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

Microsoft's Windows Live Hotmail, the free email service formerly known as MSN Hotmail and before that Hotmail. Articles covering Hotmail password and account management, Hotmail usage and related Windows Live Hotmail services.

"Windows Live Hotmail has blocked some attachments ..." - how do I get around that?

"Windows Live Hotmail has blocked some attachments in this message because they appear to be unsafe." means Hotmail is protecting you from malware.

Am I Too Hard on Hotmail?

Can Hotmail let me switch between accounts?

Switching between Hotmail accounts requires logging out completely from one and signing into another. Other methods might not give you the results you are looking for.

Can I change what page Hotmail returns me to when I log out?

Hotmail's home page will always be the page that Hotmail sets for you when you log out. It's the price of their free service.

Can I check when my last Hotmail login was?

Can I connect to Hotmail with https?

Hotmail now supports https connections to some extent. Unfortunately, there are problems and limitations that make it effectively pointless.

Can I find my Hotmail mail on my machine somewhere?

Web based email services like Hotmail keep your mail on their servers. But your browser might be caching the email you read on your hard disk.

Can I make my Hotmail account read-only?

A Hotmail account is programmed to both send and receive. The only way to have it be read-only is to have it completely secure - and don't use it

Can I rename my Hotmail account?

Can I tell when my Hotmail account was created?

Windows Live Hotmail will typically show you the date your Windows Live account was created - even if it was created before Windows Live existed.

Can I use Outlook Express or Outlook to access my Hotmail account?

Windows Live Hotmail can be accessed using Outlook and Outlook Express.

Do I need to download Outlook.com if I have Outlook 2010?

Outlook (from Microsoft Office) and Outlook.com (the new look of Hotmail) are two different things. It's not surprising that you are confused!

Does Hotmail store everyone's IP addresses?

Your IP address is available to every website you visit, including Hotmail.

Does MSN Hotmail or Windows Live Hotmail keep a log of when I signed in?

Web services often log activities and usage information. Exactly how much is logged and what it takes to access the logs is typically not known.

How can I close my deceased relative's Hotmail account?

If hackers or spammers gain access to or spoof the account of a deceased individual it can be very difficult to regain control or close the account.

How can I get the old Windows Live Hotmail back?

Windows Live Hotmail changes occasionally and typically there's no going back. If that's a problem, my question is: Why are you still using Hotmail?

How can I switch back to the old Hotmail from Outlook.com?

If it is still possible to switch back to Hotmail... it won't be available for long. If you really hate it, you might want to consider changing programs.

How do I access Hotmail using Outlook Express?

Outlook Express access to Hotmail is being phased out, as is Outlook Express itself. We'll look at alternatives.

How do I backup Windows Live Hotmail?

Hotmail accounts are hacked into and lost every day. I'll review a couple of techniques that ensure you won't lose email or contacts if it happens.

How do I change my "From" user name in MSN Hotmail?

Changing your Hotmail user name, not your email address, is easy. Here's how.

How do I change my Hotmail alternate email address if I can't access it any more?

If you lose access to the alternate email address configured for your Hotmail account, it can be difficult, perhaps impossible, to remove or change it.

How do I change my MSN HotMail Secret Question?

How do I change my MSN Messenger or Hotmail password?

Changing your MSN Messenger password isn't all that obvious. Short step-by-step instructions to change your MSN Messenger and Hotmail password.

How do I change my Windows Live Hotmail password?

Windows Live Hotmail changed the approach you use to change your password. I'll provided step-by-step password changing instructions for Windows Live.

How do I choose plain text in Hotmail?

Plain text email is smaller, often easier to read, and more consistently displayed than rich text. Here's how to switch between the two in Hotmail.

How do I contact MSN Hotmail Customer Service?

If you encounter problems with MSN Hotmail, it's natural to want to contact customer service. Not easy, perhaps not helpful, but it is possible.

How do I control Windows Live Hotmail's auto-complete?

