back to article Yahoo! customers! wake! up! to! borked! email! (Yes! people! still! actually! use! it!)

Yahoo!, it appears, is still a thing. Unless it's Thursday morning, in which case it isn't. Those still clinging to the past, and their Yahoo! email accounts, found the service had developed a distinct wobble in the early hours of the morning before collapsing in a heap around 07:15 BST. While it has tottered back to life for …

  1. Dr Who

    Bring joy to your inbox

    Rabbit?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Bring joy to your inbox

      I thought Joy was the girlfriend.

  2. itzman

    It was DNS

    At one point not one of yahoo's DNS servers was responding to DNS requests. Anywhere in the world

  3. Alister Silver badge

    It's always DNS

    MX lookups are very flaky for most of the European Yahoo domains, no matter what DNS resolvers you use. I've tested with OpenDNS, Google, and a number of other public responders, and they are all having trouble returning MX records for Yahoo domains. Yahoo.com doesn't seem to be a problem.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You may not be able to access some of our services

    You may or may not win the lottery

    It may or may not rain today

    1. Mark Exclamation

      Re: You may not be able to access some of our services

      Actually, if you're in the UK, it probably will rain today, and tomorrow, and the day after.

      If you're in Brisbane, it definitely won't rain today, or tomorrow, or the day after.

      1. russmichaels

        Re: "The former policy wonk -

        That is actually just a silly misconception, the UK is not like at all.. The summers here are unbearably hot, just as hot as any other holiday destination most of the time. We actually have very little rain.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: "The former policy wonk -

          @russmichaels: which tourist board did you say you work for? :-)

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: "The former policy wonk -

            This is the "London has less rainfall per head of population than the Sahara Desert" thing.

            Which may be true, but only because lots of people live in London, and nobody lives in the Sahara Desert.

            1. JohnGrantNineTiles

              Re: "The former policy wonk -

              Depends what you mean by "UK". I live in East Anglia where we can go for weeks with no rain. Yesterday I went to London, and it was raining there. In the north-west it rains all the time.

              1. Peter Duce

                Re: "The former policy wonk -

                I used to live in Preston, that's North West, we used to look at the clouds and say, "That's the empties coming back from Manchester"

        2. ovation1357

          Re: "The former policy wonk -

          "The summers here are unbearably hot"

          Yes, they are - for a few days. And then it might be raining, hailing or in extreme circumstances, snowing. And then it's hot again, then monsoon level of wet and then (like now) icy cold like we're in the middle of winter.

          I swear our weather is controlled by a bank of switches with a deranged cat walking over them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guilty Secret

    I still have an email account from Yahoo that I've had since 2000. There are a huge number of emails backed up there and I've been using it as a contact address for so long it would be a wrench to lose it entirely. There are a few useful features, spam control, archiving, folders, filters, address blocking and dummy accounts etc, so if you can ignore the security implications it's not all bad <ducks and runs>

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: Guilty Secret

      I do have 3 accounts with them, although 2 are mostly spam traps.

      Yahoo is much less of a pain in the arse about smtp / imap or geoloc than Google is.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Guilty Secret

      I've still got a RocketMail account from the mid-90's which theoretically should still exist with Yahoo (Yahoo bought them to create their own webmail service just after Microsoft bought Hotmail). They promised it would never be deleted, I wonder if it's still there? Lets find out!

      Flipping heck it's slow. It's about as slow as when I was on dial-up....

      Ok, signed in, still waiting for it to load mail...

      Awwww "Setting up your mailbox

      A new mailbox is being created, as the old one has been inactive for more than 12 months." So my account is still active, but they deleted my mail. Well, maybe, still signing in...

      "Server Connection Closed

      Description: The server requested closed the connection before the transaction was completed."

      Nope, no retro mail for me today, but they have at least kept my account, like they promised over twenty years ago.

      Brilliant work there Yahoo :/

      Edit "We are experiencing some technical difficulties Temporary error: 15"

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Guilty Secret

        Tried logging in today, worked straight away, and yup, they've deleted any mail that might have been in that mailbox. Probably just spam though, I think only a few old school friends have ever had that address.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guilty Secret

      My own yahoo email account dates back to before the turn of the century. I still use it as my main email address for Stuff That Matters; for other stuff I have a selection of others elsewhere for commercial junk etc). I access it via SMTP/POP/IMAP from Outlook and Thunderbird (Windows and Linux), and via webmail, and (occasionally) via the Android client, depending on my needs at any given time (and location).

      Today is the first time in a very very long time that it's visibly been down serverside. Presumably when service is restored it'll run like a dog till the backlogs are sorted.

