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What happened to my old hotmail emails???

GilbertWalker asked on

I'm also in the same predicament as everyone else. My hotmail has been forwarding to gmail for a few years now, but suddenly my Hotmail "does not exist". I can log in to the new outlook mail with my old hotmail address, but all my emails are gone!! What the f***! Please, please help!

How can I get those emails back? This is a recent (within a week) development, so can I possibly reactivate my account etc.?



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1.The error "Microsoft Account does not exist" usually means:

*The person is logging in using an Alias.

*The person mistyped the email address. Retyped the correct email address.
*The person did not access the account with a Browser.

You must sign in to your Microsoft account periodically, at a minimum every year, to keep services associated with your Microsoft account active.

2. Have you a Back up of all your important email data that you can access?

If your data is important it is prudent to back it up, especially if it is in the cloud and not under your control.

When you signed up for the email account there was (in the fine print) the Terms of use which clearly said that the user is responsible for the data and not Microsoft.

Backing up your important Outlook.com email data

Unless you have a back up made of the important email data it will be unlikely that you will be able to retrieve anything.

3. Please refresh your memory re Inactivity   

and  read the  Microsoft Services Agreement where it clearly says...

(4.4.) What happens if my Services are canceled or terminated?

If your Services are canceled or terminated (whether by you or us), your right to use the Services stops immediately and your license to use the software related to the Services ends. You must then uninstall that software, or, alternatively, we may disable it.

If your Microsoft account is canceled (whether by you or us), your right to use your Microsoft account stops immediately.

If any your Services are canceled or terminated, or if your Microsoft account is closed, we will delete information or Content associated with your Microsoft account or will otherwise disassociate it from you and your Microsoft account.

We are under no obligation to return Content to you.

MVP 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
Windows Insider MVP July 2016 - June 2017
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GilbertWalker replied on

Thanks for the answers folks. I do appreciate it, and I now understand that Microsoft is not 'liable' in a legal sense. 

However, implying that Microsoft is acting in good faith here because I didn't "make the backup that Microsoft suggested" is absurd. Who reads the fine print when they sign up to anything? Who reads the End User License agreements? I'm sure a lot of you tech savvy people would, but for most people this comes across as technical deception. For instance, if deleting ALL of someone's personal history is a possibility at all, a warning should be flashing in red every time I log in to hotmail, not hidden somewhere in a services agreement which I skimmed over 10 years ago.

The very LEAST Microsoft could have done was warn me via email that my emails were about to be deleted. Something like this that has a HUGE impact on people's personal history and is irreversible, really shouldn't be hidden in a services agreement - it should be communicated directly. 

For crying out loud, you're dealing with human beings here Microsoft!

I agree HM, the least they could do is "
inform long term customers before deleting a life time worth of emails". Does it really cost you that much to send a warning, and thus keep a customer?

How many people have to lose all their data before you consider changing your policy Microsoft?

Is this your strategy for keeping customers' loyalty?

It's just the exact opposite of what honest, transparent customer service should look like!
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