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Hotmail Email (Outlook.com Email): Your Definitive Guide

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Introduction

I suppose the first question on your mind is, “what happened to Hotmail email?” This is because when you open Hotmail.com, you are re-directed to Outlook.com. Why?

So What Happened to Hotmail Email and Your @Hotmail.com Email?

In 1997 Microsoft acquired Hotmail email. Since then it has undergone several rebranding. Finally, in 2013 Hotmail became Outlook.com email.

If you are like me, you probably abandoned your Hotmail.com email. If you did, it is all well and good. However, you may not be able to login using your old email anymore. When I tried login into with my old Hotmail.com email, I received the error message below:

But do not panic. You can still create a free Hotmail email (well, not exactly Hotmail but now outlook.com email!). I will show you how to create a free new free email. To see how, read on.

Important Note
Because Hotmail Email is now Outlook.com email, through out this guide I will use both terms interchangeably. However, note that the new name of this free email service from Microsoft is Outlook.com email.

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In this hands-on guide, you will learn how to:

  • Create a Hotmail Email Account (Outlook.com email)
  • Access Your Outlook email (Hotmail email)
  • Change Your Email Address
  • Block an Email Address on Hotmail Email
  • Access Your Hotmail Email – Send, Read, Reply and Forward Emails
  • Configure Hotmail Email Folder Filter Settings (Using Rules)
  • Configure Hotmail Email Signature and Automatic Replies
  • Upgrade Hotmail Email to Office 365 Premium
  • Totally Delete (Close) Your Hotmail (Outlook.com) Email Account

How to Create a Hotmail Email Account (@Outlook.com Email)

Let me kick off this guide by showing you how to create an Hotmail Email (outlook.com email) account.

  • On your browser, open Hotmail.com (opens in a new window). You will be redirected to Outlook.live.com/Owa. You could also go straight to Outlook.live.com/Owa.
hotmail email - create new outlook.com email
  • Click Create free account. You will be presented with a form to chose an account. Enter one as shown in the highlighted box. I used “ItechGuides” – my new email address will be ItechGuides@Outlook.com! Click Next.

  • Next, enter a password. Decide whether you wish to receive tips from Microsoft. Then Check or Uncheck “I will like Information, tips and offers about Microsoft products and services”. Finally, to continue click Next.
hotmail email - create new outlook.com email account
  • Enter your First and Last name as shown below. Then click Next.
  • Enter your country and Date of Birth (Month, Date, Year). Your are almost done creating your new outlook.com email. Click Next continue.
Hotmail Email (Now Outlook Email)
  • If you are presented with a challenge as shown below, enter the letters presented. Then click Next.
Hotmail Email (Now Outlook Email)
  • To continue with your Hotmail email (outlook.com email) account creation, enter a phone number to help you recover your account. This is required if you ever forget your password. Enter the phone number and click Send Code. Microsoft will send a 4-digit code (via sms) to the phone number you provided.

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  • Enter the code in the space provided. Finally, click Next to create your outlook.com email address!

Once you receive a confirmation that your email has been created, you have a brand new Hotmail (outlook) email!

How to Access Your Hotmail Email (Outlook.com Email)

Now that you have a new outlook.com email, it is time to access it. When you created your new account, you should have been redirected to your inbox. If you were not or for subsequent login, follow the steps below:

  • Click Sign in (top right corner or middle of page). On the sign in page presented, sign in with your new email address and password.

  • You are now logged in to your new email.

How to Change Your Email Address

One of the top questions people ask is “how do I change my Hotmail email address?” Hopefully, by now you know that this question should now be “how do I change my outlook.com email address?”

Changing your email address is a three-part process. One, add an alias to your existing email. Two, make your new alias your primary login. Finally, delete the old alias.

Important Tip
An alias is an additional account you add to your existing account. Your aliases share a single password, and you can send and receive mail with each.

Add an Alias to your Existing Account

To add an alias to your existing Hotmail email, follow the steps below:

  • Login to your existing Outlook.com email
  • Open the Add an alias link. A page similar to the image below opens. Enter the new mail address you and click Add alias.
  • A page with all existing aliases will load.

Make the New Alias Your Primary Login

Next step is to make your your new alias your primary email.

