Yahoo Mail introduces Recent View to replace tabs functionality

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 10, 2013

The relaunch of Yahoo Mail did not go down well with some users of the email service for one reason or the other.  From changes to fonts and line heights over the crippling of Yahoo Mail Pro to the removal of the tabbed browsing feature on the Yahoo Mail website.

Tabs were used by users to keep multiple emails open at the same time, for instance for reference, as a reminder or for other reasons.

With that option gone, it has become more difficult to keep track of multiple emails on Yahoo Mail.

While there are temporary workarounds to enable tabs again using the old mail interface, it is likely that those options will be removed by Yahoo at one point in time.

Yahoo seems to be aware of that though, and if you though that the company would change its course and add tabs again to the email client, you are mistaken.

Instead, the company announced that it will add a recent view feature to Yahoo Mail. What it does? Basically, it adds a Recent link underneath Folders on the left sidebar of the Yahoo Mail interface.

recent view mode yahoo recent yahoo email

When you click on it, you see three groups of items that you worked with recently: Drafts, Emails, and Search.

Recent meaning the emails, drafts and searches that you worked with most recently. The recent view information are displayed to you in an overlay on the screen without interfering with other information displayed on it.

To make things easier, you can use keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+[ and Ctrl+] on Windows and Linux (replace Ctrl with the Command key on Mac systems) to quickly cycle through items.

While that is great for quickly switching between emails, it appears inferior to a tabbed email solution. The core reason here is that you were in full control of tabs. If you wanted to display your favorite email of all time in a tab, then you could do so regardless of how recent it was.

The recent listing is also limited to the ten most recent items, if you need to work with more than that you are out of luck.

The new recent view feature is being rolled out as we speak. It should be available to all Yahoo Mail users at the end of the next week.

If you are a Yahoo Mail user and want to voice your opinion, check out the Yahoo Mail uservoice forum. The number one requested feature is to bring back tabs to the email service. It has received more than three times the votes than the second most popular item.


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  1. Brian said on December 8, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Tabs available by using IE9 browser with ‘compatibility view’ checked.
    (Tools > Compatibility View Settings > add Yahoo)
    Then in old classic mode but better for me.

  2. double take said on November 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Tabs are back!!? My Yahoo Mail has tabs again. Was this no tabs fiasco just a bad dream I am waking up from?

  3. Ted said on November 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Yahoo omitted the tab function and gave us recent emails to make multitasking easier.

    WHY do they promote the TAB function in the PAID email service as a great AID to multitasking???
    I for one wont use a paid service from anyone that wont even listen to its LOYAL customers,

  4. Cheryle said on November 18, 2013 at 4:16 am

    Everything about yahoo sucks, not just the tab issue/email, but also the homepage which isn’t “my yahoo” anymore, but “THEIR yahoo” – cancelled my mail plus and moved to a new email provider, new email home page and won’t be going back! Buh, bye yapoo…………

  5. Mike said on November 13, 2013 at 2:36 am

    On the Yahoo mail userforum they removed the request to bring back tabs. They had changed the status to being implemented when they introduced Recent.

    So for you yahoo users Search for this request in the forum “Multi-tasking experience – ‘recent’ view introduction… still rubbish, BRING BACK TABS” and vote it up

    1. Gala said on November 14, 2013 at 8:37 am

      But it is closed too! I will vote for the TABs but there are a lot of ideas every one with a few votes. This can be called may be: Divide and conquer! So stupid!

  6. danny said on November 12, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    TABS THREAD is now closed without resolve the request!



    1. Larry said on November 13, 2013 at 12:17 am

      Voting is now closed down and they are apparently not allowing new requests to bring back tabs on the forum. It’s the online equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and shouting “Nah, nah, nah, can’t hear you!”

  7. Stephanie said on November 11, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Wow Yahoo. Just wow. This brings new meaning to the axiom “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
    More than a month of stonewalling and now THIS is your response? When more than 100,000 users vote that we want tabs back, how hard can it possibly be to understand that that is exactly what we mean? Yet somehow you have interpreted ‘bring back tabs’ as ‘invent some other new clusterf&ck to replace tabs.’ “The downside [of tabs] was that more tabs would open as you did more in your inbox…which actually made it hard to multi-task”………..said NO USER EVER!!! Not only have you continued to tune out user feedback by declaring that tabs make multitasking “hard” despite much testimony to the contrary, you have insulted our intelligence by assuming that we were either too stupid or too lazy to simply CLOSE the tabs that we didn’t need.
    You have crossed the line that separates pride from hubris. Clearly you are so dead set against admitting that removing tabs (not to mention everything else you did to Yahoo mail) was an epic fail that you have resorted to inventing reasons that tabs weren’t really useful. A word of advice: you can echo that over and over again and you may even start to believe it yourself, but that doesn’t make it any truer. It is one thing to think that your caca doesn’t stink. It is quite another to slop it onto everyone else’ dinner plates and tell them to either eat it or leave the table all the while tooting your horns about how much better it is than the beef wellington that they ordered from the menu. If you haven’t gotten the message that Yahoo users have had their fill of your alleged improvements, here it is loud and clear: NO MORE NEW CRAP! YOU WANT TO GIVE YOUR USERS A GREAT EXPERIENCE? PUT YAHOO MAIL BACK THE WAY IT WAS!!!

    1. Gala said on November 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

      Very, very, very well said!
      I haven’t such anger with Email since I use it, and I use it since 1998!

