Hotmail Sign In Troubleshooting

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 9, 2010
Updated • Feb 23, 2014
Email, Microsoft

Microsoft's email service Hotmail recently received an update that improved the options to recover an account. That's helpful for users who cannot sign in to Hotmail, either because their username or password is not accepted, or other errors or even attempts at hacking the email account.

But account recovery is only one of the options, and sort of a last resort, and we take a closer look at those later in this guide.

Lets take a look at the standard Hotmail sign in. It starts by visiting or, and entering the username and password in the form on the page. Please note that the web address redirects to a address.

Both are part of Microsoft and should not be of concern. Just make sure that the address begins with https, which indicates a secure connection to the service.

hotmail sign in page
hotmail sign in page

The Windows Live ID, or the username, is the email address the account was registered with. This is usually a email address. The password is the case sensitive account password that has a minimum size of six characters.

If you can sign in, you are taken to the Hotmail Highlights page, from where you can access the inbox and send emails.

You probably would not be reading this article if you were able to log in successfully to Windows Live Hotmail.

Lets take a look at the possibilities if you encounter error messages.

Probably the most common error encountered on the Hotmail sign in page is that the password or Windows Live ID are not accepted. Please note that Hotmail will eventually add a so called captcha to the log in process if the ID and password are not accepted. This should not be confused with temporary lock outs of the account, which only happen if Hotmail detects spam-like activity from it.

The first thing that you should do is to verify that the Windows Live ID and password are correct. If you think they are, make sure the caps lock key on the keyboard is not active.

If you are sure that the login credentials are correct you may want to consider resetting your password.

reset windows live password

You do need the Windows Live ID to reset the password, and enter the characters from a captcha image. Some users may run into problems here, if they do not remember their Hotmail email, or if the email they enter is not accepted in the password recovery form.

There is no option to recovery the email address, or have it displayed to you in the process. If the password reset email does not arrive in your account, you have the option to use other means of verification after a 24 hour period.

Hotmail users who have already added a mobile phone number to their password reset information, can use it to receive a temporary one-use sign in password. To use it, they need to click on the Get a single use code to sign in with link on the Hotmail sign in page.

This displays a new page where they can enter the single use code, or request a new one if they do not have one.

hotmail sign in single use code

Users need to enter their Windows Live ID and the phone number they have added in their Hotmail account to receive the single use code.

This code can then be used as a one-time sign in replacement for the Hotmail password.

Another option for users who cannot log in to Hotmail is to visit the Windows Live Solution Center to post a request for support. Microsoft employees are monitoring the forums and try to aid in the account recovery.

It may also pay of to try to sign into Hotmail on another computer system if available, or to use the Windows Live Mail software.

The last resort is the account password recovery page on Windows Live Help. Users can recover their account by either entering the secret answer to their secret question, or using an alternate email address if one was configured during setup.

Tips to avoid Hotmail sign in problems

Here are a few precautions you can take to avoid sign in troubles at Hotmail or other Windows Live services.

  • Configure as many password reset options as possible. This is done after sign in, by going to Options > More Options in the right corner of the Hotmail interface, and selecting View and edit your personal information under Manage your account.
  • It is possible to enter multiple alternate email addresses (which need to be verified once), mobile phone numbers (for single-use sign ins and account recovery), trusted PCs (for password recovery) and to change the secret question and answer.
  • A password manager can help to avoid troubles logging into Hotmail and other Windows Live services. It will always remember the right password, and some can even sign you in automatically.
  • Make sure the password is secure, we suggest to use at least 16 characters, that are mixed upper and lower case characters, numbers and special characters.

Finally, there is another tip that may aid you. Microsoft is operating a status page for their Windows Live services, that indicate if a service is running normally. You may want to check this page if you have troubles signing in and are sure that you are entering the right login credentials. It can be that Hotmail is down temporarily, and if it is it will be indicated on the page.

You may also want to check out or Hotmail login guide for additional pointers.


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  1. Caorlyn Beasley said on March 5, 2016 at 3:13 am

    I lock myself out of my computer dont remember the password dont remember my password to my account haven’t used it in a long time I’ve been using my yahoo account. Need to get in my computer dont remember any emails or anything else. Please can someone help me or tell me what to do.I need to used my computer and I dont want to buy anotjer. Think you

  2. patricia white said on January 28, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I do not receive my e-mail. What can I do about the problem? Also my junk mail icon has just disappeared . I can not receive anything. Please help!

  3. Sihle Nala said on February 4, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    i can’t read my emails because i changed my number and hotmail doesn’t give me an option to put in my new number

  4. D.Joubert said on July 1, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Good day,

    Seems i can not access my hotmail account.

    Please can you assist me with this because i have important emails stored there.

    Awaiting your speedy response.

