Advanced methods for Hotmail password recovery/reset?
January 31, 2014 11:12 AM   Subscribe

My dad had his computer reformatted and now he doesn't remember his Hotmail password because it used to be saved in his browser. We tried to recover the account by going into the "Can't access your account?" section, but we were unsuccessful. He can still access his emails via the Mail app on his iPhone.

Hotmail can send a security code by text message, but strangely, the partial number shown ends with "49" but he currently doesn't have a phone number that ends with 49. Maybe it was his old work number or something, it doesn't remind him of anything.

Choosing "I don't use this number anymore" brings us to a very detailed form where we have to enter:

- Full name, birth, address. He lived at the same address for 25 years, so we're sure those questions are answered correctly.
- Previous passwords. He only remembers the original password, he's not sure if he changed it later.
- Subjects of recently sent emails, name of folders created, email addresses used recently. Since we have access to his iPhone, I created a few dummy folders and sent dummy emails to different email addresses that I own. So we're sure that those questions are answered correctly.

Each time we submitted the form, we later got an email from Hotmail saying that they can't validate ownership. After 3-4 attemps, we got a "final update" from Hotmail saying that we could not use this method anymore.

Are there any other options left, or is he basically stuck with checking his emails on his iPhone?
posted by kag to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What version of iOS is your father running on his iPhone? If he's running iOS 7 and you have access to a Mac running OS X 10.9 Mavericks you can recover his Hotmail password via iCloud Keychain.

Start by enabling iCloud Keychain on the iPhone that has the Hotmail password in it's existing device-specific keychain, if it is not already enabled. Create a new user account on the Mac and login to that account. Enable iCloud in that user account using the same iCloud account as you are using on the iPhone. Enable iCloud Keychain on the Mac and authenticate with the iCloud security code you chose when you enabled it on the iPhone. The new user account on the Mac and the iPhone should now have shared access to contents of the previously device-specific keychain of your father's iPhone. Open the Keychain Access application on the Mac and find the "internet password" key associated with Hotmail (it might be "" or something similar). Double click the key, click "Show Password", authenticate, and then you should be able to see and copy out the Hotmail password to your father's e-mail account. Afterwords don't forget to delete the user account created for the purposes of recovering the Hotmail password.

If you don't have even temporary access to a Mac running OS X 10.9, I'd be willing to do the Mac side of things for you (afterwords I'd strongly encourage you to reset all of your Father's passwords as this would, of necessity, give me temporary access to your father's passwords). Send me a MeFi mail if that is of interest to you.
posted by RichardP at 12:49 PM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was going to ask you if you had tried calling Microsoft’s tech support. Then I thought, why don’t I try googling the number to make my answer more helpful. Well, I found out that I had to log in to access the Help! That is obviously something your father can’t do, since he doesn’t have his password. I happen to have a Hotmail account, so I logged in and accessed the help. It turns out there is no number; the only options are “IM chat” or “request a callback”. Here is the link to request an IM chat with them.

Good luck!
posted by yawper at 1:20 PM on January 31, 2014

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