When you sign up to create a Hotmail account to get an email address, you have to pick a password at that point to protect access to your account information and Windows Live profile. By default, this password will remain the same unless and until you decide to manually change your credentials. In this tutorial, we will explain how to change your Hotmail password, and how you can make Windows Live Hotmail automatically remind you to change your password regularly. Your password is one of the most important aspect of your Hotmail account, since it controls who can access it: that password should be secure, and ideally be changed whenever you have checked your emails from an unusual location.
Follow the steps below to change your Hotmail password once you are signed in to your Windows Live account; a later tutorial will explain how to reset your password and the options you have for password recovery if you forgot it or lost it.
When you are looking at your Hotmail inbox page, click on the "Options" menu near the top right corner, and choose "More options":
Once the Hotmail Options screen has loaded, click on the "Account details (password, aliases, time zone)" link under "Managing your account".
For security reasons, Windows Live Hotmail will ask you to re-enter your current password in the next screen, regardless of your Hotmail login settings - this is to prevent others from changing your password when you leave your computer unattended, for example. The following screen will display under "Account Information" a series of options you can customize: click on the "Change" link on the right of your current password, as shown on the screenshot below:
When the "Change your password" screen loads, you will be able to reset your password to another one, and will see some password recovery options (the "Forgot your password?" link, which we'll discuss in a later tutorial). Start by typing your current password inside the "Old password" text field - the wording of the password reset form is a bit confusing, but by "old", Hotmail actually means your current password.
Next, enter your desired password inside the "Type new password" text field, and type it again for confirmation inside the "Retype new password" field. Notice that as you are typing your new password in the first field, Windows Live Hotmail will give you some visual feedback on "Password strength" - the stronger your password, the safer and more secure your Hotmail.com account is.
To process your new Hotmail password change, click on the "Save" button (or click "Cancel" to return to Hotmail Options without changing anything). You will be brought back to the previous screen - and Windows Live will apply the new account password immediately: remember to login with it from now on, on all machines you use to check your emails. Note that the new password affects all other Windows Live services, like the Hotmail Messenger (aka "Windows Live Messenger").
Tip: we'll discuss the "Make my password expire every 72 days" setting in a later lesson; briefly put, it allows Hotmail to force you to regularly change your password - a safe option, but one that can quickly become cumbersome.