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Free Email TutorialsHotmailDelete a Hotmail email address / Permanently close your Hotmail account

Delete a Hotmail email address / Permanently close your Hotmail account

An earlier tutorial explained how to sign up and create a Windows Live Hotmail account; but it is also possible to close and permanently delete your Hotmail account once you no longer need it. Delete Hotmail account Since your Hotmail profile will be permanently deleted, closing the account is an important decision. Deleting your Hotmail account will also make the email address and profile name back to available for anyone who wishes to create a new Windows Live profile, and is looking for available user names. For this reason, in addition to showing you how to delete your Hotmail account, we will show you alternate ways to achieve your goal without terminating the account per se (and keeping your Hotmail user name open, just in case).

The next section will show you how to delete your Hotmail account; but you may want to start by reading our advice on not deleting your Hotmail account, with suggestions on transitioning to your new email address without permanently closing/disconnecting your current Hotmail email address (an irreversible decision). Here's to reconsidering closing your Hotmail account.

How to permanently delete your Hotmail account

Hotmail options to delete an account To permanently close and delete your Hotmail account, click on the Options menu in the top right corner of any Windows Live email window; then, click on More options to load all configurable Hotmail settings. This will load the Hotmail Options screen, which starts with Manage your account. Click the "View and edit your personal information" link under that first section to load your Hotmail account profile and close your account.

Depending on the last time you supplied your email address and password, Hotmail may need to confirm your identity by re-asking you for your password: if so, type it and hit Enter.

Retype your password before editing your profile

Final chance to reconsider deleting your Hotmail account

Close your Hotmail account Under the Hotmail Account profile and settings page that opened, notice a Close account link at the very bottom, under the Additional Options section. This link brings you to a final screen that will confirm your account deletion; click on Close account to proceed.

(The next screen will be your last chance to reconsider permanently deleting your Hotmail account - make sure you have read our section below that gives you some tips to go around closing your account, and reasons why you should avoid deleting your Hotmail account.)

The final screen starts with the "Are you sure you want to close email-account@ hotmail.com?" question (where "email-account" is your current Hotmail user name), and present you with a list of side effects from closing your email account. Here are the official reasons Hotmail gives you not to delete your account:

Once your email account is closed:

Confirm account deletion

Once you are convinced that closing your Hotmail account is the right decision, scroll to the very bottom of the page, where you see the section "Verify your identity to close your account" - make sure that the email account displayed is indeed the one you want to delete, type in your password one last time, and click Yes. This instructs and authorized Hotmail to permanently delete your account.

Supply your credentials one last time before deleting

And that is all it takes to disconnect your old email address and close that particular Hotmail account for good. You can now go create a new account.

Considerations: why you should not delete your Hotmail account

Once you delete your Hotmail account, the user name (the part of your email address that comes before "@hotmail.com") is back on the market, and the next prospective Hotmail user may end up with it. Not only does that mean that once you close your account, you have in essence permanently lost your Hotmail user name, it also means that people trying to find you through your email address may never be able to get in touch with you.

Another reason not to delete your Hotmail account is the fear of having a spammer use it - your contacts are deleted along with your profile, so the next user to sign up for your former email address will not have access to them, but you want to control your image, and avoid having someone misuse your former email address, and possibly lead some people to believe you may be associated with the actions or comments that person makes on public forums, etc. with what used to be your Hotmail account.

Alternatives to deleting your Hotmail account

Hotmail account profile picture So, instead of closing your Hotmail account, consider setting up an email redirection from the email account you wanted to delete to another email account (whether it is a Hotmail account, or another webmail service like Yahoo! Mail or Gmail). Another tutorial explains how to forward emails from one Hotmail account to another email account: this will allow you to leave your original Hotmail address "un-deleted", while moving to the new email account you would like to use instead. Anyone who emails you to the old email account will see their reply come from your new email account - after a certain time, everyone will have updated your contact information, and switched to emailing you directly at your new email address (which, again, can either be another Hotmail account and email address, or a different email address and provider altogether).

Another reason for not closing your Hotmail account is the fact that this webmail service is not only free, but also regularly updated: in other words, the Hotmail you see today may be vastly improved upon over the coming months, something you would not realize if you have deleted all your Hotmail accounts, and never access the service!

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