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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
Good feedback. We're working on removing that.
Go to profile.live.com/Services
From there, you can connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts and more. After that, you should see pictures from Facebook in the email you receive from your friends, and you should also see their latest updates.
i dont like that you allways have to type @outlook.com to log in.
that was the main reason i left many years from hotmail.com to gmail.com
do you guys also dislike it ?
Has anyone else had a problem with losing contacts? Once I switched over, my address book was emptied. I even reverted to Hotmail, and the address book still didn't have any information in it. My calendar is mostly empty, except for the birthdays of people who were in my contacts. Only now when you click on the link to see the contacts it shows that there is no such contact . This is very frustrating. I've had this account for at least 7 years and never had a problem before.
Anybody else completely unable to upgrade?
My hotmail account doesn't have any "upgrade" option and signing in at outlook.com just redirects to the "old-style" hotmail site. It's really annoying, and Microsoft Hotmail chat support couldn't figure it out either.
i added the outlook conector to outlook 2007 but it bogges outlook 2007 down after the outlook conector was added anyone else having this problem
Love the new Outlook.com email interface...great job! However........just tried to use Outlook Connector 64 bit with Outlook 2010 and I can't get my new Outlook.com address configured automatically like I could with my old Hotmail account. Has this not been enabled yet?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
DO NOT RENAME YOUR EXISTING ACCOUNT!!!
Search http://answers.microsoft.com for many posts all describing the same thing. After the rename process your account doesn't exist any more.
If anybody can help US getting our accounts back, we would LOVE IT!
I don't find this article before upgradingto Outlook.com, si I have a mistake because I creating new account with a same name of my Live account.
Considering to this part of your post:
"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."
I'm have not any choie.
But, do you can give me a another deal by adding combining feature or ability to removing my created new outlook account without waiting for 270 days?
Oohh I have some mistakes on EN, Sorry :)
Please tell us after how much time an alias is freed up by the system after cancellation and available for registering new microsoft account ?
I ""upgraded"" to Outlook. I saw the new features. I t works fine for a day and now says that my account doesn't exist anymore. I cannot request new password as it's the account that is not existing anymore.
I'm not the only one......somebody help??????
Good information. But this should have been available a week ago. So, that I don't have to lose my account and all MSN connection. The first email I got from outlook.com (service introduction) seems promoting users to get a new account and then now it recommends 'not to do that'.
I upgraded to outlook.com with my old microsoft ID (yahoo.com). I also have another ID (live.hk). If I change my old ID email (yahoo.com) to new ID (live.hk), that's mean I would integrate two accounts into one. Does it make those account to use my old settings? Such as 25G skydrive space, my contacts, etc...?
I have exact same problem but have had no response on answers forum and chat support were no help!