UPDATE: TrueSwitch has shut down their services on May 15, 2013. A good alternative option is YippieMove.
Yahoo! Mail has apparently tied up with TrueSwitch to facilitate transferring email, contacts and calendar information from other email accounts (including Yahoo! ones) to any Yahoo! email account.
However, the reality is quite different. TrueSwitch for Yahoo! only allows you to transfer contacts between Yahoo! Mail accounts for free. It does not even provide an option to transfer email. And if you try to transfer email between your Yahoo! accounts directly through the TrueSwitch website, it asks you to make an upfront payment of US $19.95!
I don’t know why Yahoo! Mail would charge money for something that they should actually provide for free! Particularly when others like Hotmail/Windows Live Mail (see this) and Gmail (see this) have already done so.
Claims vs. reality
Quoting from the Yahoo! Mail help page:
It transfers webmail info.
Along with our partner, TrueSwitch, we make transferring information from your other webmail accounts simple. All of your contacts, emails, and calendar information. All of it!
Just tell us the old account you want to switch from, and the new account you’d like to switch to. That’s it! Start here.
Now, if you click on the “Start here” link above, you will be transferred to the Yahoo! page on TrueSwitch website, which in turn redirects you to an internal Yahoo! page (https://overview.mail.yahoo.com/transfercontacts). And, unlike Yahoo!’s official claims, this page only allows you to transfer contacts and not email. Why this is so is not clear. Whether only Yahoo! email accounts of select countries/regions can be transferred for free to another Yahoo! email account, I do not know.
Anyway, I tried next to transfer email directly through the TrueSwitch website by downloading their application program. However, after filling in my old and new email IDs and passwords as prompted, the software threw an error saying “TrueSwitch is not a free service for your target email provider” and asked me to pay US $19.95 for the transfer. This, even when the TrueSwitch website itself says on its home page that the service is free when you switch to any of their partners (which includes Yahoo!).
I sent an email to Yahoo! customer care, but they conveniently washed their hands off and asked me to contact TrueSwitch directly.
Have contacted TrueSwitch now. Let’s see…
Next Step: Transferring to Windows Live Mail, and from there to Yahoo:
Waited and waited, but no response at all from TrueSwitch! Well, that sucks.
So I hit upon a “bright” idea! Why not open a Windows Live Mail account, transfer my email there, and then see if I could transfer to my new Yahoo! Mail account using TrueSwitch again (hopefully Yahoo! would allow transferring email at least from a non-Yahoo! Mail account?). Gmail was ruled out because it doesn’t support folders, and instead uses labels.
So I opened the Live Mail account, and I immediately got the link to transfer emails from other accounts after logging in. I inserted my Yahoo! Mail ID and password, and the transfer started. I checked after a couple of hours, and a few folders had already been transferred. So far so good…
But then, nothing moved. The transfer was stuck halfway for several days and showed no signs of progress. Finally, I got fed up and gave up that idea.
UPDATE: Did it using POP3, finally!
With all options in limbo, I stumbled upon a blog post which talked about how to enable POP3 access for free Yahoo! Mail accounts. The blog suggested that by changing the “Preferred content” option to Yahoo! Asia, the POP3 option can be enabled.
I followed the precise instructions on the blog and it worked perfectly! My old Yahoo! Mail account was now POP3 enabled. Now, the next step was to configure my new Yahoo! Mail account with the POP3 settings provided by the old account. To do this, you need to go to Options >> Mail Options >> Accounts >> Add or edit an account, and enter the following:
POP3 server: pop.mail.yahoo.com SMTP server: smtp.mail.yahoo.com Username: Yahoo! Mail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) Password: Yahoo! Mail password
You can also refer to this page for the same, or see the image below.
IMPORTANT: Remember to uncheck “Retrieve new messages only” so that it fetches all email from the Inbox, and not just new email. Also remember to check “Leave mail on POP server”, or else it will delete the email from the old account after fetching it!!!
Once you do this, a confirmation email will be sent to your old Yahoo! Mail account. You have to click on the link in the confirmation email and sign in with the new Yahoo! Mail account ID and confirm the request. Then you will be able to access your old account from your new account via POP3.
Note however that the service only fetches emails that are in the Inbox, not those in other folders. If you intend to transfer those, you will need to manually copy those emails folder by folder to the Inbox in the old account, and click on “Check for new email” in the new account on the Options >> Mail Options >> Accounts page.
You would also be advised to add a filter in the new account which will basically redirect all email that has your old email ID in the “To/Cc” columns to a specific folder in your new account (preferably the name of the folder you are currently transferring). That way, you can isolate all the email from the old account from the existing email in the new account.
Hope these tips helped! Let me know if I need to add anything more or make any corrections.