How & Why to switch from Yahoo! Mail to GMail

It's a hard fact that All new Yahoo! mail sucks. This may be just personal but Yahoo gave me tough times with server errors on numerous occasions. For me GMail edges out Yahoo! Mail because of its speed and spam blocking. Yahoo! has too much spam, including IM span. Also POP access and disposable addresses require paid account. I'm afraid a day might come in the future when Yahoo won't allow access to your account even if you enter the correct ID and password. Once my Yahoo mail got hacked, I had enough with it. I was about to delete my account but suddenly I noticed that there were many important e-mails in my inbox! Now what?! Before I go into what to do next, let's see why GMail wins against Yahoo Mail.

Why to switch from Yahoo! Mail to GMail?

  • Faster access to mails and general speed in sending & receiving mails. Powerful search function for e-mail similar to Google. Filtering out e-mails with .exe attachments possible.
  • Better spam blocking and less spam. Yahoo has too much spam including IM spam. Yahoo! also sucks to differentiate b/w legitimate and spam mails.
  • Automatic forwarding for GMail.
  • Supported E-mail client access for GMail:POP3, IMAP, SSL/TLS supported, SMTP restricted. Yahoo supports only POP3 that too for certain regions. (This feature is to be noted as it's useful in the article)
  • Gmail localization for 52 languages, Yahoo 27 languages
  • GMail has text ads only in viewing mail box, not in messages. Yahoo has ads in interface and mails.
  • Domain name customization possible in GMail using Google Apps
  • Custom From address can be set up in GMail
  • Address modifiers available in GMail (userid followed by + followed by tag)
  • IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera only compatible with new version of Yahoo Mail.
  • Account expiration on inactivity 9 months in Gmail that too at Google's discretion vs 4 months for Yahoo Mail.
  • Other special features in GMail: Messages grouped into conversations, Basic HTML view gives faster access for slower net connections, Labels are used in GMail instead of folders in Yahoo.
So here I am, to share with all of you on how to import all your contacts and mails from Yahoo to Gmail at one go. There are many articles around the internet that may describe on how to do this, but most of them don't yield the desired results. So I did some mix 'n math and got it to work perfectly. 
First thing is that, you need to have POP3 access and multiple mail forwarding with Yahoo. This feature is limited to Yahoo Plus users but a tiny workaround can save your day without spending even a single buck. Also you don't need to download and install YPOPs! application for the same.

How to switch from Yahoo! mail to GMail?

  1. Sign into your Yahoo account.
  2. If you are using Yahoo Mail Classic switch to All new Yahoo mail. Click Options to the right of your mail box page and select All new Yahoo mail.
  3. If you check Options(at top)->Mail Options->Forwarding, you can see that this feature is only available in Yahoo Mail Plus and you have to upgrade for $20. Oh come on, don't be sad. Read the rest.
  4. Now go to your Yahoo inbox and select the display name on top left. It's your name written as Hi, "your name". Go to Account Info that appears in the subsequent drop down box under your display name. You may have to sign-in again to verify. 
  5. In the Account Info page, scroll down and click on 'Set language, site, and time zone' under Account settings and set your Regional Site and language to Yahoo!United Kingdom and time zone as GMT UK. Now, save your settings.
  6. Sign out of your account, close all browser windows and then sign back in. Click on "I accept the Terms and Service" pop up if it appears. If not, don't bother. 
  7. Next go back to your main mail box page select Options from the top, go to Mail Options and select Forwarding from the left side bar. Surprise! You don't see the Upgrade to get this feature anymore! 
  8. Click Access Yahoo! Mail via POP and select any of the options to download spam or not. That's all that you have to do in Yahoo.
  9. Next log-in to your GMail account. If you are using Basic HTML version of GMail click on 'Switch to Standard View' at the top. 
  10. Go to Options, which is the gear icon on top right and select Mail settings. In the Settings page click Accounts and Import tab. Now click on Import mail and contacts or Import from another address if you have already specified an account to import from, before.
  11. In the wizard that appears type in your username, click continue and enter your password, click continue again. Select your import options and click Start Import. It may take a few hours or sometimes upto 2 days to start seeing your imported messages. Click Ok. 
  12. You're done, within a few minutes or hours check your inbox or spam in GMail to see your mail and contacts that you've imported from Yahoo. If you wish to stop importing new messages click on Stop in the import mail and contacts page at GMail.
  13. You may switch back your locale in Yahoo to your current locale, but I'm not sure whether your mails will be imported anymore. This option left to users.
Hints: In step 5 you may try other regional sites and time zone's to see if it works for you as an alternate step. 