Windows Live Hotmail's auto-complete feature selects from every address you've corresponded with by default. I'll show you how to restrict it some.

How do I correct my Windows Live Hotmail time zone?

If the time on your Windows Live Hotmail messages is wrong by hours, it's likely that you have the wrong time zone selected. We'll fix that.

How do I delete a contact in Hotmail?

Hotmail includes a contact list/address book for keeping track of your contacts. But that's not the only place suggestions come from.

How do I delete a folder in the new Windows Live Hotmail?

The "Manage Folders" link seems to have disappeared from the new Windows Live Hotmail. I'll show you where it's hiding.

How do I delete someone from my Hotmail address book?

Windows Live Hotmail maintains an address book for you as part of your account - they just don't call it an address book.

How do I display my MSN Hotmail or other email in the order it was sent?

Every so often the sort order of email in your inbox may change unexpectedly. A stray click can do that, and a not-so-stray click can fix it.

How do I download my Hotmail messages to my computer?

Downloading Hotmail messages to your computer is easy - or it's not - depending on your account. I look at some ways to download Hotmail messages, including the one I actually use myself.

How do I download my Windows Live Hotmail to my machine?

Windows Live Hotmail has no POP3 or SMTP settings with which to download your mail. However if you use certain mail programs, you can still download.

How do I get Hotmail or Messenger without Windows Live?

Windows Live is the branding use for Microsoft's Hotmail, Messenger and other services. I'll review how to control how much Windows Live you get.

How do I get Hotmail to close my stolen account?

If your Hotmail account has been stolen your only recourse it to try to regain access. Only then can you close it. I'll look at the recovery steps.

How do I get Hotmail to stop changing things?

Windows Live Hotmail has once again made changes to their web based email service, and once again some users are unhappy. Yet, Hotmail needs to change.

How do I get Windows Live Mail to increase my storage allocation?

Windows Live Mail storage should increase as you need more space, although it might be better to use your own PC for your email storage and bypass online limits.

How do I get a Hotmail or MSN email for another country?

If you are not in the country specified by the email address ending (such as .com, .co.uk, etc), you will likely be locked into the ending specified for your country.

How do I get rid of these questionable entries in my Hotmail auto-complete?

If you're finding unrecognized and adult entries in Hotmail's auto-complete, there's a good chance that you have Messenger invitations that you don't know about.

How do I get rid of this old Hotmail message that keeps coming up?

I'm going to suggest that you clear your browser cache, but my guess is that this is as simple as removing that message from your Drafts folder.

How do I log in to Hotmail automatically?

Passwords are protection from unauthorized account access. Hotmail can remember your password for you; I'll show you how and why you might not want it.

How do I login to my old Hotmail account after I create a new one?

You can only be logged into one Hotmail account at a time in a browser window. That often feels like the other account just "disappeared."

How do I make a new Windows Live Hotmail account?

Making a new Windows Live Hotmail account begins by making the option visible - by signing out of Hotmail. From there making a new account is easy.

How do I make an msn.com email address instead of hotmail.com?

msn.com appears to be a desirable domain name for email addresses. Unfortunately it's not that easy to get an msn.com email address.

How do I make my own secret question with MSN Hotmail or Windows Live Hotmail?

Windows Live Hotmail uses a fixed set of secret questions. You can't change which you'll be asked but you can fake it by changing which one you answer.

How do I prevent MSN Hotmail from signing me in automatically?

How do I print my email with the latest Windows Live Hotmail?

Windows Live Hotmail changed the way they display messages, and in doing so apparently changed the steps you need to take to print a message.

How do I reactivate my Hotmail account?

A closed Hotmail account is either waiting for you to reactivate it or is closed for good. The only way to tell is to try it out.

How do I recover my old emails and contacts from my hacked Hotmail account?

When data is deleted from Hotmail, it is often deleted permanently. Backups and safety are always important with any free email account.

How do I remove SkyDrive?

