Just as you need to login to your Hotmail account to check your emails, you can logout any time you want: if you only check your emails from your own laptop or desktop computer, logging out isn't that important. But if you ever want to make sure that no one else can access your emails, you need to manually sign out of Hotmail, or the next person may be able to get to your inbox and read your emails (if not actually send messages that will appear as coming from you). If you sometimes go to Hotmail.com or Live.com from a public computer (at work, at school, at the library...), where many strangers access the same PC or Mac, you will definitely want to logout and confirm that you are fully signed out.
Clicking "sign out" to logout of your Hotmail account
The easiest way to logout of your Hotmail account is to click on the "Sign Out" link you see in the top right corner of most screens inside your emails or other Windows Live services:
So, what happens after you click on the sign out link? This depends on how you signed in:
- If you chose to let Hotmail remember your user name (email address), but not your password, the next person (you or another computer user) who goes to www.live.com or www.hotmail.com will see the sign-in screen with your email address prefilled:
And if you clicked on the "Sign in" button at the bottom, Hotmail would ask for your password.
- If you originally logged in and checked both checkboxes (remember your email address and remember your password), going to the Windows Live Hotmail homepage may well bring you back to your inbox, even if you clicked on the sign out link.
- If, when you sign in to your Hotmail account, both the "Remember me" and the "Remember password" checkboxes are unchecked, clicking on the sign out link will be sufficient to logout of Hotmail: and this is what the sign-in screen would show to the next visitor:
In other words, they could not sign in to your Hotmail account without knowing your full login credentials - your live.com / hotmail.com email address and your password.
Tip: make sure to check out our "Hotmail Sign in from a public computer" page to not only sign out, but also sign in more securely than you would from home.
Tutorial last updated on November 26, 2011
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