How to Install Windows Essentials and Alternatives on Windows 10

Windows Essentials, as we all know, was an exciting suite of Microsoft applications put together. It had almost everything a user needs to start using the Windows operating system. However, Microsoft discontinued Windows Essentials in 2012 and split the team into standalone applications. While users can continue to use Windows Essentials on older operating systems, there are a few features that are broken and not working at all. So if you want Windows Essentials to run on the latest Windows 10, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I tried to de-build Windows Essentials and share the steps to get it working on Windows 10. I’ve also presented a few alternatives to popular Windows Essentials apps.

Install Windows Essentials on Windows 10 PC

Before we move on to our tutorial, let’s learn a little about Windows basics and discuss some of the reasons why Microsoft is deprecating its beloved suite of apps.

What Happened to Windows Essentials?

Windows Essentials was released in 2006 with the release of Windows XP. Windows Essentials has become quite popular because It had the most fun and exciting apps Microsoft was developing at the time.. For example, there was Live Messenger for instant messaging; Photo Gallery for viewing and sharing photos; Mail for e-mail communication; the hugely popular Movie Maker for creating some great movies; Live Writer for blogging and OneDrive for uploading files to the cloud.

However, Microsoft deprecated Windows Essentials in 2012 and it is no longer in development. The reason for stopping Windows Essentials is because: Microsoft is putting all its focus on Windows 10. Currently, Windows 10 comes preloaded with modern apps with similar functionality to its predecessors. While it’s understandable for Microsoft to keep moving forward with modern apps, users still want to use the plain suite of Windows Essentials. So, if you want to install Windows Essentials on your Windows 10 PC, follow the steps in the section below.

Steps to Install Windows Essentials in 2020

In this section, we will learn how to install Windows Essentials on Windows 10. Although Windows Essentials is officially deprecated, archives the last stable build Windows Essentials 2012. We will use the same build to install it on our Windows 10 PC. Here’s how it goes.

1. Download Windows Essentials 2012 from: here. Click the “wlsetup-all.exe” file to download the setup file.

2. Now run the setup file. You will not need an internet connection as it is an offline installer. Again, If the .NET framework has not been updated to the latest version On your PC, it will then download and install the framework first from the internet.

3. After that, you will be presented with two options. what about meInstall any apps or select programs available in Windows Essentials you want to install. Click on your preferred option and continue.

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4. You will see this screen if you want to select apps. Select your app selection and click the “Install” button.

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5. Windows Essentials 2012 will start installing the selected programs. So be patient as it will take some time. After the installation is complete, you will be prompted with this dialog.

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6. Now you can Go ahead and use Windows Essentials apps as you wish. Here is Windows Movie Maker running on Windows 10.

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Note: Facebook, Vimeo etc due to API changes. Integration with various sites is broken. Thus, you will not be able to interact with other services directly from the application.

Windows Essentials Alternative

In this section, we will know about all the Windows Essentials alternatives. While Windows Essentials is great, There are a few features broken due to API changes. Also, the UI looks old and doesn’t quite match the Windows 10 design language. Anyway, if you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 and want to discover a new suite of apps that can replace Windows Essentials, read on and find out the alternatives.

1. Windows Movie Maker Alternative – Microsoft Story Remix

First of all, I want to talk about Windows Movie Maker because it was the most popular of all Windows Essentials applications. Back then, Windows Movie Maker was really cool and feature-rich. I loved creating short films with images, videos and audio synced in the background. However, with Windows 10, Microsoft has replaced Windows Movie Maker as a new feature. Microsoft Story Remix. This feature is part of the Photos app in Windows 10 and you can use it to create stunning videos. Similar to WMM, you can import images, videos, audios and much more. You also have a new set of 3D effects, video filters and transition effects that are really cool and give videos a nice look. While WMM was good for its time, Microsoft Story Remix is ​​a modern app with new features and improvements. You should have a look.

Windows Movie Maker

The Photos app comes pre-installed in Windows 10, so search for Photos and open it. Now, click “New Video” on the top bar to start using Microsoft Story Remix. If you can’t find the Photos app, here’s the direct link.

