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