WARNING - DO NOT USE AN OUTLOOK.COM ADDRESS FOR GOOGLE ACCOUNT RECOVERY EMAIL

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Chuck Davis

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Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
Outlook.com (as MS Exchange)
To protect against malicious web sites, Outlook.com uses Safelinks which adds characters to a URL and converts all 1-byte special characters into 3-byte hex codes.

An account recovery e-mail from Google contains an embedded URL which is very long. When the URL is processed through Safelinks it ends up being over 2048 characters long. When you try to click on the recovery URL (or use copy/paste), and the URL is decoded from its Safelinks version, the URL is truncated after 2048 characters and is rejected by Google as invalid. The only workaround is to manually decode all the 3-byte hex codes in the portion of the URL beyond 2048 characters.
 
If you have a premium account (office 365 subscription) , you can turn safelinks off in Outlook.com's settings: Settings (gear icon) > View all Outlook settings > Premium > Security.
 
But what if I already have OUTLOOK.COM linked as a backup email for my Google account? shouldn't be a problem with this?
 
But what if I already have OUTLOOK.COM linked as a backup email for my Google account? shouldn't be a problem with this?
This is exactly the problem. If you request an account recovery e-mail from Google it won't work.

Per Diane's suggestion, you could turn off Safelinks before (re-)requesting the account recovery e-mail. Turning off Safelinks doesn't undo the problem for previous e-mails.

I just punted and changed the account recovery e-mail address in Google to an old Yahoo Mail account I had laying around. The Yahoo login is stored in LastPass, so it is fairly mindless.
 
This is exactly the problem. If you request an account recovery e-mail from Google it won't work.

Per Diane's suggestion, you could turn off Safelinks before (re-)requesting the account recovery e-mail. Turning off Safelinks doesn't undo the problem for previous e-mails.

I just punted and changed the account recovery e-mail address in Google to an old Yahoo Mail account I had laying around. The Yahoo login is stored in LastPass, so it is fairly mindless.
I also have old mail (i hope), it's not really a problem to change Outlook to it, but it's still inconvenient and remains a problem :(
 
I don't know if yahoo has a in-active policy - but I recommend logging in to any recovery accounts yearly to prevent closure.

Outlook.com's policy is you need to log in yearly or the mailbox purged and closes accounts after 2 years of non-use (there are exceptions for closures). Google is instituting a similar policy, I think just for purging, not closing.
 
Does this apply to @hotmail.com and @live.com accounts too?
Thanks
 
Yes, everything discussed in this thread applies to all accounts.

On closures, the age of the account matters - older accounts will be purged but may not be closed as fast as new accounts.

And there are a lot of exceptions -
Microsoft account activity policy:
 
I'd never heard of Safelinks, did some research and found this page which SEEMS to imply, to me anyway, that Safelinks is a feature only for Office 365 subscribers. What do you think?
 
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