How to sign up and sign in on AOL Mail

Email platforms are a must when it comes to online service companies like AOL, which in the early 2000s were the absolute leaders in this segment. At present time, it is true that AOL does not have such relevance in the internet industry, but some of its services are considered quite valuable and with more benefits than those one leading the scene, such as it happens with the AOL Mail platform.

Since, there are certain benefits related to AOL email platform in direct comparison to current competitors like Gmail, Microsoft Outlook and Yahoo Mail. For example, with AOL Mail users have the possibility to enjoy up to 18 GB in personal cloud storage for photos and other type of information, as well as up to 1 TB available for uploaded attachments in emails as a benefit that is not nearly offered by other providers.

Also, it is known that AOL Mail is a more secured platform in comparison to other services, with state-of-the-art protection against spam and viruses. That is why; the process on how to create an AOL email account and then sign in to enjoy this platform is worthy of being done, as it will be explained next.

Creating a new AOL Mail account: registration process

To sign up in AOL and have a proper email account with great security and storage features is very easy. First of all, we must enter AOL´s email platform using the URL address www.login.aol.com, being this one the same one we can access the platform by entering proper email address and password.

However, since we are creating a new account and we do not have credentials just yet, we are going to click on the option “Create Account” to start the registration process and keep on following the steps until we have our own account.

By clicking on this option the registration process will start, asking us to enter required personal information in order, such as first and last name, email address or how do you want your AOL account to be, properly secure password, mobile phone number for verification and security purposes, birthdate and gender as optional blank to fill in.

After all the personal information required is entered, to keep on the registration procedure you must click on “Continue.” Nevertheless, if you have any doubt on the terms of service or TOSs or the contract you are about to accept, on this step you can click on the buttons “Terms” or “Privacy Policy” for more information about personal data management and more.

In case that at the moment of entering your personal password the platform throws a warning message saying “Your password is not strong enough, try making it longer”, it is recommendable to make it more secure by adding at least one number, one symbol and of course upper and lower case letters and in this way the password will be strong enough to continue the registration process.

 

This next step is very simple; we must click on the “Text me a verification code” button and like this the platform will send us a code through SMS to verify if such previously entered mobile phone number exist, verifying at the same time identity.

At this point we should have received a text message with the AOL code on it to enter it on this step of the sign up process, so write it down and then click on “Verify.”

If everything is fine and the entered code is valid in the platform, AOL will show us a congratulation message telling us we have created our account and we can access it at any moment. In this way, the signing up process is complete and we can click on “Continue” to access our inbox.

Signing in and signing out on AOL Mail

Now that we have created our AOL Mail account we can use it on any local or mobile device through different internet browsers like Mozilla, Chrome, Safari, Edge or any other.

To do so, we just have to write down the URL address www.login.aol.com just like in the registration process, but in this case we will be entering the credentials we now have like email address in first place and then click on “Next.”

At this point you can select the checkbox “Stay signed in” if you are using a personal computer and you do not want to keep signing in every time.

After the platform recognizes your email address as a valid one, then it requires your password as final credential to access your AOL email account. So, enter your password on the empty space and then click on “Sign in.”

In case you want to change the email account to access you can do so by clicking on the option “Not you?”

Also, if you have trouble remembering your password you can click on “I forgot my password” to start the process of recovering it or getting a completely new one, with the help of your mobile phone number, so keep it close to you if that is the case.

If everything is fine and all credentials are correct you will be accessing your AOL Mail inbox in no time, allowing you to send email and attach big documents or files, images and even videos.

On another part, if we are using someone else´s computer or for any reason we have to remove access from our AOL account on any device, to know the process of signing out is very important.

To carry out this procedure, locate the option “Sign out” right below your email name account and click it. Automatically the session will be closed and moved to AOL´s news home screen, as a useful platform to stay informed and from which users can sign in again and enjoy other AOL services.

 

How to send messages with attachments using AOL Mail

Sending messages is one of the basic functions respecting emails, forgetting that time when text was the only thing that was possible to be included, giving space to attachments as the next step with the purposes of sharing important information attached on a sent message. This is a key aspect when it comes to AOL Mail and its platform focused on great storage capacity, security and privacy.

With AOL Mail is possible to include thousands of attachment with a limit that can reach up to 1 TB of total maximum weight per file, as an advantage only a service of this type offers currently and leaving in shame the 25 MB limit in Gmail and Microsoft Outlook. Therefore, to share and manage emails with attachment AOL Mail service is with no doubt the best platform to have.

Because of this, let us teach you how to send messages with attachments using AOL Mail, as an easy process with detailed steps on how to perform every action, showing you the potential this service platform has for sharing messages with any purpose, easily and on any device connected.

