Online security has become the top priority of most people. One of users’ most vulnerable places online is their email inbox. There, people may save sensitive information that they cannot share with anyone else.
Outlook is Microsoft’s offering for an email inbox, and while it has gone through several changes over the past decade, it remains one of the safest and most reputable services online.
Unfortunately, even if you use the safest email service out there, you’re still at risk of cyberattacks. These attacks are more common for people who don’t change their password often, which causes significant exposure to hackers.
While there are many security measures you can take, the best one would be to change your password regularly to minimize the chances of someone else getting into your account. Overall, Microsoft won’t force you to change your Outlook password regularly, which is why you may want to keep an eye out for this process every once in a while.
The following article will cover how a password change for Outlook works and why it will benefit you in the long run.
Why Change Your Outlook Password?
In most cases, users create their email account, create a password, and leave it like that forever. Considering Outlook will never require you to update your password regularly, you will get exposed to data breaches.
Some people share their password with other people and forget about it since it was several years ago. While it’s unlikely that someone you shared your password with will enter your inbox today, it’s still possible.
Moreover, if you choose a weak password for your inbox, you’re making yourself more vulnerable to hackers. In any case, you will need to change your Outlook password frequently if you want to avoid as many problems as possible.
Thankfully, a password change in Outlook is considerably easy to do. In essence, if you want to protect your online safety as much as possible, consider changing your password.
All you need to start is a device with the Outlook app or access to Outlook’s web version.
Step-By-Step Guide to Change Your Outlook Password
First, we will teach you how to update your Outlook password, and then, we will teach you how to update your Outlook client password, if you ever need to do it.
If you created your Outlook account many years ago, the chances are that you used a rather easy password to remember. It may not seem like it, but many people create common passwords like “123456789” or “000000000.” Other people use easy-to-remember things like a birthday or anniversaries.
While choosing easy-to-remember passwords is good for you, it may not be as good for your online safety. Once we tell you how you can change your password, we will give you a few tips on how you can create a safer password for your Outlook account.
Changing Your Outlook Password
- Step One: Go into your Microsoft Account Security Page. There, you will need to sign in with your current password.
- Step Two: Click on “Password Security” and go into the “Change My Password” section.
- Step Three: Enter your old password and then your new password. When you’re done, click on “Save.” Remember that your new password cannot be the same as your old one.
- Step Four: Go into Outlook.com in any web browser and sign in with your new password.
That’s it! The process itself won’t take you more than a few minutes unless you take some time to figure out your new password. Now, let’s look at the process of changing your Outlook client password.
Changing Your Outlook Client Password
Keep in mind that, if you change your password for any other provider (Yahoo, Email, etc.), you will need to update it in any Outlook app you have installed.
Older versions of Outlook required you to do the change manually, but today, the app will ask you to complete this process automatically.
- Step One: Go into Outlook, and open your Account Settings.
- Step Two: Launch the Outlook app itself, go into “File,” and then “Account Settings.”
- Step Three: You will be prompted to add the new password.
If you have a standalone version of Outlook or an Office 365 subscription with semiannual updates, you will need to click on the email address you want to change, click on “Change,” and update the password.
Those who have a monthly update subscription for Office 365 must follow this process to change their password: File – Account Settings – Update Password.
When you’re done, close everything and open Outlook again, you will be prompted to enter your new password. Then, click on “Send/Receive,” and if you did everything correctly, all of your emails should show up.
Updating Your Outlook Android or iOS Password
If you have Outlook installed on any compatible smartphone, you will have to update your password once you’re done changing it. The process is simple.
First, go into the Outlook app, and tap “Sign In.” There, you will be prompted to enter your new password. Once you click on “Sign In,” you’re done.
In case you have any issues with the app, you can always go into the Settings option and then click on “Reset Account.” Make sure you follow all of the instructions there so that you don’t have any problems with your account in the future.
As you can see, changing your Outlook password is rather simple. As long as you choose a good new password, your data will be safe from anyone who may be trying to get into your account.
Two-Factor Authentication in Outlook
You can set up two-factor authentication (2FA) for your Outlook account if you consider it appropriate. All you need to do is set up 2FA for your Microsoft account, and then, every service associated with your account will have 2FA.
While it’s not mandatory, Microsoft and safety experts encourage users to use 2FA since it minimizes the risks of getting hacked even more. 2FA allows users to maintain their account’s confidentiality and integrity, which is why many people decide to set it up.
