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Hotmail says my password is incorrect, but I know it’s right. What do I do?



I get this often enough that I want to use this question as an example and provide a summary article for the situation.

This has nothing to do with Hotmail’s “nonsense” at all.

It’s pretty clear what’s happened here, so I’ll point you to a number of my previous articles that all might apply in your situation.

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Your account has been hacked, plain and simple.

Someone guessed or got your password, went in and changed your password and all the other information associated with your account.

The fact that you had the same password for 10 years didn’t help. That often makes it easier for the hacker to get your passwords. If you use that same password on other accounts, now might be a good time to change it everywhere.

I’ll point you to these articles for things to do if there’s any hope of recovering your account, and perhaps more importantly, some lessons to learn since I really don’t expect your account to be recoverable.

This was not Hotmail’s fault.

And finally, I’d recommend you consider reading this article as well: WHY IS EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET SO GRUMPY?

Having your email account hacked is a pain and can result in quite a bit of inconvenience and data loss. Make sure that you do what you need to protect yourself.

And when it happens, if you must place blame, place it appropriately.

This was not Hotmail’s fault.

Posted: January 12, 2010 in: Email Security
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54 comments on “Hotmail says my password is incorrect, but I know it’s right. What do I do?”

  1. I disagree that the average user needs to change their password all the time. In fact, it might work against you. One just needs to use words that do not appear in any dictionary [make one up] and alternate it with numbers and symbols.
    Something like: F#i*T!M&F09, is relatively safe, but your pet’s name is a sure target.

  2. I had this same problem just yesterday. I typed in my CORRECT password, several times, to no avail……..then out of the corner of my eye noticed the “caps lock” was on. I took it off, typed in the exact same password, except this time all in lower case, and……everything was fine!

  3. The best defense against hacking by someone is a pass PHRASE not a pass word. Most hacking tools rely on the dictionary and then some tried and true variations but a pass phrase [ believe it or not ] is much easier to remember [ especially if it contains NO spaces ]
    Example: I used at one time in the past…
    as a pass phrase. I challenged GOD to guess this with any engine on the planet. The phrase was easily remembered because it came from one of my all time favorite shows ‘ It aint half hot mum ‘
    an english comedy series.
    Pick a phrase that is long and drives you or everyone else nuts. Another example : ” isaidlookisaiddarlisaidpetisaidloveisaidlook ‘
    This methodology is damn near impossible to crack by guessing or any engine available within your lifetime. Long – yes, time to type it in – yes, secure – absolutely.

  4. i’m jumping in cause i think someone needs to say this, which is that, i experienced hotmail giving me this message so consistenly for a very long time that i got use to having to type it in twice because it would work on the second try (always). I got tired of trying to find a fix for it as did others i would ‘google’. i haven’t had this problem since i switched from xp & firefox to win 7 & IE8. anyway, something was happening besides ‘getting hacked’ jim

  5. More to this than stating “Hacked or Caps lock on”
    Recently installed W7 on another PC & can never access my existing hotmail account on this PC, (password incorrect every time) but have no problems logging in & out on the other PC. (Not a keyboard problem either as I’m using the same keyboard for both PCs)

  6. @John Neeting

    One of the ways that the programs crack the passwords is to string words and random characters together into pass phrases. I know that John the Ripper, one of the fastest Windows password crackers (cause its written in assembler and has no GUI, only command-line) can crack pass phrases by using dictionary words and stringing multiple words together.

  7. I’m with Jim – have had to retype the ‘good’ (same) password, second time always works, 1st time never. I’m on Vista, had the issue when I was on XP, and am NOT going to Win7 in the near future. It isn’t (doesn’t seem to be) a hacking issue. Hotmail just requires that second password entry. Nuisance!

  8. I have the same problem that a few have mentioned, it’s the reason why I ended up here. I have auto-complete turned on so IE always remembers my hotmail username and password, yet about 3/4 of the time when i click ‘sign in’ it tells me the username of password is incorrect. I generally have to type it in 2 or 3 times before it accepts. Does anybody know why this is, or how to get around it?

