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Ad Free – With Support?

It appears I misspoke at least once: it’s $20 per year, not month.

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Update: see below for an update to the question I asked of Microsoft. There is support.


Show Transcript


I went looking for an answer, and apparently I have one now.

The first thing I did was to post in the Microsoft Community (forums) for This was the question I asked:

I just upgraded my Microsoft account to “Ad Free” for $20/year.

The upgrade page – – claims there is additional technical support available. I am unable to find the technical support.

The upgrade confirmation page includes the statement “For technical support go to, sign in, and then click Windows Live Hotmail Plus”.

I get that Windows Live Hotmail Plus is what the option used to be called.

I cannot find that on the page to which I am directed when I go to

How do I get the additional support that I’m now paying for?

One of the volunteers there then directed me to an support link, where I also asked the exact same question. Roughly 36 hours later I received the following response:

We acknowledged that you’ve recently upgraded to our Ad-free subscription and wanted to know how to contact our technical support. We are glad to inform you that you’ve already reached technical support which handles email related issues with If you have any inbox-related concerns and how-to’s, feel free to get back to us to assist you with your concern.

Other than that, you can contact our Ad-free technical support by signing in to your account at

then select “Accounts & billing” then “Windows and other Microsoft apps & subscriptions”. From there, you will be given options on how to contact our technical support through Chat and Scheduled Call Back.

The bottom line for ad-free support

The bottom line is that it appears that “ad-free” isn’t required, but I have no idea if it prioritizes your support response or not.

It appears that the way things currently work is:

  • For “email related issues”, go here ( After signing in to your Microsoft account, there’s a form you fill out with your issue or question. It appears that you do not need to purchase the ad-free option to use that link – it’s available to all.
  • For other account issues (whatever the response might mean by “other than that”, i.e. “other than email”), then there is this link ( – the link above, easier to type and I’ll update if1 something changes) for online chat, or scheduled voice call-back.

The way I interpret the difference is this:

I’m curious what people’s experiences with those resources will be.

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Podcast audio


41 comments on “Ad Free – With Support?”

  1. Add Free is worth it ,, been meaning to sign up but just lazy or Busy mostly ,, I really don’t like Advertisement or News Clips about stuff I’m not interested in filling up the “right side of MY brain” ,, As for the support, Welllll ,, maybe MS will give in, and they are just “ramping up” website still under construction or creating the human resources for that at this time !! It would be nice to see

  2. Hi Leo,
    I can’t see much benefit to me in paying $20 a year for ad free email. I just download my email to Outlook on my computer. If I didn’t have Outlook, I would download my email to another email client.
    Maybe the support might be worth it if I ever had a problem, but in all the years I have had a hotmail/outlook account I have never had a problem, and apparently the support is non-existent for now, so I will definitely pass on this.

    • If you saw all the questions we get on Hotmail problems, you might reconsider the value of having support available. For me, it’s not so much a question of losing my emails. I have them backed up in several places, but if I somehow get locked out or hacked, I’d like to still keep the account. I’ve been paying medical insurance for years and have never been sick enough to use it yet, but I still consider it a necessity.

  3. Is there an ISP that doesn’t give at least one, if not more, free email accounts?
    Why not use the free client mail included in your OS, from XP, thru 10?
    Configure it and not bother with another one of Microsoft’s obscure ‘services’?
    And since you are paying your ISP for monthly Internet Service, they will help you with your configuration.

    • A serious problem with ISP supplied email addresses is that when you switch ISPs, you’ll lose your email account in most cases. That was the big selling point for free email services. They advertised themselves as email addresses for life. I still have my original Yahoo and Hotmail accounts I opened almost 20 years ago and my more recent GMail account from over 10 years ago. I’ve switched ISPs several times in that period, but I still have those email accounts.

    • The problem with ISP-based email accounts is that your email address is on that ISP’s domain (somethingorother “at” for example). If you ever move and need to switch ISPs, you lose your email address.

    • Because ‘Outlook Express’ was dropped a long time ago. If you want ‘official’ Microsoft email, you either use the *OUTLOOK.COM” webmail, get the actual Ourlook app/program or use the Mail app in 10. Otherwise there is no real mail program in Windows itself from 7 to 8.1

      Outlook Express was ancient and like driving a NASCAR racer with loose lug nuts in this day and age.

  4. Although I still have a ‘Hotmail’ account (and a account) I’m currently very happy using Google Chrome and running ‘Adblocker’ whilst surfing.

