Hotmail is of the first webmail services, founded in 1996 by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. It started an era which formed the building block of email services and is often credited as the source of inspiration for other email services as well.
Since its inception is the early age, Hotmail has evolved at an incremental rate, amassing millions of users and improving upon dozens of features that have both been extremely useful and beautifully integrated. Hotmail, once the king of email services, was rebranded to “Outlook” a few years back. In this article, we will go through the features of Outlook / Hotmail as well as the process that you need to follow to create an account on Hotmail.com, which is still possible even after the rebranding.
Let us look at all the features that this mailing service provides to its users:
The calendar is an integral part of your Hotmail account.
Since it uses Ajax, so it enables the user to drag and drop calendar entries from one date to the other without reloading the page, making the user experience very smooth. These entries can also be viewed from anywhere after logging in with your email id and password of your said account. On top of that, it gives the users the ability to create a to-do list so that they can keep track of their important tasks and mark them as completed.
People feature, in Hotmail / Outlook, allows users access to their contacts, the related information and other such details on the go. “People” provides further integration with Facebook, Twitter, etc.
One interesting and useful feature to note is that duplicate contacts can be easily removed when imported with Profile. In the settings, a user is also able to show/hide certain details of a particular contact.
For those people who don’t like switching between different applications to get their tasks fulfilled, the Skype integration feature will prove quite handy. It will allow them to make a video call via Skype, without using the Skype desktop client.
An alias is a new email address that you add to your account. Up to 5 aliases per year can be added to your account but not more than 15 overall. Do note that you can use any of these aliases to send emails to and receive emails from. These said aliases will share the same account settings and will use the same inbox, contact list, etc.
Outlook / Hotmail provides users with the ability to delete or move a large number of emails, taking into account the sender’s information, into certainly specified folders. Thus, this action or “Sweep” can be performed by configuring the sweep settings for any future emails from that sender. And as expected, a user gets an option to delete messages that are older than a certain number of days.
Quick view and One-Click filter
This allows filtering of messages based on flagged messages, photo attachments, document attachments, etc.
Microsoft Office Online Integration
Probably the most critical set of features are provided by the suite of Microsoft Office applications that are very well integrated with Outlook.com / Hotmail.com by allowing documents to be viewed and edited across services such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, etc. Users can simply open the attached documents online and use Microsoft OneDrive to save that document for later use. Up to 25 GB of Office documents can be sent by a user by uploading these to his / her OneDrive and then sharing them.
Last, but not the least, is the security and privacy promised by Microsoft to its users by all possible means. All the emails are secure and not a single mail is scanned for any sort of advertising purpose. A single-use code is also provided upon a user’s request which helps against compromising a user’s account information, especially on a public computer.
As you can see, a lot of useful features have been provided, all while maintaining users’ privacy and information. So, I think it is time for you to dive into the details involved in the creation of your very own Hotmail account!
Create an Account on Hotmail [Step By Step]
Creating a Hotmail is very easy and to do so, you can simply follow the steps mentioned below:
- First and foremost, go to the following link: http://www.outlook.com or https://accounts.microsoft.com/
- Next, click on Create free account. You will be greeted with the following webpage:
- As you can see, by default you will get the @outlook.com domain. So, before progressing any further, click on the downward arrow and then select the @hotmail.com domain. Now you need to create your desired email id. Enter your preferred name in the text box and then click on Next.
- For the next step, you will be asked to enter a password for your account. This password will be used to sign in to your account after you have created it. Enter your desired password and if you want to receive promotional emails from Microsoft, then you may tick the checkbox beside it. Then click Next.
- Enter your First name and Last name in the respective text fields and click the Next button.
- For further details, you will be asked to enter information regarding your country/region and your date of birth. Enter the information and then click on Next.
- Since Microsoft takes security seriously, the next screen will be of Captcha, to prove that a real human is accessing the data and not a bot. Also if you are uncomfortable with the visibility of the captcha, you may request a new one or an audio instead of the said captcha to identity that you are indeed a human.
- You will be greeted by the welcome screen as an indication that you are almost done with your account creation.
- Enter the language and your time zone on the next screen and then click on the right arrow.
- As part of Outlook / Hotmail’s customization, Microsoft provides its users a selectable them as their background. Select your desired theme and then click on the right arrow.
- You are also provided with the “Signature” feature. At the end of your messages, you can automatically add a custom signature and the next screen is for you to choose one of their templates or create your own. After you are done, click on the right-pointing arrow.
- You’re done! Just click on the Let’s go button and you will be greeted with the main screen.
That’s it! You have successfully created your Hotmail account!
Configuring your Hotmail account
There are many customization options available in the settings. To go to the settings, click on the settings cog in the top right pane. You will see options such as:
- Dark mode: To ease the amount of screen light on your eyes at night, you can enable the dark mode.
- Conversation view: It is used to sort the messages with either the newest messages being at the top or them being at the bottom.
- Reading pane: The window that is used to show your messages can be customized to be on the right or at the bottom. If you want, you may also hide it instead of clipping it on one side.
There are a host of other options available in the quick settings like Focused Inbox, Sender Image, Group messages by date, Attachment preview & Message preview text. You can also easily configure your account on iPhone & android devices.
Adding an extra layer of security to your Hotmail account can prove to be vital in case someone tries to access your account using unfair means. To do so:
- Click on your profile picture at the top right of the window and then click on Edit profile.
- On the next screen, click on Privacy option from the list at the top.
- After entering your password on the next screen, you will see the option of adding security info to your account in the form of a phone number or an alternate email account.
- In case you select the “A Phone number” option, you will be able to verify via code that will be received through either a text or a call. If you select “An alternate email address”, then you will receive the security code on that address. You can easily avoid spam messages too.
- After you select either of the options of receiving the code, in the next step, you will have to enter the received code in the text box.
The dialog box for the code via alternate email
A dialog box for the code via phone number
- On the next screen, you simply have to verify your identity and finally click on Verify.
In this way, you added an extra protection on your account. Now your account is even more secure!
You can view more options like Payment & Billing, Devices, Subscriptions, Family, etc. by clicking on your profile picture at the top right of the window and then clicking on View account. You can also unblock senders in hotmail.
With an updated look and feel, a vast number of features to boast about and several added security options, Microsoft Outlook (or in your case, Microsoft Hotmail) is the definitive version out of many others. With the simple steps to create and customize your account, you are now free to explore this service and I hope that you were able to join the Outlook / Hotmail family without any trouble. For any question or suggestion, there is always our comments section down below for our users to share their information.