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Account has been locked

If you tried to sign in to your account and received a message that it's been locked, it's because activity associated with your account might violate our Terms of Use.

How to unlock your Microsoft account

To unlock your account, sign in to get a security code.

Sign in


  • You can use any phone number to request the security code.

  • The phone number does not need to be associated with your account.

  • The phone does not need to be a smartphone, or connected to the internet, it just needs to be able to receive text messages.

  • You may have to create a new password. Read tips on how to create a strong password.

Learn more

If you don't see the Next option when you sign in, your account has been locked due to suspicious activity or for violating of Microsoft’s Terms of Use agreement. To reinstate your account, use the online form at the Reinstate your account link below.

Reinstate your account  


  • After you submit the form, a Microsoft Online Safety support agent will review it and contact you by email. Please do not submit additional requests, as this may slow down our response time.

  • To protect your account and its contents, our support agents and advocates can only send password reset links or access and change account details when you submit the account reinstatement form.

You can use any phone number that can receive text messages; it doesn’t need to be associated with your account.

We won't use or give out the phone number, and the code sent to it will expire after 10 minutes.

This means you could use a friend or work colleague's phone without compromising your account security.

The quickest way to get your account unlocked is by requesting and entering a security code online. If you haven’t tried unlocking your account online, we recommend you start there.

Tip: If your security code doesn't work, make sure you enter the numbers in the body of the message, and not the numbers in the header.
Text message with code.

If you see a "usage limit exceeded" error message when requesting a security code, this could mean the phone number has been used too many times in a short period of time, or that we've detected something suspicious about the phone number.

Microsoft accounts are usually locked if the account holder has violated our Microsoft Services Agreement. Here are some common reasons why accounts are locked, though not all account locks occur for these reasons:

Malware, phishing, and other harmful activities

Microsoft forbids the use of our services for:

  • Malware: Sending intentionally unwanted or harmful code or software.

  • Phishing: Stealing private information from others by tricking or spoofing them into providing it.

  • Interfering with, harming, or spoofing Microsoft networks, services, or other systems.


Spam takes many forms. Don’t use Microsoft networks to send, share, or publish unwanted emails, comments, messages, photos, reviews, or any other content. 


  • Don’t send unsolicited promotional or commercial content. 

  • Don’t send content to people you don’t know or to many people at the same time.

  • Don’t use programs, scripts, or bots to create Microsoft accounts.

  • Don’t spoof or reuse information across multiple accounts when signing up.

  • Don’t create or use multiple accounts to violate Microsoft policies.

Learn more about your Microsoft account

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