AIM 7 for Windows: Usernames, Account Management, and Sign-on Settings FAQs

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AIM 7 for Windows: Usernames, Account Management, and Sign-on Settings FAQs

Select a heading and expand the FAQs below to find the answer to your question.

Username FAQs

How do I register for an AIM Username?

Registering for an AIM Username is simple. Using AIM is free and fun!

  1. Go to AIM.com.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click Sign Up.
  3. Fill out the required fields to register.
  4. Note: AOL members can sign in to AIM using their AOL Usernames.

Is there a way to retrieve my AIM Username?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to retrieve your Username from our system. We suggest getting in touch with a buddy that you recently messaged and asking if he or she has a record of your Username in her Buddy List.

If you'd like to try a using a few different combinations, you have six chances to get your Username right. After the sixth incorrect attempt at entering a Username, you will be locked out of your account for 24 hours.

Can I change my Primary Master Username?

Unfortunately, no. Once you create your Primary Master Username, you can’t change it. The best way to get a new Username is simply to open a brand new free AIM account. Once you’re up and running you can add buddies under the new account and chat with them using the new Username. Get a new Username!

Can I use my account after deleting my Username?

Yes! You can access your account by restoring your AOL Username within six months of deleting it. Act fast, though – after six months, it's gone for good.

Not sure how to restore your Username? Follow these steps:

  1. Go to My Account and sign in with your master Username and password.
  2. Type the answer to your Account Security Question and then click Continue.
  3. Under Username Options, click Manage My Usernames.
  4. Under Restore a Username, click Start.
  5. Select the Username you want to restore from the Recently Deleted Usernames box and click Restore.
  6. You will receive a confirmation message once the process is complete.

How do I link/ unlink my Usernames?

When you link Usernames, you only have to sign in once to AIM to access multiple Buddy Lists. You can switch from one Username and Buddy List to a different Username and Buddy List without leaving AIM.

How to link your Username

Note: If you change the password for one of the Usernames you linked, that Username will no longer be linked to the others. This means you'll simply have to re-link it (using these instructions). But don't let that stop you from changing passwords, it's always great to have the strongest password possible.

Here’s how to link your accounts:

  1. Sign in to AIM.
  2. At the top of your Buddy List, click Menu OR Options (depending upon which version of AIM 7 you're using).

  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click Buddy List.

  5. Click Manage Linked Usernames.

  6. In the window that opens, click Add a Screen Name.
  7. Type the Username you want to add and the corresponding password.

  8. Click Save.
  9. Tip: Once you link Usernames, you can switch from one to another with a click. At the top of your Buddy List, click the down arrow next to your Username. This opens the list of Usernames you’ve linked. In the list, just click the Username you want to use. Note that the Buddy List for that Username will appear. 

How to unlink your Username(s)

  1. Sign in to AIM.
  2. At the top of your Buddy List, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using).
  3. Click Settings.

  4. Click Buddy List.
  5. Click Manage Linked Usernames.

  6. Select the Username you want to unlink.
  7. Click Unlink Selected Screen Names.

Can I have more than one Username?

Yes, you can add up to six additional Usernames to your original account. 

  1. Go to www.bill.aol.com.
  2. Sign in to your account.
  3. Click Manage Screen Names

  4. Add your desired Username.
  5. Click Add.

  6. Select the appropriate age category.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Enter your password.
  9. Select your Account Security Question.
  10. Type your Password.
  11. Retype your Password.
  12. Click Continue.

Password & Cancellation FAQs

How do I change or reset my AIM password?

Forget your AIM password? Need to change it? No worries! AOL makes it relatively painless to change your password.

Changing your password

  1. Visit and sign in to https://password.aol.com with your Username or Email and Password.

  2. Answer your Account Security Question and click Continue.

  3. Click Change Your Password in the General Account Information section.

  4. Complete the form: Old Password, and New Password. Re-enter your new password to confirm. The strength indicator will let you know how strong your new password is. Click Save to finish the process.

Resetting your password

  1. Visit https://password.aol.com and click Forgot password?.

  2. Enter your Username or Email and then answer the CAPTCHA (enter the letters as you see them in order into the Your Answer field) and click Next.

    Note: If you can't see the image clearly, click the Refresh button next to the Your Answer field. If you would like to hear the letters read aloud, click the Speaker button. If you need additional assistance, click the Question button.

  3. Click Account Security Question and answer the question presented to you.

  4. In addition, select either Account Holder or Personal Details and fill out the required information.

  5. Once you've filled out everything, click Next.

  6. Enter your new password into both fields provided and click Next.

  7. A confirmation page will appear. Your password is now reset. Click Done to continue or close your browser.

How can I set AIM to remember my password?

Already signed into AIM? If so, first sign out. To do that, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM you’re using), then click Sign Out.

  1. Launch AIM.
  2. Type your Username and Password.
  3. Under the Sign In button, select the boxes for Remember me and Remember my password

How do I change the email address linked to my AIM account?

  1. In the upper-right corner of your Buddy List window, click Menu OR Options (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using).
  2. Click AIM.

