The AOL® service processes more mail than any other single site in the world. Mail delivery from member to member is nearly instantaneous, and mail transmitted over the Internet is rarely delayed more than 10-15 minutes. When Internet mail is delayed for longer periods of time, it may be for reasons beyond the control of the AOL service.

  • Some mail sites only connect to the Internet periodically, storing mail to be sent and received until a connection is made.
  • Some mail sites have limited "bandwidth" and may take time to transmit mail, especially if there are many messages to send.
  • Large systems like AOL's have complex Internet connections, but if a small mail server cannot communicate with our servers properly, mail may be rejected.
  • Some mail sites are incorrectly configured and have difficulty transmitting mail on the first try. Delays result as mail is retried over many hours (or even days) before error messages are returned.
  • Some Internet data lines experience delays, disruptions, and other technical problems which cause some sites to be unreachable for periods of time. In addition, it is nearly impossible for mail to "disappear" from our queues without some traceable error message within our systems. Unfortunately, other sites do not always generate error messages or transmit them to us properly.

Contact the Internet E-mail Domain's Postmaster

If you are experiencing regular and repeated errors with one or more Internet e-mail addresses, please alert the administrators at that e-mail domain and urge them to contact us immediately. AOL® technicians work with Internet Service Providers to diagnose and repair problems that impede mail delivery. This includes problems that are often fixed within minutes, but may go unfixed for days or weeks because they are not reported.

To contact the Internet e-mail domain's Postmaster:
Try contacting the postmaster of the e-mail domain via e-mail. If the Internet e-mail address you are sending to is, then the postmaster's e-mail address would be""

Back to Top