Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
People often find themselves in a position where they cannot close their Hotmail account. I'll look at why this might be, and why I'm confused.
I am trying to close this account that I have, but I can't, I don't know why? it says always that I have to close my Windows Live account before I can close Hotmail, and how do I do that? I never joined!
Actually, you did.
There's a common misconception around Hotmail and Windows Live that can lead to this scenario. I'll try to clear that up.
But I have to add: there's something about all of this that I really don't understand.
I see a lot of people getting very upset when, for one reason or another, they can't close their Windows Live Hotmail account.
What I don't understand is this: why? Why do you care so much?
Closing the account will not necessarily cause email sent to it to bounce.
Closing the account will not notify anyone.
Closing the account will not stop spammers from sending email that "looks like" it came from the account.
Closing the account will not prevent a hacker who already has access to the account from continuing to have access.
So what's the big deal?
It's a free account. If you don't want it any more, delete the email, delete the contacts, and then just stop using it. Don't login; pretend it doesn't exist. If you're not using it why does it matter so much that you can't close it?
As you can tell, I don't get it. Closing a free email account simply isn't that important.
Remove all your information from the account and simply stop using it - that's all you need to do.
The common misconception: when you create a Windows Live Hotmail account, you're creating an account not just for Windows Live Hotmail, but for any and all of the Windows Live, formerly MSN, services.
If you have a Hotmail account, you have a Windows Live account, because they're the same thing.
In fact, that same account identifier - your @hotmail.com or @live.com email address - is your account login for services like:
MSN Messenger, now known as Windows Live Messenger, and Windows Messenger
MSN/Windows Live Photos
MSN/Windows Live Spaces
MSN/Windows Live Groups
Any custom MSN home page
Your old ".net Passport"
MSN/Windows Live Hotmail
Any of those, and more, are all associated with your single login based on your hotmail or live email address.
And, you can't close one without closing them all - by closing your entire account. For example, if you close your Hotmail account, you're also closing your MSN Messenger account, because they're the same thing.
So make sure you want to close everything associated with the account when you decide it's time to close your Hotmail account.
Windows Live does warn about other services - particularly if you've ever purchased something through a Windows Live service, or signed up for a for-pay service. That, apparently, needs to be closed separately (I do wish they would say exactly what services it's located that fall into this category.)
But realize, that it could be just about anything you've ever done on MSN, Hotmail, Messenger, Windows Live or more - because it's all really one account.
And if you give up in frustration? Well, then you've done the right thing, because as I mentioned above, simply walking away from the account after removing any and all personal data is by far the easiest approach to take.
So tell me, what am I missing? What is it about closing a Hotmail account that makes it so important?
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