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Yahoo! mail problems

One of my clients had a problem earlier today. I helped them choose a new email setup, and they went with Yahoo Business Edition Mail. It’s worked like a charm for them until today. Oh, sure, they’ve had to adjust their business processes a bit, but it was a vast improvement over their previous situation, where only allowed one person in to view his or her mailbox at a time. And it’s quite low maintenance and fairly easy to learn, as it was entirely browser based.

But today, the web client for Yahoo! was busted. New layouts, new colors, old functionality gone, intermittent changes in the GUI, the whole bit. I got on the phone with Yahoo! support, and they assured me it was simply a webmail client problem. No mail was being lost. But, as Joel explains, for most folks, the interface is the program. You try explaining the difference between SMTP and POP and mail storage and local clients to an insurance agent who just wants to send her customers an application.

One of the worst bits is that, other than getting on the phone with Yahoo! support, there was absolutely nothing I could do to fix the problem. Alright, this isn’t entirely true–I could have worked on migrating them off the web client, and perhaps off Yahoo! entirely. And, had the outage continued, I probably would have begun that process. But fixing the web client was entirely out of my hands. That’s the joy and the pain of outsourcing, right? The problems aren’t yours to fix (yay!) but you can’t fix the problems yourself (boo!). Also, chances are the outsourcing provider is never going to be more enthusiastic than you about fixing your problems, and might be significantly less.

361 thoughts on “Yahoo! mail problems

  1. deb says:

    I should have read the threads properly! after submitting my post I noticed the one about clicking ‘secure’ first, just checked my mail – it wouldn’t open, clicked on ‘secure’ and bingo! no probs, 4 out of 4 times.

  2. michelle says:

    I was having the same problem with my yahoo email account, and I fix the problem by downloading netscape 7.1 and was able to get in to my yahoo account. good luck to all of you too

  3. Rick says:

    everytime I log on and try to get my mail there is a differnt name there, not mine. I then have to log them off and log me on. there is no one else using this computer?” what gives?

  4. Jon says:

    Same problem here…..been trying to get yahoo to help LOL. Well trying to find a yahoo spot for help. This sucks and I hve some really important stuff in my mail I need to read. Hope this gets fixed soon

  5. tash says:

    i have been having problem accessing my mail a/cs. i cant access it through the mail option through messenger as well. The message that i get is ”Unfortunately, blah blah blah please try again later. Return to Yahoo! ”. This gives an option to sign in again….but still doesnt give me access. I sort of noticed that it gave me one access / day…and i have 2 a/cs, but whats frustrating is that my sis can access her mail, any number of times…so i think the one access a day was just my imagination.
    Someone has got to do something about this as its getting extremely frustrating!!!!!!!!!

  6. carrie says:

    For those using Internet Explorer try this…

    Open your Internet Explorer. Go up to Tools. Select Internet Options. Click on the connections tab. Click on LAN Settings. Make sure everything is UNCHECKED. Click OK. If needed click Apply. Click OK.

    Hopefully this resolves most of your issues. 🙂

  7. asia says:

    Yup, by checking the SECURE mode and not the STANDARD mode, it works!

  8. Kerry says:

    i had this same problem and yahoo claims the problem is with the ISP provider. my yahoo worked fine until i joined a yahoo club then clicked back through all the links that got me to the club. This is what started it for me. still unresolved though i am able to log in from another computer in my home connected to the same router. it may therefore have something to do with computer’s configuration. hopeit help.

  9. JP says:

    “Unfortunately, we are unable to process your request at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later.”

    This error message pops up when trying to login to Yahoo Mail and also, Yahoo Groups. Has anyone found a solution to this awful problem?

    I switched from IE6 to Netscape7 and everything worked well for about an hour… then the same problem and error message!

    I reinstalled XP and everything worked well for about an hour… then the same problem and error message, again!

    Standard or Secure modes make no difference. If I wait 4-6 hours, somtimes I can get into the sites, but not always.

    Any and all suggestions are VERY welcome and appreciated, thanks.

  10. Ben says:

    Delete your cookies and try. It should work.

  11. dave says:

    I tried the advice posted by Carrie and it seemed to have corrected the problem.

    Open your Internet Explorer. Go up to Tools. Select Internet Options. Click on the connections tab. Click on LAN Settings. Make sure everything is UNCHECKED. Click OK. If needed click Apply. Click OK.

  12. Vade says:

    Besides the solutions that are already listed (i.e. using Secure), I found that by going to Internet Options –> Privacy tab, go from Medium (default) to Low. Then I had no problems.

  13. Devin says:

    Thank you SOO MUCH for fixing this problem for me. I’ve been trying to fix it for about a month!!!! I was a step away from giving up until I found this forum.

  14. evan says:

    I couldnt access my email on yahoo for 9 days.. same problem as all you guys.