Sending a message in AOL Mail: Adding recipients and subject

In first place, to be able to send a message in AOL Mail we must open session and be logged in on the platform. This is done easily by accessing the AOL platform through www.login.aol.com or by performing a search on Google or Bing. In this way we will be able to write our credentials as email and password to open session.

Having done that, in no time we are going to be in our AOL Mail home screen and inbox. In this page, in order to start writing a message we are going to click on the “Compose” button.

aol mail

By doing so, a writing screen will be opened with all the available options to enter and modify text, attachments, add format and more that we will be reeving step by step. For example, this writing screen includes two option panels and other tools that make writing process more efficient.

aol mail

On this writing screen we can start by entering the contact information. In the “To:” section we can write directly the email address from the person we want to the send the message to, also known as recipients and with the passivity to add more than once at the same time, separating them by comas.

aol mail

If you have several contacts to send the message to and you have them synced on AOL Mail, it is possible to select them from the list by clicking on the “Select recipients” option, at the very right of the “To:” section.

aol mail

Now that we have entered the corresponding recipients who will be receiving the written message, the next step is to add the subject or purpose from sending the message. To do it, just write such respecting information on the “Subject” section. In this case will be “Work Meeting.”

aol mail

Writing a message in AOL Mail

With the recipients and subject now included in the message we are about to send, the next natural step is to write the text are information to be read. To do so, click on the writing section and start enter the text you need.

aol mail

The interesting thing about this part is that we have a complete format panel on top of the writing section to change the text whatever we need, allowing us to create very understandable emails with great editing and design.

For example, using this format option panel we can change size and letter font, include bold, italic and underline effect, text color, change background color, select alignment, include bullets, indention, smileys and more. Every format option is automatically applied to the selected text or where the cursor is placed at that moment.

aol mail

On this format option panel there is the Stationery function that allow the user to add different backgrounds and holidays to the message you are writing. Like this, a new panel will be enabled to the right and from it you can choose the Stationery design with a click, and automatically the selected design will be shown.

aol mail

aol mail

Adding attachments to an email in AOL Mail

As usual at present time, plain text is not enough to send an email since more information is frequently required, such as documents and files, images, videos and others that can be attached and downloaded.

Including attachments on messages in AOL Mail is very easy. On top of the writing section there is a general option bar with plenty of functions to use in messages, being attachments included on this one.

aol mail

In details, to attach a file we are going to click on the button with a clipboard icon on it, corresponding to the “Choose files to attach” option. By doing so, a new window will be shown allowing to select the file to attach from different folder, you just need to look for the file, click on it and then click on “Open” to include the file on the email.

aim mail

aim mail

Like this, the file automatically will attached to the message and shown on the top of the writing section for later consultation.

aim mail

On another part, in case you need to attach only images or share a whole set of photos with .JPG or PNG extension, among others, you can do it directly by clicking on the button “Insert pictures into your mail.”

This is a better choice for images mostly when we have a folder with a mix set of files of different types and extensions, since with this button only images will be shown and no other sort of document. The process to add images is the same than adding files.

aim mail

aim mail

However, in this case the image will not be loaded as a separate file but it will be included in the email, where you can place it anywhere in the message for a better understatement or for any other purposes. This is how the image is included:

aim mail

In fact, by clicking on the settings button at the upper left of the image you can decide if changing the image between different sizes, as well as including selecting alignment and wrapping options.

aim mail

Now that we have written our message, changed format and included different attachments and images on the email message, there is nothing left to do but sending the actual email to the recipients. To do it you just have to click on the “Send” button placed above the writing section to the left. In this way the email will be moved to the “Sent” folder.

aim mail

aim mail

In case you want to erase attached files and images included on email messages, the process to do so is very simple: just place the cursor mouse on the attachment or image and click in the “X” and automatically will be deleted.

aim mail

Other functions to send messages using AOL Mail

AOL Mail include a set of functions while the user writes messages to make the process a lot more efficient than ever. All of this functions can be found in the general function panel placed above the writing section.

aim mail

For example, the first option or “Save Draft” will save the actual mail into a message that later can be recovered from the Draft folder, so by clicking it the email we are writing is saved.

aim mail

aim mail

In case you need to check the spelling on the words and text written the system provides with a perfect tool, as the “Check spelling” option located on the general option panel. When you click on it automatically carry out its function, and if there is no spelling mistakes the platform will tell you.

aim mail

aim mail

Lastly, if you want a more multitasking approach and manage other emails on the AOL platform without having to stop writing an email, you can click on the button “open in a new window.” In this way, the mail you are writing will be moved to other window or browser tab, allowing you to check other messages.

aim mail

aim mail

Tips for Using Your AOL Mail Account

Have you ever run into an annoying problem when trying to use your AOL Mail account? Or maybe there is a feature in AOL that feels more like a flaw to you. Whatever the case, we’ve got some tips in this post for four common complaints people have with their AOL Mail: getting a blank screen when trying to log in to AOL Mail, not being able to view images in AOL emails, addresses being automatically added to your contact list when you email them, and not liking the size of the different panels in the AOL Mail inbox.

