When you created your new email address during Hotmail sign up, you were asked to pick a password to protect access to your account and emails. As time passed, you have probably logged in to your Hotmail account from more places than you can remember, and this of course increases the chances of having your password stolen by someone. As you may already know, you can manually change your Hotmail password as often as you want, but like most of us, you probably don't! Fortunately, Windows Live offers an automatically reminder service to ask you to create a new Hotmail password every 72 days: this option is disabled by default, but can be turned on or off whenever you feel like it.
Let Hotmail automatically ask you to change your password every 72 days
Our guess as to why the Windows Live team chose 72 days instead of "on the first of every month", for example, is probably because it makes unpredictable the actual day on which Hotmail will ask you to change your sign in password. Unless the potential hacker knows when you last changed your password, he/she will not be able to anticipate when you will next update your login information.
Follow these steps to turn on the automatic password change feature in your profile:
- First, login to your Hotmail account if needed. Once in, click on the "Options" menu in the top right corner of the screen, and select "More Options":
- Hotmail will load the "Hotmail Options" screen: choose "View and edit personal information" link under "Manage your account". (You may need to login to access these settings.)
- Under the "Account Information" header of the next screen, click on the "Change" link you see displayed next to "Password", as shown on the screenshot below:
- The "Change your password" screen lets you not only choose another password, but also to enable the automatic password change reminder setting:
- Enter your current password (for verification), and type twice the new account password (a second time to prevent any typos, since you cannot see the text you type).
- Then, check the "Make my password expire every 72 days" checkbox.
- Click on the "Save" button to apply the new settings: note that the new password you picked will take effect immediately, so remember to use it the next time you sign in to Hotmail. In about 2 months, you will get a reminder from Windows Live Hotmail to update your password information and choose a new one. This will happen until / unless you turn off this option.
Turn off the automatic password change reminder in Windows Live Hotmail
As often, there is a trade off between security and convenience: if you want to stop receiving a reminder from Windows Live to change your password every 10 weeks, you can disable this setting: simply follow the steps outlined above, but this time, after you pick a new password for the last time, uncheck the "Make my password expire every 72 days" checkbox, and click "Save" to apply the new settings.
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