So far I’ve covered how to change your Hotmail password, and how to change your Hotmail password if you’ve forgotten it. The last one involves knowing the answer to a “secret question” that you set up when you created your Hotmail account.
But what if you forget that too?
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MSN Hotmail actually has three ways to recover your password if you’ve lost it,
but they all require that you have set them up before you run into
trouble. They are all simply techniques to assure that you are who you say you
are, and not someone trying to hack your account. They are:
- A secret question to which only you would know the answer. Common questions
are things like the city you were born in, your first job, or your mother’s
- An alternate email address. If you have another email account somewhere
other than Hotmail, you can configure your Hotmail with the email address of
another account. Hotmail can then send your password reset
to that other account when you can retrieve it. Remember that you must configure
this account before you run into trouble – if you can’t sign in, you
can’t configure the alternate email address.
- Billing information from another MSN service. If you’ve paid for a premium
service from MSN, such as perhaps the MSN Gaming Zone, one of the password
recovery options is to provide your billing information again to confirm
that you are indeed you.
So what happens if none of those work?
- You’ve never used a premium service, so there is no billing information
to compare with.
- You never set up an alternate email address.
- You’ve forgotten the answer to your secret question.
In short: you are out of luck. Your password cannot be recovered, and
you cannot access the contents of your Hotmail account.
And to be extra clear: I cannot recover your password for you.
My suggestion is simple: open up a new mail account, and learn a lesson
from everything you’ve just lost. Configure an alternate email address, or
make sure to choose a secret question whose answer you will remember.
Or move to a paid email service with real customer support.
A special note about third party so-called Hotmail password recovery
services: most are scams. I’ve not seen a legitimate one yet and I
would avoid them at all costs.