This page has instructions on how to make a Hotmail account and continues the steps from the previous article – creating a Hotmail account. We shall quickly complete the online sign up form and take a brief look at the Hotmail inbox.
If you have followed the instructions on the previous page, you would have procured a unique Hotmail ID and entered your password (twice). We are now ready to move ahead and complete the rest of the form.
As mentioned before, passwords are the key to your Hotmail account. They need to be sufficiently complicated so that others are not able to guess them in a few tries. A mix of upper and lower case letters with digits and symbols thrown in for good measure results in a strong password – something that’s not so obvious.
Unfortunately, this also makes the password difficult to remember. I suggest you note it down in a safe place so that you can check it up if it slips your mind.
Once you make your account, Hotmail allows you to change the password any time you want. This is really helpful if you ever forget the password or feel this information has been leaked. However, to reset the password or change it in future, you do need to provide some “security” information at the time of account creation – an alternate email address (different from your Windows Live ID) OR a security question and its answer.
Alternate email address
Providing an alternate email address is a good idea; the password reset information will be sent to this account whenever you make a request for it in the future. However, if the Hotmail account being made is your first email address, you wouldn’t have an alternate email address, right? In this case, you need to go in for the security question alternative.
By the way, you might also think of supplying an email address of a trusted friend or a family member but remember this would mean creating a sort of security hole, if you know what I mean.
The security question and answer
Clicking on the security question link will replace the alternate email field with a drop down of security questions and a blank text field for the secret answer. Choose a question from the drop down list and enter the answer (a minimum of 5 characters). Both these fields are required for successful account creation.
I also suggest checking the tips on how to create a good security question.
Your personal details such as first name, last name, country/region, state/territory, postal code, gender and borth year are all required fields of the form. Make sure you enter these correctly.
The last field of the Hotmail sign up form requires you to prove you are human by entering the characters you see in the image. This step prevents automated programs from making zillions of Hotmail accounts – a program would certainly have difficulty in deciphering the characters in the image especially when they are wavy and zig-zag.
If you too have trouble in interpreting these characters, click on the “New” link to load a fresh image. Alternatively, you can click on “Audio” to hear a recording – make sure the speakers on your computer are turned on.
Before you click on the “I Agree” button, go through all your inputs again to ensure the correct submission of the form.
Once you have double-checked your inputs in the online Windows Live sign up form and agreed to the terms and conditions, your account would be created. If you get an error message, simply follow the instructions.
Your Hotmail email account INBOX would now be displayed with a single welcome message from the service. Including the Inbox, there are five folders in your Hotmail account – Junk, Drafts, Sent and Deleted. The Junk folder holds messages identified as spam or phishing scams (junk), the Drafts folder stores the emails you have created and saved, Sent has all the emails you have sent from your Hotmail account and Deleted contains the email messages you have deleted.
Furthermore, you can create more folders through Manage folders section (move cursor over “Folders” and then click on the small ‘gear’ icon to bring up a menu – refer image). This is a tremendous help once you have amassed tons of email messages and need a bit of organization – to know more, read creating folders in Hotmail.
When you make a Hotmail account, you can use the same login details (email and password) to access other Windows Live services such as Spaces, Calendar, Contacts, Messenger, XBox LIVE etc.
Gmail displays "Lockdown in Sector 4" error message if it suspects abnormal usage at an account. The account can be put offline upto to 24 hours. This is a great security measure put in place by the Google email service. [more...]