How do I close my Hotmail or Outlook.com account?

It's easy to close a Windows Live account, including Hotmail. I'll show you the steps, but then ask: why bother closing the account?

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I need to close my Hotmail account. I’m getting too much spam and besides, I think it’s been hacked. I just want to close it and stop it from bothering anyone anymore. How do I do that?

I’d actually suggest that you seriously reconsider closing your account.

If your account has been hacked, even if you still have access to it, it’s quite possible that the hacker will just access it again and stop the closure. If you don’t have access … well, then you can’t close it anyway.

And even if it’s not hacked, but people are getting spam from your account, it’s not likely that closing it will help at all.

That being said, if you still want to close it, I’ll walk you through the steps; it’s not really that hard.

You must be able to login

I do have to let you know that you must be able to login to your account.

If you want to close your account because you think it has been hacked, or you can’t login to close your account, the article Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW has the steps that you need to try to take in order to regain access to the account.

I have to say try, because once you’ve lost access to a hacked account, there is no guarantee that you can get a free email account back.

Even if you don’t want it back – you just want to close it so the hacker stops using it – the steps that you would need to take to prove ownership are exactly the same steps that would recover the account. Thus, if you can’t recover the account, you won’t be able to prove that you are authorized to close it.

Closing the account

Login to your account via Outlook.com.

Click your account name in the upper right:

Account Name in Outlook.com

Click the Account settings item:

Outlook.com Account Settings Link

At the bottom of the Overview page is the link that you want:

Microsoft Account Close Account Link

This will then take you to a page with information explaining what closing will do, and once again, ask you for your password to confirm that you are the rightful owner of the account:

Account Close Verify

Click Next to begin the process.

What it means to close your Outlook.com or Hotmail account

Read the information that is presented on that confirmation screen carefully.

Your Outlook.com or Hotmail account is your Microsoft account. When you close this account, you will lose all access to all services associated with it. You’ll lose everything that you may have placed in your SkyDrive. You’ll lose your ability to login to Skype with this account. You may even lose your ability to login to your Windows 8 PC, if this account is used for that purpose.

Make absolutely certain that this is what you want to do before you do it.

Video

Here’s a short video that demonstrates the process:

This is an update to an article originally posted : January 21, 2009

There are 45 comments:

  1. Arnie Reply

    How do I close the MSN part of my hotmail account? as I use MSN on a different email account which I use more often and so there’s no need for me to have 2 MSN’s.

  2. Ernest Baumann Reply

    My MSN account is $9.95/month. That is shy I want to close it. I’d also like to close my Norton accounts (another $9.00/month). I feel that are alternative (read less costly) otions. Please advise…

    Ernie

  3. Richard Reply

    I am having hard time to close my account same thing with my gf her email wont close too and said about billing account but we dont have it

  4. Marc Reply

    In response to “why bother closing it at all?”: I needed to close my account so that people who still send to my hotmail address have their messages bounce, instead of having them assume I got their emails, and become angry at me when I do not reply.

    Closing your account is not a guarantee that the messages sent to it will bounce. You cannot count on bounces.

    - Leo
    29-Jan-2009
    • bill Reply

      A way to avoid the “we sent it to your (old) address” issue is to set the old account to be read by the new account (Gmail does that well). You can even search on emails that you get that go to the old account so you can send a note to those people to delete that email address and use your new one. This trick works particularly well for weaning people off of an old ISP provided address before you change providers.

  5. Jean-Michel Reply

    It did not work. The next windows that pups up says “Impossible to close your account… One or other paying services or a Microsoft Points account are linked to your account. To close your account, you need to close and cancel the other services…” Can someone help me with this?

    Well, not to be too obvious about it, but perhaps you should stop paying for and close whatever paid service you have associated with that account first?

    - Leo
    06-Feb-2009
  6. Jonathan Reply

    In response to your last post, it’s not that simple as “stop paying for and close whatever paid service you have associated with that account first?” If you search the web, you can see that many have had problems with this same issue and it often has nothing to do with subscribing to an actual paid service. Just FYI.

  7. b Reply

    I’m trying to close my windows live and hotmail account because I already have another windows live account. But i can’t i followed the steps and it saids that I have to close my microsoft email account first. the thing is that i’m using the same email address and password for both. I did not know I would have issues for that.And it didnt say either. I would stop using it but I get so much mail and I have a profile for windows live that I want to get rid of. Can yu please help me?

