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How do I resolve my Hotmail email problems?

I continue to receive regular reports of people having trouble connecting
to, logging into, or reading their Hotmail email. The problems are as varied as
the symptoms. But there is one thing that’s consistent in most all of the
reports …

The frustration.

I’ve collected here a number of things to help try to resolve the assorted
problems you may be experiencing.

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Scan and Scan Again: We’ll start with the obvious stuff,
that I hope you’re doing already. Accessing Hotmail, as well as many other
sites, can definitely be affected in many different ways by both viruses and
spyware. Thus it’s important that you run an up to date virus scan and
spyware scan.

Check hosts: One of the common targets of malware is the
“hosts” file. Normally found in C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc, open it in
notepad. If there’s a line referencing “”, or “”, then
the file has most likely been altered by malware of some sort. The safest thing
to do if that’s the case is to simply rename the file to something else. You
can read more about the hosts file in my article “Is there a way to block
certain URL’s in IE?

Internet Explorer

Though many might argue the point, IE itself isn’t a problem.
However various readers have reported a couple of things that helped in some

Reinstall or repair Internet Explorer: On Windows XP, you
can try running the System File
. Even on Windows XP, and on all other versions of Windows, the best
“repair” is really a reinstall. Just visit Microsoft’s Internet
site and download the latest version.

Switch to a different browser: Several people have reported
that switching to Firefox or Netscape resolved their
issues accessing Hotmail.

Lower Security: While I can’t say that I really recommend
it, some users have reported that reducing the security on their internet zone
in Internet Explorer to medium-low resolves some issues. I note that Internet
Explorer itself makes this difficult (no doubt on purpose, as you are
increasing the risk of viruses and other malware). Going to
Tools, Internet Options
Security, Custom Level, Reset
, and setting Medium-low should do the trick.

HTTP Version: Some folks have reported that altering the
version of HTML that IE uses helps resolve their issue. In IE:
Tools, Internet Options,
Advanced, locate the entry HTTP 1.1 settings
and uncheck Use HTTP 1.1. You may have to exit and reload IE
for the change to take effect.


Make sure that Cookies are enabled: Hotmail apparently
requires that cookies be enabled in order to get past the “match the picture”
security check. So:

  • In IE, go to Tools, Internet Options
    Privacy, and press Default.
  • Clear your cookies, in case an existing cookie is causing
    problems. In IE, go to Tools, Internet
    General, and press Delete
  • Clear your cache, in case a cached page is not being
    properly refreshed. In IE, go to Tools, Internet
    General, and press Delete
    , and be sure to check Delete all offline
    prior to clicking OK.

Open the firewall: It’s also important that your firewall
not block cookies, and some do. You’ll have to refer to the documentation for
your firewall, but several people have reported that resolving this allows them
to progress past the “match the picture” stage. Note that this probably does
not apply if you’re using a router for your firewall, or if you are
using the Windows XP embedded firewall. A quick test would be to turn
off your firewall and try accessing Hotmail, but I would definitely
not leave your firewall turned off.

The Network

Sometimes networks and networking can get confused, and block, or misroute,
access to sites.

“But there is one thing that’s consistent in most all of the reports … The frustration.”

Reboot and Reboot: I’ll assume you already have rebooted
your PC, but make sure to reboot your modem (power off and back on again), and
your router, if you have either. I know I have gotten my own router into a
state where its behavior was erratic, and a quick reboot resolved several

Flush DNS: A reboot does this as well, but a quicker way to
make sure that your computer is using the most current DNS information is to
open a command shell, and enter the following command:

ipconfig /flushdns

This command might not be available on all versions of Windows, so you still
may want to do that reboot.

Fiddle with Network Settings: I’ve seen this in a number of
discussion groups. It involves altering an obscure network setting called “MTU”
or “MaxMTU”. Normally that requires a dive deep into the registry, but
fortunately there are utilities out there that make this setting a little
easier to tweak. I’ve used TCP
from Using that utility, these changes are
reported to help:

  • click on the appropriate connection type (Dialup, DSL, DSL (PPPoE), or
    Cable Modem)
  • Click on Custom Settings
  • Change MaxMTU to 1220
  • Change MTU Discovery from Yes to Default
  • Click on Apply Changes, and then

This type of change does require a reboot to take effect. (The theory, by
the way, is that Hotmail made some type of change involving this setting to
prevent or avoid Denial of Service attacks. Sadly it seems many users were
denied service as a result.)


Try again later: Sometimes Hotmail itself is the problem.
We’ve definitely seen periods of time where Hotmail was simply not working.
While Hotmail’s notification of such events is quite lacking (as in, pretty
much non-existent), because of its high usage any widespread outages are
evident to them quite quickly, and you can be certain that they are working on
the issue(s) even though you might not hear about it. How long to wait? I’d
typically give it a day.

Play with the numbers: When issues aren’t wide spread,
things get a little trickier. Exactly how Hotmail’s load is distributed across
the hundreds, if not thousands, of servers they use, is a mystery. If you’re
able to log in to Hotmail, you’ll see addresses like this in your address

The numbers, 18 in this case, will vary, presumably as Hotmail distributes
the load by assigning your session to one particular server or set of

In perhaps one of the most obscure ideas I’ve ever encountered, one reader
reported that changing the number (a 2, in his case, to a 23) resolved an issue
that was happening after login. Since we have no way of knowing
exactly what this really does or why this might work, it’s difficult
to formally recommend, but you might give it a try if you are able to login and
get to an address that looks like that, but then begin having problems. Edit
the url directly in the address bar, changing both numbers, and press enter. Who knows? It might work.

