How to Create a New Outlook.com Email Account

Outlook.com email is fast, easy, and free

Image of a person working in an email account

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Anyone who has used a Microsoft account in the past can use the same credentials for an email account with Outlook.com. If you don't have a Microsoft account, it takes just minutes to open a new Outlook.com account. With a free Outlook.com account, you can access your email, calendar, tasks, and contacts from anywhere you have an internet connection.

How to Create a New Outlook.com Email Account

When you are ready to open a new free email account at Outlook.com:

  1. Open a web browser, go to the Outlook.com sign-up screen, and select Create free account.

    Create free account options on Outlook.com web page in Chrome
  2. Enter your preferred username — the part of the email address that comes before @outlook.com.

    Outlook.com email creation screen in Chrome browser showing the username creation field
  3. Select the arrow at the far right of the username field to change the domain from the default outlook.com to hotmail.com if you prefer a Hotmail address.

    Create account options in Chrome web page for Outlook.com email account showing the choice between outlook and hotmail
  4. Enter and then re-enter your preferred passwordChoose a password that is easy for you to recall and difficult for anyone else to guess.

    Password field in Outlook.com account creation process
  5. Enter your first and last names in the fields provided.

    First and last names in Create account screen for Outlook.com email address
  6. Choose your region in the field provided and enter your birthdate.

    Region and Birthdate fields in email creation process for Outlook.com email address
  7. Enter the characters from the CAPTCHA image.

    CAPTCHA screen from Outlook.com email creation process
  8. Select Next.

    Final welcome screen in Outlook.com email creation process
  9. You can now open your new Outlook.com account on the web or set it up for access in email programs on computers and mobile devices.

Outlook.com Features

An Outlook.com email account offers all the features you expect from an email client. Plus it includes:

  • A focused inbox for your most important emails.
  • Swipe gestures to archive and delete messages.
  • The ability to schedule messages to return to your inbox at a specified time.
  • An option to pin important messages to the top of your inbox.
  • Text-formatting features to personalize your outgoing emails.

Outlook also adds travel itineraries and flight plans from emails to your calendar. It attaches files from Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box. You can even edit Office files right in your inbox.

Outlook Mobile Apps

When you download the free Microsoft Outlook apps for Android and iOS, you'll be able to use your Outlook.com account on your mobile device. Outlook.com is built in on Windows 10 phones.

The mobile apps include most of the features available with the free online Outlook.com account, including a focused inbox, sharing capability, swipe to delete and archive messages, and powerful search. You can also view and attach files from OneDrive, Dropbox, and other services without having to download them to your phone. 

Outlook.com vs. Hotmail.com

Microsoft bought Hotmail in 1996. The email service went through several name changes including MSN Hotmail and Windows Live Hotmail. The last version of Hotmail was released in 2011. Outlook.com replaced Hotmail in 2013. At that time, Hotmail users were given the opportunity to keep their Hotmail email addresses and to use them with Outlook.com. It is still possible to get a new Hotmail.com email address when you go through the Outlook.com sign-up process.

What Is Premium Outlook?

Premium Outlook was a stand-alone premium pay version of Outlook. Microsoft discontinued Premium Outlook in late 2017, but it added premium features to the Outlook that is included in Office 365.

Anyone who subscribes to Microsoft's Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal software packages receives Outlook with premium features as part of the application package. Benefits that are superior to those of a free Outlook.com email address include:

  • 50GB mailbox per user.
  • Improved malware scanning.
  • An ad-free inbox.
  • Offline email composition and automatic syncing capabilities.
  • Custom domains available.