Composing Mail

How do I compose an email in AOL Mail?

1. In the upper left, click the Email button - it's the pen and paper icon.

2. In the To box, type the email address of the person to whom you want to send an email. If you need to send the same email to more than one person, type a comma and the email address for each additional recipient. To add someone from your Contacts list, click To or the silhouette on the right side of the To box to bring up your list of Contacts and then click the person you'd like to add to your email.

Note: If you are sending the message to another AOL member, you can type in the member's Username in the To, Cc, or Bcc boxes.

3. In the Subject field, type what your message is about.

4. Type your message in the larger text box at the bottom.

Note: If you enable the Rich Text/ HTML Editing feature, the Write Mail window allows you to use color, add formatting, as well as choose a font for the text.

5. When you're finished typing your message, click the Send button located at the top of the compose message window (it's the moving envelope icon).

Congrats on sending your first message. You'll be an email pro in no time!

What is the Rich Text Editor in AOL Mail?

The rich text editor, or HTML editor, in AOL Mail lets you liven up your email by changing the font, selecting a text color, or adding a background color to your message. You can find the rich text editor toolbar above the large text box where you type your message.

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Note: Rich text/HTML editor is automatically turned on by default.

If for some reason the rich text editor is turned off, here's how to turn it back on. The quickest and easiest way to turn on the rich text editor is by clicking the Enable rich text editor button located below the Subject box of your email.

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How do I spell check my email before sending?

We understand that not everyone is a Spelling Bee champion. That's why AOL Mail includes spell check, to help with even the most difficult words. Let's face it, even Spelling Bee champions make mistakes!

To spell check your email:

1. Address and type your message.

2. Above your message window, click the Spell check button.

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3. Words that might be misspelled will be highlighted in yellow. If there is a word highlighted in yellow, click it to display a list of replacement words. To replace the highlighted word, click a word from the list. Continue to do this to all the highlighted words in the email.

Note: Was a word highlighted but you want to keep it the way you spelled it? You can:

  • Ignore this word: Clicking this option will remove the yellow highlight and ignore any correction to that word.
  • Ignore all: Clicking this option will remove the yellow highlight and ignore the word as it's currently spelled for every instance of the word throughout the email.

That's it! Send emails without the fear of mispelling (Oops! I meant misspelling!) words.

How do I compose emails in a new window?

Writing mail in a new window in AOL Mail is a snap! You can either write in a new window once in awhile by clicking a button, or you can set Mail to always compose in a new window.

If you just want to use the new-window feature occasionally, click NEW WINDOW above the 'To' and 'From' lines whenever you're in the mood. Please note that when you write in a new window, you will not be able to access Stationery.

If you're always in the mood for a fresh browser window for each message, here's how to set Mail to give you the new window every time:

1. In the upper right, just below your Username, click the down arrow next to Options, then click Settings.

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2. In the left panel, click General.

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3. In the Pop-up Windows section, check the box next to Always write mail in a new window option.

Note: When you write mail in a new browser window (instead of in the main mailbox window), the option to add Stationery is not available.

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4. At the bottom of the page, click Save. That's it!

How do I add stationery to my email?

If your email wants some context, a background's there to use,
the Stationery button gives your message different views.
You have to not NEW WINDOW when you're doing your compose...
('Cause stationery's fickle -- only in your Mail it shows.)

 

Translation:

• Do you click NEW WINDOW when you compose? If so, you won't see the Stationery button in the  toolbar on that brand-new browser page, because we do not yet feature a Stationery button in the new-window format. I know strange, huh? We're looking into it.

If you always see a new, separate browser window whenever you click EMAIL to compose a new message, that means you won't ever see the Stationery button. Boo! Time to change that setting:

1. In the upper-right corner of your mailbox, click Options, then click Settings.

2. In 'General Settings', in the 'Pop-up Windows' section, "Always write mail in a new window" should not be checked:

OK, you're all set. When you click EMAIL now to compose a new message, you will see the Stationery button on the far-right of the toolbar.

(Note: Stationery is not available in either the Basic or Accessible version of mail.)

Here's how to add stationery to your email:

1. Click EMAIL in the upper-left corner of your inbox to start a new message.

2. Above the large text box where you type your message, click the Stationery button.

3. In the right Stationery panel, click the Featured drop-down arrow and select a category.

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4. Browse through the stationery and click the one that you'd like to use. Enjoy!

How do I create or modify an email signature?

A signature added to the bottom of your email is a quick and easy way to share your contact information, business information, or even your favorite quote.

