How to Create Folders in AOL Mail

The more you use your AOL email account and AIM chat, the faster your inbox will start to fill up with “stuff”. There will come a point where all this “stuff”, this amorphous mass of emails, makes it hard to do what you need to do in your email. The sheer number of messages floating around with no rhyme or reason can even make it hard to think straight.

Luckily, AOL Mail makes it easy to keep things organized so that you save time and mental energy when you log in to check your email and send messages. One simple way to do this is by creating email folders and sorting your inbox so that you can always find what you are looking for.

In this tutorial, we’ll go over how to create folders in AOL Mail, as well as how to move things into the folders you make. Your overcrowded inbox will be organized in no time!

For this post, we’re going to assume you have already created an AOL or AIM account, and that you are logged in and looking at your email portal. Click here for a reminder on how to sign in to AOL Mail. This is a screenshot of my email main page as it appeared today, and this is where we will begin the tutorial (yours will look different, obviously, because it will feature different news stories.

aol mail

Now, without further ado, how to create email folders in AOL Mail!

Create AOL Mail folders from the home page

You don’t even have to go beyond your AOL email portal main page to start creating folders and organizing things. Remember that, in AOL Mail, most of the navigation is done through the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. At the bottom of this sidebar is an expandable/collapsible section called “Folders”.

aol mail

You’ll see that you already have two folders there by default: “Saved Mail” and “Saved Chats”.

If you move your cursor over the section header, a + sign will appear next to the word “Folders”. Click on the + sign to “Add” a new folder to your email account.

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A text box will appear at the bottom of the list of folders. By default, the name of your new folder will be “New Folder”, but you can change this by simply typing your desired name into the box instead.

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For example, let’s say you want a folder in which to save all your receipts from online shopping. You could type “Receipts” as the folder name, and then click the + sign in the text box to create this new folder.

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Now, you will see that the new “Receipts” folder is listed in the same section as the others, right underneath the two default folders.

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Create AOL Mail folders from inside a message

Sometimes, you don’t know what folder an email should be sorted into until you have opened it to read what it says. There are even times when you might realize you want to create a new email folder while reading a specific message in AOL Mail. Fortunately, it’s easy to move messages and create folders right from the message view.

When you are reading an email in AOL, you will have a menu of options at the top of the message. The one farthest to the right is labeled “More”, and clicking on it will open a dropdown menu with various actions you can take on the message.


The last section inside that dropdown menu is “Move to:”. This will list all the different folders that are in your AOL Mail, including the two default folders you saw on the main page, “Trash”, “Spam”, and any new folders that you have personally created.

For example, here you can see that the “Receipts” folder I created in the last section is listed under all of the standard folders. You could move the email you have open in front of you into this folder by clicking on its name here in this list, if you wanted to.


On the other hand, you can also create a brand new folder to sort this message into without going anywhere. Simply scroll all the way down in the list of options, and select “New Folder”.


Just like in the first section, where we created a folder from the AOL Mail portal home page, you will see a text box appear where you are meant to enter the name you want for your new folder. Once you have typed it in, just click the + sign to add it to the list and, simultaneously, transfer this open email into that newly created folder.


Create AOL Mail folders from your inbox view

Now, there will also be times when you can tell where an email needs to be moved just by looking at its sender or subject line in your AOL Mail inbox. In these cases, you can organize one or more messages into the appropriate folders without having to open them up. You can even create new folders from here just like you did in the last section, where we added folders from the message view.

The steps are similar to the last ones. From your inbox, select the email or emails that you want to move to a certain folder by checking the box next to them in the list.

Then, just like before, find the “More” option in the top menu. Scroll down to the “Move to:” section, and either select an existing folder to move all the checked messages to, or choose to create a new folder. If you click the option to add a “New Folder”, the rest of the steps are exactly the same as in previous sections: just name the folder, and click the + sign to add it.


Editing and managing folders in AOL Mail

If you ever need to make a change to one of the folders you have created, you can do this easily from anywhere in your AOL Mail account. As long as you can see the left-hand navigation sidebar, you can edit the name of your email folders, view some basic information about them, and delete them.

