This article has been just updated: December 11, 2019
Do you have an old Hotmail account that you would like to access? If so, you might have noticed that Hotmail now redirects to Outlook. In this article, we explain exactly what has happened to the popular email service and how you can access it through Outlook.
Hotmail Is Now Outlook
Hotmail started in 1996 as the first globally accessible provider of free web-based email. Microsoft acquired it only a year after its launch for an estimated $400 million and rebranded it as MSN Hotmail. Microsoft then rebranded Hotmail to Windows Live Hotmail in 2005, after the tech giant introduced its suite of web services and software products, called Windows Live.
The plan was to eventually replace Windows Live Hotmail with a brand-new email system, called Windows Live Mail. That never happened, however, because beta testers resisted the change and complained that they want Windows Live Hotmail back.
The last chapter of Windows Live Hotmail began in 2011, after the introduction of Office 365, a line of subscription services offered by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Office product line. The goal was to switch Microsoft’s customer to cloud-based software-as-a-service products.
To help customers acquire the taste for the cloud, Microsoft introduced a new public email service, called Outlook.com (not to be confused with the enterprise-oriented Outlook on the web email service), in 2012, allowing existing Hotmail customers to freely upgrade to it.
By 2014, Outlook.com had had over 400 million active users, and the company was ready to switch to an Office 365-based infrastructure the following year.
Today, there are three products with the word Outlook in their name:
- Outlook.com (former Hotmail): This is the most recent version of Microsoft’s web-based public email service.
- Outlook on the web (former Exchange Web Connect, Outlook Web Access, and Outlook Web App): A personal information manager web app from Microsoft that’s included in Office 365, Exchange Server, and Exchange Online.
- Outlook (also called Office Outlook): The desktop email client most people are familiar with from work. The closest thing to the Windows Live Mail desktop client is Mail, an email and newsgroup client included in the Windows Vista, 8, 8.1, and 10 operating systems.
How Do I Log into My Hotmail Account?
If you head over to https://www.hotmail.com/ you will be instantly redirected to https://outlook.live.com/mail/. Does this mean you can’t log into your Hotmail account anymore? Not at all! It’s just that Microsoft has merged Hotmail and Outlook.com accounts together, keeping only the latter branding.
Your Hotmail account is alive and well, and you should be able to access it without any problem:
- Go to Outlook.com.
- Click the Sign in button.
- Enter your Hotmail email address and click Next.
- Enter your password and click Sign in.
If you can’t remember your password, click the “Forgot my password” link and follow the instructions to recover your account.
How Do I Create a New Hotmail Account?
Even though Hotmail is now Outlook.com, you can still create a new email account with the @hotmail.com domain.
- Go to Outlook.com.
- Click the Create free account button.
- Enter your desired email address and select @hotmail.com from the drop-down menu on the right.
- Click Next.
- Enter the password you would like to use with your new account and click Next.
- Enter your personal details and click Next.
While Microsoft has no plans to drop support for @hotmail.com email addresses, they are being considered “legacy addresses,” and new users are encouraged to use the @outlook.com domain instead.
How Do I Delete My Hotmail Account?
If you’d like to close your old Hotmail account to ensure that nobody can access it and read your emails, you can do so by following this link.
- Enter the login details corresponding to the account you want to delete.
- Verify that you’ve signed into the right account.
- Read the information and decide whether you really want to cancel any current subscriptions, cancel any current business or organizational services and delete any Azure Active Directories, delete your health records, and potentially give up any remaining account balance.
- Once you’re ready to continue, click the Next button.
- Your account will be marked for deletion, but it will take 60 days before it is permanently closed. During this time, you can reopen your account by proving your identity using your current account security info.
How Do I Recover My Hotmail Account?
Microsoft allows you to recover your account even if resetting your password hasn’t helped you.
- To fill out the recovery form, go to account.live.com/acsr.
- Select which Hotmail account you would like to recover.
- Enter your contact information.
- Verify that you’re a real human being.
- Verify your email address.
- Answer a series of personal questions to help Microsoft decide whether you’re a rightful owner of the account you want to recover.
- Click Submit when you’re finished.
Keep in mind that the recovery process may take a while as Microsoft employees have to process each case manually. The more personal information you provide, the more guaranteed the outcome of the recovery process will be. Simple recovery cases are typically processed within 24 hours, but more complicated cases may require several follow-up questions. If your request gets denied the first time you try to recover your account, don’t despair: you can try up to two times per day.
The era of Hotmail may be over, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t access your old Hotmail email account and use it to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues. In this article, we explained how to log into a Hotmail account using Outlook.com, how to create a new Hotmail.com account, how to delete an existing Hotmail account, and how to recover a lost Hotmail account.
Microsoft doesn’t seem to have any intention to abandon the @hotmail.com domain anytime soon, and we see no reason why they should. As such, you keep using your beloved Hotmail email account even in the era of Outlook.com.