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 23732 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!.


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