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Microsoft prioritizes account security and works to prevent people from signing in without your permission. When we notice a sign-in attempt from a new location or device, we help protect the account by sending you an email message and an SMS alert. If your phone number or email changes, it's important to promptly update the security contact info on the Security basics page so we can work with you to keep your account secure and active.

If you sign in to your account while traveling or if you install a new app that signs in with your account, you may get an alert. We just need you to provide a security code so we know it was you, and that your account is safe.

To learn what you can do about unusual activity, select one of the following headings. It'll open to show more info.

If there was an unusual sign-in attempt for your account, you'll get an email or text message. We'll send a message to all your alternate contact methods. To help protect your account, we'll need you to provide a security code from one of these contacts. This step prevents people who aren't you from signing in and lets us know if it was just you signing in from an unusual location or device. 

If you aren't sure about the source of an email, check the sender. You'll know it's legitimate if it's from the Microsoft account team at

We may have blocked your sign-in if you're using a new device, if you installed a new app, or if you're traveling or in any new location. This security measure helps keep your account safe in case someone else gets your account information and tries to sign in as you. To unlock your account, follow the instructions on the sign-in screen and select where we can send you a security code. After you've received the code, enter it to access your account.


  • If you’re traveling and can’t access the email or phone that you've associated with your account, there are some other options:

  • If these options aren't available, you'll be able to get back in to your account after you sign in from a trusted device or from a usual location.

  • If you brought a device you normally sign in to and you've set it as a trusted device, you can sign in from that device and get back into your account.

  • If you left your phone at home and know someone who has access to it, you can ask them to tell you the security code sent to the device.

If you received an email or text alerting you to an unusual sign-in attempt on your account but you haven't done anything different with your account recently, follow these steps to review your account security: 

  1. Sign in to the Security basics page for your Microsoft account.

  2. Select Review activity to check for any unusual sign-in attempts on the Recent activity page. If you see account activity that you're sure wasn't yours, let us know and we can help secure your account—if it's in the Unusual activity section, you can expand the activity and select This wasn't me. If it's in the Recent activity section, you can expand the activity and select Secure your account.

  3. If you think someone else may have accessed your account, go back to the Security basics page and select Change password. Create a strong password that you can remember, and don't share it with anybody else.

If you tried to sign in to your account but can't, someone may have changed your password. Follow these steps to get back into your account:

  1. Try to reset your password with the instructions listed in When you can't sign in to your Microsoft account. Starting with this step saves you extra effort if you accidentally signed in with a different account than the alert was for.

  2. If that doesn't work, try to sign in to your account again. Select Forgot my password on the sign-in page, and then select I think someone else is using my Microsoft account. Follow the instructions to recover your account.


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