Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Switching between Hotmail accounts requires logging out completely from one and signing into another. Other methods might not give you the results you are looking for.

A comment on "How do I login to my old Hotmail account after I create a new one?"

"It happens that Hotmail also gives you the ability to switch back and forth between accounts. Click on options in the upper right; more options, sending and receiving email from other accounts. You can add your alternate email address and it will then appear in the drop-down when you click the arrow next to your name in the upper right."

In this excerpt from Answercast #25, I look at the way Hotmail manages accounts and why you must log out of one before using another.

Switching accounts in Hotmail

I want to clarify that this will, in all likelihood, not do what people really want. It is not switching back and forth between accounts.

What that functionality does is it transfers the email; it loads the email from those remote accounts into your current Hotmail current. So you're still in your current Hotmail account, but you are looking at the email that has been received from... has been sucked up from... the other email accounts that you have specified.

Not the same

That's not the same as actually logging out from one account and logging into the other: which is what most people want to do when they switch back and forth between accounts.

Article C5446 - June 11, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

June 11, 2012 12:03 PM

Leo, you may be right, but that's not the impression I get from my Hotmail account. When I hover over an alternate address in the dropdown, it says, "Sign in as..."
And when I click that address, It seems to take me to an entirely different inbox with different messages and even different junk in the junk folder.

June 11, 2012 12:14 PM

OK. I think we may be talking about 2 different things, and I gave the wrong instructions. If you click on the arrow next to your name, and then click on "Account," there's an option called "Linked IDs." That seems to be what I have rather than "Sending/receiving email from other accounts."

June 19, 2012 8:16 AM

HOW ABOUT.... log into one account with Firefox, and another with Internet Explorer. ALT-TAB will switch you between accounts.

Brian Kerton
April 5, 2013 3:18 AM

why did you switch from Hotmail to this new system with Hotmail once logged in I was directed to my email with this new system I have to wait ages as it switches to live. Why do you change something that is working to a heap of rubbish

I did nothing. I am not Microsoft and I am not Hotmail. Microsoft is making changes that they believe will make their email service more reliable and easier to use. Not everyone agrees, but Microsoft would be the people to complain to.

Mark J
April 5, 2013 8:53 AM

Leo has nothing to do with Microsoft, so there's no reason to blame him for any changes to Hotmail.

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