    2. michael brown said on November 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      are you listening wahoo, by the way how do I get into my emails?

    3. Ted said on November 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      Well said stephanie

  8. danny said on November 11, 2013 at 12:57 am

    they’re confused: “multi-task” is not same thing as “switch-tasks” it takes 500% more time to accomplish a task

    1. Amanda said on November 21, 2013 at 1:08 am


  9. SeeYa said on November 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Smaller email service providers should be foaming at the mouth and working 24×7. Huge opportunity for them to recruit the absolutely flabbergasted and previously dedicated yahoo mail users.

  10. Ted said on November 10, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I will return to yahoo when the design team graduate from primary school.

    1. lily gold said on November 10, 2013 at 11:38 pm

      You mean when the CEO graduates from kindergarten. That woman missed her calling-she would be great designing day-care facilities.

  11. Scarlet said on November 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Nightmare! Yahoo has forgotten that it is a SERVICE. Render that service – Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Groups, Yahoo Finance, etc. – inoperable and what do you have? I care not that Marissa Mayer is the hottest, smartest chick in the IT/corporate world, or in what slick magazine she has most recently displayed (splayed) her talents. Rather than respect the needs of longtime Yahoo users, Ms. Mayer is plunging ahead with the destruction of everything that set Yahoo apart, and that we loyal users held dear. How long before the numbers reveal the truth – that Marissa Mayer is the ultimate Trojan Horse – and the shiny Yahoo bubble bursts? Goodbye, Yahoo.

  12. lily gold said on November 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Yahoo seems to be completely committed to NOT giving users what they want. What is so difficult about bringing back tabs? Or giving users the option between new mail and a workable version similar to the previous one we all loved? It’s code. Yahoo has hundreds of engineers and designers and no one at Yahoo can write code to provide us with mail like the previous version? It’s ridiculous. Case in point: the feedback forum has 30,000+ votes to return the formatting bar to the top of the compose window. Yahoos reply to their users was : “Thank you for your feedback. We have no plans to return the formatting bar to the top.” WTH? Why is it so vitally important to Yahoo to have the bar at the bottom? Can anyone at Yahoo explain this to me? It seems to me(and a LOT of other people) that Yahoo has a corporate culture of arrogance and contempt for their users.Good Luck with that attitude, Yahoo. See how much ad revenue you can pull in when you have lost all your users. P.S. “new “mail is crap on mobile, too.

    1. Ted said on November 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      yes they wrote sadly we cant revert back to the older version . why not, surely if the new designer was so talented he/she would understand.
      I hate the whole design even the colours (colors in the USA) are crap

      1. lily gold said on November 10, 2013 at 11:45 pm

        they DO understand. They just don’t care. and the previous version of mail IS still available, at least in the USA and Canada thru AT&T and Rogers. I guess Yahoo was at least smart enough not to let big corporations see what a total f**k -up their new mail is. If you are an AT&T or Rogers customer-don’t wait. Start calling AT&T NOW and tell them you don’t want the new Yahoo upgrade.

  13. Laura said on November 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    This new design of yahoo mail is a complete fiasco, because it removed from it features that made yahoo preferred over other e-mail providers. These features – which the Yahoo management thoughtlessly removed – were the reason I remained with yahoo and did not switch to gmail or some other “trendy” e-mail provider. Yahoo is now not only a poor knock-off of gmail, but has become useless. I cannot multi-task. Worse than this is that I lost confidence in Yahoo as e-mail provider, because CEO Mayer has turned a deaf ear to criticism of the new design; I cannot provide feed-back because either the feed-back feature acts broken or because I have depleted my quota of feed-back !! How stupid is that ! It’s actually a clear message that Yahoo does not want feed-back and goes ahead with whatever the new CEO Mayer decided to do regardless of the consequences.

    1. Gala said on November 14, 2013 at 8:30 am

      May be paid by Gmail to destroy Yahoo….

  14. Jan Hyatt said on November 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Good synopsis of Yahoo’s latest blunder. I think we’ve all accepted that Yahoo will not be bringing tabs back – most forums now are used to talk about what email service to move to, instead of discussing Yahoo Mail.

    We aren’t completely done fighting though. I’d urge you all to sign our petition at, and look for media articles this week. Hopefully the media can push Yahoo, since they aren’t listening to us.

    1. Ted said on November 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      never give up jan i started a similar petition as yours in australia but only 5 freinds have signed so far. if it goes bigger i will link mine to yours.

  15. Ted said on November 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Yahoo seems to be controlled by a bunch of idiots at the moment.
    Recent emails is nothing like the Tab feature and will be totally useless to 80% of the many people that took time to complain.

    1. Gala said on November 14, 2013 at 8:28 am

      More than useless! I click on it by mistake when I seek for the Folders: Additional time lost!

  16. Richard said on November 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    “Recent” seems to be a small fraction of the tab functionality that Mayer destroyed.

    She is a nanosecond late and a Bitcoin short. I was a premium Yahoo email subscriber. I have moved on to to replace Yahoo email for my public email.

    1. Dred Stimpson said on November 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks for the info.
      Yahoo email now S&*KS, I switched over to AOL and that was worse (I know, I couldn’t beleive it myself). AOl logged me out while I was typing, send me an error message after I logged back in, then sent my message after I re-typed it and passed a written test. I’ll try outlook.

    2. Anonymous said on November 11, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Does Outlook have tabs? I was thinking to switch to it as well. This new “recent” thing does not replace tabs in any way.

    3. IowaMan said on November 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Smart move!

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