Microsoft can delete a Hotmail or Outlook account: how to avoid this

The title is not misleading. Microsoft reserves the right to close an account if it has not been used for a long time. This applies to all Microsoft accounts, from Hotmail / Outlook to Xbox Live. Microsoft’s new security policy is effective August 30, 2019 and explains how and why “.  Microsoft may close your account due to account inactivity” by mentioning some special cases where nothing will be done. Not losing your Microsoft account is very easy, explanations.

Automatic deletion of an Outlook or Hotmail mailbox

Microsoft considers an account to be inactive when it has not been used for the last two years. If you have not used your Hotmail mailbox (, Outlook ( or old name (, then Microsoft will allow itself to close this account.

You may use a Microsoft account to log on to a Windows 10 or Windows 8 / 8.1 computer if this is the case, Microsoft will not consider this account inactive, even if you do not use the associated email. But this does not exclude checking from time to time to see if an information email has not arrived, about the computer’s account.

Xbox Account

To play online with an Xbox game console, you need to have an Xbox Live account. This account is an email address hosted by Microsoft and even if you do not use this email for message exchanges, you will still need to check this mailbox from time to time.

Why does Microsoft want to delete email accounts?

Three reasons for this:

1. Old account = old password, certainly with very basic security. To fight against hacking, Microsoft protects you and protects itself by eliminating accounts with a password that is too weak.

2. Comply with the RGPD The General Data Protection Regulation entered into force in May 2018 and requires companies to justify why they collect and process so much data. Fewer active email accounts = fewer accounts to justify, especially if they are no longer used.

3. Hosting mailboxes costs IT resources, so money. And since a Hotmail, Outlook and Xbox account is free, Microsoft actually saves storage, servers and bandwidth.

How not to lose your Outlook, Hotmail, Xbox account?

Not used does not mean useless, but it will take 30 seconds to avoid any inconvenience. Microsoft specifies:”  You must sign  in to your Microsoft account at least once in a two-year period to keep your account active ” -> You must log in at least once every two years so that the Microsoft account is not deleted . That’s all. That’s all. A simple authentication from a computer or mobile phone, without even having to read unread messages, to keep the account active.

But you will not receive any reminders from Microsoft before closing the email account.

1. Open a web browser on your computer (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge…).

2. Go to the site

3. Click on”.  Login to the site  “in the middle of the screen or at the top right.

tutoriel se connecter Outlook Hotmail Xbox compte Microsoft

4. Fill in the email address and click on Next .

tutoriel se connecter mail Outlook Hotmail Xbox compte Microsoft

5. Indicate the password of this Microsoft account.

tutoriel se connecter mail Outlook Hotmail Xbox compte Microsoft mot de passe password

6. Some messages may be displayed to suggest smartphone authentication or to accept new terms of use.

tutoriel Outlook Hotmail Xbox compte Microsoft smartphone

7. Once connected to the Microsoft, Hotmail, Outlook or Xbox account, there is nothing else to do. No obligation to read a message or send one, simply connecting to this account restarts the two-year period before deletion for inactivity.