FIX: Please wait while Windows configures Windows Live Mail

While I love using Windows Live Mail on my Windows 7, updating it has never been a pleasure for me. For long I had stopped updating Windows Live Mail 2011 to its latest version, for the simple reason that whenever I did so and rebooted, I was unable to Reply or Send new mail and received the error – Failed to initialize canvas. I never really found a solution to this error!

I had tried to update WLM on many occasions, received the same error, and then “system restore’d” back to get the earlier version. This time too, I decided to brave the updating process once again by updating Windows Live Mail Version 2011 to Build 15.4.3555.0308, a few days back.

I again faced the same problem, when I restarted my computer, started Windows Live Mail and tried to send a new mail!

Failed to initialize canvas

So I decided to Repair WLM. It did not work.  A fresh install seemed to be the only option. I exported my mail and settings, uninstalled WLM  reinstalled WLM and imported back my mail and settings. I could now send new mails!

Things looked great – till I rebooted and received the message:

Please wait while Windows configures Windows Live Mail

Now every time I restarted my Windows, I received this message – and it was pretty irritating waiting for a minute or two.

So I looked around on the internet and found that there was not much confirmed and working help available anywhere for this particular problem – although it did seem to be a common problem. Then I came across a bit of information that pointed me in this direction. The problem appeared to be in the Permissions for the following registry key:


So I exited Windows Live Mail, opened Windows Registry and navigated to this key. I tried to open it and change its permissions. But was unable to and received the following messages:

I was unable to save the changes.

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So I downloaded our portable freeware RegOwnIt which allows you to take ownership and control of registry keys easily and quickly.

I pasted the path of the registry key and clicked on Apply. The new ownership was set.

Now you have to ensure that the permissions for WLMail.Url.Mailto key are as follows:

Right-click it > Permissions > Set them thus > Click Apply/OK – and you will also see some new settings appear in the registry.

That’s it!

Now I started my Windows Live Messenger – and viola – no more Please wait … message! The problem was solved!

I hope this simple solution, to a rather frustrating problem, which worked for me, helps you too. If you need any help, you can always visit us at our Windows Help Forum.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.