Note: Upgrade to the latest version of the AOL Desktop software to take advantage of great new features!

The Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC) on the AOL Desktop Software is a filing system that helps store and organize your email on to your computer's hard drive so you can read your emails even when you're offline. Features include the ability to create custom folders in your PFC to easily identify email and a search bar to help you find saved emails when you cannot recall the subject of the email or who sent it. Each Username has its own PFC file in the Organize folder. Your PFC can be viewed only from your AOL Desktop Software. Also, your PFC folder cannot be accessed if you sign in as a guest from another computer or on your own computer.

If you are using AOL Desktop you can save your emails on the AOL servers. There, you can store an unlimited number of emails and attachments, and never have to worry about them getting lost because they are stored on the AOL servers, not your computer's hard drive. You can access these emails even if you are signing in from another computer or as a guest from your own computer. You can also access these emails if you are using AOL Mail.

IMPORTANTThe number of days an email can stay in your mailbox depends on the type of mailbox you are using and the folder in which the email is saved. Emails saved on your computer can be found in the Saved on My PC

Note: Email folders on the Saved on My PC folder cannot be sorted in any particular order. If you would like your email folders organized, please create folders under Saved on AOL, and access your emails through AOL Mail.

General FAQs

How do I compact the Personal Filing Cabinet?

Your Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC) in AOL Desktop may have empty space in it. Compacting your PFC will reclaim this space on your hard disk and help the AOL Desktop Software to load faster; however, your computer will need enough free space to compact your PFC.

Notes:

  • Close the AOL Desktop Software before following the steps below.
  • Create a backup of your Filing Cabinet before you compact it.

To compact the Filing Cabinet:

1. Start the AOL Desktop Software, but don't sign in.

2. Click the Mail menu, and then click Mail settings.

3. Click the Manage Saved Mail drop-down menu, and the click Compact.

4. Click Compact Now.

5. Click OK.

6. Click Save.

How do I back up or restore my Personal Filing Cabinet?

The AOL Desktop Software creates a backup copy of your Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC), which includes the Saved on My PC folder, every four weeks. The backup process begins once the AOL Desktop Software is closed.

Note: You must not be signed in to the AOL Desktop Software when creating a backup of your PFC.

To back up your PFC :

1. Click the Mail menu, and then click Mail Settings.

2. Click the Manage Saved Mail drop-down menu, and then click Backup.

3. Click Backup Now.

4. Click Save.

Note: To manually back up your PFC, check the How do I manually create a backup copy of my Personal Filing Cabinet? FAQ in this article..
 

To restore your PFC:

1. Click the Mail menu, and then click Mail Settings.

2. Click the Manage Saved Mail drop-down menu, and then click Restore.

3. Click Yes.

4. If prompted, click Yes again.

5. Click Save.

Note:​ To manually restore your PFC, check our help article Manually restore the PFC - Windows 10/8/7/Vista.

How do I manually create a backup copy of my Personal Filing Cabinet?

The AOL Desktop Software creates a backup copy of your Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC), which includes the Saved on My PC folder, every four weeks. The backup process begins once the AOL Desktop is closed.

To manually create a backup of your PFC:

Note: You must not be signed in to AOL Desktop when creating a backup of your PFC.

1. Close the AOL Desktop software.

2. Click Start, then click All Programs or Programs.

3. Click AOL, then click AOL System Information.

Note: If you are unable to access AOL System Information, go to the help article Open Data Folder for instructions on how to manually open the Data Folder. When finished, continue from step 4.

4. Click the AOL Software tab, and then click Open Data Folder.

5. Right-click the Organize folder, and then click Copy.

6. Right-click on your desktop, and then click Paste.

7. Click X on the upper right corner to close open windows.

8. You can now send this folder as an attachment through email, save it to your USB drive to either keep it as a backup or transfer it to another computer.

How do I add folders to my Personal Filing Cabinet?

Your Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC) comes with certain default folders, but you can personalize your Filing Cabinet by creating new folders and naming them. This allows you to organize your Filing Cabinet the way you want to.

