Business Columns & Blogs

How to reset a forgotten Hotmail password

Q: I forgot my password to my Hotmail Live account, and I don’t have the same phone number as I did when I set it up. What should I do to regain my Hotmail account?

A: Microsoft has a recovery page you can use at to regain access to your Hotmail account. Along the way, you may be asked to enter the answers to security questions you previously set up or to provide details about the account to prove your identity.

In the first screen of the recover page, choose the scenario that applies to you, which in this case, would be “I forgot my password.” Click the Next button.

On the second screen, enter the address of the Hotmail account you are trying to recover, and then follow the instructions for entering the characters displayed on the screen; those are there to thwart software bots hacking around the web. Click the Next button.

The screen that follows offers several ways for you to prove your identity to regain control of the Hotmail account. You can have a security code sent to a backup email address – one you may have provided in your Hotmail settings at one point when setting up two-step verification to protect your account. A text message to a smartphone or a voice call to a mobile or landline phone listed in your account settings are other options, as is getting a security code from an authentication app such as Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator for Android, iOS or Windows Phone.

If none of the listed ways will work to verify your identity, select the button next to “I don’t have any of these” and click the Next button. The following screen invites you to enter an alternative email address (or create a new account) for Microsoft to send a security code – and eventually unlock your account with a new password.

Automatically Label Gmail Messages

Q: In the web browser, is there a way to automatically assign one of my Gmail labels to incoming messages from specific people?

A: If you use Google’s label system to sort your Gmail messages, you can create a mail filter to apply one of those labels to new messages that meet the filter’s rules – such as the name of the sender. If you do not have a label for the recipient set up before creating the filter, you can make them both at once.

To set up a filter for a regular email correspondent or group of contacts, log into your Gmail account on the web, click the gear icon on the right side of the window and select Settings. At the top of the Settings screen, click “Filters and blocked addresses.”

At the bottom of the screen, click “Create a new filter.” In the Filter box, fill in the information for the email senders you want to group under a filter. When you are finished, click “Create a filter with this search” in the bottom-right corner of the box.

As an alternative, you can set up a filter from the search box in your Gmail inbox. Enter your keywords, click the magnifying-glass icon and then the small black arrow in the search windows to get the “Create a new filter” link.

Once you have clicked the “Create a filter with this search” link and have proceeded to the next screen, turn on the checkbox next to “Apply the label” and choose a label from the drop-down menu next to it. If you do not have a ready-made label in the list, choose New Label and create one.

When you have all the rules in place, click the “Create filter” button at the bottom of the box to sort incoming messages. If you want to modify a filter’s behavior, return to the “Filters and blocked addresses” tab in the Gmail settings, find the filter in the list and click the edit (or delete) button to the right.