How to Use AOL Mail Through an Email Client

Make sure you input the proper server settings

A bird carrying an envelope and sitting on top of a laptop
Ralf Hiemisch / Getty Images

To send mail from an email client through your AOL Mail account, you have to give the program instructions for accessing the AOL Mail Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server. This server is what AOL Mail uses to send mail from your account.

If an email program or app doesn't know how to access the AOL Mail SMTP server, it won't be able to send mail on your behalf. The Post Office Protocol (POP) or Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) settings could very well be correct, meaning that you could download and read your email just fine, but without the proper SMTP server settings configured, you can't send mail through AOL Mail.

AOL Mail SMTP Settings

The AOL Mail SMTP server settings are the same no matter what program or device you're using. Enter the right SMTP server settings and you can send mail from your AOL Mail account using your preferred method:

  • SMTP server address: smtp.aol.com
  • SMTP username: Your AOL Mail screen name, which comes before "@aol.com" in your email address. For example, if your address is me@aol.com, "me" is the corresponding screen name.
  • Password: Your AOL Mail password
  • Port¬†using¬†SSL/TLS: 587
  • TLS/SSL required: yes (make sure SSL encryption is enabled for incoming and outgoing email)

SMTP allows you to send email, but you'll also need to be able to receive it. To do so, you'll need to provide your email program with the appropriate POP or IMAP server settings.

Troubleshooting Your Settings

If the email client won't let you use your mail properly, chances are you've typed the wrong password or there is some other misconfigured setting. Once you've confirmed that all the settings are correct, the program should have no problem downloading and sending mail from your AOL Mail account.

If you're still having trouble, try deleting the account entirely, exiting, and restarting the program, or even restarting the whole device and trying again.

Downside of Using Other Mail Apps for AOL Mail

Some of the features of AOL Mail aren't available when you access your email from an email client. For example, if your client uses POP and is set up to delete email from the AOL Mail server after messages are downloaded, then the same emails won't be available to a client using IMAP (since IMAP depends solely on mail still located on the server).

Here are some other features that are affected by some email servers:

  • No Report Spam button. If you want to report an email as spam, you have to move it to the email client's Spam or Junk folder.
  • Deleted messages might be missing. You may see deleted email in the original folder with a mark for deletion, or you may not be able to see deleted mail at all, depending on which email server you use.
  • Messages you read on one device might not be marked as "read" on another device. The same is true for emails you mark as "unread," emails you say are "important," and messages that are "starred" in one client; the same messages might not be marked as such in another client.
  • You can't check the status of a sent message. Since POP doesn't store sent messages on the email server, you can't use another email client to see messages that were sent from a POP-configured client.