Switching your Hotmail or Live to Outlook.com? Here’s what you need to know for Windows Phone.

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There's a risk to changing your LiveID on Windows Phone

With today’s announcement of Outlook.com many of you have noticed that if you were logged into Hotmail with your old account and navigated to Outlook.com you were automatically logged in to the new “preview” of Microsoft’s new email service.

What’s more, you actually have the option—even on an old Hotmail address—to change it to @outlook.com. But there is a catch for Windows Phone users…

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First off, Microsoft has done a wonderful job with the new Outlook.com system—it is simply gorgeous and it has received near universal praise from users so far. What’s more, Hotmail users can transfer their account to @outlook.com or @live.com, which is a massive improvement from the previous system.

A few months ago, we detailed a in a how-to guide what it means if you have a @hotmail address and wanted @live.com instead. In short, you had to create a new account and use an Xbox 360 to migrate all of your Zune Pass, Xbox 360 and Windows Phone purchases over to your new account. You then had to hard-reset your Windows Phone to get the new account up and going. It worked (we did it) but it was a pain and a little scary.

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With the new Outlook.com system, anyone with any account can “upgrade” to @outlook.com or even @live.com if they still want that. What’s more there is no trickery involved as the system will propagate all of your previously linked accounts to your new one (it may take a few days).  That’s the good news.

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The bad news is this: you still need to hard-reset your Windows Phone to get the new account as there is no way to de-link your LiveID on the phone. That’s a big risk as you’ll lose your text messages, Xbox LIVE scores and progress, app settings and more.

Our recommendation for most of you is to do this:

  1. Create a new ‘alias’ with the @outlook.com email you want; don't just create a new Outlook account**
  2. Wait for Windows Phone 8 to come out
  3. When you get your new Windows Phone 8 device then make the switch to your new account

To do that you’ll want to then delete your alias and then re-name your account. It may take a small delay before the system frees up your alias so do it in the middle of the night so no one can grab it on you!

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If you want to create an alias now, simply go to More Mail Settings --> Create an Outlook Alias and you’re done.

Either way, you’ll want to reserve your Outlook email address via a new account or alias ASAP so that no one else snags it from you. You can then wait till Windows Phone 8 comes out and start fresh with a new Outlook account.

Go to www.outlook.com though to get started today.

** Note: If you create a 2nd account to later transfer, you will lose your previous app purchases and such. In such a case, you'll want to try our old method (via an Xbox 360) or just use an alias for now to grab that email until you can switch them around later this fall. Also, if you reserve an email address and later delete the account, it can take up to 270 days before it is freed up again! Choose wisely.

Have any more tips? Let us know in comments and we’ll update this post with them!


Reader comments

Switching your Hotmail or Live to Outlook.com? Here’s what you need to know for Windows Phone.



It is perfectly safe to remove the @live alias. The only downside is you won't receive email from people who haven't yet updated your adress in their address books. Are you sure you want to do that?

omfg. Yesterday i created two aliases, today i wanted to create one more alias and BAM - it renamed my account. WHAT THE FUCK MAN!?!? how can i rename it again to one of the aliases (the live account) ?!?!?!

Been getting this error for the past 20 minutes :(
There's a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later.

Lol, in the middle of the night! but the night is not at the same time everywhere :D
Good advice though!

i did the renaming of my live account to outlook, now i can receive e-mails with both domains. that´s fine but how does it work? there is no alias in the aliases menu so i guess its somewhere hidden. but how long will my old address be valid?! does anybody have a clue?

Late for me also. But I parked my outlook.com name and I have an Xbox360 so I think I'll go that route.
Luckly I don't have any save games I want to keep so the biggest pain in a reset is remembering which apps I had installed. Can't wait to they ad a real backup in WP8.

To avoid all the trouble of losing all of your information with the hard reset of your phone you can simply just log into your live account in the Outlook account.

It exactly means goto outlook.com, sign in with your existing LiveID and just use it without any renaming. It only is a new UI to hotmail, for heaven's sake.

My question is what that XBOX360 switch does? What I expect is that I will do that XBOX360 thing and all my purchases and xbox live account will transform from my @hotmail account to my @outlook account. But what about emails? Does thisswitch "connect" the email adresses? I wan only to transform my purchases and xbox account from my hotmal to outlook account. I wan the email inboxes separate. Is this how it works? Anybody?

Crappy maximum number of alias!! How do I delete my alias? I can't find it anywhere, I created some, but there is one I was going to create (more important than one I already created) and need to delete one of the alias' to be able to create the new one.. I've gone through all the settings (I think....) but have not been able to find the alias delete option anywhere.. Any help? 

Created an outlook alias to my hotmail id. Then tried to use that id to configure my outlook inbox in windows phone. It asked for my id and password while setting up the new email id but then it does not synchronize and hangs.

If I create an alias how can I read the mails that I get on the alias on my windows phone

If I switch to @outlook using the switching tool in the settings...will the old @live.com an alias? Meaning...emails I had going to @live.com such as subscriptions when they are setn to @live.com will they redirect to @outlook.com or do I need to change all my non- microsoft  subscriptions manually?  Thats the only unknown holding me back

i switched my live adress to outlook and it created an alias for the old live adress automatically, so e-mails to this adress get delivered to my new outlook inbox. the only scary thing is i can not see this alias in the settings, so i wonder how long it will be valid.
also i noticed today that msft did not change the live adress everywhere, for example in my microsoft account, some notifications etc...
but the worst thing is: my pop3 fetch of an other email account stopped working as of the time i switched to outlook. although it is still configured properly in my settings :(
EDIT: pop3 fetching is now working again. just edit the settings of the pop account and save.

