Why Does My Session Expire So Quickly When I Am on Yahoo Mail?

By Jimmy Boyd

Yahoo email services are free.
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Millions of people keep in touch with friends and family from anywhere in the world using Yahoo Mail. They seldom encounter any problems in operating the Web-based email program. However, some users complain their sessions expire unexpectedly. The system logs users out automatically when a user-designated time period expires. This is particularly inconvenient when you are in a hurry to read or write email. Learn how to modify the expiration time to control how quickly your Yahoo Mail sessions expire.


Some people access computers in public places or share a computer with coworkers or members of their household. This creates a security risk. If you leave the computer temporarily without logging out of your email account, someone else can come along and access your email. To reduce this risk, Yahoo assigns session expiration times.

Expiration Process

If you try to save an email after a session expires, the system takes you back to the Yahoo Mail log-in page, where you must log in again to return to your email account. Fortunately, your work is saved when the session expires. The process is still a hassle when you are in a hurry or chatting with a friend while checking your email.


According to Yahoo, the default session time is eight hours, after which you are logged out of your account. However, an eight-hour session length does not provide much security if you are sharing a computer or using public access, so you can assign different, shorter times for your email account. In your Yahoo account, you can modify the time to suit your own preferences. Available session times are as brief as 15 minutes. If you have chosen a 15-minute session time at some point in the past, your email sessions expire quickly.

Changing Session Times

From the Yahoo home page, click on "Sign In." Access your account. Hover over your name after you sign in. Select the "Account Info" option. For security reasons, you have to enter your password one more time on the next page. Yahoo changes the navigation in its member accounts from time to time, but at the time of publication, you will see a "Change Sign-In Settings" link. Access that section to select your preferred session time. Choose a longer time period than 15 minutes.

Multiple Accounts

You may have more than one account and email address. If you access one Yahoo account while already logged in with another account, the system automatically ends the session of the first account that you opened. This happens regardless of your chosen expiration time on that first account. If you want to use more than one account and avoid this problem, finish what you are doing with one account and then log out and access the other account.