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Since we launched the Outlook.com preview a few days ago, we've been humbled and amazed by the reception and by the number of people who have upgraded. In fact, in just the first few days alone, we've seen several million people upgrade to Outlook.com. Over the next week we'll write a series of posts covering upgrading and using Outlook.com, starting with this post covering upgrading from Hotmail, and then followed by posts discussing upgrading from Gmail, Yahoo, and other services. These are all written by Dick Craddock, who runs the Program Management Team for Outlook.com.
- Chris Jones
Upgrading to Outlook.com is easy, no matter which service you're currently using. In the coming days, we'll look at how to upgrade to Outlook from other services. But today, we'll look at upgrading to Outlook from Hotmail.
First of all, it's important to know that you don't need to create a new account to use Outlook.com - you can upgrade with the Hotmail account you're already using. We bring your settings and data across to Outlook.com, and to your phone and clients, including Outlook with the Outlook Connector, all of which will continue to work, just as before.
These instructions will work for any email address that currently uses Hotmail, including @hotmail.com, @msn.com, @live.com, etc.
We highly recommend that you upgrade to Outlook.com with your existing Hotmail account, rather than creating a new account. If you want a new @outlook.com email address, this article shows you how to add one to your existing account.
When you upgrade to Outlook.com from Hotmail, you get the new Outlook.com service, and you keep everything about your account intact:
The easiest way to upgrade is to sign-in to Outlook.com:
Important: Don't sign-up for a new account; just sign-in with your existing Hotmail account. You don't need to change your address to use Outlook; in fact, if you sign-up for a new address, there is no way to combine or merge that new account with your old account.
That's it! You should now be using the new Outlook.com service. From now on, you can sign-in at http://outlook.com. Of course, signing in at http://hotmail.com or http://mail.live.com still works. If you do, you'll still continue to see the Outlook.com experience.
Now that you've upgraded to Outlook, you might want to get a new @outlook.com email address. This is entirely optional, of course. Your existing Hotmail address will be supported.
One important note: The Preview does not support adding email addresses in country-specific domains, such as @outlook.co.uk; @outlook.com.br, etc. This is a limitation we'll be working to address.
There are two ways to get a new @outlook.com email address to use with your account: adding an alias or renaming your account.
An alias is an email address that is added to your account. You can add up to five aliases per year to your account up to a maximum of 15, and you can send and receive email from all of these aliases.
Aliases are a great way to use different email addresses with the same inbox. Outlook can even automatically file email sent to each alias in separate folders.
There are a few limitations that you should be aware of:
Here's how to add an alias to your account:
First, sign-in to outlook at http://outlook.com using your Hotmail account. Now, click on the Options "cog" in the upper right corner of the window, and click on "More mail settings."
Next, click on "Create an Outlook alias." It's the next-to-last option in the first column, under the heading "Managing your account."
You'll be taken to the Create alias page, where you'll notice that "@outlook.com" is already selected for you. Enter the email name that you want to create in the box labeled "Email address" and click "Create an alias."
You may not get the first name you try, since it might already be taken by someone else. Don't worry - just try another name (and try to pick a name that is more likely to be unique).
After you've successfully chosen an address, you'll be taken back to your Inbox, and you'll see a confirmation that lets you choose where email sent to the new address goes: into a new folder, or an existing folder, which by default is your Inbox. Choose which option works best for you, and click "Done."
By the way, if you chose to send email to a new folder, you can always change your mind. Outlook created a rule for you automatically, and you can easily edit or delete the rule by right-clicking "Folders" in the left column of your Inbox, and selecting "Manage rules."
You can rename your account to an @outlook.com account, and when you do, your old account becomes an alias, so you'll still receive email sent to the old account.
Fair warning: Renaming is a big deal. It changes the primary name of your account, which means that you will have to immediately start signing in with the new name (same password) on all your devices, such as your phone, PC, Xbox, etc.
Renaming an account is not something that you can easily "undo"; in fact, there are some cases where it's impossible to undo. So, please be very sure of your decision before following the steps below.
Also, there are some limitations of rename that you should be aware of:
Here's how to rename your account:
First, sign-in to outlook at http://outlook.com using your Hotmail account. Now, click on the Options "cog" in the upper right-corner of the window, and click on "More mail settings." Now, click on "Rename your email address" which is the last link in the first column under the heading "Managing your account":
You'll be asked to type in your password again. This extra security step is required to help protect your account, since renaming your account is a significant action.
You'll be taken to the Rename page which will let you pick a new account name.
Windows Phone users should be aware that renaming their account will require them to restore their phone to factory settings and set it up again with the new name.
Just like creating an alias, you'll need to pick a name that is likely to be unique, and click "Save."
You'll get a confirmation that your account was renamed. You may now need to go change your account name information on your phone or other devices.
If for some reason you aren't enjoying the Outlook.com experience, you can easily switch back to Hotmail during the Preview period. Here's how:
If you're switching back to Hotmail, we'd love to hear from you. Please take a moment to give us feedback on why you decided to switch back. Thanks!
We've built Outlook.com to be modern email for the next billion inboxes. We hope you like it, and we want to hear from you. You can give us feedback right from the product by clicking on the Settings "cog" and clicking on the "Feedback" link (see the picture, above).
Our product team uses your feedback to make the product even better. So, tell us what you think, and thanks for using Outlook.com.
Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager, Outlook.com
Considering this was your guys' mistake, there should be an option to wait less than 270 days for me to get the email address I want transferred.
Is there a particular reason it's 270 days? Can't there be a little check box when deleting your account to "enable address to be used by others immediately" to solve this problem?
