Microsoft's Hotmail is a free, easy-to-use Web-based e-mail service owned by Microsoft. You can create a Hotmail address for either personal or business e-mail accounts. After you set up your new e-mail account, you can customise the way it appears in your browser by changing background colours and font sizes. Creating a Hotmail address requires you to have a Windows Live ID.
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Start up your Web browser and visit the Hotmail website (see link in Resources). If you already have a Windows Live ID you can log in at the right side of the page and skip Step 2.
Click the "Sign Up" button near the left centre of the page.
Enter your desired username and choose whether you want your e-mail address to end with @hotmail.com or @live.com from the drop-down menu next to the Windows Live ID field. Alternatively, you can click the link below the field to use your existing e-mail address to create a Windows Live ID.
Type in a password twice; doing so ensures you don't make an error in your password unless you make the error both times. Passwords must be at least six characters long and are case sensitive; as you type the password in the site will show you how strong it is (or isn't).
Enter your phone number if you want Microsoft to be able to text you in case you lose your password; this step is optional.
Enter an alternate e-mail address or click the link just below the email field to choose a security question and answer instead.
Enter your first and last names, select your country/region, enter your Postcode, choose your gender, select your birth date and then enter the CAPTCHA code at the bottom of the page to indicate you're a human being and not a bot.
Clear the check mark from the "Send me promotional e-mails..." check box below the CAPTCHA code if do not want Microsoft sending you promotional e-mails about Windows Live, Bing and MSN. Leave it checked if you do want these e-mails sent to you.
Click the "I Accept" button at the bottom of the page to accept the terms and create your Windows Live ID and Hotmail account. If your chosen e-mail address is already taken, the site will inform you at the top of the page; you'll have to keep trying new IDs until you find one that isn't taken. You will also have to re-enter the CAPTCHA code, but the rest of your information should remain intact.
Click the Inbox link at the top of the page after you successfully are able to log in to read Hotmail's welcome e-mail to you. From now on you can simply visit the Hotmail site and log in with your Windows Live ID at the right side of the page to access your Hotmail account.
Tips and warnings
- If you have problems seeing the CAPTCHA letters, click the "New" link just above the code; if you would rather hear the letters spoken, click the "Audio" link next to the "New" link.
- Good passwords typically have at least one capital letter, at least one number and at least one symbol. For example, "M0nk3yl1ps" is a much more secure password than "monkeylips."
- You can always add numbers after your chosen name to help get something similar to what you originally wanted; for example, if you wanted email@example.com you could try firstname.lastname@example.org instead.
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