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Passwords are protection from unauthorized account access. Hotmail can remember your password for you; I'll show you how and why you might not want it.

How do I avoid having to put in my password every time I log into Hotmail?

Usually, I get variations on the opposite question, how to stop logging in to Hotmail automatically.

I'll describe the most common way to avoid having to specify a password each time you go to Hotmail.

But first, I want you to think long and hard about whether you really want to do this. I'd hazard a guess that many accounts are hacked and permanently lost due to using these techniques inappropriately.

Automatic Login as a Security Risk

The technique I'll describe below has serious security implications.

"The inconvenience of having to type in your password is nothing compared to the trouble a hacked account can be."

In short, it allows anyone to walk up to your machine and access your Hotmail account as if they were you.

Anyone.

And once logged in as you, they can not only read your mail and send email looking like it came from you, but they can also do more damage by possibly changing your password, monkeying with various account security options, or even getting your account locked.

It's also possible that they can learn your password.

Please think carefully about whether you really want to do this. The inconvenience of having to type in your password is nothing compared to the trouble a hacked account can be.

Hotmail's Remember My Password

The most common approach is simply to tell Hotmail to remember your password when you login:

Hotmail Sign In

Simply check both the Remember me and Remember my password checkboxes before you click Sign in, and Hotmail will simply remember both for you. The next time that you go to Hotmail.com, you'll be logged in automatically.

Undoing Hotmail's Remember My Password

If you find that you're being automatically logged in without needing a password and you decide that that's not what you want, it's a one-step process to undo it:

  • Sign Out

That's all there is to it.

Windows Live Hotmail Sign Out link

Click on the Sign out link in the upper right of the Hotmail window. The next time that you return to Hotmail, you'll need to specify your password.

If you clear cookies, you'll also need to specify your password as well. In fact, the cookie that Hotmail uses to remember your logged-in state (not your actual password, but the fact that you are logged in) expires after a certain amount of time; when that time passes, you'll need to login again as well.

And, of course, if you change your Windows Live password using a different computer, the first computer will need to login again with the new password.

Article C4766 - March 17, 2011 « »

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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?

8 Comments
Tony
March 19, 2011 12:47 AM

Hi Leo Does the same apply to Gmail? Tony

Mark J
March 19, 2011 2:51 AM

It's almost identical in Gmail. Simply check the "Stay signed in" box and Gmail will open without having to sign in. I've found it safer to use LastPass or Roboform to store my passwords. Both are free and automatically fill in your login name and password. You have to log in once to these programs but then all your passwords and accounts are more protected.

Snert
March 22, 2011 11:30 AM

I never never log into anywhere anything, anywhere without a password when needed.
Saves me problems.
COA or lose it.

duane
March 22, 2011 12:17 PM

Some of these comments give me the impression that Roboform automatically fills in you sign on information. I use KeepPass and on that you have to use three different key combinations for the URL, User name, and Password and copy and paste them into the site. Considerly more work.

Pedro neto
April 25, 2011 6:49 AM

Computer does not save Hotmail password.
Where am I going to write password.
It also does not keep more than one Hotmail login so the last
I have Windows 7.
This and 9 in Explorer, Mozilla, Google chome them all Hotmail save the password is blocked
Login other than Hotmail to keep this (example Gamil, aeiou,) without guard problem
If you know help me
Thanks

Slimane Gueddi
July 10, 2011 7:44 PM

What you have said:

Simply check both the Remember me and Remember my password checkboxes before you click Sign in, and Hotmail will simply remember both for you. The next time that you go to Hotmail.com, you'll be logged in automatically.

simply doesn't work for me. Why? Thank you for your help.

Usually that means cookies aren't being saved for some reason. Make sure that nothing is blocking cookies, and consider clearing your browser cache.
Leo
14-Jul-2011

Frank Colaguori
January 28, 2012 8:48 AM

My sign in has remember my password, but does
not have remember me. I always check remember my password. I emptied the cache, I still have to sign-in every time.

Brian Dear
February 16, 2013 7:05 PM

Hi Leo,

Clearing my cache on my Win 7 machine does not fix the lost Hotmail details in either IE or Firefox.

I think the issue (which has only recently eventuated), is more to do with Microsoft trying to get everyone off Hotmail and on to Outlook live, it has only started to happen since I was "offered" to change to OL and declined after I had tried it....crap as far as I am concerned, still much prefer Hotmail, why cant they leave it alone!!

I think I am being victimised (as is everyone else having this problem), because I have not switched to OL.

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