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The change from Hotmail.com to Outlook.com is not automatic. You are not guaranteed to get your old handle in the new system.

When I try converting a Hotmail address to the new Outlook.com, I receive an "Account isn't available" message. How can that be when I've been using it at Hotmail.com for several years? I've tried it from the Hotmail sign-in by changing the Hotmail.com to Outlook.com and getting an "Account doesn't exist" message with the option "Get new account." From what I've read, I should be able to easily and simply convert your current address when you open an Outlook.com account. I've tried it several times with the same results. I was able to set a new address without any problem, but unable to change current ones to Outlook.com. Please advise the steps on how to convert current addresses over to Outlook.com.

In this excerpt from Answercast #43, I look at the (growing) confusion over Hotmail's change to Outlook.com and converting your email address.

Converting to Outlook.com

Well, Outlook.com does appear to be the eventual new face of Hotmail.com.

It is apparently a completely separate pool of email addresses. So, for example, if you have Leo@Hotmail.com, you are in no way guaranteed that you will be able to get Leo@Outlook.com.

When you convert your Hotmail account to the Outlook.com look:

  • It's still your Hotmail address;

  • It's still your Hotmail account;

  • Your email address associated with Outlook.com is a completely new, completely separate account;

  • A completely separate email address.

Using Outlook.com interface for Hotmail

Now you can (if you have an email address at Hotmail.com) convert that to use the Outlook.com interface.

  • Like I said, it's still your Hotmail.com email address; you're simply using the Outlook.com user interface.

  • Once you do that, you also have the ability to add what they call an alias. An alias would be a new email address associated with your account at Outlook.com.

Unfortunately, you are not guaranteed getting the email address you want or that you already have. There is no automatic conversion from something@Hotmail.com to something@Outlook.com. They are two completely separate sets of email addresses.

Outlook confusion

So, I'm not surprised that there's some confusion about this. Microsoft has been (as I've said) typically, characteristically unclear and incomplete about exactly how these things are going to work.

What it boils down to is two separate things:

  • Converting your Hotmail account to use the new Outlook.com user interface is one thing (it doesn't change your email address);

  • And then getting a new Outlook.com email address is something completely separate from your Hotmail.com account.

Article C5685 - August 12, 2012 « »

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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?

7 Comments
SamG
August 14, 2012 9:23 AM

Thank you Leo. Yes it is confusing but you confirmed my guesses.

Guin
August 14, 2012 10:33 AM

AAUUUGGHH!! I accidentally converted to that horrible Outlook. I don't want it! How do I downgrade back to my hotmail account?

Click the gear icon in the upper right, there should be a Switch Back option in the menu that results.
Leo
14-Aug-2012

Strydrdenis
August 15, 2012 9:26 AM

I've found that once You create your new something@outlook.com that you have to use this to login to your old something@hotmail.com account. Your old Hotmail and Live accounts show up as Folders in your Outlook account.
I love the new Outlook page. It has nice a nice clean uncluttered interface. A lot of white which I love.

Wayne
October 27, 2012 5:03 PM

i am now face to big trouble about hotmail/outlook

The situation is both hotmail and outlook all CAN NOT login with "Account doesn't exist" message

i was converted my hotmail.co.uk to outlook.com (with new ALIAS). Then i found former hotmail account could login but just alias@outlook.com can longin my my account.

So i decided back. click 'back to hotmail' , the interface was back, but still cant login with my hotmail account.

after read more stuff in community, i got suggestion that an option 'rename the email address'. i change alias@outlook.com as my former hotmail.co.uk

Now both email all donot work, and show 'account doesnot exist'.

It's my daily using email, and several YEARS, all information, data and contact inside. Really terrible for me. would you please give me some advice.

Many Thanks!

Wayne

This article discusses recovery options for the various ways that Hotmail accounts can be lost or compromised and I believe applies in your situation: What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?
Leo
30-Oct-2012

Wayne
October 27, 2012 5:08 PM

Sorry for former wrong type, correct following:

i was converted my hotmail.co.uk to outlook.com (with new ALIAS). Then i found former hotmail account could NOT login but just alias@outlook.com can login my account.

Alvetta Freeman
March 29, 2013 6:08 PM

I HATE OUTLOOK!!!!!! I want my hotmail back.

teri
April 1, 2013 11:53 AM

I absolutely hate outlook I want my old Hotmail back can't get my old e mail automately It is awful can't get my old friends e mail ad to sent them e mail there has been NO instructions as to use there was no warning JUST POPED UP one day I HATE IT

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