How do I uninstall "Windows Mail" (not Windows Live Mail).

When I want to use IMAP (or POP), I normally use Windows Live Mail. I have no need for Windows Mail. (Windows Mail, in its old incarnation, used to be called "Outlook Express").

I have looked under Control Panel. I have done Google Search. Have come up with nothing so far.

Hence my question...


I had already looked under Control Panel → Programs and Features → Add/Remove Windows Components → and Windows Mail does not appear here.

  • "Windows Mail, in its old incarnation, used to be called "Outlook Express" So is WLM, but is more flexible. – Moab Jul 8 '10 at 23:09

Windows Mail is a Windows system component and cannot be uninstalled or removed, so Microsoft has not supplied any means for that.

To remove, try renaming WinMail.exe to something else, found in C:\Program Files\Windows Mail. You might first use autoruns to see if it's set to start automatically with the computer.

If all you want is to disable WinMail, see details in the article :
How to Enable or Disable Windows Mail in Vista.

The procedure is to open the Local Group Policy Editor -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Mail, right-click on "Turn off Windows Mail application" and click on Properties, then select "(dot) Disabled or Not Configured" and click OK.


  • 2
    you should select "Enable", not "DisableNot-configured" in GPEdit. It's a double negative - "turn off" should be "enabled" to be really "off". If you *enable* this setting, access to the Windows Mail application is *denied*. - quote from the help there – jitbit Dec 22 '15 at 20:27
  • from Microsoft help quote session it said ` "If you enable this setting, access to the Windows Mail application is denied. If you disable or do not configure this setting, access to the Windows Mail application is allowed." ` – SUB-HDR May 16 '19 at 10:16

The OP's question was how to remove WinMail from a computer. The other suggestions will disable or only rename the file. If you want WinMail permanently gone from your system, this simple BAT file will do it:

:: Take ownership of the folders
TakeOwn /F "C:\Program Files\Windows Mail" /R /D Y
TakeOwn /F "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Mail" /R /D Y

:: Grant full control to Administrators, the user running this, and SYSTEM
ICACLS "C:\Program Files\Windows Mail" /T /Grant:R "Administrators":(OI)(CI)F
ICACLS "C:\Program Files\Windows Mail" /T /Grant:R %UserDomain%\%UserName%:(OI)(CI)F
ICACLS "C:\Program Files\Windows Mail" /T /Grant:R "SYSTEM":(OI)(CI)F
ICACLS "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Mail" /T /Grant:R "Administrators":(OI)(CI)F
ICACLS "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Mail" /T /Grant:R %UserDomain%\%UserName%:(OI)(CI)F
ICACLS "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Mail" /T /Grant:R "SYSTEM":(OI)(CI)F

:: Unhide WinMail.exe
Attrib -S -H "C:\Program Files\Windows Mail\WinMail.exe"
Attrib -S -H "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Mail\WinMail.exe"

:: Delete the WinMail folders
RD /S /Q "C:\Program Files\Windows Mail"
RD /S /Q "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Mail"
  • 3
    this is the best way I've found to remove windows accessories that cannot be uninstalled. – manit Mar 29 '17 at 23:31

See If there is an entry in Control Panel> Programs and Features>Add Remove Windows Components, if not, then you can attempt to delete the program folder.

  • 4
    As I mentioned in my original query "I have looked under Control Panel...". Windows Mail does not appear under "Windows Components". It cannot be uninstalled from there. – joyjit Jul 9 '10 at 16:52
  • 3
    You were not specific as to where in control panel you looked. – Moab Jul 11 '10 at 1:54

Here is an article on how to install Windows Mail on Windows 7, one could reverse engineer the instructions to remove it from your system.



After removing Winmail.exe , try creating a directory named "Winmail.exe" in its old location. That way, maybe the OS cannot put the file back because there is a directory there with the same name.


I uninstalled my Windows Mail, but I had to alter ownership and permissions to allow it. You will find the options for this within the "properties" of the Mail folder itself.

  • 5
    Can you expand your answer to explain how to accomplish this? There isn't enough information here to really be useful if the reader doesn't already know the answer. – fixer1234 Jun 16 '15 at 20:49

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