AOL Mail tips: Blank screen when signing in to AOL

If you are trying to log in and all you get is a blank screen, something in your internet browser is probably not playing nice with AOL Mail. Here are some things you can try to fix this problem:

Close and reopen browser

First, close your browser, reopen it and try again. This is the ultimate cliché in tech support, but it is often all you need to do to solve your problem. Completely exit whatever browser you are using (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.), open it back up, and try logging in to AOL again.

Clear browsing data

If that doesn’t work, your next step is to clear the cache, cookies, and history from the browser you are using. This process is slightly different for each browser, but the general steps are the same. In Chrome, you can access this function through either “History” or “Settings”.

For “History”, open your browser menu (three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner of Chrome), and click on “History”. Then, click on “Clear browsing data” in the left sidebar, which will open a pop-up window (in Chrome).

aim mail

For “Settings”, open the browser menu and choose “Settings”. The option to “Clear browsing data” will usually be under “Privacy and security” or a similar heading. In Chrome, this will open a pop-up window, just like if you had gone through “History”.

aim mail

This is the window that will emerge for Chrome users. You can select the time range in which the cache, cookies and history will be deleted using the drop-down menu at the top. For example, if you were able to sign in to AOL Mail yesterday with no trouble in the same browser, then clearing the data from the past 24 hours may be enough.

You can also choose which types of data will be deleted by checking and unchecking the boxes. When you have everything selected the way you want, click on “Clear Data”. Then, exit the browser, reopen it, and try signing in to AOL again.

aim mail

Try a different browser

If you have another browser installed on your computer, try to log in to AOL Mail using the other browser. Even if you don’t want to use that browser, it can help you confirm whether the issue is in your preferred browser or somewhere else, like a firewall.

Check your firewall settings

Speaking of firewalls… if you have one on your PC, and you can’t sign in to AOL in any browser, your firewall settings may be to blame. This might be something you don’t have control over depending on whether it is a personal computer or not. For an institutional computer, you might have to contact the system administrator to try to fix this.

Enable JavaScript

Your browser may have disabled or blocked JavaScript, which could cause a blank screen to appear when you sign in to AOL. To check that JavaScript is enabled, go into your browser’s settings. In Chrome, this option is found under the subheading “Content settings”.

aim mail

Trouble viewing pictures in emails

If you are unable to view pictures in an email that someone has sent you, there are a few things that could be going on.

First, check whether the image is actually embedded in the email, or if it was sent as an attachment. A picture attachment will have to be downloaded for you to be able to look at it.

Second, see if you can find the file extension for the image to know what type of image it is. Not all image files are compatible with AOL Mail, so one option is to ask the sender to convert the picture to a JPG or GIF file and then resend it to you.

Third, just like with the login issue, you can try clearing your cookies, cache, and browser history following the steps in the previous section.

Finally, it is possible that you can’t see the pictures in your AOL emails because of a simple server traffic jam. In this case, you’ll just have to wait and try again later.

AOL Mail automatically add contacts when you email them

For some people, this default setting is a helpful feature of AOL Mail. But others would prefer to have more control over who ends up in their address book. If you don’t like email addresses to be automatically added to your contacts list just because you sent them a message, this is how you can toggle this option on and off:

From your AOL inbox, click on the “Options” menu (located under your username in the upper right-hand corner of the screen). From the dropdown menu, click on “Mail Settings”.

aim mail

In the left-hand sidebar, click on the “Compose” section. Then, scroll down until you find the subheading “Sending”. You will see an option labeled “Automatically add email addresses to Contacts”, which is checked (enabled) by default. To turn this off, just uncheck the box and click “Save Settings”.

aim mail

You can also turn on spell-check for your emails here, which is never a bad idea.

Change the size of panels in AOL Mail

Did you know that you can change the look of your AOL inbox by adjusting the size of the left and bottom-left panels?

