Manage your AIM profile, settings, notifications, and status. Select an FAQ below to expand more information.

AIM 8 for Windows & Mac

How do I change my picture?

You have the option of using your computer's camera to take a picture or using an existing picture on your hard drive.

Using your computer to take a picture

  1. Click your current AIM picture in the top left of your screen.
  2. Under your picture, click Change.

  3. Click Use my computer's camera.

  4. If the Adobe Flash Player Settings screen appears, select Allow and then click Close.

  5. Take a picture with 3, 2, 1. The camera gives you 3 seconds to pose.

  6. Once your picture is taken, click and drag to move it around or use the adjuster to adjust the border.

  7. Once your satisfied with your picture, click Save.

Using an existing picture

  1. Click on your current AIM picture in the top left of your screen.
  2. Under your picture, click Change.

  3. Click Choose a file from my computer.

  4. Select the picture you want to use and click Open.

  5. Once you've selected your picture, click and drag to move it around or use the adjuster to adjust the border.

  6. Once you're satisfied with your picture, click Save.

How do I update my status?

Let everyone know what's new with you by updating your status. Just follow the instructions below to change it.

  1. Click the AIM Updates icon on the left of the AIM window.
  2. Enter your update.
  3. Select any additional social networks you want to post your status to. The default is AIM.
  4. Click Post. Your status will update to AIM and all applicable social networks.

How do I  turn off notification sounds?

If you prefer to disable sound notifications for IMs, buddy status updates, and the like, follow the instructions below.

  1. Sign in to AIM.
  2. From the menu bar, click File and then select Preferences.
  3. On the Settings screen, click Sounds on the left menu.
  4. Under Sound Preferences, click edit.

  5. From the available options, select No sound. The setting change should save automatically and you will no longer hear sounds play for notifications.

How do I change my availability?

Headed to lunch? Don't want your friends to think you're ignoring them? No worries! You can change your availability in a flash. Just follow the instructions below.

  1. Sign in to AIM.
  2. Click Account Info (your icon/picture) in the top left corner of the AIM window.

  3. Under your Username, click the Availability drop-down menu and select either Available, Busy, or Invisible. Available shows you as green and ready to chat, Busy shows you as red and away from your computer, and Invisible hides your online presence to others.

How do I change my name?

Follow the instructions below to change your displayed name in AIM.

  1. Sign in to AIM.
  2. Click Account Info (your icon/picture) in the top left corner of the AIM window.

  3. Click on your name.
  4. In the Edit Your Name window, enter your First Name and Last Name. If you want to keep your name private, deselect Allow other AIM users to see my name. Type your desired name.

  5. Click Save. That's it. Your name should appear as you entered it.

How do I add social notifications?

Here's how to add notifications to your AIM account:

  1. From the menu bar, click File and select Preferences.

  2. Under Settings, select Third Party Accounts.

    User-added image

  3. To add contacts from Google Talk, click the corresponding option and then log in to your account. Once contacts are added, they will display within your Contacts list.

    User-added image

  4. To add feeds or social notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, or AOL Mail, click the corresponding option and log in to the service. Once a feed or social network is configured, status updates or notifications will display in the Updates section of the AIM window.

  5. You may also select an individual social network to filter status updates specifically to that network.

AIM 7 for Windows

Profile Options

How do I change my buddy icon?

You can change your buddy icon at any time!

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

    IM Options

  3. Click Expressions.
  4. Click My Expressions

    My Expressions

  5. On the AIM Expressions page, click Browse.
  6. Click Icons

    Icons

  7. Explore our collection by selecting a category from the drop-down menu. 

    Icons Categories

  8. Choose a Sub-Category.

    Sub-Categories

  9. Select the buddy icon you like best.
  10. Click Apply.

    Buddy Icons

How do I create a WeeMee icon?

Use WeeMee Budy Icons to make a miniature version of yourself for your AIM account. Your WeeMee animates and reacts to your instant messages. For example, if you send your buddy a smiling emoticon, your WeeMee smiles too!
 

