What you want to know about Hotmail to Outlook.com automatic forced upgrade

With Outlook.com leaving its Preview status, I suppose it was just a matter of time that Microsoft would slowly start upgrading all Hotmail users to Outlook.com.


The automatic upgradation of Hotmail to Outlook has already started. Microsoft plans to upgrade all the people still using Hotmail to be upgraded by this summer. If you haven’t already upgraded your Hotmail to Outlook, now might be a good time to do so and get a new @outlook.com address if you want to.

If you don’t upgrade, at some point of time, Microsoft will automatically carry out a forced upgrade on your Hotmail account. And that’s not such a bad thing – in fact its great, as Outlook.com giver a much better user-experience than Hotmail, in my opinion.

It is understandable that you will have some questions and fears about this upgradation process. Microsoft has tried to answer questions and allay fears about this.

Will my @hotmail, @live or @msn mail ID’s still work?

Yes, they will still work on Outlook.com. Your email, contacts, SkyDrive files, calendar items and settings are all the same as they were.

Do I have to get a new email address?

No. You can keep using your existing @hotmail.com, @live.com, or @msn.com address. But you can  get a new @outlook.com address if you want to.

Can I switch back to Hotmail?

After the automatic upgrade, you will not be able to switch back. Over time, Hotmail will be phased out and Outlook.com will be the free email service from Microsoft. As part of this transition, Microsoft has removed the option to switch back to Hotmail.

Will Outlook.com work on my current browser?

Sure it will work on most browsers. But for the best experience, you should update your browser to the latest version. Outlook.com has been  optimized for the following browsers:

  • Windows Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10
  • Google Chrome 17 and higher
  • Firefox 10 and higher
  • Safari 5.1 on Mac

Can I still use my POP3/SMTP messaging client with Outlook.com?

Yes. The settings for your POP3/SMTP client are the same settings you used for accessing Hotmail.

If you use an email client, you will want to set up your POP3 or SMTP Server and Port settings:

  • POP3 Server: pop3.live.com (Port 995)
  • SMTP Server: smtp.live.com (Port 25)

Go here to watch a video about how to use popular features in Outlook.com.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Marco

    Hi, upon outlook upgrade, I must change my email address’s domain to outlook.com?
    what if I am using outlook interface now and I haven’t change to outlook domain? will Microsoft randomly change my domain? thanks

  2. No. You can keep using your existing @hotmail.com, @live.com, or @msn.com address to log into outlook.com and to send and receive mail. Microsoft will at some point of time upgrade your ‘Hotmail UI’ to ‘Outlook UI’. Nothing else will really change.

  3. Not your Concern

    why the hell cant they just leave a good thing the way it is. Forced upgrades are extremely anoying, and it shows that they have little concern for the user. I dont get it with these types of services constantly needing change. People dont like suprises and do not like change. I want a service that is familiar to me.

  4. Gill

    I have just had the `change`forced on me and,don`t like it. For example ,because I use the same e-mail address for my Facebook page ,the `funny` picture that I use for my friends there has been transferred to the profile picture and I have inadvertently sent it on a business e-mail to the States. I don`t want my business e-mails decorated in ANY way. What can I do to remove this

  5. nananonnie

    will my hotmail calendar automatically switch to an outlook calendar (i have been automatically switched, but so far my calendar still says hotmail calendar and everything in it looks the same)

  6. gibson

    found out that too, it still has a nice image I was able to select that I want returned to my other pages so it seems more friendly. The new appearance looks very very bland compared to my live account before.

  7. Kimberly

    I have my Microsoft auto upgrades turned off, I didn’t say ok to upgrade, searching and reading for hours, has nothing to do with my pc outlook vs hotmail all on Microsoft servers I know silly… and basically there is nothing one can do about it your email is on their servers not yours. Welcome Everyone to Outlook

    I’m Trying to be positive ….. Change always messes us up a little.

  8. codrfd

    I cannot dowload pdf and other attachments

  9. Tommy Mckinzie

    When I got Windows 7 (64 bit) I downloaded Microsoft’s Outlook.com to use for my mail, but

    there are no sounds for incoming mail. I have been to the Control Panel, Sounds and got the Mail Notification I wanted but still no sounds. Some one can contact my Gmail if they know how to fix it tommyguns45@gmail.com

  10. Oliver Chakal

    I do not understand why the upgrade I was happy with my hotmail now with this upgrade to outlook I do not get sound for incoming emails so I have to be checking my mails often instead of a sound alerting me like I has nothing else to do. Does somebody know how to fix it

  11. pnwfemale

    First of all, I do not consider Outlook as an upgrade to Hotmail. It is different; but, not necessarily in a good way. When I had Hotmail, each new message would come in quietly with no fanfare. With Outlook, it’s quite a production. The window goes white for several seconds before the messages appear. I wish there was a way to turn that off. I don’t like it at all. Hotmail used to be my favorite web mail. I’ve been using Outlook for about a month; but, it seems like much longer. I miss Classic Hotmail.

  12. guy lester

    I cannot change my outlook profile picture…I have followed all sorts of advice , including doing the basic things!!! so please do not advise to use “change picture” because all that does is temporarily change my picture but in my profile i can only see my the picture I want to delete. Every time thereafter that I go back to outlook my old picture is there again!!
    Also I cannot remove it via “3rd party connections” because I do not have any!! Believe it or not I actually gave up on Facebook after it insisted that I give it permission to remove “unsuitable material for use on FB” from my laptop and smartphone!!

    I am open to all advice and help!!

  13. mona19595

    OUTLOOK sucks!!! I was just forced into an upgrade and have literally LOST all of my old emails and email contacts, NOT HAPPY AT ALL BUT NOW IT GETS ME OUT OF OUTLOOK ALL TOGETHER AND THAT IS A GOOD THING! Does anyone know how I can access my existing Hotmail email and contacts????

  14. steve

    I have reluctantly started the upgrade but cancelled when it required credit card details – any other options please?

  15. Jomama Omyballs

    They hid away the refresh button. Curse them.

  16. megzee

    my Hotmail acc has been changed and now I can’t access any folder bar the inbox, I have lost all saved folders and the information in them

  17. megzee

    how do I find or restore all the folders that have disappeared since this forced upgrade ?

  18. Winston Hazel

    After the upgrade, my inbox of an added mailbox has not updated with latest emails. Any suggestions please?

  19. Georgann

    everyone in my office has been upgraded except me. Can I force an upgrade, and if yes please explain how

  20. Asur

    I did my upgrade with my Hotmail account awhile back. Now have email (did not open) coming to my ‘hotmai’ account that I must follow a link to do the upgrade or lose account services. Sounds like spam and I suspect it will catch a lot of people as many of the seniors I know had relatives set up their 1st email account as a Hotmail account. I haven’t heard much about this one recently though. Is this an old one coming back again?

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