Hotmail Account Blocked? Here Is How to Fix It

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hotmail account blockedOver the last few years, Microsoft has expanded the Hotmail/Windows Live services to include a dazzling array of browser-based services.

Beyond email and instant messaging, the software giant now provides free, browser-based versions of Office, a cloud service called SkyDrive, a calendar and address book service, and Live Mesh, a system for syncing files between mobile and desktop devices.

With so many features offered for free you might think that this is a pretty good deal – and it is. But what happens to your emails and data when your account is blocked? How might this happen, and is there a way of overcoming it?

How Your Account Might Become Blocked

There are many ways in which a Windows Live/Hotmail account might become blocked. However, with one exception these are all due to end user misuse, which typically only occurs by ignoring or misreading the terms of use issued by Microsoft when you sign up for an account or start using a new service.

hotmail account blocked

As causes for blocked Hotmail accounts go, there are three common reasons. The first is attempting to play pirated Xbox 360 games on your console. While you might retain any previously acquired DLC, access to the Gamertag and Gamerscore will be blocked, and eventually deleted. Not a great way to end months or years of hardcore gaming!

The second is the storing of material that breaks the terms of use for SkyDrive. Adult photos, for example, are not allowed, while family photos of breast feeding might also be the cause of a blocked account. In addition data that is deemed to be pirated will also lead to a blocked account. As Microsoft employs a scanning system to check for inappropriate usage of SkyDrive, there is little chance that you will get away with misuse for long.

Finally, your account may become blocked if it has been hijacked by scammers. This can happen from time to time, resulting in spam emails being sent from your account.

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Wider Impact of a Blocked Account

If your Hotmail or Windows Live account is blocked, the implications of this could be wider than you think. Rather than simply preventing you from accessing your messages (perhaps you might think it is easier to setup a replacement account), a blocked account will also thwart your attempts to use other services that are related to Windows Live.

blocked hotmail account

Some of these include:

  • SkyDrive
  • Windows Live Messenger
  • The Windows Phone Marketplace
  • Xbox Live (including achievements and unlocked content)
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps

Other services such as TechNet and MSDN that have been linked to your Hotmail or Windows Live account would also be blocked.

Furthermore, the new Windows 8 operating system requires a Microsoft account in order for the owner to use some of the cloud features. A blocked Hotmail account – interchangeable with a Windows Live, Xbox Live, Outlook.com and any other Microsoft account – would prevent you from getting the most of the new Windows OS.

Fixing a Blocked Account

Is there a way back from a blocked Hotmail/Windows Live account?

Fortunately, yes there is. It involves jumping through a few hoops and answering your original security question correctly, but once you have successfully done this then Microsoft will restore access to your account and you can carry on using it – legally, and within their terms, of course!

The first thing to do is attempt to restore access to your account by signing in. Here you will find that you have to provide information that can be used to verify your identity. This should be straightforward – your alternative email address might be used, for instance, or you might have to provide the answer to a security question.

If neither of these options is possible (for instance you might have forgotten the question or no longer have access to the old address) then you will need to provide alternative information, such as your credit card number if you use Xbox Live.

Hopefully you should get a favourable resolution, but if you have misused your account, don’t be surprised to find that your data is lost forever…

Restoring a Hijacked Account

hotmail account blocked

If your account has been hijacked, it is far easier to get things back on track. Start by attempting to log in to your account. At this stage, a blocked account will be diverted to a new page, headed Your account has been blocked, which basically explains why the account has been blocked and what you will need to do to restore access. Alternatively, if you’ve noticed odd behaviour or can’t sign in because you have suspicions about your account, click the Can’t access your account? option on the login screen and follow the appropriate options. This process begins by Microsoft sending a verification code to your mobile phone or alternative email address.

Once the code is received, enter it in the appropriate space – you will then be asked to reset your password, specifying the old password as you do so.

Conclusion

While email accounts can be hijacked without your knowledge, it is important to take steps to avoid this from happening. Indicating on the Hotmail password reset page that you wish to reset your password every 72 days is a good start, as is providing the name of your Windows PC and your mobile and alternative email address.

As far as blocked Hotmail accounts are concerned, meanwhile, only responsible use of your Windows Live account can prevent it from being disabled. Microsoft’s policy of restoring accounts that have been blocked seems to depend on the provision of accurate data so that the operatives can make a decision about your account. Information can be misinterpreted and security questions and answers can be forgotten, so it is best to avoid any problems here by using your account responsibly.

One last thing – note that if you receive an email informing you that your account has been blocked, you should disregard this as it is more than likely part of a phishing attempt. A link in the email will be provided for you to enter your personal details which can then be used by a criminal to borrow money or buy goods in your name. Should you receive such an email, don’t click any links, delete the message, and then open a new browser window and try to login to Hotmail to check the account status.

