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How to Chat with Somebody in Yahoo! Mail

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Of course, you could send an email now, wait for the reply in two minutes and a half, then confirm everything in yet another email, five minutes down.

Or, if the contact is online, you initiate a quick chat session in Yahoo! Mail. Naturally, you'll only do that if the matter is pressing, or if you have time to spare. (I heartily recommend writing a longer email in that latter case as well, though.)

Fortunately, instant messaging is not much different from sending an email in Yahoo! Mail.

Chat with Somebody in Yahoo! Mail

To exchange instant messages with any Yahoo! Instant Messenger or Windows Live Messenger user in Yahoo! Mail:

  • Make sure you are not using Yahoo! Mail Basic but the fully featured version.
  • Now male sure you are singed in to chat.
    • If Offline appears next to Me: under MESSENGER in your Yahoo! Mail's left sidebar or a bold icon appears next to MESSENGER:
      • Click Offline or the bolt icon.
    • If a grey bolt appears next to Online Contacts in your Yahoo! Mail's left navigation bar, click that bolt to make sure it turns yellow.
    • Select Available, Busy or Invisible from the list.
      • You can also select Custom Status… to sign in with your account set to a custom state.
  • Press i (think instant message).
    • You can also select Chat from the Compose drop-down menu — click the down arrow first.
  • Type the desired user's Yahoo! Messenger ID (or email address) over Start a conversation with….
  • Hit Enter.
  • Type away.
    • Hitting Enter will send the message.
    • You can start a new line (without sending) by pressing Alt-Enter.

You can also start a chat by looking for an online contact first:

  • Expand MESSENGER in Yahoo! Mail's left navigation pane.
  • Now click on the desired contact's name or user name.
  • Start typing.

(Updated August 2013)

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