How do I automatically forward Hotmail in Outlook.com?

It's now fairly easy to automatically forward Hotmail and Outlook.com messages to another email account. I'll walk you through the steps.

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I’m changing email accounts, but I don’t want to lose people who have my Hotmail address. How do I automatically forward Hotmail messages messages to my new account at a different provider?

The recent forced switch-over to the Outlook.com user interface left many long-time Hotmail users upset and dissatisfied. Many are considering leaving Outlook.com behind, except that this would mean abandoning their Hotmail.com email address.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to automatically forward Hotmail messages or any email that comes into your Outlook.com account to another email provider.

Setting up the forward

Login to your Outlook.com account and click the gear icon in the upper right:

Outlook.com Gear Icon

Then, click More mail settings:

More mail settings link

This will take you to the Options page. On the left, underneath “Managing your account”, click Email forwarding:

Outlook.com Email Forwarding link

On the resulting page, there are several important bits of information to pay attention to:

Outlook.com email forwarding

Specifically:

  • Select “Forward your mail to another email account.”
  • Enter the email address where you want all your Outlook.com (and Hotmail) email to be forwarded.
  • Select whether you want to keep the forwarded email in your Outlook.com inbox or not. If you’re not sure, I recommend checking this as a form of backup for your email, if nothing else.

Click Save.

Your email is now being forwarded.1

When you return to your inbox, you will now see a notification at the bottom of the screen:

Outlook.com mail being forwarded

The message reads: “Your mail is being forwarded to another email address. To stop forwarding your mail, go to Options.” This is to remind you that your email is being forwarded elsewhere and to give you the option to change your mind.

This is also a security measure: if your account is ever hacked this notifies you if the hacker set up email forwarding without your permission.

Login regularly anyway

Even though you’re now forwarding your email to a different email account on a different provider, it’s critical that you still login to your Outlook.com account periodically. Quoting the Email forwarding page that we used above:

Important note: Please sign in at least once every 365 days. Otherwise, your account looks inactive and could be deleted.

You must retain control and ownership of your Outlook.com/Hotmail account in order for forwarding to continue. That means you must login periodically or Microsoft may assume that the account has been abandoned.

Footnotes and references

1: Make sure the email address you forward to is correct. Forwarding seems to take effect immediately, and without any additional confirmation, unlike previous versions of Hotmail.

Comments

  1. Irena

    Hi Leo,

    I don’t want all my mail forwarded. I just want to know how to forward messages now and then. Is this possible in the new Outlook?

    Thank you!

    Irena

  2. Brett Markman

    Tried this with my hotmail ==> to gmail and never received a piece of mail……I assume it should be forwarded to my Inbox, although checked all over and no mail. Hotmail showed no mail for a number of days, so I assumed all was ok…..but..not so! Thanks…..

    • Make sure to check the spam folder on the receiving side. Also triple check that you entered the correct email address. I was very surprised that Outlook.com didn’t require some kind of validation/verification as they have in the past.

  3. Ed

    Hi – Instead of forwarding mail, why not try having gmail fetch it. That’s what I do for my hotmail and yahoo accounts. I take it a step further and use Postbox on my pc to get everything and I never have to logon to the website to get my email. Simple to set up, see previous articles on AskLeo.com

  4. farhan

    hi leo!
    my id was hacked and all my emails were forward to some other id.i wasnt able to send and recieve any email.is there any way to get back all my mails recieved last week?

    thanks

  5. Ike Nash

    To answer Irena, at the very top right of your e-mail is options” in blue ink. If you click that a drop down will open and FORWARD is in the list. Click forward and your format will change and a list of preferred e-mail addresses will open on left side. Select address, then click send and its on the way.

    Tip: once you are in forward mode you can add a title, erase old addresses, and do any editing you see fit.l

    • The generic answer is yes, but the specific answer REALLY depends on exactly what it is you have and are trying to accomplish.

      • Jakob

        Say I was trying to forward mail from Sony Entertainment on my old Email address, to my newer one which I use daily. How would I go about setting it up? I don’t want anything other than mails from Sony to be forwarded.

        • Connie Delaney

          Guessing that Sony Entertainment is a newsletter of some sort. Your best bet would be to look for their subscription options. It will either be a link at the bottom of the newsletter (like it is with the Ask Leo! newsletter) or it will be inside your online user account. Go in there and change the address where you want to receive information, and they’ll take care of the rest.

  6. Shannon

    I set up a new hotmail account and did the mail forwarding and it is not forwarding it to the new one. Instead my emails that I am using as a test are going to the junk folder in the old account? Any suggestions

  7. Kindra

    You rock! After pulling my hair out for an hour trying on the receiving side to “pull in” my hotmail (the method all the other guys were posting), I found you. Just a couple clicks and it was done!! AWESOME!

  8. William G Danson

    My Outlokk/Hotmail is forwarding to my G-Mail even though I have clicked DO NOT FORWARD. Any ideas please

    • Connie Delaney

      You should also check that the Gmail account is not picking up your outlook.com email as POP3 or IMAP. In other words, it can also go the other way.

  9. Billy

    Ok This is a step backward in terms of technology. This is the main reason why I dont use the new outlook.com/live.com/hotmail.com I used to be able to forward certain important email to my work email which I monitor constantly. now this forward feature has less functionality to limit it usefulness. Gmail it is, then Microsoft.

  10. is it 365 days, or once every 30 days?

    Leo, i remember [way back when] that my hotmail account would die if i didn’t sign in every 30 days, so i upgraded to the paid version.
    Is that 30 day limit now 365 days ? (now being 2014/9/4, btw). thanks

  11. Meg M

    Hey thanks for this because it helped me but I don’t want my outlook emails to be forwarded to my hotmail account so how do I undo this?

  12. DAVID

    I read your instructions, even wrote down the steps, to FORWARD AN EMAIL – but your instructions are not the same as whatt shows up on my computer: the ‘gear’ symbol lead to OPTION then a whole page of options where I found ‘Email Forward’ then I clicked on FORWARD YOUR EMAIL…. and I entered the EMAIL address of the person who is/was supposed to receive the Email I’m trying to forward….. Well, that is where I am confused….. and don’t know what to do…? How do I forward the particular Email that I want to forward?

    • If you just want to forward a single message this article doesn’t relate at all. This article is about forwarding ALL your mail as it comes in, automatically.

      To forward a single message, just look for the “Actions” menu item on the screen when you’re looking at the message. Forward is one of the actions.

  13. s

    hi

    im having a lot of problems with seearching in outlook.com, keeps on coming with the following message

    We can’t connect to Outlook.com at the moment. Please try again later.

    or this one

    Something happened at our end. Please refresh your browser or close it and sign in again.

    please help

    • Not directly. You can forward from Hotmail to A and then from A to B. Or you could use POP3 pickup from both A and B to “fetch” rather than forward the mail.

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