Microsoft identified the third-party behind its phantom data leak as Yahoo Mail. Last week, the Redmond company blamed a third-party application for a glitch that was causing Windows Phones owners to consume much more data than expected. Customers, especially those on AT&T which has a 2 GB cap on its data plan, were complaining of exorbitant data usage that was not willfully initiated and could potentially cause expensive overages on a customer’s monthly bill. Microsoft finally came clean and identified Yahoo as the culprit after Rafael Rivera of Within Windows did some snooping and fingered the mail client as the data-hungry application.
According to Rivera’s research, Yahoo’s IMAP server is incorrectly responding to FETCH requests and sending back an excessive amount of data (25 times more than necessary) for each request. If you have your Windows Phone set to check each email account every two hours, then Yahoo Mail is pulling down 25x more data than your Gmail account every two hours. Not surprisingly, this would cause your data usage to quick balloon over the course of a month.
Microsoft has reportedly contacted Yahoo and is working on a fix that will be rolled out in the upcoming weeks. While you wait for the update, you can minimize the effect of Yahoo Mail by setting your email to manual as follows:
- On the Start screen of Windows Phone 7, click on the arrow at the top right
- Choose “Settings” from the app list
- Choose “email & accounts”
- Choose “Yahoo Mail”
- Click on the setting under “Download new content”
- Select a less frequent setting. If you are using the default setting (every 2 hours), change this setting to ‘manually’
- Click on the setting under “Download email from”
- Select a shorter time range. If you are using the default setting (the last 2 weeks), change this setting to ‘the last 7 days’
Once you have updated your email settings, you can turn to rebuking Microsoft for not coming clean with this information earlier.