How to Delete Old AOL and Yahoo Accounts
It's a good time to close unused accounts now that Verizon is selling the companies along with user data
With AOL and Yahoo changing owners for the second time in a half-dozen years, now is a good time to delete any old and unused accounts.
Verizon has agreed to sell AOL and Yahoo to the private-equity firm Apollo Global Management for $5 billion, significantly less than the combined purchase price of $9 billion for the two media companies in 2015 and 2017.
One of the most significant assets being sold to Apollo is the mountain of consumer data compiled by AOL and Yahoo over the decades. Yahoo still has about 900 million monthly users, and there are probably millions of additional people who set up AOL or Yahoo accounts years ago and then let them languish.
How to Delete Your Yahoo Account
Closing your account is a two-step process: securing any information that you might want, and then shutting the account down for good.
Once you close your account you'll lose access to all of your data and content, including emails, calendars, Yahoo Fantasy Teams, and Finance portfolios. But that information can be easily archived before your delete your account.
It's easy to transfer old emails to most other email services. For instance, if you want to move Yahoo emails to a Gmail account, open your Gmail settings, then click on the Accounts & Import tab, and follow the directions.
To download other information from your account, visit Yahoo's Privacy Dashboard and Controls page. Click on Manage Your Information > Download and View Your Data > Download My Data> Select Data > Next. Then, enter an email for notification and click on Request Download.
Yahoo says it can take up to 30 days to have your information delivered.
Once you're ready to delete your account, follow this link and enter your password. You'll land on a page of text entitled "Before continuing, please consider the following information." After you've read it, click on Continue > Delete My Account. Then enter your email, and select Yes to terminate the account.
You should get a message saying "Your account has been deactivated and scheduled for deletion," and you can click Got It.
If you have a paid account, you'll need to pay off your balance before you can delete your account.
If you delete your account in error, you can recover it by logging in within 30 days, verifying the recovery information, and creating a new password.
How to Delete Your AOL Account
When you close your AOL account, you'll lose access to your content including your emails and email folders, so it makes sense to download your data.
To archive your emails, you'll want to copy them into an email app like Outlook or Mac Mail using IMAP settings. Exact settings and detailed instructions can be found here. The process can be very slow; if you have a lot of emails, it can take several days.
To access any other information, visit AOL's privacy dashboard, click Manage Your Information> Request Download.
It can take up to 30 days for your information to be delivered.
Next, to delete your account, go to the Account Termination Page and follow the on-screen prompts which are similar to the steps for a Yahoo account, which are detailed above.
If you have more than one username, you need to delete them each individually, with the primary username coming last. If you're still paying for AOL services you'll need to visit the My Account page to cancel your paid services.