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85 comments on “What are my Hotmail and Account Recovery Options?”

  1. I can t open my hotmail account i need help please if some body can help me I really will apreaciate so much thanks a lot God Blessins you

    Please read the article you just commented on. It answers this question.


  2. You have an article named “I’ve forgotten the answer to my MSN Hotmail secret question, and my password, what do I do?”. I have a question, what if i know my password, but from unknown reasons it didn’t work when i input it and my account was blocked, and i don’t have alternate e-mail and i forgot the answer to secret question….but i know the password, i was using it everyday.
    I have followed the steps for recovery and submitted the form with information, but were not enough, so it was rejected, because i don’t remember most of the data i input when i created my account years ago.
    All i need is my account to be unblocked, i repeat, i know the password, i just don;t know the other details, and i know is my fault i never paid attention to all those, but is too late now to change that.

    Any suggestion will be much appreciated!

    Thank you!

    Everything I have is listed above. My guess is that your password is WRONG, that your account has been hacked, and if you can’t remember the information required to recover it you cannot.


  3. You have an article named “I’ve forgotten the answer to my MSN Hotmail secret question, and my password, what do I do?”. I have a question, what if i know my password, but from unknown reasons it didn’t work when i input it and my account was blocked, and i don’t have alternate e-mail and i forgot the answer to secret question….but i know the password, i was using it everyday.
    I have followed the steps for recovery and submitted the form with information, but were not enough, so it was rejected, because i don’t remember most of the data i input when i created my account years ago.
    All i need is my account to be unblocked, i repeat, i know the password, i just don;t know the other details, and i know is my fault i never paid attention to all those, but is too late now to change that

    99 out of 100 people who swear to me that they KNOW THE CORRECT PASSWORD – don’t. It’s not because they were wrong, but it’s because the account has been hacked and the password changed. If you can’t provide the backup information that Hotmail (or any email service) requests then there’s no way that they have to know you’re not trying to scam them into gaining access to someone else’s account. They MUST have some kind of reasonable proof that you really are the account holder. If not, you’re just not going to get the account back. Sorry.


  4. Hotmail keeps telling me to update my acc. but I think it cd. be a hacker trying to get my password, What sd I do? tyvm Marvin

    Depends on how they’re “telling you”. If it’s an email message, I’d ignore it. Simply make sure that your account is secure with a good strong password and appropriate recovery options like secrete answers you know, and an alternate email address that works.


  5. Dear Leo — I feel like I’m flogging a dead horse here in that I have been reading so many of your responses to the myriad questions posed to you about Hotmail’s so-call “Account Recovery” process. I was also “blocked” after repeated attempts to gain access using my password. I’ve gone the whole nine yards through the irresolvable Windows Live Resolution Center by providing the correct answer to my secret question, detailed Paypal account information with correct transaction ID numbers, correct email contacts and specific details regarding the contents of many of my emails sent and received, although not identifying them by their subject lines because my memory is not photographic — to no avail. The response I received was that they could not validate my account.

    I was particularly interested in the discussions about “locked” accounts and your responses to that topic. I created my Hotmail account in 1998. In July 2009, my hard drive crashed and that was the last time I accessed the account — 18 months ago. My account was never hacked by anyone. I finally bought a new computer a month ago, and for the past three weeks I have tried everything to regain my Hotmail account. The period that I had not accessed my account is well over Hotmail’s 270-day deactivation period. I don’t know if their automatic system purged the contents of my account, but the system certainly didn’t purge the account itself as it still exists.

    I’m not sure if this is a legitimate question, but if I were to take my crashed hard drive to a computer technician and, let’s say, it was somehow possible for that technician to resurrect my hard drive, would there be something in my hard drive that could have “captured” my password or some other coding in my hard drive that would be able to help me regain my Hotmail account? I know…I’m stretching with this question, but like so many others here who are supplicating to you for help, I’m also desperate to regain important emails and other accounts that my Hotmail account was attached to. As silly as this next question may sound, is there any way for that technician to “hack” into my Hotmail account using my crashed hard drive?