To do this, just go to the “Folders” section of the sidebar, and move your mouse over the name of the folder you want to edit. When you do this, you will see a gear icon appear next to the folder name. Click on it to view the folder information and make any necessary changes.


In the pop-up that emerges, you can make changes to the name of the folder, see how many messages are in the folder (useful if you are trying to clean out empty or infrequently used folders), the amount of memory being taken up by everything in that folder, and you can also delete the entire folder by clicking the “Delete” button in the lower right-hand corner.


And that’s all you need to know about creating email folders in your AOL Mail account. Now you can keep your inbox clear of clutter—a place for everything, and everything in its place.

If you have other email addresses that you need to keep organized along with your AOL email, make sure you check out our next post on setting up mail forwarding in AOL Mail!


How to Send an Email, File Attachment, Picture and Video in AOL Mail

While the new AOL web portal has a lot to offer, most people sign up so that they can use the free email service, AOL Mail. Today, we’re going to give you a step by step tutorial on some of the most basic functions of your new email account: sending an email, replying to an email, and sending messages with file attachments, pictures and videos.

For this post, we’re going to assume you have already signed up for an AOL Mail email account. If you don’t have one yet, we explain exactly what you need to do in our post on how to register for AOL Mail.

To get started, make sure you are connected to the internet, go to the AOL home page at, and sign into your account if you aren’t already. Click here for a refresher on how to log in to AOL Mail.

The screen you see when you are logged in should look something like this:

aol mail

This is where we will start from for today’s tutorials.

How to compose and send an email in AOL Mail

Let’s say you just need to write a quick email to one of your contacts. This is something you can do right from the main screen of your AOL Mail portal.

Possibly one of the weirdest things about AOL email compared to others is that it doesn’t immediately show you your inbox when you log in. This can make it seem like you aren’t really in your mail, even though it clearly says “AOL Mail” in the corner.

But this doesn’t matter if you are wanting to send a new email to someone (as opposed to replying to a message in your inbox, which we’ll talk about in a minute). Simply go to the upper left-hand corner of the screen, and you’ll see a big blue “Compose” button. Click on it to start writing an email from scratch.

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You’ll be taken to a new screen where you can compose your message. At this point, the process is more or less the same as any other email service you may have used, like Yahoo or Gmail. If you aren’t sure what any of the icons in the email editor mean, you can move your mouse cursor over them and a label will pop up, explaining each button.

aol mail

Now, it’s time to write your email. Usually, the first thing people do is enter the recipient’s email address in the “To:” field, which is the top line. You can send the same message to more than one person at a time, too; all you have to do is separate them with commas, just like your teacher taught you to do when writing a list of multiple items.

The line below “To:” is the “Subject” field. It’s not necessary to have a subject for your email in AOL Mail, but it is helpful for the person you are sending it to.

Once you have entered the recipients for your message and typed in the subject line, you can start composing the body of the email.

When your email is written and you are ready to send it off, simply go up near the top of the editor window and click on the big blue “SEND” button. As you are clicking, you may see one of those handy labels I mentioned earlier explaining what the button does. In this case, it says “Send Message” followed by a set of parentheses containing “Ctrl + enter”. This last part is something called a hotkey, for people who prefer to use keyboard commands instead of clicking with a mouse.

What this means is that, if you hold down the Ctrl key and the Enter/Return key simultaneously, this does the same thing as clicking the “SEND” button, and your email will be sent to the recipients you have indicated.

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Once you click that button (or hit that hotkey combination), your email will be sent, and there is no turning back. We recommend giving the message a quick check before sending, just in case you may have made a typo or said something you’ll regret later 😉

How to reply to a message in AOL Mail

Sometimes, you don’t want to write a brand new email, but rather reply to a message you received so that the conversation stays organized in one thread of emails. That is what we’re going to take a look at in this section.

As I said earlier, AOL email may feel a bit odd to people who are used to using something like Gmail or Yahoo Mail, where your main page is your inbox as soon as you log in to the mail account. Instead of doing this, AOL Mail gives you a personalized portal with news stories and other information, similar to the home page. All of your email navigation will be done through the menu on the left side of the screen.

