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

Mail Settings

General Mail Settings

General Mail Settings Overview

The Mail Settings window is used to configure several different options for your email and AOL Mailbox. This window can be accessed using AOL Keyword: Mail Settings. Alternatively, from the menu bar, click Mail and select Mail Settings.

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  • Mail Away Message - If you click the 'here' link, in the 'To change your Mail Away Message settings, click here' message, the Mail Away Message screen will appear. You can use this screen to adjust your Mail Away Message. We advise using a Mail Away Message if you'll be away from your computer for a long period of time and wish to notify your colleagues, friends, or family that you'll be gone.
  • By default, show me mail from:
    • Selecting Everyone will set your Mailbox to display email from everyone. The only email you will not see will be any that has been filtered by the spam filter.
    • Selecting People I know will set your Mailbox to display email from only people you know, which are email addresses or people who have been added to your Address Book or Buddy List.
  • Sort mail in my mailbox - This option allows you to select how your email is sorted in your AOL Mailbox.
  • Notify me before opening mail containing pictures - If this option is checked, whenever you open an email that contains pictures, a popup window will display asking you if you want to proceed. If this check box is unchecked, you will not experience a popup window when opening emails containing pictures.
  • Retain all mail I read in my Saved Mail Folder - If this option is checked, any email you read will automatically be saved to your Saved Mail Folder. If this option is unchecked, any email you read will not be saved to your Saved Mail Folder unless you manually save them.
  • Confirm that mail has been sent - If this option is checked, any email you send will ask the email's recipient for a delivery receipt. A delivery receipt is a simple confirmation that the recipient received the email. If this option is unchecked, any email you send will not ask for a delivery receipt.
  • Perform a spell check before sending mail - If this option is checked, your AOL Desktop software will perform a spell check on your email when you click Send. If this option is unchecked, no spell check operation will be performed when sending email.
  • Retain all mail I send in my Mail I've Sent Folder - If this option is checked, all email you send will automatically save to your Mail I've Sent Folder. If this option is unchecked, email you send will not be saved to your Mail I've Sent Folder.
  • Hide images and disable links in mail from unknown senders - If this option is checked, all images and links will be hidden or disabled in email you receive from unknown senders (senders that aren't in your Address Book or Buddy List). If this option is unchecked, images and links will display normally in all email you receive.
  • Reply Quote Style - This setting allows you to choose how quoted email displays when you click Reply to respond to an email:
    • Blue Bar: This option will place a blue bar on the left side of the quoted email you respond to.
    • Indent: This option will indent the portion of the email you respond to
    • None: This option won't do anything to the quoted email you respond to
  • Mailbox Font Size - This option lets you choose the size of the font used in the Mailbox window (not in email messages).

How do I use the Spam Settings in the AOL Desktop Software?

Note: If you sign on with the master Username for your account, you can access the spam settings for all the Usernames on your account. Otherwise, sign on with the Username that you would like to change the spam settings for.

To access the Spam Settings page from the AOL software

1. Sign on to the AOL software.

2. Click the Mail menu, and then click Block Unwanted Mail.

Note: Alternatively, go to AOL Keyword: Spam Controls. This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL software.

4. The Spam Settings page will now open up.


Following are the different options available on the Spam Settings page:

Spam Filter

You can choose among the following levels to control unwanted emails coming into your Inbox or New Mail folder.

Note: The recommended setting is Medium.

  • Off: Advanced Spam Filters are off. Messages suspected as spam will still be delivered to your Inbox or the New Mail folder.
  • Low: Only obvious spam messages will be identified and delivered to the Spam folder. Some spam messages may be delivered to your Inbox or the New Mail folder.
  • Medium: Almost all spam will be identified and delivered to your Spam folder. Check your Spam folder every few days to make sure that a non-spam email was not accidentally delivered there.
  • High: Virtually all spam will be identified and delivered to your Spam folder. This high level of filtering may inadvertently send non-spam emails to your Spam folder. Check your Spam folder regularly.

Spam Folder

Click the view spam folder link to view the spam folder for your account.

Sender Filter

The Sender Filter allows you to control from which email addresses you get email by selecting one of the following options:

  • Block mail from addresses I specify: In this box, type the email address or domain name that you do not wish to receive emails from. You can add multiple email addresses or domain names to this list by separating them by commas.
  • Allow mail from all senders: Anyone can send you email.
  • Allow mail only from aol.com users: You will receive emails from email-addresses ending in '@aol.com' only.
  • Allow mail only from people I know: Only people on your Buddy List window or email addresses in your Address Book can send you email.
  • Allow mail only from addresses I specify: In this box, type the email address or domain name from which you would like to receive emails. Please note that, if you select this option, you will receive emails only from the addresses specified here. You can add multiple email addresses or domain names to this list by separating them by commas.
  • Block mail from all senders: No one can send you email.

