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Outlook.com gets two-step verification, sign-in by alias and new international domains

As announced earlier today, over the next few days we are releasing an update to Microsoft account. For people who use Outlook.com, this includes a number of new features such as two-step verification, the ability to sign in with an alias and new international domains for your email address. 

Optional two-step verification helps keep you more secure

You can now choose to enable two-step verification for your entire account. Two-step verification is when we ask you for two pieces of information when you sign in to your account–your password plus a code sent to a phone or email that you gave us as security info. Many of you have asked for this and we’re delighted to be able to offer this capability.

Two-step verification is a great way to add extra protection to your account. Once you’ve enabled two-step verification, even if a criminal gets your password (for example, through malware on a friend’s machine that you used, or if you use the same password for another service that gets breached) they can’t access your account.

You can read more about two-step verification here, or just start setting it up at https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage –it only takes a few minutes.

Sign in with any alias on your account

We’ve heard from a lot of you that you love using Outlook.com but you wish you had more flexibility signing in. Many of you have added an email alias to your account, but you can’t use the alias to sign in to your account. Previously the only option was to permanently rename your account, which is a hassle and requires you to reset certain devices.

With this release, you can now sign in with any alias that has been added to your account. We’ve also simplified the experience of adding and managing aliases, with better advice on when you should add an alias vs. renaming your primary alias.

You can set up or manage aliases at https://account.live.com/names/Manage.

Figure 1: Manage and set up account aliases

32 new @Outlook email address domains

We’ve been delighted by the reception to the new Outlook.com service. Many people have chosen to create new @outlook.com aliases, and as we previously discussed, many people have switched over from other email services.

But we also heard from some of you that you’d like to be able to have an @outlook address that is unique to your country (e.g. @outlook.de), so here is the list of new @outlook email domains that will be available in the next few days.

Help end the “Don’t open an email from me, I got hacked” updates

We encourage you to turn on and tell your friends to turn on two-step verification and help reduce the number of accounts that get hacked. And we hope you like the other new features released today. Thanks for all the interest in Outlook.com and Microsoft services and we look forward to hearing what you think.

–Eric Doerr, Group Program Manager, Microsoft account

Join the conversation

51 comments
  1. I am so happy for two step verification. Outlook will once again become world’s best email.

    Please bring .pk domain for Pakistan. (previous Microsoft offered .com.pk domain but .pk is shorter)

    • Eww, Pakistan. Move to another country that is not as poor as Pakistan. :P

  2. I hope Outlook.ca is also coming soon !

  3. Please add outlook.pk for pakistan also ! we will be waiting….

  4. What about the "on behalf of" issue? When will that be resolved? A fix was promised and we’re still waiting…

  5. Does this mean that I can sign in with any alias to e.g. my Windows Phone? (That would be great!) Or is the flexible sign in available only for online acces (to Outlook e-mail)?

  6. sounds nice… hope this will fix that i can send with the aliases from outlook 2013!!!

  7. Wait… so (do I understand this correctly ?) I have the OPTION of using 2FA, but I’m being FORCED to allow my account to accept aliases as the sign-in username ?! But, from a security perspective, the whole point in having an alias is to allow the account name & address to be hidden (being used for logins only) and thereby making the account a bit more secure.

    When you all "heard from a lot of [people] that you love using Outlook.com," were you also listening to those of us who want to have aliases NOT used as alternative login usernames ? It would’ve been much better if you had provided this ‘feature’ as an option !!

    Can you still do that ? :-)

  8. How does one manage aliases for custom domains without using tools like wlalias?

  9. All good, positive steps in the right direction but when are you going to get rid of this ‘on behalf’ nonsense when sending mail from a custom email account? Please allow us to send this mail through an external SMTP server – it’s not difficult!

  10. What about Mexico? We need a country address domain to.

  11. ‘We can’t find that page’ error when I try to access the above website address

  12. What about the UK, why is there no .co.uk option listed?

  13. I don’t see the new optons shown above for managing and configuring alias logins. What’s up?

    • Another company owns outlook.co.uk

  14. Please make the loging using alias OPTIONAL. I don’t like at all!!!

  15. Why no outlook.nl for the Netherlands? You have had live.nl for some years now…

  16. Great news for sign-in alias!!! And for 2-step verification too!
    Happy to see Microsoft teams are working to add new features to products monthly!

  17. LOVE the fact that Outlook is coming out with 2FA!!! :-)

    BUT…..on the alias issue: other providers that have aliases (I’m thinking of Fastmail, for example) ‘get’ what they’re all about! (https://www.fastmail.fm/help/features_aliases.html): hiding the log in username.

    If some people *want* the option logging in with aliases, that’s fine. But, as others have said, it should be an *option*. Providing 2FA while removing the ability to hide the sole log in address (by now making all active aliases usable for that purpose) strikes me as "giving with one hand and taking with the other." Do, indeed, provide the feature if you (and other users) wish, but PLEASE consider making it O-P-T-I-O-N-A-L for those of us who have enjoyed the small layer of security a hidden log in username has afforded us and who, therefore, DON’T want aliases used for log-ins!