  9. I tried logging in to my msn mail account that has been free for many years on Thursday 7/3/2010 and it said thatI had logged in too many times with an incorrect password. Now note that I only logged in twice because I thought I may have hit the wronk key. I could not send a complaint to msn because I could not access my account. Every time now when I ty to logon it automatically takes me to NOT I set up another email account using hotmail and used my my original ID & PW and it allowed. I tried to set up a new account under a link I found for mail and it said my account was in use when trying to set up with same ID & PW. On Thurs there was a message from MSN saying that some users may not be able to access their mail accounts due to problems they were having. After 5 days, no fix????? What is going on as I have work and personal items that I desperately need to access. I have had this account for years!! Please help.

  10. That is not true i made 3 hotmails in one night tonight actually and all three got hacked into i dont think so! how could all three e-mails not work when i know the user name and the password is the exact same for all my e-mails YES IT IS HOTMAILS fault THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I disagree. There’s something happening on your end – perhaps you have a keylogger or spyware, perhaps using the same password on all your accounts is a really bad idea.


  11. I am trying to log in to my hotmail acct and it won’t allow me to do it –m it says I have tried too many times with the wrong password… The computer was cleaned and since then the password doesn’t work… I would like to access my hotmail acct,PLEASE !!!

    This article discusses recovery options for the various ways that Hotmail accounts can be lost or compromised: What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?


  12. Hotmail nonsense quite surely does exist. Hotmail will refuse to accept passwords if not changed for a long period of time. Example;

    I try logging into hotmail via a web browser, I’m told my password is incorrect. However, when the same password/user is entered into MSN Messenger, it logs in fine.

  13. I changed my mail address to {email address removed}, I am having problems with my caps button sticking, thus the problem getting my @ to pop up instesd of the number 2. I am trying to sign up for g-mail and keep getting blocked after putting in my password even though it says it is strong, NEW TO the computor and the net, over 100 years according to my doctor, can you help a old woman make it less diffulcult// CAN’T GET THE ASK SYMBLE TO COME UP, OR SPELL CHECK

  14. I just wanted to use my hotmail account on the 4-G phone since I could not I want to keep my contact and maybe put them on my Yahoo account. I can read my e-mail on my old phone but I was told my pass word was wrong and my secrect code was wrong. Must I stay on my old phone to keep my contact or is it a way to move them.

  15. Your account has been blocked
    Why are you seeing this?
    Someone may have used your account to send out a lot of junk messages (or something else that violates the Windows Live Terms of Service).
    We’re here to help you get your account back.
    What do you need to do?
    We’ll help you reset your password.
    We’ve cleaned your account settings
    Often customers get here because someone else has access to your account and are using it without your knowledge to send spam. To protect you and your contacts, we’ve removed any Hotmail auto-replies or linked accounts you may have had.
    Please tell me what can I do? because I need the same e-mail, {email address removed}
    Looking forward t hearing from you soon.

    Thank you,

    Best Regards

    Evon Kassabian

    This article discusses recovery options for the various ways that Hotmail accounts can be lost or compromised: What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?


  16. I had this same problem just yesterday. I typed in my CORRECT password, several times, to no avail……..then out of the corner of my eye noticed the “caps lock” was on. I took it off, typed in the exact same password, except this time all in lower case, and……everything was fine!

    Please tell me what can I do? because I need the same e-mail, {email address removed}

  17. So there is an engine that strings words together to make phrases ?. Oh so that engine can churn through
    factorial 680,000 [ plus spaces as a guess ] ?
    Even at a quadrillion times a second it couldn’t do it in 100,000 years. Get a computer to factorial 680,000 and see how far you get 🙂 if YOU can get such a computer

    Actually the engines that are around cycle through words and short combinations of words. And yes, they do so at an amazing rate these days (apparently occasionally botnets are used to bring the power of thousands of PCs to the problem). Regardless, password phrases as you suggest are significantly more secure. Basically anything that is longer is better, regardless of how you form it – phrases are simply easier to remember.


  18. I have a very old email, I used to use it for some forums until I made another one and it became my main.

    It’s been a while since I used it/loggin (2 years maybe), but lately one of my account’s password has been rested and an email has been sent to this OLD email. When I tried to loggin, its says that the email is incorrect, I tried everything, I even checked the forum for the right email, and guess what; it is!

