Yahoo Xtra Email Troubleshooting

IMPORTANT: Spark will never email you asking you for your password, your account details or ask you to provide any sensitive or personal information. Never reply to, click on a link or open an attachment contained in an email if you are prompted to confirm or change your password. Even if it seems to be from an 'official' looking Spark or Yahoo Xtra email address. If and when we do need to ask you to change your password, we'll direct you to for more information and we'll let you know from there what to do.

Yahoo is changing the browsing experience for the Yahoo New Zealand online portal, From 14 May, 2014 web browsers Do Not Track (DNT) setting will no longer be enabled by Yahoo.  This includes the Yahoo New Zealand online portal.

To find out more information about the latest security alerts and notifications, please visit

Common Issues

Can't find what you're after? More information is available at Yahoo! Mail Help.
ImageCheck the Email Service Status for the latest update on the email server.
Emails from Xtra or Spark asking you to verify your account (Phishing)

Emails that claim to be from Xtra or Spark and ask you to verify your account are highly likely to be spam or phishing emails. Do not download any files attached to the email, click any links, or reply to it.

What is phishing and how can I avoid it?
Forgotten or incorrect Secret Question or Date of Birth

If your have forgotten the answer to your secret question, or suspect that it or your date of birth are incorrect, please Contact Us.

We will need to verify your details before we can solve this problem, so have your Spark account number handy.

Where can I find my account number?
Email application keeps asking for your username and password (Lockout)

A username and password box can appear in your email program for a number of reasons:

  • You may have crossed a rate limit of what is considered normal behaviour for a residential email customer
  • The outbound SpamGuard may have identified that you are sending spam emails 
  • You tried signing on too many times with an incorrect password in your email client

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Close your email client
  2. Log in to webmail with your email address and password
  3. You may be presented with a CAPTCHA code, fill this out and click Continue Image
  4. Once you have logged in to your webmail, reopen your email client
  5. If you are asked for your username and password, re-enter them both and click OK
  6. You should now be able to use your email client 
  7. If you are still having problems, check the settings in your email application

If you frequently get a box asking for your username and password in your mail program, we recommend that you use webmail as the primary method of sending/receiving email.

Resetting your Email Password

You can change your email password by using our Change & Forgotten Password Form or by following the steps below.

  1. Visit
  2. Click Forgotten Password

  3. Enter your Xtra username and also the word in the picture shown

  4. Click Next
  5. When you first set up your email account we asked you to enter your date of birth and set a secret question and answer.
    Now enter the registered Date of Birth, answer the registered secret question and specify your new password in the fields provided then click Next
    Note: When choosing a new password, please ensure you use a password that you have never used before


  6. The password reset has now completed. Ensure that all devices and applications using your username for email are updated with the new password. If these are not updated you may experience a security lockout from your Xtra account. This would be caused by devices trying to login with the previous, now incorrect password.

Trouble checking email in your mobile or email application

Some Yahoo customers using email application (e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac Mail, Entourage, etc) and mobile devices to access their emails are repeatedly being prompted for their username and password. This issue occurred after an outage due to a planned change made to Yahoo's global service.

To resolve this, follow the steps below: 

  1. Close your email application(s)
  2. Log in to webmail with your email address and password
  3. Once you have successfully logged in, open your email application 
  4. If you are still having problems, check the settings in your email application

Important: You do not need to reset your email password.

Please be aware that this issue is not related to previous Yahoo Xtra email issues experienced in February 2013. For help with that issue, see Re-secure your Account.

Spark apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.


Unable to add attachments to an email

If you are having trouble attaching files to an email:

More information on attachment errors can be found on the Yahoo Help Site.


Messages that are sent to multiple recipients that haven't specifically been requested for are known as spam. Spammers typically gain lists of email addresses and may send unwanted email from a number of different sources. It is common for malicious spammers to 'mask' their identity, so they look legitimate and go on to steal bank IDs or Passwords, for example.

How can I tell whether or not an email is spam?
Sometimes, spam may be obvious from the subject line (e.g. pharmaceutical or shipping sales). Other spammers will pretend to know you, or try and gain your attention in some way (e.g. Hi there, You have won...).

Common Spam Questions

What is the length of time before spam gets deleted from Yahoo Xtra?

The period of time is 30 days. If you want to keep an email, you need to move it to your Inbox or a different folder. It pays to check your Spam folder periodically, to avoid legitimate email getting deleted.

What happens if I get legitimate email that has ended up in the Spam Folder?

See the Managing Spam section below for instructions

What happens if I get spam that has ended up in my Inbox?

See the Managing Spam section below for instructions

Why is my email address receiving spam?