      I've been trying to avoid the G thing, for the usual reasons, though I do have an account with them since the days when it was invitation-only. What other options might still be applicable (doesn't have to be free, does have to be multi-platform compatible)?

      1. Passw0rd

        Re: Guilty Secret

        Me too ...I've had it ages. It rarely fails (today an exception) and does what I need it to do.

        I've got other accounts but I can't be bothered to tell everyone who uses my Yahoo one.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Guilty Secret

        Are we fossils? I have a Yahoo email addy and an AOL addy. Both work most of the time but then, email isn't normally my preferred means of communication since I retired from IT.

      3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Guilty Secret

        My own yahoo email account dates back to before the turn of the century. I still use it as my main email address for Stuff That Matters; for other stuff I have a selection of others elsewhere for commercial junk etc).

        Originally I ended up with a Yahoo account when Yahoo bought eGroups (which had previously merged with Onelist) and I was forced to create an account (Onelist had our Festiva Owners maillist).

        Had been so miffed I had to create a new account, I created an account with the name <ISP username>at<ISP>dotnet@yahoo.com. Yes, all spelled out as one long word.

    4. Miss Config
      Meh

      Re: Guilty Secret

      That makes two of us.

      1. The Mole

        Re: Guilty Secret

        Three, its adequate and too much of a pain to move. Not sure I can remember ever spotting an extended downtime either so once in 20 years serious downtime is probably acceptable.

    5. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Guilty Secret

      My main account is yahoo.

      I didnt know it wasnt trendy anymore

      Whats the problem? apart from this little hiccup.

      I dont visit their hideous front page if thats what you're thinking!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Guilty Secret

        You mean apart from all the security breaches? Now't :)

        1. HildyJ

          Re: Guilty Secret

          "You mean apart from all the security breaches"

          It may not help those of you across the pond but a US court just approved a class action settlement regarding the breaches - basically 2 years of credit monitoring unless you can document actual harm.

          1. Rustbucket
            Happy

            Re: Guilty Secret

            Looks like it's not much benefit to those in the US either.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Guilty Secret

            "basically 2 years of credit monitoring unless you can document actual harm."

            ANd as a result of all the other major breaches, pretty much the entire US population should have a lifetimes supply of free credit monitoring. The problem is, those freebies don't start when you want them to so you end up with three or four "free" credit monitoring service overlapping. Is a free year of credit monitoring of any value when you already have that from another breach?

      2. aelfric

        Re: Guilty Secret

        A few years ago it had a vulnerability that let anyone using free WiFi have their Yahoo email cookies sniffed which gave the sniffer unrestricted access to their email account, I have no idea if this has ever been fixed but still to this day I get phishing emails purporting to come from people that have Yahoo email accounts, so I assume there is still easy access to hacking Yahoo email accounts. Also applies to BTInternet as they use Yahoo for their email.

    6. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Guilty Secret

      If BT is your ISP you get something called "BT Yahoo". I've recently stopped using it, but on the whole it's been reliable and feature-rich.

      1. File Not Found

        Re: Guilty Secret

        BT have been telling me for 6 years that I am being transferred from BT Yahoo to BT Mail, on dates that varied on a weekly basis until they petered out. My experience of the BT Yahoo mix has been indescribably bad, and BT’s customer service is easily the worst I’ve ever suffered. Today’ s ‘temporary error code 15’ is finally the last last straw, so heave ho, out with the BT router and in with..... err...??

    7. ratfox Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Guilty Secret

      I think the real problem is that Yahoo might well stop working at all soon.

      It's fine to have an account you use for all your crap, but it should at least be something that is going to survive for a while. For instance, the email I give to The Register is a hotmail account, and I'm reasonably certain that Microsoft is not going to die anytime soon...

      1. Andrew Jones 2

        Re: Guilty Secret

        Microsoft won't die, that's true. But the day will come when they forget to renew the hotmail domain.....

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guilty Secret

      There is at least one use for Yahoo mail....

      As long you are aware that certain "unintended recipients" are also reading your emails you can use Yahoo to your advantage.

      I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

      Anon because, well, you never know who's listening.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Guilty Secret

        Yes, not something you should ever forget.

    9. Blackjack

      Re: Guilty Secret

      I still have a yahoo e-mail and a hotmail e-mail. Mostly I use them as spam sponges.

    10. ChrisBedford

      Re: Guilty Secret

      No reason to label this "guilty". El Reg has built-in snark that causes automatically derogatory references to Yahoo (plus the *very* well-worn use of italic exclamations in any header that includes the Yahoo name). It doesn't mean it's justified though.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Guilty Secret

        The "built-in snark" is! why! most! of! are! still! here!

