How to Permanently Delete Your Yahoo Account

By Jayden Andrews. March 24, 2020

Yahoo is probably one of the oldest email service providers today, with billions of registered users all over the world. However, Yahoo has been the subject of various criticisms in recent years because of the several high-profile security breaches that affected, not just millions, but billions of Yahoo users.

So, whether you want to protect your online security or you simply want to organize your email accounts, deleting your Yahoo mail account should fulfill both goals. However, before you proceed to delete your Yahoo mail account, keep in mind that the process requires more than just closing your email account. You need to consider the other apps or Yahoo services associated with your account and you need to make sure to create a backup of all the important files or emails you want to keep.

This article will guide you on how to delete your Yahoo account, how to make a backup of your data, how to deal with the Yahoo services connected to your email account, and how to make sure that all your data is completely deleted from the internet.

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What Does Deleting Your Yahoo Account Mean?

When you delete your Yahoo Mail account, this means that not only will your emails be removed and you will lose access to your Yahoo account, but you will also have no access to your Flickr account and photos, to your My Yahoo settings, and other data saved in Yahoo’s services.

And if you are subscribed to any Yahoo services, don’t forget to cancel these subscriptions to prevent unexpected payments. This also applies to users who have a Flickr Pro membership. Deleting your Yahoo account does not automatically cancel charges associated with your account.

And once your Yahoo account has been closed, any email sent to your old email address will get a delivery failure message. The error message usually looks like this:

SMTP 554 delivery error: dd Sorry your message to ***@yahoo.com cannot be delivered.

This account has been disabled or discontinued [#102]. – mta***.mail.***.yahoo.com

To avoid this scenario, make sure that your friends, family, colleagues, and all your contacts on your Yahoo account know that you are going to delete your Yahoo account. This would prevent them from sending you emails through your old Yahoo address. You can choose to use your old Yahoo email to send out notices, or you can use your new email account so they know where to reach you.

Here are some important things you need to keep in mind before deleting your Yahoo account:

  • Your Yahoo mail username and email address will be available for other people to use. This means that when you delete your Yahoo mail account, you’ll be letting go of your username and other users can use that for their own email address. For example, if your email address is beautifulguru@yahoo.com and your username is beautifulguru, other people can use your username and take it as their own. It is also possible that some emails that were meant for you will be sent to the new owner of that email address.
  • You have the option to reactivate your account within 40 days after deleting it. When you delete your Yahoo account, it will not be deleted immediately. It will just be marked for deletion and you won’t be able to access your emails within that period. If you had a change of heart and you decided you want to keep your Yahoo account instead, you can reactivate it by signing into your account within that grace period. You can do this using the regular Yahoo mail login page. Once you’ve reactivated your account, you can continue receiving your emails sent to that email address. However, you won’t be able to get back all the emails sent to you during the period when your account was deactivated. After the 40-day period has elapsed, you will no longer be able to reactivate your Yahoo account.

Before You Delete Your Yahoo Account

Once you’ve made up your mind and you’ve decided to permanently delete your Yahoo account, the next step is to make some preparations. Keep in mind that you will also lose access to other services associated with your Yahoo account.

Here are some things you need to prepare before deleting your Yahoo mail account:

  • Ready your Yahoo Mail account password. You will need to type this in when you delete the account.
  • Remove any child accounts that are linked to your main Yahoo account.
  • Prepare an alternate email address for communications purposes.
  • Back up your emails and attachments. Unfortunately, Yahoo does not offer a direct way for you to download all the contents of your Yahoo account. What you can do is use an email client, such as Thunderbird or Outlook, and sign in using your Yahoo account. Wait for all your emails to be downloaded to the email client, then you can export it from there.

How to Delete Your Yahoo Mail Account

Deleting your Yahoo account is a very simple process, but you need to keep in mind that you’ll probably lose some important data if you’re not fully prepared. But if you’ve gone through our tips above and followed the preparatory steps, you should be able to safely delete your Yahoo mail account by following these steps:

1. Sign in to the Yahoo account that you want to delete.

2. Go to the Yahoo account deletion page: https://edit.yahoo.com/config/delete_user

You might be asked to sign in again or provide a verification code.

