The new Hotmail introduced a feature called "Single-use code" to make it safer to sign in to your Windows Live Hotmail account, especially if you need to sign in to Hotmail from a public computer. So, what is a Single-use code, and how does it work? This page explains both these topics, and will give you scenarios (+ pros and cons) on using single-use sign in codes when you login to your Hotmail account.
When to sign in to Hotmail with a single-use code
The first question to answer is "When should you use a single-use code?" Let's answer it by explaining exactly what a single-use sign in code is, in the context of Windows Live Hotmail access: normally, when you login to your Hotmail account, you enter your user name (full email address), and your password; as careful as you may be, if the computer you are using is running a secret "key logging" software that records all your keystrokes, the hacker will know your password once you typed it.
A single-use code means that you get a special, temporary password from Hotmail, and use it to login just once: anyone trying to sign in with it a second time will not be able to access your account and emails.
Get a single-use code to login to your Hotmail account
Follow these steps to get a single-use sign in code from Windows Live Hotmail:
- Before anything else, you need to add a cell phone or mobile internet device to your Hotmail account, which will be used to send you your single-use code for temporary login:
→ First: Setup Hotmail sign-in for a cell phone / mobile device
(The rest of these instructions assume that you have a mobile number in your Hotmail profile.)
- Since you have a cell phone associated with your Windows Live Hotmail account, you can now request a temporary password in the form of a single-use sign in code.
- Now type www.live.com or www.hotmail.com to get to the Hotmail sign in screen:
- You should get the blank Hotmail sign in form, as shown on the screenshot below; if not, please read our "Confirm Hotmail sign out (completely logout)" to get to the blank form:
- At the bottom of the Hotmail login form, you will see one of two variants of the link you need to click on in order to receive your single-use sign in code: the link may read either "Sign in with a Single-use code", or "Get a single-use code to sign in with" - either way, click on it.
- As soon as you do, Windows Live Hotmail redirects you to a modified sign in form, which lets you enter a single-use sign in code instead of password: if you have already received your single-use code, skip the next step; otherwise, click on the "Request a code" link.
- You will then need to type in your "Windows Live ID" (your full Hotmail email address in other words), your country, your cell phone number, and agree to the conditions. Then, click on the "Send text message" button, and Windows Live Hotmail will generate a pass code for you, and bring you back to the modified sign in form where you can enter your single-use code.
- Now check your cell phone to see if you received the temporary pass code Hotmail texted you. Enter it in the "Single-use Code" text field, and uncheck the "Remember me" checkbox.
- Click on the "Sign in" button: you have successfully signed in to your Windows Live Hotmail account without having to type your password on this public computer!
Tutorial last updated on November 26, 2011
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