How to Get Instant Yahoo! Mail Alerts of New Messages

Teenager on computer
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Have Yahoo! Mail alert you through your browser when a new message arrives.

When we get a new message in our Yahoo! Mail account, we like to know instantly. One way is to check the Yahoo! Mail Web site constantly.

Another, much more comfortable way is to have your browser do that on its own—with a little help from Yahoo! Mai. Yahoo! Messenger can be configured to send a desktop alert through the browser whenever a new email message arrives in your Yahoo! Mail account.

Get Instant Yahoo! Mail Alerts of New Messages in Your Browser

To have your browser show an alert as soon as new mail appears in your Yahoo! Mail inbox:

  1. Make sure desktop alerts are enabled in your browser and Yahoo! Mail is not blocked from displaying alerts. (See below.)
  2. Open Yahoo! Mail in the browser.
  3. Make sure the full version of Yahoo! Mail is enabled.
  4. Position the mouse cursor over the settings gear icon () near your Yahoo! Mail's top right corner.
  5. Select Settings from the menu that has appeared.
  6. Go to the Viewing email category.
  7. Make sure Enable desktop notifications is checked.
    1. ​​If you do not see Enable desktop notifications, your browser does not support notifications. You can always try a browser that does support them; see below for a partial list.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Close and re-open Yahoo! Mail in your browser.​
  10. Allow "***" to display alerts in your browser.​
  11. Make sure Yahoo! Mail is open in a tab, possibly a compressed or pinned tab.

​Enable Desktop Notifications in Your Browser

To make sure Yahoo! Mail can ask for permission to display desktop notifications in your browser:

Google Chrome (53)

  1. Click the Chrome menu button ().
  2. Select Settings from the menu that has appeared.
  3. Click Show advanced settings….
  4. Now click Content settings… under Privacy.
  5. Make sure one of the following is selected under Notifications:
    1. ​​Allow all sites to show notifications or
    2. Ask when a site wants to show notifications (recommended).
      1. ​This is the recommended setting; you can then selectively allow sites—including Yahoo! Mail—to show notifications.
  6. ​​Click Manage exceptions… under Notifications.
  7. Make sure there is no entry for "***" that is set to Deny under Behavior.
    1. ​Click the x next to any such entry.
  8. ​​Click Done.
  9. Click Done again.

Mozilla Firefox (48)

  1. Click the Open menu button (≡) in Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu that has appeared.
  3. Open the Content category.
  4. Click Choose… under Notifications.
  5. Make sure there is no entry for "***" with Block under Status.
    1. ​Highlight any such entry and click Remove Site, then click Save Changes.

Safari (9)

  1. Select Safari | Preferences… from the menu in Safari.
  2. Go to the Notifications tab.
  3. Make sure Allow websites to ask for permission to send push notifications is checked.
  4. Now make sure there is no entry for "***" set to Deny under These websites have asked for permission to show alerts in Notification Center.
    1. ​​Highlight any such entry and click Remove.
  5. ​Close the Notifications preferences window.

Get Instant Yahoo! Mail Alerts of New Messages via IMAP

To get near-instant notifications of new messages that arrive in your Yahoo! Mail account, you can also:

  1. Set up the Yahoo! Mail account in an email program or mail checker using IMAP (with IMAP IDLE enabled).
  2. Make sure the email program is running and set to display alerts for new messages.

Get Instant Yahoo! Mail Alerts of New Messages with Yahoo! Messenger

To get instant alerts of new mail in your Yahoo! Mail account via Yahoo! Messenger:

  • Select Login | Preferences... from the menu in Yahoo! Messenger.
  • Go to the Alerts and Sounds category.
  • Under Alert me when:, highlight I receive a mail message.
  • Select the desired notification options under Alert me by:.
  • Click OK.

Note that Yahoo! Messenger is no longer available.

(Updated August 2016, tested with Yahoo! Mail in a desktop browser)