Image Credit: Hotmail via Cloudbound, SkyDrive via Cloudbound, Gamer via Shutterstock

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Comments (70)
  • Ioulios

    i login inside of my account and it says (It looks like someone else might be using your account)
    what i can do about this it rly piss me off i try to do many things but i cant find a way ….. if someone can help me please reply to me

  • NAdy Attia Fathy

    Dear Sir
    When I traveled from Egypt to China as postdoctoral fellowship I found that my hotmail account (fathyna.77@hotmail.com) is blocked and given a message said that it looks like someone else might be using your account’. i followed the verification steps in which I recorded the last 4 numbers in mobiles and also my alternative email to receive a verified code and no verified code is sent. Also I filled the questionaire and got a reply that i cannot verify my account since the details i filled are incorrect. i filled all the right details. i need my emails back as soon as, where my all friends inbox.
    Best Regards,

  • j smith

    This is something they do to get extra information out of you to put on their database- ie: they want to cross reference your email accounts etc- ask you to provide a phone number/ other email account- it’s all a scam by Microsoft who are working in collaboration with the government to acquire information on everyone. My hotmail account didn’t have one problem in ten years!!!- since it got changed to outlook there’s been nothing but problems and Microsoft wanting details every couple of months etc- wake up everyone it’s all part of the espionage they are doing on the public!.

  • Lilla

    Help! Microsoft has blocked a hotmail account when we logged on from India at internet cafes. We had no cell phone and completed their verification forms several times but they won’t unblock the account! How can we get it done, even after receiving the email telling us we have to set up a new account? We don’t WANT a new account and are now home. When we try to log on from our own home computer will they recognize us? Can we call someone?

  • Tamara

    Having the same issue. I don’t have an operational phone (have an Android 2.3, but no cell service–WiFi only), and I’ve been trying to get my daughter’s account unblocked for MONTHS. Total Catch-22: We try to log in. For “security,” they want us to change the password. We do so; they then want to “verify” the account, and without a phone to have them text a code to, we give them my email (the parent email on her account; somewhere in the last Web feature shakeup they managed to knock two of my three kids off our Family Safety [since that’s what they’re calling it now] account, but my email is obviously still in there as the alternate, because that shows up as correct when I enter it). They email me a link to…change the password. We do so. (We’re running out of stuff we can remember here–remember, they don’t let you reuse passwords.) It ALMOST lets us in, but before it lets us in to the inbox…yep, you guessed it, they ask us to VERIFY THE ACCOUNT. For security. ;) ;) I TRY to go through the rigamarole again, but it tells me we’ve hit our “limit for account recovery requests” and will have to wait 24 hours before trying again.

    I don’t know what else to do. My daughter is without email, and she needs it for all her school logins (and all the family stuff Microsoft owns that we have all synced up). We’re at the mercy of a corporation that can’t keep 75% of their support links functioning and doesn’t actually solve any problems with those that do ostensibly “function.”

    I’m sick of having to relogin forty times in four hours of work because I’m navigating across their various subdomains with the same account, or just because their servers got bored watching me be productive. I’m sick of not being able to check my email on my phone, tablet, or laptop except in my own home because they want to block access from every coffee shop, church, and McDonald’s where I stop to work or eat (yeesh, I spend more time out and about than at home, anyway), and there’s nothing they’ll let me do about it. I’m sick of bugs and glitches being the rule rather than the exception. I’m sick of losing more and more control over my family’s settings. The Microsoft account has become ever-more ubiquitous yet ever-LESS functional in our house of five. Their tools sound so capable and great–until we actually try to USE them. Maybe it is time to dump Windows, Office, Hotmail (/Live/Outlook–yes, I’ve still got my Hotmail from nigh a decade-and-a-half ago), OneDrive, Xbox, and Exchange, in our home and wherever else I hold any influence. There are alternatives out there. I’d rather not, but then, I’d rather be able to USE their products.

    What good is securing your pens and Post-It notes in a safe, locked with the best security money can buy–fingerprint and retina scans, even–if the system breaks down in some unforeseen fashion and you can’t get it to open? Maybe it’s time to just go out and buy some new pens and Post-It notes and let everyone in the store aisle know why before they buy the same safe. The new pens and Post-Its may clash with my other office supplies some, but that’ll work out in a while. I really don’t want to have to do that, but Microsoft is just tying my hands. (We’re all still waiting glumly for that Microsoft-logo sun to show up in our Minecraft games, too.) <:'(

    • Christian Cawley

      This sounds utterly frustrating, Tamara, thanks for sharing your experience.

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.