Can't Sign Into, Hotmail or Messenger

By Elizabeth Falwell

You can use the same username and password for all of your MSN accounts.
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When you log in to MSN -- a website powered by Microsoft -- you also log in to its Hotmail and Messenger programs. Hotmail is MSN's email program, while Messenger is an instant messaging and networking program. Because Messenger and Hotmail are connected to MSN, if you have problems logging into one program, you'll likely have issues logging in to all of them.

Register for Account

The first step to logging in to any MSN-powered sites is to have a Windows Live ID. This includes an email address, which acts as your username, as well as a password. The email address must end in either "," "" or "" Even though these emails use different domain names, all can be accessed by logging in to the Hotmail homepage. If you try to log in to MSN or any of its partner sites like Hotmail or Messenger using anything but a Windows Live ID, you won't be allowed to access or create a profile and will be prompted to create a Windows Live account.

Incorrect Password

The most likely reason you aren't able to sign in to your MSN accounts is user error. Entering an incorrect email address or password will return an error message, informing you that either the email address you provided isn't registered with MSN, or that you entered an incorrect password. MSN -- and, hence, Hotmail and Messenger -- passwords are case sensitive, so check your keyboard's settings before retyping your password a second time. If you don't remember your password but know your Windows Live ID, you can opt to reset your password by answering some security questions pertaining to your account.

Browser Issues

A slow browser can impact your ability to log in to your MSN accounts. Try deleting your browser's cookies and clearing its cache before attempting to sign in again. This process varies from browser to browser. For example, in Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon, "Internet Options" and click "Delete" under Browsing History. Check the "Cookies" box and click "Delete."

Internet Issues

A slow Internet connection can also hinder your login attempts. Check your Internet connection to make sure you're connected to the Internet. Also, check that you're working online instead of offline, which can prevent you from logging in. Click on the "File" tab at the top of your browser, and make sure there's not a check mark next to the words "Work Offline." If there is, click on the words to uncheck that option and sign in again.