Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Solutions: How to leave 'dreadful' email behind

Recently, I changed to Windows 8 and found Windows 8 Mail to be dreadful. So I looked for a way to make Vista's Windows Mail work on Windows 8. Everything went smoothly until I tried running WinMail.exe, but it would not run. Is there any way that I can get Windows Mail to work on Windows 8?

Nobody is happy with Windows 8 Mail. I recommend leaving Windows Mail behind. Windows Live Mail 2012 works on Windows 8 and can be downloaded as part of the Microsoft Live Essentials 2012 package (

For any Windows Live Mail users moving to a Windows 8 PC, here is how to make the transition as easy as possible: Install Windows Live Mail 2012 on your new Windows 8 PC. Run Windows Live Mail, but cancel out when it asks for account information. Using File Explorer, go to C:\Users\John\AppData\Local\Microsoft (replace 'John' with your user id name). You will need to turn on the "Hidden items" view by clicking "View" and checking "Hidden items." Rename the existing Windows Live Mail folder to Windows Live Mail_EMPTY.

On your old PC, go to the same folder (remember to click "Folder options," "View," "View hidden files") and copy the Windows Live Mail folder to a flash or USB drive. Place that folder on the Windows 8 PC in the same location. Start Windows Live Mail. All your accounts, folders and emails will now be in place. Verify your account passwords when prompted and you're set.

I use Windows XP, and an icon always shows up and says my computer might be at risk, if I click on it. It then says "automatic updates is turned off" However, if I check to turn them on, the message comes on that it can't be automatically turned on and I should do it manually. When I go into the control panel, the automatic update is checked. Should I be worried?

Possibly. We need to distinguish between Windows Updating and Microsoft Security Essentials automatic updating. It sounds as if you're getting the message from Security Essentials (or maybe something that has taken over Security Essentials), but you're checking Windows Update. My recommendation is to run the Microsoft Online scanner ( and/or MalwareBytes Antimalware ( and/or Windows Offline Defender (

Make sure you are getting clean scans from all. At that point, you may also need to uninstall/reinstall Security Essentials if the automatic updates still will not turn on.

By the way, Microsoft has just announced the sunset date (end of support) for Microsoft XP. As of April 2014, there will no longer be service and security updates available. Windows XP PCs will still work, and as far as I can tell, Security Essentials updates will continue. But without operating system (Windows) security updates, there will be some risk involved.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: How to leave 'dreadful' email behind 04/12/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 12, 2013 8:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84


    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General


    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  5. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest


    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.