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Why can't I access Hotmail?


Why can’t I access Hotmail?

As I write this, I’m receiving many reports of people having problems accessing Hotmail. The typical problem is simply “page not found”.

This happens occasionally when Windows Live Hotmail’s servers go down, or there’s a network or other issue preventing a large number of internet users from being able to reach the Hotmail servers.

There could be many, many different reasons for this to happen, and almost all of them are out of your control.

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To be clear: I don’t have an answer. But I at least want people to know that they’re not alone. Not everyone is having trouble, but many people are.

I don’t know of any way to access your mail or contacts until it’s fixed.

The best thing that you can do is simply wait until the problem resolves itself (it usually does), or visit the Windows Live Help Solutions Center and look in the support forums there for updated information.

Unfortunately, as I’ve outlined in How do I contact Windows Live Hotmail customer service? there is no phone number, no email address, and no direct contact for Hotmail support. The Windows Live Help Solutions Center appears to be the only resource.

At times like this, you might reconsider whether a free email service is worth the risk.

(This is an update to an article originally published September 19, 2004.)

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99 comments on “Why can't I access Hotmail?”

  1. Here’s a workaround for the “page cannot be displayed” issue. It worked for me anyway. :)

    Add your Hotmail account in Outlook Express (Tools, Accounts, Mail tab, Add–>Mail). Go through the wizard, and make sure you choose “HTTP” as the incoming mail server and “Hotmail” as the HTTP mail service provider on the Email Server Names screen. This has allowed me to download ALL my messages from Hotmail.

    You can even access your Contacts from within Outlook Express. Please see the following link for more info:

    My conversion to Yahoo Mail is complete now. :) ~mmm

  2. i had problems similar to everyone here since friday pm, contacted hotmail tech people, they reported problems with the server containing my account info. problem sorted out i supposed and i can login as usual again to hotmail.

  3. I had the same problem accessing hotmail about 2 days ago. After trying to “fix” the problem myself, I finally called the company that handles my broadband account( RoadRunner) and they were able to fix it within 15 minutes. It happened to be a combination of IP address and having a wireless connection with other computers. Hopes this helps.

  4. I’m unable to sign into MSN Messenger and I get error 0x81000301 which says my password or sign in name is wrong but it ist and i also cant log into my hotmail on internet explorer because when i go to and log in it goes straight to this page cannot be displayed and ive pretty much triend everything and i know that my password or sign in name is not wrong because i can access my hotmail on netscape 6 I REALLY NEED HELP!!!

  5. Hi Leo!
    I also had trouble accessing Hotmail, my bank’s login site, and other https sites like my Amazon account where I was trying to make a purchase. Also I have been unable to ever do the scan for updates section of microsoft windows xp or IE on their website. Very frustrating. Regarding the https thingy I tried adding the web address to the allow section in Internet >tools options.Still didn’t work. Adjusted security settings, but nothing I do has worked.

    Regarding the non Windows update, I did a search on and one of the results suggested it was caused by Norton. Well when I bought my Compaq new 3 years ago, it came with a 6-month free trial of Norton. I didn’t have the $$ to continue so just have lived without anything since then (for the most part). Anyhow looked on Norton’s website and saw a notice that they were aware of the problem. Their solution??? Upgrade! of course for $$. Sounds like a scam to me.

    Would appreciate your help in these two issues. I ended up losing my hotmail account because I could never log on to it, and too much time had passed. Contacted Microsoft regarding getting the updates sent to me via CD but always go in circles on their website (they told me to call HP since it was OEM and HP couldn’t do anything because the computer was out of warranty. Go in megacircles on HPs website too :-(

  6. Im not to sure but can anyone tell me how to get in contact with Hotmail staff in ireland? I need to know if i can retrieve mails from a few weeks ago – for legal reasons. thanks, kiera x

  7. hello everyone
    i got the same problem two days now.
    spend all day tryin different things such as Internet options, scanned my drives with different antivirus products n scanners, but nothing seems to be there. i heared a couple of other people tellin me cant access hotmail.
    i cant go to amazon, microsoft web site n cant login my msn messenger :S
    is so frastrating..

  8. you all overlook the main reason: msn has made hotmail a tracking cookie software and if your machine is not cookie-friendly, then msn will make it near impossible to use hotmail decently. for example if you install msn money portfolio and then one day decide to uninstall it, you won’t be able to access your hotmail account anymore cos the msn money uninstall is extremely buggy. the leftovers from the uninstall mess will make it impossible to log in to hotmail. msn know this problem but they simply don’t want to fix it cos it would mean giving up the tracking built into the portfolio code. IOW the richest company in the world is so greedy that if you don’t accept their tracking spyware and their bugged installers, they will make life miserable for you. thousands of hours wasted daily because people can’t access their accounts anymore SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT MSN TO TRACK THEIR SURFING. MSN STINKS.