Outlook Express

If you’re used to using your free Hotmail account in Outlook Express, that
might be the entire problem. Hotmail support in Outlook Express is being phased
out. This Microsoft Knowledgebase Article explains
that in order to continue using your Hotmail account in Outlook Express you
need to upgrade and purchase an MSN Hotmail Plus account.

Hotmail’s web interface remains free.

Your Machine

Check your clock: make sure that the date and time on your computer are correct. Several aspects of your connection to secure sites like Hotmail
rely on your clock being accurate.

The best approach is to use the built-in clock synchronization facility. On Windows XP, right click on the clock in your taskbar, select Adjust Date/Time, click on the Time Zone tab and ensure that the time zone is set correctly. Then click on the Internet Time tab, check Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server. Click
Update Now to update the time immediately.


Finally, there are two scenarios we need to touch on as well, that can lead
to your not being able to log into your own Hotmail account: phishing and

Phishing: If you’ve received an email purportedly from
Hotmail asking you to visit a certain web site and asking you to “re-verify”
your account by re-entering all your personal data, you may have fallen victim
to a phishing scam. The email was probably not legitimate, and the website that
it pointed you at was probably not Hotmail at all. Even if it looked like
Hotmail, it may simply have been a hacker attempting to get your personal
information. My article Phishing? What’s Phishing? has more.

Theft: Is your password easy to guess? Did you “loan” your
account to a friend? Did you access your Hotmail in an internet cafe or other
public venue? Then it’s quite possible that your account has simply been
hijacked or stolen. Someone got or guessed your password, and then went off and
changed it.

The bad news in both of these scenarios is that you may be SOL (Severely Out
of Luck). There are few, if any, resources to help you recover your free email
account’s password, OR the contents of your address book or mailbox. The only
real solution for this scenario is to learn from it, start over, and take steps
so that it doesn’t happen again.

A special Thank You to all the readers of prior articles
here on Ask Leo! who’ve contributed ideas and
solutions for others to experiment and work with, and to everyone who reported
back on their success and/or failure. Your ideas and comments are helping

Do this

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176 comments on “How do I resolve my Hotmail email problems?”

  1. Normally as long as you don’t select any newsletters, and hit “Continue” at the bottom of the screen, you shouldn’t see it again. You may need to have cookies enabled for that to “stick”.

  2. But since you have helped me i will help you follow these steps….it works (first back up your system state)

    1. my computer
    3.folder options
    5. show all files and folders
    6. right click on start
    7. explore
    8. windows
    9. the blue folders are the updates, find the ones in early april there should be 5 keep the ones listed below Group by date to sort them out) (the reason I only listed four is because I deleted the right one first up and forgot to write it down so these should be the four remaining updates that came early april that wont affect your computer!!!!!)
    the other blue folders are the hotfix ones that came on your sp2 cd (15 of them)
    10. Once you have located the correct blue folder( the one not mentioned above) open it then click on the folder spuninst, then click on the little tv one that says windows sevice pack uninstall and it will allow you to uninstall that terrible update!!!!!
    11. and yes I have found a way to uninstall those new updates (you can only uninstall them from the hidden folders not from the software distribution folder) because I am the amateur computer expert ha ha ha who will one day crash his computer again… but thats the only way to learn
    cheers cosie
    12. p.s turn off automatic updates before you go back on the net!!!!!!
    13. restore default folder options
    14. this works but becareful remember to back up before you start…

  3. I am writing FOR my sister. I can’t forward this to her. She’s been trying for weeks to get her Hotmail to work and no one will help her. Will you PLEASE help her? Her email address is:

  4. The time on my hotmail account is off. I have people e-mail me at a particular time, yet when I recieve the e-mail it shows that it was sent several hours later… I need the time to be accurate, so I can track/account for important e-mails.

  5. my husband that is in iraq cant open his hotmail account and neither can i open his. i dont have a problem logging on to my hotmail, also he can log on to his messenger with the same name.
    this is the message that i’m getting, as follows,,,
    You are already signed in as:

    You can:Sign out of this .NET Passport and sign in as “”.
    Remain signed in with this .NET Passport.

    then on the web browser it shows this:
    with this message: Hotmail does not support the .NET Passport you are signed in to.Visit the Hotmail Web site for information or to set up a free account
    can you help my husband to get to his email?

  6. Since Jan. 2005 my hotmail account has been 99% dysfunctional. I even paid the $19.95 to upgrade to Hotmail Plus and that did nothing to improve the service. Not one thing improved.

  7. everytime i try go go onto my hotmail it comes up with this thing where i have to type in the numbers and letters. so i do it and it just keeps going back to it over and over. it’s impossible to getinto my email. i can go on msn messenger fine and my siters hotmail works fine. plwease help me !! im frustrated.. :(:(

  8. everytime i try go go onto my hotmail it comes up with this thing where i have to type in the numbers and letters. so i do it and it just keeps going back to it over and over. it’s impossible to getinto my email. i can go on msn messenger fine and my siters hotmail works fine. plwease help me !! im frustrated.. :(:( please reply to the email

  9. A big thank you for the information relating to unchecking the http 1.1 setting in the advanced tab, to get hotmail to work. I have spent months wasting time trying to resove this problem. I can now finally rest and read my emails.

  10. I dont know if it is becaue Im travelling but I havent been able to enter my hotmail for a week now (since the end of April 2005) Maybe its because of dodgy internet cafes in the south america but im really worried someone has hijacked my account. It just goes to a blank screen after logging on. I also bought the $15 package to try to fix this but to no avail. I really need to check my mails and am getting very annoyed. Is anyone else expeeriencing similar problems at the moment?


  11. Nothing had changed on my system but I kept getting an error about cookies being disabled (this went on for several days). I tried all of your suggestions. Finally, your notes about playing with the numbers achieved results.

