Rob's Ramblings

Saturday 16 August 2008

Hotmail deleted all my mail

OK. I'll hold my hand up and admit it.. I have a email address. But, in mitigation, I don't use it that much. Very little, in fact. I use windows messenger a little, and occasionally contacts on there send me emails which default to the hotmail inbox. Oh, and my O2 online bills go there, as I signed up to them many years ago when I was changing hosting on my own domians and couldn't rely on getting the emails. As it's always a fixed amout, and I can check it on O2's website, I don't usualy have need to read the emails. 

Anyway, one such contact sent me an email the other day, prompting me to log into hotmail for the first time in ages to get the message. Wherupon I suddenly realised that there was very little mail in the account, and my folders with old stuff, including all my O2 bills, had gone!

I contacted hotmail support (which in turn took some finding - the hotmail, sorry, Windows Live Hotmail) help pages don't seem to link to it. (here's the link) and their answer:

Apparently my account had been marked "inactive".

The contents of your MSN Hotmail inbox were deleted by an automated service which flags accounts which have not been signed into for 60 or more days. Once the inbox contents have been deleted, they cannot be recovered.

When you signed in after that period of inactivity, you were also upgraded to Windows Live Hotmail. Windows Live Hotmail will keep your account active, even if you do not sign in for 120 days.

As for why, despite using messenger, which checks for new mails, didn't count:

Please be guided that logging into other Windows Live ID or MSN services does not count as Hotmail activity.

So, there you have it. If you don't use hotmail very often, make sure you at least login every six weeks or so, or you'll lose everything!

At least I didn't loose too much, but I'll be making sure nothing uses that account any more.

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