Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
It's apparently common to have trouble accessing Hotmail. Unfortunately, there is no clear reason why or even a clear direction to take.
Why can't I access Hotmail?
As I write this, I'm receiving many reports of people having problems accessing Hotmail. The typical problem is simply "page not found".
This happens occasionally when Windows Live Hotmail's servers go down, or there's a network or other issue preventing a large number of internet users from being able to reach the Hotmail servers.
There could be many, many different reasons for this to happen, and almost all of them are out of your control.
To be clear: I don't have an answer. But I at least want people to know that they're not alone. Not everyone is having trouble, but many people are.
I don't know of any way to access your mail or contacts until it's fixed.
The best thing that you can do is simply wait until the problem resolves itself (it usually does), or visit the Windows Live Help Solutions Center and look in the support forums there for updated information.
Unfortunately, as I've outlined in How do I contact Windows Live Hotmail customer service? there is no phone number, no email address, and no direct contact for Hotmail support. The Windows Live Help Solutions Center appears to be the only resource.
At times like this, you might reconsider whether a free email service is worth the risk.
(This is an update to an article originally published September 19, 2004.)