Customers may ask account-related questions, examples include: how to recover their compromised account, how to customise and personalise their account and how to manage their contacts.
Compromised / Blocked Microsoft Account (MSA)
If a Microsoft account has been compromised, it means that someone might be using the account to access personal information or send spam. Such information could include emails, contacts, and photos from Outlook.com and OneDrive. It could also include health data if the customer has connected services like HealthVault.
Luckily there are some easy steps to get customers back into their account, review their personal inforamtion and settings, and help them prevent this from happening again.
Option A - Change or reset your password: If a customer thinks their Microsoft account has been compromised, you can advise them to try to sign in online. If they are already signed in on their device, advise them to sign out first.
- If the customer has successfully signed in, they should change their password immediately. This will stop anyone who knows their password from signing in again. Advise them to go to the Security page, select Change password, and then follow the instructions.
- If a customer can’t sign into their account, advise them to try resetting their password. The customer needs to select Forgot my password on the sign-in page, choose the reason for resetting password, and then follow the instructions.
- If a customer’s account is not blocked and they still have troubles signing in, see When you can't sign in to your account for more tips.
Option B - Fill out the recovery form: If none of the above helped to get back into the account, you can advise the customer to fill in an account recovery form . This is the last option to get the customer back into their account if they can't reset their password or an attacker has changed their account settings. Advise the customer to follow the steps which can be found in the Knowledge Library.
This page provides customers with some tips on how to fill out the recovery form.
After the customer has submitted the recovery request: Outlook.com will send the results of their recovery request to the email address the customer gave in the form. This can take up to 24 hours for the team to review. If the customer's recovery request is accepted, Outlook.com will send instructions to recover their account. After the customer gets back into their account, you can advise them to see “Help protect your Microsoft account” for tips to prevent having to recover their account again.
Recover accounts that have been hacked
When a customer requests help with the recovery of a hacked account, you can advise them to follow the guidance in this section
- The customer needs to clear their PC of viruses or malware before they change their password.
- If they have a good antivirus program installed, advise the customer to make sure it's up to date and advise them to do a full scan of their system. If they don't have an antivirus app installed on their PC, Microsoft offers some solutions if they are running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10.
- If the customer is running Windows 7, they can download and install Microsoft Security Essentials.
- If the customer is running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, they already have Windows Defender. They can do the following to turn on malware protection.
- Select Start
- On the Start screen, type Windows Defender in the Search box, or select Windows Defender.
- Follow the instructions on the screen.
- Important: Regardless of which antivirus app the customer installs, advise them to run a full scan on their PC before they change their password. The customer should also set up their antivirus app to automatically get updates and scan their PC on a regular basis.
- Then advise the customer to change or reset password. After the customer has run the antivirus app, they need to sign into their account and change their password. Make sure you create a strong password.
- If the customer can't sign in, advise them to reset password.
- Advise the customer to check their account settings. Since a third party had access to the customer’s account, Outlook.com will reset some of their account settings. Customers can check and change account settings by going to connected accounts, forwarding, and automatic replies.
- Advise the customer that they can restore deleted email and contacts. As soon as Outlook.com detects that an account might have been hacked, Outlook.com starts saving deleted messages in a safe place.
- Select the Deleted Items Folder
- At the top of the page, select Recover deleted messages.
- Outlook will recover as many messages as possible and put them in your Deleted Items folder. Any messages not recovered are permanently lost
- If contacts have been deleted, customers might be able to restore them. See Delete or restore a contact.
Note: Emails deleted from children's accounts can't be restored. This way, parents can be confident that messages they delete from their children's accounts stay deleted.
Help prevent future hacks: To prevent accounts from being hacked in the future, see “Help protect your Outlook.com email account” for tips.
Customising and personalising your email account
Below are 8 simple tricks you can share with customers to change their settings, so it looks and behaves the way they want it to. All tricks can be found under the “Quick settings” button in the top menu.
- Change the theme: Under Theme, customers can choose from one of the themes displayed. They can also select “View all themes” to choose from more options.
- Turn off the customize Conversation view: If customers don't want their messages to be organised by conversation, advise them to go to Conversation view and select Off. If a customer prefers Conversation view, they can choose whether they want their newest messages to appear at the bottom or top of the thread by selecting Newest messages on top or Newest messages on bottom.
- Show or hide the Reading panel: Under Reading panel, customers can choose Show on the right, Show on the bottom, or Hide.
- Turn Focused Inbox on or off: If a customer wants their messages to be sorted into the Focused and Other tabs to help them focus on what matters most, advise them to go to Quick settings and slide the toggle to the right if it's currently turned off.
- Show or hide sender images: If a customer doesn’t want to see a photo of each sender in their message list (or the sender's initials, if a photo isn't available), advise to slide the toggle left to turn it off.
- Group messages by date: By default, messages in the message list are sorted by date with headings dividing them, for example, Yesterday, This week, Last week, and more. If a customer doesn’t want their messages sorted by date, advise them to slide the toggle left to turn it off.
- Show or hide attachment previews: When the Attachment preview toggle is turned on, a preview of attachments will appear in the message list. If a customer doesn’t want to see previews of attachments, advise them to slide the toggle left to turn it off.
- Show or hide message preview text: By default, Outlook.com shows three lines of information for each message in a customer’s inbox: sender, subject, and part of the first line of text. If a customer wants to condense their message list or doesn't want the first line of message text to be visible, advise them to slide the toggle left to turn it off.
See more settings: Advise customers that if they want to find other ways to personalise the Outlook.com experience, they can scroll to the bottom of Quick settings and select View full settings.
Extra information in our Knowledge Library
You will also be able to help customers on the following topics. More information can be found in the in-app Knowledge Library.
- Password Reset
- Creating, changing, removing aliases
- How to set up/access email on a mobile device
- Signing out of Outlook.com
- Using Skype with Outlook.com
- Managing mailbox storage
- Managing add-ins