The Browser Settings for Hotmail

by Lara Webster

Hotmail can be accessed by any browser on a computer with Internet connectivity. Your browser's setting, however, must follow a few configuration rules for the email website to work properly. Using default settings of any browser permits the use of Hotmail, but when security and cookies settings are altered, you may need to change them back to get Hotmail to load.


Your Internet browser should be set to store Hotmail cookies. Cookies are packets of information saved in a computer's short term memory. Such information packets help your browser recall a website's information when you return to it and also can be required to authenticate a user's log in credentials. To allow cookies on Firefox, go to the Firefox menu and choose "Options." Go to the "Privacy" tab and check the box next to "Allow cookies from sites." In Internet Explorer, go to "Tools" and then "Internet Options." After clicking on the "Security" tab, set a moderate security level.

Secure Sockets Layer

A secure sockets layer, or SSL, is a protocol used to encrypt documents exchanged online. Websites that require SSL can be identified by a "https" prefix, as opposed to a "http" prefix, and Hotmail uses this protocol. Visit the "Advanced" tab of the Options menu in Firefox, and click on the "Encryption" sub-tab. Check the boxes next to "SSL" and "TSL" options and then "OK." If you are using Internet Explorer, the SSL option is located in the "Advanced" tab of the Internet Options menu.

Trusted Sites

If you have children, or have added a high level of security to your computer for any reason, Hotmail must be added as a trusted site to ensure that you can connect successfully. In Internet Explorer, click "Trusted Sites" in the "Security" tab of the Internet Options menu. Add Hotmail to the list of acceptable sites and click "OK." Firefox does not have a trusted sites menu.

Other Considerations

Third-party security add-ons and software might also interfere with Hotmail. If you currently run security on your computer, always add Hotmail to the safe list. Likewise, if your computer firewall is enabled and set to a high level, ensure that Hotmail is permitted to open and exchange data on your computer. If you absolutely cannot open Hotmail on your current browser, open the site in an alternate browser to determine if the problem is with the website itself.

About the Author

Lara Webster has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has been featured on Relationships in the Raw, The Nursery Book, Spark Trust and several travel-related websites. Webster holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in mass communication and media studies, both from San Diego State University.