    The initial hotmail login is:

    I changed the id to 18 (10 was for a .net member login and 23 wasn’t valid), input my login info and clicked ‘sign in’. Everything worked. And it seems to have reset whatever wasn’t working because on subsequent logins, I didn’t have to change the number value for id=

  12. Cynthia: ultimately, you can’t. The best you can do is, depending on your mail client, set up a rule to automatically delete email coming from those addresses.

  13. I cant get on to my hotmail account. it keeps telling me to type in characters that are displayed on the screen, and then asks me to sign in again, and then i’m asked to type in characters… on and on… i really need to check my mail, but ive had this problem for something like two weeks now. does anyone know what i can do?

  14. As many people have the capacity of 250MB for their hotmail, however, I only have 2MB. Please advise how could I upgrade from 2MB to 250MB. Thank you.

  15. How to get to Hotmail

    I’ve been trying for 2 days to get into my hotmail. I keep getting this message: “Hotmail does not support the .NET Passport you are signed in to. There are two ways you can get to Hotmail: If you already have a Hotmail account, you can sign out of your .NET Passport and sign in using your Hotmail account.” I’ve tried this a million times. It does not work. I can log into MSN Messenger but cannot access my hotmail. I can loggon at and view my email inbox but when I try to access it I get the same message “”Hotmail does not support the .NET Passport you are signed in to. There are two ways you can get to Hotmail: If you already have a Hotmail account, you can sign out of your .NET Passport and sign in using your Hotmail account.” I really need to retrieve some emails since I’ve applied for several jobs using an Hotmail address; I KNOW, NEVER use hotmail for important stuff…. I’ve learn my lesson. Thanks.

  16. Ivy Liaw: wait. There’s nothing you can do. HotMail is slowly rolling this out to its subscribers, and you should get it eventually.

  17. If anyone is experancing this error when you TRY to log into your email via MSN Messanger… I HAVE YOUR SOLUTION!!

    “Hotmail does not support the .NET Passport you are signed in to.”

    Here are the directions for those of you who are not computer savey (in laymens terms, you are clearing your cookies)

    Open up the Internet Explorer… Look at the VERY top area… (file, edit, view. etc…) Select TOOLS

    Look in the drop down window for INTERNET PROPERTIES

    In the center of the Page select DELETE COOKIES.. this may take a couple of minutes to complete.. be patient it will!!!

    Once you are done with this.. Close the Internet Explorer.. and sign into MSN and try!!!

    I had the SAME problem.. Some of my accounts would work OTHERS wouldnt!!!! THIS WILL FIX THE PROBLEM.. the other solutions that were on this website were “Silly”!!

    Also Please note.. there is a “work around” If you can log into ANY hotmail email.. (other than the one you are having problems with) You can SIGNOUT, and it will eventually bring you to the sign on page… Enter in your information and it WILL WORK!! This is the only way to get it to work, if this is the problem!!!

  18. “the other solutions that were on this website were ‘Silly’!!”

    Interesting, since deleting cookies is, in fact, one of the solutions mentioned in the article.

  19. I found a away to get the emails, when it comes up in the buttom right hand corner that u have mail, u cant open it cuz i think it goes to the rong addy. then it “loops” when u try to log in. but if u just go to the website and sign in, then click “mail” u can get to it from there. i can now relax once again. btu its anoying having to do it instead of just clicking. hope this helped…

  20. This has been plaguing me – I’m not sure what to do. I’m betting that it has something to do with the .NET Passport and Hotmail not playing together. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    Hotmail does not support the .NET Passport you are signed in to. There are two ways you can get to Hotmail:
    If you already have a Hotmail account, you can sign out of your .NET Passport and sign in using your Hotmail account.
    If you do not have a Hotmail account, you can sign out of your .NET Passport and visit the Hotmail Web site for information or to set up a free account.

  21. Hey.. Whenever I try to change my personal information i.e. my name, in any way, such as changing the letters of my name to Caps and so on, hotmail keeps on telling me my Postal Code is incorrect, when it is 100% correct. I have residency in London, England and it is this address that I have put into my account, but it still refuses to accept my Postal Code. Can Someone please help me!!. Also if it isnt to much trouble email your replys to me.

  22. Hello… i would like to know how to delete my own hotmail accounts.. i wont be needing a few of them anymore and would like to delete them.. due to an ex knowing too much about computers but that doesnt matter… so could you please tell me how to delete my hotmail accounts..


  23. You need someone to answer questions directly, and not just a general discussion of problems. I have strange symbols turning up in my e mail obscuring the prose. How can this be fixed?

    Michael Corrigan

  24. I am the administrator of a hotmail group. Some of the participants who were able to access the group without problems cannot do it now. When they try to access the group through their hotmail a sign in page appears as if it were the first time. I checked the participants list and they are still there. I sent a new invitation to them, they sign in and they have the same problem again. Can you help?
    Thanks a lot

  25. It sounds like the same kinds of problems that are plagueing HotMail users … I can only recommend the ideas outlined the article.

  26. Several people where I work were telling me that they can’t access their Hotmail account. After a little tinkering, I found that unchecking Use HTTP 1.1, checking TLS 1.0, and restarting IE allows me to access the site. I have tried different operating systems and different versions of IE. IE5 worked but when I upgraded to IE6, I no longer had access. Once I made these changes, I could access Hotmail. Don’t know if it’ll work for everyone, but it worked for me.

  27. I resolved the issue of page not found when trying to access hotmail by doing the following:

    Enable the TLS 1.0 protocol

    In Internet Explorer:
    Tools, Internet Options, Advanced

    Under Security, check on Use TLS 1.0

    Hope this helps, don’t know why MSN doesn’t advertise this simple fix. TLS never used to be an available protocol, Microsoft added it so….

    Good Luck!

