I can not access my deceased wife's Hotmail account. I do not know password or have access to the phone number to get the pass code. The phone number that was used when account was sent up says the phone number can not be completed as dialed.

  • Only Microsoft can help you.
    – Moab
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


First let us express our condolences for your loss.

Outlook.com, Hotmail, Live, and MSN email accounts are dealt with on one website.

Microsoft recently changed their website invalidating older links. Currently the information is available at: "Next-of-kin process for Outlook.com" (previously available at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/next-of-kin but that now redirects to a webpage where the information isn't shown).

Other references showing similar advice: "I need to get into a persons account that passed away" or "How to Contact Different Digital Services".

You will need to contact Microsoft's "Custodian of Records". The information provided on their website regarding this is:

If a family member has passed away or become medically incapacitated, we're here to help. We have a dedicated team that can release Outlook.com content belonging to the family member—including all emails and their attachments, address book, and contact lists—to a next-of-kin or guardian.

To help safeguard the privacy and security of all Outlook.com customers, we cannot provide you with or change the password to the account, or transfer ownership of the account. Nor are we able to assist you with password resets, account recovery, or any other support for your own account.

The content will be transferred to a DVD, which will be shipped to you. To request the release of content and to close the family member's account, please contact the Microsoft Custodian of Records by emailing [email protected].

In the email, please include the following info:

  • Your first and last name.

  • Your phone number.

  • Your Email address.

  • The full name of the deceased or incapacitated family member.

  • To the best of your knowledge, the Outlook.com accounts belonging to the family member.

Our team will reach out to you with details and specific documentation requirements.

If you have the family member's sign-in info (e.g. email address and password), and you can sign in to the account or accounts, there's no need to go through the next-of-kin process. You already have access to all the info we would compile on the DVD.

Even though the advice appears to refer to outlook.com this is where you end up if you visit https://www.hotmail.com/ and use the "Contact Us" link in the footer.

A similar question Logging into a deceased relative's Facebook account for Facebook users has been asked on SE's WebApps site (here). For Stack Exchange users we have this Q&A on Meta: How should a user's death be handled?. It is OK to ask this question here, but you will need to go to Microsoft for further assistance.

  • 1
    Hotmail has officially been retired, but the existing email addresses have all been aliased to Outlook.com addresses, so this advice definitely applies. Good find!
    – jonsca
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 22:36
  • 2021 update: I tried to sending an email to that address and I got 550 5.4.1 Recipient address rejected: Access denied
    – razpeitia
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 0:23
  • @razpeitia visiting Hotmail redirects to: outlook.live.com/owa and searching for the email address leads here: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook_com/forum/all/… - perhaps the problem is local.
    – Rob
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 0:32

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