Have a lovely day readers. Signing off for now!......



Share this
Average: 3.6 (32 votes)
Your rating: None


by HAFEEZ KHAN on 21. June 2013 - 20:50  (108650)

i also tried very much but its not working i am from Pakistan Asia i changed time zone and location but still showing upgrade kindly help me i am going to sick by yahoo...

by Maian on 3. October 2013 - 6:38  (111191)

It still worked!!! Many thanks to George!. I have both gmail and yahoo. I set up my gmail first by going to File, then Add Account, fill it up using your yahoo ID and password. Then, go to your yahoo and set up your forwarding to your gmail account. Back to Gmail, and back to File, Import mailbox. If you'll open your Inbox, it has two: gmail and yahoo. Goodluck!

by Truthiness on 25. January 2013 - 17:13  (104817)

Yahoo MailPlus Is A RIPOFF >:(

They force you to buy their stoooopid Yahoo Mail Plus that costs $20 per account when Gmail will let people use POP for free. I can't even forward from one Yahoo address to another without paying $20 for each account! $40 isn't much for most people, but I'm unemployed right now and living hand to mouth. Feels like I've got a ball and chain tethering me to my old email address. And they just barely introduced an SSL option to their email service!!!! Cut the crap Yahoo >:(

by Paxmilitaris_ (not verified) on 18. November 2012 - 2:53  (102495)

The Yahoo forwarding worked rightaway without even having to change anything, but gmail can't import anything. It pretends that the password is not valid but i checked and re-checked.

by Truthiness on 25. January 2013 - 17:15  (104818)

Oh yes, I got that too. Another confirmation that indeed, Yahoo does suck.

by Gaganpreet (not verified) on 1. September 2012 - 21:23  (98627)

Yeah, Yahoo actually does suck. A close relative hacked my Yahoo account a few years ago and becuase it was the secondary email to all my other email accounts, I lost all accounts. I regained access to Yahoo and changed security ques and guess what, it got re-hacked within 5 min. It was like to and fro. So I again go sign in, click on account seems to be compromised (whatever the relevant option is) and it threw me security ques. I simply had to click 'These are not my ques' to get my account back and the hacker kept choosing the same option 'These are not my ques' to be shown his changed set of ques and re-hack the account. So much so I let go of imp mails and deleted the account. The other compromised gmail/ other email accounts, I imported to a new Gmail account using the same method as you have explained. Great article for spreading awareness!

by annoyed yahoo user (not verified) on 11. May 2012 - 1:34  (93335)

Yeah, this doesn't work anymore. It may have worked for a couple years or so but every selection now requires a premium account to forward mail to gmail.

by Ashish Sahai (not verified) on 29. April 2012 - 17:34  (92771)

If someone still looking for "how to get yahoo emails in outlook" ... for free of course ... this is what I just found out, thought I should share:


make sure you select/choose/use
email protocol IMAP ... (do not use POP3)
incoming server as
outgoing server as
encryption connection as SSL and port 993 (for incoming)
encryption connection as SSL and port 465 (for outgoing)

by Purvit (not verified) on 29. March 2012 - 12:29  (91374)

Good Article.. However, Yahoo! did not demanded any modification you mentioned from Step 4 to 7 (For me at least).. But it helped.. Thank you.

by Shirly (not verified) on 12. April 2012 - 6:59  (91951)