  9. The page cannot be found
    The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.


    Please try the following:

    If you typed the page address in the Address bar, make sure that it is spelled correctly.

    Open the home page, and then look for links to the information you want.
    Click the Back button to try another link.
    Click Search to look for information on the Internet.

    HTTP 400 – Bad Request
    Internet Explorer

  10. Hi… I too am finding it impossible to log in to my hotmail email account: keep getting page not found… when i try to sign into my msn messenger I get an error message… then it asks to scan my system for any settings that might be preventing access but the scan tells me my settings are A.O.K… needless Im fed up with the whole thing… i finally relented and decided to set up a new hotmail account but what would you know: “Page not found!” …Im mad as hell and sick to death of mailing hotmail to complain… is there really nothing anyone can do??? has anybody heard anything??? if so please do not hesitate in mailing me …You’d be saving my life as I will explode in a burst of furious frustration if I dont somehow find an answer… Thanks in advance (feel somewhat better having vented my annoyance)—– JOE BLACK >:-(

  11. Hey Leo,

    I came across your site on page one or two on a google for this issue. I have since found a solution that worked for me so I figured I’d post it here to try and propagate it. (Note btw that the adding hotmail to outlook solution doesn’t work any more as microsoft have moved that option into their subscription offering).

    Basically its the solution mentioned here…

    re downloading tcp optimizer from and making two changes to your network setup. This allowed me to acces to access hotmail again for the first time since I upgraded to sp2.

    I reckon that in fact the changes suggested are arbitary and any change would work – I feel that using the tool is fixing a general corruption of the network connection setup. Anyways, it worked for me – slightly to my amazement I must admit :)

    Hope this helps others with the same issue…

  12. hi hotmail staff,
    i am quratulain.and i have one complain for u that my hotmail id is not opening from 4 days just because it has error in it.plsssssss get away this error cuz i am unable to check my mails n delete them.pls do it now.
    thanks a lotz.

  13. DAMMIT! I wish MSN would just come out and say their dropping Hotmail instead of screwing everything up. I havent been able to get to my hotmail in weeks, says its there, but dam blank page everytime. I been able at least on 2 times to go around it this way. Open hotmail from Internet Explorer & access that way, but its a real paon in the ass if you know what i mean. YAHOO is SUPERIOR over MSN as i see it, this is just lousy ass management, but then what can we expect for nothing, right? NOTHING. PERIOD. I give up after having Hotmail for 5 years, Pee on it.

  14. I am writing this October 26th 2004. I have the same Page Cannot be Displayed problem everybody else had at the end of September. Maybe Hotmail have a rota?

    It’s a bummer……..! I get job offers in that inbbox as I am unemployed at the moment!!!! Now put your problem in perspective! :)

  15. I hate hotmail it is the worst thing i have ever seen you cant even begin to imagine how annoying this is. But if you would like to check for yourself get your own account. RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH! RUBBISH!

  16. I have also not been able to access my Hotmail for the past two days. It keeps getting stuck after I type in my password and hit login. It’ll even lock up my browser. I’ve tried on multiple computers, including Macs. All have the same problems. I was able to get back in last night for a bit, and I thought the problem was fixed. This morning, though, I cannot get in again. My messenger tells me I have messages, and as new messages come in, it tells me that they are here. I even got one from MSN Support, but that does me no good since I can’t access it.

    Someone once said that Hotmail’s capacity to 250mb was only to a few subscribers, and it’s a very beta state. If that’s the case, that maybe be why I’m having problems. I’ve cleared my cookies and temp files, and am still having problems. I don’t know what else to do. This is my primary e-mail account, too.

  17. Not only can’t I access my hotmail, but when that goes out so does my bank account web site. when hotmail comes back so does my bank site. weird!!!! At one point I could adjust my security settings and it fixed the problem, maybe just a coindence. I really don’t want to but I think I may have to dump hotmail after it gets back up, and I can get all my addresses transfered to my Yahoomail account. Hate to do it, I’ve gotten confortable with using hotmail. but if I can’t access it, it’s no good to me.

  18. I had the same symptoms as everyone else and the solution refered to by Colm in october worked for me!
    Download TCP Optimizer at
    Select your connection type (For me, “DSL PPPoE”)
    Click the “Custom Settings” radio button at the bottom.
    Change two settings:
    MaxMTU (from 1492 to 1220) and MTU Discovery (from ‘Yes’ to ‘Default’) then ‘Apply Changes’, ‘Exit’ and last of all, Reboot.
    Original post was at
    Good luck!

  19. I’ve been getting the “Account Temporarily Unavailable” message for the last week and the number they suggest calling will not give you live support if you’re not a “paying” customer. That is, the $9.95 per month hotmail user. They said to email support which i have done a number of times with no response. Watch them then bounce emails because we’ve “reached our limited space”.

