Founded in the mid-90s, Hotmail is one of the oldest email addresses that continues to be used by many. However, it no longer exists as a separate webmail service, as Microsoft’s Outlook handles all Hotmail accounts. This is causing confusion to users who are wondering whether Hotmail is still around and if it will remain operational in the future. The following guide covers how you can retrieve an inactive Hotmail account, create a new Hotmail username, delete it, and change a Hotmail email address to an Outlook one.
Where Is My Hotmail Account?
As many active Hotmail users already know it, the famous email address hasn’t disappeared. It’s operational and enjoys the same excellent reputation as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo. A Hotmail email account can easily be used with the Outlook email client, Microsoft Teams, Skype, OneDrive, Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365,) SharePoint, and even the Windows Insider Program.
However, in some of its blog posts and videos, Microsoft insists on a transition from the Hotmail.com domain to Outlook.com. While you can do that easily, there is nothing stopping users from accessing Hotmail on a browser or Outlook’s Android/iOS apps.
How to Access My 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.
Similarly, all the other Microsoft email addresses, such as Live.com, MSN.com, and Passport.com, as well as their country-specific subdomains, are directly accessed from Outlook.com and can only be opened from the Outlook webmail or desktop/mobile clients.
If you’re using Hotmail with your Outlook.com account, you can verify this through “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.
You can add multiple aliases to your Microsoft account. If you’ve never used an Outlook.com email account, Hotmail will show 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 supports new alias creation.
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 a few other factors.
1. Last Account Activity
If you logged in once during a calendar year (slightly less than 365 days) and still remember the password, then it is quite easy to regain Hotmail/Outlook access.
- Go to the Outlook sign-in page and enter your username and password.
- After entering the sign-in credentials, you may be allowed to directly access your inbox. But if you haven’t logged in to your account in a long duration, 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 will help you regain the Hotmail account easily.
2. Hotmail Account Deleted After Inactivity
If you did not use your Hotmail account in a very long time (around two years or more), Microsoft may have deleted the email address for inactivity if there were no paid services. This means all 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, first find out whether you can still recover it through an alternate email address or phone number at the Microsoft recovery page.
- The above will generate a code that is sent to the alternate email address or phone number.
For recovering your username, you will find all the email addresses associated with your recovery email account/phone number. A part of it is hidden for privacy reasons.
- The next screen should confirm that the alternate email address is an existing Microsoft account. Try signing 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 if the Hotmail username is still around and change it to a primary alias.
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 which you might have used in the past.
To create one with a new unique username, follow the instructions in the next section.
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.
- After the new Hotmail account has been created, you can choose to stay signed 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.
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 remains unchanged.
- Sign 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 exactly the same as your old Hotmail username.
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, although there is an option to.
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 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 close account page and click on the blue “Close Account” button.
- If you never added security information to your Microsoft account, you have to in order 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. The secondary devices will be added.
- To proceed with deleting your Hotmail account, you may get another verification code. Eventually, you will come to the checklist screen that says the “Hotmail account is ready to close.”
- Choose a rejoining period: either 30 or 60 days.
- 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 again within the rejoining period you chose.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hotmail email unprofessional?
Since Hotmail is passé, it may not give a very professional impression for business or employment. It may be considered chic among gamers and the tech crowd, but it may not be appropriate for sending out resumes. It is better to use Gmail or Outlook.com if you don’t want to be seen as a spammer or scammer. Having said this, Hotmail is a valid email service that supports everything from Microsoft Teams to SharePoint.
What do I do if I can’t remember my Hotmail password or secret questions?
Not remembering your password and secret questions is a fairly common issue, especially with old and inactive Hotmail accounts. You can try to recover your account from an alternate email address as shown in the “How to retrieve my old Hotmail account” section. If you can’t, try to regain access to the old Hotmail account from the “Create one” option on the Outlook.com sign-in page.
How do I know if my Hotmail account is still active?
To know whether your Hotmail account is still active, one of the easiest ways to find out is from 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.”
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 you can access this account despite prolonged inactivity: if you used it to purchase an active Microsoft product or service, if you have an unused Microsoft account balance from a gift card or credit, if you used the account to publish to the Microsoft Store, and if it has earned you a training certification from Microsoft.
Why is my Hotmail account blocked? How can I get it unblocked?
Microsoft may block your Outlook or Hotmail accounts due to unusual sign-in activity to prevent it from abuse. To unblock your Hotmail account, you will have to reset your password using Microsoft’s password recovery page.
Image credit: Chris Titze Imaging
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