Several years ago, most users relied on single password authentication to keep their accounts safe. While having a safe password is an excellent way to get into your Outlook account, getting two-factor authentication in Outlook will become your best friend in ensuring a safer online experience.
Generally speaking, 2FA adds extra layers of authentication tokens, making the job harder for hackers. One of the most popular methods for 2FA is temporal authentication keys, which are sent to secondary devices like your tablet or smartphone.
Note: Keep in mind that the Microsoft accounts that count toward 2FA include:
- Third-party Domains (i.e., Yahoo, Gmail, Apple, etc.)
The process to set up two-factor authentication in Outlook looks like this:
- Step One: Go into your Microsoft Account page, and sign into your account as usual by entering your email and password.
- Step Two: Click on the “Security” tab, and then click on “Advanced Security Options” and “Get Started.”
- Step Three: Go into the “Additional Security” section. There, you will find the option to turn on two-step verification. Click on “Turn On.” You will get access to a brief explanation of how 2FA works. Click on “Next” if you agree.
- Step Four: You will get a 25-character alphanumeric code that will work as your recovery key. You may either save, write down, or print that code to keep it in a safe place. Once you’re done, you will have successfully turned 2FA on, and you can click “Next” to finish.
- Step Five (Optional): If you want to set up Outlook’s app for your iOS or Android device, you will get a few instructions on how to sync your email with your smartphone.
- Step Six: Once you’re done, every time you try to log into your account from an unauthorized device, you will get a notification on your smartphone. You can then tell Microsoft if you’re the one trying to access the account or not.
Setting Up 2FA in Your Outlook Client (Office 365, Outlook 2019, or Outlook 2016)
The process, in this case, is even simpler than the previous one:
- Step One: Launch your Outlook client, click on “Connect,” and then click on “File” and “Add Account.”
- Step Two: Sign into your account. You will be prompted to add a code displayed on your Microsoft Authenticator app. That’s it.
If you’re using an older version of Outlook, you will need to create a new “App Password” in your Microsoft Account Settings. Go into your “Advanced Security Options,” click on “Create a New App Password,” and follow the instructions.
As with the regular 2FA setup, copy your new app password, and save it somewhere safe.
The Difference Between Changing and Resetting Your Password
While both terms may seem similar, there are a few things you may want to consider.
When you change your password, you will have to enter your old password before you enter your new one since that information will be used by Microsoft to verify that it’s you who’s trying to change the password.
On the contrary, if you choose to reset your password, you won’t have to enter your old password. However, you will have to prove your identity to Microsoft either by getting a code sent to a recovery email address or a phone number you set up previously.
Changing your password is great if you want to promote your account’s safety, whereas resetting it is more common for people who forgot their old password and can’t sign into their accounts.
Why Should You Change Your Outlook Password Regularly?
As mentioned before, changing your Outlook password is vital if you want to ensure your online safety. We don’t notice, but we typically save all of our passwords in our devices automatically; this means that, if someone were to get our devices, they would have immediate access to your Outlook account.
On the other hand, if you change your password regularly, that old password will be obsolete, which decreases the chances of someone getting into your account. If one of your accounts gets compromised, you also run the risk of compromising other ones since you likely used the same password for several accounts.
It’s vital to note that changing your password won’t completely prevent hacks, but it will definitely decrease the chances.
What to Do If You Forgot Your Outlook Password
There are two options to consider. The first one is to go to the Outlook sign-up page and click on the “Forgot Password?” button. Then, Microsoft will verify your identity by either sending you a code to a recovery email or your phone. Once you set everything up, you will be prompted to add a new password and sign in.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a recovery email or a phone number for Microsoft to reach out to, you will have to reset your password with a form from Microsoft’s official website. Once you’re there, you will be prompted to enter your email address, phone number, or Skype username.
Then, you will need to enter a recovery email address to that Microsoft can reach out to you and verify your account. Keep in mind that, if you have 2FA activated, you will not be able to recover your account with this method.
Changing your Outlook password is considerably easy, and it will ensure that your browsing experience is easier and safer for months and years to come. We suggest you set up a reminder to change your password once every few months.
Thankfully, Microsoft has made it easy for anyone to update, change, or recover their Outlook password, so the process shouldn’t be anything to stress over.