Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Many people fail to set up alternate email addresses correctly, rendering password resets and reminders useless. We look at how best to set them up.
I'm unable to login to my Hotmail account, so I wanted to try the option of sending a password reset via email. But how can I receive that reset password link if the whole problem is that I can't login and get my email because I don't have the password?
A classic chicken and egg problem. You need your password to receive the reset, but you need the reset in order to get your password.
I see this happen also when people specify bogus "alternate email" addresses, or don't specify one at all.
In a nutshell, you're SOL - severely out of luck.
The best we can do is prevent this situation from coming up again in the future.
The whole idea behind an email password reset or reminder is that the email should go do a different account. That's why it's called an alternate email address. Obviously if you can't login to get the reminder, the reminder is useless.
So when you set up your account, be it Hotmail, Yahoo, or whatever - simply make sure that you specify an alternate email address:
that is valid
that you have access to
that you will continue to have access to ... you won't let it expire and you won't lose the password
That way, when you need a password reminder or reset for one email account, it gets sent to the other.
This doesn't need to cost anything at all. If you're using a free email account, then set up another, and have them be each other's "alternate" email address.
In fact, I actually recommend that you use different services. For example, when creating a Hotmail account, also create a Yahoo account. Then have the Hotmail email address be the alternate address for the Yahoo account, and have the Yahoo email address be the alternate email address for the Hotmail account.
Lose or forget one, and you'll be able to pick it up at the other.
Based on the questions I get, this one simple step would save a lot of people a lot of grief and anguish.
Comments on this entry are closed.
If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.
If you don't find your answer, head out to http://askleo.com/ask to ask your question.