Internet Productivity

It’s Time to Leave Yahoo: How to Quit and Move to Gmail Right Now

Ben Stegner 20-12-2016

For the second time in recent months, Yahoo has been hit with a security breach Yahoo Reveals Yet Another Giant Security Breach Another day, another Yahoo hack. This one dating back all the way to 2013. This particular security breach resulted in the user data of 1 billion Yahoo accounts being stolen. Read More . This time, Yahoo announced that hackers stole details from a billion accounts in August 2013.


Security breaches happen to almost every company, but Yahoo seems to have a big issue with safety. Coupled with the fact that they’ve been scanning your emails to give to the government, we think it’s high time that people stopped using Yahoo.

If you’re ready to leave Yahoo, you can easily jump to Gmail or another email provider The Best Free Email Accounts You Need to Consider Everyone knows about Gmail. If you think that's the best free email account out there, you're underestimating all the other services. You have options and we have the details. Read More in just a few steps. Here’s what you can do.

First, remember that deleting your Yahoo account will also delete any accounts for other Yahoo services. If you have a Flickr account with tons of pictures, or use Yahoo for fantasy football 5 Must-Have Apps for NFL 2016 Fantasy Football League Drafts The new football season is upon us, which means one thing. It's time to start your fantasy football league and draft a killer lineup. Read More , make sure you’ve transferred all applicable data before you kill your account.

Yahoo doesn’t let you export all of your data at once, so you’ll need to go through and save important attachments or forward messages to another account to keep them.

Thankfully, Gmail makes it simple to jump ship from Yahoo. Sign into a Gmail account, then click the gear at the top-right and choose Settings. Under the Accounts and Import tab, choose Import mail and contacts. Here, you can sign in with your Yahoo credentials, and have Gmail import your contacts, current email, and all email for the next 30 days.


Now that you’ve moved your account data, you can delete your Yahoo account. Visit their account deletion page and sign in, then confirm that you’re about to irreversibly delete your account. Enter your password one last time, and say goodbye to Yahoo.

Even if you decide to stay with Yahoo, it’s important to change your password right away to keep your account safe.

Are you ready to stop using Yahoo after so many security incidents? Let us know if you jumped to Gmail down in the comments!

Image Credit: Volha Khaletskaya via Shutterstock

Related topics: Gmail, Yahoo Mail.

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  1. R.
    October 18, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    I stopped using Yahoo entirely. Not just because of their email and it's ridiculous reach, but because of their malcontent in their news. They are the most abhorrent website I can recall that has nothing but race dividing, racism, hate, and general folly of misrepresentation of the facts than anyone. They are the cesspool filter for all the nasty, ill informed hacks of the universe. Google has nothing but a search bar, so I'm not bombarded by NEWS NEWS NEWS that is really just OPINION OPINION OPINION rich gossip of fear and loathing.

  2. Shawn Adam
    December 24, 2016 at 5:20 am

    I find this kind of funny. They tell you of a breach that happened 3 years before, and then everyone rushes around to change their passwords. If someone had your information, don't you think they would have already used it? Then you would know you were hacked and would have already changed your password.

  3. redhed17
    December 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Mmm, Yahoo are possibly not secure, and share you info with the Government (I'm assuming American Government, :-/ but maybe it's every Government ;-)), so let's give Google access to your account, emails, password and everything! Really, let the ultimate information gatherers into your account and give them more information about you!

    If there was a way to transfer your emails en masse, that would be useful.

    • Ben Stegner
      December 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Using Gmail doesn't give Google access to your password. I understand balking at the idea of using Gmail, but Google hasn't had anything like the massive security breaches that Yahoo has had recently.

      • redhed17
        December 22, 2016 at 1:25 am

        "Sign into a Gmail account, then click the gear at the top-right and choose Settings. Under the Accounts and Import tab, choose Import mail and contacts. Here, you can sign in with your Yahoo credentials, and have Gmail import your contacts, current email, and all email for the next 30 days."

        Maybe I don't understand that properly then, because to me that says that you are signed into your Google account, and then from within there sign into Yahoo from within Gmail to import your contacts, current emails and emails from 90 days from that point. Surely Google has to remember your log in details to open Yahoo and redirect the emails. :-/

        I don't balk at using Gmail btw, I have two accounts, but forward emails from those accounts to Yahoo so I only have to check one email account for new emails. It is unfortunate that Yahoo is the one with the security problems atm, but I have thousands of emails over more than a decade that I don't want to lose. I do balk at one entity having too much information., because if they know everything, and they get hacked, you may have to start from zero in many places. Better to spread your emails among different email providers imho.

  4. David
    December 21, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I don't use *any* of these email cloud services - I use Pegasus, a venerable POP-3 email client, and maintain all my data in my own machine, safe from the prying eyes of industry, government, and bad guys. Am I alone in this?

  5. Silverlokk
    December 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Or, you can stay on Yahoo!, but use 2FA. Can't understand how people don't take advantage of the extra security that sites offer.

    Am I being smug?

    • Ben Stegner
      December 21, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      No, I agree with you and recommend that everyone use 2FA on any service that offers it. However, this is twice now that Yahoo has had security problems, which understandably brings their competence into question.

