Help with the Microsoft account recovery form

Applies to: Microsoft Account

What does this guided walk-through do?

Provides steps to help you with the Microsoft account recovery form.

How does it work?

We'll begin by asking you questions about the issue you're experiencing. Next, we’ll take you through a series of troubleshooting steps that are specific to your situation.

To protect privacy, support advocates can’t see your account details or unlock accounts. Only you can recover your account. If you are not able to successfully recover your account, the alternatives are to:

  1. Try to regain access to one of the alternate email accounts or phone numbers associated with your account and then complete the password reset flow.
    • If you can’t access your alternate email, then try to recover that first on the email provider’s site (example: Gmail or Yahoo mail).
    • If someone else can access the phone number associated with the account, please reach out to them so they can give you the security code.
  2. Create a new account.

Two-step verification helps protect you by making it more difficult for someone else to sign in to your Microsoft account. It uses two different forms of identity: your password, and a contact method (also known as security info). Even if someone else finds your password, they'll be stopped if they don't have access to your security info. This is also why it's important to use different passwords for all your accounts.

If you turn on two-step verification, you’ll get a security code to your email, phone, or authenticator app every time you sign in on a device that isn't trusted. When two-step verification is turned off, you will only have to verify your identity with security codes periodically, when there might be a risk to your account security.

Check if two-step verification is turned on

Is two-step verification turned on?

The account recovery form works by asking questions about your account that only you could answer. Then, Microsoft reviews your answers and will respond within 24 hours with either instructions to get back in to your account or a denial.

It is recommended that you review the tips for filling out the recovery form section before you proceed with the form.

Do you want to continue with account recovery now?

To use the Microsoft account recovery form:

  1. Go to account.live.com/acsr and provide the email address, phone number, or username for the account you are trying to recover as well as the other requested information.
  2. Then select Next.

Were you able to submit the recovery form?

If your request was unsuccessful, you can keep trying as many times as you want, up to two times per day.

It is recommended that you review the tips for filling out the recovery form section before trying the form again.

You can also try alternatives to the account recovery form.

What would you like to do?

If you want to try recovering your account later, you can always come back here for help. Bookmark this page or add it as a favorite in your web browser so you can use it later.

We're sorry this guide wasn't able to help you with the Microsoft account recovery form. Please contact us for further assistance.

We're glad this guide helped you with the Microsoft account recovery form.

Set yourself up for success

  • Complete the form from a device and a location that we will recognize such as a device with which you’ve recently signed into your account and a location like your home or office where you commonly use that device.
  • Collect as much information as you can about your Microsoft account and services before you begin:
    • If you’re an Outlook.com or Hotmail.com user, we’ll ask you questions about your contacts and email subject lines. Check with friends and family that you correspond with for help.
    • If you have an Xbox console, you will be asked to provide the hardware ID of a console that you’ve used frequently. Make sure you get the ID from a console you use a lot. If you recently bought a new one, try to get the hardware ID from your old console. Here’s how you can get that information:
    • Skype customers will be asked for the SkypeID or names of contacts on their account. If you use Skype to call mobile or landline phones, you’ll also be asked for some of those along with details about a recent Skype purchase.

Completing the form

The more information you can include in the form, the better the chance you’ll have of regaining access to your account. Answer as many questions as you can as thoroughly as possible. If you’re not sure, guessing is ok — wrong answers don’t count against you.

  • When you enter your email address, keep in mind that some domains may be country specific such as @outlook.co.uk.
  • If you’ve had your account for several years, the details on file may not match your current situation, so think about what you may have entered when you first signed up. Is it possible that you moved or changed your name?
  • Think about passwords that you use on other accounts that you may have used here. This is another place where a good guess can pay off.
  • When you get to a question that lets you “add more," fill in as much information as you are able.
  • Email subject lines need to be exact.
  • Gamertags are not case-sensitive but are space-sensitive.

Ready to complete the account recovery form?