Why does Windows Live Writer crash?!

imageOne of the ubiquitous questions in the Windows Live Writer support forum is ‘why does Windows Live Writer crash?’ or ‘why does Windows Live Writer not want to start?’ and these are valid and good questions… and the forum techs don’t normally have a good answer; it’s very frustrating to users…

It never seems to amaze me on the level that Microsoft creates and distributes these applications; and they can’t provide answers as to why they don’t work— if anyone should understand why they wouldn’t Microsoft should know…

So, back to Windows Live Writer and it not starting or crashing.

Windows Live Writer can crash for several reasons:

A bad install of Windows Live Writer

Let’s just say that it’s possible that you honestly have a bad install of Windows Live Writer. I have not seen an instance yet where Windows Live Writer installed and it was corrupt; the issue more likely a corrupt install of something else.

Before you install Windows Live Writer on a machine, ensure it has all it’s system updates from Microsoft. Exit all programs from the desktop, including the ones from the system tray prior to running the install. And lastly I would NOT use the web installer from Microsoft, I would use the distributable version of Windows Live Essentials.

This is the standalone redistributable installer here:

Keeping mind that Windows Live Essentials 2011 isn’t supported on XP; so before you go upgrading – check the specifications.



Windows Live Writer XML file
[link glossary/auto-linking file]

If you were using Windows Live Writer and it just stopped working on you one day; YOU could be the problem.

Windows Live Writer has a nice feature to allow you, the author, to compose your stuff and if the word or phrase comes in to play as your writing Windows Live Writer will turn it in to a LIVE link to a website [or something].

The problem with this is, the application [Windows Live Writer] doesn’t govern this area very well.

What I mean is, the XML file Windows Live Writer creates allows for duplicate entries to be created, thus will crash Windows Live Writer upon loading.

According to the Windows Live Writer team, the application can be prevented from running by having a duplicate AUTOLINK in the applications XML listing [LINKGLOSSARY.XML ].

The plug-in folder to Windows Live Writer is:
     %appdata%\Windows Live Writer\LinkGlossary

Rename the linkglossary.xml file to linkglossary.old
     If you remove the file [delete it] a new one will be created the next time you start Windows Live Writer.

If you’re handy with XML, or don’t mind trying, you can look through the XML file and remove the duplicates.

And then restart Windows Live Writer; see if that works for you.


Windows Live Writer plug-ins

One of the strongest things about Windows Live Writer is the extensibility of the application. things that Windows Live Writer can’t do natively, developers can establish plug-ins to fix those nitches, but…

developers can also create plug-ins that aren’t well formed, or if they’re NEW developers, they could create plug-ins that can easily crash and cause frustration. This looks really bad for Windows Live Writer. Because the users doesn’t know WHO caused the crash, they just know it crashed. And because Windows Live Writer is visible; they’re to blame.

Try removing the plug-ins from the equation.

Link Reference 
Check it out…

I had to do this with my Zemanta plug-in; it was causing Windows Live Writer to crash right after 500 words were entered. But they’re aware of it now and have been able to reproduce it- waiting for an update guys…

Blame Internet Explorer

Windows Live Writer isn’t the sole generator of the HTML for when you’re composing your posts; Windows Live Writer is using the HTML engine from Internet Explorer to generate and render the code you see.

And because this is the case Windows Live Writer requires a current version of Internet Explorer; even if Internet Explorer isn’t your default browser— how’s that for making sure that Microsoft has you load their latest browser?

For instance, there’s this error that comes up in the forum…

mshtml.IHTMLElement is a component of Internet Explorer. And this indicates that your Internet Explorer installation may be damaged.


You should ensure you do a 'system update' and download the latest version [barf/vomit] of Internet Explorer on to your system.

Or visit:


This whole error is created because Internet Explorer has something jacked up; essentially it’s corrupt on some level and has to be reinstalled. And anyone who has ever had to reinstall Internet Explorer, knows this is a PITA.

Another thing you should know is that users with XP loaded can’t go any higher than Windows Live Writer v14; Microsoft has decided to shun you, also you can’t install Internet Explorer 9 either. How about that for forcing you to upgrade?


The support forum for Windows Live Writer is there, it’s not really that good and the search functions for it suck. You can’t add images, no links and it doesn’t notify other others when they’re attempting to help user on issues; it only notifies the person who started the topic [stupid].

The technicians in the forum, I’m pretty much convinced, don’t have any concern in actually fixing issues, nor are they bloggers who care about blogging, they only have their canned responses and ‘give me your log file’ as a proper response to most stuff.

But you can make an attempt submit you issues there.

Here's the URL:

But I still hang out there to see if I can help others…


And for others that have Windows Live Writer just crash on them while they’re composing and they say that Windows Live Writer isn’t saving the draft for them locally.. you can try this.

Link Reference 
Check it out…


I hope this helps…

Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr.

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