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How Do I Contact Outlook.com Customer Service?

I get this question a lot.

And the answer keeps changing.

Things are getting better, but it still feels like we’re dealing with variations on the theme of “You don’t.”

Of late, however, there’s a little hope.

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What there isn’t

Outlook.comI have to be very, very clear:

There is no dial-in telephone support for Outlook.com.

This is the cost of free email. The same is true for other free service providers.

However, Outlook.com currently offers a couple of options that aren’t typically available elsewhere.

Outlook.com customer service

What about Hotmail?

Hotmail is Outlook.com. Even if you have a Hotmail email address, you now use the Outlook.com interface to access your email on the web. Outlook.com help and support options now also apply to your Hotmail account.

You can reach Outlook.com customer service in two ways:

  • For email-related issues, go here (that’s https://go.askleo.com/olsupport – I’ll update the destination if it changes in the future). After signing in to your Microsoft account, there’s a form to fill out with your issue or question.
  • For other account issues, presumably including log-in and account access, there is this link (https://go.askleo.com/adfreesupport) for online chat or to schedule a voice call-back.

In other words, it appears that you can get in touch with a real Outlook.com customer service person. In the latter case, you’re presented with a “virtual agent” to chat with — presumably using some form of AI — but you can also request to speak with a real person.

In addition, Outlook.com’s help pages remain a source for self-service online answers, including step-by-step instructions to perform common tasks and deal with common issues.

Outlook.com forums

Microsoft also provides Outlook.com forums for peer-to-peer help from other Outlook.com users.

Occasionally, Microsoft personnel interact on the board as well. They may answer questions or point you at the answers elsewhere on the site. It’s unclear how quickly or reliably they respond, but it’s a start.

But as is implied, quite frequently other Outlook.com users will be able to provide you with the answers you need.

One of the things I’ll reiterate is this: use the Search function on the help pages and user forums. If you spend any time browsing, it’ll quickly become clear that the vast majority of questions have already been answered elsewhere within the forums. It’s very much like Ask Leo! in that way. 🙂

If you take a few minutes to learn about and exercise the search capability of the site, and read the existing answers and discussions posted by other users, there’s a very good chance you can get your Outlook.com question answered without having to wait for anyone.

Important note about comments

Comments made that do not relate to the article above will be deleted.

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72 comments on “How Do I Contact Outlook.com Customer Service?”

  1. I have experienced a problem with live mail where when you click a link, such as this one from Leo’s e-mail, I receive a message from windows stating it can’t find the site. I’ve learned that you may have to retry as many as four times to get to the IE or Foxfire site.
    Patience is, after all, a virtue.

  2. I left MSN hotmail 4yrs ago.
    There support really stinks.
    And now it seems that yahoo is falling
    right behind them.
    What is wrong with these companys that
    they can’t support the end users?
    Yet they have no problem spamming your
    inbox with garbage ads.
    There in control for now.
    But hopefully in the future things will
    change and not one company will be
    in control of the net like MSN is.

    • FF. suggest you look up consumer reports on line. They are currently trying to get back New Neutrality. Surf the site to see what’s going on. On line subscriptions are available and you can participate in any product or whatever issue up to or for review.

  3. I’m having continuous problems with not being able to forward emails or even accessing my contacts. The cursor just doesn’t show up (eg when I try to forward something) . Sometimes after 10-15 tries the curor finally shows up and ‘blinks’ sometimes it never does (try another day!!!!!!!!!!!) The same with acessing the address book and trying to send an email to a selected person (IF I get that far!!)….if I get an address the curor again is very likely to not appear at all (despite numerous attemps . over and over again!!!! Why is this happening , and what can I do to fix this frustrating problem…..I wrote msnhotmail once before and I received no response. Thanks, Brad Murakami

    • Connect your computer or phone to a Wi-Fi signal (find a free one somewhere, hotel, friend McDonalds etc. ) or cell phone data signal and use your email apps to sign in and access your emails.

  4. I have my id I cannot get my password. I know my secret answer to my qustion and it says it is invalid. It wants me to got to my email how can I do that when I can’t remember my passowrd?

  5. i’m in the same boat. i have had hotmail since the days of four digit passwords. the only previous time i had problems like this is when i was in thailand right after y2k. maybe we have all be confickered up. what good is trying to reach hotmail trouble desk when we can’t get into our accounts to read the response?