Upload Photos (Free)

2. Windows Live Mail Alternative – Mail

Windows Live Mail was a pretty good email client, but there were some issues with automatic deletion of emails. However, Windows Live Mail is a Modern looking Mail app on Windows 10. It has almost every feature of Windows Live Mail and I can say it brings a ton of improvements. On the plus side, it supports notifications, multiple email protocols, It has a beautiful user interface and brings stable experience. Moreover, Calendar and Tasks are now integrated with the Mail app so you will always be aware of your schedule. If you want to replace Windows Live Mail, the new Mail app is worth a look.

Windows Live Mail

The Mail app comes pre-installed in Windows 10. Just search for the Mail app and you’ll have it. In case you can’t find it, here is the direct link to the Mail app.

Upload Mail (Free)

Windows Photo Gallery was definitely a highlight among Windows Essentials apps. You can edit all your photos on PC and edit them without leaving the window. There was also a photo sharing option via OneDrive and Facebook. Again, Windows 10 has a standalone Photos app It can do everything Windows Photo Gallery can do. You can organize all your photos and videos in a single application, create and organize albums. Most of the work The Photos app can detect identical human faces and organize them in separate folders. It can also organize photos and videos by similar locations. As you can see, the new Photos app in Windows 10 is quite capable and could be a great alternative to Windows Photo Gallery.

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Windows Photo Gallery

The Photos app comes pre-installed in Windows 10, so search for it and you’ll get it. If you can’t find it, here is the direct link to the Photos app.

Upload Photos (Free)

4. OneDrive

The OneDrive app that comes with Windows Essentials 2012 is outdated and you need to use the latest version of OneDrive on Windows 10. OneDrive has gone through many active development iterations and now supports seamless syncing without any lag issues. You can instantly upload photos, files, folders and large volumes of data. The big part is that any changes to local files are reflected in the cloud in real time. To summarize, if you are using the old OneDrive that came with Windows Essentials, you should install the latest version.


OneDrive comes pre-installed in Windows 10. Anyway, here is the direct link for the latest OneDrive build.

Install OneDrive (Free)

5. Family Safety Alternative – Family Group

Family Safety was part of Windows Essentials in Windows 7. It had several options, such as web filtering and access to the activity history of family members registered with Family Safety. But after 2012, Microsoft removed Family Safety from the operating system. A unified portal on the web called Family Group. If you’re a parent, you can access your kids’ activity history from the Family Group dashboard. You can also set screen time limits, filter content, share your Office 365 subscription, access your kids’ location, and much more. We can see that the new Family Group is a very solid management center for controlling and accessing various aspects of your family members. I would recommend going with Family Group rather than the limited Family Safety app.

Family Safety

You can access the Family Group dashboard on the web at: here.

6. Windows Live Writer Alternative – Open Live Writer

Windows Live Writer was one of the popular Windows Essentials apps for bloggers and publishers. WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace etc. Supported many blogging platforms, including For writers, it was a really great app with various features and integration with many blogging platforms. However, Microsoft has chosen to discontinue Windows Live Writer and there is currently no official alternative in Windows 10. But there is nothing to worry about. .NET foundation forked Windows Live Writer and created Open Live Writer. The new Open Live Writer looks and works very much like its old predecessor. Integration with various blogging platforms has been fixed and you can now use Open Live Writer without any problems. The app is available in Microsoft Store so you can get it easily.

Windows Live Writer

Install Open Live Writer (Free)

Install Windows Essentials 2012 and Be Productive

So our article on Windows Essentials and how to get it running on Windows 10 ends here. However, I still recommend you to turn to the alternatives I mentioned in the article. The alternatives are pretty good and polished with familiar features and great performance. However, if you are someone who is familiar with the old interface and features, you can very well install all the Windows Essentials applications on your PC. Also, be sure to check out our list of the best Windows 10 apps. There you will discover some new applications. To sum it up, if you liked the article and want to share your thoughts on Windows Essentials, comment below and let us know.

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