That album of kitty pictures desperately needs an update
July 17, 2017 8:41 AM   Subscribe

How can I recover my long-lost Flickr account?

Perhaps two years ago, I found myself unable to get into my original Flickr account. One day when I was in a hurry to get a place to post some public access pictures online, I created a second one. But I still really want access to my original account, and have been lately making some frustrating and frustrated attempts to get it back.

Here's what happens:

I log in to Yahoo with an old and mostly unused but still functional email address, and I get this message:

We're sorry, but there's a problem.

Here's what going on:

Your [original] Yahoo! ID uses the email address [old email]. That email address is already associated with the [second] account on Flickr.

Here's what to do:

If you are trying to create a new Flickr account for your [original] Yahoo! ID, you need to either:
Remove the [old email] email address from your [second] Flickr account. (You'll need to sign in to Flickr with your [second] Yahoo! ID to do this.)


Change the primary email address for your [original] Yahoo! ID.

If you are trying to access your [second] Flickr account, please sign in to Yahoo! again with your [second] Yahoo! ID.

Here are the measures I've taken to try to work through this problem:

-- I tried to change my primary email address on my original Yahoo account. It won't let me. I was able to add a second email address, the one for my current email address, but when I tried to delete the old email address I discovered that there's no garbage can icon beside it and seemingly, no other way to delete it or make it the secondary account. The same thing happened when I tried to change the email address for my second Yahoo account.

-- I deleted my second Flickr account this morning. When I still got the exact same error message upon trying to sign in to my original Flickr account, I also deleted the second Yahoo account itself. I'm still getting the same error message, that there's a conflict between my using the same email account on my second Yahoo account, even though I deleted that account.

I did get an email from Yahoo saying that the deleted second Yahoo account is "scheduled for deletion in 40 days", so I'm thinking perhaps the problem will disappear once that second Yahoo account is really gone in 40 days' time....? Is this true? And whether it's true or not, are there any other steps I can take to get my original account access back that will take -40 days?
posted by orange swan to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would believe that there's no way to delete a primary email address, even if you've added a second; maybe you can find a way to designate the secondary address to be the primary? (which would then, presumably, allow you to delete the first)

Even if that fixes it, it may not genuinely help, if the change doesn't percolate through Yahoo's systems for a couple of weeks...
posted by aimedwander at 9:43 AM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

So I've just gone into my Flickr account settings (not Yahoo) and have buttons next to my secondary email address to "set primary" or "delete". I'm not going to click, but my assumption is that once I set the secondary as primary, I could then delete the old primary address. This is the link that should hopefully take you there.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 1:22 PM on July 17, 2017

(Oh wait, you can't get into the Flickr account, uh. NEVER MIND, IGNORE ME!)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 1:30 PM on July 17, 2017

I got my account back! Here's how it happened:

In the small hours of this morning, I got a message from a MeFite (a long time lurker member who has never once posted anything to the site) who said that my account might not exist anymore, but suggested that I email my yahoo or flickr id to a email address with the extension and s/he would try to find someone to help, which I took to mean that I would have an actual Yahoo employee working on this. Awesome! This morning when I first saw the message, I duly sent the person the URL for my Flickr account and the id number for the Yahoo account I was trying to access, with my thanks for their efforts.

Tonight I got a message from someone who identified herself as a member of the "Yahoo Concierge Team, a small internal Yahoo support team that represents the highest available level of Yahoo Customer Care". She provided the Yahoo account id that was associated with my Flickr account (and which I had entirely forgotten), and said to try to access the account with it, adding that she could not otherwise help me as Yahoo doesn't "have enough information on this account to securely verify your identity as the account owner." Happily, the only help I needed was getting that Yahoo account id. With some help from the "Forgot your password?" option, I was able to get access to my Flickr account after jumping through a few easy hoops.

I've changed my password, updated the email address associated with the account to my current email address, and made a note of that Yahoo id, so I shouldn't have any problems going forward.

Thanks to all who contributed, and especially to our lurker, who apparently has friends in high places at Yahoo.;-)
posted by orange swan at 6:39 PM on July 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have the same problem. any chance you could link me up with the concierge people?
posted by evilmonk at 11:25 AM on July 19, 2017

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