1. Go to http://www.weeworld.com/default.aspx.

2. Click on the Create your WeeMee button at the top of the page.
Note: If you already have an account, type in your information in the top-right corner and click Sign in, then proceed to step 6.
User-added image

3. Customize the look of your WeeMee avatar and click Get dressed now when done.
User-added image

3. Customize your WeeMee's clothing and click the Save button when done.
User-added image

4. Enter your birthday and click Next.

5. If you'd like to register using your Facebook account click on the Facebook button. Otherwise type in your WeeMee namepassword and email. Make sure the check box that states "I accept the Weeworld Terms & Conditions" is checked and click Next.
User-added image

6. Click on the Home button and a drop-down menu will appear. Click Export my WeeMee.
User-added image

7. On this page click on the AIM icon.
User-added image

8. Click on the Click here link in order to log in to AIM.
User-added image

9. Sign in to AOL with your AOL screen name and password.
User-added image

10. Done! Your WeeMee avatar has been imported into AIM.

How do I make a photo icon or add a profile image?

Personalize your Buddy List and IM conversations with a photo!

When people IM with you, this is the image they’ll see.

  1. In the upper-left corner of your Buddy List window, hover over your buddy icon and click Edit.

    Edit WeeMee

  2. An Icon Uploader pop-up window opens. Click Upload a picture.

    Upload a picture

  3. Click Choose a picture.

    Choose a picture

  4. In the Browse window that opens, click the photo you’d like to use, then click Open.

    Open picture

  5. On the left side of the Upload Picture window, drag the box around your photo to crop it, and/or click and drag the black square in the lower-right corner of the box to change its size. A preview window on the right shows you what the image will look like.
  6. When it’s just the way you like it, click Save.

How do I use AIM Expressions: Buddy Icons, Wallpapers, Emoticons, Sounds, & 1-Click Themes?

AIM expressions include Buddy Icons, Wallpaper, Emoticons, and Sounds all tailored to match your super awesome personality and interests. And, the best part is all AIM Expressions are free for AOL and AIM users.

Note: In order to use AIM Expressions, your computer must meet the following system requirements:

  • AIM 5.1 for Windows or higher versions
  • Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher versions

Here’s how to access AIM Expressions:

Select Icons, Wallpapers, Emoticons, Sounds, or 1-Click themes to select your preferences for each. Be sure to click Apply to implement your selection. 

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

    AIM Settings

  3. Click Expressions.
  4. Click My Expressions

    My Expressions

How do I set up my AIM profile or see a buddy’s profile?

With AIM, you can create a profile for your buddies to see. Don't forget to peek at your buddies' profiles too!

Edit your profile:

When you create your profile, provide as much or as little information as you wish to share with others.

  1. Click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using).
  2. Click AIM.
  3. Click Edit my Profile info.

    AIM Options

  4. A profile window will open. Edit your profile details.

    Profile window

  5. Click Save.

View your buddy's profile:

When you're instant messaging your buddies, you can view their profile information.

  1. Right-click your buddy's Username.

    View Lifestream

  2. Click View Lifestream. A Lifestream browserwindow opens with your buddy's profile information.

    View Lifestream

How do I get AIM to display my full name?

If you would rather have your buddies see your real name instead of your Username, try this:

  1. At the upper-right corner of your Buddy List window, click Options OR Menu, depending on which version of AIM 7 you’re using.

    Edit my Profile Info

  2. Click AIM.
  3. Click Edit my Profile Info.
  4. Update your profile to display the information you’d like to share.

    Profile Info

  5. Click Save.

Settings

How do I receive offline IMs with AIM?

If you want to make sure you don't miss a thing, set up your AIM profile to accept offline Instant Messages (IMs).

  1. On your AIM Buddy List window, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using), and then click Settings.
  2. Click Offline IM.
  3. Select Accept IMs from Buddies on my Buddy List while I am offline by clicking on it.
  4. Click Save.

    Offline IMs

Here is a list of Offline IM settings:

  • Accept IMs from Buddies on my Buddy List while I am offline : You wouldn't want to miss any instant messages (IMs) from your buddies, would you? Let your buddies post a message to you even when you are offline.
  • Allow me to send IMs to offline users: Do you wish to send messages to your offline buddies? With this option, AIM ensures that your IMs reach your buddies when they sign on.
  • Ask me before sending an IM to an offline user: AIM will notify you when you send an IM to an offline user

How do I turn on or off the IM bubbles in AIM?

