Windows Live Writer 2009 won’t start?


Update Feb 13 2009: The updated version of Writer that fixes this problem is now available. You can upgrade to version 14.0.8064.206 from our usual download page.

Ack. We’ve had a few users report that they’re getting into a state where Windows Live Writer 2009 can no longer start. They see the splash screen, then an error, then nothing.

We’re getting ready to ship an update that fixes the problem, but in the meantime, there is a straightforward workaround to get Writer running again:

  1. Start | Run
  2. On Vista, enter this command:
    %AppData%\Windows Live Writer\Keywords
    On XP, enter this command:
    %UserProfile%\Application Data\Windows Live Writer\Keywords
  3. You should see a bunch of files whose names begin with “keyword” and end with lots of letters and numbers. Delete all of these files.

That should fix it.

The problem, as you may have guessed, is that one of these files is getting corrupted. This is due to a race condition in our code where the settings file can be closed while it’s still in the middle of being written. Our update will both fix the race condition, and also deal more gracefully with corrupted settings files (by ignoring them).

Fortunately, these files merely contain a copy of tags that are also stored on your server. After you delete these files, you may find that our server-side tagging feature no longer suggests tags to you. You can get your tags back by hitting the little refresh button (two arrows chasing each other) right inside the “Set tags” textbox.


33 Responses to “Windows Live Writer 2009 won’t start?”

  1. 1 technogran

    Thanks for this Joe. I haven’t ‘as yet’ had this problem with Writer but its nice to know how to put it right! Glad to see you on WordPress. (However, shouldn’t you be blogging on Live Spaces? 😉
    Only joking! LOL Actually take a peek at my latest ‘wishlist’ for Spaces where I ask for all sorts of changes to be made in the next Wave 4 round which if implemented might encourage you to blog over there! Here at

  2. 2 Clovis

    Hi Joe

    I’ve just installed Windows Live Writer 2009. At the first execution an error … something concerning a segoe font … and the program does not starts anymore … just show the splash screen for a second …. My Application Data\Windows Live Writer folder is empty, no Keywords folder. Any idea ?


  3. Clovis, please e-mail me at joe.cheng *AT* with your log file. You can find out how to get your log file with these instructions:


  4. That fix worked beautifully, Mr. Cheng! Thank you! Saves me from having to delete some stuff from the registry again. 🙂

  5. Hi, Joe. I am also not yet having this problem but I downloaded the update for good measure. Thanks for this. Also, thanks for DTemplates–it’s been a lot of help for me. Keep up the great work. BTW, thanks for dropping by at my site. ‘Tis an honor.

  6. Do you have any idea why my Live writer spell check doesn’t work? After spell checking, during which it properly changes the words, once I hit OK, all the words revert to their incorrect spelling. This after I downloaded version 14.0.8064.206 en.

  7. Bob, I think you’re on a thread with Brandon about this–we’re looking into it. Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience.

  8. 8 nukeitmike

    Another potential cause of the for the problem, Splash screen and then error and then nothing, could be My Documents redirection.
    The company I work for as a policy doesn’t back up user machines, but we do redirect the My Documents to a network share. Most of our users have their My Documents set to be available offline. I don’t.
    When I tried the steps that you recommended, it didn’t fix the problem, but then I remembered that I have had this problem before, and that it seemed to work fine when I was in the office.
    I have two work arounds for this:
    1. Open Windows Live Writer while still at the office and don’t close it. Hybernate the machine until I get home and use as normal.
    2. Use Run As to run it as a local account so that it doesn’t fall victim to my My Documents being unavailable.
    This is a good reason (among others) that it would be nice to have the option to change the default location for post data to be saved.

  9. 9 Lotte

    So I’ll try to get help from here: Lately I’ve been experiencing problems with Windows Live Writer, when I start it all I get is a message telling me that Windows Live Writer has encountered a problem and needs to be closed… I have tried to upgrade, and download it agian… However the problem continue to exist…

    For the record it is only the writer I have problem with, all the other windows live programs are functioning just right…

    What is happening? Is starting to wonder if there is something wrong about my computer… Please, someone help me…

  10. Thanks for the heads up. I appreciate it.

  11. OMG I am going crazy about this. You should make live writer open source ! 😀 or something, then this would definitely not be a problem, with many people on it, faster fix.

    I’ll be trying the fixes here, thanks for posting the help instructions 🙂

  12. 12 Swirl

    That fix worked for me, THANKS!

  13. I am also having that problem. The program will pop up then immediatly disapear. I deleted the files using this command in run:%UserProfile%\Application Data\Windows Live Writer\Keywords, that did not fix the problem. Any suggestions?

  14. Thanks for that. Live Writer had not worked for me for ages on my desktop – really very annoying.

    Before I found this blog I tried repairing and re-installing (with the latest download) and none of these fixed it. Deleting the files in that folder fixed it though.

  15. 15 mikeout

    I loved LiveWriter until it stopped working some month ago – I’ve tried all the options outlined here.

