Yahoo removes POP access unless you pay for it

Friday 7 January 2011, 1.27am HKT


(Post updated on 12 Nov 2011)

Yahoo Mail has been removing POP access and message forwarding for all its free webmail accounts worldwide probably since December 2010.

I discovered the POP/forwarding removal around 20th December when I tried to get my Gmail accounts fetch Yahoo! messages. POP access and forwarding were working fine just the day before. (My Gmail accounts are for this blog.)

This is the error message I got on Gmail:

Gmail error message for POP/Forwarding access

As of today, Yahoo! now provides POP/Forwarding access only if users upgrade to Yahoo! Mail Plus for US$19.99 per annum (or US$1.67 a month). (That’s actually not a bad deal, although you also have to factor in the cost of your Internet service provider for online connection.) Yahoo makes this clear in no uncertain terms:

Yahoo! Mail Plus Enhancements

* * *

Routines that DON’T work

Disregard what you read on the Intarwebz. Some articles floating around are still putting out routines on POP/Forwarding for Yahoo. They are now out of date. Most of the articles are at least a year old, done around 2009.

Here’s a rundown of the routines that don’t work anymore (I tried them all):

  1. Converting your account (via your account options) to Asia doesn’t work.
  2. Converting your account to Europe doesn’t work.
  3. Converting your account to any other region doesn’t work.
  4. Switching to Mail Classic interface doesn’t work.
  5. Switching to Mail Classic AND converting account to Asia/Europe/etc don’t work.
  6. Switching to different timezones doesn’t work.
  7. Switching to Asian/European/whatever content doesn’t work.
  8. Changing your email client’s port settings from “995” to “110” etc don’t work.
  9. Changing your email client’s server settings (“pop.mail.yahoo.com”) etc don’t work.
  10. Using the Forwarding direct link (as suggested by some articles) doesn’t work: it gets you the message “The service you are requesting is not currently for sale.”
  11. POP access using MS Outlook don’t work (since webmail POP access don’t work).
  12. IMAP access using MS Outlook don’t work (same reason as 11 above).
  13. Email fetcher program called YPOPS! don’t work (same reason as 11 above).

* * *

No POP/Forwarding for these accounts

Here’s what I found working and non-working POP/Forwarding access for free Yahoo! accounts after checking with other Yahoo! users.

Outta luck:

  • yourname@yahoo.com (worldwide, USA)
  • yourname@yahoo.co.uk (United Kingdom)
  • yourname@yahoo.com.es/it/etc (Europe)

In luck for the moment:

  • yourname@yahoo.com.cn (People’s Republic of China)
  • yourname@yahoo.com.hk (Hong Kong)

Borderline accounts (some with access, some don’t):

  • yourname@yahoo.co.jp (Japan)
  • yourname@yahoo.com.sg (Singapore)

So it seems Yahoo! is incrementally closing up free POP/Forwarding access around the world for non-premium accounts.

In case you’re wondering, getting a yahoo.com.cn or yahoo.com.hk will be good for nothing for you, unless you can read Chinese since the whole interface will be in that language. Pwned.

* * *

Workarounds

No workaround possible. The only choices are:

  1. pay Yahoo! the 20 dollars to get what you want
  2. migrate to Gmail, which still offers free POP/Forwarding/IMAP access
  3. use telepathy to communicate with the living and the dead
  4. go back to snailmail (which isn’t actually a bad idea if you think about it)

My expectation is that Gmail will close up that loophole in due course, once they have sufficient numbers of Yahoo! emigrés and make them pay. I mean, it’s only sensible business, isn’t it?

Update 12 Nov 2011:
Read about the Philippine workaround here:
https://thenakedlistener.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/philyahoo/

* * *

Question Time

Q. Did you really check out all the routines?

A. I did. Took me around two hours’ pissing around with them. They ain’t working. Took me 30 minutes to do this writeup.

Q. But I have to have Yahoo! Mail for my business/contacts/auctions/etc!

A. I’m with you, truly I am. As things stand right now, we’re all outta luck unless we cough up the twenty bucks. The best I could suggest is just go online, log in via the Web, and deal with it.

Q. There must be another way/workaround/hack. Can you help?

A. Sorry, mate, I’m pretty helpless here myself. Let me know if you find something.

Q. Then why the hell are you posting this if you can’t offer any real help?

A. Oh, sorry, my fault. It just didn’t occur to me that, by letting people know that Yahoo! has stopped POP/Forwarding access, it wasn’t at all helpful. I really should’ve come up with some workaround or backdoor hack first, after spending a couple of years to hone my non-existent hacking skills to needle sharpness. My fault, really.

Q. I don’t like Gmail.

A. Try Hotmail then. Personally, I’m not terribly fond of email myself, but wtf…

* * *

Update 12 Nov 2011:

Comments are now closed because of influx of spam. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Be sure to read ALL of the comments below — they contain details of possible workarounds.

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011. Updated 19 Feb 2014 (CSS formatting fixes).

28 Responses to “Yahoo removes POP access unless you pay for it”

  1. Annoyed said

    Thanks for the information. [This space reserved for hateful comments about Yahoo.] If I pay $20 to Yahoo, it will be a one-time deal to migrate my mail off.

    Like

  2. Mike said

    If someone charges then people will just leave and find someone offering the same for free.

    I find it a totally backwards step by Yahoo especial now Hotmail and Gmail both offer free POP access.

    Like

  3. Mike said

    PS – I’m from the UK and set up a @yahoo.co.uk account which works fine with pop.mail.yahoo.co.uk settings.

    Like

  4. Mike said

    PS –

    I have just set up an xxxx@yahoo.com account at uk.yahoo.com, allowed POP settings…

    Gone to Gmail and set up POP access using:-

    Username xxxx (without @yahoo.com)

    Port 995

    That works 100% on Gmail and my phone.