  20. I am glad it isn’t just me. It been very frustrating not to be able to get any information. It would help if they would at least put an announcement on the MSN page. I have transactions that I am not able to access, to see what is happening with them. It is really funny, if you click on the help link on the Hotmail “Account Temporarily Unavailable” page it just returns you to that page. I think I received a total of two messages Friday after 8:00 AM and no connection since.

  21. So i’ve just had an interesting conversation with those hotmail people. They said as a non paying member they couldn’t access my details and i would have to mail problems. I said fine and asked if i was to upgrade to a paying member do you think my hotmail would start working again – he felt that was highly likely! What a suprise!
    Pay peanuts get monkeys

  22. Emily,
    Don’t be too sure about that. About 4 years ago Hotmail had a problem with a server my account was on. The acount became locked and could not be reactivated. The mail I had on the account could not be recovered either.

  23. I am having the same trouble…it says my account is “temporarily unavailable” and it has been that way for days. I have had this account for 6 years+ and all of my addresses are locked in there, so I can’t even e-mail my friends to let them know to use a separate account! If anyone finds anything out…please post it…I’m getting more frustrated by the minute!

  24. After 6 hours of calling the number on the “help” link, I finally got through. However, none of the automated options pertain to the “Account Temporarily Unavailable.” I tried a few of the options that seem close. But they suggested contacting “” I sent an email to that address and received an automated response with a link to the same “help” page this no help at all!!! It is a vicious circle. I have not been able to talk to a live person. I get more upset by the lack of explanation or ability to talk to anyone at MSN than the actual problem itself. I understand that sometimes there are technical difficulties. But own up to it. And tell your users that something is being done.

    Maybe its time to get a Yahoo mail account!!

  25. I would imagine that this may drive a group of users to Yahoo mail. Depending on what the problem is, when and if it is resolved, etc., I may switch. I think Google is trying to come out with email too, but probably not soon enough. I would like to get in, because I do have a few emails in my inbox I need to do something with. Then I have to try to change my email every place I am using my hotmail address at (could be quite a project).

  26. Ron, I was just reading about Google’s upcoming email venture. Unfortunately, it is not available yet.

    Like you, I have messages that I know are in my inbox that I need. I have been using that account for 4-5 years. It will be a nightmare to track down all of the places I have used it for registrations and the like.

  27. I also doubt that if you go to the paid Hotmail account they can transfer the information from your free account at this time. I don’t believe they can access this problem server (if that is in fact the problem) and be able to retrieve information.

  28. I emailed hotmail support and MSN to try and get a resolution of the Account Temp. Inactive problam, and they claim to reply within 24 hours. Load of bull. I think we just have to face the fact that regardless if we do pay, we will not be able to get our old mail messages or contacts made available. Hotmail is def. going to be a thing of the past for me – the support is just a viscious circle and driving me crazy!

  29. I would be surprised if you get an answer before the problem is resolved. I also think that since it appears to be one server that the files on it may be corrupt. I do not think that they back up the free email accounts, so they have to try to recover the data from the server. I am sure they do want to recover it all, to keep those people on that server from migrating to yahoo.

  30. Hi everyone I have had the same hotmail unavailable information and now have an error that they are trying to recover my account. At any rate – I spoke to several people yesterday and found out that there is no customer service/tech support for anyone not a paying member and even if you do pay its takes 2 weeks to clear and it is unlikely that they can help. I have a friend at microsoft who said there is a server problem that they are trying to fix. I don’t know if information is recoverable or not. I’ve moved on to a new account. If they provide a service they need to provide help, if not get out of the free email service and let a more qualified company take over

  31. hi
    heres what i found : do this ;

    Start | Run | type: CMD
    when the command prompt is open type: ipconfig /flushdns

    this will flush whatever dns information your computer has recorded so that the next time you try to access hotmail it will use the new dns server ( find hotmail .. it worked for me and hopefully will work for you.

    and there s the second option :

    Click on that link and a window would come up to ask you to SAVE or OPEN, click on OPEN and you would see another window and at the bottom right hand side you would see a space that says have to put 1492, then on the left side of that where it says adapter settings make you have the correct adapter selected, then clink on save and then exit and reboot your PC and tried one more time to access your hotmail and yahoo account and let us know..

  32. I had the problem of locking up after I logged into Hotmail, with a blank page and “Done” in the status bar. After running LavaSoft’s Ad-aware to remove spyware/trojans etc (it found loads) hotmail works again.

  33. i got same problem, not only hotmail, but some bank account as well.
    use TCPoptimize works for me.

    maybe it just reset some network connect but fixed as side effect some security problems.