To turn off IM bubbles

  • In the upper right-hand corner of the IM window, click Options, click View, and then deselect IM Bubbles.

AIM Options

To turn On IM bubbles

  • In the upper right-hand corner of the IM window, click Options, click View, and then select IM Bubbles.

IM Bubbles

How do I adjust my AIM Video Chat Settings?

Video Chat settings are now done on the fly, within the Video Chat window. To start Video Chat and access your settings, follow the instructions below:

Auto-accept Video Chat sessions

  1. Sign in to AIM.
  2. At the top of the AIM window, click Options and select Settings.
  3. On the left, select Enhanced IM.
  4. Select the Video Chat check box.
  5. Click Apply and then click Save. You will now auto-accept any incoming Video Chat sessions.

    Invitations

Choosing a camera

Choosing a microphone

  1. Sign in to AIM.
  2. Open an IM, click Options in the top left, and select Start Video Chat.
  3. On the Video Chat window, click Settings.

    Settings

  4. Click Choose Camera. The Adobe Flash Player Settings window will appear.

    Choose Camera

  5. Choose the camera you'd like to use from the Camera drop-down menu.

    USB video Device

  6. Once you're done, click Close.
    1. Sign in to AIM.
    2. Open an IM, click Options in the top left, and select Start Video Chat.
    3. On the Video Chat window, click Settings.

      Settings

    4. Click Choose Microphone. The Adobe Flash Player Settings window will appear.

      Choose Microphone

    5. Choose the microphone you'd like to use from the Microphone drop-down menu.

      Choose microphone

    6. Once you're done, click Close.

How do I change the location for files I receive in AIM?

You can choose the destination of the files that you download in the Settings menu. When your buddy sends a file with AIM, you'll receive an alert in the IM window. Once you accept the file transfer, the downloaded files will be saved to the location you indicate.

Here's how to change the location of the files you receive:

Your files will now be transferred to the location you've selected.

  1. In your Buddy List window, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using), then click Settings.
  2. In the Settings menu, click Enhanced IM

    Invitations

  3. In the Enhanced IM menu, under File Transfer, click Browse

    File Transfer

  4. Select the location you would like your files to be transferred to by clicking on it, and then click OK.

    File transfer

  5. Click Save.

    Save file

What are the AIM connection settings?

Are you facing difficulties while trying to connect to the AIM service? Get a few tips on configuring your connection settings by reviewing the options below.

At the top of your Buddy List, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using), and then click Settings. Access the Connection tab. Once you've selected your desired settings, click Save.

  • Server: AIM detects your internet connection and automatically tries to establish a connection with the server. The Server information in the Settings window is auto-populated.
  • Auto Configure: Click Auto Configure to have the AIM software automatically configure your connection settings.
  • Reset: Click Reset to clear any existing settings.
  • Proxy Server: Do you prefer to use a proxy server to get connected? Select Connect Using Proxy. Copy the proxy settings from Internet Explorer and enter them into the proxy server settings. Learn more about configuring your connection by clicking the Learn more about Connection Settings, Proxies, and Firewalls link at the bottom of the Settings - Connection window.
  • Protocol: Select the protocol being used by your proxy server. Learn more about selecting the protocol for your connection by clicking the Learn more about Connection Settings, Proxies, and Firewalls link at the bottom of the Settings - Connection window.
  • Authentication The authentication to the proxy server is dependent upon the proxy server software. You may need to enter the authentication credentials in the AIM software. Learn more about authenticating the proxy server by clicking the Learn more about Connection Settings, Proxies, and Firewalls link at the bottom of the Settings - Connection window.

How do I change the Sign In/ Sign Out settings in AIM?

At the top of your Buddy List window, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using) and then click Settings. Click Sign In / Sign Out. Once you've selected your preferences, click Save at the bottom of the Sign In / Sign Out window.

For more information on these settings review the terms below.

