A reader asks:
What can I do if my account has been hacked and I haven’t already added security information to it?
It would be easier to recover your account if you had already associated it with information that cybercriminals can’t easily access, like your mobile phone number or an alternate email address. For example, if your account is compromised, Microsoft could send you an account-recapture code in a text message to help you regain access to your account. If you do have access to your account, add security information to your account now.
If your account has been hacked and you can’t get access to it, the first thing you should do is scan your computer for viruses. Do this before you try to change your password. Hackers get your password through malware that's been installed on your PC without your knowledge (for example, when you download a new screen saver, toolbar, or other software from an untrustworthy source.) It’s important to clear your PC of viruses or malware before you change your password. That way, the hackers won’t get your new password.
If your computer is running Windows 8
Use the built-in Windows Defender to help you get rid of a virus or other malware.
From the Search charm, search for defender, and then open Windows Defender.
On the Home tab, choose a scan option, and then tap or click Scan now.
In addition to the color codes for your PC’s overall security status, Windows Defender applies an alert level to any suspected malware it detects. You can decide whether to remove an item entirely, research it further, or let it run because you recognize it.
If your computer is running Windows 7 or Windows Vista
Run the Microsoft Safety Scanner. The scanner works with the antivirus software that you already have on your computer, regardless of whether the software is from Microsoft.
Download Microsoft Security Essentials for free, and then use the software to run a scan of your computer. For more information, see Help protect your PC with Microsoft Security Essentials. (Note: Some viruses will prevent you from downloading Microsoft Security Essentials. If you can’t download the software, follow the instructions for using Windows Defender Offline.)
Some malicious software can be difficult to remove. If your antivirus software detects malware but can’t remove it, follow these steps.
Get more help removing viruses
Once you’ve scanned your computer for viruses, reset the password on your account.
If you can’t reset your password, and you haven’t already added security information to your account, you can still get back into the account by filling out a questionnaire. You will be asked specific questions about the account and email messages that might be stored there. Someone will get back to you within 24 hours (typically a lot sooner).
For more information, see How to recover your hacked Microsoft account.
can I get someone to call me because I don't know what to do im in need to ask for help
Can you help me get my password for outlook express? Codes don't work for me and the voice is to fast and unclear
Im trying to get into my account but I cannot find it never used the computer for this information
I have been trying to recover my account for the last few days and I am finding it impossible because I have forgotten some of the personal details expected in this process. I have got some information but it isn't enough for the automatic routines.
I have received insufficient support from your online agents - they are providing me no solution to solve the problem and sending me round in circles with the same advice that isn't working.
How should I be expected to feel about your support team, when they close off my call, without having helped me to find a solution to the problem.
I cant be the first person to not be able to remember details of set up from over 10 years ago - how can I get some customer support from Microsoft for my problem ?
my Hotmail acct is unaccesible by me. its frustrating. you ask me for another email account to send me my security code and I don't have one. I cant access my Hotmail account. this is stupid ive had this ac ct for at least 10 plus years.
I just accessed it yesterday and now I cannot.
Can someone please contact me in regards to recoverying my account. I am confused as to why I received a recovery note when I signed on. I use my hotmail account on a daily basis and need to access at least my contacts list.
I have requested a new code from hotmail to go to this account but it hasn't come through yet. Please assist.
I have not been able to access my account for several days. I have given an alternate email address and been sent a four figure code number. When I entered this a message came up saying that I needed five digits. I am unable to find a way either to access my account, or to get help. I need some help or at least some signposting as to where I can find some.
I have had my hotmail account for over 10 years . i think someone tried to hack my account. i have tried filling in the questionnaire but you went ahead and blocked my account. i asked for the code but i have not received any code on my phone either. you asked for an alternative email which i gave only for you to email me telling me that u have blocked my account.
i am frustrated noting that i have saved so much data on sky drive and cannot access it. Kindly help me.. you can confirm this number with the details that i gave when opening the account since i have not changed my telephone number.
i have changed my passwords several times and i indicated that on the questionnaire. Urgently help me Out.
Has anyone helped these hotmail accounts? I have the same problem they are having? I need access now!
I can't get back into my account and it is very frustrating since I have had this account for over 14 years. I can't remember some of the answers to the questionnaire and it says I "just need to move on and start another account!" I can't seem to do that since all of my user names refer to my email account and for my Microsoft programs that I bought, use my Hotmail as my ID. Can someone please help me? I'm so frustrated right now because I can't even seem to find a number to call for assistance!
I can't get into my account. it asks me to use another e-mail address. I don't have one so I can't receive a security code. now what do I do? I cant even access my e-mail?
Yesterday I was hacked and tried to reset my password. I filled in all the appropriate forms and was told Microsoft would get back to me in 24 hours or less on the new account I set up. Well over 24 hours later I have heard nothing. I am really worried that the hackers are still using my account to send malicious emails. What is happening?
can't access my Hotmail acct. for reason... someone suspected using it??? computer literate though not an expert... definitely sure no one is using it. did the last 4 nos. plus 13 & still did not provide a security code??? tried the long way... filled personal info's twice as much as I can remember & still say not enough. tried a 3rd time today & told to try later again. been w/you guys for at least 20 yrs. (starting late 80's or early 90's). appreciate that though likewise so confused??? this is very inconvenient (big-time). everything is connected w/this acct. no disrespect, but not sure what is really wanted of me??? will appreciate help (big-time) w/my predicament. already gave an alternate email address & sure do hope I get a reply via this message. thank you very much...
I am not able to access my hotmail account for two days now. I cannot remember my alternate email and password what do I do?
I have followed all processes /codes etc to recover my account without success similar to a lot of other posts.