Content Filter

The Content Filter allows you to control the email that you receive on the basis of the content of the email. The Content Filter section has the following options:

  • Block mail containing pictures or files: If checked, any email containing pictures or files will be blocked.
  • Send mail containing specific words and phrases to my Spam folder: If checked, you can enter specific words or phrases in the box below. Any email containing the specific words or phrases will be sent to your Spam folder. You can enter multiple words or phrases separated by commas.

Blocked Mail settings

Once you have chosen your settings, you need to select how blocked email should be handled. If you choose to delete blocked email permanently, then all email that is blocked will be deleted. This includes email that may come to you from people who are not on a custom sender list that you may want to receive email from. It is recommended that you have all blocked emails sent to your Spam folder.

You can select one of the following options from the Blocked mail drop-down menu:

  • Permanently delete blocked mail: Delete all blocked email permanently.
  • Deliver blocked mail to Spam folder: Move all blocked email to the Spam folder.

How do I customize my email font settings in the AOL Desktop software?

You can choose the default font for your email, instant message and chat room text. The instructions for this may differ depending on the version of AOL Desktop software you use.

To set the default fonts:

1. Visit AOL Keyword: Fonts. The Font & Text Settings window will display.

2. You can choose from the following options:

  • Text Font: Changes the font type of your text.
  • Text Size: Changes the font size of your text; the larger the number, the larger the text.
  • Text Color: Changes the color of your text. Clicking OK will automatically change the color of the text.
  • Text Background Color: Changes the background color of your text. Clicking OK will automatically change the background color of your text.

Note: If you select the same color for both the text and the background, the text will blend with the background and you will not be able to read the text. To see the text again, select a different text or background color.

  • Page Background Color: Choose the background color for your email, instant messages or chat room pages, and then click OK.
  • Bold: Bolds any highlighted text.
  • Italics: Italicizes any highlighted text.
  • Underline: Underlines any highlighted text.
  • Text Settings: Under Where possible, display the following size of text on AOL, choose the desired text size. 

4. Click Save. Your settings will go into effect immediately.

How do I increase the font size for mail in the AOL Desktop Software?

You can increase the font of your mail in AOL Desktop 9.8 with a quick adjustment of your mail settings.

Here's how:

1. Go to AOL Keyword: Mail Settings.

2. In the Mail Settings window, at the bottom next to Mailbox Font Size, click the circle next to Medium or Large (the default is Small).

AOL Desktop 9.8 Mail Settings Window

3. At the bottom, click Save.

That's it! The font size in your mailbox will be increased to your selected preference.

How do I configure my AOL Mail filters?

With AOL Mail filters, you can move incoming messages to specific folders and send alerts to AIM or your mobile phone.

To access and configure your Filters:

1. Visit http://mailsvc.aol.com/en-us/Lite/MailControls/FilterSettings.aspx.

Note: You can access this link only if you’re logged in to the AOL Desktop Software.

2. Click New filter. The Create a Filter screen appears.

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3. Enter a name for the filter in the Create a filter called field.

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4. Enter your Filter criteria. Messages that meet the criteria you set here can be filtered based on the options in Step 5.

5. Select what you want to do with messages that match the Filter criteria:

  • Move to a specified folder
  • Send an alert to your AIM Username or to your mobile phone

6. Click Create. A window will appear saying, “Your action succeeded!” 

7. Click OK. Your filter will now be in effect.

Notes:

  • To edit existing filters, click Edit next to the desired filter on the Filter Settings screen.
  • Filters are applied in the order they display on the Filter Settings screen.

Identify AOL Official Mail, Priority Mail, and Certified Mail in AOL Desktop Software

Sometimes you'll see special icons beside messages from AOL, as well as from certain other select senders. These are to verify that the messages are legitimate and authentic. They are not scams. They are sent from reliable, trusted sources.

For icons of each mail type in the client and on the Webmail please refer to our help article Identify AOL Official Mail, Priority Mail, and Certified Mail

Advanced Mail Settings

The Mail Settings window is used to configure several different options for your email and AOL Mailbox. This window can be accessed using AOL Keyword: Mail Settings. Alternatively, from the menu bar, click Mail and select Mail Settings.

