How to Use Rich Text Formatting in AOL Mail (AIM Mail)

What to do if AOL Mail won't accept rich text format

AOL logo


Enabling HTML formatting in AOL Mail (AIM Mail) lets you compose messages with HTML, meaning that the emails you send can be bold, italic, or underlined, and even the font size and color can be customized.

You'll know that rich text formatting isn't enabled in AOL Mail if you can't change the text formatting or if you can't insert images in your emails.

If AOL Mail doesn't let you enter rich text, just go into the Mail Settings area of your account to enable the Use Rich Text / HTML Editing option.

These steps apply only to AOL Mail (also called AIM Mail). You can follow these directions from any operating system or web browser that supports loading the AOL Mail website, such as Chrome or Firefox on Windows, macOS, or Linux.

Enable HTML Formatting in AOL Mail

  1. AOL Mail login page
  2. Select Options from the top right of the page.

    AOL Mail home page
  3. Choose Mail Settings.

    AOL Mail options menu
  4. Select Compose.

    AOL Mail general settings page
  5. Put a check in the box next to Use Rich Text / HTML Editing.

    AOL Mail compose settings page
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and choose Save Settings.

    AOL Mail save settings button
  7. You can now return to your emails by exiting the settings page or choosing Back to Mail.

Another way to turn on rich text formatting in your AOL Mail account is to start a new email and select Format from the menu.

AOl Mail format button

For email clients and webmail pages that can't display HTML-formatted messages, AOL Mail automatically produces an alternative plain text version of the rich messages you send.

Formatting Text in AOL Mail

AOL Mail rich text formatting toolbar

There are a few ways to use the advanced formatting features of AOL Mail. The easiest is to utilize keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+B or Command+B to make selected text bold, or Ctrl+U or Command+U to instantly underline any highlighted text.

Another method is the formatting toolbar. Select Format from the top of the page to show/hide the formatting toolbar where you can change the font type and size, access the bold/italicize/underline options, color the text and text background, align the text on the page, add numbered and bulleted lists, insert emojis, and more.

The third and final way to use HTML formatting in AOL Mail messages is via the Attach button. This is how you insert images into an email, something you can only do if rich text formatting is turned on in the settings.

Selecting the Format button doesn't turn off rich text formatting in AOL Mail but instead just hides the formatting toolbar.