RIP WINDOWS LIVE MAIL
Surpassed in popularity only by Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail (WLM) has now joined its predecessor in "No Longer Supported" heaven. While most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) stopped helping customers with WLM when Microsoft first announced end of support, at least we could still install and use it... most of the time.
No more. Microsoft has put up another wall to attempt to finally kill off WLM and now gives an error when we try to install or reinstall it. Yes, there are ways to force it to install (for now), but to what end? It's over and it's time to move on. "Not supported" translates to "not safe to use" if you value your identity, data and computer.
What are the options? Here are a few.
1. You can keep your existing email address, and use it from the provider's web mail web site. That means any browser, from any device that connects to the Internet, as long as you know your email address and password. For Time Warner Cable - now Spectrum - you can go to https://mail.twc.com/ , then enter your email address and password. You'll see your current messages there, and you can send and receive new messages. You can't import your old messages, which is why you should keep your Windows Live Mail on your computer - to access your saved and sent emails. Once you've been using the webmail site for a while, all the messages you send and receive will be available there - up to the provider's storage cap. TWC/Spectrum has a cap of about 1GB. Your contacts (email addresses) can be exported from WLM and imported into web mail.
Here are the current restrictions, per the Spectrum web site at https://www.timewarnercable.com/en/support/faqs/faqs-internet/e-mailacco/are-there-any-email-restrictio.html:
To ensure that our email service performs well, we have placed restrictions on the size of email sent and received as well as the overall capacity of your TWC Mail account.
Each TWC Mail account has a default of about 1 GB of storage. The owner of the master email account can adjust the size of individual mailboxes to distribute the allotment as desired.
Subscribers can send emails of up to 30 MB in total message size, including attachments. Attachments can be up to 20 MB. Subscribers are allowed to send emails to up to 1,000 recipients every 24 hours per IP address. Emails can have up to 99 recipients in each of the "To" and "CC" fields.
Subscribers can receive emails of up to 30MB, including attachments. Adequate storage space must be available for the email to be received.
2. You can install Mozilla Thunderbird, which lives on your computer and either stores the messages themselves on the web (IMAP) or on your computer (POP). It's a great way to save your emails, especially if you have a lot of them and go over the cap. Thunderbird is free, open-source software, which means you can use it without cost, but if you like it a donation to the project is appreciated.
3. If you're using Windows 10 you can use the included Mail app. Most people agree it's too basic, too hard to use, and not ready for Prime Time.
4. You can create a web mail account with Google (Gmail), Microsoft (Outlook/MSN/Hotmail), Yahoo, or many other providers, or your own domain. At any point in time people will prefer one webmail product over the others. They all work the same way - you go to a web site from any browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Edge, Google Chrome, Safari, etc.) and any device connected to the Internet, then log in with your email address and password. Web mail is inherently slower with fewer features than a local email client such as WLM, Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook (included in the Microsoft Office Suite such as MSO365 subscription). Most people don't like web mail after using a local client for many years. We get used to it, because it's convenient, efficient and the way forward.
While web mail is slow, in my 20 years' experience online Microsoft's Hotmail/Outlook/MSN is about the slowest. Yahoo and AOL are old, the companies are in flux, and the email address may not present the image you'd like. Time Warner's own webmail site has been malfunctioning for months, at their own admission.
Web mail is free. Which is good and bad. Free is usually good, until there's no one to call for help. And when you're forced to look at ads while you read your email, because not much is truly free and nobody gives you their costly and time-consuming labor for nothing. Privacy? Whether or not you read the privacy policies, you should assume your data is being collected and sold, no matter what web site you visit. It's certainly possible one service is more aggressive at data collection and sales than others, but only for one moment in time until the rest catch up.
Considering the options, and understanding many people use Android phones with Google accounts now, plus the fact that Gmail gives you 15GB free storage instead of 1, plus a suite of free apps that actually work most of the time, I've moved over to Gmail. Google Drive is a great way to store documents and pictures, Google Calendar actually syncs with my Outlook Calendar, and Gmail is probably faster and more reliable than most.
You don't have to give up your old email address; it's always a good idea to have more than one. But give the free Gmail a try if it's time to abandon Windows Live Mail for you.
Need help with the changeover, or backing up your data? I can help. Contact info below.
Cathy Contant 315-573-4905 firstname.lastname@example.org