  • Welcome Page: Do you want to see the AOL Welcome Page when you sign in to AIM? Click Welcome Page. Would you like to preview the Welcome Page before choosing it? Click View to preview the Welcome Page. If you don't want the AOL Welcome Page displayed when you sign in to AIM, select None.
  • General: Do you want to automatically sign in to AIM when you start your computer? Select Start AIM when Windows starts. If you don't want AIM to automatically sign you in when you turn on your computer, select Minimize to system tray and do not sign in. Do you wish you could reduce the number of windows that are open on your computer? Select Sign me out and exit AIM when I close my Buddy List window to remain online with AIM even after closing your Buddy List window. Are you bombarded with instant messages (IMs) to your linked accounts every time you sign on? Select Set all linked accounts to invisible when I sign in and receive IMs only to the Username you signed in with.
  • AIM Updates: Do you want to make sure you have the most recent updates to AIM at all times? Select Automatically download and install updates when AIM starts. Do you want to be notified of updates to beta versions of AIM (http://beta.aol.com/)? Select Notify me when beta updates are available.
  • Password Reset Do you need to reset your AIM password? Click Change My Password, type the answer to your Account Security Question, and then reset your password.

How do I change the AIM sound settings?

At the top of your Buddy List window, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using) and then click Settings. Click Sounds to select your sound preferences and click Save when you're finished.

You have the option to select your preferences for the following types of sounds:

  • General Sounds
  • IM & Chat Sounds
  • Buddy List Sounds
  • Audio & Video IM Sounds

Click the link to the sounds you want to edit and select your preferences. You’ll have the option to browse for sound files on your computer and preview the sound. Click Save when you’re finished.

What are the AIM notification settings?

At the top of your Buddy List window, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using) and then click Settings. Click Notifications. Select your Notification preferences and click Save.

How do I change my Buddy List settings?

At the top of your Buddy List window, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using) and then click Settings. Click Buddy List. Select your Buddy List preferences and click Save.

There are other ways to customize your Buddy List. To change what you see in your Buddy List, click Menu OR Options and View. From this menu you can select if you want to see your Buddies’ icons, full names, status messages, or even choose to sort your Buddy List alphabetically.

How do I change my Enhanced IM settings?

To get to the Enhanced IM settings page, sign in to AIM, click Options at the top of your Buddy List, then select Settings. On the left, click Enhanced IM to view your options.

  • Select Video Chat to auto-accept Video Chat invitations. If someone sends you a Video Chat invitation, your Video Chat window will automatically open and connect to that buddy.
  • Select Audio Chat to auto-accept Audio Chat invitations. If someone sends you an Audio Chat invitation, your Audio Chat window will automatically open and connect to that buddy.
  • Select File Transfers to auto-accept any file transfers. If someone sends you a file through your IM window, you'll automatically accept and begin downloading the file.
  • Select Picture Share to auto-accept any picture sharing. If someone wants to share a picture through your IM window, you'll automatically accept and have it appear.
  • Select Real-Time IM to automatically accept Real-Time IM invitations from your buddies. This will allow you to see what your buddy is typing (as it is being typed) right in your IM window.
  • Choose a directory for your IM File Transfers to be sent. Click Browse and select the destination you prefer. The Directory to put files I receive text box displays the location where the files will be downloaded.
  • Once you've selected your desired settings, be sure to click Save.

How do I change the expressions settings in the AIM software?

At the top of your Buddy List, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using) and then click Settings. Click Expressions. Once you've selected the desired settings, at the bottom of the Expressions window, click Save.

Select your preferences or visit My Expressions to customize your icon, wallpaper, and sounds.

What are the AIM 7 Accessibility Options?

AIM is compatible with leading assistive technology software including the JAWS screen reader (versions 10, 11 and 12), ZoomText 9.1 from AI Squared and Dragon Naturally Speaking 9.0 from Nuance. AIM also honors Windows operating system accessibility settings for high contrast.

We continue to work together with developers of assistive technology software to address known compatibility issues.

For questions about accessibility support, please email us at aolaccessibility@aol.com.

  • What is JAWS?