  8. melissa campbell Reply

    i have another account now and i want to dlete my other account i followed your steps but,it isnt working it juyst cums up saying sorry canot close this account:@,how do i delet the account,it should be simple as pressing delete but people make it hard:@……

  9. Sean Reply

    I’ve not logged into my windows live HOTMAIL account for 120 PLUS days now. I’m worried about the few who don’t have my new email address. When WILL they get a bounce back?! Stupid hotmail. Waited 120 days! Still no bounce back

    They may never get one. Hotmail (and other ESPs) often disable bounces to reduce the amount of spam-generated traffic.

    - Leo
    23-Feb-2009
  10. Andrea Reply

    the steps were very simple and precise, but i was unable to terminate my account because i am not the primary account.

  11. Kari K Reimer Reply

    Leo, I followed ALL your instructions on how to close out my hotmail/windowslive.com e-mail account…however, when I got to the bottom of the page on”close account”, I entered my password, but there was NO MORE to the page….NO PLACE to click CONFIRM! so, what do I do when I get to the end and enter my P.W.? where do i go to “confirm” that this is what i wish to do?

    thank you,

    ” a Bit Confused?!?”

  12. alaa Reply

    somebady stole my email and password so i need close my account email

  13. bill klages Reply

    I followed your instructions to the point: “View and edit your personal information”. When I clicked on that, I got the Hotmail….Log in window??

  14. Kathy Reply

    Leo,
    Thanks for the help. I followed your step by step instuctions and was successful in closing an old hotmail account. Cheers!

  15. aoife Reply

    Thanks for the talk through bit. It really helped alot. i was confused but when i saw it i started following it and it worked. Ta. Very usefull.

  16. siobhan Reply

    thank you so much because someone tryed to get into my accout and it haddent be right since that till i closed it thanks again

  17. Antonia Reply

    I want to delete my childs hotmail account…I know how to close it but she can go to it at any time within 270 days and reopen it.

    Change the password and security questions before you close it. Be aware, though, that she’ll likely just go open another one.

    - Leo
    21-Apr-2009
  18. maria Reply

    I was trying to close account with hotmail. But I cant, because I got email from hotmail. They said Close my windows live account one or more paid services or a microsofts points is linked to my account. To close this account make sure each service is canceled and my microsoft poins account is closed.

    There is a microsoft email account windows live homtail associated with my account so cant closed my windows live account immeditately. To close youw inswos live account, I need to close your miscsoft email account first, after a period of inactivity my windows live will be automatically be closed.

    I did try to delete/remove my billing and account managing and personal information details etc, but it’s not working as it show edit/view click shown but not remove click shown. Hope you can help me to immeditately to close account with hotmail. Thanks

    Regards,
    Maria

  19. Mark Jacobs Reply

    I don’t know if you really want to close your Hotmail account. I have a couple of accounts that I wanted to close but I checked them monthly to see if any of my contacts hadn’t gotten wind of my new email address. I now have an address that I haven’t actively used on Yahoo for about 8 years and I still get an occasional email from people who knew me when. I got one last week. So I suggest getting a new address and checking your old email address for stragglers about once a month.

  20. bella Reply

    i tried closing this, but it said to close my email account. Which I did. So then I went back to the home page, logged on, went to the options and then ‘more options’. But I couldnt find the ‘manage your account’. It’s kind of weird. I have a stalker and he knows my hotmail… i really need to close it! HELP!

  21. Becky Firesmith Reply

    Someone hacked into my Hotmail account and was sending viral emails out to everyone in my contact list. I did go in and change my password and secret question, but I would feel better if I could just get rid of it completely. I tried your above method but it said I would lose my ability to log in to any MSN sites that I have used. So if I keep my email account open, how do I prevent this from happening again? Thanks–Becky

    It’s only the sites that require you to login with that account that you would lose if you close that account. You can of course create a new account and begin logging in with that.

    You might also read this article: My Windows Live Hotmail contact list has been hacked, how do I recover?

    - Leo
    01-Jun-2009
  22. Lois Burgess Reply

    Hi Leo, I uninstalled live MSN Messenger now I am unable to close hotmail is there anything I can do to get rid of it. Live MSN was causing problems to my PC. Thanks-Lois

  23. VJP Reply

    The way to CLOSE an account for good has changed again. When you log into Window Live Mail, you will see your name in the top right hand corner. You need to click on your name and then click ‘View your Account’, then you will see on the next page under ‘additional options’, ‘close account.

  24. olivia Reply

    Hi, i want to know how to delete msn off my mobile. I’ve tried deleting my account but it won’t let me and i think it’s because i have msn on my mobile. Can you please tell me how to delete msn off my mobile phone? thanks

  25. Taye Reply

    Thanks soooooo much for putting this on here because something kept giving people viruses off my account and it annoyed people. Thanks ever so much

  26. Cory Reply

    i dont use account much any more so i want to close it. i followed the steps and when i got to the part about, “click on View and edit your personal information” it was not there. can you help me please.

