Windows Essentials 2012

Great suite of desktop tools to help you run your life


50 Votes

  • Category General
  • Program license Free
  • Version 16.4.3503.0728
  • Size 133.1 MB
  • Works under: Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7
  • Program available in English
  • Program by Microsoft

Windows Essentials 2012 is a suite of tools from Microsoft that let you do more with Windows for free.

Once upon a time, Microsoft found itself in some hot water over the integration of some branded, yet ancillary software into their operating system. Windows Essentials is one result of the fallout from that case. Essentials includes a number of useful tools developed and branded by Microsoft, but they’re not integrated. Users can choose whether or not to download and install these apps, and when you install Windows Essentials 2012, you even have the option of not installing one or more of the programs.

Windows Essentials 2012 was released specifically for the Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems, but it also supports Windows XP to a certain degree. Just note that some functionality, such as Family Safety, does not run on XP. The programs included with Windows Essentials 2012 are Photo Gallery; Movie Maker; Windows Live Mail; Windows Live Messenger; Windows Live Writer; SkyDrive for Windows, which became OneDrive; and Family Safety, which is only installed on Windows 7 because of built-in family safe functionality on Windows 8 and later versions of the operating system.

Photo Gallery is an image organizer as well as a photo editor and image sharing platform. It provides a wide range of useful tools, including tagging, searching, and import/export. Movie Maker is a video editing suite that only helps you create and edit professional videos but upload them to sharing platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Windows Live Mail is a freeware email client by Microsoft that lets you create drafts, send emails, receive and archive emails, filter for junk, and manage your contacts and calendar.

Windows Essentials 2012 also has Windows Live Messenger, which has been discontinued since release of this suite. This is a chat client but the service is no longer operational, and MS has transitioned users over to Skype. SkyDrive for Windows provides access to Microsoft’s cloud service, which provides you some storage space for free and lets you upgrade to more at a cost. Microsoft Family Safety, which is integrated into the OS after version 7, provides tools for parents to manage and monitor their children’s usage, such as Web filtering, activity reporting, screen time limits, and so forth.


  • Useful Windows tools developed by Microsoft
  • Manage email, free cloud storage, and more


  • None
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