    D. Joubert
    (Dissappointed client!!!)

  5. DON BARNETT said on November 26, 2012 at 2:59 am

    DON BARNETT119322326

  6. ancil said on October 27, 2012 at 2:59 am

    yes notify me want u get mt email

  7. Martyn Rivera said on October 20, 2012 at 5:10 am

    I receive my email without signing in just fine,but can’t send any emails and I wonder if it’s that i owe them any money. Well if this is the case why not let me know. I’m really getting tired of so much balloney. I have yahoo & gmail and am thinking of getting the hell out of hotmail once and for all.

  8. Anonymous said on October 3, 2012 at 10:20 am

    i can not find my account

  9. Tomeka Lesane said on July 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I’ve been blocked out temporarily and I think I will try the reset password options and go to the right corner and click options so that I can add alternate snails that work.

  10. Winnie said on July 9, 2012 at 10:06 am

    My hotmail account is blocked, had a note saying it had been hacked, and was told my new password will be sent to my email account, but I cannot get into my account, what do I do? Please give me some answers…I need to print out an email I received, but have no access to as a result of what has happened….
    Thanking you….

  11. Reon said on July 9, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Clear your browser cache, try to turn of your firewall or antivirus you use. And the last, try the secure login, maybe it can help your hotmail sign in problems.

  12. zorica zora gajic said on July 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    i have problem log in a facebook with above mail ? it pops mine other mail ?
    Plese send me a help on how i will be able to sign in facebook mail Ty. Zorica Gajic

  13. nousheen said on July 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

    hey there. I have an account.It was hacked or something so i changed its id from [email protected] but it accidently became [email protected] (typo error). now its acceptig new password but i m unable to access my inbox. It needs tovarify the account and sends mail to inbox but when ever i try to open inbox it says varify ur email address…!!!??? kindly help m lost..

  14. Anonymous said on July 5, 2012 at 4:13 am

    my account have blocked for 10 days and i cant access my important mails.

  15. EUCLIDES DE MELO REGGIANI COSTA said on April 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    não consigo abrir a minha caixa de mensagem o que fazer.

  16. vernon legg said on March 18, 2012 at 12:39 am

    my email address [email protected] is blocked due to someone sending emails to all on my address book how can i clear it

    1. denise said on May 4, 2012 at 1:04 am

      I read your post and have had the same problem. many people have apparently. But no one has posted if anything has worked! I don’t want to read about people bitchng about it all, I want to know what I have to do. Has anyting worked for ANYONE??? Tha’st what I wasnt to read!

      1. welsh dragon said on August 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm

        hi can u pls tell me WHY U ARE BLOCKING EVERYBODYS ACCOUNT????????????????????????,

  17. Mark said on July 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I can log in, & every time I check the “Keep Me Logged In” box it never does. It makes me log in time after time. Very annoying

  18. Mian Tariq hanif said on May 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    I have been blocked from my account. It is really pissing me off. I have had this account for 20 years and wants some freakin answers and I want them now. I have tried everything.They said i have been blocked due to seding bluck of spam messages,,,which is actually not correct.Now i did everything to get my hotmail password back..but invaine.i request you all to send any helpfull link.i have cahnged my mobile number also and alternate email adress is not valid now.what to do???

    1. daniel said on June 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      Go to this site and log in up to right the right corner an write that your account have been blocked and that you want it back. It could take a few days before you get an answer.

      When you get your account back directly change to a new strong password.

  19. Lia said on May 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    hotmail does not sign in, this shows up on the address bar

    1. direct said on November 26, 2012 at 12:52 am

      Hotmail sign in problem – Cannot open the page because it does not load
      Start Internet Explorer and go to Tools -> Internet Options.
      Now move to the “Advanced” tab and scroll down to the HTTP 1.1 settings section. Uncheck Use HTTP 1.1 and check Use HTTP 1.1 through proxy connections. Now click on the Apply button and then the OK button.
      Close all browser windows and start the program again. Type and yippee! It works! If it doesn’t you may need to restart the computer.

  20. Patty said on May 18, 2011 at 5:59 am

    I have been blocked from my account. It is really pissing me off. I have had this account for 20 years and wants some freakin answers and I want them now. I have tried everything.

  21. Bjenn said on December 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I have read the previous posts regarding the multiple users log in solutions. The Windows Live Sign-In Assistant works perfectly when I use Internet Explorer. But Google Chrome does not allow me to have multiple log in addresses. Please advise on how I can enable multiple users on hotmail using Google Chrome.

    Thank you.

  22. Agha said on November 12, 2010 at 8:59 pm


  23. a jalil limat said on November 11, 2010 at 9:49 am

    this explaination is good for nothing, make life difficult!

  24. craig said on November 11, 2010 at 12:32 am

    yup, same things happening to me. the same password i’ve used for years isn’t working, and now i’m locked out. this is insane.

  25. Pops said on November 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    They are just trying to collect cell phone numbers so they can sell lists that contain all of your contact information, including your cell phone number.

