Using Buddy Chat in AOL Instant Messenger

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Getting Started

Want to chat with one friend or several friends at the same time in AIM (formerly AOL Instant Messenger)? It's easy to do, particularly if you already have all the names in your contact list. Chatting with one contact hasn't changed much, but the functions of buddy chat rooms have moved to AIM group chats.

Want to know more about AIM? Read How to Chat With Somebody in AIM Mail.

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How to Start a Chat With One Contact in AIM

There are several ways to start a conversation with a single existing AIM contact:

  • Type the name or username of one of your contacts into the AIM search field. Click on the name to open a conversation window.
  • Using, click on the Compose button located at the top of the conversation list to open a new window.
  • Using AIM for Desktop, click on the Compose button at the bottom of the conversation list. This opens a new window.
  • Select a friend's name in the "Contacts" or "Recent Chats" areas.
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How to Start a Group Chat

AIM makes it easy to collaborate with classmates or co-workers in a group conversation. To create a group chat with two or more people:

  • Enter the names of existing contacts in the Start a chat with... window. It is located to the right of your contact list. If you don't see it, close the current chat.
  • You can also start a group chat by clicking the Compose button. Select the people to add to the chat. Name the group and add other contacts at any time.

The group chat displays at the bottom of your contact list in the "Group chats" area.

Note: Although you can delete a conversation with a single user, you can't remove group chats at this time. They stay "on the record."

If you're interested in video chat, check out AV by AIM on this free webcam list.

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How to Remove Someone From a Group Chat

  1. Click the group chat in the "Group chats" section of your contact list.
  2. From the menu at the top, click on View Member List.
  3. Hover over the name you want to remove.
  4. Click the X that appears to remove the person from the group.

This removes a person from the group chat but not from your contacts. If you want to completely remove a person from your contact list, you have a couple of ways to do that:

  • Go to the contacts group. Hover over the username you want to remove. Select the X that appears to remove the person from your contacts.
  • Select the user. Click on the chat menu and then on Remove from contacts