Decades ago, Hotmail accounts were as popular as Gmail. Do you still have any and want to see if there is something important? We are going to show you how to get it back.
If you are over 30 years old and have been using the Internet for a long time, it is almost certain that at some point in your digital life, you have created a Hotmail account. Two decades ago everyone had one. They are still being used, so let’s see all the options to recover it.
Perhaps you have remembered an old Hotmail account that contained some important document. Or you have found it by chance sorting old papers, and you want to see if it contains something interesting.
The problem is that you probably do not remember the password, and the email or mobile that you associated with the account, you no longer have. We are going to see all the options to recover a Hotmail email account in 2021.
Hotmail technically no longer exists, because now Microsoft’s mail service is called Outlook, and if you enter the old Hotmail.com website, it redirects you to Outlook.
But Hotmail accounts continue to work perfectly and Microsoft continues to allow Hotmail accounts to be created from Outlook itself, so the service is fully operational.
If you have an old Hotmail account but you don’t remember the password, let’s see how you can access it.
How to recover an old HotMail account
Why was Hotmail so popular?
Few people still use Hotmail today, but a couple of decades ago it was the most widely used email service. Hotmail was the true pioneer of webmail.
It was created by two Apple workers named Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith, in 1995. At that time, mail services were offered by operators and Internet providers, and you had to use an application on your computer or mobile to read the mail.
Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith created the first webmail, which worked directly in the Internet browser, without the need for any program.
They presented it on July 4, 1996, United States Independence Day, as a symbol of freedom, because it freed you from the use of applications.
The original name was HoTMaiL, and it was chosen in homage to the HTML language used to create web pages, because it was the first web mail.
As you can imagine, the idea was a huge success. Being able to view your email on a web page, on any computer or mobile, without using an application, was very convenient and fast.
In just one week it reached a million users, and the number multiplied in the following months. The big Internet companies saw the business there, so they started buying Hotmail. Just a year after its inception, in 1997, Microsoft bought Hotmail for $ 400 million at the time.
In 1999, it already had 25 million users, and the number increased to more than 100 million. But on April 1, 2004, Google introduced Gmail, with a revolutionary storage space: 1 GB, compared to the 2 MB offered by Hotmail.
As Google forced to use Gmail to access its services, and Android phones, Hotmail was losing popularity. In 2013 Microsoft replaced it with Outlook, but as we have mentioned you can still create a Hotmail account, if you want.
When you go to create an Outlook account, clicking on the arrow lets you choose Hotmail:
Yes, it is intentionally hidden, so most users create an Outlook account by default.
How many years have you used your account?
As we have seen, Hotmail accounts have been active for 25 years. Nothing prevents you from recovering a very old one… unless you have not used it for many years.
Microsoft, and most Internet services, delete inactive accounts after a few years, for privacy reasons.
So it is possible that if you have an account that you have not used for a long time, when you go to recover it, it will tell you that it does not exist. If this is the case, nothing can be done: the account has been deleted, and it is impossible to recover it.
Let’s start with the easiest thing: recover your Hotmail account if you included a recovery method, such as another email address, or your mobile number.
First of all, enter this Microsoft email recovery page, it works the same from your mobile or computer.
It will ask you to enter the email address, or the mobile where you used that email, or your Skype name:
We enter the email, and click on Next.
Then it will show us the recovery email or mobile number that was associated with our Hotmail account, if we entered one. If you didn’t add it, now you can see why it was a good idea to do so…
In this example account we have another email associated:
Notice that there is a link called I do not have any of these tests. We will come back to it later.
At the moment, as we have an email or a recovery mobile, we select it and click Next.
Microsoft will ask us to fill in the asterisks, to show that we know that email address or that mobile. Afterwards, he will send us a code through a mobile SMS, or an email, depending on the recovery method we choose:
We put this code on the web, and it will let us enter a new password for our Hotmail account:
!! Congratulations!! You’ve already got it back!
I don’t have the recovery email or mobile
The previous example is the simplest, because it is the ideal situation: you had an email or mobile phone associated with your old Hotmail account. That is why it is a good idea to always associate one.
But it may happen that at the time you did not associate it, or that the email or mobile number is also old, and you no longer have them.
In that case, when entering the Microsoft email recovery page and entering the Hotmail email, we must check the option I do not have any of these tests:
Microsoft will ask you for a new recovery email address, to send you a code. It will also ask you to overcome one of those nightmare CAPTCHAs that we thought were forgotten forever, where you must type the distorted letters, to show that you are human:
Now comes the crucial step. A form will appear, where you must fill in as much personal data as possible that you used in your old Hotmail account:
That is, if when creating the Hotmail account you entered your name, date of birth, province, etc., you must put it here.
Microsoft is trying to find out if you are the owner of the account or someone who wants to steal it , so enter as much information as you can.
It is also very important that you use the same computer or mobile and from the same place (IP address or location) where you used Hotmail.
Depending on the data you enter and those that match what Microsoft has, it will allow you to enter a new password and continue using Hotmail, or it will tell you that they cannot know if you are the owner, and you will not be able to access the account.
Last chance: contact Microsoft
If the previous two steps were not enough, you still have a third option: contact Microsoft Technical Service.
To do this, access this Microsoft Technical Service website and contact them via chat, app, email, or phone:
You will get personalized attention and as they will use more specific questions, you may be able to prove that you are the owner of the account, and they will return it to you. Good luck!
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