  6. I just found this under a “Service Aggrement”
    “17. Changes to the Service; If We Cancel the Service.

    We may change the service or delete features at any time and for any reason. We may cancel or suspend your service at any time. Our cancellation or suspension may be without cause and/or without notice. Upon service cancellation, your right to use the service stops right away. Once the service is cancelled or suspended, any data you have stored on the service may not be retrieved later…”
    Wonderful

  7. windowslivehelp.com has the following message…

    “Hotmail and Windows Live ID experienced a service disruption starting at 8:44 PM (PST), which ended at 10:15 PM (PST), and during this disruption you may have been told your inbox did not exist. This was incorrect messaging. Your inbox, contacts and Live ID are all intact. We’re all Hotmail customers, so we appreciate how frustrating this experience was. Thanks for your understanding. If you’re still getting errors, please close out all browsers and sign in again.”

    …I followed this instruction and all is now OK – my mail is still there.

  8. Important

    Windows Live Hotmail apparently suffered an outage of some sort. Inboxes (including mine) disappeared and a message that I didn’t have one “yet” was displayed.

    This is not your fault, and there is nothing you need do.

    I got my inbox back by:

    • Signing Out

    • Waiting a while

    • Signing back in

    Nothing more was required, and my inbox was back.

    Important Lesson: Backup and/or stop relying on free email accounts as the only place you keep important information.

    – Leo
    09-Apr-2009

  9. When I sign in to MSN A message in the mail tab tells me that Hotmail is temporarily “down” This has been going on for over a week! and yet not a peep from MSN about this problem can be found.
    Also Mozilla Firefox has crashed and it’s been down over a week. What gives??!!

  10. I find it remarkable that windows will not talk to it’s clients. How can you remain in business? Other people will fix my problem for $59.99. Maybe windows own these places and it is their way to make money sence our e-mail live is suppose to be free. Iam 66 and some things are hard for me to understand but I do understand when a company gives bad service. This is very bad service. I had no problems until I got windows live. Now nothing but problems. How sad this company is for mistreating customers.

  11. I am really sick of not being able to see my entire email because of an annoying blinking ad on the right of the screen. I actually have to scroll over while I am reading my emails so that I can see all of the text. I’d love to complain to hotmail about it, but since this seems to be impossible, I have instead switched to gmail.

  12. I am really frustrated. I have tried so mny times to contact Hotmail and get an answer to a question I have asked! Why is my email page virtually covered by advertisements? Is there anything I can do about it?

    No. That’s how Microsoft gets revenue to pay for this free service.

    – Leo
    28-Apr-2009
  13. I can not open my new or existing e-mails from from my inbox since this new window live changes. Any time I click on my e-mail it re-route to google or some other address? I can’t access their customer service for help?

  14. Up until this past week, I was able to click on my name only to connect with msn hotmail. NOW, everytime I want to read my e-mail, I have to type in my e-mail address AND my password. How do I get back to one simple ‘click’?

  15. I have been trying for over a week to find the support form to complete to have my hotmail account re-opened. Not one of the links provided has the form nor anything to do with my problem. Can you people at least get that right!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Sunday I received an a message while logging on that my account had been closed or access denied due to a violation of the terms and use agreement. I have no idea why this would have occurred. I do not send out mass e-mails creating a spam issue and I do not send pornographic e-mails. I have no idea if someone else could have hacked into my e-mail and done so, but feel that someone should have asked me for some sort of response before they just close my account. I have very important saved filed and all of my contact information is in there and I can’t access it. I have sent 2 e-mails to the address I was provided by the on-line support team, one Monday and one Tuesday and have yet to receive an answer. I even told them if they need me to change the address and they can just transfer my files and contacts over I would do that, but I have heard nothing and I have information in there I need to get at.

    Please advise!!!!

  17. How do I get to my Hotmail e-mail account so I can update personal info?

    You login to your Hotmail account as usual, and then use the Options menu on the far right of the Hotmail page and select “More Options” there. Personal account information is in there.