  27. nia Reply

    I want to ask, after I delete my hotmail account and my account will be deleted in all web, in my friend’s contact, forums that i have been make/use or not????

    Nope.

    Leo
    17-Sep-2009

  28. Dolce Reply

    I am trying to close this account that I have, but I can’t, I don’t know why? it says always that I have to close my window live account before to close hotmail, and how do I do that? I never joined! If it work that way. How could I do for close it….Help!! thank you for you time.

    Dolce

  29. nia Reply

    so if my friends want email to my account that i have been deleted it can enter or not? if yes, so the new person that use my old account can read my email?

  30. nia Reply

    hi i want to ask how do i get my account back??
    i have read the information but i didn’t understand….??
    HOW??

  31. Lynn Ann Sorensen Reply

    Today I opened an account at [email address removed] and immediately changed my mind about having the account open. I followed the instructions about closing the account but it is still recognizing me; and I unchecked the box that said remember me. I have identity theft issues and am concerned because of the sharing factors and in fact, tried opening this account because I am having trouble receiving and sending with my yahoo account at the same address, riverockhill.

  32. Letty M Reply

    Hi…I’m trying to close my windows live hotmail account and CAN’T!!! Help please!! I have followed your instructions and to no avail!! I get the message that i have a microsoft email account? I don’t!! has my email been hacked?
    Should i just not log in at this point? Thanks for any help you can send my way.

  33. Kathy Reply

    I just got an email from the “Windows Live Hotmail Team” last Friday stating that they were shutting down some accounts and mine was on that list. Now my friends are getting an email saying to please send $1500 right away to my sick cousin in England…I don’t have any relatives in England…I have always trusted Hotmail but not anymore, nor ever again. My advice: STOP USING HOTMAIL IMMEDIATELY!

    This has nothing to do with Hotmail. You simply fell for a phishing scam: Is Windows Live Hotmail about to close my account?

    Leo
    26-Oct-2009

  34. annoyed Reply

    Your steps dont work – clearly msn is trying to force people not to close their account – first they hide the close account option then when you actually find it is sends you on a loop saying you cant close live id until hotmail is closed, but hotmail says cant close until some other non existed billed accounts are closed – and NOWHERE is there any support from MSN to close your account – even if you pull up the close account help screen they have left mail off the options. MSN is scamming like all the other disreputable web crooks – greed over morals

    I don’t understand how greed factors in to a service that you’re not paying for.

    Leo
    01-Nov-2009

  35. Gerard Phillips Reply

    I have already closed my hotmail account and yet it is still being used

  36. Gerard Phillips Reply

    I have already closed the hotmail account as the anonymous emails are being investigated

    • Leo Reply

      As I’ve stated in multiple placed spammers don’t need the account to be open to make it look like email comes from that email address. “From: spoofing” is trivial.

      • Rodger DeRamus Reply

        Sir: I tried the steps you gave to us to delete my MSN-outllok.com-hotmail.com email account and I never received the Close Account option. I logged in to outlook.com, I clicked on the account name in the upper right hand corner, I clicked on account settings and that is where I didn’t get the close account function you said I’d get. Please verify if you may have skipped a step or let me know what I did wrong. I followed the steps to the letter. It must be something you left out.
        Thank You Very Much,
        Chaplain D. DeRamus

  37. Caroline Doucette Reply

    Cancel this account. I’ve been hacked and got no help so close this account now

  38. E. Bateman Reply

    Are you unwilling to recognize that there are very many Outlook users who are very frustrated with Microsoft’s deliberate atttempts to make cancelling an account next to impossible? I am one of those frustrated Outlook users! I want to cancel my account because I am fed up with Microsoft’s constant intimidation to provide them with a phone number. Why don’t I just cancel my account? I’d be overjoyed to, but I can’t access my account unless I give them a phone number first. May Microsoft rot in hell!

  39. joanne white Reply

    i have the same problem as Rodger DeRamus.When going through the steps it does not bring you to a page that says “close account”. This is very frustrating and since i can not close this account it it giving me problems when using icloud. Please tell me what to do someone has to have a answe it seems alot of people have this problem

  40. Saul Reply

    Hello.
    Thanks for your help in closing my hotmail account.
    Like many others before, when I follow your steps and get to the Name> Account settings, at the bottom there is no “Close Account” link, instead there is a “Marketing preferences” one.
    I didn’t succeed to find the close account precious link elsewhere.
    Anyone knows of a doable option?
    Thanks in advance.
    Saul

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