Use the following solutions if you're having trouble reading or receiving mail. Select a heading below to expand more information.

Why am I not able to read email in AOL Mail?

There could be many different reasons why you're not able to read your email in AOL Mail. But don't worry, we're here to help!

Below are some solutions to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you can read your email. If you still can't read your mail, continue to the next solution - checking after each solution to see if you can read your email - until you are able to do so.

Solutions

Clear cookies, cache, history, and footprints

When you visit a website, temporary Internet files and cookies are stored on your computer to record your return visit. Sometimes, these temporary Internet files and cookies can cause the issue that you're currently experiencing. Similarly, your history list can also be a concern. The more the number of days you have specified for pages to be saved on your history list, the greater is the disk space used on your computer. You can free up the disk space by clearing this list.

Note: Once you clear your cookies, cache, history, and footprints, you may lose the following:

  • AOL Radio presets
  • websites you have visited
  • Your shopping cart
  • Your customized pages
The instructions to clear your cache, cookies, and footprints will differ depending on the browser you use. Please visit our help article Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints in your browser for instructions on how to clear your cookies, cache, history, and footprints on your particular browser.

Reset web settings

If you've installed another web browser after installing Internet Explorer, some of your Internet Explorer settings may have changed. However, you can reset Internet Explorer to its default settings. The home page, the search pages, and the default browser will be reset without changing the settings of the other browsers on your computer. Please click the link corresponding to the version of Internet Explorer you have on your computer to learn how to reset your web settings.

Disable the pop-up blocking software

1. Try to access your AOL Mail using a different browser like Mozilla Firefox. You can download it for free by visiting http://www.mozilla.com/. When the page loads, click the Download Firefox-Free button, and then follow the onscreen instructions.

2.Try to access your AOL Mail using a different computer (ideally from a different location).

Note: Most pop-up blockers also allow you to hold down the Shift key as you click website links. This disables pop-up blocking on a one-time basis.

Disable the pop-up window in the AOL Mail settings

1. Open AOL Mail.

2. Click Options and select Settings.

3. Select the General tab.

4. In the Pop-Up Windows section, make sure "Always read mail in a new window" and "Always write mail in a new window" are not checked. If checked, uncheck and click Save Settings.

Note: In the General tab under Reading, make sure "Enable reading pane to preview mail" is checked.

Temporarily disable a firewall or configure McAfee

There may be a firewall or other security software on your computer that is preventing you from connecting to the AOL service. You can temporarily disable your firewall and check whether you are able to connect to the Internet. To learn how to disable the firewall, read our online help article Disable third-party firewall software.

Reset mailbox settings

The AOL Mail System Summary page contains configuration information about AOL Mail. It can help resolve several common issues that you may be having by synchronizing your mailbox with the servers. To reset your mailbox settings, follow the instructions given in the help article AOL Mail: Mail Settings

Disable Internet Protected Mode in Internet Explorer

Protected Mode is ON by default in recent versions of Internet Explorer. It can interfere with Mail. If you're having trouble reading mail in Internet Explorer, try turning Protected Mode OFF. Here's how:

Open the Tools menu, go to Internet Options, and click or tap the Security tab. Toward the bottom of the window, un-check "Enable Protected Mode". To complete the change, restart Internet Explorer then load AOL Mail.

Try accessing your mailbox using AOL Mail Basic Version

AOL Mail Basic Version is a quick way to see your email and is great when you've got a slower connection speed. Please click the following link to connect to BasicVersion: AOL Mail: Basic Version

Why can’t I view pictures in AOL Mail?

Having trouble viewing pictures in AOL Mail? Try the solutions below, checking to see if you can view pictures in your mail after each solution.


Solutions

Clear cookies, cache, history, and footprints

When you visit a website, temporary Internet files and cookies are stored on your computer to record your return visit. Sometimes, these temporary Internet files and cookies can cause the issue that you're currently experiencing. Clearing your cookies, cache, and history can often fix the problem.

Note: Once you clear your cookies, cache, history, and footprints, you may lose the following:

  • AOL Radio presets
  • websites you have visited
  • Your shopping cart
  • Your customized pages
The instructions to clear your cache, cookies, and footprints will differ depending on the browser you use. Please visit our help article Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints in your browser for instructions on how to clear your cookies, cache, history, and footprints on your particular browser.

