Many people are complaining about a completely undocumented version of the Windows Live Mail 2012 patch KB 3093594, dated Jan. 8 in Windows Update and distributed about the same time as this month's Patch Tuesday.
This latest version of KB 3093594 has been accused of slowing Windows Live Mail to a standstill and "losing" both sent mail and folders. It looks as though the Jan. 8 version of KB 3093594 is the same as the Dec. 17 version of KB 3093594, which was designed to fix the Dec. 14 version of KB 3093594 but failed miserably.
On Dec. 14, I wrote how Windows Live Mail 2012 patch KB 3093594 had a nasty habit of crashing Windows Live Mail and freezing Windows. The patch was distributed after Windows Live Mail customers with @outlook.com, @hotmail, @live, or @msn email accounts received messages -- apparently from Microsoft -- warning that their systems wouldn't work "in a few weeks." Using the same distribution technique as standard malware, customers were told to click on a link (from an email message!) that would download and install the fix.
On Dec. 18, I wrote about the new version of KB 3093594. The KB article now states:
Known issues about this update
Issue 1: After you install this update (that was released before December 17, 2015), you may find that the program crashes soon after start.
Solution: If you installed this update before December 17, 2015, you may have experienced a crash in the Windows Live Mail app soon after start. To fix this issue, download and reinstall the same update that's described in this article.
Issue 2: After you install this update that's released on December 17, 2015, you may experience mail sync issues.
This issue occurs because of a server-side problem. Microsoft is researching this issue and will post more information in this article when the information becomes available.
Reader LL wrote to me at the time with a description of the problem, saying that the Dec. 17 version of KB 3093594 works if your account on outlook.com says "Outlook Mail (Preview)." If it says anything else, your system will crash.
Now it looks like we have a new version of KB 3093594 dated Jan. 8. But the KB article has not been modified and there's no notification of the update that I can find. However, poster MichaelBuckle on the Microsoft Answers Forum says of this version:
Using a third-party program called Windows Update MiniTool, I downloaded the file from Windows Update without having to install it. I can confirm that it is the existing patch re-issued on 17 December 2015, and not a new fix.
If you got suckered into re-installing the patch, you aren't alone.
Poster Dori on AskWoody.com says:
I had forgotten all about this problem and yesterday installed KB3093594, which was included in the general Windows Update. Since my WLMail 2012 (hooked up to Outlook.com) was working fine and I had seen that support for WLM was being ended I should have excluded this update, however…
Anyway, operating WLMail is now like walking through treacle and the Sent box is behaving peculiarly, i.e. the sent mail is visible online in Outlook.com but not on the desktop in the client. Even worse, I could not find the update in my Installed Update list to uninstall it! This is even though it is there in the Update History.
On the Microsoft Answers forum, poster jiggy1 says:
I have the latest updates and the issues I STILL have with windows live mail since KB3093594 are:
1. Font changes on headers on launching mail with new emails
2. Message 'sent to' column STILL shows the recipient's name with the account column empty ( I cure this by moving each mail to the junk folder and back again but it creates 2 emails one of which I then delete )
3. My folders and sub folders sometimes disappear from time to time, which I am able to make visible again by creating an empty folder with any name and then delete it (in the same location). This makes the folder re appear normally again!
4. Emails sent take ages to appear in the sent folder, and don't show in the outbox, they are in limbo somewhere???
None of the suggested fixes work permanently, only those I have listed above. They need to sort this ASAP!
If you're using Windows Live Mail 2012, my first suggestion is to give up. Microsoft apparently doesn't care about WLM and hasn't devoted enough resources to solving the problem it created. My advice is to move to Outlook.com or (my favorite) Gmail.
Microsoft's suggestion in the original email is to "upgrade to Windows 10 and use the built in Mail application to stay connected and get the latest feature updates" -- a recommendation that's so patently self-serving it's embarrassing. The folks at Microsoft know darn well that the Windows "Universal" Mail app is underpowered and buggy.
I guess this is what it's coming to: patches that break things and don't get pulled or fixed; patches that look and behave like malware; undocumented, stealthy patches. It's harder and harder to trust Microsoft to maintain the software it produces.