How do I reset my Windows Live password?
I am SOOO frustrated! All of a sudden I can't seem to log in to my Hotmail account or anything else on the Microsoft network, Windows Live, whatever it's called, just says "invalid login". How can I reset my password on Windows Live, Dave??
The answer to your question about reseting your Windows Live password is directly related to whether you originally took the time to set up your account properly, specified a reasonable recovery question, your zip code, etc. If you didn't and you don't know your password, you might be out of luck, especially if the email address associated with the account is also on Windows Live and is inaccessible.
But let's be optimistic and hope that you have the system pointing to a Yahoo or Gmail mailbox or something else that's still accessible to you!
When you try to log in to any of your Microsoft online services, here's what I expect you're seeing right now:
Since you don't remember your password - no worries - click on "Forgot your password?" as I have highlighted above.
It asks for your Windows Live ID again, and has what's called a CAPTCHA, a simple visual recognition test that confirms you're not a program trying to hack an account but a real human being:
Click "Continue" and it'll offer two options for you to recover the password:
You can try with location information and your secret question and answer, but I find it easier to just have the system email me my lost password. Again, that's completely pointless if you have also lost access to that mailbox.
If you haven't, click on the button to the left of "Send password reset instructions to me in e-mail":
That first email address is what I want to use and it's still accessible even as I have spaced out on my Microsoft network password. I click on the little button next to the Gmail address and click on "Continue":
Meanwhile, in my Gmail account, a message arrives with a scary URL and some simple instructions on how to reset my Windows live password:
Rather than click on the URL in the message, I actually copy and paste it (to ensure it's not some slick phishing attempt, a fake message that shows one URL but takes me somewhere else in an attempt to steal my account info) and am again asked for my Windows Live ID:
I enter my account credential and a password I want to set for this account (one I'll be able to remember better this time!) Note that the system shows you whether your password is "strong" (e.g. hard to guess) or "weak" (easy to guess).
Click on "Continue" and...
Success! You have just reset your Windows Live password! Now, while you're here, go into settings and make sure that the geographic information about you is accurate and that you have a good alternative email address specified too, one that you'd be able to check even if you were locked out of your own account. You'll thank me!
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