  34. Hi! My husband has joined the growing numbers who, with no prior warning, can’t access their email at hotmail using an email address because it says it doesn’t support this .net passport. However it does let you into ‘My MSN’ at the main websites. Does anyone know whether if you pay up for an upgrade you get your access back? My husband uses his email account to send out daily messages on a circulation list of around 70 people. Do the rest of you use your email in this way?
    I’m writing from the UK.

  35. Hello again – With reference to above loads of people are asking questions. I found this news item
    There are obviously technical problems at Microsoft.
    Interestingly I downloaded the Mozilla browser as someone at Ebay suggested it might be an IE glitsch and the first time we tried the email login there was actually a Microsoft error message which said there was an internal problem and if you were trying to reactivate your hotmail account try again later etc. I can’t now get this page up again – it’s reverted to the previous ynhelpful message! A sort of logic says that if MSN had suspended your account you wouldn’t be able to login at any .Net passport site so let’s hope that it is just a technical problem.

  36. We have a 40 seat internet cafe with staff – they are going nuts having to explain to people that there is a temporary problem with hotmail, that is causing, the hotmail login to hang/freeze for long periods when first starting a hotmail session. New browser sessions can be opened for other web sites just fine; eventually the hotmail website comes back with a script error. Reloading the browser once more seems to clear the issue until the next time.

  37. I am having trouble signing in to hotmail since last two days. I can sign in to My MSN (so my password works properly). However when signing it to Hotmail, I get following error message.

    Due to an internal error your request cannot be processed. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later.

    If you are attempting to reactivate your Hotmail account, we’re sorry but your request cannot be processed at this time.
    Please do the following:

    Close all web browser windows.
    Restart your web browser.
    Return to to sign in.

    The URL in browser changes to something like

    I have sent an email to Hotmail support but don’t know when this will be restored.
    They should improve service rather than increasing mail box size.

  38. My Hotmail also freezes on IE6. I have to do the to close it, which always closes all my screens – and then the Error Reporting appears and freezes as well. However I have no problems with Hotmail when I use Mozilla Firefox as my browser. I spoke with someone at MSN who told me it MIGHT be due to my not installing their SP2 security patch, which ate my files when I did. I removed it fast! If this is the case, then I guess no more Hotmail through IE6 unless I wish to destroy my computer and make Microsoft happy.

  39. What a load of crap!Hotmail has turned into stinkmail!Cant do anything with this site,just look at my mail and shout,or phone the sender.
    It’s time everyone by law,use lynux.
    MICROSOFT in my book= F##king bad news.

  40. Ahhh..

    I’ve found this problem a couple of times too..

    It appears to be an Antivirus Problem, With Nortons I’ve been able to simply turn of Script Blocking, and away it goes.

    So head on over to Symantec, and start pushing there :P


  41. Ok I found the problem.

    1. Log in

    2. Change your url from: ..etc..

    to: ..etc..


    Well, MSN never fails to boast about its services. Always tries to create a cloud of self-appreciation and announce the so-called enhancements. But when it comes to using its services for basic purposes (let’s say Hotmail to check one’s e-mail messages), the users hardly get 15 to 25% of the expected satisfaction.

    So the bitter truth (no matter whether the MSN team will be able to swallow it or not) is that they should either publicly admit their technical weaknesses and discontinue all the so-called free services OR PROVIDE SOME QUALITY SERVICES FOR REAL!!!

    What about broadcasting a message globally stating that HOTMAIL (AND/OR OTHER MSN SERVICES ARE NOT MEANT TO BE ACCESSED FROM CYBER CAFES? At least that would save the cyber cafe operators from the angry and dissatisfied looks on their customers’ faces. Further, they would be free from the unwanted burden they usually feel while answering the customers’ questions to which no reasonable answers seem to exist. AND THEY WOULD NOT HAVE TO SPEND THEIR PRECIOUS TIME (UNWILLINGLY AGAIN) IN SUCH NONSENSE DISCUSSIONS.
    And wouldn’t it be wise of them to display a satisfactory and explanatory error note whenever such problems occur?



  43. Hi,

    Thanks to Lamer’s comment I was able to access my hotmail, that is, change the url to:

    And it works!

    My problem was that after logging in, the page went blank, instead of showing the normal hotmail home page.

    I haven’t been able to figure out how to make this automatically…

    Thank you!

  44. I cannot access my Hotmail accout. After logging in the screen comes up blank, and “Done” is indicated in the lower left screen corner.
    I see on your “Recent Comments” page that others have had this problem (i.e. Rodolfo Dec 20, 2004) and indicated that you made positve suggestions. However I have not seen any suggestions on your site. Please advise if you have a potential solution. I have already acceses MSN Hotmail tech support, although their suggestions have not worked. Thanks, Greg.

  45. I have MSN, and this stuff is happening to me. In Sept, my hd crashed and was replaced. I reinstalled MSN6, but was getting prompted to install a newer Messenger. I did, and it wasn’t compatible(I have W95). This means I can’t write any messages through the MSN email program, and instead have to go to to write any emails.