    JAWS (Job Access With Speech) is a Windows-based screen reader that allows people who are blind or visually impaired to operate a computer with keyboard commands. JAWS provides the user with access to the information displayed on the screen via text-to-speech technology or through output to a refreshable Braille display.

  • Where can I download JAWS?

    You can find the latest version on the JAWS downloads page: freedomscientific.com/downloads/jaws/jaws-downloads.asp.

  • Where can I download AIM scripts for JAWS?

    For optimal performance, JAWS needs to run AIM-specific scripts when AIM is in use. Freedom Scientific includes these scripts in their standard JAWS installation, but changes may occasionally be made to the AIM interface that require AOL to update the scripts. You can download and install AIM scripts at www.aolcdn.com/aolhelp/jaws_script.exe.

  • Are there keyboard commands for AIM?

    Yes. Please read our online help article AIM for Desktop: Chatting, Contacts, & Away Messages to learn more about keyboard our commands.

  • What is Real-Time IM?

    Built with guidance from the Gallaudet University and the Trace Research and Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Real-Time IM is available in the latest versions of the AIM software. Real-Time IM lets you see what the other person is typing in real-time (as it is being typed) right on your IM window. This feature also enables visually impaired users to respond and react to the message as the typed words are converted from text into speech. For more information, check out our online help article AIM for Desktop: Chatting, Contacts, & Away Messages.

  • What support is available for people with poor vision?

    AIM honors Windows operating system settings for high contrast. Settings must be enabled prior to starting the AIM software.

    To set up high contrast in Windows, access your Accessibility or Ease of Access options from the Control Panel to enable these settings.

    Note: For optimal visual performance with ZoomText 9.1 from AI Squared, try standard Font Enhancements or turn Font Enhancements off. When the default xFont enhancements are used, text behind open menus can overlap the menu text. You can Adjust Font Enhancements in the ZoomText software by selecting Magnification > Font Enhancements > Settings and then setting the enhancement type to standard or none.

  • How do I use Dragon Naturally Speaking voice-recognition software?

    AIM commands can be executed with Dragon Naturally Speaking; however, users must speak the appropriate keystrokes to perform the action, as Dragon currently does not support direct voice commands. For example, to select a buddy in the buddy list, speak move down or move up, followed by a number, to select a buddy in your list when the list has focus. Once the buddy is selected, say tap ALT and I to open the IM conversation window. The user can then dictate the message and say press enter to send the message.

What are the AIM General IM Settings?

On your Buddy List window, click Options OR Menu (depending on which version of AIM 7 you're using) and then click Settings. Click General IM to select your preferences. Be sure to click Save when you're finished.

Set your General IM settings as well as your Buddy Chat settings and your Default font from this Settings page option.

AIM.com

How do I turn off my notification sounds in AIM.com?

  1. To change your sound preferences, click the Settings menu in the upper right corner of your screen.

  2. Click Sounds on the left side of the Settings menu.
  3. Click Edit  next to Sounds

  4. Deselect the Play a sound for incoming messages option.

How do I change my picture with AIM.com?

  1. In the upper left corner of AIM, open the drop-down menu next to your Username.
  2. Click Change your picture.

  3. If you want to take a picture with your computer:
    • Click Use my computer's camera.
    • Select Allow and click Close to start your camera.

    • Click Camera 3, 2, 1. The camera gives you 3 seconds to pose.
    • Click Save.
  4. If you prefer to use a photo from your computer:
    • Click Choose a file from my computer.
    • Browse and select the photo you want to use.
    • Click Save.

How do I update my status in AIM.com?

Let everyone one know what's new with you by updating your status.

  1. Click the Updates icon on the top right corner of your screen.

  2. Enter your update.
  3. If you'd like to post to Facebook or Twitter, click the appropriate icon.

  4. Click Post.

How do I change my availability in AIM.com?

  1. To change your availability, open the drop-down menu next to your Username.
  2. Click the green, red, or gray dots to select your availability.
    • green = available
    • red = busy
    • gray = offline

How do I edit my name in AIM.com?

  1. Open the drop-down menu next to your name.

  2. Type your desired name.
  3. Click Save.

  4. Your name should appear as you entered it.