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I am an owner of a now-defunct Yahoo Group. Apparently, it's been announced that

Yahoo Groups is to remove all content December 14 2019

and I would like to save the archive of messages to that group. For posterity, or maybe for vanity, never mind.

Now, on the group page, I do have access to the message archive, by month, and then by message title. But what I want is to get all messages, at once. I'm not very picky about the exact format (e.g. separate files, one file per month, one single file), as long as there's no junk in it (ads, loads and loads of Yahoo boilerplate HTML).

Is there a way - other than crawling all the message pages myself - to download all those messages?

  • tt-solutions.com/en/portfolio/yahoo2mbox seems to indicate that the tool yahoo2mbox no longer works. I remember struggling with it myself some years ago, but I can't recall what I did in the end or even whether I eventually succeeded in downloading some archives one way or another. – tripleee Oct 22 at 7:27
  • archiveteam.org/index.php?title=Yahoo!_Groups has some hints and appears to be current, but I have not yet had the time to explore it in detail. – tripleee Oct 22 at 7:29
  • 1
    I found a Python script that someone made but I'm getting a key error. I'll test more thoroughly after work. – Reed Dunkle Oct 22 at 13:15
  • @ReedDunkle: Thank you, and if you can get it to work, please post an answer. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 22 at 14:01
  • @einpoklum If you want me to try running it on your Group, send me a link to it and I can see how it goes. – Reed Dunkle Oct 22 at 23:03
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There's an option in Yahoo Groups to download Groups Data. I submitted a request but I haven't heard back yet so I can't verify if it's the solution to our problem: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/getmydata

In the meantime, I like this script: https://github.com/IgnoredAmbience/yahoo-group-archiver (Thanks @tripleee in the comments).

This script downloads all files, photos, and more.

You'll need two Cookie values. I describe how to find them in Chrome below.

To use this new script I had to:

  1. Clone the repo locally
  2. cd into the repo
  3. Install its two dependencies: pip install -r requirements.txt (best practice is to use a virtualenv)
  4. Find the cookie values (described below)
  5. Using the cookie values and group name, construct the CLI input: ./yahoo.py -ct "<T_cookie>" -cy "<Y_cookie>" "<groupid>".

The <groupid> is found in the URL: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/GROUPID.

My final input looked like this:

./yahoo.py -ct "z=R.mrdBRSOwdBEZbt..VFnXFMzUxMwY2Tzc2MzM3MzZPM040Mz&a=QAE&sk=DAA1.RYcKZA1nr&ks=EAAdKqReOqwn_mFtpt577DhvA--~G&kt=EAADFxdOWYNIRQFzbAFOREkyTkFFeE9EQXhORFF3TkRFNE5Ea3pORGMwTnctLQFE3MTI5MTMmcHM9akYxdEN4b1U2WG9NazR0dUlHQnNBUS0t" -cy "v=1&n=0upf9jdnj00000000&r=intl=us" "My_Awesome_Group"

Finding the cookie values wasn't apparent at first. Using Chrome, this is how I got the values:

  1. Open Chrome settings
  2. Scroll to the bottom and expand "Advanced"
  3. Open "Site Settings"
  4. "Cookies and site data"
  5. "See all cookies and site data"
  6. Search "Yahoo" in the top right
  7. Expand the "yahoo.com" option:

    yahoo.com cookies

  8. Go into T and Y one at a time and copy their "Content" values to use in the CLI input above.

In case you're interested, one of the Yahoo Groups that I follow is considering paying Groups.io to transfer their Yahoo Group into their site. They were quoted at $220.
https://groups.io/static/transfer

  • +1 for effort and will try this soon. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 22 at 14:42
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    Several of the other scripts listed at archiveteam.org/index.php?title=Yahoo!_Groups have the same rough interface. The competitor github.com/IgnoredAmbience/yahoo-group-archiver is somewhat more versatile in that it doesn't require you to copy/paste values into the code (you supply the cookies as command-line options) and it can fetch photos, attachments, etc in addition to the raw email messages. – tripleee Oct 22 at 15:45
  • I was briefly thrown off by the cookie interface in Safari; it copies a tabular form of all the cookie's attributes rather than just the cookie's value attribute. Once I noticed and removed the other fields, things were peachy. – tripleee Oct 22 at 15:47
  • @tripleee Nice find. I hadn't seen that library when I was searching around. – Reed Dunkle Oct 22 at 15:56
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    @tripleee I ended up switching to the library that you found. It downloads Files and Photos, not just conversations. I updated my original answer. Thanks for sharing that. – Reed Dunkle Oct 24 at 15:50

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