Windows Phone users: do not rename your email to Outlook.com

Windows Phone users: do not rename your email to Outlook.com

Summary: Microsoft rolled out a major update to Hotmail with their new Outlook.com email service. If you have a Windows Phone though, keep using the Live.com or Hotmail.com email you used or you will lose access to all other Microsoft services you have setup on your phone.

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Ed Bott wrote about the new Outlook.com service and I went ahead and logged in to check it out. I am a heavy Windows Phone user and was all set to change to an Outlook.com email address instead of my Live.com one when I ran across the warning shown below. As you can see, there is still some work to do on integrating this new Outlook.com service into Windows Phone and I imagine we won't see much done with this until Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone users: do not change your email to Outlook.com

My recommendation for Windows Phone users is to continue to use your Live.com account and if you want then go ahead and setup your own Outlook.com account, but DO NOT rename your existing Live.com email address. If you don't mind a full hard reset then go for it, otherwise wait until you need to do a hard reset or decide in the future to wipe your device and clean things up.

From what I can tell, you can go and sign up for Outlook.com email accounts to ensure you get the name you want and then just leave the Live.com or Hotmail.com email you have associated with your Windows Phone in place. I imagine this will change with Windows Phone 8, but it seems these two teams were not working together for this Outlook.com rollout. As shown in the screenshot warning you will lose access to Marketplace, Xbox Live, SkyDrive, and more with such a change. It's nice to see an update to Hotmail, but I wish there was more guidance provided and thought put into Windows Phone users.

You can setup and use your new Outlook.com email through the Windows Live option on your Windows Phone to sync email, contacts, calendar, and tasks while leaving the original Live/Hotmail address tied to your other services. With the combined inbox option on Windows Phone you can then integrated Live/Hotmail with Outlook. The only limit is that grandfathered Skydrive folks with 25GB will get another 7GB attached to the Outlook.com account.

A reader also mentioned you may be able to just create an alias to get an Outlook.com email address without messing up the email associated with all of your Windows Phone services. I was able to get an Outlook.com alias, but you cannot choose to send it from the alias on your phone so the better option is to setup your Outlook.com email through the Windows Live new account option..

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Smartphones

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26 comments
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  • You can do it

    You can do it, same as renaming your Live ID at any time, but you'll have to perform a hard reset on the phone to get it working again. Windows Phone is the only device/portal/$system that doesn't recognise changing the login email address of a Live ID.
    Mark Brislane
    • Hard reset isn't a fun experience

      If you have LOTS of apps, music, accounts, and other things setup on your phone it isn't a great experience. I recommend people grab the Outlook.com account they want and then just wait until they HAVE to hard reset or want to clean up their device in the future. In the meantime, you can use your new Outlook.com email separately.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Can you rename the email address to one you've already grabbed?

        Thanks for the advice. I have a WP7 and will probably hold off until I get a WP8 or Win8 device. At that time though, will it let me rename to the email address I already grabbed? Wouldn't it already be taken?

        I was playing in the alias settings and it told me the address I grabbed @outlook.com was already in use. (Maybe that's apples and oranges, but still raised an eyebrow.)
        cjallan417
    • Re: "you'll have to perform a hard reset on the phone to get it working ag"

      Typical Microsoft quality, I see.
      ldo17
  • don't RENAME just create a new @outlook account

    and add it to WP7. This is not a big deal since you can turn off everything from the @live.com account in WP7 including contacts, calendar, email ;-)

    safer/smarter anyways to create a new instead of renaming.
    chinch987
    • Lose large Skydrive though, right?

      Many of us long time Windows Phone users have the large grandfathered Skydrive limit (25GB) so some of the benefit of the Outlook.com address is reduced here with the 7GB limit. Granted, this likely won't affect too many and you can always keep using your Live.com one for serious storage needs.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
    • alias

      Making an alias is another easy way to secure a outlook.com address and not change your windows live ID
      MrCaddy
  • renaming vs logging in with Live account

    you can use an existing Live ID to see the new Outlook.com service; create the new Outlook.com account with the name you want as well and switch over when Windows Phone gets an update to support it?
    mary.branscombe
  • Get Your Own Domain Name, Sign Up for Office365

    We're talking about your data here, it's worth the investment (and the Exchange account is a dream). Makes it easy to get the alias you want, too.
    WebSiteManager
  • Who says anyway to need an outlook.com address?

    As far as I understand, you can still use the new outlook.com mail website with your old @hotmail.com or @live.com address, so why would someone want a new e-mail address anyway?

    I've got this Hotmail address since before Microsoft bought Hotmail and I've already got too many e-mails, I'm not gonna add a new one just because they offer a new domain name.
    lepoete73
  • Alias

    I just created an alias. Once I pick up a fresh new WP9 device, I'll just switch it over at that point. So, some time in the next few months.
    wyn6
    • WP9

      Is more than just a few months out I'm afraid ;-)
      WebSiteManager
  • Outlook

    How long should I expect the services currently tied into hotmail, like Xbox and Windows Phone, be reconnected to the new Microsoft Outlook?
    Alexander H
  • Can you undo an e-mail change?

    I accidentally changed my @live.com to an @outlook.com address. I received an e-mail asking for confirmation, but it's already done even though I tried to deny the change.

    Is there a way to change it back? There is no support from MS for this, and my WP7/Windows8 (release preview)/Xbox/Zune Pass/Skydrive are all associated with the @live.com account. I really dont want the @outlook.com account since I used the wrong @outlook.com name anyways. I'll find out when I get home, but I'm assuming this screws up your Windows 8 login too if you are not using a local account.
    MoggSquad
    • Email name change

      I have the same problem - I changed the email name and cannot undo the changes - even though I received an email asking to confirm the changes.
      Hadi_Salah
    • Renamed by mistake.

      I did the same mistake too. Is it possible to undo the changes. Any advise will be appreciated.
      sameeer1
    • Dito

      Same here. Got the new Outlook.com name I wanted, but didn't expect it to auto-switch my hotmail account over. Got the confirmation email and tried to say "no thanks" after I realized it made the change, and that did not work.

      Now my WP7 has an account that can't be changed unless I reset it. And all of the sites where I used to authenticate with the live ID of my hotmail address no longer work.

      CRAP!
      kwreid
  • SkyDrive storage space when renaming to Outlook.com

    Suppose I rename @hotmail.com account, which has 25GB free storage, to @outlook.com, the storage is truncated to 7GB ?
    Nuntawat Soi-ampornkun
    • RE: SkyDrive storage space

      I just renamed my hotmail.com address to an outlook.com and retained all 25GB of skydrive storage.
      Damon Chance
      • Well...

        ... Now I have 7gb :/ and even worst, I can't see my contacts online
        disparates