I encountered this particular issue today 😂.

It was a strange issue. Although I had not changed the login details for this account, Today, when I opened Microsoft Outlook, I was suddenly prompted for my Phone number.

Interestingly enough, rather than displaying my country code, it displayed a +1 country prefix with 4 strange numbers. When I entered the correct phone number, the prompt told me that:

“The Microsoft account doesn’t exist. Enter a different Account or get a new one.”

A very alarming message – Until I realized that i was still able to log into Hotmail via Google Chrome, which made it obvious that my copy of outlook was defective.

Annotation 2020-04-22 101707.jpg

So, How did I resolve this? 

Apparently, It is a known issue with Outlook and this bug was supposed to have been fixed by Microsoft in 2019, but I somehow ended up facing this. Apparently Outlook stores your Credentials (log-in information) within the computer, and sometimes that can get corrupted.

Pre-requisite: To Resolve this issue, you’ll need administrator access to your computer. If this is your company computer, you’ll need to ask your computer tech support department for help.

Please also beware that any data stored that is related to your hotmail account (That isn’t already uploaded on the cloud) might be lost. So try to save anything that is important which might not already have been stored in your web version of Hotmail before attempting this.

Disclaimer: What you’re about to do is considered moderately risky. I’m sharing what works for me, But I cannot be held responsible if following these steps causes any loss or damage to you (or your computer and cats)!

Here’s what I did:

  1. Press and hold “Ctrl”, then press “R”. (Ctrl + R). This opens the Run Prompt
  2. Type Regedit. Accept the UAC prompt (Don’t worry! I won’t harm your PC!). But please follow the instructions to the letter, and not modify anything else here unless you know what you’re doing. You may render your computer useless if you touch other stuff (I know because I attempted that when I was a kid. lol 🤣)
  3. Navigate using the folder tree on the left to the following place:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\Identity\Identities\

    You’ll see a few folders here. If you have 4 different accounts stored managed by Outlook, You’ll see 4 folders here.

  4. Then look for the subfolder that has a bunch of random letters and numbers, ending with “_liveid”
  5. Select this folder. Then back it up, by Going to File, Export, and save it somewhere convenient (in case things go wrong)Annotation 2020-04-22 211626.jpg
  6. After saving the backup, Right click the folder and click delete. (You made that backup, did you? I hope so!)Annotation 2020-04-22 211531.jpg
  7. Once that is done, close Registry Editor. We’re not done yet though.
  8. Now, Press the Start button, then search for “credential manager”. Click to open it. Annotation 2020-04-22 102052.jpg
  9. Now, click windows Credentials, then scroll down to Generic CredentialsAnnotation 2020-04-22 102225.jpg
  10. Look for the MicrosoftAccountuser=___Your hotmail address_Annotation 2020-04-22 102201.jpg
  11. Click Remove. Now close this window.
  12. Try to Open outlook again! If the hotmail/outlook account was a primary account (The first account you entered to use outlook), Outlook will ask you to sign in again, and you should no longer have problems trying to log in.Annotation 2020-04-22 102325.jpg

I hope this tutorial helped you! Do like our Facebook or Instagram Page: #TechWithAaron is all about helping everyone make full use of their IT gadgets and rescuing people that have issues with their computer or IT gadgets, So you’ll definitely want to keep in touch! 😉