Here is how:

  • Still on the last page that loaded after you added the alias (see last image), click Make primary. See image below.
  • You will be prompted to confirm the change. Click Yes.
Hotmail Email (Now Outlook.com Email) - change primary email to alias
  • You may be prompted to re-login. Enter your Outlook.com password and click Sign in.
Hotmail Email (Now Outlook.com Email) - change primary email to alias
  • If for any reason the new email account hasn’t been made primary, click Make primary again. Then respond Yes to the confirmation.
  • The primary email for you Hotmail email have changed!

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Optionally Delete the Old Email Alias or Address

The final step is to delete the old email alias. This is an optional step. You do not need to. All you need to do is ask people use the new mail address.

Important Tip
If you do not delete the old alias, you will still be receiving emails sent to that address.

If you still wish to delete the old email alias (address), use the steps below:

  • Beside the alias you wish to delete, click Remove.
Important Tip
To be sure you are deleting the right email, note that it should have Make primary beside it.
  • Confirm old alias email removal. You now have the new email alias as your only email address. See the second image below.
Important Note
Note that from this point you will NOT be able to login to your Hotmail email with the old account.

Block an Email Address on Hotmail Email

The next important task in this guide is to show you how to block an email you do not wish to receive emails from.

Here are the steps:

  • Log on to your Outlook.com email account (Hotmail Email account)
  • On the top right corner of the page, click the symbol that looks like gear (Settings). Then click View all Outlook settings.
Hotmail Email (Now Outlook.com Email) - Block an Email Address on Hotmail Email
  • On the Settings page, click Junk email. Then beneath the Block senders and domain, click Add.
Hotmail Email (Now Outlook.com Email) - junk email settings
  • When you click Add, a text box appears. Enter the email address you wish to block then press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  • The email is now in your Blocked senders and domains list. To save your changes, click Save. This is important as if you do not click Save, your changes will be lost.
Important Tip
If you wish to edit the blocked email, click the pencil beside it (highlighted in the previous image)

Note that there are other ways you can add an email to the blocked senders list. Read How to Block Someone on Hotmail for more.

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Access Your Hotmail Email – Send, Read, Reply and Forward Emails

I decide to include this because some readers who are not used to the new Outlook.com interface may benefit from it.

  • Login to your Hotmail email. To read (preview) your email, click Inbox (left pane), labelled 1 below. Then click on the message you wish to read (2). The details will show in the box labelled 3.

The next tasks you may wish to perform may be to Reply the email. You may also wish to Reply All or even Forward the email to someone else. To complete these tasks, see the part of the image labeled 4 above.

  • To Reply the email to only the sender, click the first arrow on box 4 (counting from left to right). However, if you wish to Reply All copied in the email, click the second arrow (counting from left to right).
  • Finally, to forward the email to another person, click the third arrow pointing forward.
  • If you wish to delete the email, with the email highlighted, click Delete (top of page).

How to Send a New email from Hotmail Email

Before I move on to the next section, let me show you how to send a new email.

  • Still logged on to your Hotmail email (Outlook.com email), on the top left corner of the page, click New Message.
  • The “send new email” form will load as shown below. See the notes below the image for details.

Below, I have explained how to use each part of the new email form (labelled 1 – 7)

  • Enter the recipient’s email in the To field – labelled 1
  • If you wish to copy other people (emails), click Cc and enter the emails (separated by commas “,”) in the CC field – labelled 2
  • Alternatively, sometimes you may wish to “Blind copy” some other people. To do this, click Bcc. This will load the Bcc field. Enter the email addresses you wish to “Blind copy” (separated by commas “,”) – labelled 3.
Important Tip
To “Blind copy” people means that their emails will NOT be visible to other recipient’s.
  • Next, enter a subject for your new Hotmail email message – labelled 4.
  • Then the actual message you wish to send should be typed in the part labelled 5.
  • Sometimes you may wish to add attachment to your email. Click the attach button – labelled 6.
  • Finally, to send your new message, click Send – labelled 7.

Configure Hotmail Email Folder Filter Settings (Using Rules)

Sometimes you may want specific emails sent to you to automatically show up in designated folders. To do this you need to configure Hotmail email filter using rules.