By default, the left panel is expanded to a fairly standard sidebar width, and the bottom-left panel is minimized or collapsed. You can adjust the size of the left panel by clicking and dragging the line separating it from the main panel, and you can expand the bottom-left by clicking on the ^ arrow that sits above it.

aim mail

This is what the layout looks like with the left panel expanded to a wide width and the bottom-left panel collapsed:

aim mail

This is what AOL Mail looks like with the left panel minimized (it can’t be removed, just collapsed):

aim mail

This is what it looks like with the left panel at its default width and the bottom-left panel opened/expanded:

aim mail

So, there you have it: a few common complaints from AOL Mail users, resolved. Make sure you check out our next post on some tricks for getting the most out of your AOL email with filters, calendars, customization, and more.

Security Tips for AOL Mail

If you are using your AOL Mail account for anything private, personal or sensitive, then it is very important to take steps to keep it secure. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unsavory individuals out there who would love to break into your email account for nefarious purposes. The good news is, there are a number of things you can do to prevent that from happening.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the most powerful security tips for your AOL Mail account. First, we’ll talk about how to make sure your password is actually keeping your account safe, including how to change your AOL password in case you think you have been hacked. We’ll also show you how to set up two-step verification in AOL, view your account activity to see if there have been any suspicious logins, and be smart about how you use your computer to make you less prone to attack.

AOL Mail password tips

The first step to securing your AOL email is simply choosing a strong password. It should be something easy for you to remember (so that you don’t have to write it down—not very secure) but hard for other people to guess. You also need to make it hard for hacking software to crack, and the way to foil these programs is to use long, complex passwords with a variety of character types. A combination of lowercase, uppercase, numbers and special characters can mean the difference between a password hacking program cracking it in a few minutes and not being able to figure it out after a hundred years!

It is also an internet “best practice” to change your password periodically just in case someone manages to get their hands on it. And, obviously, if you suspect that your AOL Mail has been hacked, you need to log in and change to a new password immediately.

Below is a quick tutorial on how to change your password in AOL Mail. We’ll assume you already know how to sign in to your account and are looking at your inbox.

First, go to the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Under your AOL username, there is a link called “Options” with a dropdown menu. Click to open the menu, and choose the first item in the list, “Account Info”.

aol mail

This will take you to your AOL account settings page. At the top, you will see your basic profile information: name, email, gender, date of birth, and zip code. Below that is the “Account Security” section.

aol mail

The first line in the Account Security section is “Password”. It won’t show what your password is (that would be a great way to put your account at the mercy of anyone looking over your shoulder), just the date it was last changed. To the right is a link to “Change Password…”

aol mail

When you click on the Change Password option, you just have to follow the on-screen directions. First, you will have to enter your current password and possibly answer your security question. This is to protect your AOL Mail account from random people sneaking in and changing your password without your knowledge. Finally, when prompted, type in your new (strong!) AOL password.

Setting up two-step verification in AOL

If you are like most people, you practically always have your mobile phone within arm’s reach. For people who wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without their smartphone, two-step verification (also called two-factor authentication) is a fantastic way to add an extra layer of security to your AOL account.

Two-step verification makes it much harder for unauthorized people to get into your email account because they not only have to enter the correct password, they also have to enter a one-time code that is sent via text message to your phone number. So, unless that person can figure out your password AND has unrestricted access to your phone, they won’t be able to hack into your AOL account.

To set up two-step verification in AOL, go back into your Account Settings just like we did in the section above. Right under the link to change your password, there is a link to “Set up” 2-step verification.

aol mail

Just like with changing your password, it’s important to keep random people from setting up two-step verification on your AOL Mail account behind your back. For that reason, you will probably have to reenter your password and answer your security question before you can set up this security feature.

Next, you need to enter your mobile phone number along with the appropriate country code. AOL will send a text message to that number for verification, or they can call you if you prefer. Simply type in the phone number and click either “Text” or “Call”, depending on how you want to receive the verification.

aol mail

After you get the text message or phone call, just follow the on-screen instructions to finish the setup process.

Updating your account recovery information

While you are in your account settings, it’s a good idea to check your account recovery information and make sure it is current. You want to have a backup email address and a mobile phone number here—these will be used to verify your identity if you ever forget your password or get locked out of your AOL Mail somehow.

The third item in “Account Recovery Information” is your security question. This should be something that only you know the answer to, but also something that you are sure you won’t forget, because you will need to answer this question to prove that you are you whenever you go to make changes to your account.

aol mail

Suspicious activity on your AOL account

If you think something fishy might be going on with your AOL Mail, you can log in and view account activity to see if anything looks suspicious.

Getting to this point is a bit confusing, because it is not in your “Account Settings” with the other security tools. Rather, it is in “My Account”, which is outside of AOL Mail because it applies to all AOL services. You can find it here: https://myservices.aol.com/home

In the middle “Account Options” column, you can click to “View My Account Activity” (the last item in the list of options).

aol mail

If you, like me, have no activity for any of the things they keep track of here, you’ll see something like the image below. Otherwise, there will be a list of changes that have been made to your AOL account.

aol mail

Securing your account and your computer

You can go a long way towards keeping your AOL account secure by being smart about the way you use your personal computer and other computers.

