Most people will want to install the Windows Live Essentials Pack. The Windows Live Essentials Pack is a group of applications that Microsoft offers as a free add-on to Windows 7. Windows Live Essentials Pack includes such key applications as Photo Gallery, Messenger, and Mail. Here’s how to get the Windows Live Essentials you want — and let the others sit and stew:

  1. Choose Start→Getting Started→Get Windows Live Essentials.

    Windows 7 fires up Internet Explorer and sends you to the Live Essentials download page. Alternatively, you can use any browser you like and go to the same page.

  2. Click Download and choose Save the file.

    The Download button is on the right side of the page. The Windows Live Installer is transferred to your computer.

  3. Double-click the installer to run it.


    You see the Windows Live Installer.

    If you used a different browser to download the file, you might need to go to your browser's download section to find the installer.

  4. Choose the applications that strike your fancy. Click Install.

    The most popular programs are Windows Live Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery, and Movie Maker. After you've clicked Install, the Windows Live Installer churns away for a while, and then comes back with a scary set of choices.

  5. Deselect all the check boxes and then click Continue.

    Essentially, Microsoft wants to take over your Internet life. The first choice changes your default search engine in all browsers to Live Search. It also scours your computer looking for any program that might change this setting and turns it off. The second box changes your home page to It also forces this change in all browsers and programs. The final option sends all your Windows usage history, browser history, lists of songs you listen to and videos you watch, and just about anything else you do to Mother Microsoft so that the company can "improve" Windows Live.

  6. When the final panel asks you to sign up for a Windows Live ID, ignore what it says and click Close.

    The Windows Live Essentials you chose are installed and ready to use. In fact, you'll immediately see the Windows Live Messenger sign-in screen. If you click the X box to close Messenger, it informs you that it will continue to run so that you can be alerted if somebody tries to send you a message.