Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
MSN Hotmail will delete your information, and even delete your account, if you don't use it often enough. I cover those numbers, and what you should really be doing instead anyway.
I'm about to go on a trip for a while, and I want to make sure I don't lose any of my on-line information. I keep a lot of important emails and contact information in my MSN Hotmail account. If I don't login for a while, how soon will Hotmail discard it?
You keep important things in your Hotmail account?
And only in your Hotmail account?
In case you haven't guessed, that's one of my pet peeves. Let's look at why, and what you should be doing. And we'll answer your question too.
The answer to your specific question is easy. From MSN Hotmail's on-line help:
If you don't sign in to your Hotmail account for more than 30 days, or within the first 10 days after signing up for a new account, all messages, folders, and contacts are marked for deletion, but the account name is still reserved. If the account stays inactive for a further 90 days, the account name is permanently deleted.
Let's analyze that a bit.
If you create a Hotmail account, and then don't use it for 10 days, your email and contacts are deleted.
If you've been using your Hotmail account and for some reason fail to login for 30 days, your email and contacts are deleted.
If you fail to login for 90 days the account name will be deleted - meaning that someone else could come along and create a new account, reusing that same name.
What's this "marked for deletion" thing? What it means is that your email might not actually be deleted on (say) the 31st day of inactivity - but it could be, when Hotmail gets around to it.
And once deleted, it cannot be recovered.
So now that I've answered your question, why am I so concerned about you keeping important things only in your Hotmail account?
Because I regularly get reports of people losing important information from their MSN Hotmail accounts. Be it because of account inactivity as I've discussed here, connectivity issues, accounts being lost or hacked ... it's a regular occurrence.
And there's no recourse.
I strongly encourage you to read my article on free email accounts: Are free email services worth it? for more details, and what I believe you need to be doing instead.
But if you insist on staying with only Hotmail, then yes, make sure you login at least once every 30 days, or your information my be irretrievably lost.