    Giving up on what looked to be such a promising piece of software – it’s just taken too long to rectify the issue.


  16. 17 John


    We have the same problem.

    Every time we try to use WLW we get, “Windows Live Writer has encountered… blah, blah, blah”. We have uninstalled and reinstalled>>> same problem. We deleted the files, as suggested above, after running, %UserProfile%\Application Data\Windows Live Writer\Keywords … still there was no fix.

    My wife lives on this program. Any other hints as to what I might do to help the missus???

  17. John, you’ll want to e-mail They will probably ask for your log file, which can be found using these instructions:

    Good luck!!

  18. Hi Joe!

    That’s a good work you do.

    Please add to Windows Live Writer Statistics functionality from BlogJet blog client.

  19. Its been two days Im trying to make my WLW work.. when ever I start the process shows 49-50 but program doesnot start.. I reinstalled and done everything which is possible in my hand… I guess I need to reinstall XP ..last thing which I want to to do…

  20. Harsh, before resorting to reinstalling XP you might want to delete the following key from your registry (no need to reinstall WLW):

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer

    and also these directories:

    %USERPROFILE%\Application Settings\Windows Live Writer\
    My Documents\My Weblog Posts\

    That will blow away any of your existing configuration or data and hopefully get you unstuck. If not, try e-mailing for further investigation.

  21. Hey Joe,

    I recently updated to Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows Live Writer will not open. I installed it, checked for those keys (cant find any instances) and tried troubleshooting the compatibility that is available in Windows 7 all to no avail.
    I double click the WLW icon and that little circle loading thing shows for a few seconds and then nothing. Please help me.


  22. Well i am facing a different problem xmlrpc.php not found though it is present there…What’s wrong can you help?

  23. Hi Joe…

    I get the same error. Using the latest file from the Live Writer website.

    However, when I try to go looking for the %AppData% folder for LW, nothing is there. I can get into my %AppData% folder on Win7, but I have nothing for LW (not in any of the local, locallow or roaming folders either).

    This is on my Desktop (x64 Win7). My little netbook runs Win7 fine.

    Any ideas?

  24. Hi Eric, what exactly is the error you see?

    • [Window Title]
      Windows Live Writer

      [Main Instruction]
      Windows Live Writer has stopped working

      A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.

      [Debug] [Close program]

      That’s it. I’ve tried looking for the WLW log file, and don’t see it… My other Win7 box works fine (a little netbook).

  25. Here we are in 2011 and I have the same problems with Live Writer and I can’t download the 2011 version either. Messenger did the same thing but it “fixed itself” overnight. Any suggestions?

  26. Sorry Lia, I left the Windows Live Writer team quite a while ago and don’t know much about how the 2011 installers work.

    • 29 Jarkko

      I installed Windows Live Essential 2011 and in one of the user accounts (normal user) of the machine none of the Windows Live applications start. Writer, Photos, Movie editor etc… they just silently fail in some seconds after clicking starting them. I can see some processes shortly appearing in task manager and then vanishing.

      In the Writer log there is only one line:
      “WindowsLiveWriter,6.1912,None,00001,13-Feb-2011 13:50:28.456,”WLSetup check returned WLStatusTOUNotAccepted”,””

      Deleting any user profile files does not help. Reinstall / Repair does not help.

      Weird thing is that in all other “normal user” accounts all the Live applications start just fine. And if I run the apps as admin then they work fine on that one problematic account also.

      Any help would be appreciated. I really like the new 2011 Live, especially the photos, it is much more user friendly and looks better than many 3rd party apps for the same purpose. I just want it to start!! 🙂

      • 30 Jarkko

        I managed to fix the problem by removing the problematic user account, deleting the whole profile from disk (lhad to use boot safe mode to do that) and tweaking some reg entries.

        I bet that the not starting bug was caused by the fact that I used that user account when taking the laptop use first time. Windows makes that account automatically admin account. The earlier version of Live Essential was preinstalled at that point. Then I decided to make that account normal account and create other “admin” account. So the first version of essential was installed as Admin user and later on that user was changed to normal.

        What I learned: When taking new windows machine to use always name the first use account as “admin” and create your personal accounts later as normal user accounts.

        Deleting that account also killed my touch mouse driver also. This configuring hell is stll the problem with Windows. I have old iMac and decided to buy a win7 machine for a change. Win7 is pretty ok and Live essential is great, but still, all the configuring/restarting/updating/fighting with errors… too much. I hope 8 will improve it.

  27. 31 Jarkko

    Ups, I did not meant to reply to Joe’s msg and missed the 2 check boxes to subscribe for follow ups and site changes when leaving my previous comment (maybe those check boxes should be positioned above the comment text field, so they would be visible if I happen to write a comment from small screen and scroll just enough to see the “post comment”).
    So just have to make this totally dummy comment to get notified of possible answers. sorry.

  28. Jarkko, it’s been a long time since I was on the Writer team and I don’t know anything about 2011. You might be able to find help here:

    Good luck!

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