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Richard, Computer Specialist
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 38512
Experience:  Over 20 years of consulting to the IT industry
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The Contacts Export/Import option in W7, Windows Live Mail

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The Contacts Export/Import option in W7, Windows Live Mail is grayed out and will not work (It has worked and then all of a sudden it was grayed out). I have tried the Control Panel uninstall procedure and then reinstalled the WLM many times, this does not fix the problem
The Export/Import messages does work ok.
Can you help me?
First select the shortcut of Windows Live Mail, right click and select "Run as administrator".

If that also not enabling the Export/import we will do a system restore to an older date as the latest updates might have caused the issue.

Refer the above link to do the system restore to an older date.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Your suggested fix did not work. Here are my comments:
1. My W7 Home Premium always opens with Allan (Administrator)
2. The WLM shortcut did not have a "Run as administrator" option.
3. My oldest System Restore point is 6-23-10. I tried it and it did not fix the problem (I have tried this in the past). The problem started long before this time point.
4. So that we are sure that both of us are addressing the same problem, I have some screen shots that might help. Do you want them?

I am surprised that the option of including screen shots is not available when submitting the original question.

I shall await your answer.
Yes please provide those Screen shots.
You can add those images using the insert image option on top of the answer writer.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Joseph, I'm sorry but I do not find the "Insert Image" option anywhere on this page. Please give me more definitive instructions as to where it is on this page.
When you type your question there is alist of items on top of the editor.

Like Styles, B I U etc there you can see an image of tree and click on it and upload the image.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sorry again, but I don't know how to get back to my question so I can add the images.
This is what I was pointing. Are you able to see that tree image ?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, I am able to see the image and I know what your are referring to, I just don't know how to get a screen that shows these icons.
I will opt out and other experts will help you soon.

Hi there, and welcome to JustAnswer


Do you have any other Mail programs in addition to Windows Mail installed on the computer? eg: Thunderbird, outlook


Thank you

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, but I am using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer.

ok thanks,


Can you do the following please


close windows live mail

  1. Open Default Programs by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Default Programs.

  2. Click Set your default programs.

  3. Under Programs, click the e-mail program you'd like to use (windows Live Mail), and then click Set this program as default.

  4. Click OK.

Restart the computer, open windows live mail and then test please

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Did as you asked. Problem still there.

ok, can you do the following then please


Restart the computer and keep pressing F8 until a menu appears.


Choose last known good configuration


Complete the process and then test please.


Let me know if the problem persists

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Same problem exists.

can you please do the following


open your Contacts folder. Right click on any of
the contacts. Move your mouse pointer over top of "Open With". The
designated file should be "Windows Live Mail".


Save this, reopen windows live mail and test please

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Rt. clk on contact has 4 options:
1. Edit contact
2. Send e-mail> (choice is the clkd contact)
3. Copy contact> (choices are my categories)
4. Delete contact

There is no "Open with" option.

It would be really nice if I could use screen shots to communicate with you. Can I?

yes you can


Look at the screen and press CTRL+PRTSCN


Click start, type in mspaint and press enter


press CTRL+V and save the file


then add the picture here in your reply

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I did as you recommended but I could find no way to add the picture to this Reply. I can also use Snagit or the Windows Snipping tool to capture just what I want, but I can find no way to add the image to this Reply.

can you upload them to and provide me the download links please


Although you can add them by clicking the icon of the tree above on the bar with the styles, B, I, U ect



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Here are the download ID's. While I don't think these will help much here they are.
# XXXXX ID: 588222 (Allan Administrator)
# XXXXX ID: 923736 (Export/Import problem)
# XXXXX ID: 597484 (Rt clk on account options)

The first one is in response to an earlier request to be sure I am on as Administrator.
The second one is to show the Export/Import problem.
The third one is to show the options when I rt clk a contact.

Ps. I would think that in your business, being able to add screen shots in the opening question and also with each reply would save a lot of texting.

Thanks for the information.

Can you do it via the following two methods and tell me if they are both greyed out please



Inside Windows Live Contacts, click the Show Menu button, and choose Export:



Go to the Go menu in Windows Live Mail's main window, and choose Contacts to open the "Windows Live Contacts" window.

From there, go to File > Export - and choose the format in which you want to export your Windows Live Mail address book.


Let me know if both are greyed out please

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
In both instances the Export/Import are grayed out.

ok, do the following please


Restart the computer and keep pressing F8 until a menu appears.


Choose Safe Mode


When windows loads, try and let me know if it is still greyed out please

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Aha!!! Both Export and Import opened up ok in Safe Mode. However, I did get the below message.
This is not your last request that I am replying too, as both of your last 2 e-mails have become corrupted. I am getting this action more and more. This may have some bearing on my problem.

  • File ID: 111020

ok, i think there are some major problems with the computer, and potentially a virus problem


Can you do a complete virus scan. Also back up all your data to another location please as I do feel your computer problems are going to get worse.


I would seriously consider doing a re installation of the computer though as the problem we have dealt with is not a normal one (plus emails corrupted ect) is not a good sign at all.


If you need any additional information, please let me know

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok. I think you have done an excellent job in helping me with my problem. While this may be outside of my question, I just want to show you what comes up when I clk on one of the Just Answer corrupt e-mails.
As a last resort do you think I can use the Safe Mode Export/Import to copy my contacts to my backup folder?
I will follow your advice.

  • File ID: 490718

yes, use safe mode to export everything please. It stops any programs running, and will minimize the chance of any further headaches for you.


Regarding the message you have when clicking the email, I really don't know why that happens. I would also test that in safe mode. But im pretty certain it is all related to the underlying problems your computer has.


If you need any further information though, please dont hesitate to let me know.

Richard, Computer Specialist
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 38512
Experience: Over 20 years of consulting to the IT industry
Richard and 4 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I finally found a solution to the WLM W7 Export/Import problem. When I open the WLM I have always used the Cancel for I learned some time ago it is not necessary to put an address and password XXXXX to open WLM. HOWEVER, I tried opening by putting in an address and a password. For some strange reason that did the trick. Now the contacts Export/Import is not grayed out and works fine.
Just thought you might like to know this.

Thanks for the information.


Yes this makes sense as if you dont log in, you dont have the rights to export.


Thank you for sharing this with me