That Microsoft account doesn't exist

If you try to sign in to your Microsoft account with an account name that we don’t recognize, you will receive the message, “That Microsoft account doesn’t exist. Enter a different email address or get a new account.” We can’t send you forgotten account information, but this article will walk you through some simple steps to help you find or remember it yourself.

Step 1 - Did you type your account name incorrectly?

Double-check that you spelled your account name correctly. Check for typos and make sure characters aren’t swapped around. Try a couple different variations. If it’s an email address, maybe you used your middle name, or added a number to the end.

If you’ve changed your phone number or email recently, make sure you try your older ones too.

Step 2 - Are you using an account name from a different type of account?

Xbox accounts

You cannot use your Xbox Gamertag to sign in to your Microsoft account. Gamertags are only meant to represent you to other people while you play and connect on Xbox. To sign in to your Microsoft account, use an email address, phone number, or Skype ID associated with the account.

Work or school accounts

If you tried to sign in using an account that was supplied by your work or school, it’s likely that you don’t have a Microsoft account. Work or school accounts can feel a lot like Microsoft accounts because you use them to sign in to Microsoft apps and services like Outlook or Office 365. But these accounts are restricted from services like Xbox and the Microsoft account website.

Step 3 - Have you forgotten your account name?

It can be easy to forget your account name if you created it recently, or if you haven’t signed in for a while. Here are some ways you can find your account details:

Ask a friend

If you created an Outlook or Hotmail account with your Microsoft account, did you send email to any friends? Ask them to check their inbox to see what email address you used.

Use a device that you're already logged into

If you have an Xbox, the Find your Microsoft email address walkthrough will take you through the process of finding your account information on your Xbox.

Look for emails from Microsoft

Check other email accounts you use regularly for emails from Microsoft about your account. They may mention your account name.

Step 4 - Could your account be closed or deleted?

If your account was deleted, it cannot be recovered. If you try to sign in to an account that has been deleted, you will see the “Microsoft account doesn’t exist” message. Check to see if one of these options applies to you:

You closed your account but want to reopen it

Once you close your Microsoft account, you can reopen it within 60 days by signing in again. We hold on to your data for this period so you won’t lose anything if you change your mind. However, after those 60 days have passed, we permanently delete the account and its data.

It's been a long time since you've signed in to your account

We do delete accounts due to continued inactivity. Try to remember the last time you signed in, and check the chart below to see if your account might have been deleted due to inactivity.

If the last time you signed in was...Your account would expire... 
Before June 2014After 1 year of inactivity
June 2014 – August 2015After 2 years of inactivity
After August 2015After 5 years of inactivity



Article ID: 13811 - Last Review: 22 Jun 2016 - Revision: 17