Yahoo is finally getting rid of passwords. Well, sort of...


Yahoo is putting an end to email passwords, and it wants everyone to know it’s serious about it this time. Sort of.

After announcing in March that Yahoo email users could opt to have the company text them a one-time password every time they log in, the Internet company launched Yahoo Account Key on Thursday, an app that sends users a smartphone push notification that can be used for each log in. Like the text messaging feature, a non-Yahoo email address can serve as a backup when a phone is not around.

If users opt to use the account key, they will no longer need to fill in a password field when they attempt to log into their email. Instead, they will input an email address and, recognizing who the email address belongs to, the Yahoo Account Key will send a push notification to the account owner’s smartphone seeking authorization.


“Starting [Thursday], Yahoo users will never have to use a password ever again,” said Yahoo’s vice president of product management, Dylan Casey.

With one caveat: Those who don’t have a smartphone or those who choose to not opt into the feature will still have to use passwords.

According to Yahoo’s senior vice president of communication products, Jeffrey Bonforte, more than 90% of Yahoo customers in the United States have a smartphone, and smartphones are the No. 1 way people worldwide access email.

In addition to launching Yahoo Account Key, the company also launched a revamped Yahoo Mail app for iOS and Android that supports integrations with other mailboxes, such as Outlook, AOL and Hotmail. A Yahoo spokesperson said a Gmail integration is currently in the works.

Yahoo Mail users can also expect the introduction of swipe gestures, an easier way to send notes to self, and an improved email search experience.

Twitter: @traceylien