How to Set up a Vacation Auto-Reply in AIM Mail or AOL Mail

Let people know you're away

Woman standing next to suitcase, packed for vacation

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While the iconic messaging service known as AIM was discontinued as of December 15, 2017, both AIM Mail and AOL Mail are still going strong, offering plenty of features that hold up against Gmail, Outlook, and other big email players. Among these capabilities is the auto-reply option — a great solution for those times when you won't be checking your email on your usual schedule.​

When enabled, your auto-reply will go out in response to any emails sent to you to inform the sender about your absence, planned return, or any other details you want to include. Once you set up and enable your auto-reply message, you don't have to do a thing; senders will receive it automatically. If you receive more than one message from the same person while you're away, the auto-reply will go out only for the first message. This prevents the sender's inbox from being overwhelmed with your away messages.

Configure AOL Mail and AIM Mail to Respond Automatically

To create an out-of-office auto-responder in AOL Mail that informs senders about your temporary absence:

  1. Log into your AOL account.

  2. Click on the Mail menu.

  3. Select Set Away Message or Mail Away Message.

  4. Select from the menu that comes up:

    • Hello, I am unavailable to read your message at this time. This will send your Mail Away message using the text you've chosen as default.
    • Hello, I am away until [date] and am unable to read your message. This is a good option if you know when you will return. Just add the date of your return.
    • Custom to craft your own out-of-office reply. The info you include is up to you, making this option quite versatile. For example, you can leave location info for family and friends, or let coworkers know whether you'll read the message when you return or you prefer them to resend messages after your return date. 
  5. Click Save.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Click X.

Turn off Auto-Reply

When you return:

  1. Log into your account.

  2. Click on the Mail menu.

  3. Select Set Away Message or Mail Away Message.

  4. Select No mail away message.