In this digital age, it is essential to have a good antivirus program on your computer. Scan your PC regularly to prevent viruses and malware from compromising the security of your computer and all the accounts you access from it.

When using computers other than your personal one, be careful to log out of any account you sign into on that PC. Sometimes, you will be logged out automatically when you close the browser window, but the safest bet is to sign out of your AOL Mail account before stepping away from that computer. Otherwise, the next person to use it might be able to access your private information.

How to Format Emails in AOL Mail

Although it’s the content of an email that really matters, formatting can be a good way to add clarity, emphasis or even a bit of fun. AOL Mail gives you the ability to change the format of the text in your messages much in the same way you can in a word processor like Microsoft Word.

So, this post will serve as a crash course in email formatting options in AOL Mail. We’ll go through all of the basic tools you can use to change font style, size, color, etc.


In this tutorial, we’ll assume you have already created an AOL account, know how to sign in to your AOL Mail inbox, and compose a basic email. We will start on the “Compose” screen with a blank email like this:

aol mail

Formatting toolbar in AOL Mail

All of your formatting options for emails can be conveniently found in one place: the formatting toolbar. This is located at the top of the composition screen, between the “Subject” line and the body of the email.

aol mail

However, if you don’t see it there—if it’s just a white space with no format buttons—don’t worry.

aol mail

Just go up to the main action buttons in the toolbar above the “To:” field. The second from the right has the familiar B, I, and U for bold, italics and underline, respectively. Clicking on this button will show or hide the formatting toolbar. So, if there is no toolbar under the subject line, all you need to do is click on this button, and it should appear.

aol mail

Email formatting options in AOL Mail

For the sake of illustration, in this tutorial I will use the sample email shown below. We’ll start with the basic, unformatted text, and then play with each of the AOL formatting buttons in order from left to right. (Obviously, you don’t have to use them all when writing your own emails.)

aol mail

The first formatting option, on the far left, has a button that looks like two capital “F”s. This button is used to change the font style. Arial is the default font in AOL Mail, but you can change any text in your message by highlighting it to select, clicking on the “FF” icon, and choosing the new font from the list of options. I’m going to change the font in my entire email to Tahoma:

aolmail

Moving to the right in the formatting toolbar, the next button looks like two capital “A”s, a large one and a smaller one. This is what you will use if you want to change the font size in your email. 10 pt is the default font size, and you can choose a font as small as 8 pt or as large as 36 pt. In my example, I’m going to change the font of just the first section of the email to size 14 pt:

aolmail

These next few buttons might look familiar to you if you have spent any time using a word processor program. In order, they are the Bold, Italics and Underline tools. To bold any text in your email, just highlight it and click on the “B” for bold.

aolmail

Note: You can also use the standard hotkeys here, such as Ctrl + B to bold text on Windows OS.

Just after bold, we have “I” for italics.

aolmail

Followed by “U” for underline.

aolmail

Next, you have a button that looks like a small eyedropper, which is an icon that is often used to mean color selection. In AOL Mail, this is how you change the color of your font. All you have to do is use your mouse to highlight the text that you want to change to a new color, click on the eyedropper, and then choose your desired color.

Darker colors are usually best for most emails with a standard white background because they are easier to read.

aolmail

The button to the right of the font color icon allows you to change the background or highlight color of the text. You may have guessed this from the fact that the icon itself looks like a pen being used to highlight something. Just like with font color, just select the text you want to “highlight”, click on the button and select the highlight color.

When your font color is dark, light colors are preferred for highlighting to aid in readability.

aolmail

Moving to the right, you will now see the text alignment option. You can choose to have your message be aligned left (default), centered, or aligned right. Just select the text whose alignment you wish to change, click on the alignment icon, and choose your desired alignment. In this example, I’m going to center just one line of text to make it stand out:

aolmail

If your email will include a list of some sort, formatting it with either numbers or bullets can be helpful for the recipient. The next button, whose icon looks like a numbered list, allows you to add numbers or bullet points to your email in AOL Mail. Since I have included step by step directions to my house in this sample email, I will create a numbered list by selecting those lines, clicking on the list button, and choosing “Numbered List”.

aolmail

The next button allows you to increase or decrease the indent of any text in your message. For example, if I want to set off my email sign-off, I can just select those two lines, click on the indent button, and click on “Increase Indent” as many times as it takes to get the text where I want it to be. I only had to increase it one time to shift it to where it is in this sample email (see the completed email at the bottom of the post).

aolmail

A horizontal line can be a good way to clearly divide an email into different sections. You could type one in with a bunch of repeated hyphens or underscores, but AOL Mail has an easier way. First, click on the line where you want the horizontal line to go, as if you were going to type on that line. I’ve marked this line with a star, and you can see that my blinking cursor is there. Then, click on the horizontal line button, and a line will be inserted right there.

aolmail

Emoticons, emojis, smileys… whatever you like to call them, they have practically become a language of their own. While generally not appropriate for formal emails, they can be fun to add to personal messages.