    – Leo
    31-May-2009
  18. I received an a message while logging on that my account had been closed or access denied due to a violation of the terms and use agreement. I have no idea why this would have occurred. I do not send out mass e-mails creating a spam issue and I do not send pornographic e-mails. I have no idea if someone else could have hacked into my e-mail and done so, but feel that someone should have asked me for some sort of response before they just close my account. I have very important saved filed and all of my contact information is in there and I can’t access it. I have sent 2 e-mails to the address I was provided by the on-line support team, one Monday and one Tuesday and have yet to receive an answer. I even told them if they need me to change the address and they can just transfer my files and contacts over I would do that, but I have heard nothing and I have information in there I need to get at.

    This is a classic reason I so strongly recommend never keeping important information in only a free email account. If something happens your chances for recovery are often slim.

    – Leo
    01-Jun-2009
  19. Moamen writes…
    I have very important saved filed and all of my contact information is in there and I can’t access it.

    Sorry to sound harsh but the salutary lesson here is that important data should never be stored via a free web-based e-mail service. As has been inferred by Leo, myself and others many times, you get what you pay for and, if it’s free, you can’t expect much, if any, customer service.

    Hotmail, along with Yahoo!, is the first choice of spammers and, as a reliable service, doesn’t merit consideration by serious users.

  20. I have been shown the “your account has been closed due to violations” notification and it says to fill out a form with a link at the bottom, but does not provide a link!!! How can I find this ” e-mail support form ” ???
    I e-mailed hotmail yesterday about my account sending out messages automatically and asked how they can be stopped — and now they block me out ?? what is going on!!!

  21. I live in Montmagny, Province of Quebec in Canada. Since last Wednesday, hotmail isn’t working for anyone around here and no one knows why. Some are waiting for job application replies, some are waiting for family news, etc. It’s not pleasant and hotmail doesn’t advise us of the problem which I think they should do because how long is it going to last ? Thanks on behalf of the resident of Montmagny.

  22. The same thing just happened to me, my account is blocked due to abuse.
    I have no idea why. I also have may hotel and air reservations on there that I need to retrieve. I also am getting now herewith their on line help. Its worse than EBAY at least you can talk to someone there if you have a problem. This is very fristrating has anyone actually gotten help with this??

  23. I received an a message while logging on that my account had been closed or access denied due to a violation of the terms and use agreement. I have no idea why this would have occurred. I do not send out mass e-mails creating a spam issue and I do not send pornographic e-mails. I have no idea if someone else could have hacked into my e-mail and done so, but feel that someone should have asked me for some sort of response before they just close my account. I have very important saved filed and all of my contact information is in there and I can’t access it. I have sent 2 e-mails to the address I was provided by the on-line support team, one Monday and one Tuesday and have yet to receive an answer. I even told them if they need me to change the address and they can just transfer my files and contacts over I would do that, but I have heard nothing and

  24. I keep receiving undeliverable mail from the postmaster on the following e-mail address.
    greenshipoint@clinic.net
    I do not have this address in any of my contacts, why do I keep receiving notices from the hotmail postmaster?

    Probably because some spammer is spoofing the “From:” address on some spam to look like it came from you – hence if/when the message bounces it goes back to you. Nothing to be done.

    – Leo
    19-Jul-2009

  25. I used to be able to upload lots of pictures when sending an e mail but as of yesterday i can only upload one at a time, people are waiting for me to forward on pictures but it would take couple of hours to upload one at a time. Why has it stopped doing this, how can i get it back to normal?????????????

  26. I can log on to my msn e-mail account, but when I click on any of my e-mails I cannot open them. It will not let me do anything! I have had no luck being able to find a contact number to troubleshoot this. So I just opened an e-mail account with yahoo and as soon as I have everything else transfered over I am deleting my msn. POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!

  27. MSN emails also has “stopped” us from signing in automatically now, so, the best thing to do is to convert to Yahoo mail. MSN is now “forcing” us to comply to all their “new” programs and we have no choice but to comply. So, lets all change over to Yahoo mail. Screw MSN. They create nothing but problems for us. Since they make sure we cannot sign-in constantly by “typing-in” our email etc, screw them, Yahoo has never done this nor created these problems herein. So CHANGE too Yahoo and end these problems…

  28. I keep geting a hanging window when I try to reply to a message, and have to kepp refresshing it, or back button, this is annoying, also I think the customer service could be better a land line or several hundred with an 0845 number that way they make some money to pay the staff. also I have put severl emails in blocked sender section and I still get messages from them, annoying little people who have nothing better to do. they need to get a life. also sick of winning the lottery, christ I must have bilions, i simply mark as phishing scam as you cannot reply to these idiots to say what nice people you think they are. LOL.