    By the way, Leo, I have searched every possible query and subject on the internet with regards to this issue and find that you are the only person alive under the sun who is providing people like me with any kind of tangible advice and unrestricted help regarding Hotmail accounts. Out of anyone providing online technical assistance, you are the cream of the crop, and I thank you with all my heart. I will follow your advice and stay away from free email services from now on because they are simply not supported by the companies that offer them. The ongoing frustration is not worth it. Thank you again, Leo.

    As you might expect I don’t hold much of a chance for you getting that account back. It’s *possible* that *if* you said “remember password” way back when that the password is saved on the old drive. I know there are tools to get browser-remembered passwords, and that would imply that it’s stored on the hard disk somewhere.
    That being said, I think this possibility is more likely: it’s not your account any more. By that I mean the expiration happened, and the account was emptied. The email address was added back into the pool of available addresses, and someone else came along and took it. You can’t get itn because all of your recovery information applies to an account that no longer exists – the new legitimate owner of that email address has placed there own recovery information in it.
    So … no, I think it’s lost.

  6. Dear Leo — Thank you for your reply! Your first point confirmed what I was thinking, and I will use that avenue as a last resort. As for your second point, I had already thought about that, too! After having “failed” the Windows Live ID account recovery process, I posted those same sentiments to the support team in my Windows Live ID private forum. I also posted that I would be sending an email to my Hotmail account from my Outlook Express email client using my ISP’s email address, which is exactly what I did.

    I then went into my Paypal account, which I could still access on the web, and added my ISP email address to it — and then removed my Hotmail address from it which had been the primary and only addy attached to it. I figured, I didn’t want my Paypal account linked to my Hotmail account since I couldn’t access it anymore. Paypal emailed those changes I made through notifications to my ISP addy.

    Then, all of a sudden, a posting appeared yesterday in my Windows Live ID private forum from a support team member. At first glance, it looked like the same form letter about checking my information for accuracy, but the more I read it, I started to see that his posting to me was more cryptic than anything else. You know that these guys can’t reply to anything we write to them, but I started to see that he had placed a certain emphasis on the words VERIFY and DETAILS by using these words a number of times in his form letter. So I thought about it. I started to think that perhaps a notification email had also been sent to my Hotmail account after I had removed my Hotmail addy from my Paypal account.

    That led me to think about my account. A few days ago, I had also accessed my account on the web using my Hotmail addy and password. Everything was working fine. When I went to access my account yesterday, my password was mysteriously no longer working. When I went to do a password reset for it that would have been delievered to my Hotmail account, my Hotmail username had also been mysteriously purged as it was no longer on’s database. So I re-registered, using my Hotmail addy, password and profile — and now there are two profiles of me in my high school community group! When I went to change my email addy on this second account, it would not accept my password. So, I sent a password reset to my Hotmail account! I have been thinking that when I was puttering around in my account, that might have triggered one or more notification emails being sent to my Hotmail account earlier this week.

    I’m thinking the posting by the Windows Live ID support team member was a “nudge” to me to provide more of these details about my Paypal and accounts. And that is what I did in my private forum — I gave him my password and what I did in my Paypal account, and stated I would forward my Paypal notifications from my ISP email addy right back to my Hotmail account in addition to copying those same notifications into my private forum so that he could compare them. I also had gone into my Google gmail account and saw that my Hotmail address was what I had set up as an alternate email address for password resets for my gmail account. So, I sent a password reset from my gmail account to my Hotmail account, and posted that in my private forum, too!

    Now…I’m waiting for a response from the support team at Windows Live ID after having provided them with these additional details.

  7. Hi again, Leo! I have an update regarding my account. I logged into my current Hotmail account and there was an email waiting for me from with the subject line, “You have received a private message!” I opened the mail and it said I received a private message from one of my friends in my high school community group. I clicked on the link and then asked for my password. I typed in my original password and then I was…in my account! Then I went to see what email address it was set for, and the address was set for my current Hotmail account, the one I’m signing on with now!