It doesn't work for me. I changed it to UK and even tried GMT+2 but it didn't work. I still get the upgrade requirement in order to get the forwarding option.
I hope there is a way to solve it because I really suffer from Yahoo. Lots of email after a week don't open anymore.
Any ideas what can I do?

by wolfcrane (not verified) on 25. March 2012 - 14:17  (91124)

I've tried it, and changed it to NZ. Signed out, cleared history, closed browser, and signed back in. I'm still getting the upgrade to Yahoo Mail Plus. :-(

by Shirly (not verified) on 12. April 2012 - 7:00  (91952)

Have you found a solution? I can't get it to work either...

by Arvind (not verified) on 25. November 2011 - 10:09  (83861)

Hi here,

As this blog suggests I'm user of Gmail but, one thing that prevents entry of new users is the availability of user-ids. Most of the other email providers have started giving new domains, to avoid the mess of user-ids. Currently, I'm with where I get all the features you say in a well-integrated form for free. I'll also ask the surfers to explore GMX Mail and it ability to Integrate all your Other Yahoo!, GMail, etc accounts within. May, George try this out, get users the Free solution what we really require...

Leaving with Thanks to George J. for reviewing and replys to Users...

by EricF (not verified) on 24. November 2011 - 2:51  (83807)

>Quote excerpt from George
>If you've problems with your attachments for certain files why don't you >try renaming your file to some other invalid extensions with clear note >to your receiver on how to open the file or upload your file to a file >hosting service and provide a link to it in your mail.

Just to add in again.. files I attach aren't damaged.
What you wrote in a response pretty much says you have to try and trick gmail into letting an attachment go through.
Just still proves gmail scan and decides what does and does NOT go through.

as for paying $20/yr.. given the amount of Yahoo usage I've taken from them since my signing on with them in 1997, $20/yr makes me feel better that I'm contributing to them a little bit, plus the fact that I don't get ads in my Yahoo Mail screen, not even text ads.
Ads that I never click on to begin with anyway, it's just more wasted space and more cookies to make sure get deleted.
spam filtering is in the eye of the beholder.

I don't even care about live support, and also I admit didn't know it even had that option. I don't care about account expiration because I check my email around 2-3 times a day, everyday, so the chance of it expiring is pretty much not gonna happen.

Not everybody needs all the extra included with yahoo mail, I honestly use about 20 filters, and could care less if they weren't there. when canadian pharmacy goes out of business I can get a filter back!
I don't use pop/smtp mail programs, I prefer to be able to check my email anywhere at anytime, I prefer to use the "limitations" of yahoo mail so I can do what I want to do, instead of having a fancy email application to do the same thing for me.
I can send an .exe file .mp3, anything I want via yahoo mail and it'll get there. so what if it takes an extra 2 minutes to get to wherever... it's not the point.. it's still faster than the US Mail.

by George.J on 24. November 2011 - 4:21  (83811)

Look I will clarify my point again. If Yahoo Mail! is the one that suits you the best there’s no harm in using it. If paying $20 a year is like a donation for you, it doesn’t matter a lot. As so you know this is a freeware review site. We deal with freeware softwares only . Also the comparison we do , is not a freeware against a time limited or a shareware service. Many of them out there, wouldn’t have enough resources to pay $20 a year , or probably they wouldn’t like to, or that they don’t even possess a credit card if they wanted to, or best of all will be satisfied with the quality of a freeware service. We are out here to provide the best softwares that doesn’t come with a price tag. As long as Yahoo! Mail Plus is a paid for service and not a donationware, there’s no point in comparing it with Gmail which is fully free.

by Ray C (not verified) on 31. October 2011 - 11:45  (82462)

As of 30th Oct Yahoo Mail accounts in UK are under heavy pressure to switch to new Yahoo and to continue with classic you have to find a tiny almost hidden link. Thought even that would have gone because it was trailed for weeks in advance. From now on looks like only YAHOO PLUS will pop with Outlook or whatever. Could not get YPOPS to work. Expect compulsory switch any day now.

by George.J on 31. October 2011 - 12:06  (82463)

There are various other locale's from which this feature could be implemented. (Read my hint at the bottom of the article)
Yahoo Turkey with default time zone or +2GMT, Yahoo Asia, Yahoo NewZealand with default time zone or +12GMT etc .Change your time zone's also if required. Yahoo U.S won't work at any cost.

