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Today's Highlights »
- Which account is active in Outlook for Windows?
- Stopping hackers from accessing your account
- Manually Adding Account to New Outlook
One annoyance in recent versions of Outlook for Windows is the inability to quickly see which account you are working in. Older versions of Outlook had the account name in the title bar but it was removed from newer versions.
Microsoft fixed that, sort of. It’s not as obvious as the account name in the title bar, but could be better than nothing.
A user noticed the avatar in the upper right corner of classic Outlook for Windows was not the same as in Word and Excel and wondered why they were different. The other Offices apps show an avatar (and account name) of the signed in account and Outlook displays an avatar for the account whose folders you are currently viewing in Outlook.
For Outlook.com accounts and Microsoft 365 Work or School accounts, it uses the profile photo. If you don’t have a photo, it uses your initials in a colored ball. If Outlook can’t load the photo for some reason, it uses the generic gray person icon.
This could help you see which account you are working in… as long as you don't use the same photo or display name in all of your accounts.
If you have IMAP and POP3 accounts in Outlook, Outlook uses the initials of your display name for that account, in different colored balls.
I frequently see complaints from users about hackers trying to access their mailbox:
“I’m constantly told to change my password because Microsoft detected unusual activity and I mark it as “Not me”.“
“I get a message "Trying to connect too much, account blocked" and then I have to change my password.”
“I have 2-step verification enabled and someone has been trying to hack into my mailbox, trigging an SMS message. When I try to long in, I’m told I’ve requested too many codes today.”
The hackers get the address (and passwords) from database breaches. While a strong password is good and could keep the hackers from gaining access to your account, it won’t help much if the hacker gets you locked out. Two step verification is good, but in addition to SMS, set up an authenticator. (You should have at least 3 methods, addresses or phone numbers.) Passwordless logon is nice, but can be annoying if someone is trying to hack your account, triggering notifications.
Because the first step in hacking an account is knowing the login email address, the solution is to change the address - add an alias to your account and change the log in preferences to disable the address the hackers have.
1. Log in to your account at https://account.live.com/names/manage and add a new alias. Choose an alias that you will remember, as this will be the only way to log in to your account. (You can have up to 10 addresses on your profile. These can be addresses from other providers, but not other outlook.com or Microsoft 365 business addresses. But you can only add two per week, for a total of 10 per year.)
2. Set the new alias as primary, but DO NOT remove your current address. (If you remove it, it will be lost forever.)
3. Click the link at the bottom of the page to change the login preferences and remove the login permissions from the address the hackers are trying to log in with.
Yes, it can be a pain to log in with an address you don't use for sending email, especially if you use desktop or mobile email clients, but it will keep the hackers out.
If you're using Outlook on the web, you can keep your address set as default for sending email, but in Outlook installed on your computer, you have to choose the address you want to send the message from.
To check (or change) the default account for Outlook.com, switch to the View tab > View settings > Mail > Sync Email. This link should take you there: https://outlook.live.com/mail/0/options/mail/accounts
If you use the account to sign into windows, you might need to sign using the new address, but otherwise nothing will change.
Do not use the new address to sign into any web sites. It should only be used on Microsoft sites.
When you manually add an IMAP account to new Outlook, you need to enter the password for the SMTP server. If you don’t enter the password, the Continue button won’t be activated.
To manually add an IMAP account:
1. Switch to the View tab > View settings > Accounts. In the Email accounts page, click Add Account.
2. Enter your email address and click continue. When Outlook asks for your password, slide Show More on.
3. Enter your server settings and password. Click Continue.
There is a limit of ten accounts in the new Outlook app.
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