Know When Your Outlook.Com Account Expires

How to keep your Outlook.com account active

Know When Your Outlook.com Account Expires

Viktor Hanacek / PicJumbo 

While you only need to access your Microsoft account once every five years to keep it active, the company has different rules regarding some of its services, including Outlook.com.

Information in this article applies to free browser-based Outlook.com.

Know When Your Outlook.Com Account Expires

To keep your free Outlook.com account active, you must log in to your Outlook.com inbox at least once during a 365-day period. Microsoft closes Outlook.com email accounts 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 Outlook.Com Account

A single log in once a year keeps the Outlook.com account active. If you don't access your account often, set a reminder in your calendar app that notifies you when you need to log in to your Outlook.com account.

Your Outlook.Com Account Terms

Microsoft may also close your account if you violate any of the company's terms of service. Because these are subject to change, check them every few months. To read the terms of service, select the ? in the top ribbon of Outlook.com and choose Legal at the bottom of the Help panel to reach the Terms of Use for Microsoft Online Services.

Outlook.com screen

Back up Outlook.Com Emails

Backing up your messages and settings is a good idea in case your account expires. Free Outlook.com 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 Outlook.com, 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.