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How to recover an account if you haven’t already added security information to it

How to recover an account if you haven’t already added security information to it

  • Comments 43

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 you haven’t already added security information to your account 

Scan your PC for viruses

 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.

Here's how: 

  1. From the Search charm, search for defender, and then open Windows Defender.

  2. 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 

Get more help removing viruses

Reset your password

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.

Comments
  • It has been a few years now and still i am getting spam from my yahoo email account. I changed my password several times but still receive those spam/junk mail. How is it that they can do this? I have called yahoo and at&t and they both say to call the other for help. Noone seems to know how to fix. Is anyone else having similiar problems? Please post a fix

  • I tried to get into my outlook.com account but it says that my account is temp blocked, I haven't been able to get any codes either.

  • My account is stolen and my security phone number has been changed. 

  • Microsoft outlook email is starting to TEE me off. Looks like going to gmail or yahoo might be better. I  can't get my hotlail email contacts , Oh well life with mirosoft will have to just stop. Going to see what Netscape has. Good luck to you all, GG

  • Where can I see answers for these questions or comments from this site.

  • I called two days ago and talked briefly and apparently we lost our connection,I have recently gotten a different computer it does not recognize my e-mail,my passwords,Ican not get into my e-mail account where many e-mails are backing up,most that I needto delete,please help me.

  • I've forgotten my password for one account so it asked me for my other address so it could send a code. I have 100% entered the correct email address but am yet to receive any code whatsoever, I'm so angry, I need to access it asap and I don't know the addresses of people i have emailed recently and i have no groups so can't provide enough info for you to accept the questionnaire! Argh!!!

  • im having all the same problems as above...HELP.!!!!

  • You blocked my account and sent a security code to my secondary email. I am then happy and see a 4-digit security code. I then log in to the blocked email, I enter the 4-digit code you gave me to unblock and then you write that the code should be 5-digits.!!!!!   How can that be - what can I possibly do. ? So so frustrating ....

  • I am quite frustrated everytime log on hotmail being asked about security code. the varification account I gave more than 10 years ago is no more valid... and no way I can get the security code to varify myself!!! this is rediculous, and I notice everytime if I log in from different IP adress this will happen... does this mean that I can only use hotmail home?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I have been asked for a code to get into my hotmail, been trying for a week or so. It says its sent a code to my e-mail that is ironic as its the one i cant get into and i dont an alternative account.. Stupid idea Microsoft.. So i tried the option to txt me the code, ive not received that either. I need to use my hotmail most days. How am i supposed to get into my e-mails?

    Can anybody help please?

  • I have been asked to update my security and have followed the instructions but now can't get on to my emails. They say I can use my account and they will send me an email on 20/7/14, have I got to wait a month before I can get in to my emails?

  • I can't access my account and its been days. Its really important that I check these emails and now it's impossible! This is the worst hotmail set up ever.

    I've tried using "contact suppot" load of rubbish - no assistance or related forums to help

    I've googled at least 5 pages to see if anyone has this issue and resolved it - Nothing!

    I have followed every step provided, multiple times to try recover my account

    I answered the security questions correctly

    I gave names of subject lines I recieve daily

    I gave email addresses I recieve emails from daily

    I gave names of folders I created

    I gave credit card details on the account

    I gave my home address (linked to my hotmail account)

    I gave a NEW email address to recover my account with

    I recieved an email to reset my password, and I did

    But when I go to sign back in - I need to recieve a "security code" from an OLD email address I can't even remember nor the password!

    I'm fuming! ... I see other people are having the same issue yet we can not speak to an actual person to report this to.

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