  29. So, windowslivehelp.com really is a Microsoft web site? Although I was already logged in to a Windows Live account, I was asked to sign in again to Windows Live before I could submit a question. When I clicked the “Sign In” button (in Firefox, thank God),

    1. I was warned that the encrypted page was about to use an unencrypted connection to POST my account information,
    2. The authority that issued the web site’s wasn’t a recognized certificate authority,
    3. The certificate couldn’t be verified because the issuing authority wasn’t available online.

    Sounds like a phishing site, and not a very sophisticated one, but here you say that it’s legitimate? Is really any way to know which are Microsoft’s web sites and which are phishing sites?

    WindowsLiveHelp.com is legit. It’s just stupid that they haven’t coded that site to avoid the warning. They should know better.

    Leo
    22-Sep-2009

  30. After 6 months of trying to figure out who and how someone is accessing my Hotmail acct., I tried to get some help from hotmail customer support. Forget it! Since my problem is not the “Norm” I have gotten no help whatsoever. I didn’t forget or give my password to anyone, and have changed it several times. Still numerous e-mails sent to me are not delivered… Intercepted by someone unknown to me. Lost in cyberspace along with the Hotmail help staff!

  31. This is outrageos. I can not sign in just because windows live wants me to change password. I have the same password for last four years and i am NOT GOING TO CHANGE IT! I am 60 yrs old and I forget things. If I change password, I’ll forget it. If I write it down, I’ll lose it.At sign in are boxes to “remember me”. Every time I check them, byt windows maliciously does not want to remember just because I refuse to change my password.Where are those days when you click on hotmail and just opened it. I WANT IT BACK!!!
    I do not want this run around like government, or something. I really need answer(in simple language-I’m not computer person), otherwise I will go to someone else for service, because is just pain in the rear to deal with your “innovations”. Regards, MJK.

    I hope you understand that I am not Hotmail, and this site is not associated with Hotmail.

    As much as you want to keep the same password, it’s a very, very bad idea, and could easily lead to your account being stolen – it’s important to choose good passwords and change them periodically. Tools like Roboform can help manage them for you (I honestly don’t know my online banking password, for example, but I don’t need to – Roboform remembers for me.)

    Ultimately, though, these should be your choices, I agree. I know of no way to force Hotmail to operate as you wish, and if they’re not responsive then I regularly advise people to use a different service, exactly as you’ve threatened to do. It’s often the right move.

    Leo
    03-Oct-2009

  32. Apparently Hotmail cannot handle spam mail. They have shut down all incoming emails from @att, @bellsouth, @comcast, @rr.com and a few others. This was done (they say) due to people complaining about spam mail. Now, just so everyone knows, I am getting emails from my yahoo account just fine AND I am getting plenty of spam in my hotmail account. I just can’t recieve any emails from my friends. And lucky them, they have no customer service….I need to get rid of my Hotmail account and move somewhere else, for good.

  33. I’d problems with opening a Hotmail account since only 3 registrations are allowed per day per IP, which in my case is used by over 5000 college students. So, I asked the support team to enable more than 3 registrations from our IP, and the response was within 2 hours. So, the Hotmail online support feature seems to be quite effective.

  34. Leo.. thanks for all your help, you are great. I can’t get into my hotmail account due to forgetting the new password (I was made to change it). I did the form with the all the information, IP’s, folder names, etc. They said I would be notified in 24 hours – it’s been 3 days. Any advice?

    Thanks

    Cathy

    Not really. I’ve become much too cynical when it comes to Hotmail. I know some people have had success doing what you’re doing, but my experience is that once you’ve lost an account it’s gone forever. If I had any advice it would be to move on.

    Leo
    09-Oct-2009
  35. my friend cant send me emails from his work account his email address is [Removed]. i have two addounts in hotmail and the other one recieves his email fine. its just that [Removed] doesnto recieve his emails at all. please assist with this matter…please?

  36. Hi Leo, MSN Hotmail prompted me to reset my password because I tried to sign in few times with the wrong password. It appears someone was trying to access my e-mail. . . the issue here is every time I tried to reset my password using the secret questions it tells me this option isn’t available and they will mail me my password to my e-mail address which I can’t access in the first place. What should I do to access my e-mail. They don’t give you an option to give them a different e-mail address other than Hotmail. Thank you.

