Yahoo to free up dormant accounts from July onwards

Do you have a dormant Yahoo account that has been gathering dust and spam messages for several years? It's time to use it or lose it.

Yahoo has announced that starting next month, it will deactivate accounts that have not been used in over a year, allowing people to snap up those once-claimed usernames.

"We want to give our loyal users and new folks the opportunity to sign up for the Yahoo ID they've always wanted," Jay Rossiter, Yahoo's senior vice president of platforms, wrote in a blog post.

The great Yahoo account purge begins on 15 July, so if you have an account from yesteryear that's inactive but holds a place close to your heart, log in before then.

Yahoo said users will have the opportunity to request a username (albert@yahoo.com vs. albert9330399@yahoo.com, for example), but did not elaborate on how that might happen. "In mid August, users who staked a claim on certain IDs can come to Yahoo to discover which one they got," Rossiter said.

The announcement comes about a week after the shutdown of Yahoo Mail Classic, making way for the new version of Mail, which launched six months ago. The web giant announced the discontinuation in April, warning users that beginning 3 June, Yahoo Mail Classic and other versions of the Web-based mail services would no longer be available.

CEO Marissa Mayer has been doing some busy work since assuming the top job at Yahoo, from releasing a new weather app and revamping the homepage to making multi-million-pound acquisitions like Tumblr and overhauling Flickr.