    In the end.. i found a simple solution.. its called outlook express.. hey.. at least now if theres a problem.. i can call my ISP and we can resolve it together

    now thats service.

  15. ALIJAN says:

    I have the same problem

  16. roger says:

    When I try to access my yahoo mail I get pages of control characters, on my friends computer I have no problems.

  17. David Baily says:

    yahoo mail has become very slow this past month. sometimes when i hit send it pauses for several minutes and then says”you have given a command this browser cannot understand.” if i then hit send a few more times eventually it sends the message and gives me the screen”your message has been sent thank you” it also will not let me download pictures to send anymore. does anyone else have these problems?

  18. kris says:

    i am not able to login to although i can open still i am not able to sign in my acccount, when i tried pinging works but not, can anybody tell me what the probelm is………

  19. Rachael says:

    It will work for a few minutes then die on me. Is it time to upgrade to paid mail service or is that what Yahoo wants me to think? A long-time Yahoo user, I’ve never had a problem until now.

  20. Fiona says:

    I am using linuz mozilla web browser and I can’t even get to the yahoo mail login page!! It jsut gave me a blank page only while the status bar says its done.

  21. Tommy says:

    Tried all the suggestions, secure mode works for me as does the advice from Carrie. Thanks

  22. ks says:

    I am using Linux and mozilla, When I connet to nothing will happen, the status bar will display connecting to and follow by done, but the display on browser still displaying old contain. This happen on and yahoo mail. I tried many solution still the same. I boot to MS Window and use IE, there is no problem at all, Anyone know how solve this? please help.

  23. ukdover says:

    My problem with Yahoo is 95% of the time I try to access my mail, my system crashes.

    I have McAfee Viruscan 8.0; Spy Sweeper and I have used PC Pit Stop and a whole bunch of scans and I am virus free. So what’s the deal? What’s going on in the technological world of viruses and crashing email systems?

    P.S anyone experiencing Wkspatch[1], 2 0r 3 or Svchost.exe McAffee warnings? Once deleted they reappear – yet I get scan free results… hum????

  24. Qwerty says:

    If you happen to be using Linux and mozilla, go to the opera website and download the Opera web browser for Linux. Yahoo mail works for me when I use Opera. However, it still does not work for me when I use mozilla.

  25. MacAlbain says:

    I have Yahoo!Mail Plus (I pay for it) and over the last couple of weeks the performance of Yahoo!Mail has been terrible! I continuously get page unavailable error messages. Clicking refresh sometimes works, but the servers are acting like they are overloaded. It is near impossible to compose, reply or forward as the page will timeout somewhere along the creation path. Access to works fine, as does access to another non-Yahoo webmail account I have. I have relunctantly switched my email over to this other account although I really like all the features of Yahoo!Mail. Yahoo!Addressbook also seems to have some problems too…. Is Yahoo doing anything to improve this situation? There is no mention of “virus” problems or email problems at Yahoo in any news. How do you find out the status of the system at Yahoo!Mail?

  26. orangblossom04 says:

    i have yahoo email and for the past 3 wks i have not been able to attatch or type in the normal box for compose email i can only type in the subject box,I have uninstalled yahoo messenger but to no avail it is still doing it!! 🙁 i can recieve mail tho very confusing and frustrating cuz i dont wanna email people with my regular email. when i get into compose it says done but with error then i click on the error and it says access denied does any one know why this is? could it be my mcaffee stopping my yahoo mail?
    If any one knows the answer to this id appreciate it thanks for your time

  27. s alex says:

    I have been having a nightmare with my yahoo mail I have several paid email accounts and 2 plus accounts and I’m getting ready to cancel all. What a pain. I compose letters and then they disapear and and a no access page comes up…What gives

  28. r2fs says:

    Thanks to Chersly im getting into my yahoo account.

    if I go to signin and click the secure link under the signin button I can get in.

  29. John says:

    I have a strange problem. I type in a message in Yahoomail and hit the send button. Sometimes it confirms that the message was sent, other times it simply gives me a blank new message screen without sending the message.

    If I then retype the message it may or not work. I am having to send the same message 3 or 4 times. The same happens on my home (XP Pro) and work (W2000) PCs.

    I have the same problem with the Move To Folder and Reply buttons. All other programs work fine, I only have this problem with Yahoomail.

    Any suggestions?