    How’s that for those techies at Microsoft Hotmail?!? Lol! =D They gave my account back to me but without my original Hotmail address. The email they used was an old one from one of my high school chums that was sitting in my inbox! My friend NEVER sent me that email! I just thought that was amazing! Anyway, I changed my email addy to my ISP addy and changed the password, also. And then I wrote all about it in my private forum, and thanked the Windows Live ID support team for giving me back my account.

    But I’m still waiting for them to respond to all the postings I have left them. Thank you, Leo, for letting me share this new development with you! =)

  8. Hi, Leo! Those guys on the Windows Live ID team are so insidious! I’m currently using the Windows Live Mail email client. I opened it up and, all of a sudden, I couldn’t receive my emails from my Google gmail account — it’s the one that had been originally set up as having my Hotmail account as its primary alternate address. I then manually tried my password to my Google account and, lo and behold, it wasn’t working! Isn’t that something? So, I sent a password reset, and the reset went to my ISP email address. I reset the password to my Google account, accessed it, and then went to see what email addresses were set up for it…and I see that my Hotmail address has been removed! I then posted in my private forum my objections to the Windows Live ID team for tampering — without my permission or knowledge — into both my and Google accounts by removing my Hotmail addresses from them. It seems to me that the Windows Live ID team has no intention of sending me a password reset for my Hotmail account. All that I see them doing is trying to remove every tentacle I have wrapped around my Hotmail account, one tentacle at a time! =(

    I’m not sure why you’re pointing a finger at the Hotmail team – this sounds like a classic case of your account(s) having been hacked into by some third party. I hear about this kind of thing all the time.


  9. Hi my hotmail was hacked as well as nmy facebook everything has been changed , i tried 2 change my hotmail password but they have changed my alternative email is there anything i can do =[

    Please read the article you just commented on. It answers this question.


  10. Everytime i i sign in to my hotmail account My access is blocked stating wrong email or password details and requests me too change my passwords. I have done this many times but still cant sign in to my account. Is there a time factor contributing to my inaccesss to my account when I try to sign in immediately after resetting my password or what

    All the options I have for you are in the article you just commented on.

  11. Hi Leo,
    I need my email account that i haved stoped using 5-6 years back.i only know my email address but unable to recover my password. Here what should i do? as i dadly need this account back with my all mails in it. Please help me here.

    Please read the article you just commented on. All your options are here.


  12. Have done all the hoops possible. Our company has 6 years of information stored on this account. (HOTMAIL) I filled our all the recovery information until it got to asking for a 25 digit number and my credit card information. ??? Maybe they want me to pay to unlock my hotmail, at this point I would gladly pay, however who do I pay, I cannot go forward unless I provide a 25 digit number??? I called windows live, real bad experience, rude and not at all helpful. Can’t believe no phone support for hotmail or at least live help on line. I’v gotten 6 codes none of which helped. My business depends on this account totally. I’m lost need help.

  13. RE: Have done all the hoops possible. Our company has 6 years of information stored on this account. (HOTMAIL) …

    This is such a pity. I’ve never used Hotmail, but in gmail this is easily avoided by using a pop3 connection and Outlook. This will download all your data locally, and you can set Outlook to archive it regularly. I use gmail, but I’ve got years of history in my local archives. Of course, you need to then make sure that you backup your archive. I keep my email data and archives in a My Documents folder. Then its just a matter of backing up My Documents…


  14. how does my friend reset her password in hotmail account, if the only email she has is her hotmail and the alternate email address is now obsolete?

  15. I used my computer last night no problems now i have been trying for 3 hrs. can not sign in windows live is blocking me the e-mail they have hasn’t been used since 2008 when I was compromised badly now because of it not working how is it possible to fix my problem

  16. I forgot my password and clicked on forgot password, hotmail sent me a reset link on my alternate email address. unfortunately the domain of my alternate email address had been expired and i was unable to get reset link. how can i recover my hotmail account again??? plz guide….

    the article you just commented on has all the options that I’m aware of.


