Recover your Microsoft account

Applies to: Microsoft account

If you have forgotten your Microsoft account password and don’t have access to the security information on your account, the account recovery form is a tool that you can use to provide additional information so that Microsoft can make sure that you (and only you) gain access to your account.

The following are the best practices we have seen from customers who successfully recover their accounts.

Before you begin


You will need a working email account that you can access so we can send you information about your request. You can use any active email account, even one belonging to a friend or relative. Or, 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.

 

Fill out the 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. 
  2. Provide an email address (other than the one you are trying to recover) that we can use to contact you about your request.
  3. Enter the characters you see on the screen to prove you're not a robot, then select Next.
  4. A screen will pop up asking you to verify the contact email address. Check that email for a message from us with the security code, enter that code, then select Verify.
     
  5. Fill in as much info as you can, even if you're not sure. See Tips for filling out the recovery form below.

  6. Select Submit when you're finished, and we'll respond within 24 hours.

Tips for filling out the 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.

After you've submitted


We'll send the results of your recovery request to the email address you provided.

If we're able to verify your account, we'll send you instructions to recover your account. After you get back into your account, see Help protect your Microsoft account for steps you can take to secure your account going forward.

What if my request wasn't granted?

  • We recommend that you try again, up to two times per day. You may find more information or have remembered something that will help.
  • A customer support advocate will not be able to help you beyond what you can do for yourself in the form. To protect your account and its content, advocates are not allowed to change account details or send password reset links.
  • You can always create a new account if you’re having trouble with the recovery request and try again later when you remember something new that might help.