Add folders to your PFC using the AOL Desktop Software:

1. On the AOL toolbar, click the Read icon to open the Mailbox.

2. Click the Manage Mail or Mail Folders tab.

3. Click the Saved on My PC folder, and then click the Setup Folders button.

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4. Click the Create Folder option to open the Create New Folder window.

5. Type the name of the folder in the box, and then click the Save button. Your new folder will appear in the My Mail Folders section on the left.

How do I delete folders from my Personal Filing Cabinet?

If you no longer want a particular folder in your Filing Cabinet, you can delete it.

Delete a folder from your Filing Cabinet using all versions of the AOL software:

1. On the AOL toolbar, click the Read icon, and then click the Mail Folders tab.

2. Click the folder that you want to delete to highlight it, click the Setup Folders button, and then click Delete Folder.

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3. Click the Yes or OK button.

4. Click the X in the upper right to close the Filing Cabinet or Mailbox window.

How do I transfer my Personal Filing Cabinet from one computer to another?

IMPORTANT: When you transfer the PFC of a Username from one computer (Computer A) to another (Computer B), the PFC on Computer B is replaced with the PFC of Computer A; therefore, emails saved on the Saved on My PC folder on Computer B are replaced and cannot be recovered. For example, if you transfer the PFC for the Username ABC from Computer A to Computer B, the Username ABC's PFC on Computer B is replaced by the PFC of Computer A. As a result, all the emails saved in the Saved on My PC folder on computer B are lost and cannot be recovered.

In order to transfer your PFC, you'll first need to locate the Organize folder, send an email to yourself attaching your PFC to the email, and then download the PFC to the computer that you wish to have the PFC on. Please follow the instructions in the order provided below.

Step #1 - Locate and transfer the Saved on My PC (Filing Cabinet) data file

1. Close the AOL Desktop Software.

2. Locate the AOL icon next to the clock, in the bottom right corner of the screen.

3. Right click the AOL icon and click System Information...

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4. Click the AOL Software tab and then click the Open Data Folder button on the right side of the window.

Note: If you are unable to access AOL System Information, refer to our help article Open Data Folder to find out how to manually open the Data Folder. When finished, continue from Step 5.

5. Double-click the organize folder.

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6. Right-click the Username file that has no extension, and then click Copy. In the example below, the user is imrunningt404.

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7. On the upper right, click X to close the Organize window.

8. Click Close or X to close the AOL System Information window.

9. On your computer's desktop, right-click an empty area, and then click Paste.

10. Launch the AOL Desktop software and sign in.

11. On the AOL toolbar, click the Write icon.

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12. In the Send To box, type your email address. In the Subject box, type PFC.

13. Click Attach File.

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14. Navigate to your Desktop and then double-click the Username file that you pasted on the desktop.

15. Click Send Now.

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Note:  If your PFC file is larger than 15 MB in size, you should store it on a USB Flash Drive.

Step #2 - Download the saved email data file on the other computer

1. On the computer that you want to transfer the saved email data file to, start the AOL Desktop Software and sign in.

2. On the AOL toolbar, click the Read icon.



3. Double-click the email named PFC in your new mail.

4. Click the Download drop-down menu, and then click Download Now. If prompted, click Yes.

5. Click the Save in drop-down menu, click Desktop, and then click Save.

6. After the file downloads, click the File menu, and then select Exit to close the AOL Desktop software.

7. On the Windows Desktop, right-click the Username file that has no extension, and then click Cut.

Note: If you used an USB Flash Drive to transfer the file, navigate to it. Right-click the Username file and click Cut.

8. Locate the AOL icon next to the clock, in the bottom right corner of the screen.

9. Right click the AOL icon and click System Information...

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10. Click the AOL Software tab and then click the Open Data Folder button on the right side of the window.

Note: If you are unable to access AOL System Information, refer to our help article Open Data Folder to find out how to manually open the Data Folder. When finished, continue from Step 11.

11. Right-click the Organize folder, and then click Paste.

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12. If prompted, click Yes to confirm the file replacement.

13. In the upper right, click X to close the Organize window.

14. Click Close to close the AOL System Information window.

How do I save a folder from my PFC to my computer?

