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How to Get the Windows Essentials Apps

Want to install a couple of the Windows Essentials apps on your Windows 8.1 machine? Here’s how to get the Windows Essentials you want, and let the others sit and stew:

  1. Start your favorite web browser and go to Windows Essentials.

    Any browser will do, either on the tiled Metro side or desktop style.

  2. Click the Download Now button at the top.

    Your browser downloads wlsetup-web.exe, which is the Windows Live setup program.

  3. Double-click the installer or do whatever you need to do (depending on your browser) to run it.

    You may get a warning message saying the installer was downloaded from an untrusted location. Yes, it came from the Microsoft web servers. Snicker and ignore the message.

    You may get another message that says you must install .NET Framework 3.5 on your machine. Sigh once, heavily, and click Download and install this feature. (Windows 8.1 ships with .NET Framework 4.5, but some Windows Live programs require the earlier version, .NET Framework 3.5.)

  4. When the Windows Essentials 2012 installer asks if you want to install all the Windows Essentials (Recommended), click Choose the Programs You Want to Install.

    You see the program list shown.

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  5. Take a look at the list and choose the Windows Essentials programs that strike your fancy. Click Install.

    The Windows Essentials Installer churns away for a while and then comes back with a simple message that tells you to click Done to get going with the programs.

Windows, in its inimitable way, sticks new tiles on your Metro All Apps screen, one for each of the new applications that you’ve installed. Most of the tiles go into the All Apps category called Desktop, but Windows Writer goes into a group called Windows Live. No idea why.

The installer doesn’t put anything on your desktop or on your Metro Start screen, so in order to start the apps, you have to flip over to the All Apps screen or modify your Metro Start screen or desktop taskbar so you can open the programs from the desktop.

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