How do I make a new Hotmail account? Or Outlook.com account?

Making a new Hotmail or Outlook.com account isn't as obvious as many think. First, you need to make the option visible - by signing out.

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How do I make a new Hotmail account?

Hotmail was replaced with Outlook.com. You probably already know this; that’s where you now go to access your Hotmail email.

You can create your new new email account using Outlook.com – and maybe even make it a Hotmail.com email address.

But first, there’s a step that is apparently not quite as obvious to as many people as we might expect.

Step 1: Sign out

The thing that often confuses people is that they have some form of “remember me” turned on. That means you may never (or rarely) see the Outlook.com login screen after your first login. That means you’ll never see the options to create a new account.

So … sign out.

When logged in to Outlook.com, near the upper right, you should see your screen name:

Outlook.com account menu

Click on your name (or your photo) and you’ll be presented with a menu of options:

Outlook.com account drop-down menu

Click Sign out, and you’ll be taken to a page that confirms you’ve been signed out:

Outlook.com signed out

Step 2: Sign in – but don’t

Click Sign in. That brings you back to the login screen for Outlook.com:

Outlook.com login screen

Don’t sign in! Instead, click the “Sign up now” link near the bottom.

That will take you to the start of the Microsoft Account setup process:

Outlook.com signup form

The page begins by explaining that if all you want is an Outlook.com email address, you can simply add an alias to or rename your existing account.

Assuming that you want a completely new account unrelated to any account you may already have, simply fill out the form to begin the process of setting that up.

Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, & Live.com

As of this writing, the setup process actually allows you to select from three different email domains for your new account:

Outlook.com new email domains

As you might expect, you’ll still need to select an email name that isn’t already in use, but at least today, you can try against those three available domains.

It’s still a free account

A few things to remember about your new account:

  • There’s no way to transfer your existing information from your old HotMail account to your new one.
  • Outlook.com is a free service and you get what you pay for. Customer service is almost non-existent if you run into a problem.

Because I see so many people run into problems using and relying on free email services such as Outlook.com, I strongly recommend that you never use this type of service for anything important. In particular, it shouldn’t be the only place where you keep something important.

If your email is important to you, if keeping your contacts is important to you, and if having customer service to help you when (not if) you run into a problem is important to you, then I strongly suggest using an email account from your ISP or other paid provider.

If you’re planning on changing your email address anyway, now might be the perfect time to do so.

This is an update to an article originally posted : September 26, 2006

There are 32 comments:

  1. Rick Reply

    When Leo asked obvious . . . the one thing that glaring stood out to me was using a first and last name. Never, ever use a first and last name in concocting an email address (or filling out profiles and such on the Internet).

    Data mining is a trivial game and an address like first.last@msn.com is going to leave tracks all over the place . . . tracks you may wish you’d never left years from now. Reside behind some layer of anomynity; your first name reveals your gender, your posts to forums might reveal your interests, what part of the country you live in, age, etc, etc. Your last name is an invitation to be looked up in any numerous online directories. Piss someone off? You may have given them enough to find you in person. Spurn an online boy- or girlfiend? Do you really think they need to know your last name?

    Rick
    (who teaches this stuff for a living)

  2. Michael Reply

    Leo : if so many people jump in the river, isn’t it right ?
    Of course not.
    People should not be asking how to make a Hotmail/Yahoo account with their real first and last name.
    The article is as funny as people using Hotmail/Yahoo for a business account.

  3. Dave Reply

    Everybody knows how unstable hotmail is, if an isp email isn’t available I suggest GMail, it seems more stable and is more user friendly. IMO Also, instead of first and last names….maybe initials like I use davidlw2005. Just a suggestion…lol

  4. Priscilla Reply

    I have Comcast as my ISP and have a email account with them. I got so much spam from someplace that didn’t have an opt out at all that I quit using it all together. I sent the spam to them and they sent me back this lengthly form of hoops to jump through to just get them to read it. That’s when I got my gmail account and have had no problems with spam.

  5. Jamin Davis Reply

    I’ve got no need for anonymity, I’ve been online for 10+ years and Fidonet before Internet was mainly about being yourself and not hiding behind pseudonyms. All these supposed _bad_things_ that will happen if you use your real name and details online have never happened. Junk mail is part of life – create a new email addy whenever you want as in the article. BTW in relation to being looked up: surely that’s a *benefit* of a large network?!

  6. Bob Reply

    Dude to transfer ur contacts from ur old account press contacts in the main messenger window, then save instant mesaaging contacts. Save it somewhere that u can find it Then sign into the new account and press contacts menu again, but this time you will go import, and then go find where u saved the contact list, select it then press import or open

  7. laura Reply

    i want to create a new hotmail account like I wanted. What do I do?

  8. Leo Notenboom Reply

    I’d start by reading the article you just commented on.

  9. Leo Notenboom Reply

    Step 1: read the article you just commented on and follow the instructions therein.

