Yahoo! Messenger for PC (version 11.x and above)

Versions of Yahoo Messenger released prior to 3 December 2015 are no longer supported. Please upgrade to the new Yahoo Messenger. If you are using a version of Yahoo Messenger released prior to 3 December 2015, the privacy module below is applicable.

If you are using a version of Yahoo Messenger released on or after 3 December 2015, click here to view the applicable privacy module.

Yahoo! Messenger allows you to exchange instant messages and PC-to-PC voice calls with your online friends. If you subscribe to the Phone In or Phone Out premium services, you can also use Messenger to make or receive calls from normal telephones.

You must be a registered Yahoo! user in order to use Yahoo! Messenger. Yahoo! Messenger establishes a connection to the Internet when it is active - much like a browser does - in order for communications to be received and transmitted.

Conversation History, Access and Search

  • You may now archive Yahoo! instant messages along with Yahoo! Mail messages and search them together (in addition to Voice Mail, SMS, call history and more).
    • For users who have elected to archive their messages, Yahoo! Messenger will now archive messages on Yahoo! servers to establish and maintain this archive.
    • Messages stored on Yahoo! servers in this manner are accessible from any computer system or device able to use the latest versions of Yahoo! Messenger for PC.
    • You can view your Yahoo! Messenger conversation history and Yahoo! Mail archive (if they are tied to the same user ID) on Messenger through “Conversation History” in your settings.
    • You can turn off this feature for instant messages at any time by selecting “Do not keep a record of my conversations”.
    • Please be aware that even if you choose not to save your message history, users with whom you communicate may opt to use the functionality available in their version of Messenger to save the communications and your conversations may be saved on Yahoo! servers, just like emails.
    • You can delete your archived messages by selecting the message and clicking the “Delete” button. However, this does not delete any of your conversations saved by other users.
    • Yahoo! may analyse instant messages that you elect to archive, in order to provide personally relevant product features, content, and advertising, and spam and malware detection.
    • For more questions on this new feature, please see our Mail FAQ.

Personally Relevant Experiences

  • If you have chosen to store your instant messages, Yahoo! provides personally relevant product features, content, and advertising, and spam and malware detection by analysing your archive. Some of these features and advertising will be based on our understanding of the content and meaning of your instant messages. For instance, we analyse instant messages to identify key elements of meaning and then categorise this information for immediate and future use.
    • This information may also be used for interest-based advertising. To view interests associated with this web browser and opt out of some or all interest categories, please visit our Ad Interest Manager.
    • Please refer to our Help Pages to learn more.

      Information Collection and Usage Practices

      • Yahoo! Messenger automatically checks for updates to Yahoo! software.
        • Yahoo! Messenger’s auto-update feature offers the ability to download the next available version in the background.
        • When the file is ready for installation, you’ll be given the choice to install immediately or wait until another time.
        • Yahoo! Messenger offers the auto-update feature by default. You have the option to be notified prior to auto-update as well.
          • You can change your auto-update options by choosing Messenger > Preferences > Alerts&Sounds.
      • You can establish a friends list within Messenger and be added to other users' friends lists.
    • Messenger automatically identifies phone numbers and email addresses included in messages, so that you can save them quickly to your Yahoo! Address Book or take other actions, such as sending an email. This is a function carried out by the Messenger client on your computer and is not done by Yahoo! servers.
    • Messenger gives you the opportunity to report instant messages that you receive as spam. If you choose to report spam, Yahoo! will be sent information about the conversation, including the Yahoo! ID of the member being reported, text of the conversation and your Yahoo! ID.
    • Some versions of Messenger give you the option to install Yahoo! Search Protection, which is a program that will alert you if an attempt is made to change your default browser search engine from Yahoo!.  In some cases, Yahoo! Search Protection will disable the product attempting to change your default setting.  For more information on how this program treats your information, please visit the Yahoo! Search Protection privacy module.
    • Some versions of Messenger give you the option to install Yahoo! Browser Plus. Yahoo! Browser Plus is a technology for web browsers that allows developers to create rich web applications with desktop capabilities. Browser Plus also makes it easy to install and use web plug-ins for a richer experience on the Internet. For more information on how this product treats your information, please visit the Yahoo! Browser Plus privacy module.
    • When you invite someone to use Messenger using our form (as opposed to adding someone as a friend to your friends list), you will need to provide that person's email address. Information collected on that form will only be used to send an email on your behalf and will not be used for any marketing purposes.
    • Voice
      • By default, any other member using Messenger may send you PC-to-PC calls. You can change your preferences so that you only receive calls from members on your friends list.
      • Yahoo! does not save PC-to-PC calls and other voice communications that go through our servers. However, the voice mails that you record for other members are stored on Yahoo! servers. Yahoo!'s practice is not to use the content of those voice-mail messages.
      • If you are using the premium Phone In product in conjunction with Yahoo! Messenger, people using a normal phone will be able to call you in Yahoo! Messenger, using your Phone In phone number.
      • If you use the premium Phone In or Phone Out services, Yahoo! will store a call history on your personal Yahoo! Voice Services page.
  • Information Sharing and Disclosure Practices