To show you how this works, you need to create a folder. Let’s call the folder “Dad”. You will then create a rule that will drop all emails from your Dad into the Dad’s folder.

How to Create a Hotmail Email Folder

  • To begin, on the Folders category, scroll down until you can find New Folder.
  • Click New folder, then give the folder a name and press the Enter key on your keyboard.

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Create a Rule to Drop Emails in a Specified Folder

  • Log on to your Outlook.com email account (Hotmail Email account)
  • On the top right corner of the page, click the symbol that looks like gear (Settings). Then click View all Outlook settings
Hotmail Email (Now Outlook.com Email) - create rule on Outlook.com email
  • On the Settings page, click the Rules tab. Then click Add new rule.
Hotmail Email (Now Outlook.com Email)
  • On the new rules settings, configure as shown below. Details beneath the image.

On the filed labelled 1, enter a name for the rule. Then on the Add a condition drop-down, select From. Enter the email on filed 3 (in this instance your Dad’s email!).

Next, on the Add an action drop-down (labelled 4), select Move to. Then on the drop-down labelled 5, select the folder name you created earlier.

The checkbox labelled 6 determines whether to enable or disable the rule. Then the checkbox labelled 7 determines whether to run the rule immediately after creating it.

Finally, you need to save the new rule by clicking Save (labelled 8). The new rule becomes available and enabled – see image below.

Hotmail Email (Now Outlook.com Email)

After creating and enabling the new rule, any email from that address will go straight to the specified folder.

Important Tip
You can create other types of rules by selecting a different option in the Add a condition drop-down (field labelled 2).

Configure Hotmail Email Signature and Automatic Replies

One other important Hotmail email task is to create a signature and manage automatic replies. These section will cover these.

Important Tip
An email signature allows you to include information like your name, email, phone number in all emails you send, reply or forward.

Configure Hotmail Email (Outlook.com Email) Signature

To configure signature in Outlook.com email, follow the steps below:

  • Log on to your Outlook.com email account (Hotmail Email account)
  • On the top right corner of the page, click the symbol that looks like gear (Settings). Then click View all Outlook settings.
  • On the Settings page, click Compose and reply tab. Then configure as shown in the image below. Details beneath the image.
Hotmail Email (Now Outlook.com Email) - configure hotmail email signature

Start by entering your details as shown in the area labelled 1. Then decide whether you want your email signature to be added to new messages and forward and reply messages as well. This is controlled by the check boxes in label 2 and 3 respectively.

Finally, click Save (top right of page) – labelled 4.

Configure Hotmail Email (Outlook.com Email) Automatic Replies

Automatic replies allow you to send automatic email replies to people that send you emails. This is very useful if you are going on holiday.

Here is how you configure automatic replies in Hotmail email.

  • Still on the Settings page of outlook, click Automatic replies tab. Then configure as shown in the image below. Details are explained beneath the image.
hotmail email (outlook.com email) - configure automatic replies.

First, flip the switch beside Automatic replies on – labelled 1. Then, you may wish to send auto replies within a certain date range (recommended). To do this, check the box beside Send replies only during a time period – labelled 2.

Next, determine whether you wish to automatically decline new meeting invitations (label 5). You may also wish to automatically decline and cancel your meetings during the period – label 6.

Finally, enter the details of the auto reply email in the box labelled 7. Remember to save your changes (label 8). Your automatic reply will trigger at the specified date and time. It will then stop at the end of the period.

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Upgrade Hotmail Email to Office 365 Premium

The new Hotmail email gives you the option to upgrade to Office 365. To read the benefits offered by Office 365 click Outlook 365: Subscription, Installation and Set Up.

If you wish to upgrade to Office 365, from your Outlook.com email, scroll down towards the bottom left. Then click Upgrade to Office 365 with premium Outlook features. On the page that opens, select your upgrade options.

Totally Delete (Close) Your Hotmail (Outlook.com) Email Account

If you wish to close your Outlook.com account, click Close your Outlook.com account and follow the instructions.

To learn what happens when you close your Hotmail email account, read How to close your Microsoft account.

Conclusion

That is it – a comprehensive Hotmail email guide! I hope it has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or comments, please use the “Leave a Reply” form at the end of the guide. You may also share your experience with Hotmail email to help other users.

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Additional Resources and References

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