How to Verify a Hotmail Email Address

by Chad Anderson

Typically, users can log in to a remote SMTP server used for sending email and request an account's validity by using the VRFY command. On Microsoft's Hotmail service, this command is disabled and the only response received will be "cannot verify." However, there is a work around since Hotmail lets you attempt to send emails without authenticating as a user. By attempting to set the recipient parameter you can see whether or not the mail box associated with the account exists.


Press the Windows and "R" keys simultaneously to launch the Run dialog. Type "cmd" into the text-entry field then press the "Enter" key.


Type "telnet" to launch the Telnet application. Type "open 25" to connect. Once established, type "HELO" to greet the server and begin.


Type "MAIL" then type "RCPT" where "address" is the Hotmail email you wish to verify. If you get an "Error 500" then the mail box does not exist for that account name.


Type "quit" to close your connection and "quit" again to exit Telnet, then "exit" to close the command prompt window.


About the Author

Chad Anderson began writing professionally in 2009. He primarily contributes articles on technology and outdoor topics for various websites. His areas of interest include Linux and open-source software along with cycling and other outdoor sports. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Nevada in Reno.