    Like

  5. Ian said

    Yahoo UK has just closed POP access. I got an e-mail saying I had to update to the new Yahoo mail and then the next day I can’t check my e-mails using outlook 2007 or on my mobile. What a pain. Tempted to move to gmail and kill two birds with one stone cos hopefully I’ll stop getting 10 e-mails a day about viagra!

    If you’ve not already moved to new yahoo mail then avoid at all costs.

    Like

  6. Yahoo???????????????????????? said

    I use Yahoo Canada, Singapore, Philippines, Italy and Ireland(uk) e-mail services with POP/SMTP.
    Few days ago I noticed I can not fetch e-mail from Irish Yahoo through POP server. Seems it connects but connection cuts off for some reason. Then I found this upgrading mail service thing.
    Where does actually say it costs 20 USD to upgrade? I did however upgraded interface by clicking the button but still no POP access. I have no problem with other Yahoo. I had similar problem with Irish one couple times in the past and I thought it was just their server problem. I thought this time was the same case.

    Like

    • The US$20 upgrade price notification used to be somewhere in Yahoo Mail Options – but sometimes it’s there, sometimes not. Yahoo has a habit of rejigging things around.

      Upgrading the interface sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. My suspicion is that POP access depends on your actual IP address – but then again, you were able to have POP via Canada, etc.

      Right now, I’m completely lost on figuring out any workaround solution.

      Like

  7. Yahoo???????????????????????? said

    Upgrading to “Yahoo Plus” costs somewhere around $20 or equivalent in euro. It says somewhere about Yahoo Plus. However I could not find they are stating POP access is only available with Yahoo Plus. Only differences they say are the number of filters, ad display, etc…
    By upgrading to new interface (Not Yahoo Plus) now creates unlimited space of e-mail storage, faster handling, etc…

    I still have absolutely no problem with other yahoo’s including Yahoo.it.
    I guess it is simply their server problem as I have had same trouble couple of times in last couple of years.

    Have you tried creating new account with Yahoo Canada, Yahoo Singapore?

    Like

  8. Yahoo???????????????????????? said

    It worked! After deleting couple of e-mails and emptying spam folder from web browser, I now am able to download the e-mail via POP from Yahoo.ie.
    I do not know if emptying the spam folder or deleting some e-mail (there were only few of them anyway…) helped correcting the operation or not, but I really guess it’s some kind of server glitch. As I have said earlier, I have had this kind of problem in the past and the problem lasted for quite long, then all the sudden things were fixed. Since I do not find any statement saying POP access service will be terminated for free users, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. AND i am sure I won’t use the Yahoo e-mail for my primary point of contact.

    Like

  9. sisyphus said

    My wife has a yahoo account and, aside from a few hiccups requiring add-on upgrades, her account works perfectly.

    AFAIK…this is only for thunderbird as an add-on.

    You’ll need to install the webmail add-on as well as a yahoo specific add on and follow the instructions.

    http://webmail.mozdev.org/

    Like

  10. Brenda said

    Just change your country to Asia (that’s Yahoo! Singapore). You can leave the language in English and the timezone unchanged. I have it that way and POP3 is still working for free (as of October 2011).

    Like

  11. L Murphy said

    I HAVE been a Yahoo Plus! customer since 2007. I temporarily turned off fetching Yahoo mail into Gmail via pop. Now, when I attempt to turn it back on, it tells me I need Yahoo Plus! Outrageous, considering I AM a paying customer!

    I tried calling 866-562-7219 but no real human being is there.

    Recommendations?

    Like

    • I have to say virtually everybody is nonplussed about it. As you can read in the post and the comments above, lots of people are reporting the successes and failures of various workarounds. My feeling is that Yahoo is allowing POP access according to your actual IP and actual geographical location.

      Can’t suggest anything other than what you see in the post and comments here.

      Like

    • Brenda said

      It could be a temporary failure, especially since you say you’re a Plus user.
      It doesn’t check for your IP and location. I have an Argentine IP and have no problem fetching my mails through POP3, as I have chosen Yahoo! Asia as my location. It’s still working, although it was down a few hours yesterday.

      Like

    • Thanks, Brenda. See what I mean? There’s seems to be no rhyme or reason to this Yahoo POP access thing…

      Like

  12. krisna said

    You can try this for outlook

    “MiG says:
    August 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm (Quote)

    Actually, you don’t have to upgrade to a paid Yahoo account in order to use Outlook with Yahoo. You can just set up an IMAP connection to imap-ssl.mail.yahoo.com on port 993 (SSL) for incoming email, and a secure SMTP connection to smtp.mail.yahoo.com on port 465 (SSL). Works like a charm.

    Like

  13. chris said

    Hi there, pop access worked fine for years with my simple yahoo US (no tweaking, no third party, just using mail on mac osx) and it stopped working when I’ve updated my password a few days ago!

    Changing content to asia does not seems to work any more.

    Strange things is that in options you still have a radio button allowing pop access!

    this is crazy inconsistent

    Like

  14. chris said

    too bad for me :-) what drives me crazy is that pop access is still in the options. false advertising?

    Like

  15. chris said

    sorry I don’t buy the glitch. a small startup yes. yahoo, I doubt. as you said there’s purpose behind it.

    making pay 20$ for email today is suicidal. no wonder yahoo stocks is going down and someone will buy them (or more precisely their millions of customers, not their outdated tech).

    just some saturday night ranting from Europe. cheers mate.

    Like

  16. James said

    Believe it or not, I have POP and forwarding even though I have never paid for mail plus.
    My Language & time zone is just US, Pacific.
    Can anybody confirm ?

    Like

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