    Also, in 2000 I got a free Hotmail account, so when I got MSN in 2002, I had to create a new user that had the domain. So, I have both a and address.

    Last week, I had problems accessing my account even though the was fine. I would type in, then the address in the bar would change to that long one. half of the address bar would be yellow and just stop. I’d hit the stop button, and the page would be blank. I’d hit refresh, and an empty vert. scroll bar would appear. I’d hit refresh a few times with the same result. If I type in again, the page would come up all weird-looking. In this state, it works sometimes. Starting today, my mail won’t come up through hotmail. I tried the stuff above, with the same result. I think it came up normally once. I just tried the “23” trick, and it doesn’t work. I’ll try it with my account later.

    I sent a message to the help center with no reply. I’ll try again telling them my account is messed up.

    What makes me mad is that both email accounts worked fine on the library computer.

  46. I have emailed hotmail through my yahoo account I had to open today. The hotmail support did not help at all. It says the email is not monitored {That means the yahoo}. They provided an address support msn web page and go from there, but all the hotmail web pages does not work. Its all white and nothing happens. So, the web page you provided about does not work either. It only signs in and that’s all after that white page.

  47. Why do places like hotmail just give websites to use to notify your problems? If it doesn’t work to get your hotmail, why would it work to address the problem? Why do phone company providers also list just web sites for contacting them for problems? Again, if it doesn’t work… I’ve just spent twenty minutes listening to phone company “choices” and finally got a human being. It seems that it should be simpler???

  48. for some time now. hotmail dousnt alow pop3 acces for new acounts. now they only give ya pop3 with the hotmail plus. read the hotmail plus info on the hotmail site for more info ;)

  49. recently i too have been having problems with hotmail. in november my account was rejecting all emails sent to me saying that my inbox was full it was not …it took 4 weeks before it was sorted .end of dec untill last few days i could not log in thats been resolved. now i can’t down load attachments any more even ones which i have previously opened with no problems i just get a message ..unable to log in to internet site.errrrrrrrrr


    AFTER LOGIN WHEN THE PAGE BLANK (it say Done and some SSL thing occured)



  51. Many people still seem to be having this problem. I discovered the solution on another forum, and thought I’d let everybody know to reduce the global stress.

    I believe that the reason only some people are affected is that the problem occurs in XP following the SP2 upgrade (I don’t know why). I’m happy to accept that this is not the case, but my forum readings seem to indicate that it is.

    To fix the problem (well it worked for me), just turn off (uncheck) HTTP 1.1 support in IE Tools/Internet Options/Advanced.

    Everything seemed to be back to normal after I did that (and undid all the other changes I’d made :-)

    Along the way, I found a great article about Path MTU Discovery ( which was another suggested cause for the problem … turned out to not be the problem for me, but still an interesting article. Do a google search for (“http 1.1” hotmail problem) to get lots more information.


  52. Hi Leo,

    I don’t know if you have come up against this problem before
    Hotmail hasn’t been accepting my password for the last couple of weeks – I think it may be something to do with Microsoft Passport.Net – have you any advice on what could be wrong?


  53. Before? Only over and over and over again. Sadly there’s no single solution or magic bullet, and it’s very frustrating for many people. I’d recommend reading throught the comments that have already been posted on this article (there’s 129 of them right now) in amongst the frustrations there have been some good ideas to try.

  54. I am unable to log into my hotmail account (“Account Temporarily Unavailable”) for over a day now. I am a paying customer too ! The tech support numbers (I have called atleast 10 different numbers) absolutely dont help. Infact the auto-machine is arrogant to even shut down the phone if I press 0 couple of times to reach a human being. Finally I am connected to a support number (reached via 650-964-7200) for 2 hours and there is no one or sound on that !! I am wondering if someone/thing will eventually come to that line!!

  55. Hotmail is REALLY PISSING ME OFF! It is a an EXTREMELY important component of my business and if i can’t access it i am switching to another email account! REDICULOUS!!!!!!!

  56. Hi,

    I can not get into my Hotmail. Which is the only e-mail I have.

    I keep getting a ” MATCH THE PICTURE ” sign… I do, and it keeps coming back and I just don’t get into my Hotmail.

    It’s a vicious cycle. They want to make sure I’m not an automated machine of some sort. Well, I’m not. And my husband’s schedule is IN Hotmail. NOw how do we get to it ?

    Feel free to call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX

    Susan Sedgebeer

    [Editted to remove phone number – NEVER EVER post your phone number in a public forum.]

  57. I, too, am finding it impossible to access a Hotmail account. When I access it through Outlook Express (it always worked before last week), I get a single email from Hotmail Admin telling me to go to the website. Once I do that, I start looping through the sequence they implemented to insure I am not an automated spammer. However, maybe this article can explain some of what is going on…maybe?

