How to reset the password for your Microsoft, Outlook or Xbox account
If you are using Xbox, Outlook.com, Windows 10, Office 365, Azure or other Microsoft products and services, you surely have a Microsoft account that you use to log in. You might call it your Xbox account, your OneDrive account or some other name but they all are, in the end, a Microsoft account. If you can't log into your account because you have forgotten your password, you must go online and reset it. You can't do it from the device or application where you are trying to use it. Here's how to reset the password for your Microsoft account:
If you need a refresher on what a Microsoft account is and why you would use one, read these guides:
- What is a Microsoft account?
- Should you use a local or a Microsoft account in Windows 10?
- How to Set Up Two-Step Verification for Your Microsoft Account
Step 1: Access the Microsoft password reset tool in your favorite web browser
To regain access to your Microsoft services and device, you can use any device that is connected to the internet and go to the Microsoft online password reset tool. Select that you have forgot your password and press Next.
Then, provide the e-mail address for your Microsoft account and type the captcha that is shown on the screen. If the captcha is on two rows, like in the screenshot below, first type the two letters from the first row and then the three from the second row. Then, press Next.
Step 2: Select how you want to get your security code
You are now asked to verify your identity. If you are an active user, you might have provided Microsoft with an alternate e-mail address, a phone number and/or a two-step security verification app. If you did, then you are in luck and resetting your Microsoft password will be easy and just involves receiving and typing a security code. Select the method you prefer for receiving your security code: e-mail, text or the app (if available). For this tutorial, we selected e-mail.
To verify your identity, you need to type the alternate e-mail that you have provided for your Microsoft account (or your phone number, if you have selected that option). Then, press "Send code".
Step 3: Enter your security code
Verify your alternate e-mail address (or your phone, if you selected that you want the security code sent using a text message) and find the message containing the security code from Microsoft. Type it in this window and press Next.
Step 4: Change your Microsoft account password
You can now type and confirm the new password that you want to use. After you have typed it, click or tap Next.
Microsoft confirms that your account has been recovered and that your password was changed.
Use the new password to log in with your Microsoft account and you are done.
What if I can't get a security code from Microsoft?
At first we covered the easy way to recover your Microsoft account password: the one where you have provided an alternate e-mail address, a phone number or a security app for two-step verification. If you didn't, then resetting your password and recovering your account is a lot more complicated. When asked to verify your identity, select "I don't have any of these".
You are asked to provide a contact e-mail address that works and that you can use. Provide a different e-mail address than that of the Microsoft account that you are trying to recover and press Next.
A verification code is sent to that e-mail address you provided. Check your email, find the code sent by Microsoft and type it. Then, press Verify.
In order to get back into your Microsoft account, you are asked for personal data like your name, birth date and so on. Complete the available fields as truthfully as possible and press Next.
Then, if you remember some old passwords that you've used for this account, you can enter them into the appropriate boxes (this is not mandatory). Also, select which Microsoft products you have used on your account and if whether you purchased something from Microsoft (later you will be asked for your credit card details if you said Yes). When you've completed all that, press Next.
You are asked for the email addresses of contacts you've recently sent emails to and the subjects of your recently sent emails. If you remember them, complete this information. If you don't, just press Next.
Now you are asked for details from Skype (if you have used it). Complete what you remember, if you do and press Next.
Lastly, you will be asked to enter the name on your credit card (if you have used one on your Microsoft account) and other related details. Complete them, if you know them and press Next.
You are now informed that your completed information has been submitted and that it usually takes 24 hours for someone at Microsoft to review your information and help you reset the password.
Also, at the contact e-mail address that you have provided, you are sent a confirmation message with your ticket number.
Now all you can do is wait for Microsoft to verify your information and get back to you.
IMPORTANT: This password reset method doesn't work if you have activated the two-step verification. The first method should work just fine.
Did you manage to reset your Microsoft account password?
As you can see from this guide, resetting the password for your Microsoft account is easy only if you have provided Microsoft with an alternate e-mail address, a phone number or a two-step verification app. Otherwise, things get tricky and it's not 100% sure that you will recover your account. If you have went through this process, let us know how well it worked for you.