SkyDrive is one of numerous programs offered by Microsoft in its Hotmail account package. Understanding how it works will help you deal with it.

How do I resolve my Hotmail email problems?

We'll look at various Hotmail problems and suggestions to resolve them.

How do I stop automatic emails coming out of Hotmail?

Emails sending automatically from Hotmail sounds suspiciously like a hack. Or maybe it is something on your computer.

How do I switch Windows Live Hotmail back to the old style MSN Hotmail?

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.

How do I transfer Hotmail contacts to another account?

With a little work, it is possible to transfer Hotmail contacts into another account such as Outlook Express.

How do I transfer information such as contacts and mail from one Windows Live Hotmail account to another?

Transferring information out of a Hotmail account can be difficult. It's impossible if you don't have access to the account.

How do I transfer my MSN Hotmail inbox from one account to another?

After creating a new Hotmail account many people want to transfer messages from one account to another. You can't. But there are alternatives.

How do I turn off this new "conversations view" in Hotmail?

The latest Hotmail update introduces "conversations view" which groups messages together based on conversation? Don't like it? We'll turn it off.

How do I view full headers in Windows Live Hotmail?

The ability to view full headers in Windows Live Hotmail is on the Actions menu when viewing a message.

How do I view my Outlook.com email address once I switch?

An Outlook.com email address does not come automatically, just because you have a Hotmail or Live account. It's just an interface unless you create a new email address.

I've forgotten the answer to my MSN Hotmail secret question, *and* my password, what do I do?

MSN Hotmail actually has three ways to recover your password if you've lost it, but they all require that you have set them up before you run into trouble.

I've lost my Hotmail password, can you help get it back?

If you have lost your Hotmail password, it's impossible for me to get it back for you. However, there are measures you can take to avoid this situation

If I don't login to my Hotmail account, will it take up any space on my computer?

Hotmail is a web-based service. As long as you don't login to Hotmail, there's nothing that's going to get downloaded to your computer.

Is Microsoft Shutting Down Hotmail?

No. Well, maybe someday. No, more like kind of. With characteristic confusion, Microsoft has introduced Outlook.com and positioned it to replace Hotmail. Sort of.

Is there any chance that Hotmail will revert these broken "improvements" they've made?

Hotmail only moves forward! If you don't like their service, there ARE alternatives!

Links in HotMail emails: why aren't they active?

Links in HotMail emails are often disabled to protect you. I'll look at how to enable Links in Hotmail, and how to work around it even when not enabled.

MSN Hotmail: how long will Hotmail keep my account open?

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.

Messages deleted on HotMail: can I get them back somehow?

Once messages are permanently deleted on HotMail they're gone. If you've lost important messages that were deleted on HotMail, or any webmail service, you need to rethink your approach to email.

My Windows Live Hotmail account was closed for a "Terms of Use Violation" - I did nothing wrong, what do I do?

Some Windows Live Hotmail users are seeing accounts closed for a "Terms of Use Violation" - we'll look at what that is, and what to do.

My Windows Live Hotmail account won't close, what do I do?

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.

My Windows Live Hotmail contact list has been hacked, how do I recover?

Once your Windows Live Hotmail account, or contact list, has been hacked or compromised, there are several steps to clean up after you get it back.

My friend says I have a virus in my Hotmail email, what should I do?

When a Hotmail account shows a virus, it's a good sign that your account has been hacked. You'll need to change all of your security information to regain control.

Someone has stolen my Windows Live / MSN Hotmail Account and is scamming my contacts. What can I do?

Scammers are stealing email accounts and trying to convince your contacts that you're in trouble and need money. I'll look at your options for Hotmail.

What are MSN HotMail's POP3 and SMTP settings for Outlook Express?

MSN HotMail POP3 and SMTP settings are a common request. MSN HotMail provides no POP3 and SMTP servers for free accounts, but third party services might.

What are the POP3 and SMTP settings for Hotmail?

Free email services like Hotmail don't have mail servers that you can plug into just any email client. They are typically web-only services.

