Yahoo Mail Brings the Pain with DMARC Policy Change

It’s going to be a busy Monday for many ESPs and small senders out there today.

Recently, Yahoo Mail appears to have changed its DMARC policy to “p=reject,” meaning that ESP customers who send using a Yahoo email address in the From: line are going to see a spike in hard bounces. In many cases, that will trigger support calls to their ESP’s deliverability teams.

The change doesn’t affect just mail sent to Yahoo, but to any domains that are participating in DMARC. By making the change, Yahoo is essentially instructing any receiving domain that checks Yahoo’s DMARC policy to reject mail that purports to originate from Yahoo’s domain, but that comes from an IP address belonging to someone else.

On a first take, that might sound like a perfectly reasonable security measure. However, lots of mom and pop shops and other small senders who rely on ESPs for their mail programs are using From: addresses (e.g., that are serviced by a free inbox provider, including Yahoo, Gmail, and Aol. It’s not an optimal way of doing things, but there’s nothing inherently abusive about it, either.

I’m hoping that Yahoo will consider reversing the change – and soon! – as it is very likely to result in the inadvertent rejection of a lot of wanted mail. I’ll keep you posted.

Edit: Here are samples of bounces from different large ISPs that you can use to grep your own MTA logs:

smtp;550 5.2.0 mav01n00T5PRKmP0Fav191 Message rejected due to DMARC. Please see
smtp;550 5.7.1 Unauthenticated email from is not accepted due to domain's DMARC policy. Please contact administrator of domain if this was a legitimate mail. Please visit to learn about DMARC initiative. 100si2781324qgv.4 - gsmtp
smtp;550 5.7.1 DMARC failure for domain, policy reject

17 thoughts on “Yahoo Mail Brings the Pain with DMARC Policy Change

  1. It’s not just ESPs that are affected. It’s also every Yahoo user that attempts to send mail to a mailing list. It affects every Yahoo user that attempts to use their Yahoo address as a LinkedIn address. It affects every Yahoo user that does anything with their email address that does not involve sending email out through Yahoo’s mail servers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent points that I had missed entirely. Thanks, Laura!

    And I’m not saying Yahoo has no right to publish the policy. Their servers; their rules. But I think the policy has consequences for their authorized users that Yahoo possibly did not anticipate or intend.


  3. p=reject makes sense for corporations who want to control their own email. Yahoo is basically killing its usefulness as a public email address here. The only sane response is to disallow Yahoo users’ participation because of how other DMARC compliant servers react in response to Yahoo’s idiotic policy.


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  5. This is a great way to get people off yahoo mail. Im with a software company and we have advised probably 500 company’s to get a new email address in the last 4 days. “Anything in the whole wide world will work…..except yahoo.” Im not sure what the benefits of this new policy are? I suppose reduce spam on their network?


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  11. I just quit yahoo mail because this stupid change is making it impossible for me to send p2p payments via my bank. It’s disrupting my business.


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  13. Now you have doing the same exact thing, maybe we’ll finally see that service die.


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  15. Three months later – July 15 – now it appears to be the “big 4” who seem to be bypassing the IETF and putting their own standards in place, users be damned. I am getting a bit worn out keeping my mailservers and listservers functioning in the face of arbitrary and poorly thought-out unilateral disruptions of the standards. My wish would be for the Internet community to simply stop carrying e-mail from any major provider who is non-compliant with existing standards – Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and Googlers can talk amongst themselves but not to anyone else. Downside, the AOL community might not ever notice . . .


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  17. Among a few other complaints I have about Yahoo Mail, this one which is keeping me from emailing my city mayor and council, is a doing a real disservice.


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