The “User ID does not exist” or “Microsoft account does not exist” error is usually encountered when a user is trying to gain access to his/her Microsoft account. It also occurs when an attempt is made to log into a service using the Microsoft ID associated with a Windows device.
The services that require the use of this ID include OneDrive, Outlook.com, Xbox Live, and Skype.
A Microsoft subscriber may be prompted to try a different email address or register a new one and try again. This article outlines a few steps that the reader should follow to fix this error.
How to fix The user ID does not exist error
- Ensure that your Username and ID “actually” exists
- Double-check to ascertain the correctness of every input
- Attempt logging in with the primary Microsoft ID rather than an additional address
- Avoid attempting to login with an Alias
- Send a test E-mail to the supposed user ID
- Do not use an account name from another type of account
- Recover your account by requesting for a password reset
1: Ensure that your Username and ID “actually” exists
Ascertaining the status of an account is the first thing that should be done; most especially if the account has not been used it in a long time (about 1 year).
To check if the account is still active, visit www.live.com, www.outlook.com, and www.hotmail.com depending on the type of Microsoft account that used and try logging in with the associated username and password.
If on the login attempt the message says “an account with this email already exist” then it is possible that the email may have been changed to an Alias (this will be explained later).
Another time the error message may reflect as “The Microsoft account does not exist”. Then, this account may have been permanently deleted because of inactivity (failure to access the account using a browser within 365 days).
A new account can be created with the same mailbox name (note that previous data such as old emails and file on OneDrive would have been lost). It is better to use new details here.
After Microsoft account ID registration is completed, the user can try to login again, and the error should be gone.
2: Double-check to ascertain the correctness of every input
Make sure that account details are correctly spelled and that the appropriate characters are used before hitting sign in. Try out a couple of familiar usernames and passwords variation that might been have used recently.
3: Attempt logging in with the primary Microsoft ID rather than an additional address
This is a common error among Microsoft users encountering the error under consideration. They try to login into Microsoft using an email that is an additional address added to an account rather than the primary user id of the account itself.
If this situation arises, use the primary User ID instead of the additional address. An additional address is meant for user account recovery and security purposes.
4: Avoid attempting to login with an Alias
Usually, the error “user ID does not exist” denotes that the user is trying to login using an Alias.
If by any chance, the email address in question has been swapped with a new one, the original email address then becomes an Alias. Hence, logging in with the affected account (Alias) will trigger the “user ID” error. To resolve this, login using the details of the new account.
5: Send a test E-mail to the supposed user ID
From an existing and active e-mail address, send an email to the user ID in question to see if it will bounce back (mailer daemon) or get delivered.
If it gets delivered without any error, then the account still exists, and the following should be done to fix the ID error:
- Ensure that the case for both username and password are correct
- Avoid pressing the incorrect key accidentally, so be careful
- Try logging in from another secure computer as your keyboard might have issues
6: Do not use an account name from another type of account
Using an account name from a different kind of account such Xbox accounts, Work or School accounts may trigger the “user ID” error.
Trying to sign into a variety of Microsoft services using an Xbox Gamertag is impossible. A Gamertag is meant to serve as an identity only on Xbox.
Also, attempting to sign in to Xbox or the Microsoft account website with a user ID supplied associated with a user‘s school or work may not work. So, visit the Microsoft Web page and sign up for a new account.
7: Recover your account by requesting for a password reset
A Microsoft account reset will most times be required but before that, check to ensure that Caps Lock is off because passwords are generally case sensitive.
If there is no doubt as to using the right details and sign in remains impossible, then a reset is what should come next.
Note: Before requesting a password reset, the user ID must have been confirmed to exist by the steps mentioned earlier. Also, a user needs to request for a reset of the primary account, not the additional e-mail address.
Follow these procedures to reset the password for the account:
- Visit the ‘Reset your password’ webpage
- Choose from the options provided on ‘why you need a password reset’, then click Next
- Slot in the Microsoft user ID that needs to be recovered
- Enter the on-screen character and click Next
- In case the account has security information, the user will receive a one-time code on the associated alternate (additional) e-mail address or phone number from Microsoft.
- After entering the unique code, the user will now be able to create a new password and be able to sign in.
8: Fill out a Microsoft Account issues form online
- If the tweaks earlier mentioned do not solve the sign in problem. Furthermore, this might have to be reported to Microsoft.
- To log a complaint, click here and on the next screen, check the issue you need help with.
- On the next page, fill out the necessary details. To access this form, the user must be signed in with an MS account.
Use an alternate account to sign in (if one exists) or sign up for another one here.
After registering successfully, the user can then fill out the form for the account that needs to be fixed.
We hope that the suggestions listed above helped you to fix this error message. If you’ve come across other solutions to fix this problem, you can help the Windows Community by listing the troubleshooting steps in the comment section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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