Reset or recover your Microsoft account password

Applies to: Microsoft account

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.

Use security information to recover your account


  1. Go to Recover your account and type in the email address, phone number, or Skype name you use to sign in. Then select Next.
  2. We'll ask where you'd like to get your security code. Choose one of the alternate contact email addresses or phone numbers on this account. Then select Next.

    • If you don’t recognize any of the contact methods listed, select the back arrow  on your browser and make sure you have entered the correct username. Sometimes a misspelling can send you in the wrong direction. If you think you might not have the correct username, see How to find your Microsoft account for tips to find the correct username.
    • If there are no contact methods on the account that you can use, select I don’t have any of these and then skip ahead in this article to “Recover your Microsoft account if you can’t receive a verification code” below.
  3. Type the requested info to verify that it's really your email address or phone number. Next, select Send code.
  4. We'll send the security code to the alternate contact you chose. If you don't see it, check your junk folder. If it's not there, you can select Use a different verification option.
  5. Type the security code into Verify your identity, then select Next.
  6. Type your password into the New password box. Then confirm it by typing it again into Reenter password.

You can’t receive a verification code


If you've previously turned on two-step verification for your account, you won't be able to use the recovery form. Turning on two-step verification stops anyone from signing in without two forms of identification, no matter how much information they know about your account. See About two-step verification for more info.

If you don't have two-step verifcation turned on, fill out and submit a recovery form.

Submit a recovery form

Before you begin, there are a few things you'll need to do.

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. 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 any recent Skype purchases.

Once you have all the information you need, you can begin filling out the form:

  1. You’ll need a working email address so that we can send your information about your request. We will not retain or use this email address for marketing. If you don’t have one, select create a new one with Outlook.com.
  2. Type in the characters so we know you’re not a robot and select Next. We’ll send a code to that email to make sure you can get our responses. Enter that code in the field provided.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
    • Gamer tags are not case-sensitive but are space-sensitive.

After you submit the account recovery form

  • 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 you can’t prove you own the account?

  • We recommend that you try again, up to two times per day. You may find more information or have remembered something that will help.
  • 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.
  • To protect your Microsoft Account and content, sometimes we have to say No. Along with using strong passwords, encryption, security contact information and other technology to keep your content safe and secure, we have strict policies on how our advocates can help you with your account. Only you can reset your password and make security changes to your account.