Just like with the horizontal line, you need to click on the spot where you want to insert the smiley, so that your cursor is blinking there, as if you were going to type. As in the previous example, I’ve marked my cursor with a star so you can see where the smiley will end up. Then, just click on the smiley button and choose your desired emoticon. It will appear wherever your cursor was blinking when you selected it.

aolmail

Finally, there is something called “Stationery” in AOL Mail, which—in theory—allows you to add festive backgrounds to your emails for special occasions. However, I was not able to get this option to work despite trying several times in various ways. I suspect that you are supposed to get a menu of stationery options when you click on the button, from which you would then make your selection, but I was never able to get anything to happen after clicking on it. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did!

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And that is all of your formatting tools in AOL Mail! Here is a zoomed-out version of my sample email so that you can see everything we did to it in one shot:

mail aol

Now you have all the knowledge you need to add a personal touch to all of your emails with formatting options. To keep your AOL account secure, make sure you check our next post on security tips for AOL Mail.

A Farewell to AIM Chat

I was hoping to give you a tutorial today on using AOL’s famous chat app, AIM instant messenger, but unfortunately, it would be pointless. AIM chat was officially shut down last month, on December 15, 2017. This affects all AIM products and services, including associated data (sent and received files, chat logs, etc.) that wasn’t backed up somewhere else prior to that date.


If you use AOL Mail, you should know that your email account is still fine and operational. The only difference now is you will no longer see some email options that had to do with AIM, like displaying your screen name and online status on AIM in your emails.

You can find more detailed information on AOL’s help pages. When you try to go to the old AIM homepage, www.aim.com, you will be automatically redirected to the help page about the instant messenger shut down.

Why was AIM chat discontinued?

The first questions that are listed on the AIM messenger help page ask why the chat app was discontinued, and what new product has replaced it. As you can see, the answers given to these questions are not particularly satisfying.

However, a statement from a spokesperson from AOL’s new parent company (which also owns Verizon and Yahoo, among other major brands) offers a better explanation, saying that AIM was a pioneer in its day, “But the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed.”

Knowing that many people had given up AIM chat years ago in favor of newer products like Facebook, WhatsApp, or SnapChat, the decision to shut down the instant messenger didn’t exactly come as a surprise. Still, the program had just celebrated its 20th birthday, so there is still a bit of a nostalgic sting to the loss.

Nor is this a decision without precedent—MSN Messenger was discontinued the year before (it was no longer needed due to Microsoft’s ownership of Skype), and Yahoo Messenger was also shut down (and later reincarnated).

So, instead of a tutorial, this post is a farewell to AIM chat. You can almost hear its iconic sign out notification sound as the door closes one last time.

AOL App for Android, iPhone and More

These days, with mobile devices having become extensions of our physical person, any email that can’t be accessed through a mobile app is almost not worth bothering with. If you can’t check your mail on the go, you may as well have fallen off the grid compared to the rest of the constantly-connected world. With your AOL Mail account, you can stay connected virtually anywhere using the AOL App on the majority of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc.).

The official website and help pages offer lots of useful information about the AOL App, more than we could possibly get into in this post. But we will cover the basics, including what you can expect to get when you download the AOL mobile app, some of its core features, and how to install it on all your devices.

What is the AOL App?

AOL’s mobile app combines their most-used services into a single application for Android and iOS operating systems: AOL Mail, news, and videos.

aol app

Basically, you can do anything you would normally do in AOL Mail in a streamlined version on your phone or tablet, with optional push notifications so you never miss an important email.

From the AOL App official homepage, aolapps.aol.com, you can access some frequently asked questions about what the application can do, and tutorials for using the mobile version of your mailbox, newsfeed, etc.

aol app

You can also find information and download links from the AOL help pages, at help.aol.com/products/aol-app

aol app

How to download the AOL App

There are a few ways you can locate the right version of the AOL mobile app for your device. First, as you saw earlier, there are download links on the app’s homepage for Android, iOS and Amazon. All of these buttons will take you to the official market for each type of device (Play Store, iTunes, and Amazon, respectively).

