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Many of us have a Hotmail (or live) account that we manage along with our regular emails. Personally I like to keep it as a separate account on a separate system. Mostly because that’s the email account receiving most spam. But that’s just me I guess.

There are several ways to make Hotmail (live) collaborate with your outlook or other email software. You can set it up as a separate account in Outlook (Read How here), or you may use Windows Live Mail which supersede Outlook Express. But, what if you just want to FORWARD the incoming emails into another account ?

Restrictions apply

Forwarding your emails is possible (Microsoft can’t afford not to). However there are some built-in restrictions that might cause problems for you. I will address those later on. First, lets show you How to:

Set Up Forwarding

To set up the forwarding you need to log into your live account. And Click on the Option menu which you find in the upper right corner. At the very end of the Option menu, you click on “More Options”.

In the new view you see the following link: “Forward mail to another e-mail account“. Click it.

In the next view, select: “Forward your email to another e-mail address“. Type the email address you want your Windows Live Hotmail messages to be forwarded to. Upon forwarding, Hotmail will delete the contents of your inbox.  To prevent this, click on “Keep a copy of forwarded messages in your Windows Live Hotmail inbox”.

Click Save to keep the new settings.

Almost Done

At this point Hotmail will dispatch an email to your Forwarding address with some important instructions for you to follow. This is to make sure you have access to the other email account and to prevent someone from stealing your emails. When you have followed these steps – you should be good to go. But wait…

Restrictions apply

First thing to be aware of: If you don’t log in to your Hotmail account on a regular basis – Microsoft will perceive the account as being No-Longer-in-Use. If that happens you will receive an email where they tell you to log into the account or they will delete it. If this happens, the forwarding will stop.

Secondly, not all email addresses are accepted by default.

Some might experience the following error when setting up the forwarding email: “You’re only able to forward mail to a custom domain or an e-mail address that ends in hotmail.com, msn.com, or live.com. Please try again.”

The solution

There are many suggestions out on the net on how to fix this. Some suggest setting up a Gmail account, forward the Emails there, and then forwarding them yet again to your real email. Doing some research I’ve found a solution most refer to as working:

What you have to do is associate your account with some information that can be traced to you personally. Like your phone number. Again click on Options, More options, and then click on “View and edit your personal information” at the top of the list. Therein you will find an option to associate a mobile number with your account.

Follow the wizard all the way through, and remember to check the option to receive text notifications from Hotmail. You do get the options to opt out any messages at all from Hotmail – but you still have to accept the feature.

What is this ?

The reason for this behavior is somewhat unclear, but I’m sure it’s not to keep you from using other email providers than Microsoft. Some have suggested that it’s some counter spam/terrorist/misuse prevention thing. Or it might be as simple as Microsoft want to be able to identify the owner of a live account if you should happen to forget your login at some point.

In Conclusion

Remember if all fails – adding your Hotmail Account as a separate Email Account in Outlook (or any other) is way easier…

About Thomas

Computer geek from the age of 7, which amounts to 30 years of computer experience. From the early days (when every computer company had their own OS) of DOS, Windows 1.0 through Seven...

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