Yesware is a Chrome and Firefox extension which helps a sender receive delivery notification of his email. As of now, it can only be used by Gmail users to send tracked emails.
What it does is, add an image to the end of the message which is not visible to users. When that email is opened by you (receiver), the image attached to the email will also be retrieved by the browser. When your browser makes contact to the image stored on Yesware’s server, it lets the sender know that the email has been opened by you. Not only that, the sender will also receive details about your browser, your Operating System and your IP address as well.
I guess it is a pretty nice tool to have for someone who would like to track whether he is being ignored, but if you are on the other end of it, and are receiving an email which is being tracked by the sender, you’d obviously hate it. So how can you exempt yourself from being tracked by Yesware?
Here’s how :
- Some Antiviruses might block you from doing this, so for a while, disable your Antivirus.
- Navigate to C: > Windows > System32 > drivers > etc. (Assuming you have installed Windows on C drive.)
- Right click on the hosts file and go to properties.
- Go to Security tab and select Users.
- Press on Edit.
- On the new window, select Users again, and under Permissions for Users, put a tick mark on “Allow” beside Full Control.
- Click on Apply.
- Now open up the hosts file with Notepad.
- On a new line, enter this : 127.0.0.1 app.yesware.com
- Also add this on a new line (thanks Yan for the comment : 127.0.0.1 t.yesware.com
- Click on Save.
- You’re done.
Note : Every Operating System has HOSTS file. If you are on a different system, just Google for the location of the Hosts file and then add “127.0.0.1 app.yesware.com” and “127.0.0.1 t.yesware.com” on a new line of the file.
What did we do to disable Yesware?
The image that is sent on the tracked email is hosted on app.yesware.com and t.yesware.com. Hosts file is used by Windows (Operating Systems) to map hostnames to IP address. Here, we have made Windows think that the IP address of t/app.yesware.com is 127.0.0.1. So, whenever t/app.yesware.com is loaded on our computer, it will be resolved to 127.0.0.1 which is our localhost, meaning the actual site is blocked and will never load. This method can also be used to block other sites on your computer.