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.