    • On some versions of Yahoo! Messenger, your Messenger status update may be shared in your Yahoo! Updates stream.
      • Your share settings for your status message default to the settings that you used for your most recent share event for your status message across Yahoo! Updates.
      • To change this setting, click the “Share to” section that appears when you click in the status box.
      • If you connect your accounts, you may also broadcast your Messenger status to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.
      • You can customise your Updates to other Yahoo! products and third parties by going to the “Manage Updates I Broadcast” section of user preferences.
    • Your basic online and offline status (unless you select “Invisible”) may be visible to other Messenger users. Your ‘customised’ status will be visible only to those from whom you have accepted a Messenger add request.
      • You can choose to appear offline by signing in as “invisible”.
      • You can selectively appear online or offline to specific friends or groups of friends on Messenger, using the Stealth Settings option.
      • You can choose to appear offline and block a user from sending you messages using the “ignore” option.
      • You can choose always to appear offline on web pages by editing your preferences in Messenger or Yahoo! Profiles.
        • In Messenger, choose Messenger > Preferences > Privacy and un-tick the box to allow Yahoo! websites to show when you are online.
        • In Yahoo! Profiles settings, tick the box to hide your online status from other users.
    • By using Messenger, you may choose to make some of your personal information public or you may choose to share some of your personal information with others.
    • If you post personal information online that is accessible to the public, you may receive unsolicited messages from other parties in return.
    • Messenger sometimes uses a peer-to-peer connection during its operation, including times when you may be using it for instant messaging (text conversations), file sharing, PC-to-PC calling and webcam streaming. Peer-to-peer means that your computer connects directly to the other user's computer in the conversation without needing to go through Yahoo! servers. As such, your IP address is available to users with whom you share a peer-to-peer connection.
    • Voice
      • If you are using our premium Phone Out Voice service to make calls from Yahoo! Messenger to normal telephones, your caller ID (telephone number and your name) may be shared with the receiving end. To mask your number in caller ID, in Messenger choose Messenger > Preferences > Calling & Devices tab.

    Practices Regarding Your Ability to Update or Delete Information

    • You can edit your Messenger settings and preferences through the Messenger menu.
    • You can delete your archived messages by selecting the message and clicking the “Delete” button. However, this does not delete any of your conversations saved by other users.
    • Voice
      • Messenger automatically stores a record of calls made and received.
        • To review your call history while using Yahoo! Messenger, visitYahoo! Voice and choose “My Call History”.
    • Billing
      • To view, edit or cancel Yahoo! premium Voice services that you have ordered, please visit Yahoo! Voice and click “My Services”. It includes information about services to which you currently subscribe, payment scheduling and payment history.


    This page describes current Yahoo! practices with respect to this particular service. This information may change as Yahoo! revises this service by adding or removing features or using different service providers. To find out how Yahoo! treats your personal information, please visit our Privacy Policy.