How to Access and Sign In to Your Hotmail Account
Founded in the mid-90s, Hotmail is one of the oldest email addresses that continues to be used by many. However, it is no longer a separate webmail service, as Microsoft’s Outlook handles all Hotmail accounts. This is confusing to users who are wondering if Hotmail is still around and whether it will remain operational in the future.
The following guide covers how you can access and sign in to your Hotmail account and discusses methods to retrieve an inactive Hotmail account, create a Hotmail username, delete it, and change a Hotmail email to Outlook.
Also read: How to Read Yahoo Mail in Any Email App
- Where Is My Hotmail Account?
- How to Access Your Hotmail Account in Outlook
- How to Retrieve Your Old Hotmail Account
- How to Create a New Hotmail Account
- Rename Hotmail Account to Outlook
- How to Delete Your Hotmail Account
- Can’t Remember Your Hotmail Password or Backup Phone/Email?
- How to Link an Old Hotmail Account to a New Email Client
- Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is My Hotmail Account?
As active Hotmail users know already, the famous email address hasn’t disappeared. It remains operational, just like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo. A Hotmail email account can be used with the Outlook email client, Microsoft Teams, Skype, OneDrive, Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and even the Windows Insider Program.
However, in its blog posts and videos, Microsoft insists on a transition from Hotmail.com to Outlook.com. While you can do that, there is nothing stopping users from accessing Hotmail on a browser or via Outlook’s Android/iOS apps.
How to Access Your Hotmail Account in Outlook
In any web browser, if you enter “hotmail.com” on the address bar, it will automatically redirect you to “outlook.com.” From there, you can sign in to the Hotmail domain if you remember your password. Currently, there are no webmail or other exclusive services for Hotmail.
All of the other Microsoft email addresses, such as Live.com, MSN.com, and Passport.com, as well as their country-specific subdomains, are directly accessible from Outlook.com and can only be opened from Outlook’s webmail or desktop/mobile clients.
If you’re using Hotmail with your Outlook.com account, you can verify its availability under “Microsoft Account Profile -> Account Info -> Sign-in preferences.”
On the “Manage how you sign in to Microsoft” page, you can see a list of aliases attached to your Microsoft account. This will give you any Hotmail email accounts that you are currently using. It will have been saved as a primary or secondary alias.
Also read: 6 Best Tips to Protect Your Gmail Account Security
You can add multiple aliases to your Microsoft account. If you’ve never used an Outlook.com email account, Hotmail will show up as the only available alias. While you can always create a new Hotmail account, Microsoft doesn’t let you add it as a secondary alias since it is part of a reserved domain. Only Outlook.com email addresses support creating new aliases.
How to Retrieve Your Old Hotmail Account
Do you have an old Hotmail account that you no longer have access to? There are different ways to retrieve it, depending on your most recent account activity and other factors.
1. Last Account Activity
If you’ve logged in once during a calendar year (slightly less than 365 days) and still remember the password, then it is quite easy to regain access to Hotmail/Outlook.
- Go to the Outlook sign-in page and enter your username and password.
- After entering the login credentials, you may be allowed to directly access your inbox. But if you haven’t logged in for a long time, you may need a phone number or alternate email address to receive a verification code.
- If the verification code matches what was sent to your device, your old Hotmail account will be retrieved.
If you don’t remember your password, an alternate email or device can help you regain access to your Hotmail account.
2. Hotmail Account Deleted After Inactivity
If you did not use your Hotmail account for two years or more, Microsoft may have deleted it for inactivity. All of your emails, contacts, and other stored data would have been removed permanently. These deleted email accounts have a 60-day waiting period before the email address can be assigned to someone else.
- If you don’t want someone else to use your inactive Hotmail username, find out whether you can still recover it through an alternate email address or phone number on the Microsoft recovery page.
- The above will generate a code that is sent to the alternate email address or phone number.
To recover your username, you will find all of the email addresses associated with your recovery email account/phone number. Pieces of them are hidden for privacy reasons.
- The next screen should confirm that the alternate email address is an existing Microsoft account. Try logging in with your Hotmail password if you remember it. You’ll be able to view basic information about your account.
- After logging in, go to “Microsoft Account Profile -> Account Info -> Edit Account Info.” Check whether the Hotmail username is still around and change it to a primary alias.
Also read: How to Add a Signature in Outlook
3. Recover Deleted Hotmail Account
If it’s been a long time since your last login, and you forgot the alternate email address, your Hotmail/Outlook account may have been deleted. To recover it, you can create another Hotmail account with the same username. While the old inbox items and contacts are erased, you can use the legacy Hotmail username to log in to any third-party service you used in the past.
How to Create a New Hotmail Account
Apart from recovering a deleted Hotmail username, it is possible to create a Hotmail email account from scratch.
- Go to the “Create one” option on the Outlook sign-in page.
- Choose your username from among the Outlook and Hotmail email domains and enter it.
- Create a password for the Hotmail account and click “Next.”
- To set up the new account, enter your full name followed by your birthday and region.
- Solve a simple puzzle to validate your new account request.
- The tests can be tricky but only take a while to complete.
- You should see a “Verification complete” message that validates the user account creation. After the new Hotmail account has been created, you can choose to stay logged in and access your Outlook web email and mobile apps.
