Windows Essentials 2012 Release Notes

Windows Essentials 2012

This page provides late-breaking or other information about Windows Essentials 2012.

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What operating system do I need to install Windows Essentials 2012?

Windows Essentials 2012 programs will run on Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit versions), Windows 8.1 (32-bit or 64-bit versions), Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 and the Platform Update for Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2012. Additional installation requirements might be necessary to run Windows Essentials 2012 on Windows Server or N SKUs.

If you're using Windows XP, go to the Microsoft Download Center to install Windows Live Essentials.

Windows Live Essentials 2011 is no longer available to download for Windows Vista. Learn more

Windows Live Family Safety doesn't install on Windows 8.1

Windows Live Family Safety has been replaced by Microsoft Family Safety, which is now part of Windows 8.1. For this reason, you can’t install Windows Live Family Safety on Windows 8.1. If you upgrade your Windows 7 PC to Windows 8.1, you can’t run or upgrade Windows Live Family Safety. Instead, as part of Windows 8.1 you'll get Microsoft Family Safety, which includes all the features of Windows Live Family Safety (and we've introduced some new features, too).

Animated GIFs and emoticons are turned off in software mode

If your PC uses software rendering instead of hardware rendering, you won't see any animations in Windows Essentials 2012.

Movie Maker and Photo Gallery must be installed together

Windows Movie Maker and Windows Photo Gallery can only be installed together because they share many features. That means that if you have an earlier version of either Movie Maker or Photo Gallery installed on your PC, you'll have both programs installed after you upgrade to the new versions.

Microsoft OneDrive installed in place of Windows Live Mesh

If you have Windows Live Mesh installed, it's automatically removed when you install Windows Essentials 2012, and Microsoft OneDrive will be installed in its place. To sync everything that's on your OneDrive to all your PCs, and even on a Mac, you'll need to install OneDrive on each PC.

Messenger is no longer available

Messenger was retired in April 2013, and is no longer available on most operating systems. Your Messenger contacts will come with you when you update to Skype. For more information, visit the Messenger has moved to Skype page.

Windows Essentials 2012 doesn't include Messenger Companion

If you have Messenger Companion on your PC, it will be removed when you install Windows Essentials 2012. Messenger Companion is no longer supported and won't run in combination with Windows Essentials 2012.