  28. Dear Leo: When we hit reply to e-mails, the original e-mail comes up on the message area, but is jumbled and unreadable. How can we fix that, if at all? Thanks.

  29. Hi,
    I have been using Hotmail. But I do not get emails either to Hotmail or throught Outlook Express. The only one i get is from MSN (daily), and Hotmail. I am able to send to myself, I only received one from work on the 20th.
    Thank you,

  30. Dear Leo, I am an amateur on the computer and often get myself into unknown territory so I hesitate to try some of your suggestions above. To tell you the truth I don’t even know how the heck I ever started Hotmail. To my recolection I replied to a link and I was not able to send it no matter what I tried. I must have ended up giving my user name and password? Today I did the same and when I tried to send the mail I was asked for my Hotmail info which I have been unsuccessful in completing. The very extensive e-mail is long gone and I have called everyone with no success. Can you comment how this can happen? Could I possibly remember this correctly? Thanks.

  31. When i click on new email or to go to my inbox, i have to sign in again, and after that the sign in page keeps poping up even when i try to go back through the pages i was just on. any help would be appreciated.

  32. It sounds like a problem with cookies. Make sure cookies are enabled, and consider clearing your cookies in case there’s a problem with the cookie cache.

  33. Leo, Ive had same hotmail a/c for 9 yrs. Since last week I can no longer send any emails. Error on bottom of page. I have one on this site now. I am running Win’98 with IE5.0. Please can you help? Cheers Rose.

  34. I have a problem signing in. I tried the solution of playing by the numbers in my case the numbers were 110 and I changed to 23 and it worked however the next time I log in the same problem happens and I have to change the numbers again. Is there any permanent solution. Thanks in advance.
    My email is

  35. I have a problem signing in. I tried the solution of playing by the numbers in my case the numbers were 110 and I changed to 23 and it worked however the next time I log in the same problem happens and I have to change the numbers again. Is there any permanent solution. Thanks in advance.
    My email is

  36. Okay, I’m having the same trouble as you. I am still able to get onto the MSN page though, and then onto ‘my MSN’ page. From there you can see your hotmail in-box list (or add your in box list to the page as an option). as you highlight a title with your cursor, copy the link, paste it onto the bar and edit the number as suggested before (mine is 110 aswell, I changed it to 21). When you get in, select any of your e-mails and save it to favourites/bookmarks. Next time you log in via the hotmail page, when there’s that horrible pause, click on favourites and go to your email link. It should get you back in. It’s worth printing off your contact list the first time you get back in just in case. Thanks to everyone for their comments, makes me feel I am not alone in this.

  37. This is so weird. My number was also 110. I changed it to 103 because that was my husband’s and his was working. and it worked! What is goign on with this 110 thing???

  38. Hey…it looks like I am not the only one having major issues getting into my hotmail. I also have that “110” number linked to mine and I changed it and it worked. What’s really going on and how can I fix it?

  39. Hi all

    I found today that my ‘110’ account is now back to normal. I hope that means we can now all get back into our e-mails without tricks and headaches.

  40. I signed up for hotmail. Now, how do I become able to use it? I got a message that I was “ready to go”, but I have found no way to get to it to use it. Is there no icon or other way to open it that is visible? Thanks. john ruckman

  41. I am having problems sending and receiving e-mails. Sometimes they never get there and I do not get a postmaster e-mail either. Hotmail is very inconsistent. Also, sometimes I do not receive them. This is very frustrating and unprofessional. Plus, I cannot contact MSN? Why does this company exist? How can they advertise a service and not follow thru? I am ready to contact the Better Business Bureaugh and state my complaint and oppinion about hotmail.
    Please respond.
    Maria Kane

  42. Well, Hotmail is a free service, so as for customer service, which I agree is pretty much non-existant, you’re getting pretty much what you pay for. More on that here:

    The most common cause for email not reachine its destination is spam filtering on the recieving side. That will often cause email to disappear silently. More on that here:

  43. I have been waiting for two very important mails and one not so. When I contacted the senders all said they had sent and would resend. Not received first or second emails but strange I can send emails which get through. What is going on with Hotmail, there is no helpline contact so no way of finding out the problem. What are we supposed to do, wonder if anyone can help.

  44. When ever I send an email, They never appear in my SENT file, How do I fix this so that they do and so that I can refer back to past emails that I have sent to people??
    Charleston, SC

  45. if you have MSN Messenger with a free HotMail account, if you can —- access your contacts list thru the *MSN Messenger window headings* then

    my advise would be to export your contacts list to another account ( say a Free Yahoo account, address book )

    or do it manually eg; * swipe * –HiLight your list then click COPY then Paste to notepad, [not M.S Word] then rename the notepad to Hotmail Contacts or something similar so you can find it again

    — then save that somewhere you remember, [or even on the Desktop]

    so you can still get back to your Hotmail friends ETC: thru another account

    ((( Just in case HotMail does shut you out altogether ))) & filthy rich Microsoft want you to PAY for yet another of their services

    it may take a bit of editing in notepad ( it just depends on what you have named each email address )

    but, by doing it that way doesn`t loose all your Hotmail Contacts

    below are some free web based ones

    G Mail ( Beta) has over 2626.880 Mb of storage

    & many many more — guess we don`t have to stick to Hotmail ever again
    Cheers from ezz

  46. Oh no. Look at all the clueless zombies on this page. Watch out, Leo, they’re headed for you! Shouldn’t have said anything about email problems. Or hotmail. Tss, tss.

