Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Your alternate email address is critical should you forget your password or lose access to your Hotmail account. I'll show you how to set or change it.
The email address I used for recovery is no longer valid. I can't figure out how to change my alternate email address.
Your alternate email address is a critical bit of information that you'll need if you ever lose your password, or if your account ever gets hacked.
It's good of you to note that your current one is invalid - if you no longer have access to your alternate email address then it's just as bad as, perhaps even worse than, not having set up an alternate email address at all.
I'll show you how to change it.
You must be able to login to your account in order to change your alternate email address.
If you have lost access to your account, if it's been hacked, if you've forgotten your password then it's too late.
If that's the case you'll need to try to recover access to your account before you can make any of the changes outlined here. What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options? is the article to read.
After logging into Hotmail, click on the Options link at the upper right of the screen, and then the More Options link that appears at the bottom of the resulting menu:
On the resulting page, underneath "Managing your account", click on the Account details link:
This takes you to the following page showing you the details of your account including your name, attributes that you included about you, and an important section on "Password reset information":
As you can see, your current alternate email address is listed, if you have one.
If it's no longer valid, click the corresponding Remove link.
To add a new email address in its place, click on the Add link. You'll be asked to confirm your password (to avoid someone walking by and adding their email address while you're away from your computer).
You'll then be asked to enter the new email address (twice - you'd be shocked at how often people mistype their own email address):
Once you click on Add you'll be taken to this page:
As you can see I have a mobile phone associated with the account, so I received both a text message and an email indicating that the change needed to be confirmed.
Note that the email was not sent to the new address, but rather to an existing email address associated with the account - either the Hotmail address itself, or another alternate email address already associated with the account. This is critically important to prevent someone from being able to add their address to your account - if they got the confirmation request, they could confirm it and in doing so would be able to take over your account.
Here's the email confirmation that I received:
Since this is a change you requested, click on the "Approve" link, and you'll be taken back to the Account information page, with the newly added email address shown.
Remember, you must have access to the email address to which Hotmail will send that approval link. That means you should make sure to remove any invalid email addresses before adding a new one.
Also, check your spam folder. My assumption is that because there are so many bogus password confirmation emails and phishing attempts that it's quite possible that your email program or service might think that a legitimate request is a "false positive", and mark it as spam.
And as I indicated earlier, if you don't have access to the Hotmail account for which you want to make this change please read What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?