  37. I forgot my password to 1 of my 2 hotmail accounts, so i asked for a password reset and they sent it to the same account that i cant log into, What can I do about this? How can i change my backup address to a different one? Thank u all very much for ure time.

  38. I filled out a live hotmail password recovery form and received a support ticket number. It’s been four days. Is there any way to inquire about the current status?

    Not that I know of.

    Leo
    12-Mar-2010

  39. I have contacted customer service several times and I desparately need assistance. Somehow my email password was changed and it locked me out of my account. I have job related and urgent emails that I need to respond to and can’t access. I changed the password sometime in January 2010. However, someone changed it within the last 1-2 weeks. HELP!!!!! Send response to [email address removed] or call my new home [number removed]. THIS IS URGENT!!! I need access ASAP or can you forward the emails to another account for me?

    As is stated in several places I cannot recover lost or hacked accounts. The article you just commented on contains the information I can provide. I’m sorry that you’ve lost what’s in your account (I don’t believe you can get it back), but that’s why I caution so often and so strongly against keeping anything important in only a single, free, email account. Learn from this experience and backup important data in the future.

    Leo
    19-Mar-2010

  40. Dear sir
    I got an email from the following address asking for my email password and date of birth. stating that because of congestion on email addrsses they have to cancel some of the addresses. offcourse I didn’t give them. I am sending the address so if you can do some thing about it.
    [email address removed]
    If you send me your email I will forward the email to you
    Thanks
    Khaled

    I don’t need to see it, and there’s nowhere to report it to that would do any good. It’s a SCAM, pure and simple. See this article: Is Windows Live Hotmail about to close my account?

    Leo
    19-Mar-2010

  41. Dear MSN Hotmail,
    I get all kinds of fishing mail and unwanted adverts from the United States. Even though I list them every time in my blocked senders list. I still receive these absolutely unwanted mails.
    In my understanding these mails should not come in my unwanted mail / spam box. In my opinion is a blocked sender blocked and cannot enter my spam box / unwanted mail box.
    My spam box is used only for unknown senders only.

    It would be highly appreciated if blocked sender are absolutely blocked especially from the U.S. Since I live in Europe I have no interests in Americans loans or bargains.

    Solve this big problem, it is very much appreciated in Europe.

    Thank you.

    Noa

    This site is not related to or owned by MSN Hotmail, Microsoft, Windows Live or anything or any one other than me, Leo Notenboom. Your message posted here will not be seen by the people that make decisions at Hotmail.

    Leo
    21-Mar-2010

  42. My e-mail has been closed. How long does it take for them to investigate and get it up and running. This e-mail is for my non for profit organization and I need it operational.

    There’s no way to know. I’ve heard everything from next day to never. This is another reason I so strongly recommend against free email accounts for anything truly important.

    Leo
    26-Mar-2010

  43. I contacted you on another site a few days ago to complain about your recent change to signing in to hotmail. For security I always choose to use my password. I was able to click on sign in, type password, and click again in the same place. Now ‘sign in’ has moved lower so I have to move the cursor unnecessarily. How many movements will this add over a year? Thousands. Thought the idea was to try and have seamless transitions, and not to add extra useless wasted clicks or moves. And tonight – more problems! Trying to close my screen by using the white cross on red ground on rt hand top, kept getting, the ‘do you wish to close all tabs’ box!!! More unnecessary movements.I used to work for MORI – why don’t you do something about decent market research?

    “I contacted you on another site” – PLEASE understand that this site is not Microsoft, it is not Hotmail and there’s no reaon to believe that anyone from Microsoft will read your comments. The article you just posted this comment on has the proper ways to attempt to help.

    Leo
    04-Apr-2010

  44. Any messages sent to above mail box is not delivered into my inbox? Does it mean my account has been hacked?

    Not neccessarily, no. Typically it means an email program failure, or over agressive spam filtering.