  26. den said on November 9, 2010 at 10:06 am

    i had my mail blocked because my password was wrong,
    the same password i used for ten years,
    eventually i managed to get a link to change my password ,
    i had no alternate email,
    so the one they sent me to reset my password i could not read,
    now i have a standby email id,
    but today both are blocked because of too many password attempts,
    ha, i was not even on my pc for 14 hrs never mind login,
    now my facebook wont allow me access because my email has been removed,
    trying to contact them is a bigger minefield than hotmail,
    i am losing out with bidding on ebay and many more problems,
    maybe someone is trying to access my email but were does this leave me when i want to sign in?,
    appollogies if i am not making much sence but my mind is spinning with trying t remember passwords,secret ans to secret questions i do not know and answering phone calls from friends who can see me on facebook ,the only person who cant is me,

    1. Emory said on September 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      I hate to see hotmail have such a problem. There is a lot of fuss about hotmail due to some crazy reason that they are making it very hard for people to access their account. This has caused me problems. I have tried everything but nothing works. I have used hotmail now for many years with out a problem but now the problem arises. I wish that some one could tell me what to do. I have many people here looking to other sources of changing their hotmail account to something else. I think that this is confusing to a lot of people and is causing many problems. I hate to see hotmail loose a lot their people. This has started a lot of problems here and I know that it is a nationwide and global problem. Hope that hotmail can come up with a solution.

  27. Anonymous said on November 3, 2010 at 2:15 am


    1. help said on November 13, 2010 at 5:24 am

      im having the same problem what do i do?

  28. wednesday said on October 10, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I CANNOT GET INTO HOTMAIL. I changed password to eliminate a problem…and now cannot get back to my email. You have my old work email as the contact to send new password. That company is closed and i am (obviously) no longer there so notification there within 24 hr s will not reach me.

  29. Infuriated said on October 10, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I am currently blocked from my hotmail acct. This is a big problem for me. I signed up for many mailing lists through that account, and I archive posts there. My paypal is associated with that account. I used that email address to sign up for services that will make me a pay a fee to change the email address now. My plea for help has been sitting in the Windows Live tech support system for a week already, and I haven’t gotten so much as an email to my alternate address with an estimate of how long I will have to wait. I’ve had this account for years, and I’m getting increasingly angry about Microsoft’s failure to provide beefed up emergency tech support to handle the problems caused by their “security upgrade”!

    I don’t give a frak about their security upgrades if I can no longer use my hotmail account!!!!!!!!

    The advice you give above is the cookie-cutter BULL that Microsoft is feeding reporters. Let me tell you what really happens.

    I set up an alternative email, and I believe a security question (though I can’t remember what the question was to cue me for my answer).

    First, I changed my email via my alternative address. This did nothing: my account is still blocked even when I use the new password.

    Then I was asked to give my cell phone number to get some text message code. I have never owned a cell phone! I believe this is one of the biggest money-saps driving the middle class down to the poverty class. I don’t want a cell phone! Yet here is Microsoft making the assumption everyone who uses a computer must have a cell phone!

    Then the only choice left was to fill out a long form providing your identifying information. The problem with that is I set up this account close to a decade ago. I don’t remember what information I used to set up the account, but it certainly wasn’t my real information. I don’t believe in giving my real information online and making myself an even larger target for marketing, robocalls, and identity theft. Over the decade the fake information I used has changed. I made a guess since it was the only thing I could do with that form, but I really resent the idea that security to Microsoft means people give their real personal, private information or get their emails taken away.

    Where is the security question in all this? Well Microsoft did ask me the answer to my security question on the form. The problem is they didn’t remind me what the question was!!! I have accounts all over the place, and all of them have different security questions. Would it be better to make a wrong guess and then start the “form” process all over?

    Microsoft must have known it would be creating inconvenience and even serious problems on an EPIC scale. The responsible thing to do was to provide a toll free number with live tech support empowered to fix things on the spot.

    I see a lot of people have problems similar to mine, but their outcry is taking place on forums. Ironically Microsoft PR notices about the security upgrade are mostly in places people can’t talk back.

    I am not a spammer. I doubt my account was hacked or used for spam. I don’t have anything in the address book, and I don’t use it for personal correspondence. Despite all the mailing lists I’ve signed up for (most pretty mainstream), I barely get any spam in that account at all. No one has ever reported getting spam from me. So that leaves me to conclude that Microsoft just blocked my account to punish me for not meeting its new password standards, without giving a FLYING FRAK what it would do to my life if they blocked my account and took their precious incommunicado forever time to get around to fixing it. They probably won’t bother to fix it.

    I will never be signing up for any other Windows Live, MSN, or Microsoft-related service after this fiasco.

    1. Anonymous said on August 28, 2012 at 9:32 am

      I found when they ask for your phone number, I hit the back arrow on top left of keyboard twice and then hit the refresh key and it puts me in my inbox.

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