Same problems as everyone else here. I propose a few changes to prevent future mistakes and help correct prior mistakes:
1. Post a note on the account creation screen saying something like, "Already have a Hotmail, Live, or MSN account? You may want to consider adding an Outlook.com alias to your existing account and keep all of your existing email and settings. Click here for more information."
2. On the "Create a Outlook Alias" page, include a warning, "Warning, you may only create new 5 alias accounts per year. Click here for more information."
3. Allow users to delete a recently created Outlook.com accounts (without waiting 270 days) so this email address can be used as an alias to existing account -or- provide a method of converting a "linked" account into an alias.
4. Please do a one-time reset of the 5 alias limitation for all users since you failed to warn us of the limitation in a reasonable manner (none of us knew the limit until it was too late).
Loving the new Outlook.com interface, but am still trying to work out issues with converting from GMail: copying 2GB of messages via POP is proving to be troublesome and I've run into complications with the Live Domain service. Ah well...this is all new and I suspect most of these issues will work themselves out. :)
Love it, smooth transition, great product, thanks.
I just upgraded my hotmail account to an outlook.com account. Two questions
I am using Windows Live Mail to access my various mail accounts (hotmail and others). How should I configure the outlook.com account in WLM to have proper sync between the outlook.com mail server and the WLM client ? Which server URL should be indicated in the WLM account ?
I found all my contacts, which is good. But they are ordered by first name, which is no so good, I want them ordered by common name, as they are in WLM. Any configuration option to achieve that ?
How I can integrate Facebook and twitter into outlook??
I want to see twitter and facebook updates into Outlook.. Is that possible??? I heard it is,,but How???
I know a lot of people with more than one Microsoft Account (AKA Live ID), created by mistake, that they want to merge in one single account.
Please, please, please, implement Live ID Merging, and the possibility to change the Live ID Region.
Like many others, I created a new account instead of making my shiny new @outlook.com address an alias.
Please create a way to delete accounts in a more reasonable time than 270 days!
Also, I understand that you do not support merging, but are you looking into changing this in the future? I have like 5 Microsoft accounts now for various reasons and it's a pain.
I created the Outlook alias for my Hotmail acct; I know this as Hotmail shows in my SEND drop down. I cannot sign in tho with Hotmail. Dick, your posting should've come before the rollout. Other items: all happens on Chrome-FF-IE.
*Messaging seems to take forever to load...if it ever does.
*PEOPLE seems to take forever to load...if it ever does.
*See those little colors for themes? 7 times out of 10 those squares are grayed.
*TrueSwitch will not transfer from Yahoo to the new account. My Outlook.com is an alias off of Hotmail.com, IE, the same account. I didn't create a new Outlook acct.
The SEND dropdown shows Hotmail/Outlook/another business acct I send from.
But when I enter 'From Acct/Yahoo...To Acct/Hotmail..I get "We don't recognize that account." Huh?
*Speed of new Outlook is astonishing. Destroys Gmail.
*How can you delete contacts in this new mail? I can't find the button.
I think that's it for now. Any insight appreciated. My constant sign-out problem was caused by Chrome's X-Notifier, which was checking for Hotmail. Which shouldn't have presented a problem as accts are the same, but there you go.
@ Dick Craddock: I have created an email alias to a primary account. But now I would like to delete the alias and create a new outlook account. I would like to know, after how much time, the cancelled alias is freed up in the system and available for creating a new email account. Please do reply. I want to rectify the mistake I made in hustle to secure my preferred email address on outlook.com.
I just love the outlook.com and like many others I would LOVE to see an easy way to turn a linked account into an alias.
Having trawled the web I cannot find an answer to my question.
I too have fallen into the trap of securing my preferred email address via a new account, only to find it cannot be linked to my existing account, and if I close the account I have to wait a year for it be freed up to use as an alias, with the chances of me re-securing the same address being remote to say the least. I also created an alias using my second choice email address, linked to my existing account.
I use my Gmail address as my Live ID and wish to get rid of my Gmail account and use an Outlook sign in for my Windows Phone and all Microsoft related activity. When attempting to rename my address, it does not give me the opportunity to use an @outlook.com address, the only options being @hotmail or @live. I am a UK user, please can someone advise why I do not have this option? It is becoming frustrating.
Please do NOT allow closed/expired accounts re-creation (by someone else).
I did not use my email much in the past. And then it expired. I opened a new one. But I forgot to update my new email with my online banking service and other services as well. Somebody opened account with my old hotmail email address/account name, and got his hands on all my correspondence, inlcuding my banking transactions alerts, my bank statements, and other private information. So, that person was able to get his hands on my online banking account by requesting password reset to be sent to his (my old) hotmail email address. And guess what? He emptied my bank account in a matter of hours! Yes, I agree that in part that was my fault because I didn't update my info with my bank etc, but if Microsoft would not allow closed account re-creation by other people other than previous owner that could have been prevented. Google's Gmail service is doing the right thing by not allowing to re-create deleted accounts if time elapsed since its vclosure is more than 48 hours. Microsoft can gain even more customers by simply following the same policy. What do you think? Feel free to express your opinion on my posting. Thank you.
I have a serious problem with the new Outlook, I renamed my address from the old @live.com address to something totally personalized (email@example.com) and I don't have this domain, now I can't access my inbox and I can't use the old address! :( enyone can help me please, and is there a way to contact Microsoft to be able to use the old address and access my account again?
So, what are you doing about the "on behalf of" text being added when using the Send as feature (which you even recommend here!)? This feature is unusable as long as that is added. Why not allow custom SMTP servers - or any other way of getting rid of this text?