Hotmail problems blight Outlook migration as users report service trouble

News 26 Feb, 2013

Updated: Microsoft confirms Hotmail and Outlook are down, but fails to update service status page.

Microsoft’s planned upgrade of Hotmail users to its new Outlook.com service hit a snag today, with numerous reports of users being locked out of their accounts.

The problem seems to be affecting existing Hotmail users that have recently upgraded to Outlook, preventing them from accessing their emails when they try to sign in via its desktop and mobile sites.

Based on IT Pro’s own investigation, non-Hotmail users that have signed up for Outlook.com accounts do not appear to be affected at this time in the UK.

Hotmail and Outlook.com users have used the social networking site Twitter to express their frustration at the service trouble, which is thought to have been going on for several hours.

One user, @WillGorgeousy, wrote: “@Microsoft Looks like the migration to Outlook isn’t working. Hotmail down on the web. Keep us posted on any updates.”

Meanwhile, Hotmail user ‏@LouboutinJools claimed:  “Absolutely nothing but grief with my Hotmail account since I [moved] to Outlook. Put it off for as long as you can.”

IT Pro approached Microsoft for clarification about the number and general location of the affected users, but was still awaiting a response as this article went to press.

In the meantime, the Microsoft Support account on Twitter confirmed that “Hotmail/Outlook services are down” and that it is working to fix the issue.

The account also advises users to check its service status page, which – at the time of publication – reported no problems affecting Hotmail or Outlook.com.

News of the outage comes less than a week after Microsoft announced that it was stepping up its efforts to get Hotmail users to migrate to Outlook.com, as it prepares to retire its aging email brand.

This isn’t the first time Hotmail users have run into problems with the move to Outlook, as many claimed to have been switched to Outlook.com without permission back in August 2012, and reported problems accessing emails.

Updated: Since IT Pro broke news of the Hotmail/Outlook outage yesterday, Microsoft have been in touch with a brief statement. In it, the company said the problem has now been fixed.

“Hotmail and Outlook.com experienced a short-term incident that caused a small percentage of customers not to be able to access their email. We worked quickly to resolve the issue, and service is now restored to normal; we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this caused our customers," a company spokesperson wrote. 

Whether or not yesterday's problems will affect Microsoft's reported momentum, when it comes to getting users to ditch Hotmail in favour of Outlook.com is anyone's guess, as the company recently claimed its new email client already has 60 million active users. 

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shum bukur

thank heavens. i thought it was me ......

Hotmail and outlook have been off -line for more than a few hours. Here in Qatar it is now 10:00 pm and the service has been unavailble since early this morning -0 sheer ineptitude of MS.

I have never experienced such a lack of email service in my life - I can't believe I've been all but locked out of my hotmail account for nearly 24 hours now...crazy

I am genuinely annoyed. From a business prospective, I have lost around 5 to 7 thousand pound not being able to contact potential clients. I wouldn't have minded as much had it not been for the deafening silence from hotmail on this issue. This may be the nail in the coffin for microsoft emailing. To force me onto a platform that isn't working really is poor. They don't even have a timeline in place on when the issue would possibly be resolved. Absolute tripe of a consumer experience.

Such a pain, I need to send stuff for school and when I do thers glitches like fille names change.

I understand you being annoyed but if you want a proper SLA shouldn't you be paying for one?

I just want to be able to open my god damn emails!

3 days and still can't access my email
bye bye Microsoft
switching to someone more reliable

60 million angry users ... this business of Hotmail and Outlook has been a total failure. Microsoft has removed such useful features as indexing Outlook PST files from Windows 8, providing ad-hock networks and many others, making their new system useless for serious work. Windows 8 specific applications are so much inferior to the old ones that it looks like MS is now run for kids interested only in entertainment. Serious issued have never been addressed, even a small update will force you to restart the system. After 30 years of suffering MS crap I am more disappointed than ever.

crap hotmail/outlook switch-over. i have draft emails but no idea how to send them to my contacts.its time to navigate away from hotmail

This site is very frustrating; cannot open my emails 95% of the time with this new 'Outlook' program. :(

Please go back to the old system!!!!

I am so fed up with this Outlook, everyone I know who used to have Hotmail if equally in despair, NOTHING works properly. I always moved incoming emails to the relevant folder then printed them when necessary, now nothing which has been moved will print, I just get a message "You moved this message to its current location". This has really serious implications for travel documents, including eg boarding cards which MUST be printed from the computer for use on low cost airlines. Have tried contacting MS but there is a deafening silnce. Has anyone else had this problem & found a solution? There is also a problem with attachments, I sent the same attachment to a number of people, some people can open them, some only get red crosses, with another attachment, same thing happened but with different recipients. We all need email but this is useless.

Further to yesterday's message, now I can't even print direct from Inbox using Outlook. Has anyone else had this problem & does anyone have an answer to this problem?

I don't know about February! When I was first migrated over it was all working fine, all of a sudden in the last week I can login but can't access any of my emails, send new ones etc. If I could get to them I would forward my most important ones to another email system and close my Hotmail account down. Not being able to use it is absolutely ridiculous and extremely frustrating!

well mine and my husbands account isnt fixed. We are forever getting the loads sign when trying to access our emails or reply to them.Sometimes it takes me a good 20 mins to open an email. I just get the error -cant connect to outlook please try later'

sorta of like how people pay for gmail? >_>...that's if by SLA you mean an email provider. I have been a hotmail user for 15+ years and was fine with it - seriously it was working. If they had to make changes - some minor tweaks could have been done...but this??? is jus stupid. >_<

Even now its still not resolved. My wife last week got locked out and had to reset her password. Then just this morning, I too got locked out..... Not happy. >:(

Im having trouble attaching a file to an email. Can anyone out there help!!!

I'm still locked out of my account since last week. I've tried to use the form or whatever they tell you to recover the account but I've been denied access every time. I can't fill out half of the information they try to use for verification due to the fact that I don't send any emails from this particular email, and I haven't changed my password for it since its creation. This whole incident is so ridiculous...

I am still having trouble logging into hotmail - outlook.

Why can't Microsoft leave well alone. Hotmail worked perfect for most until the forced merger. Now you never know whether your messages have been sent or not. Admit it you have made another bad mistake.