  17. O.k., I’ll try to make myself clear. I DO have access to my main Hotmail account but a while back, I was hacked and lost the ability to log in. So, I had to reset the password and here is where the problem is!

    My backup email address is another Hotmail email address, which I had at one time but I never use, so Hotmail canceled it. So when Hotmail sends me confirmations of any kind, they go to to the old, now defunct email address, so I can not get to the notices/emails.

    I ended up emailing Hotmail and begged for help and regained access to my account but now that I want to delete the old backup address and add a different one, Hotmail is sending the notice to the old address for confirmation! BRILLIANT!!!! Now what do I do???

  18. my problem is I’ve forgotten my window live ID(use to sing in) because i’ve not been using this account since quite a while but i do remember my password. so is there any option available to recover my lost ID?
    thank you.

    Not that I’m aware of, no.

  19. is there any way that I can retrieve my old contacts
    under my old hotmail account before they
    switch to hotmail live tks.

    The switch to Windows Live Hotmail was a name change only. If it’s the same account (i.e. same email address) then you should already have them. If it’s another account (i.e. different email address) then you would have to login to that old account to export your contacts.

  20. Leo,
    When trying to reset my password, I tell it to send me an email. The site informs me that it has sent an email to the following addresses, and gives me something like… “hot****”. Where is it sending these emails?

    It’s sending it to the alternate address you configured as part of your account. If you didn’t configure it, then perhaps a hacker did.

  21. Hi leo How are you my question i had hotmail account bt some one hacked my password of my account can you plz do something or help me out from this situation

  22. Hi! How do I change my phone number in Hotmail? When I try, it wants to send a verification text to my old number. I don’t have that number anymore so I can’t get the text.

  23. Dear Leo
    how r u

    i can’t sing to my email and if i want to ask help
    they asked me for many questions which i did for long time a go like the secret question or name of first pet i a had . so please help me
    the email is : {email address removed}
    please help me Leo

  24. dear leo finding this tab again i thought was deleted problems with hot and live mail unfortunately after reset password i comment a sin by trying further passwords as i though no mention on computer about my reset password confusion on my part now apparently banned no more reset password on hotmail live g mail get in not out as it is livemail worked ok then refused error my fault received ok for first one not seen for a few days by then confused hotmail placed ban understand there annoyance and what is done slow in arriving caused panic by me now were do i stand livemail same problem no more filling application form until ban lifted malcolm clark not not asking to clear comment your view constructive criticism

  25. Leo, is there any way possible to change the alternate email address if it is not existent right now. I have deleted my current alternate address (yahoo). Is there any way to setup a new alternate address?

  26. @Ramesh,
    It’s easy to change the alternate email address if you can access your account. And if so, do it right away. If you can’t access your account, unfortunately, you are going to have to follow the different options outlined in “Losing and Regaining Account Access” above.

  27. my email acccount has been blocked, hotmail giving me the option your account has been blocked and giving me the option for sending the code for access the id and showing me the id of some one {email address removed} plz get resolve my problem.

  28. my alternate email id has been deleted. it was a hotmail id. so even if i want to delete it or add a bew one confirmation is sent to the deleted one…

    what should i do…

  29. I entered into the recovery screen of Microsoft but when I try to process the request I get the message that the account that was last used on 2011 no longer exists.
    I have important data to retrieve, how should I proceed?
    Sign in
    Recover your Microsoft account
    Please fix the errors below.
    What Microsoft account are you trying to get back into?
    ******** The Microsoft account you’ve entered does not exist. *******************

    Email address Where should we contact you? Enter an email address that’s different from the one you’re trying to recover.

    • Hey Buda. As mentioned in the article, there is very little anyone can do about that. It can only be a lesson for the future if you don’t have any retrieval paths set up.

