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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
Since the chg I am unable to login to two of my hotmail accounts. I believe they have been hacked but it may have something to do with the upgrade. I have tried numerous times to recover my accounts to no avail. These accts. have important contact and personal information that I need access to. I have completed the recovery process and was told to create another account that the information I provided was not enough to give me my password. Not sure what more I can give to prove it's my account and not some no good persons that has nothing else to do! Please help!
Every time that microsoft creates something new always F*** something old. 3 days ago I change to outlook.com and I am without messenger contacts for 3 days. IF YOU ARE TRYING TO INNOVATE FIRST PLEASE THINK TWICE BECAUSE THE USERS DON'T HAVE TO SUFFER WITH YOUR ******
HAS ALLWAYS MICROSOFT DON'T KNOW HOW TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEMS THAT CREATES ITS A SHAME
I get an error when I want to rename my hotmail account to outlook. This is the error:
There's a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later.
Outlook.com supports sending and receiving emails from multiple accounts - as well as defining a default account to use when sending emails. All good so far, now when you send an email from Outlook.com on a Windows phone like the Nokia Lumia 900, the email is sent using one of the other accounts added and not the default email used in the settings of Outlook.com. Now Nokia support say it's a problem with Outlook.com and nothing they can do so now I need to know how this can be fixed, please.
I have changed over from GMail where I had no problems until now. I changed as to facilitate my accounts to one with App Hub etc (I am a developer) now I have a problem...... with this as I don't want random emails to be used - why is this happening??
TBH I am starting to regret having changed over :(
I realized after creating a new Outlook account that I could just rename my hotmail account instead. Unfortunately if I decide to disable my Outlook account to use that name as my upgrade name I have to wait 270 days before doing so. Is there a more elegant way of doing this? (ie. faster)
A suggested improvement in Office.com
When composing an email -- if one hits the LINK icom, there is no easy way to test the entered link. In both gmail and comcast there is a test button to test the link entered. I would love to see a test button added when one enters a link.
Same problem here. Please, please, provide a solution for us.
First, I would like to thank you very much for actually responding to us regarding this issue. The silence from Microsoft has been infuriating. However, there are a ton of people that have this issue. While I understand that there is no solution currently, is Microsoft working on a solution?
May be you cannot sign in because your old email has become an alias of your new one (of username@Outlook.com). You cannot sign in using an alias. Try to send email message to that old email address to see if you still can receive a message. If yes then it is an alias now.
Chris, your answer is a poor answer. Given the number of people who are suffering from this problem, obviously Microsoft did a poor job in explaining the options for the new Outlook email when many users originally signed up.
The problem I encountered is that I upgraded my Hotmail to Outlook, but it kept my original Hotmail address. I didn't know how to change my address from a Hotmail address to an Outlook address.
Then I read Gizmodo where it seemed to suggest that you could reserve your name by registering at Outlook dot com. See this article:
Go to the bottom where the article states:
>>And it's available to you starting today. You might actually get your real name.
>> It takes a few minutes to set up an email account, and if you let yourself appreciate the work that's been both powerfully hammered and gently chiseled into this new beautiful, life-helping mail, you might have something else on your screen that lasts eight years.
The link you see in the article goes to Outlook dot com.
The steps I followed are as follows:
a. Converted Hotmail to Outlook.
b. Because I still had a Hotmail name, I created a new Outlook Account with my desired name; fearful that if I didn't move fast, someone else would grab my desired name.
c. I went back to my original Hotmail account and reverted it back to Hotmail again.
In step 2, I didn't know how to convert my hotmail address to an Outlook address.
So now I have two accounts, as do most of my friends. We would like to merge our accounts. We want to keep our Outlook names, to keep our large SkyDrives from Hotmail, to have our prior Hotmail addresses as aliases to our Outlook accounts.
I hope Microsoft provides a solution where users can combine accounts into one account.
Microsoft's guidelines here are are week too late.
Gmail is offering me $25 to come back to them. :-))
Just a couple other quick comments.
First, I hope Microsoft provides a way to merge accounts with the user being given the choice as to which name is the "proper" name and which is the "alias" name. I don't like the idea of deleting name and then trying to reclaim. What happens if someone else takes your name while you were rearranging your accounts?
Second, here is another thread where many, many users are wanting a merge feature:
Thank you for your consideration.
I need get my email@example.com back, because my windows phone can't work normally!!
I don't want to lose all my date to reset my phone with new account!
Is there way to get back?
I swapped back to hotmail as I'm really not keen on this new look at all.
As far as outlook.com the font is too large, general UI takes up too much space partially due to the font but also lots of space that is unused (i guess you're going for a clean look but it's terrible imho)
I instantly missed being able to change the look via themes (prefer darker look) and no changing the top bars colour doesn't count.
And most importantly when I'm reading a mail and scroll down why does the folders area scroll?