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For more information on the settings available, please select an option below:

When reading mail in Full View

The header on your email contains the subject line of the email, the date the email was sent, the email addresses of the sender and the recipients, and internet header information. You can change the way the email header is displayed by choosing one of the following options:

  • Always minimize headers: Email headers will be minimized. They will not be displayed unless you open them by clicking the expand arrow.
  • Always minimize headers when I scroll: Email headers will be displayed when you first open the email, but will minimize as you scroll through the message, giving you more space to view the email.
  • Never minimize headers: Email headers will always be displayed at the top of your email window, unless you manually click the minimize arrow.

Play sound when new mail is delivered

If this check box is checked, an audio alert will play when any new email appears in your Mailbox. If this check box is unchecked, no audio alert will play when you receive new email.

Show addresses as Buddy Info links

If this check box is checked, a buddy icon will appear next to any currently-signed-on AOL Username email addresses in email headers. Clicking the buddy icon will open an IM window with that Username.

f this check box is unchecked, clicking an email address in the header will open a new email addressed to the clicked address.

Display next message when current message is deleted

If this option is enabled: when viewing an email, clicking the Delete button will delete that email and open the next email from your Mailbox.

If this option is disabled: when viewing an email, clicking the Delete button will delete that email, close the email window, and return you to your Mailbox.

Present picture quality options when inserting pictures

If this option is enabled, inserting a picture into an email will cause a message to pop up, asking you to choose what picture quality you want for that picture. Full will include the whole picture as is. Optimized will reduce the picture quality and size, but will cause the email to send faster. We highly recommend using the Optimized option if you are using Dial-up.

If this option is disabled, you will not receive a popup message and the Optimized option will be used.

Close mail after it has been sent

If this option is enabled, the Write Mail window will close after sending the email.

If this option is disabled, the Write Mail window will remain open even after the mail has been sent.

Confirm when mail is marked to send later

If this check box is checked, when you schedule an email to be sent later, you will receive a message asking you to confirm if you want to move the email to the Mail Waiting To Be Sent folder.

If this check box is unchecked, you will not receive a message when you choose to send an email later, and the email will be automatically moved to your Mail Waiting To Be Sent folder.

Remind me at Sign On if I have mail waiting to be sent

If this check box is checked, when you sign on, you will receive a message reminding you that you have email in your Mail Waiting To Be Sent folder.

If this check box is unchecked, you will not receive a reminder at sign on if you have email in your Mail Waiting To Be Sent folder.

Retain all embedded images in read mail

If this check box is checked, all embedded images found in email you read will be saved to a AOL subfolder within your C:\My Documents\My Pictures folder.

If this check box is unchecked, embedded images found in email you read will not be saved.

Use my Address Book and Buddy List to auto-suggest names when sending e-mails

If this check box is checked, a Suggestions box will display listing any related email addresses from your Address Book or Buddy List when you enter the first few letters of an email address when composing a new email. You can choose an email address from this list by clicking it.

If this check box is unchecked, no Suggestions box will appear when entering email addresses when composing new email.

Browser Settings

How do I clear cookies, cache, history and footprints?

As you browse through the web, information about the sites you visit is stored on your computer to improve your browsing experience. You can erase this information by clearing the footprints stored in the AOL software. Clearing the footprints will also help you keep your computer running more efficiently. This article will show you how to clear your browser cookies, cache and history in the AOL Desktop Software. Follow the steps in the solution below.

  1. Open the AOL software. Click on the Keyword menu and then select the Go to Keyword option.
  2. Enter Browser Settings into the search box and click Go.
  3. Make sure the Security tab is selected.
  4. Place a check in the boxes next to Browsing History, Cookies, and Browser Cache.
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  5. Click the Clear Footprints button.
  6. Click Save when you are finished.

How do I manage the Pop-up settings?

Follow the steps below to learn how to manage your Pop-up settings in the AOL Desktop software:

1. Access the Keyword menu.

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2. Click Go to Keyword.

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3. Type Browser settings in the text box and then click Go or press the Enter key on your keyboard. The Browser settings window opens.

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4. Make sure the Pop-ups tab is selected and choose from one of the following options:

  • Allow All Web Pop-ups - This option allows pop-ups from any website.
  • Block All Web Pop-ups - This option blocks pop-ups from all websites.
  • Allow Web Pop-ups From these Sites - This option allows pop-ups only from specific websites that you added.
If you selected 'Allow Web Pop-up From these Sites' follow the steps below to allow a specific website to run pop-ups:

1. Type the address of the website that you'd like to allow to run pop-ups.

2. Click the + icon.

3. Check if the website is now listed inside the box.

4. Click Save 

Note: To remove a website from the 'Allowed' list, click on it to highlight it and then click the Remove button.

