed error 0x80041161, you will get a "Done! Windows Essentials was repaired successfully" confirmation message. Click Close, and try launching Windows Live Mail: you should be back to normal, able to launch the program just like before. If this didn't work, see the next section. Windows Essentials 2012 repair tool fixing problems

Step 4: last resort - uninstall and reinstall Windows Live Essentials 2012

Hopefully you aren't reading this paragraph, which would mean that your problem was fixed with one of the techniques described above. If that's not the case, follow the same steps as above. But this time, when the Windows Essentials 2012 uninstaller opens, click on the "Remove one or more Windows Essentials programs" button.

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