How to close your Microsoft account

Closing your account means you won't be able to use it to sign in to the Microsoft products and services you've been using. So before you close your account, take some time to tie up loose ends, cancel subscriptions and make sure you don't leave anything important behind – whether files in your OneDrive, stuff on Xbox, emails in Outlook.com or more.

Before you close your account

It's important to be aware of all of the ramifications before you decide to close an account. For example, you should make sure that you're not leaving behind any money or important stuff associated with that Microsoft account. You might also want to let people know how to contact you once your Microsoft account email address is gone.

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Use the money in your account

Spend any remaining money in your Microsoft account by buying digital content from Xbox, the Windows Store or the Windows Phone store.

To see how much money is in your Microsoft account, sign in to the Microsoft account website.

For more info, read the Microsoft gift card FAQ.

Cancel any subscriptions associated with the account

If you have subscriptions to services such as Office 365, OneDrive, Xbox Live Gold or an Ad-free Outlook.com account, you'll no longer be able to access them.

To cancel most Microsoft subscriptions:

  1. Sign in to Services & subscriptions on the Microsoft account website.

  2. For each paid subscription select Cancel and follow the instructions.

For any subscription not listed there, go to the service itself (or to the retailer, if you bought the subscription from a retailer) to cancel. For example, if you have a Skype subscription, go to the Skype support page and search for cancellation info.

Let people know how to reach you

Note

  • If the email address associated with your Microsoft account doesn't end in @hotmail.com, @live.com, @msn.com or @outlook.com, you can skip this procedure.

If the email address associated with your Microsoft account ends in @outlook.com, @hotmail.com, @live.com or @msn.com, closing the Microsoft account deletes any emails stored with it after a 60-day period. During this period, however, your inbox will continue to receive email messages. You can set up an automatic reply to let everyone know that the account is going to be closed, and tell them where to send emails to you in the future.

  1. Sign in to your Outlook.com inbox. Click the Options icon Options icon, then click Options.
  2. Under Managing your account, tap or click Sending automated holiday replies, then follow the instructions.

    Notes

    • You can also choose Email forwarding under Managing your account, to enable emails you receive to be sent to a different email address. But remember, both automatic replies and email forwarding will stop working when your Microsoft account is closed after a 60-day period.

    • When you close a Microsoft account with an Outlook.com email address, that email address might be recycled and assigned to another user after the 60-day period.

Save your files and data

Once your Microsoft account is closed, you won't be able to access any files or info associated with that account if you've stored them via a Microsoft service. If there's anything you still want to keep, you should save a copy. For example:

  • Email, documents and photos you've stored in Outlook.com, Hotmail or OneDrive.

  • Personal data you've stored on HealthVault.

  • Purchasing info at Microsoft.com.

  • Portfolio data on MSN Money.

  • Messenger contacts added to Skype. For more info about backing up your contact list, search the Skype support page.

  • Product keys for any products you've purchased with this Microsoft account. (Your installed software will continue to work, but you'll need the product key if you ever want to reinstall the software or install it on a new PC.)

In addition, closing your Microsoft account means you'll no longer be able to access music you've downloaded using an Xbox Music Pass. (Music and videos you've purchased outright will still be playable, but can't be transferred to another device.) Any game progress, gamerscore and your gamertag on Xbox Live will be lost.

Take a look at your devices

Devices such as Windows Phones, PCs running Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, Surface tablets and Xbox consoles all work best with a Microsoft account. Some of these devices will still work to a degree – but you won't be able to use all their apps and features. Before you close your account, consider setting these devices up with a different Microsoft account so that you can still sign in.

Manage your kids' Microsoft accounts

If you manage a child's Microsoft account, their account stays open when yours is closed. However, once your Microsoft account is closed, your child will be stopped when they try to sign in to Xbox, PCs running Windows 8 or later, or a Windows Phone, until they've got consent from another parent account.

To close your account

When you're sure you're ready:

  1. Go to Close your account.

  2. If you're prompted to sign in and/or verify your account, follow the instructions.

  3. Check that the page shows the correct Microsoft account, then click Next.

  4. Read the list and click the checkboxes to acknowledge you've read each item.

  5. In the Select a reason drop-down list, choose the reason you're closing the account.

  6. Click Mark account for closure.

After you've closed your account

When you tap or click the Mark account for closure button, we wait 60 days before permanently deleting your Microsoft account, in case you've changed your mind or need to access something associated with the account before it's gone forever.

During this period, your account is marked for closure but it still exists. If you want to reopen your Microsoft account, just sign in again within that 60 days. We'll cancel the account closure, and everything will be as you left it.