After outcry, Yahoo Mail brings back tabs

Yahoo Mail users can breathe a bit easier now — their beloved tabs are back.

Yahoo redesigned its popular free email service in October, but in an attempt to streamline its look, removed the tab features that allowed users to multitask. That, along with a host of other changes and bugs, frustrated longtime users and created a vocal online backlash that the Sunnyvale Internet giant was forced to address.

“We’re bringing back tabs, but this time, they’re a bit smarter,” Jeff Bonforte, Yahoo’s senior vice president for communications, wrote in a blog post Thursday. They’ll have a new look, though –instead of being lined up above the main toolbar, tabs will be an option in a dropdown menu, which will then show previews of each tab a user has open. The feature will be rolled out to users over the next few days.

“As we continue to improve Yahoo Mail, we’ll keep listening to your input,” Bonforte wrote. Yahoo has more than 100 million email users.

Reaction from users was mostly positive, though some still grumbled about the new look. And some were grateful, but not quite forgiving: “Thank you for Tabs! I really hope someone got fired! Happy Christmas,” one anonymous user posted Friday.

It’s been a rough couple of months for Yahoo Mail, which has undergone a drastic overhaul under CEO Marissa Mayer‘s tenure. Besides the redesign, its plan to recycle millions of dormant email accounts ran into numerous problems and exposed potential security flaws, and a server problem earlier this month left thousands of users unable to access their email for more than a week.



At top: Yahoo Mail’s new tabs preview, also called “boss mode.” (Yahoo photo)


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  • NotTheDroidsYrLooking4

    Mostly positive? Are you kidding? Have you read the feedback postings
    on this? It’s hilarious that Yahoo maintains the official propaganda
    “while we continue to improve Yahoo mail”, when it’s obvious to
    essentially all Yahoo Mail users, that they’ve severely damaged the

    • Jason King

      The Yahoo redesign (or demolition) has been frustrating because it impacted my ability to get work done. Thankfully tabs are back and I can skip between emails quickly, but why the hell is the toolbar still unreachable without scrolling?

  • likhon_tech

    To me, the new version is so better than before!! If you hit the “ESC”
    key, your screen will clear off. Yahoo calls this “boss mode”. You will
    see a little icon in the bottom left corner which looks like a set of
    squares. If you click that, you’ll enter boss mode, you will see all
    your tabs in a preview mode! its so easy, you’ll find more

    • Edward Bax

      your post is an almost word for word copy of the official Yahoo Bonforte blurb. Worked for them long?

      • northsounder

        Edward, it might be him posting under a pseudonym.

      • likhon_tech

        just tried to give you what you miss in here.

      • Carly_S

        Fully agree, northsounder!!!! According Bonforte, we ASKED them to remove tabs ha ha ha

  • Zoobaworld

    You also have the option to access your Yahoo Mail Classic in its full
    featured old format prior to Oct 8 2013 change by using an application
    developed by ZoobaWorld. Get Sorts, Tabs, Folders – everything back as before…
    threads or conversations in your Inbox.

    • Edward Bax

      The Zoobaworld page says they can only provide access to the previous version “as long as Yahoo allows”.So -if the previous version IS still available-if Yahoo is providing Zoobaworld access to the previous version -why won’t Yahoo just let their users have it back?

  • Nubia

    Yes Tabs are back, but Bugs and still there – and folders still missing – yahoo need to FIX this version of mails, actually nothing is working in a correct way (for those who can open their mail box !)

  • Carly_S

    They are NOT smarter…As millions of faithful users have repeatedly stated, Yahoo could easily fix ALL problems, by simply providing us with the option of Yahoo Classic, which was truly innovative, intuitive, reliabel, and equipped with much appreciated FEATURES, such as a properly positioned tool bar, print and save button, not to mention being able to simply OPEN a file for viewing it, WITHOUT having to either first store it on your hard disk or in Google Dropbox. Something else that is apparently a “thing of the past” : links sent/received no longer arrive in a “clickable state.” We do NOT need an “exciting experience with a view”…the only thing “exciting” about NEO is tears of frustration, aggravation, gnashing teeth…need I go on??

  • Gina

    AWESOME. (*Insert sarcasm here*) Now let’s shift our focus from beautifying Yahoo Mail to making it more FUNCTIONAL. Like, say, delivering my mail… OR how about not deleting the mail I DO get, when I’m trying to save it in a folder. I’m with those that want to switch back to the classic Yahoo.

  • Okc Dave

    I could care less about yahoo mail, portable email clients can access gmail and the configuration of the client is under my control, and more important, standardized.

    What’s more frustrating is the hacked up new interface on Yahoo Answers. They ruined it trying to give it a social media vibe instead of the prior clean and effective interface. Oh well, let their traffic dwindle as a result.