One of the first options in this menu is the “Inbox”, and it will have an alert next to it indicating how many new, unread emails you have waiting to be checked. To get started replying to an email you have received in AOL Mail, we first have to get to that message, which means we need to access our inbox. Click on “Inbox” to display all the email you have received.

Now things will start to look more familiar. Inside your AOL inbox, you’ll see any emails that have been sent to you (assuming you haven’t moved or deleted any), both read and unread. Locate the message that you want to reply to, and click on it in the list.

This will open the email so that you can read it and take a variety of actions on it, such as sending a reply. Just like in the “Compose” screen from the previous section, there are several icons with different functions. If you aren’t sure what one of them does, you can move your cursor over it to see its label.

To reply to the email that you have open in front of you, click on the “Reply” icon, which is the left-most button and looks like a single arrow pointing backwards (as in, back to the sender).

What will happen now is an email editor screen will open, just like the one that is used to “Compose” a new email. The difference is that the original message you received is copied in the bottom of the reply you are going to send (although you can delete this if you prefer), and the “To:” and “Subject:” fields are pre-filled with the information from the original email.

The blank space in the body above the line that says “- – – Original Message – – -” is where you will type the message you want to send as your reply.

When you are finished writing your message, simply send it just like we did before by clicking the big blue “SEND” button.

How to send a file attachment in AOL email

Your free AOL Mail account allows you to attach many different types of files to the emails you send. The size limit is 25 MB, but anything smaller than that should be able to be attached to your message without a problem.

Let’s say you want to attach a text file, like a PDF or a Word document. While you are in the email editor, find the icon that looks like a little paperclip in the top menu. As you move your mouse over it, you will see that this is the button you should click in order to “Choose files to attach”.

aol mail

Clicking this will open up a file browser on your computer. From there, you will have to go to whatever folder you have the desired file saved in (e.g. Desktop, My Documents, etc.). Once you locate the file you wish to attach, click on it, and then click “Open” in the file explorer window.

You will know that you did everything right when you see a little blue box above the body of the email, containing the file name and size of the attachment.

You can attach the file at any point in your email writing process. Some people save it for the end, while others like to attach it before they start writing anything so that they don’t forget it. Whatever your preference is, when you have the message written and all of your desired attachments are ready, simply send the email and all of its attachments as usual by clicking the big blue “SEND” button.


How to send a picture file in AOL Mail

There are two options for adding images to an email you send through your AOL email account. The first is to follow the steps given in the previous section, and just select your desired picture file from the file explorer on your computer instead of a Word doc, for example. Those steps will work for just about any type of file, including pictures, as long as the attachment size stays under 25 MB.

If you add the picture as a normal file attachment, that is how it will arrive to your recipient: as a normal file attachment. They will have to download it from their email or preview the file, depending on what email service they use, in order to see the picture.

However, there is another way to attach images to your messages in AOL Mail so that they appear in the body of the email along with the text you write. This is called an in-line picture, because it is in line with the text.

To add an in-line picture file, click on the icon that looks like a simple painting, to the right of the paperclip icon. As your cursor touches it, you will see that this is the button you should use to “Insert pictures into your mail”. Click on this icon.


Just like with a regular file attachment, this will open up a file browser or explorer on your computer, where you will have to locate the picture that you want to insert. Navigate to the folder where you have saved it (e.g. My Pictures, Desktop, etc.), click to select, and then choose “Open” in the file explorer window.


The image you chose will be inserted in the email. You can click and drag it to move it somewhere else in the message if you like. When you move your cursor over the picture, you will see a gear icon and an “X” button. The gear, which is the usual symbol for “Settings” or “Options”, will let you change the picture size, alignment, and text wrapping. As you might have guessed, the “X” button will remove the image from the message.

As before, when you have added all the pictures you want and finished composing your message, send it by clicking on the big blue “SEND” button.

How to send a video in AOL Mail

There are two easy ways to send videos in your AOL email that will suit most people’s purposes. Which way should you use? That depends on where the video is coming from: a folder somewhere on your computer, or a website like YouTube.

