The computer-speak term for this situation is "account compromise," use this term when communicating with the Live support folks. 

Your Hotmail account is now owned by the folks at Windows Live, which is why you will find the Windows Live help topic for this under Account Compromise - Unauthorized Account Access.


Proactive:

Go now to http://account.live.com and add Password Reset Information to your account and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Reactive:

If you are the hacked/hijacked account owner:

  1. Read http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/outlook/hacked-account
  2. Run a malware scan on all computers you use to access the account. If there is something like a keylogger installed that will steal your passwords the bad guys will get your changed password too. The free Malicious Software Removal Tool (click to download) will do this for you.
  3. If you can still log in to your account:
    1. Change the password.
    2. Change the alternate e-mail in your Account Settings (Options->Account Settings).
  4. If are locked out of the account:
    1. Try a password reset ().
    2. If that does not work, complete the form here for Windows Live ID Validation:(https://account.live.com/resetpassword.aspx/). 
  5. If you used that account as the verification for other online accounts,such as eBay, consider proactively resetting those passwords now.

Other Languages

This article is also available in the following languages: