You may have run across this case in the past: you are trying to login to your Hotmail account, only to find that someone else is already logged in. So, how do you sign in to Hotmail as a different user when you accidentally end up in another person's Windows Live Hotmail inbox? This is actually quite easy, and as you'll learn on this page, there are several solutions, for both Windows 7 / Vista / XP and Mac OS X.
Sign in to your Hotmail account when another user is already logged in
Here are four solutions, depending on your needs, and what is installed on your computer:
- Use another browser to login to your own account:
The easiest way to sign in to Hotmail as a different user is to use another web browser: Hotmail sign in stores your login information in a "cookie", or small text file that is used by this browser only. If you sign in to Hotmail inside another web browser, you will create your own cookie, optionally letting you automatically sign in to Hotmail without logging out another user. This allows you to have multiple Hotmail users signed in at the same time on that PC / Mac!
If needed, see the list of web browsers supported by Windows Live Hotmail (free downloads).
- Bypass another user's Hotmail account by using private browsing:
Another way to temporarily sign in to Hotmail as another user without logging out the current user is to use the anonymous surfing feature now available in most browser: this creates a temporary, new profile for you, which doesn't use any cookies from other user. If you login to your Hotmail account this way, no one needs to be signed out from their emails.
In Internet Explorer, open a new tab and click on the "Open an InPrivate Browsing window" link. Then go to www.live.com or www.hotmail.com to sign in to your own Hotmail account.
(For more information, please see how to anonymously login to your Hotmail account.)
- Sign in as a different user on your computer: (Windows / Mac / Linux)
A perhaps less practical way to sign in to Hotmail as a different user is to simply switch user on your computer - most modern operating systems support multiple users logged in at the same time on the same machine. This completely separates user profiles, which means that you can have two different Hotmail users signed in to their account at the same time!
- Sign out of Hotmail, and sign in as a different user:
This technique is very simple, but will quickly get tedious if you regularly need to login and logout of one another's Hotmail account. All it takes it to click on the "sign out" link in the top right corner of most Windows Live Hotmail screens, and then go back to Hotmail and sign in as another user: the other person sharing your PC/Mac will then have to do the same, etc.
There you go: no less than four different ways you can use to switch Hotmail profile and sign in as a different user, with or without signing out the other person using Hotmail for his/her emails.
Tutorial last updated on November 26, 2011
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