    11. paulf Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Guilty Secret

      I had the same problem, an old email account from the 90s which had loads of emails in it I wanted to keep, but without leaving it populated. I did this:

      1. Set up the account as an IMAP account in Thunderbird.

      2. Download all emails

      3. Change the username for the account in Thunderbird to something completely wrong (e.g. paulf@yahoo.com becomes aapaulfaa@yahoo.com). This will prevent it accessing Yahoo's servers so it can't download any more updates.

      4. Wipe the yahoo account of all emails etc.

      5. With the preserved account user name changed, Thunderbird will let you add the account again with the correct user name so you can have continued IMAP access. This is much preferable to using the web interface.

      6. Thunderbird will grumble when it can't access the corrupted user name of the preserved account but all the emails will be there to read off line.

      Odd thing about Yahoo is they (or at least used to) charge for POP access, but IMAP access is free and always there, presumably for their App to use?

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Guilty Secret

        6. Thunderbird will grumble when it can't access the corrupted user name of the preserved account but all the emails will be there to read off line.

        I've been trying to convince the TB developers for quite some time now to add a "Disabled Account" switch to the software, to prevent it from trying to retrieve email from dead accounts that you are keeping as-is for archival purposes. Hacking the mail-server address (one suggestion has been "0.0.0.0") fails to stop the program from trying to retrieve mail there anyway.

  6. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    yMail for me?

    it's for a Yahoo group like ebay, but for a small geographic area... I don't give that addy out...

  7. chivo243 Silver badge

    is it up gives a code 301 for yahoo...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_301

  8. BJC
    Unhappy

    Potentially been falling over for a while

    Yahoo provide the email service for BT. I use the associated calendar service as a backup. The web interface has been failing to render properly for a couple of weeks. You can see some elements of the page are in there somewhere. Might all be related.

    Failures are so common it's not even worth investigating or reporting any more. Every so often calendar reminders just stop being sent. Just as well this is only a backup for me.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Potentially been falling over for a while

      Yahoo provide the email service for BT.

      Or more correctly, Yahoo provide the email service for some of BT's customers.

      Fortunately I am not one of them; my BT email service is provided by some other organisation... cpcloud IIRC

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Potentially been falling over for a while

        "Or more correctly, Yahoo provide the email service for some of BT's customers."

        It's still most of them. Me included.

    2. teacake

      Re: Potentially been falling over for a while

      Yeah, I'm paying BT something like a tenner a month for the privilege of them farming a crap service out to an even worse one on Yahoo. Yes I know I should get rid, but I've had it more than two decades and it would take forever to tell all my contacts.

      1. quxinot Silver badge

        Re: Potentially been falling over for a while

        Tenner a month? Youch! You can do better, but what price convenience? I understand the inertia!

        As for throwaway email addresses, it strikes me that it would not be all that expensive nor difficult to set up an inexpensive VPS and use something like mail-in-a-box on it, with an appropriately throw-away domain name. omfgscrewyou.com is still available and would be enjoyable to put on spammer's lists....

        That may prove to be a project for another day, but a fun one.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still Borked At Noon (September 5) in London.....

    ....when will the borkage get fixed?

    Bork! Bork! Bork!

  11. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Angel

    “Those Were the Good Old Days”

    I miss the commentage of earlier times where old wiseacres condescendingly lectured that people who rely on free services forfeit the right to complain at all when the services crash...

    1. nil0

      Re: “Those Were the Good Old Days”

      Except this isn't just about free Yahoo mail accounts, this also affects BT and Sky customers who get mailboxes as part of their paid service, which just happen to be outsourced to Yahoo.

      1. lybad

        Re: “Those Were the Good Old Days”

        Still wish Sky hadn't left gmail for yahoo....

        1. kipwoo

          Re: “Those Were the Good Old Days”

          Why would anyone use the free email account that comes with your broadband?

          Don't they only offer them as a trap to stop you changing supplier? i.e you won't want to have to give everyone your new email address if you switch

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: “Those Were the Good Old Days”

            Why would anyone reading The Register use the free email account that comes with your broadband?

            Fixed it for you.

            Most of the public do not know of the problems of email migration until after they have been burned by an ISP swap, and even then are often at a loss as to what you can do. Unless you have some knowledge and are willing to pay, it comes down to who you want to be spied upon.

  12. Ted Treen

    Rien ne va plus

    Still screwed (in Staffordshire) @12:22

  13. nil0

    It's bigger than you'd expect

    Easy to write off Yahoo! as a dinosaur from the past, with nobody, surely, still using their email service.

    But they do the under-the-bonnet stuff for various ISPs, including (a large chunk of) btinternet.com and sky.com, probably others.