  30. Gene says:

    I wrote a lot earlier about my problems with signing in to Yahoo. Moved all my stuff through juno. THEN I joined Yahoo Messenger, and was able to get into mail when it said I had new messages, or through the tools ‘send e-mail’, then click on ‘mail’ icon once i got there. everything seems to be working fine and still does. Tried something new today. I use Internet Explorer. Go to Tools. Click on Internet Options, then click on ADVANCED. Check the box ‘Use passive FTP (for firewall and DSL capability)’ and also ‘Use HTTP 1.1 (for proxy connections)’ if that applies to you. Tried that today and then went back and signed in. Got on IMMEDIATELY as if there was never a problem. So, if you are behind a firewall or use DSL, or use proxy connections, this may be the problem that we all have been having. The computer will only do what we tell it to do, and we have to tell our computer that it’s OK to go through the firewall or dsl or proxy connections to access. I was having this problem only on my computer at work (which IS behind a firewall and has proxy connections). I had NO problem going elsewhere and logging on. Try this. It may solve your problems. I hope it works for you. It did for me. Have a GREAT day!

  31. MacAlbain says:

    Yahoo mail seems to have cleared its problems and is working normally again for me…..

  32. Brian says:

    Yahoo!mail, unable to receive incoming email messages, except for some meds spam. I have sent email to my Yahoo address with other yahoo acct, hotmail, & netzero accts = nothing received. The questionable Yahoo acct will sent out messages ok. Will not receive message when this address is included in outgoing addresses. Has been mal-email functioning since approx 3/25-26 on incoming mail.
    No filters set, checked address block, spamguard
    wasn’t changed. I have clicked “spam” on some incoming messages recently. Seems like each time
    I clicked “spam” on incoming spam, I received fewer of regular expected mail. Until now nothing is coming in.
    Any ideas?????

  33. Mike says:

    Like a few other people here, I have had trouble lately composing, replying, and forwarding Yahoo email. It started around the time I installed McAfee Security Suite (ver 6.0) a couple of weeks ago, and I just fixed the problem now.

    The problem was that McAfee’s popup blocker thought the “compose” area of the email page was an advertisement. To fix the problem, I opened the McAfee Privacy Service (right click on the McAfee icon in the system tray), followed the “block ads and web bugs” link, then unchecked the box for “Remove ad content from web sites”.

    That worked like a charm for me. Hopefully it will help a few others too. Good luck.

  34. Robert says:

    I had the same problem…I used the solution of going to Tools…Internet Options…Connections…LAN settings…then unchecked everything. I just hope that this does not mess something else up…The alternative is to use Netscape.

  35. r.k.pillai says:

    I have the sam3e problem in my home pc. while in office pc it is ok. is it due to server problem. head spinning troubles . can yahoo solve this out

  36. Cecil says:

    this problem happens to me every few weeks now. i had mistakenly bought yahoo mail plus because they had a deal going. you would think the problems would disappear when you’re a paying customer. no way! i’ve been unable to access via web for 3 days and counting. luckily i can check via outlook (but i can’t take advantage of the disposable email addresses for spam — which is great). but i’m probably going to cancel my yahoo mail plus. btw, i tried different browsers, link via chat, secure link, etc, and to no avail. it has worked before, but not this time.

    this problem is too commonplace for it to be hushed. let’s get this out in the public .. Information Week Mag,,, who else?

  37. Zeke says:

    i don’t know if anyone’s answered this…but when i want to write or respond to an email, everything shows up BUT the textbox where i’m supposed to write. when i minimize it and bring it back up, the background shows through that box and when i scroll up and down, there’s lag. i can’t even click on the box. refreshing the page and restarting my computer don’t help. i don’t know what to do…perhaps i have some kind of virus?

    i would really appreciate your help! thanks!

  38. pd says:

    Everybody seems to agree on the problem but I have yet to read of a solution!!!!!

  39. dc says:

    I am having trouble with typing a message in yahoo it it tells me there is an error on the page. I can not type in the textbox but can type other places. This is with my home computer only. I just put McAffee virus protection on my computer. (It was time to update) What can I do to fix this. Help!!! I have tried to find a phone number for help but could not find one.

  40. Marcelo says:

    Same problem here in Brazil. Surprise! I don’t see any explanation on yahoo site! I don’t see anything anywere! I almost bought yahoo plus. Now I feel great I didn’t.

  41. Dan says:

    Hi folks,

    Hrmm… I’ve had Yahoo! Mail Plus for the last two years and have had no trouble connecting, other than around Nov 10 for about a day. (Well, now that I think about it, for the last couple of days when I try to send mail, I get a ‘connection timed out’ but just clicking ‘send’ again seems to work fine.)

    I almost always use the secure link (which everyone should use, if you don’t want the script kiddies picking up your webmail password). I’ve connected from a variety of browsers–IE, Mozilla, Firefox–and a variety of operating systems–linux, Windows XP, Win2000.

  42. James says:

    “Unfortunately, we are unable to process your request at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later.”
    It looks like this system has been down for a few days now. I will have to switch to hotmail!

