Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

9 comments on “Recover Your Account Later by Setting Up a Microsoft Recovery Code Now”

  1. We’ve had a lot of questions from people locked out of their accounts over the years. Outlook and other MS accounts were the main culprits. With this recovery code, Microsoft accounts are now one of the better choices. Like Gmail, they offer 15GB storage in the free version. That 15GB is for OneDrive and email storage combined, similar to how Google gives 15GB for gmail and Google Drive combined. I still use Gmail as my main email account but that’s because it’s the address I’ve given people for almost 20 years. That recovery code may be enough to tip the scales in favor of if you are opening a new account.

  2. Very good to know. However, if one’s account got hacked (and thus needing to be recovered), couldn’t the hacker just go get a new code, invalidating mine instantly? Seems like this may be a step in their arsenal when they get access to one’s account.

  3. Thank you, Leo! I did not know about the recovery key option on my Microsoft account. I already had password-less sign-in and 2FA enabled, and an alternate email address configured for it, and now I have a recovery key stored in my password vault (in the cloud) as a note on my Microsoft email account entry, and in an encrypted 7z archive (using SHA-256 encryption), stored on OneDrive.

    I also recommend setting up every recovery option available on all accounts before they are needed. I have never had to recover an account, but if I ever need to, I want to be ready ahead of that time (with as many options as possible), so I don’t have to worry about losing access.

    Once again, thank you Leo!


  4. I have tried this with Chrome, Edge, and FF with the same results. I manage the steps and get to “Dashboard” and the clicked link goes to a blank, black page.

    Time and time again, in three browsers. I can’t get to the Dashboard

  5. I would recommend storing this outside of OneDrive. OneDrive is a Microsoft service, hence you need to be signed into your Microsoft account to view the file… which brings you to the same problem as you needing to be signed in to generate a recovery code.

    I have my recovery key stored with all my other 2FA codes, which is, an encrypted document on my iPad, backed up to my iCloud, and 2 copies of the document on an encrypted external hard drive (and the locations of and passwords to the document and copies on a piece of paper in my safe).

    • Most people who use OneDrive have a OneDrive folder on their computer and it would reside on both their computer and the MS OneDrive servers. If a file is accidentally deleted, it would still reside on your system image backup which I’m sure you all have. But seriously, the most important thing you can do for security is to perform regular system image and daily incremental backups.
      And if you do keep it on OneDrive, make sure it’s encrypted.

  6. Hi Leo
    I forgot my e mail password and went through the usual verification process to reset it. However i kept getting the message that i had tried too many times that day. So used a recovery code that i had generated in 2022 but it said i have to wait for 1 month to gain access. I obviously need access before this. Can you suggest what to do next? thanks!


Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.