  3. Click Edit my Profile Info.
  4. Under Your Profile Info, change the email address.

  5. Click Save.

How do I cancel my AIM account?

We’re sorry to hear that you want to cancel your AIM service, but we'll show you how:

  1. Sign in with the Username that you want to cancel at cancel.aol.com.

  2. Answer your Account Security Question.
  3. In the lower-right corner of the Manage My Services & Subscriptions page, click Cancel.

  4. Select the reason you're canceling your account.

  5. Click Cancel AOL.

  6. Your AIM account has been canceled and you'll see the following confirmation at the top of your page:

  7. If you’d like to uninstall the AIM software in addition to canceling your AIM account, you can find instructions here. Thanks for using AIM to stay in real-time touch with your buddies and we hope you'll be back soon!

Sign on Settings

How can I set AIM to open automatically when I start my computer?

  1. At the top of your Buddy List, click Menu OR Options (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using).

  2. Click Settings.
  3. In the Settings window that opens, click Sign In/Sign Out on the left side.
  4. Select Start AIM when Windows starts.

  5. Click Save.
  6. Now, AIM will automatically sign you in when you start your computer. From the settings page you can also change how you log out and install updates. Play around with your settings until you’ve got AIM working the way you want.

How do I prevent Aim from opening automatically when I start my computer?

You'd like to stop AIM from starting when you log on to your computer? Here’s how to change your AIM sign in settings:

  1. At the top of your Buddy List, click Menu OR Options (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using).

  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Sign In / Sign Out.
  4. De-select Start AIM when Windows starts

  5. Click Save.
  6. Now you can log into AIM at anytime by clicking on the AIM icon and signing in.

How do I delete a Username from the AIM sign-in window?

  1. On the AIM sign-in screen, click the down arrow next to your Username.

  2. Select the Username you want to remove.
  3. De-select Remember me (located below the Sign In button) to clear the Username box by clicking on it. 

  4. On the Don’t remember me window that opens, click Yes

  5. Click back into the Username box on the Sign-In window and delete your Username. It will no longer be saved.

How do I disable AOL Homepage from appearing when I sign into AIM?

When you sign into AIM, the AOL Homepage launches automatically. If you want to disable this automatic launch, please follow the instructions below:

  1. At the top of the Buddy List window, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using).
  2. Click Settings

  3. Click Sign In / Sign Out

  4. Under When I sign in, display the following, select None, and then click Save.

  5. That's it! If you change your mind and you'd like the AOL Homepage to launch automatically again, return to the Sign In / Sign Out page and select Welcome Page.

How do I configure my AIM connection settings?

Are you having connection troubles? Here are some suggestions to help:

In order to sign in to AIM, you need to be connected to the internet. You cannot connect to AIM if you've lost your connection to the internet. Listed below are the solutions to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check to see whether you can connect to AIM. If you still receive the message, continue using the suggested solutions until the problem is fixed.


Information you’ll need

You’ll need to know the version of the Microsoft® Windows® operating system installed on your computer. You can find this information by following the steps given in the online help article: Determining your version of Windows.


Solutions

• Verify whether the Web can be accessed using an external browser
• Temporarily disable your firewall or configure McAfee
• Auto Configure AIM
• Customize AIM Connection Settings


Verify whether the Web can be accessed using an external browser

Determine whether you‘re able to access the Internet using Internet Explorer®. Try connecting to a Web page, such as www.aol.com, with a stand-alone browser to determine whether the connection to the Internet works without using your client software.

Notes:

• If you ‘re using a dial-up connection to connect to the AOL service, skip to Temporarily disable your firewall or configure McAfee to continue troubleshooting.

• If you’re able to access the Web using an external browser, go to Temporarily disable your firewall or configure McAfee to continue troubleshooting.

• If you’re NOT able to access the Web using an external browser, restart your computer and all connectivity-related hardware components to ensure that the computer responds correctly.

To reboot your computer, modem and router, do the following:

1. Shut down the computer:

• If you‘re using Windows 7, click Start, and then click Shut Down.

• If you‘re using Windows Vista®, click Start, click the arrow next to the Lock this computer button, and then click Shut Down.

• If you‘re using Windows XP Home Edition, click Start, and then click Turn Off Computer. Click Turn off.

• If you‘re using Windows XP Pro/2000/Me, click Start, and then click Shut Down. Click the What do you want the computer to do? drop-down menu to open it, select Shut down, and then click OK.

• If you‘re using Windows 98, click Start, and then click Shut Down. Select Shut down, and then click OK.

2. If you use an external modem, unplug the power cord from your cable, DSL, or dial-up modem, and if you have a router, unplug it as well.

3. Wait for 30 seconds.

4. Plug the power cord back into your dial-up modem or DSL cable.

5. Plug the power cord into your router.

6. Turn on your computer.

If you're still not able to access the Web using an external browser, you will need to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for further assistance. AIM is a program on your computer just like Microsoft Internet Explorer. If Internet Explorer does not function with your Internet connection, then AIM won't be able to either. In order to get the issue resolved, you'll need to contact your ISP.