 

What is the Graphic Compression feature in the AOL Desktop Software?

Web graphics compression affects the download time and quality of the graphics. This feature is very useful on a Dial-up connection. You can select from the following three options below.

  • Compress Graphics, when I do not have a high-speed connection. (Recommended): This is the default option. Compression will only take place when you're using a dial-up connection.
  • Always compress graphics: This will always compress graphics, causing web pages to load faster but with reduced image quality.
  • Never compress graphics: This will never compress graphics, causing web pages to load slowly on dial-up connections.
  • Maximize Graphic Compression: This will cause the AOL Browser to compress images even further. This improves web page loading times but severely deteriorates the quality of images.

How do I enable/disable the Password Manger in the AOL Desktop Software?

The Password Manager in the AOL Desktop Software is a secure and easy way to manage your online passwords and credentials.

To enable the Password Manager:

1. At the top of your AOL Desktop window click on the Keyword Menu and then click Go to Keyword.

2. In the box that appeared type: Browser Settings and tap the Enter key on your keyboard or click Go.

3. At the top of the Browser Settings window click on the Security tab.

4. In the lower part of the window select the box next to "Offer to save passwords I enter on the web".

5. Click Save at the bottom of the window to save your settings.

6. Done!

Note: To disable the Password Manager, follow the same steps as above, de-select the box next to "Offer to save passwords I enter on the web" and then save your settings.

How do I change my Homepage in the AOL Desktop Software?

Changing your homepage in the AOL Desktop Software is easy and quick. Please refer to the steps below for instructions on how to change your homepage.

1. At the top of your AOL Desktop window click on the Keyword Menu and then click Go to Keyword.

2. In the box that appeared type: Browser Settings and tap the Enter key on your keyboard or click Go.

3. At the top of the Browser Settings window click on the Tabs tab.

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4. Erase everything from the box next to "Set my Homepage To".

5. Type in the web address of the website that you wish to set as your homepage. Example: www.aol.com

6. Click Save at the bottom of the window to save your settings.

7. All done!

How do I clear the history trail?

The arrow at the right of the address bar on the AOL navigation bar displays a drop-down menu that lists the last 300 areas or webpages that you have visited. If this list (known as your history trail) becomes too long and confusing, you may clear the list.

My History

You can manually clear out the history trail whenever you wish to do so, or let the AOL Desktop Software automatically clear it whenever you switch Usernames or sign out.

Note: You can also clear the history trail for Internet Explorer and other browsers by following the directions in our article Clear cache on your web browser.
 

To clear the history trail on AOL Desktop:

1. Sign in to AOL Desktop.

2. Go to AOL Keyword: Toolbar Settings.

Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL Desktop Software.

3. Perform one or both of the following:

  • To clear the history trail immediately: Click Clear History Trail Now, and then click Yes.
  • To clear the history trail every time you sign off or switch Usernames: Check the Clear History Trail and Auto-complete after each time I Sign Off or Switch Screen Names box.

Toolbar Settings

4. Click Save.

AIM Settings

FAQs:

How do I enable AIM to appear automatically when I sign in to the AOL Desktop software?

If you would like your AIM window to appear automatically when signing into the AOL Desktop, it is very simple to turn it on. Follow the instructions below to enable this feature.

1. Sign in to the AOL Desktop Software.

2. Go to AOL Keyword: Buddy List Settings.

Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL Desktop Software.

3. Under the General Buddy tab, check the Show me my Buddy List window at sign-on to enable the feature.



4. Click Save and close the AOL Settings window.

Note: To prevent AIM from automatically appearing when signing in to the AOL Desktop, follow the instructions above. At step 4, uncheck Show me my Buddy List window at sign-on to disable the feature.

How do I block a Username?

To block a username:

1. Sign in to the AOL Desktop Software as you normally would.

2. Go to AOL Keyword: Privacy Settings.

Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL software.

3. In the IM Settings window, select the Block only these users option, and then click the only these users link.

4. In the Custom Block List window, type the screen name you wish to block, and then click Add. In this way, you can add as many screen names as you wish to block.

5. Click Save to close the Custom Block List window.

6. Click Save to close the IM Settings window.

How do I block instant messages using the AOL Desktop software?