Thank's for the heads up.! :-)

by BrianPlencner (not verified) on 23. January 2012 - 18:50  (87662)

Hello George,

Not sure if you know or not, but it looks like Yahoo has made a change, and from the research I have done, you can no longer modify your Language and Time zone to get the POP option to come up. I've tried quite a number of combinations, and every one results in the same get the screen telling you to upgrade to get that feature.

However, I will add that if you have a Yahoo account that you set this up on in the past, it will continue to work.

This modification appears to have happened between the end of November and Christmas of 2011. I have been working on making this change to a friends yahoo account, and I cannot get it to work, no matter what I try.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that as far as I can tell, things have changed, and these modifications no longer work.

by Rich (not verified) on 30. October 2011 - 12:38  (82402)

"Powerful search function for e-mail similar to Google."

I don't know how the underlying search technologies might compare, but the user experience is vastly different. Gmail search lacks substring recognition, fuzzy search, and alternate search-term suggestions. So, a search for the singular of a word won't find the plural, and vice-versa; likewise for other forms of a word.

Example: A search for any one of the word forms help, helps, helped, or helping won't find any of the other forms.

Example: A filter to block messages with "junk" in the subject won't block messages with "junks" (instead of "junk") in the subject.

by Rich (not verified) on 31. October 2011 - 7:21  (82453)

I should clarify my first example. In gmail, a search for the word "help" won't find its other forms, such as helps, helped, or helping. Yahoo mail's search, however, will find the substring within the longer forms.

In neither of those email systems will a search for the longer word form find the shorter form, and that's probably as most of us would expect based on experience with other search tools, such as the Find command in many PC applications. Google, however, does match words based on these and other "fuzzy" relationships.

by George.J on 31. October 2011 - 7:53  (82455)

GMail has a powerful search but the pre-defined search function is used to match the keywords only . You can use advanced search by setting in the options menu.

About GMail search:
Using advanced GMail search:
Using filters:
Using search options: .You can use search options for better search results

by Rob (not verified) on 27. October 2011 - 1:08  (82199)

I switched from Yahoo to Gmail months ago and am so glad I did. It works better and has so many more options to work with. No comparison, for me.

by maybetheone (not verified) on 26. October 2011 - 21:50  (82191)

Alluded to in a previous post is a concern I also share...Google's intrusiveness and visibility into so much. Over time, the content of one's email's will paint a very complete picture of that person. Couple that with knowledge of every search you do, every site you visit, where you live (if you have a smartphone or a router), etc. Their CEO once said, we know more about you than you do because you forget things; we don't.

I am amazed that they are cracking encrypted or password protected content. Not that they CAN do it--that they ARE doing it. It says, "we will look into your windows--no, we will come into your front door and examine whatever of yours we want--including the inside of your mind."

It is a brave new world.

by George.J on 27. October 2011 - 14:29  (82239)

As exe viruses can also be packed in password protected content and could be a loop hole for spammers to deceive their recepients, GMail has its inbuilt scanner to check password protected content.
Here's an article on internet security that might interest you :

by EricF (not verified) on 26. October 2011 - 21:02  (82187)


all of your reasons to switch to gmail are valid, however the important facts remain

gmail scan and analyzes attached files, including password protect zip, rar, 7z, etc.. as well as scans pictures and mp3's. IF (and usually almost always) gmail determines the content should not be allowed to be sent, it won't allow the message to go forward.
I sent a picture of my baby, which happened to be a sonogram picture. gmail never allowed the picture to be received by anybody with gmail. I tried to send this gmail to gmail and the picture was never received. even tried to send it to myself, nada. so.. is a sonogram pornography? I think no.
I made an mp3 of my baby saying his first words to friends. it never made it. was it a pirated music file? heck no! It was a 1yr old saying mama and dada!
compress these and put a password. the email itself will be delayed because gmail is cracking the password. once it does it again determines if this should be sent. Almost always, the answer is NO.
I sent a baby picture (regular) of my son to a friend. it took 3 weeks for that picture to arrive. obviously gmail has someone who looks at each attachment to determine if it should be able to be sent.

