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I've forgotten the answer to my MSN Hotmail secret question, *and* my password, what do I do?

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
    maiden name.
  • 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.

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9 comments on “I've forgotten the answer to my MSN Hotmail secret question, *and* my password, what do I do?”

  1. my hotmail accout as of : haddes_usa@hotmail.com
    does not work anymore. it let me read, but not write any message to my friends. however, msn just draw from my bank account another $ 19.95 on may 5th 2005 for a not working e-mail. my wife also has an e-mail account as : graciela993@hotmail.com which one works on the same computer. please contact me back to fix this problem or refund drawn money back to my account.
    sicerely

    haddes_usa@hotmail.com

    Reply
  2. For the past 4 days I cannot check my emails.The first day I was checking an aol message from my friend and from that When I type my address and password it keep telling to match the characters in the picture when I do that it keep bringing up when I am to sign and does it over again.If theres anyway I can check my emails please help me.

    Reply
  3. I figured out that my security question is way too easy to divine by other people

    So I was wondering if you knew how to change your security question..

    I do know my normal password!!!

    Thanks,
    Nina

    Reply
  4. I’m closing comments here because people are asking the same questions over and over.

    1) PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE – it answers many questions that people keep asking.

    2) PLEASE READ THE RELATED ARTICLES – they answer many more questions that people keep asking.

    3) I CANNOT GET YOUR ACCOUNT OR PASSWORD BACK FOR YOU.

    Reply

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