You can prevent specific users or all users from sending you instant messages (IMs) by using the Privacy and Security settings.

To prevent users from IMing you:

1. Go to AOL Keyword: Privacy Settings. Please note that this keyword can be accessed only within the AOL software.

2. Under Choose your Privacy settings, select the Block option that you prefer.

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  • Block only these users: Blocks the screen names listed here from sending you IMs. Click the only these users link to list the people with whom you don't want to have IM conversations.
  • Block non-AOL users: Blocks only users of the AIM service.
  • Block ALL: Blocks all IMs.
3. Under People I've blocked in the above settings, click Cannot view me on their Buddy List, IM me, or send me AOL Instant Greetings messages to ensure that the screen names that you have blocked do not use any of these features to contact you.

Note: AOL Instant Greetings is no longer available.

4. Click Save to record the changes and close the window.

Overview of AIM Settings

The IM Settings window can be accessed using AOL Keyword: Buddy List Settings.

Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL software.

General Buddy tab

The General Buddy tab allows you to set the options shown in the image given below. You can select or clear the check box next to the desired option and then click Save.

  • Show me my Buddy List window at sign-on: Opens your Buddy List every time you sign on to the AOL service.
  • Make me invisible at sign on: Allows you to make your screen name invisible while you are online. Your screen name will appear offline to all users, including those who have you on their Buddy Lists.
  • Allow rich text display for buddies on my Buddy List window: Shows your buddies' names in colorful and varied text, depending on their personal settings.
  • Allow other members to see when I have been idle after 20 minutes: Displays a yellow notepad next to your name on the Buddy List when you have not been actively using the AOL service for 20 minutes or more.
  • Allow other members to see that I am using a mobile device: Displays a phone symbol next to your name in the Buddy List when you are using a mobile device, such as a mobile phone or PDA, to receive IMs.
  • Allow other members to see what Enhanced IM features I have: Allows members to see the Enhanced IM features that you use.
  • Allow other members to see my Buddy Updates: Allows other members to see your buddy updates. Your buddies will be notified when you update your Flickr photo stream, MySpace blog, YouTube™ video album, and more. To learn more about this feature, please read our online help article AIM buddy updates.
  • Display my Buddy QuickViews when I roll my mouse over my Buddy List window: Allows you to scroll over a screen name in your Buddy List and see a small pop-up window that displays information, such as Mail, Write, IM, Address Book entries, and Capabilities, about your buddies.
  • Use the IM Catcher™ organizer to capture IMs from unknown senders: Allows you to intercept and organize instant messages (IMs), including those sent from people who are not included in your Buddy List, using the IM Catcher message organizer. You can view information about the sender before deciding whether or not you want to view the message. To learn more about this feature, please read our online help article About IM Catcher.
  • Use the IM Catcher™ organizer to capture every incoming IM: Activates the IM Catcher every time you receive an IM.

You can change the font, color, or color theme of your screen name. However, you cannot change your screen name or alter the use of capital letters in it by clicking the Change how your Screen Name looks link.

General IM tab

The General IM window can also be accessed using AOL Keyword: IM Settings.

Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL software.

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  • Display timestamp on instant messages - Adds a timestamp next to each instant message in the chat window.
  • Display smileys as art in instant messages - If this option is checked, you will see smileys instead of plain text. Example: ":)" will be displayed as "User-added image".
  • Display notifications in the lower right corner when new IMs are received - Displays a notification window in the lower right corner of the screen when you receive an instant message.
  • Use the Enter key to send an instant message (Shift+Enter to insert a carriage return) - Allows you to send instant messages by pressing the Enter key on your keyboard. If this option is unchecked, IMs will be sent by clicking on the Send button.
  • Use my Address Book and Buddy List to auto-suggest screen names - If this option is checked, the AOL Desktop Software will use your contact and buddy lists to suggest screen names when sending an IM.
  • Allow members to see that I am typing an IM response - Allows your buddies to see whenever you're typing in the chat window.
  • Allow for the volume reduction of incoming IM sounds - Allows you to reduce the volume of incoming instant messages.
  • Reduce the size of my IM form by hiding the Buddy Icons - Hides the buddy icons for you and your buddies. 
  • Accept IMs from Buddies on my Buddy List while I am offline - Allows your buddies to send you offline IMs that you can read when you sign on.
  • Allow me to send IMs to offline users - Allows you to send IMs to users who are offline. They will see your IMs when they sign on.