How to Delete Your Yahoo Mail Account Permanently

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Among the numerous email service providers, Yahoo has been a popular choice for many users over the years. However, due to privacy concerns, shifting preferences, and the desire to simplify their digital lives, many individuals have made the decision to move away from Yahoo. If you’re thinking of taking this step, this tutorial guides you through the process of deleting your Yahoo Mail account, providing you with a step-by-step approach to removing it safely.

Good to know: you can add your Yahoo inbox to other email apps.

Things to Know Before Deleting

There are a few other things you need to know before making the plunge and deleting your Yahoo Mail account:

  • Deleting your account means you’ll lose your Yahoo identity and Yahoo Mail account (Business Mail provided by Aabaco Small Business and Flickr account included – if you previously used these services).
  • Yahoo promises to delete or anonymize your account data and settings across the Yahoo network. This includes data from Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Contacts, Business Mail services provided with an Aabaco Small Business account, My Yahoo settings, and more.
  • Access to any paid services with the Yahoo account will also be terminated.
  • Your email account name (or address) will be eligible for others to use once your account has been permanently deleted.
  • Once your Yahoo account is permanently deleted, people trying to contact you on your old email address will receive a delivery failure message.

Download Your Data

Before proceeding to delete your Yahoo account permanently, consider whether you want or need to retain the data stored in your inbox. If the answer is yes, you’ll have to put in a request with Yahoo to obtain the data. Once it’s ready to download, Yahoo will let you know. Follows the steps outlined below to request a data download.

  1. Navigate to the Yahoo Privacy Dashboard in your browser.
Selecting "Yahoo!" in Privacy Dashboard.
  1. Select the Yahoo logo and log in with the Yahoo account you wish to delete.
  2. Click on the “Manage your information” tab.
Clicking on "Download personal data" button in "Manage your information" tab.
  1. Scroll down the page and click the “Download personal data” button.
  2. On the next page, you’ll need to check all the information you wish to download, including “Subscriptions and account activity,” “Your account,” “Browser data” and more.
Selecting Yahoo Mail data & more which you want to retain.
  1. Once you’ve made your selections, hit the “Next” button at the bottom.
  2. Type the email address where you want this information to be sent. Click the “Download request” button to proceed.

Tip: check out the best free email clients for Windows.

Clicking on "Request download" button  on Privacy Dashboard.
  1. Click the “Completed” button. Yahoo notes that depending on the data you’ve requested, it may take up to 30 days to process your request.
Pressing on "Completed" button in Privacy Dashboard.
  1. You’ll be automatically redirected to the Yahoo Privacy Dashboard. At the top, you should see a “Download request in progress” notification. Yahoo will also send you an email letting you know that the request for data download has been registered.
"Download request in progress" notification in Privacy Dashboard.

Revoking Your Request

  1. If you change your mind before 30 days have elapsed, you can go back to the Privacy Dashboard, access the “Manage your information” tab, and scroll down until you see the “Cancel the download request” button.
Clicking on "Cancel the download request" button in "Manage your information" tab.
  1. Click on “Cancel request” on the right to call off the procedure.
Clicking "Cancel request" in Privacy Dashboard.
  1. Alternatively, if you want to save only a handful of emails from your Yahoo inbox, you can forward them to your new email account (assuming that you’ve already set one up). Open an email in your Yahoo inbox and press the “Forward” button to send it to your new address. If you’re an Outlook user, learn how to set up automatic forwarding in the app.
"Forwarding" function in Yahoo Mail.

Cancel Subscriptions

It should be noted that you won’t be able to close your account if you have a remaining balance on any of your Yahoo subscriptions, and it’s been less than 90 days since the end of the paid term of any canceled subscriptions.

Visit the My Subscriptions dashboard in your browser, cancel paid services and pay the account balances.

"My Subscriptions" page for services connected to Yahoo mail.

Note that if you have the Fantasy Sports option activated and still have funds in your fantasy wallet, Yahoo advises withdrawing the remaining balance prior to deleting the Yahoo account, as access to the fantasy wallet will no longer be permitted once the deletion process has been completed.

Lastly, if you’re a Flickr Pro customer, check this manage your billing account before canceling,

Tip: you can manage Google Tasks effectively from Gmail. Follow this guide.

Delete Your Yahoo Email Account

With all subscriptions canceled and data downloaded, you can finally proceed to delete your Yahoo inbox by following these steps:

  1. Visit the Yahoo Delete My Account page.
  2. Log in with your credentials once again.
Signing in with Yahoo account.
  1. If you’re sure you want to go through with the deletion, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click “Continue delete my account.”
Clicking on "Continue delete my account" button.
  1. If you get cold feet, you can always click the “Back to Privacy Dashboard” button at the top.
  1. On the next page, confirm once again that you want to delete your account by pressing “Yes, delete my account.”
Pressing on "Yes, delete my account" button to finish deleting Yahoo email account.
  1. You’ll see a message letting you know that the account has been deactivated and is scheduled for deletion. This won’t happen instantly, though, as you will have to wait at least 30 days for the process to complete.

How to Reactivate Your Yahoo Email Account

If you’ve changed your mind, and it hasn’t been more than 30 days since you submitted your request to have your Yahoo account deleted, you can reactivate it. This interval applies only to users from the United States. If you’re based in Australia, you have 90 days to reconsider, while users from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Brazil are allowed to change their mind after 180 days.

Reactivating your account is easy to do. Visit the Yahoo Mail page and log in with your account, just as you would normally. This will effectively reactivate the account. You’ll need to verify you want to recover the account and create a new password.

FYI: you can speed up email composition by using templates. Learn how to create and use email templates in Outlook.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Yahoo account is gone, but I didn’t put in the request to delete it. What happened?

You should be aware that Yahoo can automatically deactivate or delete accounts that have been sitting idle for twelve months or more. Additionally, if Yahoo finds that your account has violated its Terms of Service agreement, it may choose to terminate your account without sending a notification prior to doing so.

Is Yahoo email secure?

Privacy is one of the main reasons many people have decided to abandon Yahoo Mail for another email service. Yahoo has suffered multiple data breaches in the past, potentially compromising user information, such as addresses, passwords, and personal details. If you value your privacy and want to minimize the risk of your data being exposed or misused, deleting your Yahoo email account can be a proactive step to protecting yourself.

What are some privacy-focused email services?

After deleting your Yahoo email account, you may want to sign up with a privacy-oriented email service. Review this list of some of the most secure options.

Image credit: Flaticon. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

Alexandra Arici
Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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