  18. Please make it possible to NOT sign in with alias! Why do you want to make my account insecure? I feel safer using aliases because if the service I signed up with an alias is not trustworthy or is compromised, they do NOT have my Microsoft ID/Account and any attempt to log in will be a failure because it’s impossible to log in with aliases. I like the rename account option, make it as good as possible, make it possible to change the MS ID with Windows Phone without reseting the device. Please do NOT (or give me the option NOT to) make it possible to sign in with an alias.

  19. It would be great include the .BO country Address for Bolivia.

  20. not able to use ms account to sign in here and comment, using authenticator app, nor entering app password works.

    why do i need to unlink all other accounts before two step verification can be setup?

  21. What is Microsoft’s rationale behind reducing the number of aliases from 15 to 10? I hope Microsoft reconsiders this.

  22. These are good features but please, allow users to combine two different Microsoft accounts into one. I created a new Outlook.com account when it was launched and now I want to merge this account with my old one WITHOUT setting up e-mail forwarding and that kind of stuff. There are a lot of users in this situation complaining about it on the net and you have to bring a solution ASAP. You just need to allow add an existing Microsoft account as an alias. Anyway, well done!

  23. Skydrive + 2-step verification is the best thing from Microsoft besides Windows and Office. Thank you Microsoft!

  24. Still hate Outlook.com. Please allow us to switch back to Hotmail.com? It was far superior to the puerile design you offer now.

  25. I managed to create an alias with the new domains but I am not receiving any mails sent to that alias. I am able to send new mails with the alias but can’t receive any.

  26. Two-step verification is very good idea! But the problem is that the android app Outlook fail to connect with the 2-step verification.

    • Yes, this is an issue I faced as well. I’ve removed the app, and am using the default Android mail client until this is resolved.

    • When you delete an alias or an email address, you have to wait 30 days before you can register it again yourself or by anybody else.

      After 30 days, you can reuse the old address to create a new email or a new alias. Remember to grab that name as soon as possible because someone else can take it if they create the same email or alias after the 30 days are over.

      Read the warning in the answer to the question: Can I rename my primary alias?

  27. I created an alias, then removed it immediately. Then I renamed my account with the new email (same name which I gave for my alias earlier). My account was successfully renamed with new outlook.in domain. Now I can’t receive email from my new outlook.in domain. I can send but cannot receive email. Please.. help me at the earliest.

  28. The alias outlook.in does not receive emails. I checked from several email clients, but outlook.in doesn’t receive even one email. Please check and solve this issue.

    • Please check your email id again.. try to send and receive from your outlook.in domain.. The issue has been resolved it seems.

      My issue got resolved.

  29. It seems no one is reading the comments.. and there is no support from outlook community.. the new international domains are not receiving emails.. this is a serious issues as if someone in creating their primary account with these international domains..

    Can somenone from MS look into this ..

  30. My issue got resolved.. Now I am able to send and receive email from my international doman – outlook.in .. Thanks a lot to Alden – Moderator from Microsoft Outlook. Also I am able to send receive email from my all outlook.in domains.

  31. Soooo…. Enabled this on both my accounts…. It made me unlink them first… Now when I try to link them I get:

    We cannot link these two accounts.

  32. VERY happy to see the two-step authentication. Thank you for adding this.

  33. I set up 2FA and it worked well for a few days, but now when I try to use my cell phone to receive the verification code, it always shows "We couldn’t send the code. Please try again". Then I have to use my recovery email to get the code.

  34. I did opt for the two step verification but am annoyed as I am yet to find the android app for the Microsoft authenticator in the play store. I will be glad if anyone could point me to it

  35. … and no .ro (Romania) TLD. Well, thanks for nothing.

  36. You guys at M$ posted a blog teaching people how to "Upgrade from Gmail to outlook.com in 5 easy steps" last August 09. I tried several times, but failed every time. Let me tell you my most recent experience: I have one Gmail and one Outlook.com account, when I went to TrueSwitch provided in your earlier blog and filled in Gmail ID and password, outlook.com ID and password, it always showed the outlook.com ID or password was incorrect. The gmail login records showed TrueSwitch had successfully logged in. Do you guys have checked the function before it is released to user?

  37. Should be: Do you guys check the function before it is released to user?

  38. In the course of updating from hotmail into outlook, by clicking, I have lost all my hotmail contacts, their messages and important reports made in the course of time. How do I recover this vital information?

  39. Why is there a constraint with the linked accounts for 2 step verification…?!
    Of course, if one account has and second linked account does not have 2 step verification enabled it would be a problem…. but still does it mean that linked accounts have to be left unsecure?!
    probably because linked accounts are anyway in higher risk so that is why exactly for them the option is disabled?!

  40. Thanks for sharing this nice post. Outlook.com is a top-notch online email service because it does so much more. We love the sleek design, easy-to-navigate interface, social networking integration and in-browser document editing.

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