    Like many people, I’m very jaundiced with regard to Microsoft’s offerings – I’ve yet to dare to upgrade anything to Windows 10 as those who have, appear to lose their ‘Office’ facilities and have to purchase again.

    I’m wondering if the disc version of Office 2003 I possess will run in Windows 10.

    It seems to me that all Microsoft are interested in is picking your pocket – again…and again.

    • “It seems to me that all Microsoft are interested in is picking your pocket – again…and again.” – Comments such as this always strike me as a little peculiar. Office likely cost you between $100 and $500 depending on the version you bought – and that equates to between $0.20 and $1.00 per week over the 10-or-so years that it was supported. To my mind, that’s really not bad value – especially as it’s something that you probably use pretty much every day. I’d actually be quite pleased if all my tech purchases were to last a decade or more.

  5. Hi Leo,
    I have the Microsoft Hotmail account almost as long as you may be 17 -18 years, now it’s called Live mail but I
    don’t recall having Ads on it ever , not that I’m complaining ..
    The only problem I had with the account is that somebody in Europe had the same e-mail address and I had some Notification
    coming from Microsoft that I new did not belong to me, and it messed up my Skype account , so I had to close it.
    So I don’t see any benefit to sign up for this new ad-free Outlook especially until they straighten out all the mess.

  6. Rarely any issues with Hotmail/Live/
    I’ve had the same address for some 18 years, maybe more, and have my account as secured as the free one can be.
    I might consider $20 a year just to better retain “ownership”.
    I also have both a Yahoo account (filled with endless spam), and a Gmail that I use more professionally. works by far the best with clients in iOS or in Windows (Office/Outlook 2013). Outlook still have serious issues with syncing IMAP folders with Gmail. Even after restoring the profile several times. Known Outlook issue… :-(

    But with e-mail accounts (secure/safe ones) really a necessity these days essentially to just live, a $20 annual fee to better retain access and ownership is peanuts.

  7. Well, ever since started I have tried several times to pay for the ad free upgrade, but without fail every time it simply tells me it “cannot log me on that this time”, and I can go no further. I like the service as it stands at present, especially now that they have brought the calendar function up to speed, but alas, some time ago, exasperated with my inability to pay MS for what I wanted I made the decision to go the Google way. Now I use Google Drove, Google Docs, and Gmail and calendar. I invested in a Chromebook to supplement my Windows desktop, and MS don’t give a hoot about their service since I was never able to even pay them for the ad free version.

    For the record I am a computer hobbiest and user for over 20 years, and my main machine is a bog standard Windows desktop PC running Windows 8.1 Pro. I live in New Zealand and have an excellent VDSL connection.

    Regards, Peter

  8. I just completed by first year of “Ad Free Outlook” but did not renew. I don’t really care for the ads, but I am good at ignoring them.

    • There aren’t so many ads as there are links to the MSN featured videos and page, which sometimes is informative but usually a rehash of old news you already saw and ‘news-buzz’. My only problem with that is that sometime it holds the rest up from getting going..

      As for ad blockers, they only made loading some of my favorite forums sites much slower and I really didn’t care about the benefits on anything but Yahoo! On principle I would rather let THEM fix it as I’m usually certain it’s them and not me.

  9. I don’t care much for web-based e-mail readers, period. The interfaces of desktop e-mail clients are far cleaner.

  10. I prefer to maintain tight control over my 2 relevant email accounts, so I manage them via an email client on my work PC and home PC, with home configured to delete them from the IMAP server automatically once downloaded. Personal email runs through my own domain, so I have control of it. Both Work & Personal accounts permit accessing via webpage if necessary also. Work email is only germane so long as I’m working. In a couple of years, things get a LOT simpler!

  11. I don’t see gmail asking for money, and that gmail account has never been blocked. I’ve had plenty of problems with the Microsoft hotmail account though. And seen other people get into trouble with them. Maybe it’s because everybody and their uncle has such an account, and the burden on Microsoft is unbelievable. I get that. And they probably don’t have the revenue stream enjoyed by Google (and their Android platform) to pay for such infrastucture. Okay.