  6. Manojkumar Jain
    December 21, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Yahoo! Mail allows folders and sub-folders to categorize emails and I have been using such features for past 15 odd years. When importing to GMail, how do we ensure that additional settings such as email segregation into different folders are not lost.

    • Kev Quirk
      December 21, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      You're talking about rules, or filters depending on which email service you use. Unfortunately, there is no automated way of doing this, but Gmail does support email filtering. So it would be a case of copying your filters like for like from Yahoo to Gmail.

  7. Keith
    December 20, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Like Flickr and some other services, Yahoo Groups requires a Yahoo account, as far as I can tell, which is unfortunate. I keep a Yahoo account only for this purpose. Hopefully I can convince the group admins to switch to Google Groups or something similar.

    • Ben Stegner
      December 20, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      I don't know too many people who use Yahoo Groups. Hopefully the admins do decide to switch! There are lots of great alternatives; Slack might be a good choice for you.

    • Kev Quirk
      December 21, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      I'm a member of a local advanced motorcycling group, and they were using Yahoo Groups when I first joined the group. They are diabolical. How they got anything done through the droves of spam email you get from Yahoo Groups is beyond me.

      Luckily, I know a little bit about web design, so I convinced them to move over to a private forum which I designed for them. However, if you don't have those skills, something like a simply Facebook group with the privacy turned on, or as Ben said, Slack would be a great alternative.

      I wouldn't go with Google Groups, as they're not much better than Yahoo Groups.

      • Keith
        December 21, 2016 at 2:55 pm

        Thanks, Kev, useful advice!

  8. Zhong
    December 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    After you import your mail and contacts from Yahoo to Gmail then delete the account, if someone decides to write an email to the Yahoo account, will it be forwarded to Gmail or have a delivery error?

    • Ben Stegner
      December 20, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Yahoo accounts are still around for about 90 days once you put in a deletion request — this prevents hackers from deleting your account immediately. Thus, you'll continue to receive new mail which will be forwarded to Gmail.

  9. Susan
    December 20, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I deleted my husband's Yahoo account after it was hacked, then deleted mine as well. I use Yahoo Sports and to comment you need to sign in. So, I started a new account just for that purpose. Is that safe or not? If not I'll switch to another Sports site and delete that account as well.

    • Ben Stegner
      December 20, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      Many people say things like "I don't care if that account gets hacked, I only use it for [purpose]." I don't think this is a good mindset; every account you own should be as secure as possible.

      That being said, if you really want to comment and need an account to do so, it's no big deal to keep a Yahoo account open. If you keep a strong password and don't use email, there's not much of a risk involved with the account.

      • Susan
        December 21, 2016 at 8:10 am

        I decided to cancel my Yahoo account, comments aren't that important. Funny thing is, after I terminated the account, I got the security letter from Yahoo.

  10. John Doe
    December 20, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    You didn't adequately address two important issues...
    (1) how would I save the important emails I have accumulated in Yahoo email the past 18 years?
    (2) I will also need to change my email address at 100+ companies/websites/doctors/insurance/BMV which use email address as username

    Also you have typo: "and have Gmail *important* your contacts"

    This article is pretty thin on details compared to most MUO articles I have read.

    • Edy
      December 20, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Yeah. (2) in my opinion is crucial. And there's no way to do that except manually, which is a drag...

    • Ben Stegner
      December 20, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      The reason is that this article is a mini-post, which are shorter posts that cover topics that don't need a full article. If you'd like to see a full description of this process, I can mention that to an editor and see if we can run it.

      I apologize for not being clear enough. For (1), you'd have to do the Gmail import to bring all of your mail to Gmail, or search for important mail and forward them on. With 18 years of email, I can image manually searching would be pretty tedious, though.

      For (2), you could change the email address for these sites that you remember, and wait a month or two to change it for other sites. Set up auto-forwarding for Yahoo mail so you don't miss others, and can change your email address on those sites as you see them come in. There's not really a better way than one by one when you're changing your email address login for sites.

    • Kev Quirk
      December 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      The best way I would go about changing your email, is to register your own domain (around £15/year) and use that. You can then forward that address to any service you desire. So if you want to switch from Yahoo to Gmail, it's no problem. Just update the forwarding address and you're done.

      Unfortunately, that still involves changing an email address and updating it everywhere. But at least you only have to do it once. There's no simple way of changing in though.

  11. Pierre
    December 20, 2016 at 11:36 am

    personally, I'd trust Google even less than Yahoo .. ..

    • Ben Stegner
      December 20, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      I can understand that, but this is two actual breaches now, plus they've been sharing emails with the government. I understand people don't trust Google, but they haven't had massive security problems like this in recent times.

  12. Paul Parkinson
    December 20, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Is there any way of using Flickr without a Yahoo email account?

    • Ben Stegner
      December 20, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      From everything I've seen, it looks like you must have a Yahoo account to use Flickr, as Flickr uses Yahoo to sign in. There doesn't seem to be any other way, which is a shame.

  13. Mark Tristan R. Ocampo
    December 20, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Well, I couldn't really say I've "deleted" my Yahoo (Mail) account already, but for years now, I haven't even touched my Yahoo account at all. So glad Google's Gmail came to this world. =)

    If you haven't yet, I wonder why. Read this article again and again to convince you. ;) You won't regret it.

    • Jerome Maxwell
      December 27, 2016 at 4:32 am

      Yahoo rules yo?