The information in this article assumes you've already tried Step 1: Reset a forgotten Microsoft account password, but your attempt to reset your account wasn't successful.
If you haven't yet tried this step, we recommend you go back and start at Step 1 and then and continue following the steps in the order outlined here.
Tip: If you want to make changes to a known Microsoft account password, see Change your Microsoft account password instead.
If you couldn't reset your password
If you couldn't reset your password following the directions in Reset a forgotten password and When you can't reset a password, the directions below will help guide you with the next step of account recovery: filling out the account recovery form.
This can be a lengthy process as it's designed to ask questions about your account that only you can answer. Microsoft will review your answers and respond within 24 hours.
To improve your chances of successfully recovering your account, be sure to read through the following guidance first.
Important: The account recovery form can only be used if two-step verification isn't turned on.
Before you begin filling out the form
Before filling out the account recovery form make sure you have a working email that Microsoft can use to communicate with you. It will also help if you fill out the form from a recognized device and location.
1. Have a working email
You'll need a working email account that you can access. We'll use this account to send you information about your request. You can use any active email account, even one belonging to a friend or relative. If you don’t have another email account that you can access, you can create a temporary outlook.com account for free by selecting Create one at the Microsoft account sign in page.
Note: The working email account you provide will only be used to contact you about your account recovery form and won’t be used for any other purpose.
2. Fill out the form using a recognized device and location
If possible, complete the form using a device you previously used to sign into your account and at a location where you commonly use that device and that we'll recognize, such as your home or office.
When you're ready, you can find the recovery form here: https://account.live.com/acsr.
More tips when filling out the recovery form
The recovery form is available at https://account.live.com/acsr.
Collect as much information as you can about any Microsoft services you may have used with this account. The more information you can include when filling out 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 get to a question that lets you “add more," fill in as much information as you are able.
You'll be asked questions that are specific to the account you're trying to recover. If you used the account with any of the products and services below, these are the kinds of things to know:
Outlook.com or hotmail.com accounts
We’ll ask you questions about your contacts and email subject lines. Check with friends and family that you may have corresponded with from that account for help.
Email subject lines need to be exact.
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?
You'll 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.
You'll 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. For more information about recovering accounts you use with an Xbox console, see Reset or recover your lost Microsoft account password.
Think about passwords that you use on other accounts that you may have used here. List old passwords you may have used. Check your web browsers to see if you saved a password there. For help with how to check for saved passwords here are a few suggestions from common browsers and tools:
If you use a Chrome browser, see Manage passwords
After you submit the form
We'll send the results of your recovery request to the working email address you provided at the beginning of the form within 24 hours.
Your next steps depend on whether we could verify your account:
We could not verify your account
We verified your account
Keep trying as many times as you want, up to two times per day.
We'll use the same working email to send you instructions for how to sign back into your account.
Once you're able to get back into your account, review How to help keep your Microsoft account safe and secure. Here you'll find guidance for how to secure your account going forward, make it easier to reset a password, and provide additional methods you can use to verify your account.