You can easily create a new Hotmail account from a mobile device, too. Download your app from App Store or Google Play Store and click “Add account” to create a new Hotmail ID. The rest of the steps to create one are the same as on a desktop browser.
Also read: How to Add Any Email Address to Your iPhone
Rename Hotmail Account to Outlook
You can easily change your email address from Hotmail to Outlook.com while retaining the existing username. This would allow any emails to continue being delivered to the older Hotmail address while you log on using the new Outlook.com address. Your password would remain unchanged.
- Log in to Outlook.com with your Hotmail account and click the profile icon in the top-right corner. From here, open “My Microsoft Account.”
- Go to the Microsoft Account Profile and select “Edit account info” in the “Account info” section.
- On the “Manage how you sign in to Microsoft” page, you will be able to see all the email aliases you use to access Outlook.com, Skype, OneDrive, and other services. If you’ve never used anything else other than Hotmail, then there will be no other options.
- Click “Add email.”
- Choose a new email alias with Outlook.com. It can be the same as your old Hotmail username.
You may be asked to reenter your Hotmail password to confirm the new Outlook alias.
Once the new Outlook.com email address has been created with the same username as Hotmail, you can make it your primary email address. It can take up to 48 hours for this new primary alias to appear on all Microsoft products and services. Also, some of your friends may appear to be offline until they sign out and sign back in.
All previous Hotmail emails will continue to be redirected to the new Outlook email inbox. Do not remove the old Hotmail account from secondary aliases, even though there is an option to do it.
Also read: 10 Disposable and Throwaway Email Providers You Can Try
How to Delete Your Hotmail Account
It’s very easy to delete a Hotmail or Outlook email account, but you will permanently lose access to any digital games or subscriptions you’ve purchased on that account, including Xbox Game Pass. All of your emails will be wiped clean and the friends list erased.
If you decide to proceed, follow these instructions to delete your account.
- Go to Microsoft’s My Profile page and click on the blue “Close Account” link.
- Keep clicking any other “Close account” links until you arrive at the right page.
- If you have never added security information to your Microsoft account, you have to do it now to delete your account. Choose whether you want to use an alternate email address or phone number.
- Enter the code sent to your alternate email address or phone to add the secondary device.
- You may get another verification code to proceed with deleting your Hotmail account. Eventually, you will come to a checklist screen that says: “Hotmail account is ready to close.”
- Choose a rejoining period: either 30 or 60 days.
- You will be asked to check a number of boxes and state a reason for account closure. You can answer, “My reason isn’t listed.” After this, click the blue “Mark account for closure” button.
- After you click “Next,” your Hotmail account will be deleted and removed from Microsoft servers by a scheduled date. You can prevent the closure by signing back in within the rejoining period you chose.
Can’t Remember Your Hotmail Password or Backup Phone/Email?
Not remembering your password and secret questions or answers is a fairly common issue, especially with old and inactive Hotmail accounts. You can try to recover your account from an alternate email address first. A code is sent to help you reset the password and log back in again.
If that doesn’t work, click “Forgot password -> I don’t have any of these” to open an account recovery page where you can provide another email address.
If you still can’t gain access from account recovery, go to the “Create one” option on the Outlook.com sign-in page.
Also read: Help! I Am Locked Out of My Google Account
You can link an old Hotmail account to any email client of your choice. We will demonstrate how to add Hotmail to the Mail app in Windows 11.
- Select the Mail app from a Start menu search.
- From the suggested account choices, select Outlook.com, which also covers Live.com, Hotmail, MSN and other Microsoft email services.
- Sign in with your Hotmail username and password.
- Your Hotmail account will be successfully set up with your Windows 11 desktop client.
- To send or receive email via the client, use its rich text editor.
- The same process can be used to integrate Hotmail with mobile email clients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hotmail email unprofessional?
Hotmail may no longer give a very professional impression for business or employment. It is considered chic among gamers and the tech crowd but does not feel appropriate for sending out resumes, so it is better to use Gmail or Outlook.com or even a custom domain email. Having said this, Hotmail is a valid email service that supports everything from Microsoft Teams to SharePoint.
When does Microsoft delete inactive accounts? Is there a way to regain access?
Microsoft considers any account inactive if it has been unused for more than two years. There are a few ways to access this account, despite prolonged inactivity: it was used to purchase an active Microsoft product or service, there is an unused Microsoft account balance from a gift card or credit, the account has been used to publish to the Microsoft Store, and the Hotmail account has earned a training certification from Microsoft.
Why is my Hotmail account blocked? How can I get it unblocked?
Microsoft may block your Outlook or Hotmail account due to unusual sign-in activity to prevent abuse. To unblock your Hotmail account, reset your password using Microsoft’s password recovery page.
How do I know if my Hotmail account is still active?
One of the easiest ways is through the “Create account” section on the Outlook.com homepage. Try to create a new account using the username you’re testing for inactivity. If the account is inactive, you will see a status that says: “Looks like you don’t have an account with us. We’ll create one using the old username.”
If your Hotmail account is active, you can use it to schedule emails on Outlook and other clients.
Image credit: Chris Titze Imaging
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