Maybe you forgot your Hotmail password -- or worse, someone broke into your account and changed it. In any case, access to your Hotmail account is a terrible thing to lose. Microsoft has taken steps to ensure that you can regain access to your account -- even if nefarious thieves change your information. To do so, you’ll have to change your existing reset information to reset your password and get your account under control.
Removing Existing Reset Information
As of October 2011, you have four separate password reset information options if you’re a Hotmail user. You can choose from adding additional e-mail addresses, mobile phone numbers, a trusted PC or a validation question. If any of these options says the word “Confirm” next to it, that means it hasn’t been confirmed yet. If your information is unconfirmed, you can choose to remove all reset information currently attached to your account. Windows Live Help documentation states that once an unspecified waiting period has passed, you should then be able to set new reset information for any or all of those four options.
Resetting Your Reset Options
When you look at your reset options, you may see that some of them have been confirmed, so you don’t have the option of purging them. If that’s the case, official Windows Live documentation suggests that you add to them. Go into one or more of your options and add new information. When you sign up for Hotmail, you also sign up for a Windows Live account. If your account is less than 14 days old, reset information you enter is automatically confirmed. As long as you’re able to have your new information auto-confirm, you should then be able to use that reset information to get into your account. From there, you can change any or all of your existing reset information as you like.
Securing Your Hotmail Account
Once you’ve successfully reset your Hotmail password, you need to take steps to secure your Hotmail account from future security problems. This is especially true if the reason you lost access to your account had to do with any sort of hacking or e-mail account theft. For precise directions on how to configure each of your reset options, consult Windows Live: Configuring Your Password Reset Information.
The longer you have your Hotmail address, the more likely it is that some or all of your reset information will change. If you don’t update your reset information as soon as those changes take place, and you are locked out of your account, you may worry that you can’t reset it. You have the option to remove all your password reset information if that’s the case. When you choose that option, your reset information becomes marked “Lost,” and is flagged for removal. After it’s removed, you can add and confirm new reset information for your future use.