Likewise, you can use the links from the help pages to do the same thing.

The other option is to search directly from your device’s app market, which might be the most convenient route if you have your phone or tablet in hand right now. Since most devices have an icon on the home screen or in the app drawer for this purpose, it’s just a matter of opening it up and searching for the AOL App in your device’s official store.

For example, Android users can simply open up the Google Play Store on their smartphone or tablet, and type “AOL” in the search bar. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you would follow basically the same steps, only using the iTunes App Store to do your search.

aol app

You will get a page of search results listed in order of relevance usually. Approximately the first two rows are apps developed by AOL, but the one you want to download is the first one, “AOL-News, Mail &…”. Click on the thumbnail to go to the detail page, where you can get more information, see screenshots of the AOL App, and download it to your Android device.

aol app

Here, on the AOL App detail page, you can scroll through screen shots of the application so that you can decide whether you like it or not before downloading. There is also a description of the app and its functions and features farther down on the page, along with user reviews. Up at the top is the “Install” button. Tapping on this will start the download on your device, and then it will be installed automatically.

aol app

Most devices will automatically create a shortcut icon for the new AOL App that you’ve installed, placing it on either the home screen or in the app drawer. All you need to do at this point is tap on it to open, and then sign in to your AOL Mail account using the username/email and password that you would normally use on your PC.

How to Save Important Messages in AOL Mail

We have already talked about how you can keep your AOL mailbox organized by creating folders and moving emails into them. Today, we’re going to look at one folder in particular, which can be used to save important messages in AOL Mail. The folder is called “Saved Mail”, and it comes by default with your email account (in other words, you don’t have to create it yourself).

So, whether you don’t have any need to create more specific folders or you simply have some important messages that you want to save but don’t quite fit in any other folder, this “Saved Mail” option may be what you need.

How to Save Important Messages

For this tutorial on saving important messages in AOL Mail, we will assume you have already created an AOL account and that you know how to sign in to AOL Mail. We’ll start from the inbox view, as in the image below:

aolmail

In the navigation sidebar on the left side of the screen is where you can find the “Saved Mail” folder. It is the first option under the “Folders” heading in this menu. This is what we will be working with throughout the course of this tutorial.

aolmail

If you have not moved any messages to “Saved Mail” before, then when you click on the folder name, this is what you will see:

aolmail

There are two easy ways to save important messages in AOL Mail, and we’ll go over both of them step by step in this post. The first is from an open email that you are reading, and the second is from your inbox’s main view.

How to save an open message in AOL Mail

Let’s say that you have opened up an email you received in AOL, and once you read it, you realize that it is a message that you would like to save for future reference. Now, if you already have a personal folder that you have created where this email could go, that is always an option. If not, you can simply move it to “Saved Mail” for easy access later.

To do this, with the important email open in read-view, find the button near the top of the screen that says “More” with a small downward arrow. This button opens up a menu of additional actions you can perform on this message.

aolmail

After clicking on “More”, scroll down in the options menu to the “Move to:” section. Here, click on “Saved Mail”. This will move the open email from your AOL inbox into the Saved Mail folder.

aolmail

Once moved, you will be automatically taken back to your inbox. A notification will pop up letting you know that the message was successfully moved, with the option to quickly undo this action. As you can see, the message that I moved no longer appears in my list of emails there.

aolmail

However, if you return to the “Saved Mail” folder as we did in the introduction, you will find that the email is now there instead.

aolmail

How to save important messages from your AOL Mail inbox

Sometimes, you can tell an email is important and needs to be saved even before you open it. In AOL Mail, you do not need to have a message open in order to move it to another folder, and this includes the “Saved Mail” folder. In fact, the steps are almost exactly the same as in the previous section.

Like before, you will use the “More Actions” button to move the email. The difference here is that you must first select the message you wish to save by marking the checkbox next to it. (You can also move multiple messages at once this way by checking all of their boxes). Once your desired message is selected, click on the “More” button at the top of the screen.

aolmail

Doing this will open a dropdown menu of actions you can take. Scroll down until you reach the “Saved Mail” option under the heading “Move to:”. Click on this to move the selected message or messages from your AOL Mail inbox into the Saved Mail folder.

aolmail

The message you moved will now disappear from your inbox, and you should see a small notification telling you which folder it was moved to, with the option to undo.

You can access the saved message at any time now by clicking on “Saved Mail” in the left navigation menu.

Saving important messages in AOL Mail helps you keep track of everything, but what about unwanted messages? Make sure you read our next post on how to mark emails as spam and delete them in AOL.

