If you use Outlook.com as your email service, you might wonder when and how often you should change your Outlook password to keep your account secure. The answer is not straightforward, as different experts have different opinions on this topic.
First of all, you should know that your Outlook.com password is the same as your Microsoft account password. This means that changing your password will affect your email access and other Microsoft services such as OneDrive, Skype, Xbox Live, etc. Therefore, you should choose a strong and unique password that is hard to guess or crack by hackers.
Secondly, you should change your password whenever you suspect that it has been compromised or stolen by someone else. This could happen if you notice suspicious activity on your account, such as emails sent or deleted without your knowledge, settings changed without your permission or login attempts from unknown devices or locations. You should also change your Outlook password if you receive a password reset link from Microsoft or another email provider. This could indicate a phishing attempt to trick you into revealing your credentials.
Thirdly, you should consider changing your password periodically even if you don't have any reason to believe it has been breached. Some security experts recommend changing passwords every three months, while others suggest doing it several times yearly. The rationale behind this practice is that it reduces the risk of someone using an old password obtained from a data breach or a malware infection. However, this practice also has some drawbacks, such as making it harder to remember your passwords and increasing the chances of using weak or reused passwords.
How Often Should I Change My Outlook Password?
The frequency of changing your Outlook password depends on several factors:
- how strong and unique is your current Outlook password is
- how careful and vigilant are you about protecting your Outlook password
- how sensitive and valuable the information in your account is
- how often Microsoft requires you to change the Outlook password based on their policy
You can check and adjust the expiration settings for Microsoft 365 passwords in the admin center but note that this does not apply to personal accounts.
To sum up: there is no definitive answer to how often you should change your Outlook password. However, a good rule of thumb is to change it whenever you think it might be compromised; otherwise at least once a year; and always use a strong and unique password for each account.
How to Change Your Outlook Password via Account Security
- Switch to “Security” and click on “Change my password”
- Choose the confirmation method
Depending on your account information you can choose receiving a confirmation code via SMS or in an email to another linked email account.
- Confirm email address or telephone number as requested and click “Send code”
- Enter the code sent to you via SMS/email and click “Verify”
- Change your Outlook password and click “Save”
If you have forgotten your Outlook password you can start the recovery procedure by clicking on “Forgot your password?” instead of typing it in. The next method below provides more details for this scenario.
- Re-enter your password again if asked
Forgot Your Password for Outlook? Here Is How to Reset Your Outlook Password
As your Outlook password is the password of your Microsoft account, the procedure to reset/recover your Outlook password is identical. Please check out our guide for how to change a password in Windows using the last method, “Microsoft Account: Change Your Password Online”.
How to Change Your Outlook Password in the Outlook App or Outlook 365
As the Outlook app and Outlook 365 are using the passwords of the connected email accounts, you will have to change the password there. If your email account is from Microsoft, you have to follow the steps shown above. If your email account is provided by Gmail or other email services, use the password change option offered by those services. If you are using a corporate email account, you might want to ask your administrator for a password change.