Yahoo Explains Why It Turned Off Email Auto-Forwarding; Turns It Back On

Image courtesy of Morton Fox

Earlier this week, we told you about Yahoo Mail users complaining that they could no longer use the auto-forward function to have things from their Yahoo account forwarded to a different address. Now Yahoo is explaining why it turned off this function, and why it’s turned it back on.

Some users had theorized that the sudden shutoff of auto-forwarding was an attempt by Yahoo to make it more difficult for users to transition their email usage to a new provider, but in a Tumblr post (NOTE: Why must companies like Yahoo and Google insist on using their social media platforms for such announcements?) this morning, Michael Albers, VP of Product Management for Yahoo Mail claims that the auto-forward shutdown was intended as a temporary measure while the company was upgrading its platform. The function has been turned back on as of this morning, he adds.

“This has allowed us to bring a better search experience to Yahoo Mail, add multiple account support, and improve performance as we quickly scale this new system globally,” writes Albers.

The post does attempt to discourage the use of forwarding and encourages Yahoo users to connect “your Yahoo inbox to your preferred email client or provider directly.”

However, that glosses over one big reason many people might want to use auto-forwarding: To move away from Yahoo. By setting up a new address with a different email provider and auto-forwarding your Yahoo Mail messages, you can gradually make sure that all of your subscriptions and contacts know to reach you at your new address instead of the Yahoo one you’re leaving behind.

After all, Yahoo Mail has been heavily scrutinized in recent weeks. First came the revelation that some 500 million accounts may have been compromised in a data breach, followed by the news that Yahoo had reportedly built a tool to snoop on users’ emails for the U.S. government — a report that Yahoo now says is “misleading.”

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.