To create or edit a signature:

1. In the upper right, below your Username, click Options and then click Settings.

2. In the left panel, click Compose.

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3. In the "Rich Text / HTML" section, click the No Signature drop-down menu and select Use signature.

Note: If you want your signature to appear in plain text, make sure the box next to Use Rich Text / HTML Editing is unchecked.

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4. In the text field, enter or edit your signature.

Note: If you want your buddy icon to appear in your signature, click the box next to Show AIM presence icon in signature.

5. Once you've finished entering your signature, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.

All done! Your signature will be waiting for you the next time you go to compose an email.

Sending Mail

How do I send an email to multiple recipients?

Need to send a message to multiple people? No sweat. Sending an email to multiple recipients at the same time in AOL Mail is a snap, using the To, Cc, and Bcc fields.

Here's how to: Send an email to multiple people

To send an email to multiple people, in the To field, separate the recipients email addresses with a comma.

Note: If you would like to add multiple addresses from your address book, click the To link to open your list of contacts. Click the contacts that you'd like to send the email to, and then click inside the 'To' box to close the list.

Send a Carbon Copy (or Cc) of an email to multiple people

As mentioned above, Cc stands for carbon copy. Anyone listed in the Cc box of a message receives a copy of that message. Everyone who receives your email can see the people you list as a Cc recipient.

1. To use the Cc field, above the "To" field, click the Cc link.

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2. Just like the 'To' field, you can enter multiple email address in the Cc box by separating each recipient with a comma.

Note: If you would like to add multiple addresses from your address book, click the Cc link to open your list of contacts. Click the contacts that you'd like to send the email to, and then click inside the 'Cc' box to close the list.

Send a Blind Carbon Copy (or Bcc) of an email to multiple people

As mentioned above, Bcc stands for blind carbon copy. This is similar to the Cc feature, except that the Bcc recipients are invisible to all the other recipients of the message (including other Bcc recipients). For example, if you send a message To johndoe@aol.com and Bcc janedoe@aol.com, then johndoe sees himself as the only recipient of the message. Janedoe, on the other hand, can see that you sent the message to johndoe and blind-copied her. Ah-ha!

1. To use the Bcc field, above the "To" field, click the Bcc link.

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2. Just like the 'To' and the 'Cc' fields, you can enter multiple email address in the Bcc box by separating each recipient with a comma.

Note: If you would like to add multiple addresses from your address book, click the Bcc link to open your list of contacts. Click the contacts that you'd like to send the email to, and then click inside the 'Bcc' box to close the list.

How do I use the autocomplete feature to fill in email addresses?

After you type the first few letters of a Contact's name or email address in the To:, Cc:, or Bcc: boxes of a new email, AOL Mail displays matches from your Contacts list. Just click a name or press return on your keyboard to complete the address.

Note: This feature works with address books that have fewer than 4,000 entries and is available on advanced browsers only, such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher, and Safari 1.2.4 or higher.

To use autocomplete:

1. Click New in the upper-left corner to start a new email.

2. In the To:, Cc:, or Bcc: boxes, type at least the first letter of the email address or name of the Contact to whom you'd like to send a message. A matching Contact (or drop-down list of multiple matches) appears.

3. Click the email address of the person you're writing, or just press return on your keyboard if the name is selected. You can repeat this to add more recipients.

Note: Type more characters to fine-tune the list of suggestions.

That's it! Easy-peasy right?

How do I access my address book when composing an email in AOL Mail?

There are 3 easy ways to access your address book when composing an email.

First two ways:

1. Click the Email button in the upper-left corner to start a new message, then:

2. Click either the word To, OR click the silhouette in the right side of the To box. (Both buttons do the same thing: open up your Contacts list.)

3. In the box that appears, click the name or email address of the person to whom you want to send a message. You can also jump to a particular contact by clicking the letter that their name or email address begins with at the bottom of the box. Add multiple recipients by clicking multiple names.

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Or...

You can also access your Contacts in the lower-left corner. Click the contact-card icon to open your list of Contacts, then click any Contact to start an email to them. To add multiple contacts this way, keep your cursor in the "To" field of the email you started, then click the additional names from your list.

Get to your Contacts lickety-split using any of these methods. Enjoy!

Can I recall or unsend an email?

Unfortunately, the Recall or Unsend feature is no longer available in AOL Mail, AOL Desktop v10.1, or the AOL Desktop Software.

How do I view the status of an email I’ve sent?

Wondering if that email you sent the other day was received? In AOL Mail, you can view the status of an email that you've sent to other AOL email addresses.

To check the status of a sent email:

1. In the left panel, click the Sent folder.

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2. Click the box next to the email that you want to check the status of.