  30. I have a big problem please help me, I have a Hotmail account which i stopped to work with when i started to use gmail.
    well, not knowing Hotmail has changed to “outlook” and I don’t even remember my password. the funniest thing is that I use on my facebook account my hotmail address so I can have access. everytime i try to log in in outlook they say my email is wrong. what should I do?

  31. computer vs cell phone !!!!! I had to change password on computer Microsoft did that My cell phone flashing can not sign in login failure username or password incorrect. I removed the account then clicked to add account (same Hotmail address entered ) did not work still says incorrect username or password, I want to recover Hotmail password or change it and please I have tried Microsoft support online /phone/forum/ NOT helpful MSN not helpful ( hours then days I have researched Results headache stiff neck and ready to throw any tech product I have into the lake ; not working can’t not use it why continue to pay for product that no one can resolve and useless

  32. Hi! i am trying to get back an important email from a hotmail account i no longer use and dont remember. is there a way i can find my old email address? btw i know my password and security question.

    • You could try contacting people you know who might have your email address in their contacts lists or old sent or received emails.

    • You deleted your Hotmail account? Depends on how long ago, but the short answer is typically: no. You’ll need to create a new account.

  33. I have three email addresses in Windows and I stupidly put the alternate address as those email too! And the security questions given to me are emailed to the alternate email addresses which do not exist. For example I created an account for {removed} but then the alternate email address is {removed} (which does NOT exist) and yet windows live still emails my security code to {removed}!

    • I removed the email addresses since the instructions clearly state not to post personal information. This article has your recovery options. I don’t have more for this situation. Sorry.

  34. my wife had an hotmail account that she may have used sometimes ago that begin with the letter C… She used as her Apple ID and now she needs it in order to trade the phone at the Apple store she cannot remember what it was. Please help.

  35. Hi Leo,
    I want your 1 question I want remove my alternate email but when I follow your step but I can’t found how to remove alternate email. I want change my alternate email this is because I forget my alternate email and password my alternate email. can you tell me how to that please. I need some information because I read your article is not working with my hotmail.

  36. I have this statement when I try to log in ” someone has tried to reach your account with a wrong password many times”.
    Now, as I submit the account recovery information, its not accepted. After how many times of submission with wrong account recovery information, my account status will be PERMANENTLY CLOSED from being BLOCKED ?

  37. Hi Leo,
    I just wanted to ask that if I know the password for the email that I wrote on my hotmail account that can help me reset my password, but suddenly I don’t have any idea how but when I wanted to reset my password with that I erased the email from my account and now I can’t reset my password because of that, I was wonder if I can undo and do something to put back that email on my outlook account
    Thank you

    • Are you referring to a password reset email that was sent from your Hotmail account to your recovery email address? If you have lost that you can look in your deleted folder (perhaps spam) and may find it there. If it’s not there then just go to the Hotmail recovery page and have a new one sent.

  38. a name i used on utube is now being substituded for my hotmail real name-i didnt do this. does my acct have a virus?? how to change the name recipients see from this address?? thanks soo much!!

  39. I had a reoccurring “unable to send or receive” error with Hotmail. So I decided to uninstall then reinstall Windows Essentials. However, email won’t install with the rest of Windows Essentials 2012. An error message comes up saying that “evidently another program is preventing it”. And now Hotmail is completely gone from my laptop. Not even a restore point. However, I can still access Hotmail on my tablet. But not all of the folders are visible on my Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 tablet. I will be taking your advice and getting a paid for service. But until I decide which one…is there an easy way for me to transfer all folders from the tablet to Outlook? Or must I do it manually?

    Thank you.


  40. Hi Leo

    I am having a problem accessing my hotmail account and onedrive at work – it says the password is wrong. However, when I access it at home, it is fine. It happens on different work computers, not just mine. It doesn’t fill in automatically, I fully type it in. What could be the problem? The IT guy isn’t sure what to investigate.

    • Ask your IT person to check whether there have been any recent changes or adjustments to your company’s firewall, or to its white- or blacklists. In a company setting, those would be the likeliest culprits in the situation you describe.