    I don’t know if it is relevant to this situation or not, but I do know that MSN has royally screwed users before without telling them beforehand. Yeah, yeah…I know…they promised to “communicate” and give the users advance warning. I (for one) don’t believe it.


    I just tried access through netscape and it works! So download netscape if you don’t have it, and it should work OK. Its some kind of Explorer problem by the looks of it.

  59. Why have the fascists at microsoft done this I wonder, to line Bill Gates pockets even further, will we have to pay to access hotmail accounts through progs like outlook express, probably?
    I have 3 addresses with them and cant access any :(
    All I get is a single email saying click this link, but all I get is Page Not Found, Arrrgh!!

  60. I got 3 emails from what seemed to be Hotmail support emails, but they were from 3 different email addresses! The email said that they encountered a problem in verifying my information or something and that my account will be deactivated until I send them the information. It then said to click the link provided to fill in the information that was needed. The emails that the message came from was,,
    All of the email messages were exactly the same, but from the different email adresses.
    The URLs that they linked to go to to send the info was,,
    But neither of the sites exist (try it yourself, It doesnt work)
    What should I do?

  61. I found this site by googling ‘hotmail hipservice problems’- I too wasted a whole day yesterday trying to get out of the ‘match the pictures/hipservice’ loop! well, either Microsoft finally pulled their finger out (there is a first time for everything) and fixed the problem or i’ve found a solution, albeit not a perfect one security wise…

    1. Delete your cookies and cache (in Firefox, this is “Tools->Options->Privacy”)
    2. Restart your PC
    3. Disable any antivirus/security software running (i.e. McAffee, Norton Antivirus etc)
    4. Download Messenger 6.2 if you haven’t already
    5. Login from there

    This worked for me, I only hope it works for you if you’re still having problems. The complete lack of technical support from Microsoft could be the final nail in the coffin with them, as far as I’m concerned and I’ll be spending most of today backing up all my e-mails/contacts etc until I finally switch to another e-mail account (g-mail, when it’s finally up and running should be good).

    Best, James.

  62. I have struggled with this problem for about a week (you log in, get the HIP screen, and then have to log in again – it becomes a constant loop). Luckily today I found that if I login with FireFox instead IE it lets me in! Once you do that you can access your account with Outlook Express again — Hope it helps!

  63. to solve that revolving door of going to login screen to HIP back to login then to HIP….and so on…. shut down your firewall….mine is zonealarm…theh type the charater on the screen…and you are in….then of course…turn your firewall back on…keep them intruders out….then went back to my hotmail account with the firewall up….and all is normal again…until microsoft throws another curve out there…..found this my accident…so i guess zonealarm doesn’t like hotmail…or vice versa…..but i am glad to get my hotmail back…wish microsoft would have said something….seems like a simple solution

  64. Try this –
    Uninstall the new msn toolbar, disable automatic logon with messenger.
    Set msn as your home page and make hotmail today a favourite.
    Restart your computer.
    Open internet explorer and click on hotmail today and go straight into hotmail.
    The first time you will have to play ‘match the picture’ but then it’s all systems go after that.

  65. A BIG Thanks to Bill re his suggestion on how to soleve the HIP revolving door. I too have Zonealarm firewall, so did what Bill suggested and hey Presto, a week of inaction by Hotmial so called customer service solved!!!!!!

  66. I can’t access my hotmail account. I was in the middle of sending out a message when a graphic came up asking for my password. I typed in my password and it wouldn’t take it. Then another graphic came up asking me to identify the numbers and letters in it. I did that and a different one came up-same test.

    After trying many things, including changing my password, I found this site.

    I tried the phone number Leo gave at the top.

    It’s a tech service you pay for and after giving me one thing to try and do, the guy gave up and gave me the number for

    So, after about a 20 minute wait, I get a rep who tells me that since I get free hotmail that they can’t help me and he give me the hotmail support phone number.

    You call that and you are in prompt hell. No humans! They have different prompts dealing with different problems only none of them had my problem so I was screwed.

    2 hours wasted and I still can’t access my e-mail.

    Does anybody have any suggestions?