What is Windows Live?

Windows Live is the umbrella brand for several online services and desktop applications from Microsoft. I'll examine the confusion surrounding the name.

What's the difference between Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Hotmail and MSN Hotmail?

Microsoft has created a lot of confusion with how it names its mail products. Add the transition from MSN to Windows Live branding and it gets worse.

What's the difference between hotmail.com, msn.com and live.com?

Like many Microsoft products, Hotmail's real name has changed a time or two and caused a great deal of confusion. I'll try to make sense of it all.

Where did my folders go in Windows Live Hotmail?

The recent redesign of the Windows Live Hotmail has many people reporting missing folders. It's likely that they're not missing, just hiding.

Where did the Windows Live Hotmail Reply and Forward buttons go?

Every so often the Windows Live Hotmail interface changes and it's easy to miss where certain things went. I'll point you at Reply and Forward.

Why am I repeatedly locked out of my Hotmail account, and what can I do about it?

Hotmail will lock your account, preventing login, if it detects potential abuse or breakin attempts. Unfortunately, that's about all we can know.

Why are my Windows Live Hotmail Replies and Messages Blank?

Windows Live Hotmail appears to have a problem where the contents of some messages, typically replies, are blank. And there's no fix or workaround yet.

Why can't I access Hotmail?

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 get my Hotmail email address at Outlook.com?

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

Why can't I log into Hotmail even though I remember my password?

Typically, if someone has attempted to log into your account numerous times, Hotmail might lock your account. So how do you regain access?

Why can't I open attachments in Hotmail?

Opening attachments in Hotmail is easy - if Hotmail lets you. If Hotmail doesn't support the attachment type, Hotmail won't open the attachment. Period.

Why do messages I compose in Hotmail now start with an ad that looks like it's from me?

Hackers are hacking Hotmail accounts, placing ads, and then letting you regain access. Thereafter you're sending ads for them. We'll fix that.

Why does Hotmail have such a bad reputation?

Hotmail is the largest free email service on the internet. As a result, Hotmail draws both millions of users and those who would abuse them.

Why does SkyDrive require I login with my Hotmail account?

SkyDrive and Hotmail are related because they are both services offered in a Microsoft account. You can use the SkyDrive account and ignore Hotmail to whatever degree you want to.

Why does Windows Live Mail lose messages it knows about?

Windows Live Mail may be having connection and synchronization issues. We'll walk through a few troubleshooting steps.

Why doesn't MSN Hotmail save my Sent Mail?

Why has opting out of ads in Hotmail not turned them off?

Ad choices in Hotmail only lets Hotmail know that you don't want to be tracked for targeted advertising. Can you get rid of those ads? Well...

Why is Windows Live Hotmail rejecting email I send my friend?

Spam prevention methods can often lead to legitimate mail being blocked by mistake. We'll look at some of the ways to avoid it.

Why is email between Hotmail accounts lost?

I'm seeing an increase in reports of email sent but never received, often relating to Hotmail accounts. I'll look at possible reasons.

Why is my MSN Hotmail Inbox suddenly empty?

I get periodic reports of email disappearing from Hotmail Inboxes. "Why" might be interesting, but more important is "What now?"

Why is there no Windows Live Hotmail https connection?

https is an important step to keeping the information you send and get on the web private. Hotmail uses it for login, but not thereafter.

Why is using Hotmail for my business such a bad idea?

Many small businesses uses free email services such as Hotmail as a shortcut or cost saving measure. Unfortunately it can costs them business in the long run.

Will MSN Hotmail tell me who logged into my account?

Will sending someone a link to my Hotmail allow them to get in?

It's easy to mistakenly send someone a link directly to your Hotmail mail. The good news it that, unless they know your password, it's a benign mistake.

Would you please reopen my Hotmail account?!

I get a constant stream of people asking me to re-open their Hotmail or other email account as if I were Hotmail or their ISP. Problem is: I'm not.