3. Once signed in, you will see some reminders regarding the termination of your Yahoo account.

4. Read the information carefully about your account termination. Remember that deleting your Yahoo account will also remove your access to any paid services related to your email address.

5. Click Continue deleting this account.
6. You will need to verify your Yahoo ID and review the account deletion warning to be sure. Type in your Yahoo password.
7. Scroll down and type in the visual code. You may request a new code if you are not able to see or hear the current code.
8. Click on Terminate this Account.

Your Yahoo account is now scheduled for permanent deletion. However, according to Yahoo, your account will be permanently deactivated and deleted from Yahoo’s user registration database within 30 days. For accounts registered in Australia, India, or New Zealand, the holding period is longer, which is around 90 days. Accounts registered in Brazil, Hong Kong, or Taiwan will need to wait around 180 days before the data is completely deleted. According to Yahoo, this delay is being implemented to prevent any fraudulent activity.

Yahoo Data Breach History

One of the major reasons users want to delete their Yahoo email accounts is because of security issues. Yahoo has revealed that a huge security breach of its systems involved more than a billion user accounts. It is actually listed as one of the worst, and probably the biggest, security breaches in the history of the internet. But this is not the first time that this security breach happened to Yahoo users. The company has a long line of security issues that affected a lot of users.

Yahoo was founded in 1994 by Jerry Yang and David Filo, and it was based in Sunnyvale, California. It was one of the biggest email service providers in its early years until it was overshadowed by Google later on. Still, Yahoo maintains a database of billions of user accounts, though there is no exit number as to how many accounts are still active.

In September of 2016, the once-popular Internet giant that was in the middle of negotiations to sell itself to Verizon, revealed it had been the target of one of the biggest data breaches in history, probably carried out by a state-sponsored actor in 2014. The attack involved the 500 million users whose real names, dates of birth, email addresses, and phone numbers were compromised. Yahoo said that the majority of passwords involved were hashed using an encryption algorithm.

Several months later, Yahoo overthrew their earlier record with the announcement that a data breach in 2013 carried out by a different group of hackers had compromised one billion Yahoo accounts. Aside from the names, passwords, dates of birth, and email addresses, security questions and their answers were also compromised. In October 2017, Yahoo revised its initial statement saying that, in fact, three billion, not one billion, user accounts were compromised.

These security breaches knocked around $350 million off Yahoo’s negotiated price. Verizon just paid $4.48 billion for Yahoo’s core Internet business and shared the regulatory and legal liabilities caused by the breaches.

Because of Yahoo’s track record of security breaches, a lot of users are thinking of deleting or have already deleted their Yahoo accounts. However, deleting a Yahoo account is not a one-step process. You need to consider a lot of aspects and create a backup, particularly those who have been using their accounts for several years.

If you’re uncomfortable about your information being collected and stored, not just by Yahoo but other email service providers as well, the best way is to use a reliable VPN to encrypt your connection, prevent privacy leaks, and prevent hackers from spying on you. However, not all VPNs are created equal. To help you find the best VPN for your needs, you can refer to VPN review sites, such as VPN Watch, to know the main differences between the popular VPNs on the market today.

Does Yahoo Delete All of the User’s Data?

Unfortunately, not all of your data will be deleted when you terminate your Yahoo mail account. Some of it might possibly remain in Yahoo’s records even after the account has been permanently deleted. According to Yahoo’s Data Storage and Anonymization, which can be accessed here, here is some of the data that might remain:

  • Account information that is required by law. Paid Fantasy Sports products, for example, might be required in certain areas to retain account data and user activity records even after the account has been deleted. This is done to meet regulatory and legal requirements in certain jurisdictions.
  • Verizon Media, which owns Yahoo, might retain your content for a longer period of time for the archival, backup, audit, or legal preservation purposes.
  • Information that has been copied might remain in back-up storage for a period of time even after the deletion request. This information will remain even though the account is no longer in the active user database.

Deleting your Yahoo account does not mean that all your data has also been deleted. However, if you feel more at risk when using their email service, you can permanently delete your Yahoo email account using the above steps and make sure you use a VPN whenever you are on the internet.

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