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

Windows Live Hotmail is the new interface to your Hotmail account. You can currently switch back to MSN Hotmail, but that may not stay true.

Somehow I've been converted to the "new" Windows Live Hotmail interface, and I don't like it. I want to switch things back to the way they were before. How do I do that?

I'll show you, but I'll also warn you.

The forward march of progress always has casualties, and I believe that what you're calling the "old" Hotmail interface is going to be one of them.

It wasn't that difficult for me to revert back to the old style of Hotmail.

While looking at my inbox, I clicked on the Options link:

Options link on Windows Live Hotmail Interface

On the resulting page the option to "Switch to MSN Hotmail" is near the top:

Switch to MSN Hotmail link on Windows Live Hotmail Interface

"I expect Microsoft to completely discontinue the old MSN Hotmail interface ..."

I clicked that and all was back to the old familiar interface.

Pretty simple.

But, I'm betting that there's a catch.

From what I've read and what I've seen in the past, I'm expecting that this option will go away. In fact, it might not even be present for many of you now.

I expect Microsoft to completely discontinue the old MSN Hotmail interface, effectively forcing everyone to move to the new one.

So while you can switch back, my recommendation is that you do not. My recommendation is that you take the time to become comfortable with the new interface, and perhaps send Microsoft feedback on the problems you encounter. I know that the new version has fixed some issues (you can now specify that all sent mail be automatically saved), and apparently removed some functionality (I still can't seem to send "plain text" emails).

But regardless of how you feel about it, it certainly appears to be the direction that Microsoft is taking Hotmail.

And if you don't like it, there's always GMail, Yahoo mail, and many others.

Article C3032 - May 21, 2007 « »

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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.

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30 Comments
Marie
May 25, 2007 8:48 AM

I'm trying to switch back to msn hotmail, but when I go to "options", the option "Switch to MSN Hotmail" doesn't show up.. help please

carlos badel
May 25, 2007 11:14 AM

where did all my emails go? all of a sudden, with this new live biz, they are gone.
Please help me Mr Wizard.
Thank you

Leo A. Notenboom
May 25, 2007 4:00 PM

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Marie: Read the article you just commented on: "From what I've read and what
I've seen in the past, I'm expecting that this option will go away. In fact, it
might not even be present for many of you now."

Leo
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Leo A. Notenboom
May 25, 2007 4:03 PM

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Carlos: I don't have an answer for you. I have heard of this happening, but I
have not heard of any fix, or any cause.

All I can say is that this is yet another reason that I so vehemently recommend
people NOT use free email services like HotMail for things that are important.

Leo
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Byron Floyd
May 31, 2007 7:45 AM

How can I access my contacts in MSN Hotmail from the Live area as I cannot go back?

P. Mushroom
June 1, 2007 3:02 AM

i switched back to the old msn from live, but all my e-mails are gone. How can I get them back???

Ross
June 2, 2007 6:52 AM

I hate MSN, Microsoft and Hotmail. Only they would take me from my old emails, and not let me see them again. !
http://homepage.mac.com/rosscline/home

jenny
June 8, 2007 9:08 AM

i needed to switch bak to msn hotmail but i don't see the "switch to hotmail" dosen't appear. If it went away would there be another way i could get msn hotmail back. PLEASE HELP

michael
June 9, 2007 8:29 AM

how do i paste text on the new hotmail

Lucy Balke
June 10, 2007 7:30 PM

I cant read my E mails the script is so small how can I go back to the old hotmail cont like the new

No Time
June 10, 2007 9:39 PM

i want to switch to MSN hotmail but i dont have (switch to MSN hotmail) Option ??!!!!

please help me

heather
June 16, 2007 7:22 AM

no switch back box appears

Lorraine
June 24, 2007 2:51 PM

I hate Windows live for my hotmail, I made a new accout and want it to go back to the old style cause it's so much easier and better? Anyone have my answer on how to do so?

Leo A. Notenboom
June 25, 2007 1:56 PM

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Absolutely!

*Read the article you just commented on*. :-)

Thanks,

Leo

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pepsi
July 4, 2007 4:26 PM

YES.. I TOO HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM AND NOT GETTING THE 'SWITCH BACK TO MSN HOTMAIL' OPTION! WTF!

I NEED HELP SWITCHING BACK TO THE OLD MSN HOTMAIL QUICK TIME. WINDOWS LIVE NOT DOING NOTHING FOR ME..BESIDES IT MUCH EASIER USING MSN HOTMAIL -- IS ANYONE THERE TO COME TO OUR AID SOME HOW... PLEASE GET BACK TO US ASAP!

THANKS!
>(

Leo A. Notenboom
July 4, 2007 5:10 PM

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Quoting from the article you just commented on:

"I expect Microsoft to completely discontinue the old MSN Hotmail interface,
effectively forcing everyone to move to the new one."

So I totally expect that people will NOT be able to switch back. If you can't,
if the instructions above don't work, then I believe you are out of luck. Get
used to "live", or switch away from Hotmail.

Leo
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Christina
July 5, 2007 5:21 AM

what if the switch to hot mail button is not there

Leo A. Notenboom
July 6, 2007 10:11 AM

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Read the article you just commented on. To quote from it:

"I expect Microsoft to completely discontinue the old MSN Hotmail interface,
effectively forcing everyone to move to the new one."

So I totally expect that people will NOT be able to switch back. If you can't,
if the instructions above don't work, then I believe you are out of luck. Get
used to "live", or switch away from Hotmail.

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Vince
July 8, 2007 12:59 PM

Just switched to the 'bells & whistles' version of Hotmail Live. In doing so I have lost 2 years of contacts and folders. Surely MSN should issue a health warning with this latest 'advance!'

Michael
July 9, 2007 11:47 AM

Hi,
I've a problem with new MSN Live. I want to change my first and last name of my e-mail but it does not give me the account summary page whenever I try to reach it through options present in your inbox. It tries opening page and then stucks there. I am not able to change my name.
It was really easy to do that in old MSN, but real trouble in MSN Live.

Can anyone help me through it? I'll be very thankful.

Sue Garnett
July 18, 2007 9:20 AM

I cant send mails to my contacts,whenever i try my window shut down.I cant go from my mail back to my inbox the window shut down also.I need to switch back to the old version of windows please.

scott
July 19, 2007 8:44 AM

I despise Live Hotmail. I'm in the Junk folder and there is no "NOT JUNK" button? This is GA software and I'm paying for this. I assume if I click "junk" it would give me an option to mark it as not junk. Since there is no "not junk" option what else could it be? They just couldn't have left out the "not junk" option! So I click JUNK and a very important email vanishes forever. The other user's comment about casualties of older software and people who use it is ALL wrong. With the LIVE HOTMAIL the only casualty is the paying customer.

scott
July 19, 2007 8:57 AM

and another thing: the missing email was not in the trash folder and the old hotmail had a "not junk" button".

Maria
July 25, 2007 12:38 AM

Well as far as I know, MICROSOFT should be looking forward to improving hotmail and Windows Live Hotmail is a mess.

Roma S. Fuqua
July 25, 2007 6:37 PM

i have a lot of very important pictures and other emails sent to me, now I cannotretrieve any of it because of this new window live hotmail. I think someone should have ask if I want to change to new verse, even though this is a fre account, they say go to home page and click on option, I have done that and get no results. I need to know so I can retieve my important picture, I could have print them off before the change

Michelle
August 5, 2007 10:38 AM

I have also lost all my old emails as well as about 40 email addresses of contacts that I had stored. How can I get them back?????? I'm kinda upset!!

amy
August 7, 2007 8:23 AM

iam tryin to get back to the old virsion of msn hotmail cos i dont like the new windows live virison and it doesnt have anywhere where it says swtich back to the msn hotmail how do i do it now?

Leo A. Notenboom
August 7, 2007 10:57 AM

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Read the article: my belief is that you cannot.

Leo


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Elliott
August 7, 2007 4:02 PM

Hello, I have a problem with my hotmail. As my other hotmail account is using Window Live Hotmail and with that account, it will not let me change back to the MSN hotmail version as I took a ScreenShot to show the preview of what it looks like.

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j48/Final08/ffs.jpg

You can see that my old account will not change back to the MSN hotmail as there is no link to change back to MSN Hotmail.

Hope you can help me please!

Many thanks.

Leo A. Notenboom
August 8, 2007 10:18 AM
Closing comments on this article because people are asking the same question over and over again, which is adressed in the article.

To be clear: I fully expect the transition to the new Windows Live Hotmail to be required at some point. I believe that at some point once you switch to Windows Live Hotmail you will not be able to switch back.

Now, if the link mentioned in the article is missing, then I believe that's expected. Some people have it, some people don't. If you don't have that link, then you cannot switch back.

I believe that over time that link will disappear for everyone, and you'll be required to migrate to and use the new Windows Live Hotmail interface. I believe the old MSN Hotmail interface is going away for everyone, eventually.

Like it, or not.

- Leo
08-Aug-2007

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