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Recover a stolen Microsoft account

Losing your Microsoft account will cause you to be locked out of every Microsoft service and application you have used it on. Whether you want to use your XBox Live, your Skype or Outlook, you need to recover it.

Stolen Microsoft Account

First you need to identify what caused your account to be compromised. It can be anything from unknowingly sharing your account details, phishing sites, using public Wi-Fi or anything else. If you have used your account details on a website, you can report it as a phishing site and let Microsoft know. Maybe you used a weak password and the intruder was able to guess it or brute-force it. Your PC could also contain malware that could be responsible.

Your first step would be to scan your Windows 7, 8 or 10 system with an up-to-date antivirus software. This is to make sure you don’t have a trojan or a keylogger installed on your system.

Change your password

If you still have access to your account, you can simply change your password by going to Outlook’s website. Input your email or phone number and then your password. Use the Change Your Password page on Microsoft’s account dashboard. Set a new, strong password.

Also change your Secret Answer and alternate email ID if any.

Reset password

If you no longer have access to your account, go to Outlook’s website and click on “Can’t access your account?”. Follow the on-screen instructions for resetting your password

Windows 8 or 10 allows you to mark your PC as a “trusted PC,” which would verify you as the legitimate owner of your account without additional verification.

If you are no longer able to access your account, you will be forced to recover your stolen Microsoft account.

Recover Microsoft Account

If none of the above-mentioned steps help, visit the “Recover your Microsoft account” page. Microsoft will ask you to fill out a questionnaire with answers o specific questions about the account and emails stored on it. The answers you provide will prove you’re the account’s legitimate owner. You can use this method without providing any account recovery information. Microsoft’s website says “Someone will get back to you within 24 hours (typically a lot sooner)”, meaning you will have to wait a bit after filling out the questionnaire.

Secure your Microsoft account

Once you have recovered your Microsoft Account, make sure you visit the “Account Summary” page and edit the details, if you feel any could have been compromised. Visit the “Security Info” section and add additional information like your phone number or alternate email address, as you may be asked for it.

If you have a smartphone, you can use an app called “Azure Authenticator”,which provides you with a randomly generated code each time you login. Your other option would be to set up a PIN code for your Microsoft account or even use a fingerprint reader.

Note: A computer running Windows 10, would automatically log you in to your Microsoft account if you use it as your user profile.