How to . . . Delete your Yahoo account

After the hacking and surveillance scandals you might want to exit Yahoo’s services

It takes about 90 days for a deleted account to be removed from Yahoo’s user database.

It takes about 90 days for a deleted account to be removed from Yahoo’s user database.


Do you still have a Yahoo account? After the recent revelations – first the hacking of 500 million accounts and now the news that the company has been scanning your email for the US National Security Agency and the FBI – you might want to consider closing it.

Here’s how you do it: First of all, remember that if you shut down your Yahoo account you lose not only your email account but also any Yahoo services associated with it. That means your Yahoo Messenger account and your Flickr account, along with whatever images and comments you have there, and so on. Still not bothered? Read on.

Before you close your account, you might want to save any information you currently have stored there.

Yahoo Mail: There are a few options open to you here. The first – probably the most annoying and time-consuming – is to forward every message from your email account to another address.

The second and third require enabling POP email and IMAP email so you can access your email from a mail programme on your computer.

For more about setting up POP mail and all the settings you’ll need, click here and to enable IMAP click here.

Yahoo Contacts: If you have your contacts saved to Yahoo

you can export them easily for use with another service.

Log into your Yahoo Mail account and click on the Contacts icon on the top left of the screen.

When your contacts load, click Actions and select Export from the drop-down menu.

Choose the format you prefer – Microsoft Outlook will create a .csv file compatible with Outlook, Yahoo CSV is a standard .csv file that you can use with most email programs, and vCards are for programmes compatible with .vcf files.

Click Export Now and save your file somewhere safe until you need it to import into your new service.

Yahoo Calendar: Go to your Yahoo Mail account and click on Calendar.

Click the arrow next to the calendar you want to downloads, and choose Export.

Another window will open. Choose Export and save the file to your computer.

Flickr: When you delete your Flickr account, it takes all your photos with it, and this can’t be undone.

If you don’t have copies of your Flickr images saved, you can download the files individually from the website, or use software that will batch download all your images and tags from the service.

When you’ve got everything you need from your Yahoo account, you need to stay logged in and to go to the account termination page here.

You’ll need the current password for your account, and enter it, along with the security verification code that Yahoo will display on screen.

Enter both, and click Terminate this account.

It will still take about 90 days for the account to be deleted from Yahoo’s user database, but it will be deactivated. Some information may still hang around for a while afterwards, though.

Yahoo puts this disclaimer on its privacy page: “Please note that any information that we have copied may remain in back-up storage for some period of time after your deletion request. This may be the case even though no account information remains in our active user databases.”

So long, Yahoo.