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3. Above your list of messages, click the Action drop-down menu (the gear shaped icon) and then click Show Message Status.

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4. A box with the status of the email (Read, Unread, or Deleted) is displayed if the message was sent to another AOL member.

Notes:

  • If the email was not sent to an AOL email address, the status is always displayed as Internet.
  • If you see the message "Currently unavailable," your message may have been received, as well as deleted and removed from the Trash folder in the recipient account. (When a message no longer exists on the recipient side, we're not able to provide a status for it.)

5. Click the OK button to close the Status box.

That's it! No more wondering if your email was received.

How do I reply to an email?

Replying to an email in AOL Mail lets you quickly and easily send a message back to the sender of the mail. When you reply to an email, you can change the email addresses that it was sent to, change the text in the message or subject fields, and change the attachments included.

Note: When you reply to an email that has attachments, the files attached to the original email are not attached to your reply. If you want your reply to include these attachments, you must add them to your email before you send it.

To reply to an email:

1. Open the email that you want to reply to.

2. Above the message, click the Reply button (back arrow).

Note: To reply to everybody to whom the email was sent, click the Reply All button (double arrows going back to the left).

3. Type your reply in the message area. If you want to add additional people to your reply, you can do so by typing their email address in the To box. To add someone from your Contacts list, click To or click the silhouette in the right side of the To box.

Note: You can also add people to your reply by clicking opening your Contacts in the lower-left panel and clicking on the name of the person you'd like to send your reply to. Check out this video to learn more about using Contacts in the lower-left panel of your Inbox.

4. When you've finished composing your reply message, click Send.

Note: By default, the original message from the email to which you are replying is included in your reply. If you don't want to include the original message in the reply, right-click in the message area, and then click Select All. Right-click again, and then click Delete.

That's it! You've just replied to an email. Sweet!

Sending and Receiving Attachments

How do I add an attachment to an email?

Is there a picture that you want to share with your friends and family? Send it to them as an attachment in AOL Mail. It's super easy and takes just a few clicks.

To send an attachment in AOL Mail:

1. Click Compose to start a new email.

2. Below the Subject field, click the Paper clip icon.

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3. Navigate to the file you want to attach, select it, and then click Open.

4. Fill out the rest of the information for your email (To whom you're sending the email and your message), and when you're ready to send it, click Send.

That's it! Sharing has never been easier!

How do I share pictures in AOL Mail?

There are two ways to share pictures in AOL Mail: attaching them as files to an email or inserting them in the email itself.

Note: Please ensure that the size of the attachments or the pictures do not exceed 25 MB.

Here's how to:

To attach pictures as files to an email:

1. Click Email to begin a new email.

2. Below the Subject field, click the Paper Clip icon to include an attachment.

3. Browse to the picture that you'd like to attach, click the file, and then click Open.

Note: To attach another file, repeat Steps 2 and 3. The attached files appear under the Subject box.

4. Once you've attached the photo(s) and are ready to send the email, click Send.

To insert pictures in an email:

1. Click Email to begin a new email.

2. Below the Subject field, click the Picture icon.

3. Browse to the picture that you would like to insert, click the file, and then click Open.

Note: To insert another picture, repeat Steps 2 and 3. The inserted pictures will appear in the email along with the text.

4. Once you've attached the photo(s) and are ready to send the email, click Send.

That's it! Isn't sharing easy and fun?

How do I forward an email – along with attachments and photos?

Use the Forward button in AOL Mail to quickly and easily share emails.

When you forward a message with attached files or photos, those attached files or pictures are included.

There's no extra step -- you don't need to attach anything separately. Whatever was attached to the original message stays attached when you click Forward to send the email to someone else.

To forward an email in AOL Mail:

1. Open the email you want to forward.

2. Above the message, click the Forward button.

3. In the To field, enter the person's email address to whom you'd like to forward the message to. If you want to forward the message to someone in your Contacts, click To or click the silhouette located in the right side of the To box to bring up a list of your Contacts.

Note: You can also add someone from your Contacts list by clicking the Contacts button in the lower-left panel and then click the name of the person you'd like to add to your forwarded message.

4. If you'd like to add an additional message, enter it in the body of the email, above the forwarded message.

5. Click Send.

Voila! Done.

How do I view and download attachments?

You can either open an attachment to view it without saving the file directly to your computer, or you can save the file to your computer directly.

1. Click on the attachment.

Note: If the attachment is a picture, you can preview the attachment in the email body, by selecting an option next to Show images.

2. To Open and preview the attachment using Firefox, select Open with and click OK.

Note: If you want to open the file with a different program other than the default program, select it from the drop-down list next to Open with.