  67. Listen up!
    There is nothing wrong with anything you all are doing-Hotmail is just SCREWED UP for several days because they cannot handle the larger storage amounts they added to everyone’s account recently.
    Their servers are too busy, so be patient or do like I did and create a new free account @ yahoo or elsewhere to use in the meantime or for good. Hotmail is trying to compete with other free mail carriers and cannot because they were not equipped to do this yet.
    So, consequently, they have to enable a larger amount of servers, and they cannot while so many people are using their service.
    The next time you can get logged on do this: copy and paste your addresses to another email account and send notices to all your contacts to use a new address.
    As for those who think their stuff is gone, be assured it is NOT in the trash, it is still there.
    To verify click on ‘manage folders’ and you’ll see the number (in brackets) of messages are still there, you just cannot access them @ that time.
    There is no 800 number and when sending a message to the ‘contact MSN’ under the help button, they will send you a verification number that they received your message, BUT so far they have not responded to people. They are just too busy.
    Do not give out verification of your address and password as they will not ask you this at any time. This is a HOAX, and identity theft is dominating the computer servers so be forewarned, do not ever verify anything as they won’t ask. Go to MSN’s website to verify what I’ve said here.
    If you, unfortunately, have already verified info and your stuff has been stolen, good luck getting it back. We are all supposed to be informed when we use our sysytems and all people are responsible for their own stuff.
    DO NOT give out any passwords ever, not even if it sounds legitimate. No company will ever ask you for them online.
    I live and work here in the Silicon Valley and have extensive knowledge on this stuff, so trust me-I would not waste my time posting this if I didn’t know it to be the gospel according to computers.

  68. as a follow up to my earlier comment about zonealarm and hotmail
    you have to allow all cookies on your system to get past the HIP screen….once you are past that screen and back into your hotmail account ….you can restore your cookie settings…. for some resaon….hip needs cookies engaged in ordser to respond to you typing in the characters thing…. nice to know hotmail likes zonealarm…..NOT!

  69. our small organization uses primarily free hotmail accounts for the employees – they are all having terrible problems – all of the ones mentioned above in the article – a few people have paid the annual fee for an expanded hotmail account – does this subscription to a paid hotmail feature insure fewer problems with hotmail?

  70. Your all blaming hotmail,isn’t it really MSN, I have a lot of trouble with msn,therefore I use others, Like Yahoo and O/E .Course I have found it could also be your server…….Good luck solving your problems….Judi…In Maine


  72. After I installed Microsofts latest patches I could no longer access my hotmail account. I’m certain it was those updates that caused me this problem. I wonder how many other people had this problem right after they downloaded the updates for XP.

  73. I was experiencing the problem of being unable to access my hotmail e-mail messages on both home and work computers.

    I’m not sure if I catched either a virus, worm or perhaps a “malware” that me both computers to react this way.

    Well, the fact that I could access my hotmail e-mail account from another computer, made me realize that perhaps I had a Cookie setting problem.

    Now what I did, was the following:
    1._ Clicked to access my mail.
    2._ Once the blank page appeared showing nothing, I hit “TOOLS” on my browser.
    3._ Then went to INTERNET OPTIONS.
    4._ On INTERNET OPTIONS, selected the PRIVACY tab.
    5._ In PRIVACY, hit DEFAULT or if DEFAULT is not available, hit ADVANCED and select “Automatic Override of Cookie handling”.
    6._ Then hit OK or APPLY and after you have finished with your PRIVACY configuration, hit the GO button on the BLANK browser screen, and VOILA, you will have access to your Hotmail e-mail messages.

    Note: I think what could create this problem is a Spyware, malware or something else that could modify the browser’s cookie handling, but specifically for Hotmail settings. I ran several spyware softwares but none of them found any problem within my both computers.

    Hope this information can help you.

  74. Heather, Inez, I know what you mean. Alex, i try what you said and it worked once, now every time i want to see my hotmail account i have to hit the go bottom once or twice, every time. Well, i’ve been haveing this problem since the begining of the year. I have read all kind of trash, specialy people wanting you to leave hotmail and get a new account some place else, yea, like that’s what we want, loose everything… some others post messeges without saying what kind of eviroment, system and most important, the problem. Not everyone is haveing the same problem, some get stuck with a blank page trying to upload, some get in a loop with the sign in, etc. This is what i have discovered so far, maybe, maybe, maybe will aply to you.
    You can’t access hotmail using outlook if you have a free service, only paying member are olowed to use outlook with hotmail, it was change the begining of the year. For those who can’t access hotmail using your browser, with a free hotmail account, it’s not a virus, a worm, or nothing like that. I re-installed win xp pro. 4 times and last time i did a low level format, if you don’t know what that is, you don’t want to know, and still had the problem, bought new antivirus sofware and still had the problem. I belive, my opinion, it’s something with explorer and hotmail servers, they both have gone trough lots of changes lately, specialy since they don’t want non paying members to access it using outlook. Plus microsoft wants you to upgrade to sp2 (win xp) because by doing so if you don’t have a legal copy of xp, the upgrade wont work, and prety soon nothing will work with sp1. well, going back to the problem, try this, it’s simple and wont hurt anything, and please, if it works, let everyone knows, don’t be selfish. I downloaded “mozilla firefox” it’s just a browser like explorer or netscape, i’t good, it got pop up bloker integrated and some other usefull stuff, but you can use it only to check your hotmail if you want, it’s free also. try it, see what happens before you make any more changes to the core programs of your cpu.
    let us know. Sal.

