My MSN Hotmail name is “email@example.com”. I really don’t like the “something”. What I’d really like is to be “firstname.lastname@example.org”. How do
I change it?
This is another one of those seemingly simple questions that I get several times every day.
What you’re asking for is not to change your name, but your email address. Unfortunately, your email address is how MSN Hotmail identifies you. A different email address means a completely different MSN Hotmail account.
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Let’s clarify something first, though. Your MSN Hotmail identity consists of two parts: your display name (like “Leo Notenboom”) and your email address
(“email@example.com”). You can easily change your MSN Hotmail display name. I’ve covered that in a previous article.
But you cannot change the email address of your Hotmail account. You can only create a new account with a new email address. To do that:
- Sign Out of your Hotmail account by clicking on the “Sign Out” button.
- Visit Hotmail.com – but instead of signing in, click the Sign Up button under the “New to MSN Hotmail?” section. This will lead you through creating a new Hotmail account.
- After you select the free option, the next step will be to select your new email address. Good luck finding something you like that hasn’t already been taken.
- Be sure to pick a good password that you can remember, and that others will not be able to guess.
- Select a secret question from the list, and give an answer that only you would know. Do not forget this – without it, you could lose your account.
- Enter an alternate email address that your password could be sent to in case you forget it. Make sure it’s a different email address that you control, preferably on a different service.
After your new account has been created, you can start using it.
But your old account still exists. You will need to manually move all your contacts from your old Hotmail account to your new one. You will need to tell all your contacts that you have a new email address, and that they should stop using the old one. You will need to change anywhere else you use your old email address, for example in MSN Instant Messenger.
And when you’re all done, you may, or may not, want to delete your old MSN Hotmail account. Remember, some time after you close your account, your old email name will become available for someone else to take and use as their own.
As you can see, it’s a lot of work, and it’s definitely not easy to do.
It’s yet another reason I don’t recommend free email services for anything important.