How to Change the Password for Outlook.com

By Kathryn Hatashita-Lee

Take the initiative to update your password in your Outlook.com settings and minimize the risk of hacking. Microsoft Windows provides a sequence of steps to verify your Microsoft account with your phone number or alternate email address. Windows also provides a direct link to a series of short questions to help you reset your password, if it has been forgotten.

Reset the Password

Sign in to your Outlook.com account with your Microsoft Account and password to open your inbox. Click the gear icon on the header and select "Options" to display the Options pane. Click the "Account Details (Password, Addresses, Time Zone)" link in the Managing Your Account section. Select "Security & Password" and follow the prompts that include cross-checking your security information, such as your phone number or alternate email address. The Microsoft Account Team will send you a time-sensitive message with instructions to follow.

Forgotten Password

If you forgot your password and cannot sign into your Microsoft Account, access the Microsoft page that guides you through resetting your password. (See the link in Resources.) The Microsoft Account page displays a short list with options, such as "I forgot my password." Click "Next" to start the process of resetting your password. One step includes manually entering characters from a Captcha picture to avoid the risk of automated programs gaining access to your secure information.

Create the New Password

Tips for new passwords include avoiding names, phone numbers, birthdays and easy to guess words, such as your nickname and year of birth. Do not reuse old passwords from this account or other accounts. Microsoft’s suggestions for building strong passwords include a mix of numbers, letters and symbols that are easy for you to remember, but not easily guessed by others.