Creating a Hotmail account is a simple affair and on this page I shall provide detailed instructions along with screenshots. All you need is an Internet connection and a web browser program, both of which you already have if you are reading this page online.
Hotmail is a free service offering email accounts with 5GB of storage space. Once you create a Hotmail account, the same login information (username and password) would let you access other Microsoft Windows Live services such as Spaces, OneCare, Calendar, Gallery and many more.
To start the process, click on www.hotmail.com to load the homepage of the free email service in a web browser. The page may look like the image below – don’t worry if it does not; things keep changing on the Internet. What you should be looking for is a Sign Up button or link – click on it.
The Hotmail account will be your Windows Live ID that also gets you access to other Microsoft services like Messenger, Xbox LIVE etc. Let’s see how you can get a Hotmail account by quickly filling up the sign up form that has been loaded in the browser window.
You need to fill this sign up form almost in its entirety to create your Hotmail account. Though the questions are simple, we shall go over each one. Note: Form fields having an asterisk or a star symbol (*) in front are required for successful form submission and account creation.
The first form field is for you to enter an ID and check whether it is available. This is important as the ID has to be unique – you cannot use an ID if it’s been taken by someone else. The ID will also dictate what your email address is going to be, as in your-chosen-ID@hotmail.com or your-chosen-ID@live.com.
Note: You may get country specific email addresses like those ending in hotmail.co.uk or live.in (India).
I believe the best ID should be your name like firstname.lastname@example.org but the chances of that being available are remote unless you have an uncommon name. You can also try checking for IDs that are a combination of your first and last names or those that describe you in any other way. If you are creating hotmail account for your business, your company name would be the ideal ID.
Anyway, the Check Availability button is conveniently provided to test if the chosen ID is not in use by someone else. Furthermore, the drop down beside the ID text field lets you choose between hotmail.com or live.com (and country specific domains).
Note: Since Hotmail is a popular email service with millions of subscribers, getting an appealing ID might take a little time. It is easy to feel frustrated if you’ve already spent (wasted) 5 minutes… but hang on. I ask you to show a little perseverance in this matter as a good ID will help people recall your email address.
In the same breath, avoid having numbers in your Hotmail.com ID unless, of course, they are important, such as being a part of your company name. Remember, you cannot change your ID once you create a Hotmail account. Read some tips on how to get a username of choice.
Another important aspect when creating a Hotmail account is choosing a password. Ensure that your password is strong… and what does that mean?
The password needs to be complex so that people cannot guess it in a few tries. The password shouldn’t be your spouse name or something very obvious. A good mix of upper and lowercase letters, digits and symbols is the way to go and do refer the Password strength bar. Remember, this password is your key to all the Windows Live services. Over time you may have sensitive and personal information stored in your account and it would be disastrous if the password is leaked out! Here are some personal tips on how to make a strong password.
By the way, you can change your password any time once you create your Hotmail account.
Before we move on to the next item in the form, I like to mention something important regarding passwords. The form requires you to enter your password twice and it does this for a reason – so that you don’t forget it immediately. I know of many people who when creating an account cannot remember the password they have entered a few minutes back. It has happened to me too in the past, not with Hotmail though! I suggest you note the password in an important place… your “little black book”, for instance. You will be able to recall your password once you have used it to access your account a few times.
Let us now move on to completing the form to finish the process of making a Hotmail account.
Paul Buchheit is credited to have suggested Google's motto - "Don't be evil". He is also responsible for AdSense, the online advertising platform for the search engine giant. [more...]