During Hotmail sign up, when you created your email account, you had to choose a password to sign in; while Windows Live Hotmail includes an option to let you automatically ask for and change your password every few weeks (a setting which needs to be turned on manually), your login password stays the same unless and until you change it yourself. This page explains how to change your Hotmail password (which is also your Windows Live password, used in all other Windows Live services, like the Messenger chat client).
Choose a different password for your Hotmail account
This is how you change your Hotmail sign in password:
- If needed, sign in to your Hotmail account and go to your inbox.
- Then, click on the "Options" menu in the top right corner, and choose "More options":
- Hotmail will load your account preferences page; click on the "View and edit your personal information" link under Manage your account header.
- The first block of settings includes a "Password: *****" entry at the bottom; and, floating to the right, a "Change" link: click on it to reset your password to something else.
- To prevent others from changing your password, Windows Live Hotmail will first confirm your identity: no need to login, just type your current password in the "Old Password" text field.
- Under "New password", enter the new password you would like to change to: it needs to be at least six-characters long, and at most 16 characters. Notice that as you type your new password, Hotmail gives you feedback on the password strength, as you type it:
- A strong Hotmail password will be long, hard to guess, and ideally include a mix of numbers, lowercase letters, and uppercase letters as well (remember, your Hotmail password is case-sensitive, so an "A" is considered a different character from an "a"). Such a password will also be harder to guess if someone watches you type as you sign in to your Hotmail account.
- Then, re-type your new Hotmail password in the "Retype new password" text field (to confirm that there are no typos, since you cannot see what you type in the password fields).
- If you check the "Make my password expire every 72 days" checkbox, Windows Live Hotmail will automatically ask you to change your login password every 2 months (safer option than always keeping the same Hotmail password, but gives a new password to remember regularly).
- Click on the "Save" button to accept your new settings: you have successfully changed your Hotmail password! Note that you can change your Hotmail password as often as you want, and that this password not only applies immediately to Hotmail sign in, but to all other Windows Live services that require a login (Messenger, SkyDrive, the Hotmail calendar, etc.)
Tip: if you have checked your Hotmail account from a public computer or another unfamiliar location, you may want to change your password, just to be safe!
Tutorial last updated on November 26, 2011
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