Learn to Easily Recover a Forgotten AOL Mail Password

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As standards for online security continue to tighten, passwords have become ubiquitous. With so many to remember, you're bound to forget a few now and then, and your AOL Mail login is no exception. Remedying the situation is fairly easy, though.

Check Your Browser First

Current versions of most internet browsers offer an auto-fill feature. You've probably noticed it when you've entered a username and password for the first time on a password-protected site; the browser typically presents a popup window that asks you if you want to save the login info.

If you've visited the AOL Mail site recently, you might have saved your username and password using this function, in which case the browser might fill in the password field automatically for you. If not, try double-clicking on the Password field; if any passwords match, they'll be presented in a drop-down menu from which you can choose the appropriate password. Alternatively, you can check your browser's help site to see where in its settings your password is stored, how to retrieve it, and how to toggle the feature on or off. The procedure is similar across browsers. 

If you haven't saved your password in your browser, then it's time to use AOL's password reset process.

AOL Mail's Password Reset Procedure

As with many websites, AOL has moved away from password recovery, instead offering a password reset option as a more secure approach. AOL has developed easy procedures to do so. They are updated occasionally but generally entail similar steps:

  1. Go to the AOL Mail login page.
  2. Select Login/Join.
  3. Type in your AOL username.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Choose Forgot password?.
  6. Type in your username.
  7. Tap Next.
  8. Type in the phone number associated with your account, the one you entered when you created it. (You might be able to choose another method here, too, depending on which screen AOL sent you to. Stop here and see the other instructions below.)
  9. Click Next.
  10. To verify your identity, AOL requires a verification code. You can have it sent to you by text or a phone call. Just choose whichever method you prefer.
  11. After you receive your code, type it into the Enter Code field.
  12. Click Next.
  13. Enter the new password you'd like to use.
  14. Click Save.

You also can choose to receive an email to reset your password:

  1. Choose Try another verification option.
  2. Select Email a reset link to my recovery email address.
  3. Tap Next. This will prompt the system to send an email to the address you provided as an alternative when you signed up for AOL Mail.
  4. Click Close.
  5. Open your alternative email account and look for the password reset message from AOL. It will have a subject line something like "Request to reset your password."
  6. Click on the Reset Password button or link in the email.
  7. On the page where the link sends you, enter a new password.
  8. Click Save.

Another password reset method involves the security question you set up when you created your account:

  1. Choose Answer security question.
  2. Type in your answer to the question asked.
  3. Click Next.
  4. If your answer was correct, you'll see the box in which you'll enter your new password. Do so, and click Next.

Once you complete one of these procedures, you should be able to log into your AOL Mail account using your new password.

Ways to Remember Passwords

Forgetting passwords is a common occurrence—just as common as passwords themselves. Instead of keeping a handwritten list or trying to rely on your memory, consider storing your passwords in a password manager, Several secure options are available, from storing them in your browser to downloading third-party programs (some free, some paid). Just double-check any method you use to be sure your passwords are stored in an encrypted format so that unauthorized parties can't decipher them easily.

Tips for Creating Secure Passwords

As you reset your AOL Mail password, keep in mind these tips:

  • Don't use anything obvious, like "123456" or "mypassword."
  • The longer your password, the more secure it is
  • Don't use letters that are next to each other on your keyboard or that follow some obvious pattern, such as the four corners of your phone's keypad.
  • Don't use the same password that you use on another site. Make each password for each site unique.
  • Don't build a password on personal details such as birthdates, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
  • Change your password from time to time.
  • If you get an email requesting that you change your password, don't click on any link in the email; the email could have come from a hacker. Instead, type the website address into your browser and go to your account. If it's a legitimate request, it will show up there.