Windows Live Messenger – Alternate Email Address Status Prompt


  • Windows Live Messenger prompts to use or update an existing alternate email address for Password Reset

Background Information:

  • Windows Live Messenger users may notice a dialog box prompting them to keep their current alternate email address or update (change) their alternate email address.
  • This is a valid prompt in Windows Live Messenger (confirmed and deployed by Microsoft/Windows Live)
  • Note the yellow dialog box in the picture below (captured while using Windows Live Messenger 2011)


For discussion purposes the yellow dialog box in the above picture was edited to remove a valid email address in favor of a generic email address and text inserted explaining the source of the email address

  • An alternate email address is one of the available account recovery proofs/security tools provided by Live services for a Password Reset
  • An alternate email address can be configured at by clicking on the ‘Manage’ item adjacent to the  ‘Security Info:‘ option. (see picture below).  (Fyi – the ‘Security Info’ and ‘Manage’ option are recent modifications to the Live ID account page’s GUI permitting users the ability to manage all account recovery proofs (Alternate Email, Mobile Phone Number, Trusted PC, and Secret Question) on a single page.



  • Advance notification of this change does not exist on the Microsoft Live Team’s  Inside Windows Live blog or elsewhere (Windows Live Solution Center Messenger Portal ) though other articles have been written on improving the security and feature updates for Live services and products – e.g. Messenger, Hotmail, etc.
  • As noted earlier, this is a valid prompt (i.e. not malware/phishing) – confirmed and deployed by Microsoft/Windows Live
  • Clicking ‘Yes’ will close the dialog box and accept the current alternate email address
  • Clicking ‘Update Now’ will allow one to update their Live ID account’s alternate email address and/or other account recovery proofs/security tools (Mobile Phone, Trusted PC, Secret Question).
  • The prompt shown in the above example was captured while using Windows Live Messenger 2011 (earlier versions may or may not perform the same)



November 8, 2011: Original Publish Date (D.S.T)

About Winston
Microsoft MVP

2 Responses to Windows Live Messenger – Alternate Email Address Status Prompt

  1. WC says:

    We used to keep all of our softwares on the local server, but it’s so much far better with the cloud. Everything is available everywhere and also the odds to lose access to our own info as diminished tremendously.


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