  47. I have had my hotmail account for several years without too many problems. Recently, however, anytime I try to attach a picture either to an e-mail or IM; my computer totally locks up. control+alt+delete won’t even work. I literally have to pull the plug and reboot to escape. I havent changed anything on my end. Any suggestions?
    Also, is there a way to export my contacts list to another web-based e-mail account that I have? Then I could just send messages with that account and bypass the whole problem

  48. Thanks for your help. Problem solved. Turns out my Virus protection was out of date…. Downloaded the update…Virus found…File deleted…problem solved. And my computer sped up too, BONUS!!!
    Thanks again

  49. Another thing to use to get on hotmail is if you have realplayer. Click on realplayer, on the audio player there should be an earth icon on the way right. Click on it and another screen should pop up. on the screen that just popped up click on the web browser icon near the top of the page. The hotmail on my windows xp works through that. If this doesn’t work on your computer, you are screwed, or just try what Leo said to do.

  50. This is a strange one: Over the last five days (since the 7th of Oct.), I stopped rec’vg ANY junk mails, which are basically comprised of my messages from 3 mailing lists I belong to and any responses to two items for sale on Craig’s List. Since they automatically are deleted after five days, each successive day deleted more and more until today, in which there are no more and I’m not rec’vg any now. I’ve had this account for YEARS and can’t understand this. I’ve not changed any settings and looked to see if somehow something had been changed. I don’t see anything like this. Any ideas?

  51. I am having an issue with my Hotmail account. My Hotmail has not worked at all today. My MSN Messenger works telling me how many messeges I have, but when I click on it, I get a “this page cannot be displayed” page. I also get this if I try to log on directly from the hotmail page. I’ve also tried logging on through my Outlook Express and that doesn’t work either. I had someone else log on from another computer under my user name and password and it worked for them. So I’m not sure why nothing regarding Hotmail is working for me. If you could please respond to my alternate email with what I need to do with this issue, I would appreciate it. I have never had a problem getting my email to work.

  52. Leo: After using the same password for a decade, hotmail is not letting me access my email. I waited and tried again, the usual route to success. No go. Thoughts? Thanks so much,
    Karen in Portland


    hi leo
    i have a question.
    is it possible to deactivate a hotmail account? if so how?
    i really hope you have an answer for that one!! :)


  54. Earlier today, I tried to access my Hotmail account and I received this error message:

    Hotmail does not support the .NET Passport you are signed in to.

    I had signed in successfully earlier this same day, and nothing was changed in my account — at least not by me.

    The problem happened both in Mozilla and IE. Deleting cookies did not make it go away.

    I finally got in like this: on the page with the “Hotmail does not support…” error message, click on the “My MSN” link; on the My MSN page, click on the “Hotmail” link. This made the problem go away — and BTW, I did this in Mozilla, and right after, I could successfully log in using IE again as well. This suggests to me that whatever the problem is, it is not something on the client side, but rather it is the account or (passport) session information on the server side getting screwed up.

    Hope this helps someone!

    – Thomas

  55. A HOTMAIL FIX and MSN Messenger Fix: Took me a while to figure this out. A relative had same problem…on Windows XP. I tried everything you people have tried and more. I set his BIOS so that the CD-ROm drive ran first.then let it go to desktop. I got out the original XP disk…put it in the drive then shut pc off. I made sure I had his XP Product key handy. Started pc back up…XP Setup came up…. I chose an Install of XP… setup to install XP Saving his files…went through the whole process including typing his Product Key info when it asked. End result…it fixed both his MSN Messenger and his perfect. Hope this helped someone.

  56. It seems to me we all have problems with Hotmail, so I hope someone can help me? I’ve done so many things listed in leo site but am too scared now to touch anything again, as it took me 4 days times four hour’s just to get all the rest back to working. So here is my problem, I’m using firefox as my web browser, but I had to restore the computer twice, and so I’m fed up with hotmail and the message I always get when I try to log in, and that message is and the problem;”The connection was refused when attempting to contact”..It comes up everytime I try to login, plus I’ve done everything I can to fix it and am at wits end! I can acess my hotmail account from my friends computer but not mine, can anyone help, thank you, Bastion…

  57. Fix trash can empty problem in Hotmail.
    I found a work around that did work. After trying all the recommended ways, I finally found a way.
    Open Hotmail and move all the deleted files into your inbox.
    Open Outlook and I have my two accounts in there.
    One was my Hotmail account, and the other was my mailbox from my ISP.
    Open the Hotmail inbox inside Outlook and drag and drop the lot into your other accounts trash can.
    Then delete your other accounts trash and they are all gone.
    Dragging them over is a move to command and as such didnt just copy and paste them and leave all the files there.
    Post this to anyone you seem fit.

  58. Hello Leo, Happy hols!

    Here’s a bizarre one: I have just settled into a nice new second-hand computer. alas, when I’m in Hotmail I can navigate round my ‘site’ as per normal but cannot enter my folders… getting a ‘Downloading’ box [the little folder flying accross, as if I was opening an attachment]instead of passing on to view the contents. I can get into ‘manage folders’ ok. Also if I press ‘send’ the same download box appears (but the email is sent!). on ‘left-hand-clicking’ over the links to the folders the details are java and loads of zeros.
    Does this make any sence to you?

    Many thanks
    Matthew. [mince pie in one hand!]

  59. Hi, Your site seems really useful, and I hope you can help me. I have tried to contact the hotmail help service, but the page shows an error message when I try to send them my question, so I can’t get help!
    My problem has recently started, but I haven’t changed anything.I have just re-formatted and re-loaded everything, but it didn’t help.
    When I use hotmail, the drop down menus drop down, but they are blank, and it’s impossible to select anything. This means that I can’t attach files etc. I have tried some of the suggestions on this site, but to no avail. Any suggestions? Thanks! Kirsty

  60. Sounds like a problem with javascript. I would check that your security settings are low enough to allow javascript to run. Or that hotmail has part of your “trusted” domains in Tools, Options, Security.

  61. Dear Leo.
    Please, help me. because I don’t know who else could help me.
    I have an account with for about 6 years.Last Friday, all of sudden, after I was sending Christams greetings I founded that my “ACCOunt closed. Access denied.”
    I e-mailed to hotmail service center asking them why it happened and was asking them to help me to reopen my e-mail box. No answer yet.
    I was calling billing department (I have an account plus) – they said “Account is o’k. it’s open”.
    Why I have this note- “Account is closed. Access denied.”
    I opened other e-mail box with hotmail – it’s working fine.
    Leo, I need to go to my inbox because I have many important e-mails and addresses for my business.
    Please, help me what do I need to do?
    I e-mailed them today again, but no answer yet.
    please, answer me to
    Sincerely, Natalia Travilina

  62. Dear Leo….I don’t know what to do, is it my computer or is it just the hotmail account, I’m trying to open my account but is not working my wife’s account neither, but i can open my account on another computer..what should i do?? On this computer everytime that I’m going to the home page of hotmail it’s showing me this page ” can not be displayed ” why?… I called somebody to fix my internet and he said that I have to contact you guys…

  63. Did you try all the ideas in the article you just commented on? The most common one is the time being wrong, but many of the other ideas could all affect the problem.

  64. I really need help! I cannot rank my hotmail emails by date or sender. Does anyone else have the same problem? I recently moved and the ranking doesn’t work anymore – It’s really frustrating because it worked just 2 weeks ago. The ranking is “disabled” – no underlining under date, sender, etc. PLEASE HELP!


  65. I had my free hotmail account closed today. 1-12-06. I had been accessing it through Outlook Express 6 and through their webpage. This appears to be a little reported phaseout by MSFT. Thanks for the MSFT knowledge base link Leo.


  66. I guess I don’t understand your question. HotMail is a web service, so normally you don’t actually download anything to your computer, you just view it in a web browser.

  67. 1-23-06
    On 1-12-06 I had my free hotmail account closed.
    I had been accessing it through OE6 and through
    their webpage. I thought it was a technical
    problem. Hotmail informed me that they had received a few complaints from people and had
    closed my account. They reopened the account
    today and the account is accessible through both
    OE6 and through their webpage. Thanks Hotmail,

    Here are some Tips from MSN Hotmail Technical Support regarding emails:Check your contacts and recipients lits to make sure only the people who want to receive the message will receive it.
    – Reduce the number of messages you send to large groups of people so they are less likely to think it is unwanted e-mail.
    – Limit the number of chain letters, e-mail jokes, and other messages to help people recognize your e-mail as wanted and to make it more likely to be allowed past your recipients message filters.

  68. I am having problems as well. For the past 3 days every email I receive is going directly into my Trash Folder; Safe list addresses, junk mail, first time writers, EVERYTHING.

    Does anyone know a fix for this? MSN doesn’t seem to, after 3 frustrating days of email exchanges with them.

    I access the web with IE and then webinterface ( to get to my email, so it is not an Outlook type problem. There are no problems or changes to my settings either.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  69. Some of my emails come back with FAILURE to deliver – why are some deliverable and others not? Also some of my entries into contacts by
    a group are listed with a can not add – I don’t understand this either. I am trying to list a committee as a group and have entered the individual addresses but some have that can not add bit. HELP


  70. Hello Sir/Madam,

    I have problem with my hotmail account. It seems that viruses are been send to my relatives and friends from my hotmail account. I would request you to please resolve this problem and block my hotmail account for a while from sending any Spam or viruses email attachments to others.

    Any help would be appreciated.


  71. Hi, I am using two pc`s through a netear modem router with AOL as my ISP. I had the problem that only one pc could open hotmail without any problem.
    the other one would open ti sometimes, but very slowly,
    I lowered my security setting, unchecked HTTP.1.1 and checked Use TLS 1.0.
    I can now get straight into hotmail through my AOL browser window,
    Thankyou thankyou thankyou

  72. Hi Leo,

    I’m having a problem with Internet Explorer;

    it always crashes once I’ve read my Hotmail
    e-mail, and tells me a GPF has occurred, right
    after it tells me “has found an unknown problem
    and has to close”; do you know any way to fix

    I don’t have anti-virus installed, and
    sometimes when I use Ad-Aware it crashes;
    I haven’t been able to effectively get rid
    of mal-ware or spyware on my PC, which is an
    Intel 200 MHZ. I’m also on dial-up.

    Please let me know if I can fix this without
    alot of hassle.


  73. My account keeps sending spams without my knowledge to addresses in my contact list.

    Here is a response from one of many victims…


    I keep getting these emails about everyday from your address. They contain files posing as pictures when they are viruses.

    “Virus Scan Result: The attachment(s) being forwarded with this message were scanned for viruses using Trend Micro. The following files contained virus(es) that could not be cured:
    Because MSN Hotmail will not send attachments with incurable viruses the files were removed from this message.”

  74. I want to actually speak to someone. I know that may sound archaeic but I want to actually speak to a warm body. Someone with a pulse. I don’t want just words on a page. I am having MULTIPLE problems with hotmail. More than I can list in one email. I’m ready to pack it in and get rid of my account altogether (despite the fact that I’ve had this address for years). Any suggestions/advice?

  75. I had an issue with receving and sending out emails via Hotmail. I found your website through Google and started going down the list of possible “fixes” Low and Behold, when I shut down the modem, computer and router, waited a few minutes and started up again, IT WORKED!


  76. My hotmail keeps sending viruses to all my contacts. I have run a virus checker on my computer and there is no virus on my computer. So I am assuming the problem lies with my hotmail account. Has anyone else experienced this problem and do you know how to stop my account from sending all these emails and viruses? It happens about 5 or 6 times a day, even when I am logged off or not using the computer. Please help!!!