Spammers engage in 'dictionary attacks.' These spammers attempt to send to every possible email address they can think of. If you have a common email such as, you might be a victim of this kind of attack. They can also be a result giving over your email address when signing up for subscriptions or registrations.

What can I do to avoid spam?

There's no sure way to stop spam, but there are measures to reduce it:

  • See all about SpamGuard below to ensure that it is turned on and to check other options such as Image Blocking.
  • When you receive spam in your Inbox, use the Spam button to 'train' the email filter for the future.
  • Don't reply to spam or click on links and images. By doing this, you will let spammers know that you are a potential target and may get bombarded even more. Even worse, you may get your email address distributed to other spammers.
  • Be aware that signing up for subscriptions or download registrations might open the door for unsolicited email. Observe the Terms & Conditions and decline promotional offers. If you think that whoever is asking for your address is not acting in your best interests, it's better not to give it out. Consider using a Disposable Address", available to email addresses.
  • Set your browser's security so it doesn't accept third party cookies (at least the 'Medium' level in Internet Explorer).
  • Add recurring spammer's email addresses to the Blocked Senders List
  • Set up Filters to redirect emails with particular themes. 

I send a lot of emails by way of subscriptions. What can I do to avoid my email ending up in my recipients' Spam Folders?

Ensure that you follow Yahoo Xtra's Best Practice Policy when sending email to your recipients. If your email is still ending up in their Spam Folder, fill out the Yahoo Xtra Mail Bulk Sender Form.

Can I control how long messages stay in my Spam Folder?

Yes. Here's how you do it:

  • Click Options
  • Click General
  • Select your preferred option: (beside Empty Spam folder)
    • Once a week
    • Every two weeks
    • Once a month
  • Click Save

Why are legitimate emails going straight into my Spam folder?

The spam filter is an ever evolving algorithm that is applied to all incoming mail. It's constantly learning what you think is spam or not spam by the way you mark messages, the more you train the filter by marking messages as spam or not spam, the better it will work for you.

  • In your Spam folder, select one or more messages that are not spam and click Not Spam.
  • Add the sender to your Contacts folder.
Managing Spam

The Yahoo Xtra spam filter, SpamGuard, stops you from receiving unwanted email messages, but there are still times where spam can slip through, or legitimate email can be marked as spam.

It's easy to train the spam filter to correctly identify which emails are spam and which are not. Simply follow the appropriate steps below:

Spam email that is not being marked as spam
  1. Log in to Webmail 
  2. Click the box to the left of any spam email in your Inbox Image  
  3. Click Spam Image  
  4. The selected emails will be moved to the Spam folder, and future emails from those addresses will also be moved to the Spam folder
Legitimate email that is being marked as spam
  1. Log in to Webmail 
  2. Click your Spam folder Image
  3. Click the box to the left of any legitimate email in your Spam folder Image
  4. Click Not Spam Image
  5. The selected emails will be moved to the Inbox, and future emails from those addresses will not appear in the Spam folder
Fighting Spam with Yahoo Xtra Mail

Here are some great Yahoo Xtra Mail tools to help keep spam out of your Inbox.

Please note you will need to follow these instructions using Webmail. You cannot fix spam issues using the below instructions if you are exclusively using a POP3 client such as Microsoft Outlook Express.

Spam Protection

This automatically filters suspected spam to your Spam folder. It also learns specifically what you consider spam and not spam, and it filters those messages to the appropriate folder.

Image Blocking

Image blocking defeats the "hits" spammers receive whenever one of their images is "viewed" - which can include the moment you select a spam message before you click Spam.

Here's how to block images:

  • Click Options
  • Click Mail Options
  • Click General
  • Scroll to Spam Protection
  • Select your preferred option: (beside Show images in emails):
    • Always, except in Spam folder (default choice)
    • Never by Default
    • Only from my contacts and certified senders
  • Click Save

The Spam button

If you get a spam message in your Inbox, select the message then click Spam. This alerts us to the latest tricks and techniques that spammers are using, and helps us clamp down tighter and fight spam more effectively.

Blocked Addresses

Utilise the block sender list to ensure that you don't receive email from specified domains or email addresses.

Disposable Addresses

Disposable addresses helps guard your primary address against spam. You can create up to 500 disposable email addresses which you can sign up to websites, newsletter and competitions without having to provide your primary email address. You can have email delivered to your inbox or personal folder, if you start to receive too much spam then simply delete the address. You can set up disposable addresses by clicking Options then Mail Options.

I don't want to use the spam filer, how can I have all my email delivered to my inbox?

