Yahoo! has gone through a lot of changes since it was first conceived all the way back in 1994. I have personally been using Yahoo as an email service provider since the early days of Yahoo! Mail Classic and have seen all of their iterations and developments first hand. In fact, I have had my Yahoo email address longer than any other email account that is still in use and have relied on it consistently for more than a decade. Even though I have now migrated my Yahoo emails from the web client, I still keep some of the oldest emails online as a record of how much I have valued this service.
Having such a long-lived email address means that people who knew me throughout university can still contact me…if they kept any of their old address books. Although it also means that I get a lot of spam from the days of email scrapes and people who have ‘made up’ my email address when they needed a fake one. Needless to say, messages purporting to be from Paypal, Ebay, Financial Institutions, MLM Campaigns, State Lotteries and a number of dating sites are automatically filtered straight into my spam folder.
I will never voluntarily surrender or close this account, but with the changes happening at Yahoo! and the recent explosion in email hacking, it seemed a good time to do a review.
Protecting and archiving your Yahoo! Mail
1. Choose a desktop email client
Any email client that is able to use POP access will work. My particular program of choice is Microsoft Outlook, because I already have it and it’s convenient. Other popular choices are Mozilla Thunderbird and Zimbra. It is also possible to use a webmail client like Gmail, but this is more complicated for offline browsing and not as secure for archival storage.
2. Enable POP access within Yahoo! Mail Options
From within Yahoo! Mail, click on Options and select POP & Forwarding to enable POP access. Full step-by-step instructions on setting up POP access are available on the Yahoo Help Site.
3. Set-up access to your Yahoo! Mail within your prefered email client.
It is best to do the set-up with the email client in Offline Mode, so that the client does not attempt to synchronise the accounts before all the relevant settings are in place. For Microsoft Outlook 2007, it is a relatively simple matter of using the Account Settings Wizard to add a new POP email account, with SMTP authentication required on the outgoing server:
- Incoming Mail Server pop.mail.yahoo.co.uk
- Outgoing Mail Server smtp.mail.yahoo.co.uk
4. Preparing to synchronise email between clients
From within Outlook, it is only possible to synchronise two folders: the inbox and the spam folder. This means that there is a certain amount of extra work involved in synchronising sent emails and any other user created folders.
- First of all, however, it is very important to make sure that the General Yahoo! Mail options are set to “Show Messages: in a scrolling list” to maximise the number of messages the can be synchronised at any one time.
- Remove any filters that are set-up in Yahoo to automatically divert messages from the inbox to user-created folders.
- Create two new folders within Yahoo Mail called Archive and Sent-Archive or something similar. These folders will be used for storing email that has been synchronised before it is deleted.
5. Initiate email send and receive for the Yahoo! inbox within desktop email client.
Keep Outlook in offline mode and initiate a manual synchronisation by clicking send and receive button. Once the inbox has been synchronised, move all the messages from the inbox folder within Yahoo! to the new folder called Archive, then move all the all the messages from the inbox folder within Outlook to a new folder within Personal Folders or to a new sub-folder created within the Yahoo data file. This prevents messages from being synchronised multiple times and allows the inbox to be kept empty so that it can be used as a transfer folder.
Depending on the volume of email that you receive to your Yahoo mail, it is helpful to try to pick a time of day that is fairly quiet and watch out for new incoming messages.
Once the inbox has been synchronised, each user-generated folder in synchronised in turn using the following steps:
- Open folder in Yahoo Mail!, select all messages and move to inbox.
- Go to Outlook Yahoo! Mail inbox folder, click send and receive and transfer emails to a new folder after the synchronisation is complete.
- Go to Yahoo! Mail, select all messages in inbox and move to original folder or to Archive folder, if you are not concerned about preserving the folder structure.
- Rinse and repeat!
N.B. Do not open emails while the synchronisation is in progress or the desktop client will stall and messages may become corrupted. If you have several thousand messages in a particular folder and experience problems with low bandwidth, limit the number of messages transferred to the inbox for each synchronisation.
Comments Are Always Welcome
Admittedly, this is a somewhat lengthy and manual process, but I was able to review and migrate around 3500 email messages, spread across 20 folders and sub-folders while preserving my folder structure and without relying on any additional downloads or third-party software.
If you have found this post in the least bit useful, please share it with anyone you know who may be considering migrating their email and leave me a comment below.