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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
I have found one big problem during migration.
After changing account to outlook.com from hotmail, I don't recive e-mails from Hotmail that were automatically moved to some subfolders inside my inbox. I only recive e-mails that goe's to my inbox. Is there any resolution for that problem?
I found a small detail about the avatar in the upper right corner of the window and my Messenger contact list. It have a pale green vertical stripe in the left side of the picture. We know the pale green vertical stripe tells user the friend is online and available to chat.
However, I think this design is not friendly enough, it is clearly covered part of the user's picture, although only a small part. And I think it isn't a token of respect for the user. My suggestion is that specify a designated color (e.g. green) to the name when the user is online.
Great Job Microsoft! You are definately on the right path. I hope that Microsoft has plans to offer email hosting through the new Outlook web based email. I believe that if this was offered, along with the limited Microsoft Office applications, at a comparable rate to what Google is charing for GMail business, you could do some damage to Google's market share. As a consultant, I can tell you that I for one would switch my client's to Outlook.
Yes, I know that hosted Exchange is out there, but it is higher than GMail business, and rightfully so! Hosted Exchange is a few notches above GMail business.
Hi, was trying to set my new outlook account on my iPhone but couldn't do it... what was I doing wrong? is the provider not outlook but hotmail, would that be it? thanks!
You can add the @outlook.com account by Exchange ActiveSync on your iPhone.
Simply delete the alias that was likely created when you renamed, then rename back to your old account name. To do this, you have to go through Account, because Rename within Outlook won't give you the option of renaming to MSN.
Click your name in the upper right, then choose Account settings.
On the Account Summary page, click Update email address.
Click the "Use a different email address" radio button.
The best thing to do once you've gotten into this situation is to use "Sending/receiving email from other accounts" (click the gear menu, then Other Mail Settings). Once you've set that up, you can click the chevron next to your name to choose which account to send from. You can also get fancy with forwarding from your old account to your new one, if you want to always send/receive from one account and not worry about the chevron.
I absolutely LOVE this. Best webmail to date!
Dear Outlook Team, Please create a way to delete accounts in a more reasonable time than 270 days!
I love the new Outlook. So much so that I created a new outlook.com email address before the blog was posted stating you should not do this. Is there now a way for me to migrate my hotmail data to the newly created outlook account? Ideas?
I like how the new Outlook is. Outlook is the best.
So far, so good. I like it. (Purrrrrr.....)
But with the Outlook webmail being a "reimagined" email, don't you think it's about time to "reimagine" webmali security?? Or at least catch up with the competition! E.g. Gmail has 2FA (for more secure LOGINS) and allows passwords up to, what?, 60+ characters. Hotmail/Live/Outlook mainly has password *recovery* options (mobile phone number, trusted pc), i.e. AFTER a 'break-in' occurs. And you still have a (cough, cough) 16-character password limit?!?!?
Shouldn't preventative security measures like 2FA and (much, much) longer passwords have been included a looooonnnggg time ago? Or at least they should have been introduced in conjunction with this new Outlook webmail.
I LOVE the features Hotmail/Live/Outlook *does* have. It's what it still *doesn't* have (security-wise) -- and is too lax in providing -- that concerns me.
I agree, hope there have a way to delete account just in time.
Yes security is the big thing on any site, hope microsoft alert about this...
I've been waiting for years for this to come true (being able to change my windows live id without losing all the related stuff), and then for some reason I still can't do it. It's been already over a week since you launched outlook.com, I've been trying at least 2 or 3 times a day, but still blocked at:
"There's a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later"
I've seen in Microsoft Answers other people were having the same problem, but so far it seems it was solved for most if not all of them. Me, I'm still blocked... Any insight as of why may that have happened? To my knowledge my account has never been hacked... I do have though a Windows Phone, TechNet subscription, and what not... living in Japan...