Here's how to do it:

  • Click Options
  • Click Mail Options
  • Click General
  • Untick the box beside Automatically move spam to Spam folder
  • Click Save
Reporting Spam

If you use Yahoo Xtra webmail to send and receive or if you use an email client set to leave a copy of messages on the server:

  1. Log in to
  2. Select any spam messages in your Inbox using the checkbox on the left
  3. Click the Spam button

This will automatically delete the spam from the Inbox and flag it in to our Spam filtering software.

Note: Marking email as spam or junk in an email client (e.g. Outlook, Outlook Express) does not report them to our Spam filtering software. This only filters spam in email client itself.

Locating email headers in webmail or your email application

Outlook 2010

  1. Open the email
  2. Click on the File menu and select Properties
  3. A new window will open and it will show you the Internet Headers


Outlook 2007

After signing in to Microsoft Outlook 2007, 

  1. Right click on the email in your Inbox.
  2. Select "Message Options"


  3. The text you need to copy is in the Internet headers field



Outlook 2003

  1. Open the email
  2. Select View
  3. Options

  4. The text you need to copy is in the Internet headers field



Outlook Express

  1. Open the email 
  2. Select File 
  3. Properties

  4. Select "Details" tab



Windows Mail

  1. Open the email
  2. Select File 
  3. Properties

  4. Select Details



Yahoo! Mail

  1. Open the email
  2. Select View Header list 
  3. Full Headers 


Yahoo! Mail Classic

  1. Open the email
  2. Click the Full Headers link


Mac OS X Mail

  1. Open the email
  2. Select View >> Message >> Raw Source  (or Option-Apple-U)
  3. Click on the resulting text
  4. Click Edit


Microsoft Entourage 2004

  1. Open the email
  2. Select View >> Source
  3. A new window will open showing the full message source with complete headers



  1. Open the email
  2. Click on the View menu
  3. Select Message Source 
  4. A new window will open and it will show you the Internet Headers


Legitimate email being marked as spam

If you need to send legitimate bulk emails, use the tips below to stop them getting blocked by SpamGuard:

  • Fill in this simple form so Yahoo! can get your emails through to customers.
    1. You'll need to know the domain names you send legitimate bulk email from.
    2. In step 4 of the form, the subject of your request will be the first option in the list 'I send permission based emails, yet they are delivered to the bulk mail folder'.
    3. Once you've sent the form, you will receive an auto-acknowledgment to confirm the request has been received. Then you'll be contacted via email by a Yahoo! representative.
  • Use a separate static IP address to send bulk email messages.
  • Use your own permission-based database.
  • If your customers use email addresses ask them to:
    1. Mark messages from your email address as Not Spam.
    2. Add your address to their Yahoo Xtra online contacts so you can be recognised as a trusted contact.

For more information, see:

SpamGuard Plus

SpamGuard Plus is the spam filter used in Yahoo Xtra email. It automatically filters suspected spam and moves it to your Spam folder.

You can specify how long you want to keep messages in the Spam folder (one week, two weeks, or one month) and, like your Inbox, it can hold an unlimited number of emails. You never need to worry about Spam overflowing back into your Inbox.

How can I change my SpamGuard Plus settings?

  1. Log on to Yahoo Xtra webmail
  2. Click Options at the top of the page
  3. Select Mail Options
  4. Make sure General is highlighted on the left-hand side and scroll down to Spam Protection. Here you can choose how often to empty the Spam Folder and whether to display images in your emails.
  5. To ensure email marked as Spam is going to your Spam Folder, select Automatically move spam to Spam Folder.
Virus Protection

Can I turn off virus scanning?
No you can't, it's included in your Yahoo! Mail to protect you from harmful viruses.

Why did I get an email from
Yahoo Xtra subscribers are protected against viruses for incoming messages. Any messages that are picked up with a virus, will be forwarded on with this email address.

I received an email from the Yahoo Xtra email team advising that my email has been suspended for 48 hours due to unusual activity. What does this mean?
The Yahoo Xtra email team are always monitoring the email system for any unusual or suspicious activity. If you access your email in multiple instances (e.g. you have multiple webmail windows open or are clicking your email clients' Send/Receive button constantly), it can be interpreted by the Yahoo Xtra server as being a potential hacking threat or some sort of virus activity and will block email access for 48 hours. Normal email access will be restored after this time.

Yahoo! Mail already has email virus protection. Why do I need more?
All emails that are sent to and from an Yahoo Xtra email address are scanned and this will block most known email viruses. However, there are plenty of other security threats that don't come via email. Simply by surfing the web and opening apparently harmless links or applications your computer can become infected or attacked - often without you knowing. That's why the Spark Security Suite offers extra levels of protection.

