Access Your AOL Email Using Apple's Mail

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

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Although it was once a closed system, all you need to access an AOL email account is an internet connection and a web browser, which makes it 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.

Recent versions of Mail are preconfigured to accommodate email from other popular email providers, including AOL.

Setting Up AOL in Mail

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

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

  1. Go to the Mail menu and select Add Account.

    Screen showing the Mail email options with AOL mail selected
  2. In the Choose a Mail account provider window, choose AOL and select Continue.

  3. Enter your AOL username or email address and select Next.

  4. Enter your password and select Sign In.

  5. 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.

    Screenshot of AOL permissions screen
  6. Select the apps you want to use with the AOL account and select Done.

    Screenshot of app selection menu for AOL
  7. You have a new AOL inbox in Mail.

    Screenshot of AOL inbox in the Mail app
  8. You're ready to receive your AOL email.

Set Up AOL Configuration in Earlier Mail Versions

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

Enter these settings and information when you encounter this screen:

  • Account type: Select IMAP
  • Email address: aolusername@aol.com
  • Password: Enter your AOL password
  • User name: 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 will fix most problems.

Other problems 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.

  2. In the Preferences window, go to the Accounts tab and choose your AOL email account.

  3. Go to the Account Information tab and check your AOL email address for any errors. To make a correction, select the Email Address dropdown arrow and choose Edit Email Address.

  4. Double-click either your full name or email address, edit the information, then select OK.

  5. To correct your AOL password, launch System Preferences.

  6. Select the Internet Accounts preference pane and choose the AOL entry.

  7. Enter your AOL credentials and select Details.

  8. Change the description, full name, or password for your AOL account if needed.

​​​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.

  3. Choose the Server Settings tab.

  4. The Outgoing Mail Account dropdown menu should be set to the AOL server. To verify the server settings, use the dropdown menu and select Edit SMTP Server List.

  5. From the list of available outgoing mail servers, select the AOL entry and confirm all the settings are accurate or make any needed corrections.

You may be asked for more information about your 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