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Question: AT&T email woes break Apple Mail

After experiencing multiple failures when sending email from an AT&T IMAP account, AT&T Email Support advised yesterday that there are unresolved issues between AT&T and Yahoo that are causing these failures. AT&T staff assert that Yahoo has been asked for information that has not been provided, sounds like a stalemate.


Although intermittent issues have been experienced since August 2017 with iOS devices, the problem has now also happened on my desktop running MacOS 10.11.6. When attempting to send an email, immediately, the message displayed is "Cannot sent mail. A copy has been placed in your Outbox. The recipient "XXXXXX" was rejected by the server.


After extensive efforts with Apple Support and AT&T Email support, the explanation reported above was given by AT&T yesterday, 3/9/18.


The workaround is to use AT&T email online with a browser.


It is unknown whether AT&T and Yahoo will resolve their issues.


Has anyone else experienced these issues? What resolutions were found?

iPhone 5, iOS 11.2.6

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Mar 10, 2018 9:44 AM in response to Johnsond In response to Johnsond

AT&T subcontracted their mail to Yahoo last summer, and it has not worked right since. The only solution is to use webmail, as suggested.


The problem has nothing to do with Apple; it's strictly a matter of Yahoo's incompetence.

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Mar 10, 2018 9:39 AM in response to Johnsond In response to Johnsond

It's a Yahoo problem. Yahoo's mail servers have had issues for years that have gone unresolved. It's only gotten worse since Yahoo went bankrupt and was sold off in pieces.

Your best bet is to switch email providers. Microsoft, Google, and Apple all offer free email. Pick one, or pretty much any other provider you like... I wouldn't expect Yahoo to fix anytime in the foreseeable future, considering these issues have been reported now for over 20 years.

Mar 10, 2018 9:39 AM

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Mar 10, 2018 9:44 AM in response to Johnsond In response to Johnsond

AT&T subcontracted their mail to Yahoo last summer, and it has not worked right since. The only solution is to use webmail, as suggested.


The problem has nothing to do with Apple; it's strictly a matter of Yahoo's incompetence.

Mar 10, 2018 9:44 AM

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Mar 10, 2018 9:46 AM in response to rbrylawski In response to rbrylawski

rbrylawski wrote:


Am I missing something? I've not had any Yahoo mail issues using the Mail App on my iPhone or iPad.

You might be the only one. But this is an issue with AT&T mail accounts hosted by Yahoo, not Yahoo email addresses. And I've seen plenty of complaints about Yahoo mail in the forum, hence my first sentence. It works better with the Yahoo email app; for one thing, Push works with the app, but not with Apple's mail client.

Mar 10, 2018 9:46 AM

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Mar 10, 2018 9:47 AM in response to Lawrence Finch In response to Lawrence Finch

AT&T has been subcontracting their email to Yahoo almost since they started offering residential Internet services. They were using Yahoo for email back in the 90's when the only option was dial up... It was cr@p then too.

Mar 10, 2018 9:47 AM

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Mar 10, 2018 9:49 AM in response to rbrylawski In response to rbrylawski

Yahoo has literally hundreds of servers in their farm. They tend to get out of sync. If you're unlucky enough to be connected to one that's borked, your mail client will reject your credentials. Sometimes, deleting and re-adding the account fixes it. Often, you have to do that from a different network in order to get routed to a different server... assuming the new one isn't borked as well. In virtually every case, web-mail still works fine as they use different servers for authentication.

Mar 10, 2018 9:49 AM

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Mar 10, 2018 9:50 AM in response to Lawrence Finch In response to Lawrence Finch

Thank you for confirming the explanation.


It does, however, have something to do with Apple. It is their application which is sometimes/always incapable of handling AT&T email accounts. Because it appears that Mail is breaking and no better error message is provided, I spent hours with Apple support who escalated my issue and took weeks working on it in December. Apple should address the issue in their support information and educate their support staff to recognize these problems rather than simply pointing fingers - the current practice.

Mar 10, 2018 9:50 AM

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Mar 10, 2018 9:50 AM in response to rbrylawski In response to rbrylawski

You might be missing the fact that these issues are apparently only affecting AT&T email accounts. I’ve had an email account almost 10 years with the address name@ameritech.net and recently both myself and my wife’s account have been wonky with Mail. In fact last week both accounts were down for hours. My wife was complaining this morning that she couldn’t delete anything, that the deleted email would pop right back up.

Mar 10, 2018 9:50 AM

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Mar 10, 2018 9:53 AM in response to Johnsond In response to Johnsond

Johnsond wrote:


Thank you for confirming the explanation.


It does, however, have something to do with Apple. It is their application which is sometimes/always incapable of handling AT&T email accounts.

No. It doesn't have ANYTHING to do with Apple. It's not the Apple device or app that's the problem. The problem is on the server side at Yahoo.

Mar 10, 2018 9:53 AM

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Mar 10, 2018 10:14 AM in response to KiltedTim In response to KiltedTim

Agree that the root cause of the issue is not Apple's problem. However, the problem appears for a user when using Apple Mail. The user experience is that they are using an Apple product and it has failed. It takes effort to locate the problem which turns out to lie somewhere else. Until the true cause has been located, the apparent cause is Mail.


I'm not criticizing Apple's products or apps. Apple could save itself time and avoid wasting hours of its own support resources by making the existence of the real problem known to its own staff who in my case expended several weeks effort before locating the cause. Apple could also improve its regard by users experiencing this problem by saying something to the effect, "Users of AT&T IMAP accounts may experience unreliable service due to issues outside of Apple's control."

Mar 10, 2018 10:14 AM

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Question: AT&T email woes break Apple Mail