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robgranholm, Mac Genius
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Experience:  2 Years at Apple, Current IT Administrator and Small Business Owner. Loves to help.
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I am getting an error 999 when I try to access my email. I

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I am getting an error 999 when I try to access my email. I downloaded Firefox 3.6 (the latest), cleared my history for the entire day, restarted my macbook pro, and still get the error. It's vital that I get my email, as I am unemployed and rely on it heavily for sending resumes, making appointments, and soliciting for consulting work. Please help me!

I can't access my email so you can't email me the solution!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  robgranholm replied 4 years ago.
-Could you explain your situation a little more? where do you go to check e-mail...a website? or do you use a program on your computer? is it a gmail or a yahoo or another account?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It is Yahoo Classic homepage and email. No matter where I click to access my mail from the home page, I get the error 999 message. I clicked on individual messages in the window, on the mail button, on the inbox button. At all times, I get the error 999. By the way, I can access my email from my iphone. This is only marginally ok, because I can't open attachments or send them from my phone.
Expert:  robgranholm replied 4 years ago.
I understand, this is more likely a web browser program than it is an e-mail problem. Can you open up Safari on your computer, it's inside the applications folder and just test Yahoo mail ... please report back here and let me know if this works. Thanks.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I tried Safari and it doesn't work on that browser either.
Expert:  robgranholm replied 4 years ago.
Same error? Do other webpages function normally?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yep, same error. Other pages work fine - I tested twitter, facebook, my bank, the sartorialist and they all work. When I click on other Yahoo! links on my homepage (news, weather, etc.) they also work.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yep, same error. Other pages work fine - I tested twitter, facebook, my bank, the sartorialist and they all work. When I click on other Yahoo! links on my homepage (news, weather, etc.) they also work.

Expert:  robgranholm replied 4 years ago.
Yikes I got what's happening here. Here's your answer...although it's not a pretty one. I wish I could just "fix" this...but it's an error with Yahoo...I suggest contacting them ... although it's tough to get a real person. Your account may have had some sort of attack on it and they are locking you out...more details below. You can try to reach Yahoo below...and some technical solutions to solve your problem are also below. Let me know if I can follow up in anyway. There's no magic fix here.
Here is some info that might help.
Yahoo! Customer Service (NNN) NNN-NNNNbr />408-349-3300(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr />
The E-Mail address for Yahoo! customer care is
For the USAXXX@XXXXXX.XXX


Why has Yahoo done this? There are two reasons that I can think of:

To prevent attacks on its servers
To stop automated tasks from hammering their servers with hundreds of requests a second.
There are many programs around that offer to automate access to various Yahoo services, i.e. check your Yahoo mailbox every 5 minutes, archive Yahoo Groups messages, download files from the Yahoo Groups Photos and Files sections, etc. If you use one of these automated tools then there is a very real possibility that you will run into the Error 999 message. Normal human usage of the Yahoo services shouldn't normally generate enough traffic to trigger the Error 999 message unless you're a very heavy user.It appears that Yahoo uses your IP address to track the amount of traffic you're generating on Yahoo, and once you reach the limit you get blocked by the Unable to process request at this time -- error 999 message. Once triggered you will find that your IP address has been blocked for a period of time, somewhere between 2 and 24 hours usually.Resolution Steps: I've seen many possible solutions offered to get around the Error 999 message. Many of the solutions seem rather dubious to me, but I will present them all here:
Suggestion: Clear your browser's cookies and cache (temporary files).
Chances of Working: Low. From what I can tell Yahoo isn't using cookies to remember that you've been blocked, so clearing your cookies should have no effect.

Suggestion: Log into Yahoo through a different country's server. I.e. if you usually log into Yahoo via http://login.yahoo.com/ then try http://login.korea.yahoo.com/ or http://login.europe.yahoo.com/.
Chances of Working: Low. Whenever I have tried this I log in ok but then get an error message saying "Unfortunately, there is a server problem preventing access to this page. We are working on this problem, and functionality will be restored as soon as possible. Please try again in 10 minutes." This appears to be a slightly friendlier, but no more useful, version of the Error 999 message.

Suggestion: Use the "secure" option when logging into Yahoo rather than the usual "standard" mode.
Chances of Working: Medium. I have had reports that this can work when trying to get into Yahoo Mail, but I suspect it won't help with Yahoo Groups.

Suggestion: Double or multiple click on the "Sign in" button instead of single click.
Chances of Working: Low. I'm not sure what the rationale is behind this suggestion; maybe to try and confuse Yahoo while you're logging in? In my experience this doesn't work.

Suggestion: If you use a proxy server then try turning it off.
Chances of Working: Good. Because Yahoo appears to be using your IP address to track your traffic usage, switching off your proxy (or bypassing your ISP's proxy server and accessing the web directly) will result in you accessing Yahoo via a different IP address (i.e. you will be accessing Yahoo via your real IP address and not via the proxy server's IP address). Thus Yahoo will think you're a different person because you're using a different IP address.

Suggestion: If you're using a dial-up modem or some other access method that results in you using a dynamic IP address, try disconnecting from the Internet and waiting a few minutes and then reconnecting.
Chances of Working: Good. See previous suggestion for the reasons why this should work. Obviously if you've got a static IP address (i.e. you're using a cable modem) then this won't work.

Suggestion: Access your Yahoo mailbox via http://wap.oa.yahoo.com/.
Chances of Working: Good. http://wap.oa.yahoo.com/ is a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) gateway into Yahoo which allows you to access Yahoo Mail. It's very limited but at least you should be able to view your email. Doesn't help you access Yahoo Groups or other Yahoo services though.

Suggestion: Log into Yahoo Messenger and then try accessing Yahoo.
Chances of Working: Unknown. I don't use Yahoo Messenger so I can't comment.

Suggestion: Use a different browser.
Chances of Working: Medium. I have had a report from someone that said they received the Error 999 message when trying to sign into Yahoo Mail with Internet Explorer. They switched to Firefox and the problem went away. This suggests some sort of cookie problem to me, there shouldn't be any real difference between accessing Yahoo with IE or an alternative browser, other than having different settings within the browsers.

Suggestion: Access Yahoo Mail through an email client such as Outlook Express, Eudora, etc.
Chances of Working: Good. You can pay Yahoo for their Yahoo! Mail Premium service. This allows you to access your Yahoo mailbox through Yahoo's POP3 and SMTP servers. See http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/mail/pop/ for more info.

Suggestion: If you have a web accelerator then try turning it off.
Chances of Working: Good. I've had a couple of reports from people that said turning off their web accelerators fixed the Yahoo Error 999 problem.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have comcast broadband, how do I bypass that? How do I find out if I have a web accelerator, I don't know what the hell that is?
Expert:  robgranholm replied 4 years ago.
If you don't know what it is...you don't have it. You can try powering everything off...including your comcast modem (make sure it doesn't have batteries still powering it) ... leave it off for about 10 minutes...then power it all back on...this should renew your IP address and COULD fix the issue...not definite.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok I'll try that. Maybe it will work tomorrow. Thanks for your help. I'm satistfied that you tried, but I'm not satisfied that it's not fixed.
Expert:  robgranholm replied 4 years ago.
I can understand that dude...sorry it's nothing that I can solve for you...Yahoo goes nuts sometimes...I recommend to others to use Gmail...but I get that it's hard to switch over. Thanks.
robgranholm, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
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Experience: 2 Years at Apple, Current IT Administrator and Small Business Owner. Loves to help.
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