    Help please.

    This article discusses recovery options for the various ways that Hotmail accounts can be lost or compromised and I believe it applies here: What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?


  19. This has happened to me twice with relatively new accounts. I never really send emails, so I mostly use it for verification emails and such. I had only logged into both accounts a handful of times in the 2-3 months I had them, and then one day it stops accepting my password. I have about 7 passwords that I use on different things, and I go through all of them with caps on and caps off, making sure everything is as it should be, but it still doesn’t accept the passwords. Also, when I look at my security question, on both accounts it asked for my favourite historical person, which I did not put. Also, while this may seem like a hacker, he would have to be following my accounts specifically, seeing as how he changed both the questions to the same thing. Also, I use a family PC, and nobody else’s emails or accounts have been hacked. I guess it could be someone I know messing with me, but as far as I know they have literally no knowledge of my email address, as I never speak of it at all. I think it’s Hotmail’s hijinks, but maybe I just want someone to blame

  20. Hello
    I have problem with my password. I can’t log in because my mail is lock and I don’t know why. I follow the steps but I don’t have another email to change password.. Can you help me?

  21. Leo you are no help to me. I put my problems down to hotmail…

    Almost all the people that have come to me claiming that it’s Hotmail’s fault end up finding that either their account was hacked, or that they had indeed been using the wrong password. In nearly 10 years of doing this I don’t think I’ve encountered even one case where Hotmail was actually at fault.

    • I have been doing this for 20 years and I can assure everyone here that this is an issue with Hotmail/ Microsoft. I changed my password four times with verification code and it still will not let me in. It also remembers I changed my password because it will not let me use it again.

      As usual, Microsoft screwed up the code and it will never get fixed.

  22. WRONG! I am logged in to Hotmail. I go to account settings –> Change password. I enter THE SAME password for “current password”, and I enter a VALID new password (TWICE). It then say’s he password is incorrect. IT’S A HOTMAIL PROBLEM!!!

  23. My hotmail account won’t accept my password and I know it’s right.and I can’t get mail cause it always says connection server failed,can you please HELP!

  24. I can get everything on my email using password and on facebook but when trying to sign in to take required tests for employment it keeps saying password is incorrect or else that email is incorrect. Help help…have been trying for hrs. test due today …thanks

  25. None of this is the case with me. I have the right password and the account hasn’t been hacked. At some point before Hotmail became outlook we chose for Hotmail to remember us so we didn’t have to enter all the info each time. Now, even if we log out, it we go to the home Hotmail page to log in it tells us the password is incorrect. If we go to the email icon on the desktop it puts us right in. We now have a Gmail account we need to use and it says we have to enter the Hotmail password before we can change anything because the email is linked to the administrator. We put in the correct password but because the account is always open it says the password is wrong. I don’t know what to do from here.

    • Sorry to say but all you can do is contact them. Tell them your account was hacked and let them figure it out. That appears to be the only answer they will accept.

  26. this is boloney it is hotmail amd microsofts fault they just st do it so you have to change your password once a week that is bull they need to stop this crap

  27. I had similar issue faced with my iphone6 mail app, displaying “Cannot Get Mail”. After a couple of troubleshooting, the final solution to this error message was due to “Two Way Verification”(see from your personnel Password and Security Settings. Hence, log in to your own account and switch off the two way verifcation to allow the smartphone mail app to retrieve mails directly through a single password.
    Hope this helps everyone out there. Nothing wrong with IOS8.3….

  28. I had this problem after setting two step verification on. If all of you cannot login due
    password error even your pass word is correct. download this file “wlsetup-all-14.exe”
    (please search for it). Install it. Then delete your Email ( Then go to
    this link
    5e906a34-9d3a-4e5e-bba9-c9dbcf0bdb1d?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US#BKMK_AddToUnsupported ”

    Though this is for outlook 2007, use some logic and configure these settings according to

    your Live mail.
    This will end all your problems

    Pemsiri Ranaweera

  29. “the user name or password for “hotmail” is incorrect” but ONLY on my iPad and iPhone mail server.
    The user name and password have NOT been hacked, as they work through any browser just fine.