If you are able to access the Web using an external browser, after restarting the computer, try signing on to the AIM service. If you are still unable to sign on, go to the next solution to continue troubleshooting.


Temporarily disable your firewall or configure McAfee

There may be a firewall or other security software on your computer that is preventing you from connecting to AIM. You can temporarily disable your firewall and check whether you’re able to connect to the Internet. To learn how to disable firewall, read our online help article: Disable firewall or configure McAfee.


Auto configure AIM

Sometimes, you may experience difficulty connecting to AIM even if you’re connected to the Internet and your firewall is properly configured. In such cases, at the top of your Buddy List®, click Menu or Options (depending on which version of AIM you’re using), and then click Settings. Click Connection. Click Auto Configure. This process will try different network settings until it finds the one that works. It will then automatically update your AIM configuration.



If you’re using a Facebook Username and password to sign in to AIM, you'll see the image below.



When Auto Configuration is running, the following window will appear indicating its progress:

If the Auto configuration process is not successful, you can manually review and change your AIM Connection Settings.


Customize AIM Connection Settings

Customizing the connection settings may help you establish a connection to AIM, especially if you are connecting through a proxy server.

Note: If you are not comfortable with manually updating software settings, we recommended trying the Auto Configuration tool again. However, if you do proceed, we recommended that you print the instructions for reference and make note of the current settings before making any changes.


Connect using proxy

AIM will initially attempt to establish a connection directly through the AIM server. If the connection fails, AIM will look at the Internet Explorer® proxy settings. Some network setup may require traffic to travel through a proxy server before reaching the Internet. You can determine whether this is the case for you by reviewing your Internet Explorer proxy settings. If Internet Explorer is configured to use a proxy, you can copy the settings and enter them into the AIM Connection Proxy Server settings.

To determine whether you’re using a proxy server:

1. Launch Internet Explorer.

2. On the Internet Explorer window, click Tools, and then click Internet Options.

3. On the Internet Options or Internet Properties window, click the Connections tab.

4. Click the LAN Settings button.

• If the Use a proxy server for your LAN box is unchecked and you are able to connect to the Internet through Internet Explorer, then you are not using a proxy server, and you don't need to proceed any further.





• If the Use a proxy server for your LAN box has a check mark in it, click Advanced. Copy the listed proxy address and port information. This information has to be entered into the AIM Connection Proxy Server settings. Click OK to close the Proxy Settings window.



5. Click OK to close the Local Area Network (LAN) Settings window.

6. Click OK to close the Internet Options window.

7. Close out of Internet Explorer.

8. In the Connection settings window, check the Connect Using Proxy box. Enter the appropriate Host and Port information you found in your Internet Explorer settings.

Note: The Host information is the same as the Proxy address in Internet Explorer.


9. After you enter your proxy server settings, you will have to select the protocol being used by your proxy server.

Notes:

• The HTTPS protocol is the same as the “Secure” protocol found in your Internet Explorer Settings.
• The SOCKS 4 protocol is the same as the “Socks” protocol found in your Internet Explorer Settings.


10. If your proxy server requires authentication, follow the steps in the next section. If authentication credentials are not required, click Save and close.


Authentication


While Internet Explorer may share some of the proxy server settings with AIM, it will not share authentication credentials, and you will need to enter them into the AIM application. Authentication to the proxy server is dependent upon the proxy server software. You may want to request your network administrator for authentication.



If you add a Username or password, make sure to save your changes before exiting.


Auto Configure and Reset

1. At the top of your Buddy List®, click Menu or Options (depending on which version of AIM you’re using), and then click Settings.

2. Click Connection.

3. Click Auto Configure to have the AIM application attempt to automatically configure your connection settings. You may still be required to enter your proxy server information.

4. Click Reset to clear any existing settings.

Phew… that was a lot of work. Wasn’t it?

How do I connect with AIM software through a proxy server?

If you are using the AIM software on a network, or behind a firewall that connects to the Internet through a proxy server, you may need to set your proxy settings to the proper configuration.

  1. Open the Windows Start menu, select Program or All Programs, then click Internet Explorer.
  2. Click the Tools menu, then click Internet Options....
  3. On the Internet Properties window, click the Connections tab.
  4. Under Local Area Network (LAN) settings, click LAN Settings... to open the Local Area Network (LAN) settings window.
  5. Check the proxy settings under Proxy server:
    • If the Use a proxy server for your LAN box is clear and you are able to connect to the Internet through your browser, no further action is required to modify proxy settings to use the AIM software.
    • If the Use a proxy server for your LAN box has a check mark in it, click Advanced... to open the Proxy Settings window. The AIM software requires a proxy address and port number in both the HTTP: and Secure: boxes, or, alternatively, one proxy address and port number in the Socks: box. Check with your network administrator for the correct settings to enter in the Proxy Settings window.

    Note: The AIM software does not support authentication from a proxy server for username and password. Check with your network administrator to turn off the request for authentication.

  6. Click OK to close the Proxy Settings window.
  7. Click OK to close the Local Area Network (LAN) settings window.
  8. Click OK to close the Internet Properties window.
  9. Try the AIM software again.


About this article:
Last updated: 08-06-2014
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