Issue with Photo Albums in Windows Live Mail

This is an important Technical Update for members using Windows Live Mail (on any Operating System – Win 7, 8.1 or 10).

If you attach more than one photograph to a Windows Live Mail email it automatically puts them into a Photo Album on OneDrive and sends a link to the email recipients.

Recently this mechanism has stopped working and the email gets stuck in the Outbox blocking up everything! Microsoft appears to have stopped supporting Windows Live Mail and have not issued a fix for this problem.

There is however a solution and a workaround we’d like to share with our members.

The Long Term Solution

Essentially, you just turn off the Photo Album feature and all attachments will be sent as email attachments (like every other email client does!).

    • Start Windows Live Mail
    • Select File from the top menu
    • Select Options from the dropdown menu
    • Select Mail from the top of the pop-up menu
    • Click the tab called Compose
    • Remove the tick from the box beside the option – if there’s already a tick, click on it once to make it disappear
      Convert messages to photo emails when adding pictures
    • Click OK
    • Return to Windows Live Mail and send your email

That’s it! However, there’s one caveat with this option. Emails generally shouldn’t exceed about 5Mb in size so attaching more than 3 or 4 photos from a modern camera or smartphone is all you can do. If you want to attach more photos, you have options;

  1. Use a program like Picasa to reduce them in size. If the people you are sending them to only want to see them on a screen or tablet, then 1024 pixels along the long edge will render a perfect image at the other end with a drastically reduced file size. Our Managing Photos Course will teach you how to do this in Microsoft Photos
  2. Send lots of emails with 3 or 4 pictures each. This is fine albeit a little annoying for the person at the other end when their intray fills up with messages from you. You can see the size of the attached images as you create your email so you can do the maths as you go – 1024kb=1Mb
  3. Learn how to use your free OneDrive Cloud Storage (you have 5Gb available). Upload images of your holiday or grandkids into a folder and then share the folder with your friends and family. Our Managing the Data Course will introduce you to Microsoft’s OneDrive Cloud Storage and all the cool things you can do with it.

The Work Around

This workaround is just as effective BUT you will have to remember to do it every time you email photographs. The one advantage it brings is the ability to reduce your photo size “on the fly” rather than as a separate process in Picasa (or similar). Here’s how it works…

  • Start Windows Live Mail
  • Click New Email and attach the usual address information and subject
  • Attache the photos you want to send in the normal way
  • When the window (below) showing the Photo album appears, click on the paper clip icon (orange arrow ) and the photos will become simple attachments and the email can be sent in the usual manner.


  • If you have large photos don’t forget that you can click on the size icon (blue arrow) to reduce the size before emailing. Remember that most email providers won’t allow emails larger than about 5Mb to pass through their systems.

Photo Emails Unticked

  • Warning If you forget and an email with a Photo album gets stuck in your Outbox, it’s essential that it’s deleted manually otherwise other emails will be prevented from being sent.
    • Open the Outbox
    • Identify and select (left click once) the blocking email
    • Click the Delete icon at the top to remove the email from the folder

Where to now? Well…..Microsoft no longer supports Windows Live Mail (in any form) and while it’s early days, cracks like this are already starting to appear in the product. We can work-around this problem but who knows what might break next? It may be time to consider moving to another email programme. Windows 10 comes with a new email client called Windows Mail. It’s very simple and easy to use.

SeniorNet Kapiti is regularly offering a Email using Windows Mail Course where strategies for moving from Windows Live Mail can be discussed. Otherwise, come to a How Do I…? Workshop and discuss your options with one of our Tutors.

Article Contributed by Ian McLuckie (Lead Tutor)