When you can't sign in to your Microsoft account

Note: If you're worried that someone gained unauthorized access to your account, see Recover your Microsoft account and Microsoft account security info & verification codes.

To get back into your account as quickly as possible, try these basic troubleshooting steps:

  • Verify that Caps Lock is turned off and your email address is spelled correctly.

  • Clear your browser history (here's how for Microsoft Edge and for Internet Explorer).

  • Try signing in to your account from a different internet browser. 

If you can't remember your password or it's not working

You can reset your Microsoft account password by following these steps:

  1. Go to the Recover your account page.

  2. Enter the email address, phone number, or Skype ID you used when you made your Microsoft account. This could be any email address, or an email ending in a Microsoft domain like hotmail.com or outlook.com.

  3. If you have security info on your account, we'll send a one-time code to the alternate phone number or email address you gave us. After you enter that code on the next screen, you'll be able to make a new password.

  4. Enter your new password, then select Next.

For further information about forgotten passwords, see How to reset your Microsoft account password.

Note: If you reset your password and still have trouble signing in, you may have changed settings in your account.

Want to sign in securely without a password next time? Use phone sign-in and the Authenticator app.

If you still can't get back in to your account, find your issue below and expand that section for help.

You'll find tips and suggestions to help you remember your account details in That Microsoft account doesn't exist.

Go to PIN sign-in issues for tips on how to reset your PIN.

If you’ve taken the extra security step of turning on two-step verification, some apps and devices will tell you your password is incorrect, because they haven’t been updated to prompt you for a security code. Instead of your regular password, you’ll need to use an app password to get in.

Learn more about App passwords and two-step verification.

Verfication codes are sent to the phone number or email address listed in your Microsoft account. To learn how to manage your security info and troubleshoot verification codes, see Microsoft account security info & verification codes.

If you don't have, or can't get to, your security info (your alternate phone number or email address), click I didn’t get a code when you’re prompted for a code at sign-in, or I don’t have access to these when you’re resetting your password, then follow the instructions.

You might be asked to fill out a security questionnaire. You’ll be asked for info, like the subject lines of email you recently sent from your account, your birthdate, credit card info, and other details only you would know. You don't have to know every answer, and it's ok to be close if you don't know the exact answer. 

Note: There might be a 30-day waiting period to get full access to your account.

Go to Recover your Microsoft account article for tips on how to successfully fill out the security questionnaire. 

After you're able to access your account, you can update your email address or phone number.

If you see a message that says "We're not ready for you yet" when you try to sign in to your account, you probably changed your security info and you're in the 30-day waiting period. 

During the waiting period you won't be able to change or add security info, but you can still use your email, Skype, OneDrive, and devices. After the 30 days, you'll be notified that the wait is over and you can then enter new security info. 

For more information, see Microsoft account security info & verification codes

If you’ve recently gotten a message that says your profile is temporarily blocked, it might be because we detected spam or other fraudulent use of your account. Or you may have content that violates our Terms of Use.

Learn more about the Account temporarily suspended message.

Microsoft always keeps an eye out for unusual sign-in activity on your account, just in case someone else is trying to get into your account. If you're travelling to a new place or using a new device, we might ask you to confirm that it really is you.

See What happens if there's an unusual sign-in to your account for tips on how to successfully sign in. 

Microsoft accounts work across all Microsoft devices, apps, and services, but a local account only works on the device where you created it. Because of this, although we can help you recover forgotten passwords for Microsoft accounts, we can't help you manage accounts that are local to your device.

If you're having trouble signing into a local account on a specific Windows device, see Reset your Windows 10 local account password.

If you're having trouble signing in to your email, you'll find troubleshooting tips in How to sign in to or out of Outlook.com. You might also find this helpful if you previously had a Hotmail account that transitioned to Outlook.

If the account on your device belonged to someone else, you'll need to set up a new Microsoft account.


Need more help?

Join the discussion
Ask the community
Get support
Contact Us

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.