Windows Live Mail 2012

There is known problem with WLM 2012 and categories.  Basically, when sending an email to your category list of email addresses, they either do not get mailed or only a few do.  The best solution appears to be to install WLM 2011 which does not experience this problem.  I am willing to do that but I don't know the steps required to ensure no lost of data.  I have already exported the WLM email messages and contacts.  However, I have no idea that the exported contacts will keep the categories in tack.  To repopulate them would be very time consuming since we're looking at 30 categories comprising of 10 to 70 emails each.   So here are my questions:
1.  How do I safely install WLM 2011 without losing all of the WLM 2012 data?  If I install 2011 without uninstalling WLM 2012 first, will the 2011 version find the email messages and contacts?  If it does, do you know if the contact categories will be preserved.  What are the specific steps you would recommend to make this back version migration work?   WLM 2011 is not installed on this system.  I believe this was a migration from OE to WLM 2012.
2.  If the answer is that the categories will not be preserved, then can anyone think of a work around that might work to save the category data.  I've tried copying and pasting into a spreadsheet but that didn't work.
3.  Are there any commercial migration programs that are available for fee that will successfully move all of this information to GMAIL including the categories?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

There is known problem with WLM 2012 and categories <<is there?
Also importing this into Gmail may not be possible in the current format
Save then as CSV
I have exported all my contacts lists successfully including any categories I have also imported my emails fro Outlook Express no problems to my Microsoft account associated with windows Live .
If there is a problem with your categories that can be caused by misspelt addresses, duplicates/ dead email addresses.
To get your contacts folders go to C drive >Users>yourname user name>AppData>Local
scroll all the way down to Microsoft> then scroll down to Windows live
C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live<< copy out the entire two folders then import them into your email client.
Having a full copy of these ensures you have everything. Unless you move windows you'll always have these folders in your windows 7 to fall back to anyway.
Basically, when sending an email to your category list of email addresses
In windows Live 2012 which I am using on windows 7
 if I want send an email to a specific set of people I create the email click in CC it provides a drop down box list of all your contacts, clicking on individual contact then click the CC below  
click on another contact then CC
another contact and then the CC
puts them into the send to panel
 keep clicking on different contacts then the cc below until your done then click ok.
The CC line will now contain all those you selected and will send the email to them only.
If you Favourites or special columns use them
 CC emailsOkay you should find the next steps here use the post
Log in to with your "Windows Live Mail" account.
Click on Manage(Placed in Header)
Click on Export to and other services.
Save the generated .csv file on your computer.
Log in to your Gmail account.

Click on Gmail at the top-left corner of your Gmail page, then choose Contacts.
Click the More button above the contacts list and select Import....
Click the Choose File button.
Select the .csv file to upload and click the Import button.
How to>successfully move all of this information to GMAIL including the categories? 

Maybe if I can help you learn to use Windows Live Mail so you better understand it.
regards Merete
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... There is known problem with WLM 2012 and categories << is there? "

==>  Absolutely.    Categories do NOT work correctly in 2012 unless you have an active on-line connection with a Microsoft account.    This has been know for over 2 years, and it's very clear from the complete lack of any attention this issue that Microsoft has no intention of fixing it.    There's a long discussion of the problem in a  25-page long (and counting) Microsoft Community thread, but no resolution -- every once-in-a-while a Microsoft admin will ask some questions and it looks like there may be some interest, but nothing has ever happened.    It's crystal clear from this thread that the issue is NOT going to be resolved in 2012.

If you're interested, have a read through the thread:

Clearly one "solution" is to only use this with a live Microsoft account, but that isn't necessary with WLM 2011, and shouldn't be with 2012.    Many folks simply want to use Live Mail as the mail client for their existing mail provider ... and until 2012 it worked fine;  and even with 2012 it works fine except for the category issue.

What Tony's looking for here is a way to export the 2012 categories in a  way that they will transition to 2011.

I know the contacts export/import fine, but I don't think the categories are preserved in the process.    I don't have a 2012 system I can test this with.

Tony -- One simple test is to use the exported contacts file and import them into a WLM 2011 install on a spare system [perhaps a VM] to see if the categories happen to be included.

If they aren't then building 30 categories may be the best approach -- as long as you have a list of them, it shouldn't take more than an hour or two.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Well I have an active online Microsoft account, Chrome wont let me go near anything Microsoft withouthaving to log into Live
so I would not have known about this   :)
thank you Garycase for the headsup.

tonyadam don't you have a Microsoft account?
IT Pros Agree: AI and Machine Learning Key

We’d all like to think our company’s data is well protected, but when you ask IT professionals they admit the data probably is not as safe as it could be.

Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... how would I have know that :) "  ==>  Since you asked ...

The OP said there was a know problem;  you weren't aware of it ... but if you had Googled  "Live Mail 2012 category problem"  you'd have seen quite a few links to this issue -- in fact, the very first one is the thread I noted above.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
By the way, I had asked a question about this a couple years ago when my wife was using WLM 2012 ... and never did get a resolution here either (I've also looked in the Microsoft thread).   But there IS a workaround that worked for my wife -- see the last comment I posted in the thread from a couple years ago.   Kind of a pain, however, as you always have to remember to do the expansion manually ...
Yes I just read your link, I didn't feel the need to google since I am using Windows Live Mail 2012
I had quirks with the update but not only WLM but also WMM, I went back to WLM 11 and then created my MS account etc then upgraded back to WLM 2012.
Here in Australia our ISP used to have it's own Post Office on thier web page then it decided to go to Microsoft instead and this
Personally I don't like this either and have to go there and constantly delete all my emails from EE over there.
I had a dreadful time with setting up my Partner's computer with windows Live Mail 2012  Apparently because of the old Hotmail was corrupted I had to go through Microsoft to get it fixed.
 WLM 2012 and the now  wouldn't function until the old hotmail was fixed, windows live mail constantly received emails from Microsoft about Hotmail online web based was spamming?
He hadn't used Hotmail for 6 years so that was a false call.
But note there was still some connection from the old to the new.
Hotmail messenger is now Skype.
Too many eggs in one basket for my liking.
I just use the method of CC ing
Thanks for sharing the link with your wife's dilemma.
Can't really understand what the problem is/was as I haven't experienced it.
But guaranteed with Microsoft all his products suffer from updates and patches which I believe damage how our Microsoft windows how the programs run.
tonyadamRetiredAuthor Commented:
I was able to test the backward migration (WLM 2012 to WLM 2011) approach on a test system..  I created a fresh copy of WLM 2012 and created a small list of contacts and a couple of categories.  I then uninstalled WLM2012, (you actually need to uninstall all of Windows Essentials), downloaded and installed WLM2011 from the Windows Essentials 2011 package.  To my pleasant surprise, all of my mail, contacts and categories were present.  I purposefully did not save any of the WLM files prior to the uninstall.  This appears to be the best approach to fixing something that MS doesn't want to fix.

Merte, thank you for your answer.  I think I'm aware of how to transfer email and contacts from one application to another.  The problem I was having is that there was no way to "grab" the contacts within a category.  Everything I tried did not work.  Generally, you can click on the "+" sign next to the category and see the contacts but WLM 2012 would not let me do that.  If I could have done that, I could transfer them to Excel spread sheet and preserved them.  

I thank Gary for his help with this problem.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows 7

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.