3. To save the file to your computer using Firefox, select Save and then click OK. The file will be downloaded to your computer. If you haven't changed the directory of the Firefox default save location, the file should be saved in the Downloads folder.

4. To open the attachment using Internet Explorer, select Open.

5. To save the attachment using Internet Explorer, click Save and choose where you would like to save the attachment. Then click Save again.

Is there a size limit for attachments in AOL Mail?

You can send and receive messages up to 25 megabytes (MB) in size with your AOL email account. This includes the message text, headers, and attachments.

Here's some file size tips and notes:
  • If the file that you're trying to transfer exceeds 25 MB, you'll need to either compress the file or split it into smaller parts.
  • If you send a large attachment (that's under 25 MB) to a friend and receive an error notification, it most likely means that they’re using an email service with smaller attachment limits. If this happens, you should do what any good friend would do and invite them to use AOL Mail.
  • You get unlimited email with your AOL Mail account. Send and receive as many emails as you'd like!

So go ahead and share those photos from your recent birthday party or even a short video clip.

Adding and Exporting Contacts

How do I add a Contact in AOL Mail?

Adding contacts to your AOL Mail account is a quick and easy way to store information about people who you've emailed.

Note: Whenever you send an email with AOL Mail, the recipient's email address will automatically be added to your contacts.

To add a contact:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

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2. Above your list of contacts, click the New Contact icon (the single silhouette with a + sign).

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3. On the 'New Contact' page you can add:

  • The contacts First and Last name
  • Their nickname if they have one (optional)
  • Their AIM Username
  • Their email address. If you have more than one email address for a contact, click the + Another link to add it. You can have a maximum of 2 email addresses per contact.
  • The contacts phone number. You can click the + Another link to add up to five phone numbers for each contact and click the drop-down arrow to assign the number as Mobile, Home, Work, Pager, or Fax.

Note: If you wish to add more details to a contact, click + More Details, to add work info, the contact's home address, or personal info.

9. At the bottom, click the Add Contact button.

Sweet! You just added a new contact to your Contacts list.

How do I import contacts in AOL Mail?

Want to import your contacts from another email address to AOL Mail? No problem; it's a snap.

Note: Before you can import contacts, you'll need to export a contacts file from another email address.

To import contacts to AOL Mail:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

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2. Above your list of contacts, click the Action drop-down menu (the gear-shaped icon), and then click Import.

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3. Select the file type of the contacts list you exported (CSV, TXT, or LDIF) and then click Browse for file.

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4. Navigate to where you saved the contacts file on your computer, select it, and then click Open.

5. Click Import.

Tada! Your new list of contacts will be added to your existing contacts.

How do I delete a Contact?

Are there email addresses in your Contacts list that you don't need anymore? Deleting old contacts is quick and easy and makes it easier to find the contacts that you do email.

To delete a contact:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

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2. Click the box (or boxes if you want to delete multiple contacts) next to the email address you want to delete and then click the Trash can icon located above your list of contacts.

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Voila! The contact is gone.

How do I export my contacts?

It's easy to export your contacts as a file -- in your choice of CSV, TXT or LDIF format.

Here's how:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

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2. Above your list of contacts, click the Action drop-down menu (the gear-shaped icon) and then click Export.

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3. Where will you be importing your contacts (Gmail, Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac AddressBook etc.)? Take a quick look in the Help for that application to figure out which format to use for the contacts file you're creating here (CSV, TXT or LDIF). Then select the File Type by clicking the radio button next to it, and click Export.

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4. When you click Export, a file called "contacts.csv", "contacts.txt" or "contacts.ldif" is downloaded to your computer depending on the format you selected. Nice work! You have exported your contacts.

Now go do some importing! :-)

Distribution Lists

How do I create a Distribution List?

Is there a group of people that you email often? Set up a distribution list to make sending messages to that group a snap.

Note: You can create up to 100 distribution lists. If you've been using AOL Mail for years and already have more than 100 distribution lists, this is a recent change and to add more distribution lists you'll need to delete some to get your total number of lists down below 100.

Here's how:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

2. Above your list of contacts, click the New List icon (it's the one with two silhouettes and a + sign).

3. On the 'New List' window, type a name for your new list in the top box. To enter contacts in the Add Contacts box, type the email addresses (or AOL Username) you want to add to the list, inserting a comma after each email address except the last one.

Note: To select email addresses from your list of existing contacts, click the silhouette in the upper right of the Add Contacts box and then click the contacts you wish to add.

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4. When finished, click the Add List button at the bottom.

You're now a distribution list wiz!

How do I edit a Distribution List?

Editing or updating a distribution list in AOL Mail is a snap.

