How to Permanently Delete Your Hotmail, Windows Live and Outlook Account


Closing your Microsoft account is simple if you know where to look. Here’s how to delete your Hotmail, and Windows Live Microsoft accounts.

If you’re reading this article, you’re more than likely trying to delete your Hotmail, Outlook, Live, or some other Microsoft account. Good news, you’ve come to the right place! This how-to tutorial explains the simple steps for permanently deleting all branded Microsoft accounts.

Important information about deleting your Hotmail, Outlook, and Windows Live Microsoft accounts

  • Visit the Microsoft Billing service before closing or deleting your Microsoft Account (Hotmail, Windows Live, and accounts). If a live subscription is active, it will block you from permanently closing your account.
  • Hotmail, Windows Live, and accounts are not considered “Microsoft Accounts.” You can’t close just the Hotmail account without closing the entire Windows Live, aka Microsoft Account.
  • Remember to spend any Skype credits before you blow away your account. Any credits will be lost once you close your account.
  • Check your Microsoft and Xbox account balances using this link. You can also remove any credit cards from your account on this page as well.
  • It takes 60 days to close the email account after putting in the request.  This is actually an upgrade now. It used to be over 200 days.
  • Once you close an account, it should stop accepting new email messages.
  • Interestingly, even after 365 days of inactivity, your Windows Live ID and password will persist on the server unless someone attempts to register a new account using your exact Live ID.  (This worked for me with an account I haven’t used in over 3 years.  I was able to log right in, although all of the data was wiped.)

Step 1

Sign in to your Hotmail, Windows Live, or  This will redirect you to the new interface. Now that you’re logged in go to to manage your account settings.

Step 2

From the Microsoft Account page, Click Security.


At the bottom of the new page, Click More Security Options.


Scroll down to the bottom of the account details page and click the Close my account link.


Step 3

At this final step, Microsoft will inform you about all the things you must first do before closing your account.


Step 4

Even after closing all subscriptions on my account, Microsoft still didn’t let me close a few of my test accounts. So, if the above steps didn’t work for you, which is likely, you’ll need to use the super-hidden deletion link: Click here to go directly to the account closure confirmation page.

Microsoft will ask you to verify your identity and notify you of what we already know; it will take 60 days to close the account permanently. Geez, and I thought Facebook’s 2-week policy was bad!

Having second thoughts?

All you have to do is login if you want your account back, and the whole deletion process is canceled.

About that: Before writing this, I let an account sit closed for two weeks. Now, I just reactivated it, and all of my email messages and contacts are sitting right where I left them.  Perhaps by a “few days,” Hotmail means a “few months.”  Maybe it doesn’t even delete your messages until the 60 days are up? I don’t know, and I sure don’t want to cancel it halfway through to find out, but it is a possibility.



  1. calia

    haha, love the sad faces. I didn’t know it was such a pain to delete a hotmail account. It was way easier than this when I deleted one of my Gmail accounts. -The process was also instant, no 270 day wait period.

  2. ez-r

    The 270 day wait period is ridiculous. And no, they don’t delete your emails or contacts until the entire time period has elapsed.

    Here is the better way to delete your live/hotmail account.

    1. Delete all of your emails, contacts, personal information, pictures. Everything! Delete it all. Don’t leave any of it on the live website.
    2. Change the password to something you’ll never remember, so that you can’t login by accident or otherwise.
    3. Wait 1 year.
    4. Create a new account using the same email address, this will permanently ensure that all of the data from your old account is scrubbed from the hotmail servers.

    That is all.

    • Andre

      “3. Wait 1 year.” LOL

  3. andrea

    the link is not valid anymore

  4. Pseudonomoys

    The reason for the 270 days is that the next user won’t get email addressed for you and you can’t access old web accounts. Phone numbers in Australia have a 180 day (6 month) dormancy period as well so that just say the previous owner was a hot girl you won’t get love sick puppies continually emailling you. ;)

    • MrGroove

      Very good point. People should think about this before they delete an email account. Probably deserves a full write-up on this very topic. Thanks.

    • jonas

      I deleted my account more than 540 days ago with all the necessary steps just like above AND believe it or not
      I tried it out:

      I registered again with the same emailadress as before and it was not possible!!! So I guess Windows keeps all your information for ALWAYS!! that is reallity after more 540 days!

  5. Mandy

    Link worked great for the LIVE account I wanted to close, but I get the same hogwash warning with respect to the HOTMAIL account I want to delete. Any tips?