  10. clare Reply

    i think its great a new way to comunicate with friends.
    many more people should use msn

  11. Nora Reply

    Hi, I wanted to know how to make a msn.com acount or a passport.net one. I do know all this that you explained but when you push the “Sign up” button, there’s only the hotmail.com acount.
    Thanks a lot, great site!!!! Kissis from Argentina…

  12. katy Reply

    hey leo i have made a new hotmail account and i have hundredsof friends on my old one is there an easier way than typing each address into “add contacts” to add them all the my new msn account

    • Little John Reply

      If you have Windows 7 or 8 you can save your contacts on your hard drive. When you have created a new account then you can import your hard drive contacts to new account.

  13. Dan Reply

    I agree with Mark. I have done that myself – set up an alias – and set up folders for those alias emails to go to – so they don’t get mixed up with my other mail (not that you have to separate them out – but you can if you want).

  14. Jeff Reply

    Regarding the “need” for a first and last name, you don’t have to enter your real name. I have one Hotmail account where my last name is “X” and another where it’s “Anonymous”.

    No one from Hotmail will come to your house demanding to see your ID, so use whatever names you want.

  15. Austin Adams Reply

    I have had a gmail.com account since the days when you had to be invited in. It’s now grown to over 10 Gb — I pay a nominal $5 per year to allow up to 20 Gb — a legacy plan, unfortunately, as it’s now more expensive to exceed the free allowance. I’ve never had any problems with it and often search for old items through the excellent search engine. I do keep really important information in the outlook account that I use to access the gmail, and of course I have an offline contact list, although I do use the gmail contact list to sync to and from my phone. The spam filtering is amazingly good. Every now and then I use the web interface to check the spam list and once in a while I do find something there that isn’t spam, but very, very seldom. Similarly, only a few times a year does spam get through to my outlook account.

    I am thus a very happy gmail user. I hate to be endorsing that huge monopoly, but for this service it’s fantastic.

    Leo, in all seriousness, how might I come undone? Have you had reported disasters with gmail? I know that you, particularly, have to be measured in making what are perceived to be endorsements but a comment would be appreciated.

    • Mark Jacobs Reply

      Any email account can be hacked, so it’s a good idea to protect your emails by backing them up. What is IMAP? And how can it help me manage my email?. This article recommends using IMAP, but using IMAP, if you delete an email in your email program, it will also be deleted from the GMail server. To avoid this, you can use POP3 and instruct your email program to leave a copy of the downloaded email on the server. That way all emails are downloaded, and emails deleted from your email program will still remain on the server. You can periodically log on to your GMail account and clean up your inbox if you want.
      And BTW Google isn’t a monopoly. They have competition, and just have the market share by virtue of doing the job they do. I’m not defending Google per se. I’m an English teacher, and I’m correcting language usage, one mistake at a time. The word you are looking for is Oligopoly. ;)

        • Mark Jacobs Reply

          I teach English for IT in addition to working for Leo and doing freelance computer work.

    • Leo Reply

      This single biggest issue with ANY free email account is this: what happens when you’ve been hacked?

      Say the hacker goes into your account and deletes all of the email that you had saved. There is no guarantee – none – that Google will help you get your account back, or that if you get your account back that they will help you get your email back.

      That’s the risk that remains for people that otherwise use their account properly.

      I use Gmail for my primary email, routing all of my non @gmail.com email addresses through it, specifically for the filtering. But I a) use my non-@gmail.com addresses as my email address so that if needed I can change my gmail account in a heartbeat, and b) I back everything up – twice. If I lose my gmail account tomorrow losing my email is actually one of the least of my worries.

      PS: I’ve recommended Gmail for a long time: Google Mail – Free Email that works and leaves you in control

      • Mark Jacobs Reply

        If you route from other email accounts through GMail, do you let GMail access them through POP3? If so, if someone steals your GMail account, wouldn’t it continue to gather the emails from those accounts indefinitely, and there would be nothing you could do about it which would effectively render all of your other email accounts useless? Or do you have those other accounts forward them to GMail, which seem like it would be a lot safer?

        • Connie Delaney Reply

          The other email accounts would certainly continue to be picked up by the hacked Gmail account… until you go in and change their passwords. Then the hacked Gmail account wouldn’t be able to access them :)

          • Mark Jacobs

            That’s what I was saying. If you’re locked out of Gmail, you’re not going to be able to stop it from downloading from your other email accounts.

  16. Christine Reply

    I get a lot of e-mail messages, and I had my Hotmail/Outlook e-mail account up over 10,000 unread messages (I do pay for this kind of storage). What really helped me was the new features provided on the Outlook.com interface. It took me about eight hours, but I was able to finally clean up my account. The ability to sort and search multiple ways and the ability to schedule cleanup of promotional e-mail messages has me liking my Hotmail account again. It is far superior to my ISP e-mail interface, which I need to tackle next. So, I recommend Outlook.com if you plan to have a lot of mildly important to not-important-at-all messages coming into your inbox.

  17. Joseph Lajoie Reply

    I need help retrieving my e-mail as I have been away for 6 yeas and really need a way to reach friends and contacts… thank you

    • Mark Jacobs Reply

      If you haven’t used an account in 6 years, you can pretty much consider it lost for ever. Some email services close your account after 90 days of not being logged onto, while the maximum other providers allow is up to a year of not logging in. After this period, that email address may be available for again. If it’s still available, you might be able to get it but you wouldn’t be able to download your old emails.

    • Leo Reply

      Can’t help you if you don’t tell me exactly what problem you’re having.

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