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How Yahoo Mail Works


More Features of Yahoo Mail
­Users of Yahoo Mail can reach their mailboxes from the main Yahoo page.
­Users of Yahoo Mail can reach their mailboxes from the main Yahoo page.
© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Moving beyond the e-mail basics, let's take a look at more features of Yahoo Mail, such as e-mail attachments, message archiving and searches and remote access to Yahoo Mail. We'll also see why some Yahoo users may prefer to stick with the older version, Mail Classic, although it lacks some Yahoo Mail features.

Managing Attachments

Attachments are documents or images that you send with a message. You can attach up to 10MB (megabytes) of files to each message. These can be word-processing or spreadsheet documents, audio files, images and Web pages as HTML files. Here's how to add an attachment:

  1. Click "Attach" next to the paperclip above the Compose window.
  2. Using the file-locating window, find the file you want to attach and click "Open" or "OK."
  3. The file name will appear above the Compose window. To add more attachments, repeat this process. Yahoo Mail scans each outgoing attachment for viruses.

When you open a message with a paperclip above it, you've received an attachment. Here's how to download it:

  1. Switch to "Full Message View" to see the name, type and size of the attached file.
  2. Click on the name of the file, and a virus scan will check the document. A window will open telling you if a threat was detected in the document.
  3. Click "Cancel" if you don't want to open the attachment or "Download Attachment" if you do.
  4. Another window will let you choose to save the file to your computer's hard drive, to just open and view it, or to cancel.

Message Archiving and Searches

Yahoo Mail allows you to set up folders to store and manage your messages. Several folders exist automatically at the left of the home screen -- Inbox, Drafts, Sent, Spam, Trash, Contacts and All Feeds. Below that is a section for the folders you create. To create a folder, click on "Add" next to the My Folders icon. A new untitled folder will appear below. Click twice on "untitled" to open a box where you can rename the folder. To add messages to the folder, drop and drag them from your inbox or other folders.

You'll probably want to search at some point for information like an address, a document or a name you need. Here's how.

  1. Find the search window, upper left with a magnifying glass icon and the words "Find Messages."
  2. Type what you need to find -- a name, a word in a message or attachment, or a subject.
  3. Click "Go," or press "Enter."
  4. A tab will open listing all the messages that contain what you want, including in attachments.
  5. Click on the message you want to open.

Remote Access

You can access Yahoo Mail by going to http://mail.yahoo.com and signing on from any PC running Windows 2000 or later that has Web access via Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher, Firefox 1.0 and newer, or Mozilla Suite 1.7. With a Mac running Mac OSX 10.0 or newer, you need Web access via Firefox 1.0 or newer, or Mozilla Suite 1.7. (We'll talk about mobile access later.)

Yahoo Mail vs. Yahoo Classic

Not all features of Yahoo Mail are available for some browsers or for Macintosh computers. You can switch back to Mail Classic at any time by hitting the "Switch Back" link at the upper left of your home page.

Yahoo Mail offers plenty of tools to make e-mailing easier. Next, let's take a closer look at some of them.