    Leo
    08-Apr-2010

  45. The above account I had since 2002. I have contacted all the abuse e-mail addresses and no one has answered why my account was closed. I have spent so much money since my account has been closed with iyogi, a tech guy that built my latest computer and opened an msn account. Should’nt someone respond to me. All my files, contacts, pictures, medical information is blocked from me. I opened the account in 2002 on an army post in San Antonio. I just cannot understand that I have received nothing from windows live explaining what has happened and in the mean time I have an account that I cannot get to and if they would just respond to me this could get cleared up. Truly frustrated

    “Shouldn’t someone respond to me?” – No. They are under no obligation to do so. This is a free email account, and you’re getting exactly what you paid for. This is why I so strongly recommend against using free email accounts as the only place to keep anything even vaguely important.

    Leo
    17-Apr-2010

  46. i keep getting a spam which sends to all my address book as well saying that i have brought some laptop and they should visit the site. it gets sent to my address book once a week. how do i stop this as people are getting [edited]??????

  47. never ever give out your information!!! The email saying your acct is being closed or threatens to close it if you dont respond is a scam!!! [edited]…

  48. When Google declared Gmail as well as an endless quantity of space for
    storage, Hotmail also followed suit along with rivals like Yahoo in doing exactly the same plus much more.
    If online help hass become not good for you, you might again seek assistance of such entities, which work independently annd charge you having a nominal fee for
    service. Microsoft can be migrating Hotmail to Look, and so you can look to several more adjustments to its
    service layout as well.

  49. My Facebook account was hacked Adrian John Mullings, my email address Üremoved@hotmail.com
    I can’t change the password.
    I can’t find the certificate to reattach.

  50. TAKEOVER; Outlook sent me an email saying they were going to change my email at my request (Which I NEVER DID!)
    They took my hotmail. I’m not tec savy and haven’t been able to contact them or get my email back. My husband
    put the address in. He has passed away so I would like to keep it. I am being told I have to change it to open a new
    account with hotmail.

    • Microsoft doesn’t “change your email”, so I’m not sure what that message was really all about. My guess is that you fell prey to a phishing scam and hackers are now in control of your account. As for contacting Microsoft, the article you just commented on has everything I know of. If you didn’t have recovery information associated with the account you may not be able to get it back. This is also why I so often and so strongly recommend backing up your email.

  51. Being a PRIME” customer WHY, WHY do we have to go to Hotmail or any other place just to ask questions or just to redeem a $10 gift card??
    you would THINK that with a purchase it would be deducted with a special code number, but unfortunately I guess that would be impossible.
    Sorry I don’t get it.

    • I guess I’m not understanding exactly what it is you’re having problems with. Ask Leo!? Hotmail? Amazon Prime? Can you clarify?

  52. I lost my Hotmail password like a year ago and I answered the question but they still didn’t give it to me I haven’t been on my Facebook or Instagram for almost a year now need help

  53. I have the two step process to access our outlook account, we enter the correct email address, the correct password, we the are asked to enter the last 4 digits of our phone number linked to the account, we should then receive a phone to give us a access code. Having done all of the, the phone does not ring with the code. I have tried to contact mircosoft & hotmail help line but their process simply does not work for this issue. I have tried the on line automated support, after going around in circles I ask to speak to someone, they ask a number of questions and then eventually I get a message to say, to speak to someone sign in. I CANNOT SIGN IN, that is the issue !!!.
    The only option offered is to change the security info but then use cannot access your account for 30 days !!!!!!!!!.
    Nothing has changed my end, I just want them to sort it out – I can still access the account on the mobile but not the desk because as above I don’t get the phone call with the access code ARRRG.

  54. {removed}@outlook.com I am sitting at moffitt cancer hospital in Tampa, Fl so I was trying to set up a messenger account and outlook asks me to set up an outlook email. I did and now I can not get into my email account. I have not posted this before. I need my emails.

    • Trying to get messenger it told me to make a new password using outlook. NowI need Togo back using my old password to get my emails.please help me.Don’t remember my new password.

  55. Hello I’m trying to get my password from a old Hotmail account that I haven’t used in 15 plus years. How can I get my password for it? Facebook is sending me a code so I can reset my password for FB but it sends it to my {removed}t@hotmail.com but I can get it cause I forgot my password. How can I get my password for my Hotmail account … Thank you Todd

    • Depends what you mean by the same Outlook If you mean on one or more machines, and you configure one on IMAP you can configure the other as POP3 but be sure to set it to keep the mail on the server or else you will defeat the purpose of IMAP synchronization.

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