Yahoo Messenger

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 Out by Yahoo Voice service ("Phone Out"), you can also use Yahoo Messenger with Voice to make calls to normal landline or mobile phones.

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.

Information Collection and Use Practices

  • Yahoo Messenger automatically checks for updates to Yahoo software.
  • You can establish a friends list within Yahoo Messenger and be added as a friend to the lists of other users of Yahoo Messenger with Voice or Yahoo Messenger ("Messenger Users").
  • By default, your online status will be visible to Messenger Users who have you on their friends list and on web pages with an online presence indicator.
    • You can choose to appear offline by signing in as "invisible".
    • You can use the Stealth Settings option, to selectively appear online or offline to specific friends or groups of friends who are Messenger Users.
    • You can choose to always appear offline on web pages by editing your preferences in Yahoo Messenger or Yahoo Profiles.
  • In Yahoo Messenger, choose Messenger > Preferences > Privacy and uncheck the box to allow Yahoo web sites to show when you are online.
  • In Yahoo Profiles, check the box to hide your online status from other users.
  • You have certain choices about whether to add friends, be added as a friend, or ignore other Messenger Users. Adding someone to your ignore list will also "ignore" PC-to-PC calls and related voice messages from that person.
  • Yahoo Pte Ltd ("Yahoo", "we" or "us") does not save your instant messages, but we do make some functionality, such as archiving and the ability to print and save messages, available to all Messenger Users so that they may retain records of their instant messaging communications.
    • By default, Yahoo Messenger with Voice will archive your message history for the current session, until you sign out. When that session ends, the message archive will be deleted.
    • To change your archiving preferences in Yahoo Messenger with Voice, choose Messenger > Preferences > Archive.
    • Changing your archiving preferences does not clear your current archive. For example, if you previously archived all messages indefinitely but now change your preference so that Yahoo Messenger saves messages only until you sign out, then you will need to click the "Clear Archive Now" button for your previous archive to be cleared.
    • Please be aware that even if you choose not to save your message history, Messenger Users you correspond with may opt to use the functionality available in their version of Yahoo Messenger or Yahoo Messenger to save the communications.
  • Yahoo Messenger automatically identifies phone numbers and email addresses included in messages, so that you can quickly save them to your Yahoo Address Book or take other actions, such as sending an email. This is a function carried out by the Yahoo Messenger client on your computer and is not done by Yahoo servers.
  • Yahoo Messenger gives you the opportunity to report instant messages you receive as spam (also known as "spim"). If you choose to report spam, Yahoo will be sent information about the conversation including the Yahoo ID of the Messenger User being reported, text of the conversation, and your Yahoo ID.
  • When you invite someone to use Yahoo Messenger using our online form (as opposed to adding someone as a friend to your friends list), you will need to provide that person's email address and a message (which is optional). Information collected on that online 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 Messenger User using Yahoo Messenger may make PC-to-PC calls to you. You can change your preferences so that you only receive calls from Messenger Users on your friends list.
    • Yahoo does not save PC-to-PC calls or any other voice communications that go through our servers. However, any voice mails that you record for other Messenger Users will be stored on our servers. Yahoo's practice is to not use the content of those voice mail messages.
    • If you choose to use the Open Talk feature, Messenger Users in your friends list will be able to establish a PC-to-PC call with you, without you needing to accept the call.
    • The Contact Search Bar feature stores your recent history of any communications initiated through the Contact Search Bar, where there were no direct matches with your Address Book contacts.
    • Yahoo Messenger stores a call history on your computer, which you can view in Yahoo Messenger by choosing Contacts > Voice Messages & Call History. If you use Phone Out to make outbound calls from Yahoo Messenger to normal telephones, we will also store a log of all outbound calls on your personal Yahoo Voice Services page. You can review this log at that page.

Information Sharing and Disclosure Practices

  • By using Yahoo 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.
  • Yahoo 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 Messenger User's computer in the conversation without needing to go through Yahoo servers. As such, your IP address will be available to Messenger Users you share a peer-to-peer connection with.
  • Voice
    • We may use any information collected by us in relation to your use of Phone Out as permitted in the applicable Terms of Service. For more details, please see the Terms of Service applicable to Phone Out.

Practices Regarding Your Ability to Update or Delete Information

  • You can edit your Yahoo Messenger settings and preferences through the Messenger menu.
  • Voice
    • Yahoo Messenger automatically creates and stores on your computer a record of PC-to-PC calls made and received and outbound calls made from Yahoo Messenger with Voice to normal telephones using Phone Out.
      • To review and delete your history of PC-to-PC calls made or received or outbound calls made using Phone Out or your voice messages, in Yahoo Messenger, choose Contacts > Voice Messages & Call History.
      • If you use Phone Out to make outbound calls from Yahoo Messenger to normal telephones, we will also store a call log on your personal Yahoo Voice Services page.
      • Even if you delete your call history from your computer (in Contacts > Voice Messages & Call History), a copy of your call log for outbound calls from Yahoo Messenger to normal telephones made using Phone Out will always be stored on the Yahoo Voice Services page. This log cannot be deleted or cleared.
  • Billing
  • To view, edit or cancel Phone Out, please visit the messenger help page. It includes information about services you currently subscribe to, 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.

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