Using more than 1 Windows Live ID at a time…

Hotmail users, rejoice!

A comment that I get quite often is that it’s “not possible to user more than one Live ID at a time”; that is to say that you can’t be logged into Live@edu at the same time as being logged into Windows Live Hotmail. That’s half true. Let me explain…

WL-ID_v_rgbLive@edu can provide the great range of services that users get because it uses with Windows Live ID service as a means of authentication. Every single user gets a Live ID and this gives them access to all of the Windows Live services as well as Exchange Online.

Because Windows Live Hotmail users also have Live IDs they cannot be logged into Windows Live services at the same time as another account – whether that’s another Hotmail account, a Live@edu account or any other account associated with a Live ID; however, there are ways around this!

Option 1: Private browsing

Many web browsers today, including Windows Internet Explorer 9, allow for some kind of private browsing mode, here’s how it looks in Windows 7:

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Internet Explorer



By right-clicking on the taskbar icon you can open up a private browsing window that will allow you to log in to your ‘other’ Live ID at the same time as your Live@edu account.

Option 2: Desktop client

Another option would be to connect a desktop client to your mail accounts. Microsoft Outlook 2010, or Windows Live Mail both provide great ways to manage your email from your desktop without ever needing to login through a browser. By utilising the power of a desktop client you no longer clash with multiple Live IDs in the same browser session – but obviously, this requires you install some software on your PC.

Outlook_256x WLMail_256x256

Option 3: Connected Accounts

Third in the list would be the amazing “connected accounts” feature of Live@edu. Connected accounts allows you to hook up your favourite personal email accounts to your Live@edu mailbox allowing you to check, send and receive mail all from one place, whether that’s the browser or your desktop mail client.

Used in conjunction with an inbox rule, it’s possible to connect your Hotmail, Gmail or other favourite mail account and deliver mail into a separate folder allowing you to view your institution mail and personal mail on the same screen, at the same time – no need to log out of one account to access another, or open a private browsing session.


Accessible through the options in the Outlook Web App you can follow the wizard for connecting up your accounts, you can see above that two accounts have been connected.


The three options above aren’t exhaustive, but they are probably the most common workarounds for the multiple Live ID limitation. By giving users several options they can pick a workaround that best fits with their usage scenarios.

Have you found a different way to manage multiple Live IDs? Let us know in the comments!

Comments (1)

  1. Kevin says:


    This is really horrible. So much so that I've actually emailed both my current universities asking them to roll me back *out* of the live@edu programme (I am not sure if this is possible yet…)

    Yes, I get email on my iPhone. Yes, I have the accounts configured there to pull it (into separate mailboxes). No, I do not consider my iPhone to be a replacement for desktop mail.

    No, I do not want my personal mail pulling into my university account – not least because I have no particular desire to submit my personal-and-nothing-to-do-with-uni mail to either university's AUP, and nor do I wish to give my university administrator access to (for example) mail from my bank, credit card companies or other private data.

    I do not wish to install another desktop mail client (I already use Outlook for work email, and do not wish to pull my university mail into that for the same reasons as above).

    I've ended up installing chrome for the specific purpose of checking university email, because it's so irritating having to log out of my hotmail account, into one university, log out of that one, log into the other, log out of *that* and then log back into hotmail. Private browsing in IE9 would probably achieve the same thing, but it's got equally annoying features of its own (open IE, start private browsing, close the non-private IE… how on earth do you open a new non-private IE browser while leaving the private one open?) and a separate browser seemed like the best of a bad bunch of options.

    There are a million and one solutions which could've headed this off (e.g. use a separate version of the passport, checking for a "normal" one on hotmail et al in the first instance and falling back to check for an edu one if not found… use the edu one as a primary one on the live@edu site – this also has the advantage that companies using Office 365 could have a or some such which would avoid the same issue for employees wanting to use hotmail and a corporate outsourced instance) – but they really should've been considered and addressed before "upgrading" us all, no?

    Please, please, please, fix it?


    (and yes, I'm happy to provide additional feedback if you wish to contact me directly)

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