  77. There was a question posted by: saima on March 28, 2006 at 09:13 stating that, “my pc was out of order since last april but now i’ve reinstalled it along with my hotmail account ,but the problem is that i’ve loosed all my contacts from my address book amongst them some are very important plz help me reinstall my previous address book,thanx.”
    This is the same problem that I have but I have noticed that you have not given her any directions. Can you please help me?

  78. The Hotmail address book has nothing to do with what’;s on your computer. It’s kept on Hotmail servers, and you can access your Hotmail account from any computer.

    If your address book (or email) disappears, I know of no way to retreive it. The most common cause is not logging in to your account often enough (once a month, I believe). I’ve heard of it disappearing for a day or so and then reappearing, but if your contacts or email disappear and remain missing for several days, I don’t know of a way to get them back.

    This is why I SO STRONGLY recommend that you not use free email accounts for anything important. There is no support.

  79. long story short-
    screw hotmail. i’m getting another service.
    i’ve had the same email addresses for 10 years. why i stayed with them this long, i don’t know… this gigantic problem is further proof that hotmail is worthless.

  80. can anyone tell me what is the customer care number for hotmail? my account is closed and I need to activate it. i think i sent too many messages from that account and all were bounced so hotmail blocked my account. please let me know if you have contact number or email address. hotmail help didn’t work with me. thanks.

  81. Its very very simple,
    try this

    Run Start
    For windows users, type the following command in the run box from start menu in the following order

    regsvr32 Softpub.dll

    regsvr32 Mssip32.dll

    regsvr32 initpki.dll (this take several seconds to complete about 40 secs)

    After you’re done you should be able to sign in to MSN and hotmail

  82. itlooks like i have a new one for you. i have been in contact with msn support several times as well as my isp and so far no answers. im not receiving all e-mails? i can send e-mails to my aapt account from my msn account with no problems and i can reply back to my msn account no worries either, but if i create an new message from outlook express/microsoft outlook or my yahoo account the mail sends (with no mail returned message) but never turns up, if i reply to a message that come from my msn account it turns up imediately. i have been onto aapt’s web mail page and sent a test e-mail from there and it worked, i then had 2 friends send test messages from there ends to my msn (2 x yahoo and 1 x and theres haven turned up either.msn said everything is ok from there end and same with aapt, and if its a fault with my pc why cant my other contacts e-mails being received? i hope you can help and i would be a very happy man if so. also is there a way of retreiving 1 of the messages sent ova a week ago as its rather important. sincerly john

  83. What if I have a website and the emails that are sent to hotmails owners wont receive their mail?
    can it be that hotmail marked my hosting server? my website address? someting?

  84. Help **
    I signed up for the NEW Windows Live Mail (Beta) sign in through Internet Explorer & when I sign in from the log in page I get a yellow triangle w/ an ! mark, stating problems with this web page might prevent it from being displayed properly or functioning properly.

    web address is : http//

    I can’t get into my email & I don’t know how to solve this problem ??? I regret changing from the regular HOTMAIL to Window Live Mail (Beta)

    I am using my spouse’e email address to get some help.

    thanks for your time & assistance. mary k

  85. here how did i accessed hotmail:
    1. go to or
    2. search for “hotmail”
    3. click on “hotmail” and it will open first page where you may enter your email address and password.

    good luck.

  86. I currently have a friend that I have contacted in the past using hotmail over many months but not of recent times. She has been in my Contacts list from the very start of using hotmail. Now when I send her emails I get a notice back from the Postmaster stating that it is not possible to forward the message to her address???
    I joined an ISP (Hypermax) some time ago and using the same email address can send and receive emails from her without any problems. I can also send and receive emails from my Hotmail address to my Hypermax address ok BUT not to or from her????!!!!!
    How is this possible?? She is not excluded from my contacts list, as previously stated I use to contact her using Hotmail without any problems. It’s just now when I try to contact her or she tries to contact me, we both experience no transfers of data! This is very frustrating. Can you advise a possible solution to our problem


  87. umm…dont know if you can resolve this, but on the log on page (for the whole computer, not just email) it says i have an email, apart from i dont, and also i dont want the fact that i might have an email shown there, what can i do?

  88. I have a TREO 700P with Sprint PCS that uses Versa mail. How can I get my emails from Hotmail as a pop3 so I do not have to get on the web each time? I understand from Sprint that hotmail is not supported by Versa mail.I am not computer liyerate.

    Thank you,

    David K

  89. Are others out there experiencing this–Yahoo Groups not talking to MSN and Hotmail accounts. I’m a member of six Yahoo Groups and moderate two. After Yahoo “upgraded” their Group message email services in the last two weeks, I and all other MSN and Hotmail account holders on these sites stopped getting messages or are getting maybe 30%. I wrote Microsoft tech support and they said to contact Yahoo and have Yahoo contact MS to work out the problem. Microsoft may lose many thousands of email accounts over this and tech support is clueless.

  90. I got a reply from Hotmail..wonders will never cease!! They maintain its to do with version of IE and temp files…will reintsall the lot and clear system and let ye know if anything changes :)

  91. OK this is response direct from them…let me know if this works…

    My name is Jomary and I am responding to your issue as your account freezes while you are trying to access it.

    Please disregard the previous message that I have sent to you. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.

    Jean, I understand how frustrating this issue must have been on your part. Our product development team has determined that the current advertisement in the MSN Hotmail interface has caused the issue you are experiencing. They have rectified it so your account should now be working properly.

    If you are still experiencing the same issue, please perform the following:

    I. Please click your browser’s “Refresh” button (or simultaneously press on “Ctrl” and “F5” keys on your keyboard).

    II. Clear your browser’s cache or temporary Internet files.

    1. From the “Tools” menu, select “Internet Options.”
    2. On the “General” tab, under “Temporary Internet files”, click on “Delete Cookies” then click on “OK.”
    3. Click on “Delete Files”. Put a checkmark on the “Delete all offline content” checkbox, and then click on “OK.”

    III. Set your browser to check for newer versions of stored pages.

    1. From the “Tools” menu, select “Internet Options.”
    2. On the “General” tab, click “Settings.”
    3. Under “Check for newer versions of stored pages”, select “Every visit to the page.”
    4. Click “OK.”

    You are a valuable customer to MSN and we are glad to give you consistent and effective service.

    Thank you for using MSN Hotmail.

  92. I had the same reply Jean, but then when i went on to my hotmail this morning, all was fine and dandy. I reckon the problem was with hotmail itself, and not with our computers/accounts.

  93. I can’t thank you enough for sorting my email problem. One morning I was emailing as usual, but a couple of hours later I could get online but not access Hotmail. I must say I wasn’t looking forward to wading through your long list of things to do. Fortunately I picked an easy-looking one to try , the “HTTP Version” Completely amazingly it worked first time when I unchecked “Use HTTP 1.1”, and it has worked ever since. Super Fantastic!!!

  94. I cannot send E-mails to my husband address. His address is…..when I do send him a message, it comes back undeliverable, but gives the address of Tsweeney@targetlocal. I’m not sure what is happening, but it’s pretty frustrating. Any help you can give would be grateful. Thank you

  95. Check the entry for your husband in your address book. Also, have your husband email you and try simply replying to it … if that fails, the problem is more likely on your husband’s end.

  96. Hello Leo, in one day, I am unable to receive emails from people in my contact list. I still get them from business. I’ve never messed with anything, cuz I don’t know how to, until now. I tried changing filters, lowering them, just in HOTMAIL, and it’s still not allowing my friends to contact me. Businesses get in, and I emailed myself from Charter and my husbands hotmail acct., got those, but can’t get others I used to get a few days ago. Please help!My business depends on it!

  97. Hi, Leo. When I send an e-mail message, I do not see it automatically in the sent box. I usually have to click a check box which I often forget to do. Is there a way that I can request that my sent messages be retained in the sent box?

  98. Leo,
    I have been all over the net including MSN “official” support.
    Nobody could help me to retrieve my MSN mail. I was up to 67 unread messages. Everytime I clicked on the emaail icon I would get the page not found error.

    finally I read your web page and discovered the problem………….

    Per your advise…
    “HTTP Version: Some folks have reported that altering the version of HTML that IE uses helps resolve their issue. In IE: Tools, Internet Options Advanced, locate the entry HTTP 1.1 settings and uncheck Use HTTP 1.1. You may have to exit and reload IE for the change to take effect.”

    Simple setting simple resolution..

    BTW I will let MSN struggle with this for a while.

  99. Someone asked:- when i try to open up anyones my space or my email inbox from my msn messenger page thing…it brings up just a completely blank web page! just a web page with nothing on it at all…i can still access my emails by going to and signing in from there..but how can i resolve this ?
    Posted by: … at July 29, 2005 06:52 AM
    I had the same problem and found the solution was to tell messenger to “forget me” on the sign in page and then logon again, selecting “remember me” and the issue was fixed. Spent hours of frustration over this for such a “simple” solution!!

  100. i was on holiday ,when i came back,my all mail is gone on hotmail. i just wanna learn if i m not reading my msn hotmmail ,did i lost all my mail?

  101. I have not checked my e-mail in a while and when I did, I had to re enter my password to get to my account. like it expeired or something and all of my emails were gone!!!!
    I need to get those emails back, there are for my investigation case.
    I need them for evidence.

  102. Hi Leo, i have a problem on my girl friend’s ;aptop.. we can get on to all sites apart from hotmail and log into msn. this only happenwhen she came back into the uk from china.. but in china her msn was workign and she could access the hotmail site.. can you please help me to solve this problem..
    thank you

  103. I have another hotmail question. I have closed my hotmail account, using the steps you provided actually but the problem is this. I am sending emails via another service to the hotmail account that I’ve “closed” but they are not bouncing back. How come? What is worse, I can use the closed email and password to acces my MSN page and see the emails that have been sent to my account. How can I close the account entirely or at the very least, in the mean time just have the emails being sent to the closed account bounce back. Thanks so much

  104. You may have closed it, but you kept on using it by logging into MSN with that account. MSN/Hotmail may well take that as a sign you really don’t want the account closed. Stop using it.

    Mails to closed accounts, or even non-existant accounts, are NOT guaranteed to generate a bounce message. Not getting a bounce doesn’t mean anything.

  105. I’m using Outlook to consult my hotmail-account. A few weeks ago, outlook is always asking my hotmail-password. I fill out the right password but unfortunately he never accept. He always comes back to ask the password. I tried everything: delete the account in outlook and then create again. Nothing works. Hower my password is correct because I can consult hotmail via Internet Explorer. Somebody can help me ? Thanks already !

  106. I was trying everything and getting nowhere. My hotmail account was logging in, but taking half an hour to show me anything. I found your site, but nothing was working… until I played with the numbers. It worked a treat! I had the number ‘101’ and changed it to ’23’ (on the off chance that that may be a ‘special’ number) and hey presto, back to normal!


  107. I have been having trouble lately logging into my accont and having to reset passwords to get in. Today I realized that all of my contacts have vanished, all 150 of them. I am devistated. Can you please let me know if there is anything that hotmail can do to help me get my information back?

    Hash: SHA1

    I’m closing comments on this article. Questions being asked in comments
    are typically answered by the article, or elsewhere on the site. Please
    read the article and/or search the site for issues relating to MSN

    Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)



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