Setup Open Live Writer and sync with Windows Live Writer cross computers

Today I am setting up a new PC. I use Windows Live Writer to write for this blog for years, and found the new installation can no longer work for my blog. I tried Open Live Writer. Fortunately Open Live Writer works.

The next step is to synchronize the new Open Live Writer installation with my other computer’s Windows Live Writer.


The plugins for Windows Live Writer does not work for Open Live Writer. Take the the VSPaste plugin as example, it can paste code copied from Visual Studio into Windows Live Writer and keep the style and color. It is built for Windows Live Writer and does not work for Open Live Writer.

To rebuild it for Open Live Writer, first decompile the plugin dll file. Then replace the reference assembly WindowsLive.Writer.Api.dll with OpenLiveWriter.Api.dll, which can be found at %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\OpenLiveWriter\app-0.6.2.

The rebuilt plugin VSPaste.OpenLiveWriter.dll should be placed in the %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\OpenLiveWriter\app-0.6.2\Plugins directory.

To debug the rebuilt plugin, clone the source of Open Live Writer from and open in Visual Studio. Then launch Open Live Writer, and use Visual Studio to attach to the Open Live Writer process.

I have uploaded the plugin source to GitHub for demonstration purpose:

To synchronize the plugin cross multiple PCs, I put the plugins (VSPaste.WindowsLiveWriter.dll and VSPaste.OpenLiveWriter.dll) into a OneDrive directory, for example, D:\OneDrive\LiveWriter\Plugins. Then create a junction point for Windows Live Writer and Open Live Writer:

mklink /J C:\Users\dixin\AppData\Local\OpenLiveWriter\app-0.6.2\Plugins D:\OneDrive\LiveWriter\Plugins

Synchronize blog id

As mentioned in an earlier post, the blog account is associated with a GUID, and the GUID is written to blog post file (which is not a good design). For Windows Live Writer, the blog id is located under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer\Weblog\. For Open Live Writer, it is located under Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\OpenLiveWriter\Weblogs. For the same blog, just make sure the same blog account has the same GUID.


C:\Users\dixinyan\AppData\Roaming\Windows Live Writer\blogtemplates

Synchronize configurations

The configurations for Windows Live Writer is located under %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Windows Live Writer, and the configuratiuons for Open Live Writer is located under %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\OpenLiveWriter. The configurations includes blog template, user dictionary for spell check, etc. These can also be synchronized cross multiple PCs using OneDrive:

mklink /J C:\Users\dixin\AppData\Roaming\OpenLiveWriter D:\OneDrive\LiveWriter\Configurations

Synchronize blog posts

Once blog id is synchronized, it is safe to synchronize blog posts cross multiple PCs, again, using OneDrive:

mklink /J “C:\Users\dixin\Documents\My Weblog Posts” “D:\OneDrive\LiveWriter\My Weblog Posts”


  • An independent group of volunteers within Microsoft has successfully open sourced and forked Windows Live Writer. The fork is called Open Live Writer (also known as OLW) and it is part of the .NET Foundation and managed by this group of volunteers.REMOVED: Spell Checking. The implementation was super old and used a 3rd party spell checker we didn't have a license to include an open source release. Going forward we will add Spell Check using the built-in spell checker that was added in Windows 8. Open Live Writer on Windows 7 probably won't have spell check.
    REMOVED: The Blog This API. It was a plugin to Internet Explorer and Firefox and was a mess of old COM stuff.
    REMOVED: The "Albums" feature. It uploaded photos to OneDrive but depended on a library that was packaged with Windows Live Mail and Live Messenger and we couldn't easily get permission to distribute it in an open source project.
    ADDING VERY SOON: Google runs the excellent Blogger blog service. We've worked with the Blogger Team within Google on this project, and they've been kind enough to keep an older authentication endpoint running for many months while we work on Open Live Writer. Soon, Google and Blogger will finally shut down this older authentication system. Blogger will use the more modern OAuth 2 and Open Live Writer will be updated to support OAuth 2. Windows Live Writer will never support this new OAuth 2 authentication system, so if you use Blogger, you'll need to use Open Live Writer.

  • very good

  • Nice Post. I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me. Thanks for sharing such types of information.

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