If you have the video file saved to your computer, it can be attached just like any other file by following the same steps described in the previous sections, as long as it is smaller than 25 MB. Video files can be very large, so there is always a chance that the video you want to attach exceeds the limit (in which case you might want to share through a cloud storage service, like Google Drive).

On the other hand, many times we find a funny or interesting video online, and we just have to share it with one of our friends, family members or other contacts. In this case, the easiest thing to do is to copy the URL of the website where you saw the video, and paste it into the body of your email. This way, the recipient can link directly to the same website and watch the video online themselves.

Getting a video to play inside the email itself (using an embed link, for example) is not supported in AOL Mail as of this writing. But that is beyond the scope of most users’ needs anyway; you can simply attach video files you have saved to your computer, or paste a link to videos you find on the internet.

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As with every other case, when you have everything good to go in your message, including file attachments or links to videos, simply click the “SEND” button to send it on its way to the recipients you have listed.

Now, you are ready to use the basic functions of your AOL Mail account by checking your inbox, sending new emails, replying to messages you have received, and attaching files, pictures and videos. The more you use your email, the easier things will get, and the more stuff will accumulate in your inbox. Make sure you read our next post on how to create a folder in AOL Mail so that you can keep things nice and organized.


How to Sign In and Out of AOL Mail and AIM

Now that you have created your new AOL email account or AIM messenger account, you will need to know how to access your mail, contacts, calendar, instant messages and everything else if you aren’t on your home computer where you are set to be signed in automatically (more on that later). And when you do use some other computer to sign in to your AOL Mail, you will also need to be sure you are able to log out when you are finished so that no unauthorized users can see your private mail.

If you haven’t set up your AOL Mail yet, check out our step by step tutorial on how to register for AOL/AIM Mail. Otherwise, keep reading to learn the easiest ways to log in and out of your AOL account from any computer.

How to sign in to AOL Mail

If you want to get to your AOL inbox to check your email or send a message, or simply access your personalized portal, the first step is simple and intuitive. Just open up any internet browser, and go to

Now, look at the upper right-hand corner of the screen. If you are still signed in from before, you will see your name or user ID there. Otherwise, it may not be immediately clear where you have to go in order to log in to AOL Mail. In that same upper-right corner, you should see an envelope-shaped “mail” icon. Click on this icon to go to the AOL sign in page.

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Once you are on the login screen, the rest of the process is straightforward and probably what you are expecting. Simply type your AOL email address or username into the first field, and then enter your account password into the second field. Remember that this is the password you chose when you created your account, and it is case-sensitive, which means that uppercase and lowercase letters are considered separate characters.

When you are sure you have typed in your email and password correctly, click on the blue “Sign in” button.

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Note: If you are using your personal, private computer and want to stay logged in to AOL so that you don’t have to sign in every time you want to check your email, you can check the box next to “Remember Me”. This way, you won’t be automatically signed out when you close your browser window or turn off your computer.

This is NOT recommended for shared computers, because it will give other users easy access to your email and other account features.

In just a few seconds, depending on your internet speed, you will be taken to your personalized AOL account portal, which looks just like the normal home page but with a few subtle differences. For example, you’ll see your username in the upper right-hand corner, along with local weather. Meanwhile, on the left side of the screen, you’ll see a new navigation bar that will lead you to your AOL inbox and other email folders, as well as your contact list, calendar, etc.

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How to sign out of AOL Mail

After you have done everything you need to do in your AOL account, like checking email, it’s a good idea to sign out in order to protect your privacy.

When you are using your own private computer, this isn’t necessary. But if you are using a shared PC, and especially if you are using a public computer (like at the library, for example), then knowing how to sign out of AOL Mail is extremely important.

To do this, go over to the upper right-hand corner of your AOL account portal again, where you see your username. Right below your name is an option that says “Sign Out”. All you have to do is click on it.

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You might see this little waiting/loading screen while AOL works to log you out of your email and account. Just wait a few seconds, and you’ll be redirected to another page that confirms you were successfully signed out of AOL.