Re-secure your Account

If you are receiving a Yahoo Xtra Alert message when attempting to log in to Yahoo NZ webmail or if you suspect that your email address has been compromised and used to send SPAM email, follow the steps below to change your password. This will re-secure your account.

Click or tap the camera icon to see an example of the Yahoo Xtra Alert page Image

If you have already resecured your account and your email application is still asking for your username and password, follow the steps for Trouble checking email in your mobile or email application.

Change your password
  1. Close any email applications on your mobile device or enable flight mode
  2. Complete Change or Forgotten Password online form. It can take a few minutes for Yahoo Xtra to update their system
    If you have trouble with your User Name or security questions, fill in this Queries & Suggestions Online Form and we will help you
Only complete this step if you use your email on PC (Outlook, Thunderbird), Mobile or Tablet
  1. Update the password on your computer's email application and your Mobile if you use it for email
  2. It is likely you will get an error message, if this happens follow Confirm your webmail settings are correct below before trying to Sync again
Confirm your webmail settings are correct

We recommend you follow these steps, even if you don't use webmail. Once a spammer has your password, they are able to access your webmail and change settings that will allow them to keep sending SPAM emails long after you change your password.

Click or tap on the screenshots (Image icon) to guide you if you get stuck.

  1. Log in to webmail with your email address and new password
    Note: For security purposes you may be presented with a CAPTCHA code you need to fill out to access your emails Image
  2. Under Options select Mail Options Image
  3. Select POP & Forwarding, in the left-hand menu
  4. Confirm that Access Yahoo! Mail via POP is selected
    If you are forwarding emails confirm the details are correct Image
  5. Select Mail Accounts in the left-hand menu to view all linked mail accounts
    For all unrecognised mail accounts, select and click Trash can Image
  6. Confirm the Reply-to address is empty or has another email address you own Image
  7. Select Vacation Response, on the left-hand menu
  8. Ensure Enable auto-response during these dates (inclusive) is not ticked
  9. Select Signature on the left-hand menu, ensure signature is correct
    If you don't want to use a signature, change the drop down box to Don't use a signature
  10. Click Image in the top-left corner Image
  11. Select Account Info
  12. You may be asked for your password, if so enter it and click Sign In
  13. Select Edit Contact Information Image
    You may be asked for your password again, if so enter it and click Sign In
  14. Under Alternate Email Yahoo Xtra alternate email addresses, on the right, select Edit Image
  15. For all unrecognised mail accounts, click Delete next to it Image

What is phishing and how can I avoid it?

Phishing is where fake emails and websites fool people into giving personal information like credit card numbers and account user names and passwords.

Phishing often uses trusted brands like banks or online retailers to trick people into responding. The end result can be very serious - millions of dollars are stolen each year, around the world.

How to avoid phishing
Online banking and shopping is generally safe, provided you follow some simple rules:

  • Be wary of any email that asks for personal financial information, even if you think it's from a trusted source. Call the company first to make sure
  • If you think an email looks suspicious, don't use any links in it to get to a web page
  • Make sure you are using a secure website whenever you give out credit card or other sensitive information using your web browser
  • Don't fill out forms in email messages that ask for personal financial information
  • Make sure your browser (such as Internet Explorer) is up-to-date and that you are using the latest security patches

More information about phishing
If you receive a suspicious email, or think you might be the victim of phishing, contact the bank or company concerned straight away. They should quickly be able to tell you if any email or website is legitimate, before you give out any information.

Many banks publish information on their websites about new phishing attacks.

For more information on the latest phishing attacks visit the Anti-Phishing Working Group's website

In order for us to investigate and improve our processes in detecting this email, it would be great if you could send us a copy of the email headers and content together. The email header information helps us to determine where an email originated from. The complaint should be sent to

Tech in a Sec logo

Why am I receiving spam from my own email address?

If you have not sent the email then someone has been 'spoofing' your email address. This means someone has forged an email to make it appear to have come from you, to hide its true origin. Spoofing is used by virus authors and senders of spam. Spoofing is more of a nuisance to you than a danger.

Detailed information about spoofing is available at

If you have been sent an email that appears to be from a generic Xtra or Spark email address or containing reference to one, it is important to note that the email may not have actually been sent by Spark.

This includes emails seeming to be from,,,,, or

Remember, Spark will never email you asking you to confirm or change your password or confirm your account details.. Never reply to, click on a link or open an attachment contained in an email if you are prompted to confirm or change your password. Even if it seems to be from an 'official' looking Spark email address.

If the message contained an infected attachment (such as .zip file) from a known email virus or worm, Spark's anti-virus filter would have removed any infection before it arrived in your mailbox.

If you receive any more of these messages, please ignore and delete them.

More about Computer Viruses

More about Spyware

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