  6. Bill

    Thanks so much for providing that link. I was so tired of my account getting hacked. I had deleted all my contacts and they still got spam from me every so often. I’m just hoping that by logging in to xbox live it doesn’t reactivate the service.. Thanks again!

  7. Maiya

    Thankyou! i’ve been trying to work out how to close it for ages! :L

  8. Jason


    You, Sir are AWESOME!! That link was golden.

    Thanks for the help!!

  9. Helpful Tip

    I simply changed my Windows Id to DeleteMe@live/ and that got rid of my old Live ID instantly.

    Now of course it is transferred to the new id, but if you delete all the information on the account prior to changing your ID, your golden. Now just leave the new id alone forever, and try logging in with the old one. It will not exist anymore.

    This helps you get rid of your windows id with your actual name in it like, @live/

  10. MH

    I’ve been trying to delete my account for weeks and I couldn’t because of an error message. The link in Step 4 worked perfectly, Thank you so much! i just wish they really just delete it like gmail does instantly.

    • Steve Krause

      Yeah I agree. I think they keep it around so if someone hacked your account and delete it, it will stick around for awhile. That said, they should have a better confirmation process to instantly delete it using a mobile txt MSG perhaps….

      That said, welcome to my blog groovypost! Hope to see you around the site!

  11. Katie

    When I tried to close it on my own, it said ‘temporary proplem blah blah blah’ but the link worked thanks so much! :D

    • Steve Krause

      You are very welcome! Glad it worked and welcome to groovyPost!

  12. Stacey Frith-Smith

    Austin: tried your link tonight and got the “blah blah” temporary problem message. Help?

  13. Ryan McCarthy

    OK, here is my issue.
    Hotmail claims I have one or more paid accounts. This stems from my previous ISP (Verizon), where you could link the two accounts and receive MSN Premium for free. I closed the account I had with my Verizon account and forgot about the linked accounts.
    On top of this the link provided by Hotmail is not valid, because Verizon no longer offers the option of linking accounts.
    I contacted MSN and the rep I spoke with said she closed MSN Premium account and I could close my Hotmail account 30 days later. A little over 30 days later I tried closing the account and I discovered that I was still linked with my old Verizon account. So I called MSN and was told it would take 90 days and not 30 days. It has been about 9 months and the link still appears. I find this annoying and can’t seem to find a way out.
    Any thoughts?

  14. Emily

    Wanted to thank you for this information. I’ve been trying to close it for a while. Just followed your instructions using the “super hidden deletion” link and it worked great. Thank you for taking the time to post this!

    • Steve Krause

      HI Emily!

      You bet. It’s my pleasure. I’m glad it all helped you out!

      Thanks again for the feedback.

  15. JEK

    why the hidden link doesn’t work for me? It says the option is not available for my account

  16. 京子3000

    That’s just ridiculous! I mean why would I want to wait 270 days!? -_-

  17. najia

    delet my account permanently

    • Steve Krause


      Just an FYI that I cannot delete your Facebook account. You need to follow the steps of my article in order to do that yourself.

  18. Tim

    Hi Steve,

    your article is great.

    Unfortunately Microsoft has deactivated the functionality of the link that you provided in step 4. If you click on Close Account you’ll get an error message (temporary problems, pls try again). I have given up.

    Not allowing customers to get out of a service is torture. I was never a friend of MS-bashing, but this is the end of my loyalty.

    Any idea what I can do? Even posting this issue on the MS community website is not possible – guess they are swamped with this..

    Cheers, Tim

  19. Sam


    I just used that link and it worked just fine. Said ‘account has been deactivated’.

    This was driving me mad going in bloody circles just to get out of a service that had nothing ‘linked to it’whatsoever. Another -1 to Microsoft in my opinion. That is after Windows 8 (-1), Windows phones (-1), XBOX One (-1)…

    They’re turning into a real pain in the arse. Thanks for sharing that link, bloody Microsneaks.



  20. loella

    link not working :(

    • Steve Krause

      Thank you for the new link. Will need to update the article.

  21. Lance

    I try to close my hotmail account but it takes me to a server error message and to try back later…been trying to close it for two weeks becuase it is sending weird messages and I am starting to look unprofessional.

    Called support and they told me there was nothing that anyone could do and I would have to jump through the hoops on their website.

    Any ideas how I can get this done?