How to Add and Delete Contacts in AOL Mail and AIM

There is no rule saying you have to put contacts in your address book in order to stay in touch with them via AOL Mail, but it is a convenient way to keep them organized. Plus, it is a useful place to store useful information about people that you might otherwise forget. When it comes to instant messenger applications like AIM, however, the normal thing to do is to add contacts to your list so you can always see who’s online to chat with.

In today’s tutorial, we’ll go over how to add contacts to both AOL Mail and AIM instant messenger. And, because anything can happen, we’ll also talk about how to delete contacts from both of these services.

To get started, make sure you are signed in to AOL Mail so that you can see the left sidebar that is used for email navigation.

How to add contacts in AOL Mail

When logged in to your AOL account, you can easily access your address book of contacts at any time by finding the section labeled “Contacts” in the left sidebar.

aim mail

As you can see, my address book is empty because I haven’t added any contacts yet. When you have added people to your AOL contacts, though, they will appear here, with whatever information you have provided for them: name, email address, AIM screen name, phone number, etc.

aim mail

To add a new contact in AOL Mail, click on the button near the top of the address book that looks like a little person with a “+” sign.

aim mail

In the “New Contact” form, you can add any and all information that you have about the person you want to save to your AOL address book. This will usually include at least their first name and email address, which would be the bare minimum for keeping track of who everybody is. If you have a nickname for them, or want to add a note to help you remember (e.g. how you met), that can go in the “Nickname” field. To add them on AIM chat as well, if you know their screen name, you can enter it in the “AIM” field. And so on and so forth…

aim mail

As an example, I’ll add my mom as a contact. First, I’ll enter “Mom” as her first name (no last name necessary, of course). And in the “Email 1” field, I’ve typed in the email address I use to communicate with her. When I have added all the information I want to add, I will finish the process by clicking on the “Add Contact” button at the bottom of the form.

aim mail

You will now see the new contact you have added as it will appear whenever you access it from your address book. (The picture was set by default, but you can add one of your own if you prefer).

aim mail

Now, if you return to your AOL Mail address book by clicking on the “Contacts” link in the left menu just like before, you can see that your newly added contact appears there. Once you have added more contacts, they will also be shown here as a list.

You can then access any one of them to send email, edit information, etc. by clicking on them in the list view.

aim mail

How to delete contacts in AOL Mail

If you ever need to delete a contact from your address book in AOL Mail, it’s very easy to do. You can do it from two different places: your address book list view, or the detailed contact page for the specific person you want to delete.

For example, if you are looking at your entire AOL address book, you can select one or multiple contacts to delete from this list view. All you have to do is mark the check box next to the contact or contacts you don’t want in your address book anymore, and then click on the little trash can icon at the top of the screen to delete them.

aim mail

You can also click on a contact to view their detail page, and use the same trash can icon to delete them from there.

How to add contacts in AIM chat

Update: As of December, 2017, AOL is finally calling AIM toast. Officially. For good. But it was nice while it lasted!

Adding a new contact in AIM instant messenger is very easy and quite similar to other instant messenger programs you might have used.

First, log in to AIM so that you can see the main screen with your buddy list.

From there, you should see a blue bar near the top of the buddy list that says “CONTACTS”. To the right of that bar, there is a “+” sign. Click on this plus sign.

aim mail

This will open up a small dropdown menu. Click on the first option, “Add AIM Contact”.

aim mail

Now, you should see a small pop-up window appear where you can enter the contact information for your new buddy. You can use their screen name, email address or mobile phone number, so long as it is something they have associated with their AIM account.

aol mail

When you enter this information, AIM will search its database of users to find the person you are looking for. As an example, I’ve gone and entered the screen name I used for AIM back in the day (for an account of that adventure, check out our introduction post here).

Once I see my name appear as the new contact that will be added, I can go ahead and click on the “Add” button.

aol mail

Finally, you will get a confirmation pop-up that the new contact has been added to your AIM messenger buddy list.

aol mail

How to delete contacts from AIM buddy list

Deleting a contact from AIM messenger is even easier than adding one! If you are logged in to AIM and looking at your buddy list, deleting a contact can be done in just two clicks.

First, locate the contact in your AIM buddy list. Their name will be listed under whatever group they belong to in your list (Buddies, Family, Co-Workers, etc.) if they are currently online. If not, it will be under the heading “Offline”.

Now, move your mouse cursor over their name. You should see a small “X” appear to the right. Click on it to delete the contact.

aol mail

You will get a pop-up asking you to confirm that you really want to delete this person. If you are sure, click “Yes”. The contact should no longer appear in your buddy list.

aol mail

Now, you know how to easily manage your contacts in AOL Mail and AIM chat! In order to manage your email effectively, make sure you check out our next post on saving important messages in AOL Mail.

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