Ogri's Playground - ogri.me | Enabling Windows Mail in Windows 7Outlook Express, to put it mildly, is not the ideal mail client, but it was (and still is - for users of XP and earlier versions of Windows) popular due to ease of its using and because it is integrated into the operating system. We know that it has been replaced with Windows Mail in Vista, but this "new" mail client is not much different from OE on the interface and functionality. The buggy Vista had not have long life and finally gave way to Windows 7. It has been decided by Microsoft to deactivate WinMail and to promote Windows Live mailer instead. I have often been configuring my customers' computers with freshly obtained Win7, designed to replace the old ones running XP and below, and been transferring an information including OE accounts, messages and addresses. Most of these customers are unadvanced users (otherwise they would manage this task themselves) and want to have mailer they were accustomed to over the years of using. Hereby a method of forcible enabling of WinMail in Win7 described in this article might come in handy.

The folder WinMail is present in Windows 7, but the program's user interface (msoe.dll) is deactivated and locked. It's required to unlock msoe.dll and replace it with the active one of Vista.

First of all you should determine whether you have 32-bit or 64-bit version of the system. When in doubt - click: How to determine whether my PC is running Windows 7 of 32 bit or 64 bit. Screenshots are clickable.

If you've already tried to run WinMail, it can stay in the processes and thus be locked. Before performing the procedure, remove it from the process list if you know how, but if you don't - you'd better restart your computer.

Now download and unzip:

Date 2011-02-06 System  Windows Filesize 1.72 MB Download 23815 Download
The archive contains all necessary stuff for our purpose. So you can start the process:

1. Run the WinMailEdit.reg file.

It is very important to do it before you perform steps 3 and 4!

2. Run the command file unhide.cmd. This will remove the attribute "hidden" off the file WinMail.exe.

3. Unlock msoe.dll. For that do the following:

a) Run Add_Take_Ownership.reg, thereby activating the Take Ownership service. (The package also contains Remove_Take_Ownership.reg for deactivating of the service.)

b) Open folder Windows Mail in Windows Explorer. Its location is:
%SystemDrive%\Program Files\Windows Mail.

Note that if the OS is 64-bit, you are still working with the folder Program Files, not Program Files (x86), which also has a subfolder Windows Mail.

c) Right click on the file msoe.dll. Select Take Ownership in the pop-up menu.

4. Replace the original but disabled library msoe.dll (back it up beforehand, just in case) with the operating one of Vista. For a 32-bit system you can find it in the archive msoe_32.zip, for 64-bit - in msoe_64.zip respectively.

That's it, the program is working now. You can open accounts or import data from OE.

After installing of some hotfixes or service packs Windows Mail might does not open again. In that case reiterate steps 3 b, c (and if you have deactivated Take Ownership after previous attempts, so do also a), and 4. Do not forget about this.


UPD 1: Following user feedback, the second part of the article has been written - Enabling Windows Mail in Windows 7 - retrospective review three years later. Some special cases when any step didn't work the way as it is presented here, are reconsidered in detail. If this failure happened to you - click the link - and, most likely, there you will find a solution.

UPD 2: For Windows 8 and 8.1, 32 and 64 bit: Enabling Windows Mail in Windows 8.

UPD 3: For Windows 10 after Fall Creators Update (v.1709): Implementation of Windows Mail into Windows 10 version 1709.

UPD 4: Windows 10 after v.1709 - now MAPI is also back to work!!: Implementation of Windows Mail into Windows 10 version 1709. MAPI restored!.



0 # Thelma 2015-04-14 02:26
Since the computer did updates yesterday I am unable to open Win Mail. How can you send me a message if I cannot open mail??
0 # Ogri 2015-04-14 18:26
Hi Thelma,
You've sent me this question using the site's feedback page, and I indeed cannot send you my reply if your Win Mail is not working and you don't use WebMail or different email clients such as the ones on smartphone or tablet. That's why I'm answering here in the comments, assuming that this can be interesting for others too.

Actually, the answer is in the end of the article. Some system updates may put Win Mail back into inactive state. Just redo the described process.

My customers have encountered this issue recently and applied to me for the help. Reiteration of the process recovered the WebMail fuctionality. All the settings were remained kept intact.
0 # emileo 2015-12-17 07:28
Hi the folder winmail is not presented in my windows mail folder
can you help?
emileo kahil
0 # Ogri 2016-01-04 22:54
Hi Emileo. Sorry, I've missed your message. If it's still actual to you, let me know and I'll upload the whole Windows Mail folder.
0 # Bob 2015-12-31 18:13
I did everything here (I have a windos 7 64 bit) and seemed to have no problems, but I still can't find or figure out how to open windows mail
+1 # Ogri 2016-01-04 23:21
If you don't see the WinMail.exe file in your Windows Mail folder, unhide.cmd probably did not work correctly. Try to launch it as Administrator of from real Administrator account (Super Admin) - see the sequel of this article - ogri.me/en/hard-soft/847-enabling-windows-mail-in-windows-7-retrospective-review-three-years-later, namely - Step 2 - Launch of unhide.cmd.

Even if WinMail.exe is still hidden, you can see it in the folder by opening the Folder Options dialog (Computer -> menu item Organize -> Folder and search options), click there View tab and there check "Show hidden files, folders and drives" radio button and uncheck "Hide protected operating system files" checkbox. You can then create a shortcut to the WinMail.exe, for example, on your Desktop and set options back to their default values. In that case open Windows Mail by running the shortcut.
Ronnell Copeland
0 # Ronnell Copeland 2016-03-06 11:03
followed all instructions with error message "Windows mail could not be started. The application was unable to open the windows mail message store. you computer may be out of memory or your disk is full.(0x80070002, 2)
0 # Karl 2018-01-24 12:53
It works great. But since the installation, Windows updates are not functional.
-1 # Ogri 2018-01-27 21:54
Coincidence. It cannot cause that. Probably your system has other glitces and needs to be cleaned up.
0 # Karl 2018-01-28 02:48
It is not a coincidence. Probably a virus.
0 # Ogri 2018-01-28 12:54
The archive does not contain any virus. Your problem is different.

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