How to Reset a Hotmail Password if You Forgot the Secret Answer

by Jess Jones
Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Hotmail, the free webmail service that's part of Microsoft's Windows Live suite, gives you the option to answer a secret question if you forget your email password. When you set up your Hotmail account, the service prompts you to pick the question and answer. However, if you forget your secret answer as well as your password, you can have Hotmail send you instructions to help you get back into your account and reset the password.

Step 1

Go to the Hotmail home page at You will see spaces where you can type in your Hotmail address and password. Type your Hotmail address in the space labeled “Windows Live ID.”

Step 2

Click the blue link under the password field that reads “Forgot Your Password?” A new page will load.

Step 3

Type your Hotmail email address into the space next to “Windows Live ID.” You will see a picture with a set of letters and numbers. Type these characters into the space labeled “Characters.” They are not case-sensitive. Click on the "Continue" button. A new page will load.

Step 4

Click the radio button next to the phrase “Send password reset instructions to me in e-mail.” Click on the "Continue" button. More options will appear on the screen.

Click the radio button next to the alternative email address you entered when you set up your Hotmail account. Click "Continue." Hotmail has now sent instructions to your alternative email address that will help you reset your password and secret question and answer.


  • If you do not have an alternative email address attached to your Hotmail account but you do use Windows Messenger, sign in to Messenger and click “Open your email inbox.” Otherwise, your only other option is to request help from Windows Live support at


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

Jess Jones has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has been a featured contributing writer for "Curve Magazine" and she teaches English composition at a small college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her Master of Arts in English language and literature in 2002.

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