Know When Your Account Expires

How to keep your account active

Know When Your Account Expires

Viktor Hanacek / PicJumbo 

While your Microsoft account only needs to be accessed once every five years to stay active, the company is has different rules with some of their other services, including

Information in this article applies to free Microsoft accounts with access to and Outlook Online.

Know When Your Account Expires

To keep your free account active, you must log into your inbox at least once during a one-year period. An email account is closed automatically after one full year of inactivity. When an account is closed, the messages and data in the account are deleted.

How to Avoid Expiration of Your Account

The best way to keep your free account active is to log in more often than once a year and, optimally, at least once a month or quarter. If you don't access your account very often, set up a monthly reminder in your Calendar app that notifies you to log in to your account.

Your Outlook.Com Account Terms

The terms of service, as outlined in the Microsoft Services Agreement, outline the account expiration and closure terms. Because these are subject to change, check these every few months. To read the terms of service, select the ? in the top ribbon and choose Terms of use.

Screenshot showing Terms of Use link

Back up Emails

Backing up your messages and settings is a good idea in case your account expires. Free accounts do not have a way to export this information into a .pst file. Instead, forward messages and contacts to another email address for safekeeping, or save them as text files.

Expiration for Paid Ad-Free Outlook.Com Accounts

If you pay for Ad-free, your account never expires as long as you maintain your yearly paid subscription. You don't need to log in, but you must make your account payments.