      If it DOES turn out to be one of these, you can be fairly confident that your IT person isn’t particularly competent — in your situation, the above three items should be looked at immediately, and a competent IT person would know that!

      Good luck!

  41. Hi, I do not understand how hotmail recovery works, when prompted to leave a hotmail address and informed that a seven digit code will be issued to you and you cannot get that code when your account has been hacked, I do make another hot mail account and when a code is sent to that address it is only a 4 digit code when it is suppose to be a 7 digit code. That does not help me at all.

  42. Hi, I know the steps to recover your account is for security purposes, but does it really have to be that extensive? Just get a code and log back on, do you really need, billing information, recent contacts, subject lines recently used, etc, do you really need all that? It’s just more of a hassle that people have to go through and don’t have time to go through. It’s an email! Come on. Most people who use hotmail are older and not tech savvy, seriously come up with an easy way, those questions really have no use to recover an account. It’s just a waste of time.

    • All those are designed to keep hackers out who are often very tech savvy. It’s the eternal tradeoff between convenience and security.

  43. Hi Leo! I’m going round in circles, so please can you let me know if you think there’s anything else I could try about the following? Hotmail/Outlook has always worked well for me; I still have the same email address I set up back in the 90’s. I’m currently on vacation in the USA, so me trying to log in from here rather than the UK looks a bit dodgy to Microsoft. So, they sent an activation code to my other registered email address… which is also a Hotmail address! To get into that one they sent a code to the first address…. which I can’t log in to. I’ve filled in some security questionnaires, but I clearly didn’t give the right answers and they didn’t re-activate my accounts, asking over and over again to submit more of those forms. I also asked for a code to be sent to me by SMS, but that didn’t work either; I presume they don’t even have my telephone number. I can’t ask questions to the Outlook community either, because for that you need to log in as well! They whole system is just mad and not thought through whatsoever. Is there any hope for me…? Thanks!!

  44. I have a current active Hotmail/Outlook account, but I want to retrieve files archived in 2013 and 2014 and find the folders are empty in Outlook. Is there some way to recover files which were archived under hotmail but not showing in outlook?

  45. Hi sir
    Sir actually im totally forgot my password
    Nd that time I’m created by my phn number presently thatz number is not wrkng
    Please tell me sir how to open

  46. Hi Leo where is a good place to put passwords that I can access easily when I forget them? Loll its a problem I do have online. Paper is not good. Thanks for all your help

  47. My Hotmail account got hacked. When I contacted Microsoft thru support, after sometime they want the issue to be escalated and they asked me for a point of contact either phone or email. Is it possible Microsoft will call to troubleshoot this issue ?

    • I’ve had them contact me. They were quite persistent and helpful. They made an appointment with me to repair the problem by a remote connection.

  48. I need to get into my Hotmail account, but I couldn’t remember my exact password and my cellphone wasn’t available at that moment, so I had to go through the account recovery process. I kept getting the email on my other account that it had failed, although I put in accurate info. The last time I did the process, they sent me a final account recovery email suggesting that I create a new account, but I REALLY need to get into this account, as I must use it to find my iPhone. Is there any way I can get into my old Hotmail account?


    • Because of so much email hacking, Microsoft is very strict in their account recovery methods. If you don’t have a valid recovery cell phone number or email address, your account may be unrecoverable. One suggestion my colleague came up with is tho phone your old phone number associated with your email account and ask them if they would help you out by receiving the SMS text for you.

  49. Hi, I cannot get access to my hotmail account and I do not remember my password and unfortunately, I am not using the phone number is thereanymore to send a message, how can I solve this problem? is not any other way to recover my password or change it?

    • Read the article you are commenting on. If you don’t have proper recovery accounts set up, you account may not be recoverable.
      One possibility is to phone your old number and ask if the new owners of that number will receive the code for you and tell you the recovery code.

  50. When I go to outlook to sign in from my computer, I get the following message: [object ReadableByteStream] How do I get the sign in screen back? I am not computer savvy at all and will appreciate your help!

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