How to delete your Yahoo account and move to Gmail


The biggest data breach in history just tripled in size. Yahoo announced Tuesday that every single one of its 3 billion accounts were hacked from a 2013 breach. At the time of the attack, Yahoo claimed 1 billion accounts had been hacked, but after Verizon took over Yahoo, the company investigated further and discovered that all of its approximately 3 billion accounts were affected.

For some, this record-setting breach requires more drastic action than just changing your password or enabling two-step verification. It might be time to break up with Yahoo.

What you need to know before deleting your account

Two things:

1. Deleting your Yahoo account means losing access to all Yahoo services, including Yahoo Mail, Flickr and any of your fantasy sports leagues on Yahoo Fantasy Sports. Make sure you save any important information you have stored on a Yahoo service before closing down your account. This means saving email messages or attachments in Yahoo Mail, moving your Flickr photos to Google Photos or another cloud service, and maybe waiting until the fantasy football season ends.

2. Even if you use the Yahoo Account Key to access your account without a password, you will need to enter your account password in order to delete your account.

Save important emails first

You might have a Yahoo account only to use Flickr or play fantasy football, but if you’ve been using Yahoo Mail as your primary email account, then you should go through your inbox and save any important emails and contacts before you delete your account.

Sadly, Yahoo offers no tool to export such data to another service, so you’ll have to save individual messages, attachments and contacts manually. But if you’re switching to Gmail, there is a tool that makes switching easy.

How to switch from Yahoo Mail to Gmail

Once you’ve signed up for a Gmail account, go to the inbox and click the gear-icon button in the upper-right corner and click Settings. Next, click Accounts and Import at the top of the page and then click Import mail and contacts. Here, you can enter your Yahoo email address and import your Yahoo data to Gmail. You can choose to import contacts, mail and new mail for the next 30 days.

Matt Elliott/CNET

Time to terminate

With your Yahoo affairs in order and your password handy, you are five quick steps away from deleting your account:

1. Go to the Terminating your Yahoo account page. (If you use a phone number to sign in, go to the alternative account termination page instead.)

2. Read the information about deleting your account to be sure you want to proceed.

3. Enter your password.

4. Click the button labeled Yes, terminate this account.

Alternatively, if you aren’t ready to fully sever ties with Yahoo, there are still steps you can take to secure your account.

Update, Oct. 3, 2017: This story was originally published Dec. 15, 2016 and has been updated to include new information.

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