Could not wait and changed got new address phone reset without problems only took 40m to get all the apps again and Xbox still the same its easy and painless except for the hard reset

I have a @hotmail.com.BR account and microsoft won't let me rename it to anything, neither @live @hotmail or @outlook. This account also has 25GB of Skydrive storage. Can I use the xbox method to use @outlook? Does it keep my 25GB storage? 

I hope people are still reading this thread, but does anyone know if you create a new outlook account, and link it to your live account (via Account Settings - Permissions - Manage Linked Accounts), then hard reset your phone, you can re-download all your bought apps without having to repurchase?

@ Daniel  What if I switch over to the @outlook domain?... Could I still create an alias?... And is there a limit as to how many aliases I could create?...

Can anyone tell me how to contact Microsoft support?
No matter what I try navigating through the website or the outlook.com and live account settings, I can't seem to find any way to contact MS support.
I've got a live account of the format name@myowndomain.com that is my live account log in.  Now, I went and created a separate name@outlook.com account - NOT AN ALIAS.  This was before I read this whole article and the comments.
Now, I'd like contact MS to see if they can migrate my outlook alias to my main account to that I can keep my apps, 25GB SkyDrive etc. 
But I can't find any way to ask for help directly to MS.  Any help here would be greatly appreciated! Thx!

Does anybody know how long it takes to free an alias?
Yesterday i created an alias on my primary Microsoft Account (non-microsoft domain).
Then i decided that i would rather have the alias as a seperate account. I deleted the alias, and tried to create a new account with the same name, but it told me the name was in use.
Even now almost 24 hours later is still tells me the name is in use.
Is there a was to convert an alias to a seperate account? Or does anyone know how long it takes to free an alias so you are able to create a seperate account with that name?

I think this is where earlier in the comments people said it can take up to 270 days for an alias to be re-released, so that may just take a bit of patience on your part....

I understood that it was only if you created a seperate Microsoft Account and then deleted it that it would take 270 days to clear.
Wasn't that why it was recommended in the article to "reserve" the name by creating an alias until WP8?

Hey guys, can someone help me with this? I currently have an external email associated with my live ID, but would like to change that to myname@outlook.com. However, neither under the microsoft account settings nor under more email options -> change email address can I select @outlook.com. The only options available are @live.com or @hotmail.com.
Any ideas why that is? Could it be because I have an external email as my live ID? I would factory reset my HD7, no problem, but would like to keep the 25gb skydrive and my bought apps, so I will have to go through changeing it in outlook somehow...
Any help greatly appreciated

What an own goal. What a deal breaker. Bye bye WP. I liked the phone, but f**cking up people's accounts like this is bad. Sure, "just hard reset your phone". Oh ok. Unbelievable.

When i try i get this msg :(
"The email address associated with your Microsoft account can't be changed"
What should I do???

Do you gain ANYTHING at all by switching from a live account to an Outlook one?

I don't see the point, even if I didn't have a WP7 device, to switch.

i wish you had not said to go out and grab an outlook account in the article - if you do that and want to change your existing live account to it you are screwed because you cant - its a whole new account and you cant and if you try to rename your account - guess what? you can't because that name is already taken.
so now i lost the ability to rename my currentl microsoft account to a "my name@outlook.com" email address 
good job wpcentral .. good job
PLEASE go and clarify this article .. too late for me, but not for others 

New Outlook account set up. Currently reinstalling all apps (paid included) with zero issues, after reset. All in all, I'm a happy camper. The Live/Outlook team have done a grand job, IMO. :)

This sentence "so do it in the middle of the night so no one can grab it on you!" is not very correct.
Another news said Microsoft will preserve the deleted Outlook account alias for 30 days and there is no one but you being able to add this Outlook account as an alias, or to change a Microsoft account to this Outlook account:

Hey guys. I set up a few aliases when Outlook.com launched.
I want to create a new account with one of those aliases (by releasing it night and then register it as a new account). I will link my current account to the new one (not the other way around).
Will I keep 25gb in SkyDrive as I will be linking a 25gb account to the new one?
I don't care about app purchases because I've been, like tons of users, locked out of purchasing by the lack of options to change countries on your Microsoft account. I realized this when Windows Phone launched and I couldn't add Mexico payment information with my US-registered and old live.com account.
Has anyone been able to register a new account, get 7gb, link a 25gb account to it and keep them? Thanks!

 Dont  want to switch to anything. Like  hotmail as it  was. How  can I get rid of message threading? Hate it.  That s why I don t use gmail.  Want each message on its own.It should be an option, not imposed. Don t want facebook, tweeter,etc. Have enough  with my old  Hotmail. HM

When you upgrade to Outlook.com from Hotmail, you get the new Outlook.com service, and you keep everything about your account intact. You will continue to Hotmail Sign In with your @hotmail.com using the same password.

sorry who ever wrote this article is biased towards Microsoft, read your comments and over the net NO one likes outlook its gross and nasty