Yahoo mail, iPhone, Outlook and IMAP syncing together

(Stephen Parker, Head of Cloud Strategy, NewLease)

Bottom line = yes you can have imap support with the free Yahoo mail service and sync across your devices

Like others I have many email accounts across various providers and accessed from multiple devices.  One of the challenges is keeping them all in sync irrespective of where I access them and from what device.  For the MS Exchange based accounts this is easy – it just works.  However for my Yahoo based accounts this has been a pain.  If I delete emails using my smart phone, then I have to delete them again when I go into Outlook and vice versa.  I had tried to address this some time ago but gave up and have just accepted that because Yahoo uses POP based mailboxes it is a pain and has to be lived with.

However recently my wife changed over from a feature phone to a smart phone (iPhone) and she has been asking lots of “How?” and “Why?” questions.  One of these was “Why do I have to delete emails twice, both on my iPhone and in Outlook? Do I need to turn on iCloud or something, this should just work and you are the techie in the house? Why?”

After my initial reasoned response (OK we all know I gave blustering and frustrated reasons explaining that Yahoo uses POP and therefore….) I got to thinking that she was right (hold the front pages!!!) it should just work.

Search Results and the Answer

Surely Yahoo now supports Imap, this is 2012 after all.  Lots of searches suggested that:

  • There was some sort of imap support
  • It may or may not be officially supported
  • It may or may not only be available to premium accounts

But what the hell, if I can make it work then there have to be some “good boy” credits to be earned so I pulled together the various bits of info and tested on my account and

It works

Configure your iPhone:

  • Just use the “Settings/”Mail, Contacts, Calendars”, “Add account”
  • Select the pre configured/standard Yahoo option
  • Complete the 4 options
  • The default protocol for this Yahoo account is imap
  • Step 1 DONE

Configure Outlook:

  • Unfortunately it does not appear possible to change an existing account in Outlook that was setup using POP to use imap. So you will need to setup a new account and have some sort of transition plan to ensure that any data that has been stored locally and not syncd to Yahoo is not lost.
  • (I created a new profile, used the following steps to add an imap account for Yahoo mail, then attached the data file for the POP pst file, copied/drag/drop address book entries, draft emails etc, then removed the POP pst data file)
  • See “Outstanding Issues” below before you go mad trying to add or remove certain things……
  • I have Outlook 2010 so some of the following may vary slightly depending on your version.
  • Click the “File” tab (top left), Click “Add Account”, Select “Manually configure….”, Select “Internet e-mail”
  • Configure the following screens as below.  Obviously pick IMAP, ensure you use the address for the incoming server, and use your full email address (for POP you don’t include the part)
  • image 
  • Next click “More Settings” and configure the “outgoing server” and “advanced” tabs
  • image
  • image
  • Click OK and then next.  This will by default test your connection options and hopefully you will get 2 “completed”
  • Step 2 Done

Hopefully this will work for you.

Outstanding issues:

  • Cannot sync the address book across all devices
  • Cannot sync the calendars across all devices
  • Have to have a stub “Outlook data file” within Outlook even if only account is the Yahoo imap one (apparently this is because there needs to be somewhere within outlook to store contacts and calendar entries and Yahoo imap data files cannot support these)

About SJKParker

Discovering exceptional stakeholder value through innovative technology investments. 25+ years’ experience as a business and technology hybrid. Providing creative and challenging thinking that delivers alignment of essential business needs with innovative technology. Passionate leadership and business model transformation across large enterprises, start-ups, SMBs, and business turnarounds. Experience gained from working closely with leading software vendors on their global cloud strategy, provided associate services to industry analysts, sharing knowledge as a keynote speaker and writing a variety of books covering the Cloud space. Painting business pictures with an IT brush, providing Experience, Passion & Impact Specialties: Business model transformation, Evangelist and presenter, Cloud Computing, Software as a Service, SaaS, Office 365, Azure, Solution Architect, eProcurement, SPLA, Subscription licensing
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3 Responses to Yahoo mail, iPhone, Outlook and IMAP syncing together

  1. Chris says:

    Thanks, Worked super.

  2. recklessroy says:

    you did great but you your wife will not be satisfied with this. Having to still duplicate adding, changing, deleting contact items, and calendar options. Yahoo is not responsive at all. They need a utility that works and is reliable to sync outlook contacts and calendar. They had one then they removed it. Their plus$ account may do this. Their Smallbiz a paid for account cant sync contacts or calendar. Moving to gmail might get it done. Gmail has utility to sync calendar and i found a utility that will sync contacts outlook4gmail. I am going through the same exercise. (still in progress)

  3. Fred says:

    Perhaps a hybrid will work … use imap with Yahoo to sync the mail, then use Google App Sync with a Gmail account to sync the calendar and contacts.

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