Get Your Yahoo! Mail in Mozilla Thunderbird for Free

If you’ve switched from Yahoo! over to Gmail because you prefer to read your email in a desktop client such as Thunderbird, you probably are wondering how you can do the same thing with Yahoo! for free.

The answer is the YPOPs! open-source application, which runs in the background and simulates a browser to provide an interface via POP to download your email into a desktop client.

Important Note: This utility most likely violates the Yahoo! terms and could potentially result in your account being terminated, so use at your own risk. If you are worried about this, you can get POP access with Yahoo! Mail Plus for $20 / year.

Install YPOPs! Client

The first thing you’ll need to do is download and install the YPOPs! client piece. The installation is about as simple as it gets, just run through it and then make sure you’ve started the client before moving forwards. There’s no configuration needed to get things started.

Download YPOPs! from Sourceforge.net

Setup Yahoo! Mail in Thunderbird

Open Account Settings from the Tools \ Account Settings menu item, and then click on “Add Account” on the lower left-hand side. Choose “Email Account” on the first screen and click Next, then enter in your name and Yahoo! email address on the Identity screen:

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On the Server Information screen you’ll need to enter “127.0.0.1” in the Incoming Server field, and then click next. If you don’t have a default outgoing server already setup then you will probably be prompted for that, just use the same IP address.

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Add your Yahoo! email address again in the User Names dialog, and then click next a few times and then Finish.

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If you already have an outgoing server that you would prefer to use, you can skip most of the next section.

Setup Outgoing Email

If you would like to use Yahoo’s email server for outgoing mail, select “Outgoing Server (SMTP)” on the left hand pane near the bottom, and then click Add.

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Enter “127.0.0.1” into the Server Name field and your Yahoo email address in the User Name field. Make certain that you select No for “Use secure connection”.

Now to assign this outgoing server to your Yahoo account, select the account on the left-hand side and then change the drop-down that says “Outgoing Server (SMTP)” to your new Yahoo server that you just added.

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At this point you should be ready to go. Just click the “Get Mail” button, and then you’ll be prompted for your Yahoo password.

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Voila! We now have Yahoo email in Thunderbird.

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Additional Options

The YPOPs utility’s configuration panel gives you a bunch of extra options, for instance the Download Folders screen will allow you to pull email from your custom folders.

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The “Sending Email” screen has a checkbox that will store your outgoing email in the Yahoo sent items folder.

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And the “Miscellaneous” screen will let you hide the tray icon… quite useful.

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The instructions in this guide could be easily adapted to any other mail client as well. Again, if your email account is really important you probably shouldn’t use this… just switch to Gmail.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/20/08
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