    So an awful lot of people affected who didn't even know they were using Yahoo in the first place.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky emai borked as well

    not just Talk Talk and BT that sub-contract out their email to Yahoo!, all my family have sky accounts and they're kaput too.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AGAIN?

    Notice, when they spin the borkage, it is always "some" !

    Some services are not available.

    FFS its the whole world's email thats down. SOME? MY BIG FAT ****.

  16. heyrick Silver badge

    to find out what the problem is

    I couldn't care less if Yahoo! messes up for a day or two. I still have Yahoo! mailboxen, but it's mostly an address to give services I don't want to give my real (relatively peaceful) address.

    What concerns me is the possibility that they pulled the plug after noticing China/Russia/America (delete as per your preferences) swiping a copy of everything.

    I mean, it's not as if Yahoo! has a great track record here...

  17. Andytug

    Emails now going through OK (if slow)

    but any between 7am and 2pm (UK) appear to have vanished.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Emails now going through OK (if slow)

      "Emails now going through OK (if slow) but any between 7am and 2pm (UK) appear to have vanished."

      More detail very welcome. E.g. might that not just be the usual SMTP-failure backoff+retry mechanism, especially when combined with the backlog of a global outage, or is it something more permanent?

      E.g. a mail which arrived in my yahoo.co.uk account timestamped 15:00ish (BST) purportedly sent from someone else's gmail account at 11:00ish (BST) today took rather longer than normally expected, but it did get there. Worse things have been known to happen.

      Further information and well-informed speculation gratefully received.

  18. Blitterbug
    Happy

    BT also affected

    Yes, we all laugh at Yahoo! users, but my phone's been off the hook all morning from BT email clients, most of whom are unaware their mail is still linked to Yahoo!, and all of whom have a btinternet.com address.

  19. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    A Verizon Media spokesbeing....

    Lovely. So going to steal that.

    1. hayzoos
      Alien

      I read that and things became much more clear. Spokesbeings from another planet, we have been invaded and we have hardly noticed.

  20. Bruce Ordway

    Yahoo...still

    I still access Yahoo for one product specific group.

    and prior to Yahoo, I used Compuserve which also seems like it's still alive... just.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Yahoo...still

      CompuServe. Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time. A long time.

  21. Purple-Stater

    "FFS!"

    Why wouldn't people still use Yahoo! for e-mail? It might not have all of the pretty bells and whistles of more modern providers but, for the vast majority of users, it functions exactly the same as any other e-mail provider.

    Changing your e-mail provider just because your current one is old, is about as senseless as replacing your 6-month old smartphone because a newer model's been released.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "FFS!"

      "Changing your e-mail provider just because your current one is old, is about as senseless as replacing your 6-month old smartphone because a newer model's been released."

      I agree, that would incredibly stup....oh...look.....new shiny!!!

  22. Fake_McFakename

    TalkTalk

    Amusingly, TalkTalk don't actually use Yahoo (they use Open-Xchange) but in making their customers aware that Yahoo have an issue (most likely to deflect calls from customers complaining that they haven't received emails from Yahoo users), they've made it sound like their customers have an email issue.

  23. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Anybody deliberately using yahoo mail or indeed by internet.com mail is a bloody fool.

  24. dnicholas Bronze badge

    Fond memories

    Yahoo lost me when the closed Yahoo! Pool

  25. Joe Gurman

    Not just Yahoo!

    Verizon moved all its FiOS customers’ email service to AOL two years ago, and I guess that means when they devoured Yahoo!, too, that all email operations got combined in some way — because I lost email service last night as well. It’s bad enough that at least one friend p’s email server started blackholing (what I thought was Verizon/AOL mail but was actually being relayed by a server with a Yahoo! IP), but this is the fourth service outage of two or more hours’ duration I’ve had in the past three months: a total service outage due to DNS borking, two limited (but critical for me) DNS snafus, including one yesterday, and now this.

    I signed up with Fastmail last night.

  26. bobob

    Experience (generally, certainly not with Yahoo mail) dictates that around 95% of the time, it's DNS.....

  27. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    ProtonMail is pretty good. The free tier is fairly limited in terms of storage, but it includes all of the key privacy features of the paid version.

  28. Miss Config
    Unhappy

    Stopping The Yahoo Service

    Today when I tried to send an email from my Yahoo account, I got a message saying it would NOT send the message because it looked like spam.

    There was a hyperlink in the email and I assumed that was the cause of the problem. But converting the hyperlink to 'only' text had no effect.

    Was this something to do with the fact that Yahoo now keeps asking me to whitelist it on my adblocker but I refuse ?

    Anyway, whitelisting Yahoo had no effect in terms of actually sending that email.

    Are Yahoo trying to remove their services entirely without actually saying so ?

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