    I would GUESS the problem is in a corrupted version of the OS, but the problem has followed THREE versions
    of the iPad and iphone OS upgrades.

    Any new ideas? (NOT an upper case lower case snafu either)

  30. I am having the same problem with Facebook and using a Hotmail account. I can log into Hotmail with no problem using the password, Facebook refuses it – this is both with entering the password individually and copying and pasting from a text document.

    I reset my Hotmail account password 1 week ago, and the password phrase is more than 12 characters long, includes upper and lowercase, numbers and symbols and is not in my native language (English) and is definitely impossible for any one to guess, and worked perfectly until today.

    So, is Facebook having an issue with Hotmail verification or are they being a PITA?


  31. The same thing is happening to me – I type one letter/number at a time and MSN says my password is incorrect – no it is not. I had to do a hard shutdown on my computer and the tried again with the same password – it worked. I’m so tired of this happening. So the person who asked the question may be having the same problem I am – there is some glitch somewhere causing this problem – and that I can do a hard shutdown and then reenter my password and it works shows there is a problem somewhere.

  32. It is hard for me to type with just little finger, have medical problems. Lots of mess!! Apple box keeps coming on when I am working. Very frustrating!! I have done everything I know to fix this and nothing works Help!!!‍♀️ plus. Like to know how to make these bigger??

  33. I think your highhanded attitude stinks. As others have said here it IS hotmail’s “fault”. I have my password written down. One minute it accepts it, the next it doesn’t. Blaming the user is just laziness or incompetence on your part. Your answer was useless. The only information I acquired here was from posts in response to your so called “solution”.

    • Sorry you feel that way, but BY FAR the VAST MAJORITY of people running into this problem have had their account hacked, so even though they THINK their email is correct, it is not – the hacker changed it.

    • Thanks Karen for that tip of typing it in twice. That did the trick for me. Nowadays, it really is hotmail’s fault, especially with Microsoft trying to merge accounts all over the place, whether you want to or not. I’m in California now, but back in June I was in Asia. Half of Asia couldn’t log in for days at a time. Microsoft has been having major problems.

      Today, even if I reset my password and waited awhile it did not work. And I didn’t lose my password or get hacked. I was still logged in on my phone the whole time while I couldn’t log onto my computer’s Hotmail.


  34. You’re wrong. I’ve reset my password twice over the last 2 days and when I try to log on from my tablet or phone (or again from the same computer after I’ve logged out) I get the same “Your account or password is incorrect. If you don’t remember your password, reset it now” message. PS – left the email that I can’t get into.

  35. you’re wrong Leo. I can log into Hotmail on my phone or home laptop and it works fine. I can put EXACTLY the same password in logging in on my work PC and it says password incorrect. Explain that.

  36. My Microsoft live (hotmail) password works on my desktop, but the same password is declared incorrect when typed in lower case on my cellphone. This password in 7 years old. Time to change it.

  37. Well let’s not be too protective of fairly poor customer service and very little human understanding based IT company. I have been trying to log on to Hotmail on my laptop for over a month. I do not want to have to reset it as I have three other devices where it is correct and have no issues logging on but I have no idea why it is not being accepted on the laptop. What might help me is the ability to show the password on my other devices as is available on many other websites/systems. Why this is always locked on Hotmail is beyond me.

    So, before being disparaging to people online perhaps think a bit like a human rather than another IT nerd? This is why ‘people are so angry online’ because normal people have lives and do not wish to spend their free time dealing with bullsh*t that should not happen in the first place.

    • Not allowing the password to be visible is a very important security measure. If they can show the password, anyone who gets a hold of your computer when it’s logged in would be able to get it. Even if your computer is fully secured, if they can show the password, it means Microsoft employees with access to the database would also be able get the passwords. Resetting the password is the way around this.

      I agree that program designers need to think more like humans but the reality is that in many cases, humans need to understand why the programmers do what they do. That’s where sites like Ask Leo! come into the picture.

  38. Cannot open my hotmail email account even when i know the password is correct, i have tried numerous times and it hasn’t even told me that it is incorrect the box just disappears leaving the inbox blank with a comment in the corner stating unable to receive messages from server.


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