Editing Your Favorite Contacts in Windows Live Hotmail

And, How to Edit Contacts in Outlook, Its Replacement

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UPDATE: Windows Essentials has been discontinued by Microsoft. This information is being retained for archive purposes.

Windows Live Hotmail

Windows Live Hotmail was Microsoft's free web-based email service, designed to be accessed via the web, from any machine on the internet.  

The History of Windows Live Hotmail

Next to Gmail, Hotmail was one of the world’s most recognizable email services. Back in 1997, when Microsoft bought it from the original creators, Hotmail offered something unique from most email inboxes: independence from ISPs like America OnLine (AOL).

In 2005. Microsoft announced a new set of services that were designed to extend the user experience on Windows. This new suite was called Windows Live, which you might recognize in products like the now open source Windows Live Writer and Windows Live Essentials. As part of this movement, Microsoft planned to phase out Hotmail and replace it with a new mail system called Windows Live Mail. But testers and users complained about the change and how they preferred the Hotmail brand, Microsoft backtracked and settled on Windows Live Hotmail.

The Windows Live brand was discontinued in 2012. Some of the services and products were integrated directly into the Windows operating system (e.g. apps for Windows 8 and 10), while others were separated and continued on their own (e.g. Windows Live Search became Bing), while others were simply axed.

Outlook is Now the Official Name of Microsoft's Email Service

Around that same time, Microsoft introduced Outlook.com, which was essentially a rebranding of Windows Live Hotmail with an updated user interface and improved features.

Adding to the confusion, current users were allowed to keep their @hotmail.com email addresses, but new users could no longer create accounts with that domain. Instead, new users could only create @outlook.com addresses, even though both email addresses use the same email service. Thus, Outlook is now the official name of Microsoft's email service, formerly known as Hotmail and Windows Live Hotmail

Editing Your List of Favorite Contacts in Windows Live Hotmail

Here's how you would have edited your list of favorite contacts in Windows Live Hotmail. And, dear reader, here's how you open, find and edit contacts in your Outlook address book.

When you start composing a message, Windows Live Hotmail would automatically pop up a useful list of recipients from your address book (the Favorite contacts). You could address your email to one of these recipients by simply clicking on their name.

To edit your Favorite contacts list in Hotmail Live Hotmail classic:

  • Select Contacts from the left navigation bar.
  • Check the contact you want to add to or remove from your favorite contacts.
  • Click Edit.
  • Check or uncheck Mark this contact as a favorite.
  • Click Save.