  43. James says:

    I had the same problem…I used the solution of Here is the Solution, posted by Robert on March 29th, 2004 at 08:21 PM. to quote him:
    “I had the same problem…I used the solution of going to Tools…Internet Options…Connections…LAN settings…then unchecked everything. I just hope that this does not mess something else up…The alternative is to use Netscape. ”

    Thank you Robert, your solution worked for me. I will not have to switch to Hotmail after all!

  44. marcelo says:

    well. netscape did not work for me. LAN settings? All boxes were already unchecked.

    What should I do? Please help!

  45. Catherine T says:

    I had major trouble logging into my Yahoo email account today, though I didn’t get the standard, “Sorry but the page is unavailable…” Instead I got a message saying my password was invalid. Tried again, and again, and again. Finally tried their “Request new password” option, but received a message that my account had been deactivated. If I only had the free Yahoo service I wouldn’t really care, but I paid $35 for Yahoo Personal Address, and now I can’t use it. Neither did I get a reason as to why my account was cancelled. I used their Customer “Care” Contact page — FOUR TIMES — but got nothing more than a computer generated response that was no help at all. So I tracked down their phone number. The number is: (408)349-7770. I was told that my account was cancelled because I had violated Yahoo’s Terms of Service agreement, but they wouldn’t specify as to exactly how I breached it. I got transferred to some “supervisor” who was absolutely clueless, and who treated the reason for my cut-off as some secret FBI file. She said she didn’t have specific info regarding which part of the TOS I violated, and that she didn’t know who had the info. She wouldn’t transfer me to her supervisor because he was “unavailable”. How convenient! So for all I know a hacker could have cracked my account password and manipulated my account in a negative way — and I’m being punished for it. Or, perhaps I did violate the TOS, but I have no way of knowing because no one at Yahoo will tell me diddly-squat. If any of you premium Yahoo members have an unsolved problem with them, I suggest you file a claim with the BBB. Yahoo’s customer service is the absolute worst. I tried to be calm with the rep on the phone; I was professional, didn’t cus, etc., but she told me to “shut up” and not to interrupt her, and she accused me of not listening to her. But really, she wasn’t listening to me, nor did she care about helping me.



  47. Dougie from Scotland says:

    Hi Guys,

    Firstly, thanks to the man for having this site up. It was nice to know it wasn’t just me that had a problem with these sad gits at yahoo.
    I tried EVERYTHING that is posted here and nothing worked.
    Still couldn’t get into yahoo mail.
    I’ve accessed it through Outlook Express now and have no intention of going back.

    BUT BUT BUT !!!!!!!!!

    By complete fluke , I’ve found a way to beat it !!!
    I got an email on my AOL account from someone who put a link back to their yahoo address in the body of the message.
    Clicked on it and ….VOILA !!
    Tried sending myself an email to AOL with my own yahoo address in the text….same thing….straught in !!


    If you are locked out of yahoo mail….

    Send an email to yourself with your yahoo email address as a hyperlink……
    Cl;ick on the link and it should get you in !!

    Hope this might save someone all the grief I went through.


    P.S. I agree that this should be made public.
    With Google setting up it’s freemail , yahoo must be sh*tting themselves….might convince them to sort all this out.

  48. H.H. says:

    whatever…this stuff is so frustrating that i’m very happy whenever i somehow manage to squeeze in!

  49. shervin says:

    I have never had such problem with yahoo until tonight when it happened to me twice. As you know yahoo provides POP access to users for a fee. I did not want to pay this fee and at the same time I was looking for a way to download my e-mails to outlook express. So I found this program called YahooPOPs! which essentially downloads your e-mails from your yahoo mailbox to your outlook express. I set it up and started downloading my mails. Halfway through the process it seemed that the access to my mailbox was blocked. At that time I tried to directly log on to but I got the famous message that everyone is complaining about. After about 15 minutes of trying different things the problem went away as mysteriously as it had appeared! I resumed downloading the e-mails with the YahooPOP software and guess what, yahoo blocked me again! This time I had to wait more than 45 minutes before yahoo changed its mind. So here is my hypothesis (which I am certain yahoo will never confirm):

    If you try to get cute with yahoo mail and set a robot to download from it, yahoo will detect and disconnect you. They seem to want you to either log on directly or use their fee-based POP service.

    Sounds like I did give an explanation rather than a solution! Anyway, for me the solution was not to set an automatic downloader to get my e-mails. Limit the amount of per second data you download from yahoo or it may detect you as a robot and refuse connection from your PC and IP address.

    Again, this is all my opinion and more probably than not, I can be wrong.

  50. H.H. says:

    Unlike some people who posted their messages here, i dont feel like dumping yahoo. It provides so many cool things….so at times instead of signing IN, i sign UP with a NEW id…just to use yahoo! And Shervin, did u mean the appearance of “sorry, page unavailable…” is due to excessive downloads? or is it that something else happens due to robotic download?

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