Note: You can create up to 100 distribution lists. If you've been using AOL Mail for years and already have more than 100 distribution lists, this is a recent change and to add more distribution lists you'll need to delete some to get your total number of lists down below 100.

Here's how to edit a distribution list:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

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2. Move your pointer over the distribution list that you'd like to edit and click the Edit link to the right of the name.

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3. You can edit your distribution list by:

  • Editing the Name: Click the Edit Name link to change the name of your distribution list.
  • Adding Email Addresses: To add an email address to the distribution list, type the email address in the "Add Contacts" box and then click Add. You can also click the silhouette in the upper-right corner of the "Add Contacts" box to add an existing contact.
  • Removing Email Addresses: To remove an email address from the distribution list, move your pointer over the email address that you wish to remove, and then click the X that appears next to their name.

How do I delete a Distribution List?

Distribution lists are alphabetically arranged within your full list of Contacts, and deleting a distribution list works just the same as deleting an individual contact.

Here's how:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

2. Find the name of the distribution list, then check the box to the left of it. Then, above your list of contacts, click Delete.

Tada! The list is gone.

At the bottom of your screen you will see the message "Contact deleted. Undo?" To un-delete the list, click Undo.  

Contacts Usage Tips

How do I update a Contact?

Did one of your contacts change their address, phone number, or email address? You don't need to create a new contact, you can just edit their existing contact info.

To edit a contact:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

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2. Click the contact that you'd like to edit.

3. Next to the picture/avatar or nickname of the contact, click the Edit link.

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4. Things that you can edit:

  • The contacts first and last name
  • Their nickname
  • AIM Username
  • Email address (to add an alternate email address, click + Another)
  • Primary Phone number (to add an alternate phone number, click + Another)
  • Add them to a Category
  • To edit their Work, Home, or Personal information, click the Add More Details link.

5. Once you've made all your changes, click the Save button at the bottom.

All done. Easy peasy!

How do I print my Contacts?

You can quickly and easily print out a list of your Contacts in AOL Mail, separating by group, selection, or just print them all.

To print out your Contacts:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

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2. Above your list of contacts, click the Print button. You have the option to print one (or more) contact, a group of contacts, or all of your contacts.

  • Print one or more Contacts: To print one or more contacts, click the box next to each contact that you'd like to print, and then click the Print button and click Selected Contacts.
  • Print a group of Contacts: To print a group of contacts or category, in the upper right, click the View:All drop-down menu and click the group of contacts you'd like to print. Then click the Print button and click Current Category.
  • Print all of your Contacts: To print all of your Contacts, click the Print button and then click All Contacts.

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After you click Print, you'll still need to select your printing preferences. Happy printing!

How do I stop AOL Mail from automatically adding email addresses to my Contacts list?

Is your Contacts list getting a bit full? Since you can store a maximum of 5000 contacts in AOL Mail, you may want to consider disabling the automatic addition of email addresses to your Contacts list.

Here's how:

1. In the upper right, next to your Username, click the Options down-arrow, and then click Mail Settings.

2. In the left panel, click Compose.

3. Next to 'Sending', click the box next to Automatically add email addresses to Contacts to remove the check mark.

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4. Click Save Settings.

Voila! Email address won't automatically be added to your Contacts any more; you'll have to do it manually.

How do I search for a Contact?

Looking for a particular contact? Try using the search field in AOL Mail to find the person or email address that you're looking for quickly and easily.

To search for a Contact:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

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2. Above your inbox, in the Search Contacts box, enter the contact name or email address you want to search for.

That's it! You'll see a list of contacts matching the person or email address you entered in the search field. Sweet!

How do I sort my Contacts?

Looking for a specific email address? AOL Mail makes sorting your contacts a snap. You can sort your Contacts by name, email address, and even by groups.

To sort your contacts:

1. In the left panel, click Contacts.

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2. Above your list of contacts, you can sort your contacts by Contact Name, Email Address, AIM Username, or by Phone number by clicking the appropriate column headers:

  • Contact Name: Click the Contacts column to sort your contacts in alphabetical order. If the arrow is pointing up, your contacts will be sorted from A to Z, and if the arrow is pointing down they will be from Z to A.
  • Email Address: This works exactly like the sort by Contact name column, except it will sort alphabetically by email address.
  • AIM Username: This works exactly like the other two, except it will sort alphabetically by AIM Username.
  • Phone Number: This will list contacts by their phone number.

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3. To sort your contacts by groups, at the top right of your mailbox, click the View: All drop-down menu and select how you want the contacts sorted.

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That's it! Sorting your contacts has never been easier!