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

Delete your Microsoft Hotmail Windows Live account

Companies spend a lot of cash to acquire and retain customers. It should come as no surprise then when you find yourself in a labyrinth of links and dead ends when you go looking for how to delete your account. When it comes to Microsoft Accounts, the process is the same for their Hotmail, Windows Live and Outlook.com accounts. Honestly, as of right now, they all sit on the same platform and other than the names, are pretty much the same service. They are all referred to as “Microsoft Accounts” and although it’s not simple, if you follow the guide below, we can help you through the process of deleting your Hotmail and other consumer Microsoft accounts.

Important information about deleting your Windows Live, Hotmail or Outlook account.

  • Visit the Microsoft Billing service prior to closing or deleting your Microsoft Account (Hotmail, Windows Live, and Outlook.com accounts). If a live subscription is active, it will block you from permanently closing your account. 
  • Hotmail, Windows Live and Outlook.com 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 just to log right in, although all of the data was wiped.)

Step 1

Sign into your Hotmail, Windows Live or Outlook.com.  This will redirect you to the new Outlook.com interface. Now that you’re logged in, go to https://account.microsoft.com/ to manage your account settings. 

Step 2

From the Microsoft Account page, Click Security.

microsoft-account-security

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

more-security-options

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

microsoft-close-account-link

Step 3

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

microsoft-close-confirmation

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

Having second thoughts?

If you want your account back, all you have to do is log in, 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.

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

  1. calia June 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    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 June 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    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 July 18, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

      “3. Wait 1 year.” LOL

  3. andrea June 10, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    the link is not valid anymore

  4. Pseudonomoys July 12, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    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 July 12, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      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 November 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

      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 March 24, 2012 at 6:44 am #

    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 April 13, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    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 April 15, 2012 at 5:59 am #

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

  8. Jason April 20, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    Austin,

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

    Thanks for the help!!

  9. Helpful Tip June 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    I simply changed my Windows Id to DeleteMe@live/hotmail.com 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/hotmail.com.

  10. MH July 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    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 July 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

      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 July 6, 2012 at 6:58 am #

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

    • Steve Krause July 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

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

  12. Stacey Frith-Smith July 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

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

  13. Ryan McCarthy July 18, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    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 September 10, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    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 September 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      HI Emily!

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

      Thanks again for the feedback.

  15. JEK September 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

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

  16. 京子3000 November 18, 2012 at 9:46 am #

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

  17. najia January 7, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    delet my account permanently

    • Steve Krause January 7, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      Hello.

      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 March 8, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    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 June 18, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Hi,

    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.

    Thanks,

    Sam.

  20. loella July 28, 2013 at 1:00 am #

    link not working 🙁

  21. n July 28, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    For those of you trying, NEW LINK:

    https://bay176.mail.live.com/mail/CloseAccountConfirmation.aspx

    • Steve Krause July 28, 2013 at 9:04 am #

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

  22. Lance August 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    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?

  23. Kevin October 18, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    Hi trying to delete kev_john_73@hotmail.com how can I did it for free

  24. helen February 21, 2015 at 1:44 am #

    Hi,

    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?

  25. Thelma Johnson September 27, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    I need this account delete permantely

  26. Michael Milici January 15, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

    Trying to close account

  27. Michael Milici January 15, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

    I want to close hotmail account

  28. kenneth e ladd January 26, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

    I don’t want hotmail anymore

  29. Sara April 28, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

    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.

  30. Randall Milstead December 8, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

    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 December 8, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

      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.

      -S
      groovyPost

  31. joyce bilodeau March 21, 2017 at 10:13 am #

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

  32. Kim March 27, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    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 ?

  33. Ayla April 18, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    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!

  34. OKCarl April 21, 2017 at 6:45 am #

    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?

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