How to sign in to AIM messenger

If you have an AOL Mail account, you automatically have access to AIM instant messenger as well. There is a way to get to this feature from inside your email (we’ll talk about that in another post), but you can also go there directly, without having to log into your email first.

On the other hand, if you are one of the lucky few and were able to recover an old AIM screenname, your AIM account is not attached to an AOL Mail inbox. This means that you cannot access your instant messenger through the regular mail portal the way newly created accounts can. Instead, you’ll have to follow the steps provided in this section.

First, open your internet browser and go to

You will see the AIM home page, which is also the login screen, unlike the AOL Mail portal. I’m sure you can figure out what you need to do from here, but just so that we’re all on the same page: type your AIM screenname (which is the same as your AOL email address, if you have one) and your account password into their respective boxes. Make sure everything is typed correctly, and remember that the password is case-sensitive.

When everything is entered, click “Sign In”.

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In no time, you’ll see your AIM main page, with your buddy list and a place to enter the email of the person you want to start chatting with.

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How to sign out of AIM messenger

Once you have finished chatting, it’s a good idea to log out of AIM before you leave the computer so that no one else can see your private messages. When using your private, personal PC, you don’t necessarily need to do this, but it should always be done on a computer that multiple people have access to.

When you are ready to sign out of AIM chat, simply go to the upper left-hand corner of the screen. You will see your name, or possibly a “display name” that you have chosen, and next to your name there is a small arrow that will open up a menu of options. Click on the arrow.


In the drop-down menu that unfolds, the very last option says “Sign Out”. Click on this to be logged out of AIM messenger.


Just like when logging out of AOL Mail, you may get a loading screen while the sign-out process is finished, but it should only take a few seconds.

And there you have it! Knowing how to sign in and sign out of AOL email and AIM messenger is one of the most basic steps for using your account, and also one of the simplest things you can do to keep it secure.

To get started using your email service on AOL, make sure you read our next tutorial on sending messages and attachments using AOL Mail!



All About the New AOL Mail and AIM Chat

80s and 90s kids, or anyone who was over the age of 13 in the year 2006 or so, hold on to your hats, because I have some potentially mind-blowing news for you. “You’ve got mail!” And your Buddy List from yesteryear may very well still exist. AOL Mail and AIM Chat are alive and well, but with a completely new concept that puts it on the same level as today’s most popular online and mobile platforms, like Gmail and Yahoo.

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Now, maybe it’s just me because I live under a rock, but I had resigned myself to the fact that the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) from my teenage years had died and vanished into the cyber ether. But, it turns out that AOL still exists, along with AOL Mail and AIM chat. Fortunately, we have all moved past the days of using AOL to connect to the internet via dialup (for those of you who remember what that was).

So, in case you, like me, had filed AOL and AIM Mail away as a relic of the past, this article will serve as an introduction to the “New AOL Mail”. We’ll talk about the new AOL portal, the free services and features from AOL, what the new AOL Mail can do, how to resurrect AIM chat, and more.

New AOL Mail portal

The new AOL Mail is part of an entire online portal, much like the Yahoo! portal. As a matter of fact, it is now owned by the same company as Yahoo, along with Verizon Wireless and several other brands. If you are a Yahoo user or at least familiar with their homepage and services, is very similar these days. Here’s a snap of a portion of the new portal as it appeared today:

aol mail

As you can see, there are some icons in the left toolbar which serve as shortcuts to the most important tools and services, including AOL Mail, Search, Sign In or Register, News, etc. At the top of the page, there is a search bar that allows you to search the internet using AOL’s search engine.

There is also a page called “AOL MyBenefits” which shows you different features and services available to you through your AOL account. The benefits you see here when you are signed in to your account may vary depending on if you have a paid plan or not.

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Finally, there is a “Discover AOL” section, which displays all the products and services offered. You can filter by the type of product or service, including the ability to only display free options.

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Features of the new AIM and AOL Mail

Today’s incarnation of AOL Mail and AIM are comparable to any other modern email and chat services. AOL has integrated AIM chat into its mail interface, so you can easily send instant messages right from your email and keep everything organized in one place.

