Having trouble accessing your Outlook account?
Outlook is a great desktop email and webmail client that comes packed with many productivity tools. Losing access to Outlook can be a major headache. With a bit of foresight, you can avoid unnecessary frustration.
Here’s a complete guide to logging into Outlook on the web and from your desktop, and some advice for what to do if you’re locked out,
Logging Into Outlook
There are two main methods of logging into Outlook; using a web browser, or via a desktop application. The former is quick and convenient if you’re on a device that doesn’t require ongoing access to your emails, whereas the latter option is a good choice for your primary work computer, or any other system that’s only going to be used by yourself.
Logging Into Outlook on the Web
The methods for logging into Outlook via your web browser vary slightly, depending on how your account was created.
Most users will use Outlook.com to log in. If your email address ends in @outlook.com, @hotmail.com, @live.com or @msn.com, you’ll be able to log in directly from the Outlook site to access your emails.
Office 365 Subscribers
If your email address was set up as part of an Office 365 or Office 365 for Business subscription, you’ll want to log in here.
Microsoft Exchange Server
Alternatively, you might be using an Outlook email address that works in conjunction with Microsoft Exchange services. In this case, you’ll need to get the login URL from whoever is in charge of setting up email accounts at the company — things will likely look very familiar once you access the email client.
Logging Into Outlook From Your Desktop
Windows Mail App
Windows 10 features a free standard Mail app, and it’s easy enough to set up your Outlook account and start using it to send and receive emails. To access it, enter Mail into the search bar — if it’s not currently installed on your computer, you’ll find a link to the Windows Store so you can download it.
The streamlined simplicity of the Mail app is perfect for some users, but others might consider it to be a little limited. If you’re looking for something that packs more functionality, and you’re not afraid of a more cluttered UI, Outlook 2016 might be a better option.
The Outlook desktop application is part of Microsoft Office 2016, so you’ll need either an active licence or an Office 365 subscription to use it. Outlook 2016 does much more than the Mail app, so it’s preferable if you’re the sort of user that sends and receives lots of email, and you’re looking for complete control over the process. Its deep links with other Microsoft services, like OneNote, are very handy, too.
Recovering Your Outlook Login
If the worst happens and you lose access to your account, don’t fret, as there’s likely a solution to your problem. A forgotten password is the most likely culprit in this scenario, and Microsoft has put together an easy process to request a reset.
Head to this page on the Microsoft website and enter the email address that you’re looking to recover. You’ll also have to enter a text string to prove that you’re not a robot.
You’ll be given several different methods that can be used to verify your identity and regain access to your account.
If you’re already on board with two-factor authentication, called two-step verification by Microsoft, you should see a phone number listed toward the end of the recovery process, where you can receive a verification code via call or text. Otherwise, make sure to set up this extra layer of protection!
Two-step verification confirms a user’s identity by verifying their login on another device. It’s the same idea as using your physical bank card and your personal PIN to make a purchase, with your mobile phone or another device standing in for the card, and your login credentials taking the role of your PIN.
Sites and services often use SMS messages or even phone calls to carry out two-factor authentication, but Microsoft has opted for its own Authenticator app. Anyone that uses the company’s services really shouldn’t go without it.
If you can’t get yourself back into your account through the normal channels, Mail PassView may help you recover your Outlook account credentials.
Mail PassView gives you access to all the account information stored by Outlook, including your password. If you’ve previously logged into your email account on your computer, but no longer have access to those credentials, this tool can help.
Open Mail PassView and run a scan across your PC for any email logins, across all mail clients. The tool will then display all account names, passwords and other related information that it finds, as shown below.
Best of all, Mail PassView is a standalone executable, meaning that you can run it on your system without installing it. The utility is free and compatible with versions of Outlook from 2000 to 2016.
Outlook Login Recovered
You can always recover a lost password, but keeping your emails secure is about more than just your own access — it’s about keeping everyone else out.
Losing the ability to log in to your email account might be frustrating for a day, but giving a hacker access to your personal information can cause much worse issues. Knowing how to recover your password is fine, but it’s best not to lose your password in the first place! Choose a password that’s easy for you to remember, but difficult for someone else to guess, and make sure you have the Authenticator app handy in case the worst happens.
Do you have a tip for anyone unable to access their Outlook account? Or are you looking for help setting up your email client with an Outlook address? Please share with us in the comments!