"Incorrect email or password" or "Couldn't sign in" error when you sign in to a Windows Phone with a Microsoft account

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 2432933 - View products that this article applies to.
Expand all | Collapse all

Summary

When you try to sign in to a Windows Phone using your Microsoft account, you may see an error message that resembles one of the following:

  • Couldn't sign in
    Your user name or password doesn't seem to be working. Try typing it again.
  • Incorrect email or password
    Make sure your email and password are both correct.
  • Windows Live password is incorrect

Things to Try

Can you sign in on a computer?
See if you can sign in to your account using a computer. To do this, go to Account overview, enter your Microsoft account and password, then click Sign In. If you have issues signing in on a computer, then visit the Forgotten password or other sign-in problems help article.


Is the Microsoft account service running?
Occasionally, you may see an error during sign-in. However, these kinds of problems are usually temporary and are resolved quickly. You can make sure that the Microsoft account service is running normally. To do this, check the Service status webpage.


Is your password too long?
Make sure that your Microsoft account password is not too long. It must be no longer than 16 characters long. If it is too long, go to the Change your password page and change it to a shorter password.


Does your password contain a space or special characters?
If your password contains a space or special characters, try changing your password so that it uses only letters and numbers. To do this, go to the Change your password page, change your password, and then try to sign in to your phone.


Did you forget your password and need to reset it?
If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it. To do this, go to the go to Reset your password webpage or visit the Forgotten password or other sign-in problems help article


When you created your Microsoft account, did you complete the verification process?
If you created your Microsoft account recently, you may not have completed the registration process and may still have to verify your account. To do this, go to the Verify this email address webpage and follow the prompts.


Did you recently change your Microsoft account's primary alias or rename your Microsoft account?
If you recently changed your Microsoft account's primary alias or renamed your Microsoft account, you may have to reset your phone in order to change the Microsoft account on your Windows Phone. For more information, see the following Microsoft KB article:
  • 2430020 How to change the Microsoft account on your Windows Phone

Do you have a working data connection on your phone and the date and time set correctly?
If you don’t have a strong cellular data connection, try connecting to Wi-Fi. You should also make sure that the date and time are set correctly in your Windows Phone settings. For more information, see the following Microsoft KB article:
  • 2784236 Can’t add Microsoft account during initial setup of Windows Phone 8

Did you recently enable two-step verification on your Microsoft account?

If you turned on two-step verification for your Microsoft account, you will have to perform an extra step to sign in on Windows Phone. Windows Phone can't prompt you to enter a security code when you try to sign in. Therefore, you'll have to create a unique app password to use when signing into Windows Phone with a Microsoft account that has two-step verification turned on.

To create a unique app password for your Microsoft account, go here:
For more information, see the following Microsoft account help and how-to article:
After you create an app password for your Microsoft account, enter it as your password on Windows Phone. To do this, go to Settings > Email+Accounts. Tap Microsoft account, enter your app password, then tap Done.


Are you sure that you’re using a Microsoft account to log in?
If the email address that you entered is not one that you already use for accessing Microsoft services such as Xbox LIVE, Xbox Music, Outlook.com, or OneDrive you might have entered an email address that isn't yet a Microsoft account. You can use any email address to set up a Microsoft account. 

To create a Microsoft account for an email address that you already have, go to Account overview, and then click or tap Sign Up.


Assistance

Community Forum
Get help from the knowledgeable Windows Phone Community.

Contact Us
View other helpful articles and contact information.

Properties

Article ID: 2432933 - Last Review: February 19, 2014 - Revision: 21.0
Applies to
  • Windows Phone 8 for Consumers
  • Windows Phone 7 Consumer
Keywords: 
kbwp7oobe kbwp7messaging kbwp7 kbwp7sync kbwp7people kbwp7connectivity kbwp8 KB2432933

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com