gmail also as you should know, makes it known it keeps and tracks everything you do and will use it against you if ever asked.
when I must send at attachment via gmail.. they can go and try to thwart the incredible encryption scheme from TrueCrypt. which they can't do. so the attachment goes through.

Yahoo never has stopped any attachment of any sort. If and I'm sure they do as well peek in on emails and attachments they don't advertise it.

as for spam.. my gmail box gets more spam than my almost 14yr old yahoo account. Yes I spent $20/yr for premium yahoo features..
given the amount of yahoo I use daily, giving them $20/yr is a small investment for their quality portal given the use of 14yrs.

yahoo's interface isn't the greatest, but who cares? you're not paying for it.. you really can't complain. my gmail box.. loaded with ads. my yahoo mail.. no ads.

I'm sorry for those who believe gmail is so great, it really truely isn't. it's designed for marketing. Unfortunately I have to use it because of my Android phone, otherwise.. I'd never waste my time with gmail.

by George.J on 27. October 2011 - 12:59  (82230)

Most part of your comment deals with how Yahoo! Plus fares against GMail. Now you're talking about the 20$ paid version of Yahoo to receive benefits like mail forwarding, disposable address, POP access support, graphical ads removal, 200max filters etc. These features are already present in free version of GMail. GMail doesn't have graphical ads only text ads that too in mail box page only against graphical ads in main mail box page and messages in Yahoo! The number of filters that can be used in GMail is unlimited, but 20 can be forwarded at a time that can be increased by combining filters.

Now why do you pay 20$ for Yahoo Plus? Just to get Live customer support and no account expiration? Now come on that's useless too! You have 9 months inactiviy blocking in GMail vs 4 months in Yahoo free version. If you're not using an account for over 9 months then its garbage. Why do you need to pay to get unlimited account inactivity expiration. And Live customer support? Just post in Gmail forums to get your problem solved.

Now which of these two is truely used for marketing?

by George.J on 27. October 2011 - 14:08  (82236)

Also GMail has the best spam and phishing protection on the planet. Even if you receive spam mails, the intelligent filters used in GMail sends it directly to Spam box. No worries! For me I could send pictures, pdf, word, mp3 formats without a flaw. But it's true that if GMail decides not to send a particular file it does not. Particularly damaged files.

If you've problems with your attachments for certain files why don't you try renaming your file to some other invalid extensions with clear note to your receiver on how to open the file or upload your file to a file hosting service and provide a link to it in your mail.

by nonick (not verified) on 8. November 2011 - 21:59  (82936)

"best spam and phishing protection on the planet" - GMail sent Google's own Google Earth Sightseer newsletter to the Spam folder. Twice. :)

by JerryRhino (not verified) on 27. October 2011 - 8:13  (82221)

EricF is totally correct. I too wanted to save $20/year and switch to gmail. For me the show stopper was the discarding of my attachments. They were innocent but never got thru. And the Yahoo sorting of spam is great. So I continue with the NEW Yahoo, even though I can no longer sort by size which I did in the OLD Yahoo. And for me, $20/year is not much different than free.

by MidnightCowboy on 27. October 2011 - 11:54  (82228)

Join Gizmo's as an editor and you can have a site address for free with no restrictions on attachments :) I use mine to send files to VirusTotal for verification because my personal Gmail account blocks those too.

Gizmo's Freeware is Recruiting!

Gizmos Needs YouShare your knowledge of free software with millions of Gizmo's readers by joining our editing team.  Details here.