How to Delete a Yahoo Account for You or Someone That Died


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Before there was Google, there was Yahoo. Yahoo was one of a few search engines and email providers in the early aughts, as well as a major hub for communication. So there’s no doubt that some folks will still have a Yahoo account. Even though options like Outlook, iCloud, and Gmail are more well-known now, Yahoo has maintained its presence as the Internet evolved. 

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Despite the proliferation of Google and other email services, people still have Yahoo accounts. This is especially true for the first users of the Internet. Some of your older loved ones might have signed up for a Yahoo account, and they never switched. Why should they? If their email account is functional, and they only use it to keep up with family and friends, there’s no reason to change.

If you are given the responsibility to manage a loved one’s digital assets after death, it may be difficult to know how to delete an unfamiliar email service like Yahoo, but not impossible.

Post-planning tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, handling their unfinished business like closing accounts can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.

How to Permanently Delete Your Own Yahoo Email Account

As the Internet has changed, so has Yahoo’s approach. It has purchased big social hubs in the past like Flickr and Tumblr to revitalize its aging brand and is still providing news as part of its main hub. Yahoo has grown up to make it easier to use, even if you might associate it with the days of America Online.

Download your data

You might have a lot of memories associated with your Yahoo account. From messages to contacts to photos, it might feel overwhelming to save all of it. That’s why you should download your data. As privacy laws tighten and users demand transparency, available data downloads are increasingly common. 

Since Yahoo offers a variety of products, you can request data downloads for all of it. Start by logging into your account and going to the “Privacy Dashboard.” Then, go down to “Download a summary of your data.”

Once you click “Request A Download,” you’ll have the ability to pick the data based on whatever Yahoo product you used. Click next, and enter a valid email address. Yahoo will email you a compressed zip file containing this data when it’s ready. After you click Request Download, there’s nothing to do but wait. 

This is the first step so you can delete your account with peace of mind. You know that you’re not losing anything you’d hate to delete. 

Cancel your paid subscriptions 

Yahoo offers a lot of subscription services. From Norton Security to McAfee Assist, they have lots of diverse offerings. You’ll need to cancel all these. Otherwise, Yahoo won’t allow you to close your account.

Check your account for the last billing date. If you are still dependent on this software to manage your security, you might want to wait and cancel your account a few days beforehand.

Follow the prompts

Yahoo’s account deletion process is very user-friendly. After you log into your account, navigate to the “Delete User” page. Type in your username, press Next and enter your password. If you’re struggling to remember it, see if you have it saved in Google’s password manager or Apple Keychain.

The next screen offers some language to review before going further with your deletion. “Before continuing, please consider the following information.” It outlines what happens when you delete your account. If you still want to move forward, click continue. 

The next screen will ask you to enter your email address again. Do so, then click Yes. You’ll be presented with a message that says “Your account has been activated and scheduled for deletion.” 

How to Delete a Yahoo Account for a Deceased Loved One

Managing your own accounts and deleting them will always be easier than doing it for someone else. In most cases, that’s a good thing. But when it comes to deleting a deceased loved one’s account, you may run into some hiccups related to security and proof of identity.

Why delete a loved one's account? In our post-loss checklist, we share the importance of protecting your loved one's data and privacy. This might include deleting accounts, like their Yahoo account. Follow these steps below to begin the process. 

Remember the terms and conditions

In Yahoo’s terms and conditions, it specifies that an account from Yahoo is not transferable under any circumstances. The account, or the information in it, can’t be transferred to anyone else. This holds true even when the account owner passes away. 

Gather the documents 

To delete a deceased loved one’s account, you’ll need to file a request. Yahoo requires certain documents such as a death certificate to verify. Thankfully, Yahoo doesn’t require originals which means that you can provide a copy.

You’ll also need to draft a letter detailing your request that your loved one passed away, and now you want the account closed. The letter can be simple and to the point, as stated above. You’ll also need to give your loved one’s Yahoo ID. 

Once you’ve gathered these two documents, you’ll need a copy of a representative document. Did your loved one appoint you as the executor of their estate? Did they appoint you as their personal representative? If they did either of those things when they started end-of-life planning, you’re in luck. You can provide all the documents mentioned above to Yahoo with ease.

Send the information

The requested documents need to be sent to Yahoo via mail. You can send it to the following address:

Yahoo Inc. 
5250 NE Elam Young Parkway
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124

Once you send it out to Yahoo in Oregon, keep an eye out for a physical letter notification that the account has been deleted. 

Understanding Your Digital Legacy

Your digital legacy is all of your data on your devices and online. This includes social media profiles, photos, accounts, and more. Whether you're closing your Yahoo account for yourself or a loved one, it's important to consider what you want to happen to your digital legacy when you pass away. 

This is something important to include in your will. If you don't already have an existing will, you can create one quickly and easily online with Trust & Will. Otherwise, you can work with a professional attorney to determine your exact needs.

By considering your digital legacy now, you're gifting your family peace of mind in the future. Not only will it be easier for them to access your accounts, but you'll help them celebrate your legacy. Whether they choose to share your social posts or photos with a digital funeral with the help of GatheringUs or they memorialize these pages, it's important to know what you want. 

Closing Out Digital Accounts

If your loved one didn’t have an end-of-life plan, it might be hard to remember everything. You might not even know what accounts they opened. They could have multiple social media accounts, banking information, email accounts, and they can add up. It might be helpful to make a list. 

If they had a password manager, you’ve got all the relevant data. You can go through their list and see where they had accounts. If you want to save photos from their social media accounts or close their emails, you won’t overlook anything that way.

And if you gather all your documents at once, most companies want the same thing. Most want copies of the death certificate, or of your ID. If you do it all in one swoop, that makes it much easier for you.

If you're looking for more ways to clean out your digital presence, check out our guide on how to find all of your online accounts, how to erase parts of your internet presence, and what the digital afterlife is all about.

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