Hotmail and Outlook Single Use Code to sign in with

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 14, 2011
Updated • Jan 12, 2015

Whenever possible I prefer not to enter login information on third party computer systems and networks.

Why? Because I do not have full control over the software running in the background or in the same network.

Other means of logging in are preferred, especially passwords that are only valid once and expire afterwards.

That's what Hotmail has added to their website recently.

Update: The very same feature is also available on, Microsoft's new email service.

When you open the Windows Live Hotmail website you see the standard Hotmail sign in screen for the most part. If you look below the Sign In button you see this:

Not your computer? Get a single use code to sign in with

The sign in form changes when you click on the link. You are now asked to enter your Windows Live ID and the single use code instead of your regular password to log in to the service.

This is also indicated at the top where it states:

sign in with single use code. If you're signing in from a public computer, you can use a single use code instead of your password for added security.

If you do not have a code yet you can request one with a click on Get one here on the same page. You are then asked to enter your Windows Live ID and a mobile phone number that is linked to the account.

Microsoft will send a text message to the phone number that includes the single use code that you can use to sign in to Hotmail.

If you have not linked a mobile phone number to your Windows Live account yet you can do so in the account settings. Open the link and enter your login information. Click on Security & privacy once you are signed in and there on the "add a new phone number" link on the page.

The mobile phone number needs to be confirmed before it can be used for single use codes. Hotmail sends an email to the linked account email address.

This email contains a confirmation link that you need to load to confirm the addition of the mobile phone number to the account. This obviously only adds to security if you do not use Hotmail as your email provider for that account email address.

Once the number has been verified you can start requesting single use codes for your Hotmail sign ins.

Single use codes are actually available on all Windows Live sign in forms.

The addition of single use codes adds to Hotmail's and Windows Live's security big time. What's your take on this? (via)

Article Name
Hotmail and Outlook Single Use Code to sign in with
Microsoft introduced so-called single-use codes on Hotmail and Outlook. These codes are sent to a linked mobile phone and act as one-time passwords to enter the account.

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  1. harry said on September 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    how do i log on to my account with no code

  2. t. may said on September 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    For many more than once i would like to be enabled to go directly to the page that signs one in with the single use code without hours & hours & hours & hours & hours & hours & hours & hours into days & days & days & days of e mail run around just to go to the page that lets one sign in effectively with a single use code.

  3. hassan said on July 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    does your phone company charge you third party charges if you get a message

  4. VD said on November 18, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I am not sure if I want to give my mobile umber to Microsoft ;-) Least of all worries my mobile might get spammed by ads.

  5. DanTe said on November 15, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I’ve been a paranoid psych for a very very very long time. Whenever I travel, I boot the strange computer with a USB or CD containing a linux OS from the Department of Defense that let’s me browse the web in an OS that does not have room to save any changes (i.e. virus) and bypasses the host computer’s harddrive.

  6. Robert Palmar said on November 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Well it is not available to me yet where I am in NYC.
    In fact I am not seeing any Manage link for Security.

  7. Robert Palmar said on November 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I have had an MSN (Hotmail) account forever
    and I was unaware of this feature so thanks.
    It looks like a positive security step to take.

  8. Anon said on November 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I don’t know why you wrote “recently”, because I am using this feature from much longer time.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Most Hotmail and Windows Live features are rolled out over time.

  9. Davin Peterson said on November 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    We use something similar to check our work email from home. We use Microsoft Outlook. This summer my agency implemented Two-Factor Authentication which requires use to use a single use eight digit token code to logon before logging in to Outlook Web Access.

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