There are also mobile apps for AOL Mail and AIM, which allows you to stay in touch with everyone without having to pay for text messages. If you use Wi-Fi instead of your mobile data plan, the messages you send through the AIM mobile app are almost always free.

Sign in for AOL Mail and AIM

If you already have an AOL account, you can sign into it by simply going to Alternatively, you can go to the home page and try to access your AOL Mail there, which will redirect you to a sign in page if you aren’t already logged in. We’ll go over the process of how to log in and out of your AOL EMail or AIM account in detail in a separate tutorial.

Aim Mail

Creating a new AOL Mail or AIM account

If you don’t have an AOL email yet, creating a new AOL Mail or AIM account (they function the same way, so if you create one, it does double duty) is very easy. If you go to the same web address indicated in the last section,, you’ll see that at the bottom of the sign in form there is a link that says “Get an AIM account”.

Aim Mail

Another alternative, just like with login options, is to try to access AOL Mail from the homepage. The sign in form that you will be taken to will have a link that says “Get a Free Username”.

In both cases, you’ll be taken to a registration form that looks something like the image below. If you need a little extra help with the sign up process, we’ll walk through it step by step in another tutorial.

Aim Mail

One important note about the new AOL Mail: If you create an email account with AOL, it has an expiration date. Meaning, if you don’t use your account for 90 days, it could be deactivated. Furthermore, if your account is inactive for 180 days, your entire account and everything attached to it could be deleted. That includes shared media, messages, everything associated with your AOL Mail screenname or email address.

Recovering an old AIM screenname for the new AOL Mail

Now, before you go creating a new AIM account, it might be interesting to take a moment and mentally stroll down memory lane. Did you use AOL Mail or AIM instant messenger in the past? Most of us in the United States who are of a certain age did. And I suspect that most of us assumed that our old screennames died along with AIM, purged from some remote server, never to be seen again.


Well, it turns out that this isn’t necessarily true. If you have the proverbial memory of an elephant, as I apparently do (or else very poor password security practices), you might be able to recover your AIM username from ancient history. It’s worth a try, if you’re interested in the cyber archeological dig site of your life from before smartphones were a thing.

I will admit, I fully expected this to not work, especially after learning that new AOL Mail accounts are automatically deleted after 180 days of inactivity. But in the interest of science, and despite having closer to 3,300 days of inactivity on AIM, I gave it a try.

I took it as a very positive sign when I entered my old AIM screenname and a password I guessed would have been the one I used back in 2003, and it had it associated with my first name. “Welcome to the new AIM, Emily,” it proclaimed, before asking me to accept the new privacy policy and conditions of use. Which I did, with perhaps disproportionate excitement. This is where it led me, to verify the information it already had on file for me:


The information was still valid, so I clicked on “Looks good!” (And yes, that is the dorky chat icon I chose as a teenager. Don’t judge.)

It then took me to a screen where I had the option to import contacts from Google Chat. I opted to skip this step by clicking on “Next” without clicking on “Connect to add Google Chat”.


Finally, the new AIM gave me a quick snapshot of the new interface, which has, of course, been updated to fit in better with the expectations of today’s internet users. In my eagerness, I skimmed over this a bit too quickly to really take it all in, but we’ll talk about everything in depth in a future article.


And then, lo and behold, I was in the new AIM. The new AIM, but with my old buddy list, still labeled “My Buds”, the name I gave it because I didn’t have any reason to narrow it down by groups. Unsurprisingly, all my buddies from 2007 and prior were offline.

Aim Mail

This happened to work for me; your mileage may vary. I can’t promise that your decade-old AIM account is still preserved in some dusty corner of an AOL server, even if you can remember the password. But even if it doesn’t work for you, it is a fun experiment. If all your recovery efforts are in vain, you can simply create a new account on AOL Mail and use it for AIM.

That’s it for our very general introduction to the new AOL Mail and AIM chat. We will go into more detail about the most important features of this platform in future posts. Make sure you check out our next tutorial on how to create a new AOL Mail account if you don’t have one already!