  22. Kevin

    Hi trying to delete how can I did it for free

  23. helen


    I’ve been trying to delete my live account, but when I follow the link it just demands my phone number, which I obviously don’t want to connect to an account that I want to close.
    When go through all of the above steps the option to delete my account just isn’t there….

    Anyone have an idea?

  24. Thelma Johnson

    I need this account delete permantely

  25. Michael Milici

    Trying to close account

  26. Michael Milici

    I want to close hotmail account

  27. kenneth e ladd

    I don’t want hotmail anymore

  28. Sara

    I cannot close my email account as there is no ‘more option’ button. How do I close my account.? Even after updated with anti virus software I notice that my account is being hacked as most of the time i am unable to use the same password. It doesn’t open up and I have to keep changing. I get some anonymous emails using my friends names and email ID’s mostly from USA. and from Australia.

  29. Randall Milstead

    Back In the day I created a E-Male that was
    I was wondering if you could Delete that E-Mail account please I no longer want my live email. Thank you

    • Steve Krause

      Hi Randall,

      I removed your email address from the comment. We can’t delete your account for you. Sorry friend. You will need to follow the steps in the article to get it deleted.


  30. joyce bilodeau

    im sorry I ever signed up for Hotmail! just cant get rid of it !

  31. Kim

    My account has been hacked and my password changed i cant even log on or get any help through contact us to help me .. how can I stop this ?

  32. Ayla

    What a hassle! Couldn’t find the link on the site anywhere so i ended up just following the link you provided in step 4 and thankfully it worked! I had changed my email address years and years ago and never managed to shut down my old one; until now that is! Also the wait period has changed to 60 days instead of 270 days!

  33. OKCarl

    I work on a desktop computer running Windows 10 Pro with msn email all day long. I visit with my laptop computer (same configuration) once or twice a month. Not surprising, my laptop always has a gigantic back up of email I have already read and deleted off my desktop. Is there a remedy? How do I delete read emails off my desktop and laptop at one and the same time?

  34. Sarah

    I was hoping someone could give me an answer as I have searched the Web for days and cannot find what I am looking for.

    I have an old email account ( that I was trying to close out and deactivate but could not remember the password, and then the security question answer is apparently not right either and when I submit the form with all of the information about myself when I signed up for it, it send me back an email (to my other email account) that I have not provided enough information and to try again. I have done this so many times that now it will not let me even try.

    My question is, even with me trying to (and failing) to sign in and get into the account, will hotmail still go through the process of deactivating my account after the purposed amount of time? Or will that happen only if I stop trying to access the account. But remember.. I am failing miserably at signing in at all!!!

  35. mike

    hi guys,

    could you please help me with this issue please?

    I have closed my Hotmail account which was linked to my Skype account.

    Now i have forgotten the Skype password and cant log in, and obviously can not sent the password hint to my email address as I had deleted it previously..
    what are my options?

  36. Andrew

    I have given up trying to delete a hotmail account.
    To make any changes at all you need to provide another email to get a code, or a phone number.
    If those numbers or emails are cancelled already, then there is nothing you can do.
    I just set up filters to delete all mail until 2050 and logged out, said a fond farewell and that was it…
    Now I need to remember not to log in again for a year, or is it 5 years., Anyway….
    I never changed my password before for the same reason, which seems to be counterproductive to getting people to be more secure…

  37. Melissa

    I just recently closed my outlook account. Can someone still read an email sent from the closed account?

    • Steve Krause

      Hi Melissa,

      When you send someone an email, that email is now in their inbox and their property (kinda). You cannot delete those emails. So, closing an email account will not delete email in other peoples email inboxes.

      I hope this answers your question.


  38. Sophia Pattrick

    I have a query that if i deleted my Outlook account once there is any chance that I can retrieve the account back if I want.

    • Steve Krause

      If you fully delete the account Sophia per the directions in the article, after the 60 day period there is no way to get the account back.

  39. JNG

    My story is different from the others above. I was attempting to add email accounts to Outlook 2016, but the Microsoft login (live, outlook) kept popping up. When I closed the dialog box to login, it closed the add email address account information dialog box. I followed your method above to remove the address, but the dialog box for the Microsoft login would pop up again!!##$$&&!! BTW, if you use your fingerprint login, does it use the live/ password to login delaying the 60 day account closure?

  40. Phoebe Scarborough

    Thank you sooo much! I’ve been trying to close this account for years And thank you for the link to the account closure page, because the other option to close your account from the security page has been removed. Woohoo!

  41. Sallyjune

    What if you have 2 Hotmail accounts and only want to close one?

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