To save a folder from the PFC folder:

1. Sign in to AOL Desktop.

2. Click the File menu, then click Mail Saved on My PC (Filing Cabinet).

3. Under Saved on My PC, right-click the folder that you want to save and then click Save Folder As.

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4. Type an appropriate name in the File name box.

5. Browse to the location where you want to save the folder, and then click Save.

How do I manually restore my Personal Filing Cabinet?

If you would like to restore your personal filing cabinet from a backup, please refer to our online help article Manually restore the PFC - Windows 10/8/7/Vista.

How do I merge my Personal Filing Cabinet?

If you would like to merge your personal filing cabinet, please refer to one of the articles below, depending on your version of Windows:

Email FAQs

How do I save email to my Personal Filing Cabinet?

The Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC) in the AOL software helps you store and organize your email on your computer. Your PFC can be viewed only from your AOL software. Also, your PFC folder cannot be accessed if you sign on as a guest from another computer or your own

Important: The number of days an email can stay in your mailbox depends on the type of mailbox that you are using and the folder in which the email is saved.

Save email to your Personal Filing Cabinet

Note: You must be signed on to the AOL service to save email in your Filing Cabinet. However, the email saved to your PFC will be available even if you're offline.

Save emails to your filing cabinet using the AOL Desktop software:

1. Sign on the AOL software with your screen name and password.

2. On the AOL toolbar, click the Read icon.



3. Double-click the email message that you want to save in order in order to open it.

4. Click the Save button at the bottom of the email window, select On My PC, and then click the folder you want to place the email into, for example, Incoming/Saved Mail.

5. Click the OK button.


Move email from one folder to another within your Filing Cabinet

If you discover that you've placed an email message in a wrong folder, or you would like to organize your folders better, you can move email messages and folders in your Filing Cabinet.

Move one or more email messages to another folder:

1. Open the folder that holds the message that you would like to move by clicking it.

2. Click the message that you want to move, and then drag the message to the folder that you want to move the message to.

Note: You can also move a folder around in your Filing Cabinet. Instead of clicking an individual email message, click the folder that you want to move, and then drag it to where you want it.

How do I find an email message in my Personal Filing Cabinet?

Follow the steps below to search your Filing Cabinet for an email using the AOL software:

1. On the AOL toolbar click the Read icon.

2. Click the Search Mail tab.

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2. In the Search box, type the email address or subject of the email that you want to find, and then click the Search button.

3. If the email message that you were searching for is found, double-click it to open it.

4. That's it!

How do I save an email message to my Personal Filing Cabinet?

Note: You must be signed on to the AOL service to save email in your Filing Cabinet. However, the email saved to your PFC will be available even if you're offline.

Save emails to your filing cabinet using the AOL Desktop software:

1. Sign on the AOL software with your screen name and password.

2. On the AOL toolbar, click the Read icon.

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3. Double-click the email message that you want to save in order in order to open it.

4. Click the Save button at the bottom of the email window, select On My PC, and then click the folder you want to place the email into, for example, Incoming/Saved Mail.

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5. Click the OK button.
 

Move email from one folder to another within your Filing Cabinet

If you discover that you've placed an email message in a wrong folder, or you would like to organize your folders better, you can move email messages and folders in your Filing Cabinet.

1. Open the folder that holds the message that you would like to move by clicking it.

2. Click the message that you want to move, and then drag the message to the folder that you want to move the message to.

Note: You can also move a folder around in your Filing Cabinet. Instead of clicking an individual email message, click the folder that you want to move, and then drag it to where you want it.

Can I move emails from Saved on my PC to Saved on AOL?

The AOL software offers the Saved on My PC folder and the Saved on AOL or On AOL folder to help you save and organize your email. These folders represent two different approaches to email storage and offer a powerful, yet flexible, way to manage your email.

The emails saved in the Saved on My PC folder are saved on your computer (Personal Filing Cabinet).

The emails saved in the Saved on AOL folder are saved on the AOL servers.

You will not be able to move the emails saved in the Saved on My PC folder to the Saved on AOL folder automatically.

However, a workaround is to resend/forward the emails in your Saved on My PC folder to yourself, and then save the emails to the Saved on AOL folder.