  75. Hi
    I’ve been having trouble accessing my hotmail account for about two weeks now. It works fine on computers with XP Pro or windows 98, but it doesn’t work on two of my computers that have XP home edition. All I can see after I click login is “page cannot be displayed”. I’ve tried opening it with firefox browser, downloading Java VM, cookie overrding option, etc…..nothing works. Does anyone have anymore suggestions to try…it’s really frustrating….

  76. ok.i had the match the picture/sign in loop for 2 weeks.heres what i did. i use zone alarm so before you try shutting it down,open za. click privacy on the right list then click site list tab. look for and remove all hotmail sites.then go to inbox from messenger icon. it worked for me. if it doesnt work for you,shut down firewall for as little time as possible.

  77. right i have finally got passed this match the picture…. for all people especially with a EZ firewall and other different named firewalls… I found that there is 2 cache cleaners 1 when you go on tools on the explorer browser but also when you go on your firewall…. you need to clean both and delete all cookies and history… i also removed any knowledge of hotmail,, passportphotos… etc. from the firewall… and then before signing in i also lowered my cookie control on EZ to allow all cookies… then i highered it again once signed in… good luck

  78. Firefox Sal suggested was great…looks like there are many problems with hotmail. But one of the problem I had is that there’s a error on the page after I logged in. But it seems like using Firefox disobey the error and continue its process into the mailbox. It works great, allows u to acces hotmail again. At least for me it did…so…i suggest u ppl having trouble with hotmail to try firefox too. Kind of differnt from IExplore…but u’ll just have to live with it i guess.

    thanks sal

  79. I can’t access hotmail either. Just get “page not found” for anything on the domain. There is no reason on my end for this whatsoever.

    I will be using Yahoo! from now on. No problems with email or IM.

    So long Microsoft, may you rot in hell.

  80. Thankyou very, very much bill(Posted by: bill at February 18, 2005 06:46 AM )I have zone alarm. Closed it down as recommended to access my hotmail, BINGO! Then started it back up when i gained access to keep the out the nasties. NO THANKYOU TO MICROSOFT. After filling out the forms I have been waiting to no avail for help. Now i am going to notify every one in my hotmail address book that i will shortly be switching over to GMAIL. Way to go microsoft!!

  81. I had the same message as this kept coming up, i tried everything and changing the firewall settings didn’t help me. I had Norton Firewall but I had to resort to uninstalling it to be able to access hotmail and log into MSN. This means my computer is a little less safe but I can access msn now. Service pack two has a decent firewall built in that deals with most problems.

  82. same problem with hotmail-suddenly ‘page not found’ happened at login with ALL computers in the house for 2 weeks – could access from other places. Tried ALL the suggestions here (empty cache, foxfire, etc) nothing worked. Then, unplugged router and connected directly through cable modem. Problem solved immediately. Reconnected router, did a cycle reboot (unplug modem, unplug router, turn off computer – plug in router, plug in modem, turn on computer) – Immediate connection for hotmail. Worth a try…

  83. I did have this problem today and it was fixed by rebooting my modem, wireless router and pc. It was fixed immediately. I had tried everything with my cookies, settings, firewall, spyware, hijack this, even called my dsl provider.

    If you are having access problems and have dsl, it sure wouldn’t hurt to try to reboot your service. Good luck all. I really do need to move ahead with dumping hotmail and ie!!!

  84. Leo,
    as many other I am getting crazy with this access to MSN & hotmail that do not link.

    BUT: at this link

    rufojp | 08/27/04 5:03 PM

    I found that may be a MTU settings problem.

    I run win 2000 and trayed to fix it going to LAN – properties – configure – advanced – fragmentation threshold

    setting it to 1280, 512 but there has been no results.

    from other sites I understood that for w2k I should use the registry editor.

    This is far beyond my competencies.

    I wrote this because probably the point is right but the MTU has to be setted in a different way.

    any suggestion?



  85. I thought there might be help, but the comments of others at this site convinced me that there probably is none. I was fortunate enough to get my addresses transferred from my hotmail account to my netzero account before hotmail became completely inaccessible. I e-mailed everybody on my list to notify them of the change, but that does nothing for the others who have my old address but who are not on my list.

    I am able to enter my user name and password and get to the screen that tells me I have mail from my “contactos” (“contacts” in English). But when I try to open the “correo” tab (“mail” tab in English) or try to open one of the messages from the list “De mis contactos” (“From my contacts” in English), the site just clocks for hours and never opens anything.

    I wish someone from hotmail would read these comments or offer some way to report such problems. But failing that, I am forced to just give up on hotmail.

    Hope someone can get this fixed. Hotmail worked fine for me until my niece came and MSN Messenger. Don’t know if that caused the problems or if it was just a coincidence that hotmail started crashing after MSN Messenger was added.



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