Yahoo! Mail Users Rage Against New Interface

Dennis Faas's picture

Yahoo! Mail recently received an extreme makeover that adds colourful themes and a completely new interface. Unfortunately, early reviews are anything but positive.

Yahoo unveiled the new look on October 8, 2013, as part of Yahoo! Mail's sixteenth anniversary. Over the following week Yahoo slowly unrolled the new look to Mail's 275 million or so users.

As a long-time user of Yahoo! Mail, I'll admit that I was initially impressed by the service's new look. It now allows users to choose from a wide range of custom and very colorful themes.

The images, most of which feature picturesque landscapes, have been taken from Yahoo's own Flickr photo-sharing service. (Source:

Aesthetically speaking, it's a big change from the last two Yahoo! Mail interfaces, which featured a lot of white.

Threaded Emails Cause Confusion

The biggest change, though, involves the way emails are grouped together. Users of Gmail will recognize the 'thread' approach, which uses a "conversation view" that's supposed to make it easy for users to view previous emails.

But it just doesn't work. At the moment the threads are incoherently laid out, meaning it's easy to get confused and reply to the wrong sender.

And that's not the only problem. Many users are complaining that they can't organize their inbox by tabs or sort their messages by sender. Yahoo has also dropped the delete button perilously close to the sender name.

Performance Issues Cause Outrage

There are also some performance issues. Loading, sending, and searching through emails all feels slower than it did prior to the update.

Some people have even complained that the new system doesn't function properly, with users pointing to autosave failures, draft deletions, and disappearing emails as a sign that the update isn't working out.

The response from many Yahoo! Mail users has been to press the Internet firm to erase the changes and revert to the old format.

On, a Maryland woman's petition to "Bring back the old version of Yahoo Mail!" has already received more than 5,000 signatures. (Source:

Over at Yahoo's technical support page, some 4,000 forum entries have been made by users complaining about various bugs in the new system. (Source:

For its part, Yahoo hasn't yet offered a public response to the complaints.

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