How to Get a Free Hotmail Account

By Craig Witt

Hotmail is a web-based email service provided by Microsoft. Formally known as Windows Live Hotmail, the service has allowed users to send, receive, manage and search through their email messages for free since its release in July 1996. In exchange for providing services at no cost, Hotmail attaches brief advertisements to outgoing emails and displays advertising within its email administration screens. Signing up for a free account includes a brief registration process.

Step 1

Open a web browser window and navigate to the Hotmail homepage.

Step 2

Click the "Sign up" button.

Step 3

Enter your preferred user name in the "Hotmail address" field, select your preferred domain (such as "") from the drop-down menu, then click the "Check availability" button. If you receive a message telling you that the selected address is not available, enter an alternate choice and click "Check availability" again.

Step 4

Type your preferred password in the "Create password" field, then confirm your choice in the "Retype password" field. Hotmail passwords are case-sensitive and must be at least six characters in length.

Step 5

Enter an alternate email address. If you do not have another email address, click the "Choose a security question for password reset" link, select a question from the drop-down menu, then provide your answer in the "Secret answer" field.

Step 6

Enter your personal information, including name, gender and birth year.

Step 7

Type the letters and numbers contained in the automatically generated image. This step confirms that a human, not an automated system, is requesting the new account.

Step 8

Click the "I accept" button to confirm your choices and establish your free Hotmail account.