How to Use Yahoo Messenger Without Downloading an App

There are multiple ways to chat with friends without the Yahoo Messenger app

Yahoo Logo
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Support for Yahoo Messenger was discontinued in 2018. This article exists for historical reference.

Yahoo Messenger is available as a smartphone app and as part of Yahoo Mail's desktop software, but it's possible to use Yahoo Messenger online without downloading anything. To use the web version of Yahoo Messenger through a browser, just log in with the same Yahoo credentials you use to access the company's other services.

How to Sign In to Yahoo Web Messenger

Yahoo! Messenger can be used in your browser

To launch Yahoo Web Messenger:

  1. Open your browser.
  2. Navigate to Yahoo Messenger.
  3. Choose the link on that page that says Or start chatting on the web. This is the screen on which you log in to your Yahoo account. If you don't have an account, you can create one.
  4. You'll be prompted to enter your email address and password, which may be pre-filled if you've signed into Yahoo from that computer before.

Chatting Using Yahoo Web Messenger

The Yahoo Messenger web login page.


Once you're logged in, you'll see a list of contacts on the left of your screen. You also can search for specific contacts using the search bar on the top of the left side. 

Click on the pencil icon to start a conversation. You can add fun GIFs, emoticons, or your own photos to the conversation using the options at the bottom of the screen.

Signing In to Yahoo Messenger Using Your Phone Number

Yahoo! Messenger web sign-in

You also can sign in using the phone number associated with your account.

  1. Make sure you have the mobile app installed.
  2. Ensure the Account Key feature is enabled by tapping on your profile photo on the top right of the screen when the app is open and then tapping on the Account Key option. The text Yahoo Account Key is enabled will be displayed if the feature is ready to use. If it's not, follow the prompts to activate it.
  3. Now that you've confirmed that you have the right settings return to your web browser. You won't have to complete those steps again in the future.
  4. Enter your phone number into the login field. You'll get a text message notifying you of a login from a device other than your phone.
  5. Open Yahoo Messenger on your mobile device and go to the Account Key by tapping on your profile photo on the upper right of the screen, and then tapping on Account Key.
  6. Tap on the link that reads "Need a code to sign in" to get a code.
  7. Enter the code you receive into the field provided for it on the web page.

The Account Key option is a great feature that results in a new password being used every time that you log in, keeping your account safe and secure.