Outlook.com is asking for a personal phone number or alternate email address to “improve my security” and won't let me access my account without compliance.

How do I bypass this?

Or, how do I access my contacts to leave?

  • 1
    Hotmail? Do you mean Outlook.com? Hotmail has been retired.
    – ale
    Aug 26, 2013 at 1:00
  • Thank You Al Everett, I do mean Outlook, of course; any tips on answering my question?
    – Jaqi
    Aug 28, 2013 at 13:26
  • You can,t you have to put it in
    – user55487
    Dec 20, 2013 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


You may have no choice but to get either an alternate phone number (Google Voice is free), or even easier, an alternate free email address. Extra email addresses are easy to come by and you don't have to use it for anything but the Hotmail backup.

  • Thank You pseudon, these have been some of my considerations. I could do with accessing my contacts before I leave, and really feel affronted at having to give my personal details, even if they are 'alternative' ones, just to do this. I thought there must be another way..?
    – Jaqi
    Aug 28, 2013 at 13:32
  • Be aware that if you use an alternate free email address, you can run into issues when overseas. The first account will get a "We need to verify this is you" and send a code to the second account. The second account will also get the same prompt when you log in to get the verification code. The official response I received from Microsoft for this is to create an email address with their competition for verification -.-
    – Kelly Bang
    Jun 13, 2019 at 17:47

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