Access Your AOL Email Using Apple's Mail

It's more convenient to check all your email in one place

Although AOL was once a closed system, all you need now to access an AOL email account is an internet connection and a web browser, which is handy for frequent travelers. When you're at home, you may not want to keep both the Mail app and a web browser open to make sure you receive your email. It's much easier to use a single application, and it certainly makes keeping your mail organized a much easier task.

Information in this article applies to versions of Mail on Macs running macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS High Sierra (10.13), and macOS Sierra (10.12).

Setting Up AOL in Mail

You can add an account to the Apple Mail application on your Mac specifically for accessing your AOL email.

Here's how to set up AOL in the Mail app:

  1. Open the Mail application on your Mac by clicking it in the Dock at the bottom of the screen.

    The Mac Dock showing the Mail app
  2. Click Mail in the menu bar and select Add Account.

  3. In the Choose a Mail account provider window, choose AOL and select Continue.

    Screen showing the Mail email options with AOL mail selected
  4. Enter your AOL username or email address and click Next.

    AOL sign in screen in Mac Mail
  5. Enter your password and select Sign In.

    AOL password screen in Mac Mail
  6. Read the information on the screen that indicates which AOL information you are giving the Mac permission to access. This information includes your AOL Contacts, Calendar, Profiles, and Mail. To agree to the AOL terms, select Agree.

    AOL services list
  7. Click the apps you want to use with the AOL account and select Done.

    Selection of apps available in AOL for Mac
  8. Tap AOL in the list of mailboxes in the Mail app to read and send AOL email from your Mac.

    AOL mail screen in Mac Mail

Set Up AOL in Earlier Mail Versions

The process to create an AOL email account in earlier Mail versions is similar to the recent versions, but you enter specific information, just as you would any other IMAP-based email account.

Enter these settings and information when you encounter a screen that requests it:

  • Account type: Select IMAP
  • Email address: aolusername@aol.com
  • Password: Enter your AOL password
  • Username: Your AOL email address without the @aol.com
  • Incoming Mail Server: imap.aol.com
  • Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP): smtp.aol.com

After you supply the above information, Mail can access your AOL email account.

AOL Mail Troubleshooting

Most of the problems encountered with AOL mail revolve around sending or receiving mail. Configuring the outgoing and incoming mail settings correctly fixes most problems.

Other problems that are associated with the Mail account, rather than the AOL account, include issues when transferring your Mail to a new Mac, filtering spam, and setting up Mail rules.

Problems Receiving AOL Mail on a Mac

Mail reception problems can be as simple as an incorrectly entered email address or password. Here's how to check:

  1. Launch Mail. Go to the Mail menu and select Preferences.

    Path to Mail Preferences screen
  2. Click the Accounts tab in the Preferences window and choose your AOL email account from the left panel.

  3. Go to the Account Information tab and check your AOL email address for any errors. To make a correction, select the Email Address drop-down arrow and choose Edit Email Address. Double-click either your full name or email address, edit the information and then select OK.

    Mail account selection screen

​​​Problems Sending AOL mail​

AOL sending problems are usually caused by an incorrectly configured SMTP server.​ Here's how to check:

  1. Go to the Mail menu and select Preferences.

  2. Select the Accounts tab and choose the AOL email account you are having problems with from the left panel.

    Mail Preferences screen on a Mac
  3. Click the Server Settings tab.

  4. Confirm that the Outgoing Mail Account drop-down menu is set to the AOL server. If not, select AOL in the drop-down menu.

    AOL server settings in Mac preferences

If you are using an older version of the Mac operating system, you may be asked for additional information about your AOL account during your troubleshooting efforts. Follow these formats when providing it:

  • IMAP server: imap.aol.com
  • IMAP User Name: Your AOL screen name
  • IMAP password: Your AOL Mail password
  • IMAP Port: 993
  • IMAP TLS/SSL: Required
  • SMTP server address: smtp.aol.com
  • SMTP user name: Your AOL screen name
  • SMTP password: Your AOL mail password
  • SMTP port: 587
  • SMTP TLS/SSL: Required