    There is one problem I saw a friend of mine go through, and it’s because of Microsoft’s way of imposing the use of a Microsoft Account on users of Windows 8 or 10 as a login account. She found out it can backfire in a bad way. My friend had a “” account, she’d been using that for years, then woke up one morning and found out that Microsoft had upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 essentially behind her back (so to speak). Windows 10 didn’t ask for any info, it simply picked one of her Microsoft email accounts (and not the one she would have used) and used it as an identifier for logging in to Windows. However, she recently got told that “” was going away. Problem is, she was away for a while and when she had time to deal with it, it kinda blew up in her face as she could not log in to her laptop, everything locked up pretty solid. I find that I don’t see this sort of behavior with the other two platforms I mentionned. Maybe Microsoft needs a bit more experience dealing with human customers to understand how to make this work smoothly. I don’t know. But to stay safe on my PC, I’ve created local admin accounts for myself and my wife, so if the Microsoft Account goes south, I can still get into my laptop. And personnally, as part of the user experience for Windows 10, getting blocked from using your computer because your email got deprecated or blocked simply is bad. For most folks, catastrophic even. And since the problem got created by Microsoft’s way of doing things, it would be ethical that they fix it at no cost. That’s just my opinion.

  12. I think another advantage of “ADD FREE” Outlook is this ,, I notice the “Memory Usage” on my ACER ES 14 with Intel Celeron Quad Core Processor, is quite High when looking at my E-Mail and those adds are running ,, I always “Close the Hotmail” before I open another window ,, Like F/B and start scrolling and clicking ,, I think my Note Book would get a “Hang” or unresponsive program alert from Google ,, “Aww Snap”,, I dont know what the i3 or i5 processor will do !!

  13. That’s the reason why I cancelled my Yahoo plus mail account. I was paying 19.00$/year and there is no technical support. Another way to put it, I am more interested in having the technical support side of the deal than the add-free side. Bottom line, there is no way I know of to contact Yahoo and it is very aggravating. Needless to say that the same thing goes to

  14. Guys,
    Whether you have an ISP, Google, or Hotmail email.
    In Outlook email client you can create an archive to have your email back up. So let’s say you are using your ISP email now if when you switch to another ISP you still have your emails from your previous ISP.
    I hope I made sense, just trying to help as well.

    • To be clear, archiving does NOT create a backup. That’s not its purpose. Outlook keeps all mails anyway and, whether you’ve archived them or not, they’ll still there after you switch ISP. So, why bother archiving? Well, as you accumulate more and more email, your Outlook Data File gets bigger and bigger – and as that file keeps on getting bigger and bigger, Outlook needs to use more and more of your computer’s resources in order to load it. What archiving does is move emails from the main Outlook Data File – the one that’s automatically load when you start Outlook – to a different Outlook Data File that isn’t automatically loaded. In other words, archiving is simply a way to stop Outlook slowing down.

  15. I thought having Office 365 wouldn’t require having to purchase the ad free option, but it looks like still has ads. Maybe it’s because I have the student version of Office 365; however, it doesn’t really matter. I just configured Outlook itself for that account. I don’t need to purchase it anyway, because I have POP3 access. I had a bunch of e-mail that I haven’t checked in a year and more. Oh, well.

    I don’t know if people before mentioned anything about having Office 365, so I thought I would give my two cents. Of course, I didn’t read all the comments.

    • “I thought having Office 365 wouldn’t require having to purchase the ad free option.” You bought the Office apps; the email service – – was not part of the purchase.

  16. I’m in the UK, how come everytime I try to upgrade to adfree it takes me to the usa site and therefore, I cannot make payment. can you share a link for the UK payment for upgrading to adfree? thanks.

  17. Hi. is it possible to get Microsoft support to check If you have been hacked in the past? like, If they find strange ip adress. If they just can say If it was hacked. I don’t want ip adress list. I just want to know If I have been hacked 3 years ago. it is imortant.

    • I’m assuming you are talking about’s advertisement to encourage you to upgrade to the “Ad-free outlook.” The only way to remove it is to upgrade. In other words, to buy one of their subscription products.

    • That ad is the cost of “free”. Bugging you into paying to get rid of the ad is the reason for that ad.

  18. I have an ad blocker but Outlook keeps using up space telling me I can save space by signing up for Ad free Outlook. No way — what nerve they have using up space to ADVERTISE their product that will save me space.

  19. i don’t want upgrade anything just want the dam ad be removed, it is taken a lot space on my screen,I use HOT MAIL LIVE
    i contact support with no avail, I don’t know how to remove it, I am an very old person , with same difficult in that area, and poor vision

    • It’s the ads which pay for the “free” email account. Microsoft is simply giving you the option to pay for the account yourself instead of receiving the ads. There is something to the old saying “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.


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