Reset web settings

If you've installed another web browser after installing Internet Explorer, some of your Internet Explorer settings may have changed. However, you can reset your Internet Explorer to its default settings. The home page, the search pages, and the default browser will be reset without changing the settings of the other browsers on your computer. Please click the link corresponding to the version of Internet Explorer you have on your computer to know how to reset your Web settings.

Check for attachments

The picture may have been sent as an attachment rather than being embedded in the mail.

To check if the picture is an attachment, in the header of the email, under the username of the person who sent you the email, you would see a paper clip icon followed by the name of the file (picture).

Note: If the picture is an attachment, you'll need to download the attachment to view the picture.

Try again later

The problem could be caused by a lot of people accessing their mail at the same time, which can lead to delays or slow responses. If this seems to be the case, please hang tight for a few minutes, and then try accessing your email again.

Note: If the picture was embedded using another file format, such as TIFF, you may not be able to view it. Please ask the sender to resend the picture using the JPG or GIF file format.

I don’t receive the emails I sent to myself

There are a few reasons why you may not be getting email that you've sent to yourself.

It could be because:

One of your filters could be directing the email into a folder

If you've set up filters, the message you sent yourself might be going directly to a different folder than your Inbox. Here's how to check your filters:

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

2. In the left panel, click Filters and Alerts.

””

3. Do you see a filter that might be capturing the mail you’ve been looking for? If yes, move your pointer over the filter and then click the X button next to Edit.

””

You may be blocking your own email address

As strange as it might seem, you might be on your Blocked Addresses list. Mail from blocked senders doesn’t arrive or bounce—it's simply discarded. For more information on how you can check your Blocked Addresses list, please visit our help article AOL Mail: Spam and Privacy.

There’s a delay in delivery

Messages are usually delivered within a few minutes. Very rarely, there is a delay while in transit. This is usually due to problems on the mail server, heavy internet traffic, or routing problems. Unfortunately, aside from waiting, there's no way to know whether a message has been delayed or whether it has been rendered undeliverable. If a sender can re-send it, have them do that.

Why can’t I retrieve my mail?

If you're having trouble getting your email in AOL Mail, try the solutions below, checking after each solution to see if the problem is fixed.

Solutions

Log out, then log back into AOL Mail

Sometimes the best solution is also the easiest. Sign out of AOL Mail and then sign back in. Doing this will usually correct the problem.

Enable Java applet scripting and cookies

Enabling Java applet scripting and cookies may help you fix the problem. To learn how to enable Java applet scripting and cookies, please visit our help article Enable Java applet scripting and cookies.

Clear cookies, cache, history, and footprints

When you visit a website, temporary Internet files and cookies are stored on your computer to record your return visit. Sometimes, these temporary Internet files and cookies can cause the issue that you're currently experiencing. Clearing your cookies, cache, and history can often fix the problem.

Note: Once you clear your cookies, cache, history, and footprints, you may lose the following:

  • AOL Radio presets
  • websites you have visited
  • Your shopping cart
  • Your customized pages
The instructions to clear your cache, cookies, and footprints will differ depending on the browser you use. Please visit our help article Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints in your browser for instructions on how to clear your cookies, cache, history, and footprints on your particular browser.

Reset web settings

If you've installed another web browser after installing Internet Explorer, some of your Internet Explorer settings may have changed. However, you can reset your Internet Explorer to its default settings. The home page, the search pages, and the default browser will be reset without changing the settings of the other browsers on your computer. Please click the link corresponding to the version of Internet Explorer you have on your computer to learn how to reset your web settings.

Disable the pop-up preferences

For assistance with disabling pop-up blocker software, please read our help article Controlling pop-up ads on webpages.

Why am I not able to receive emails with attachments?

Trouble receiving mail that has attachments? A particular spam setting could be blocking messages with attachments. Let's check.

To check your spam settings:

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

2. In the left panel, click Spam Settings.

””

3. Next to "Content Filter", make sure the box next to Block mail containing pictures or files is not checked. If it is, click the box to clear it.

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Settings.

That should do the trick. You'll now be able to see what you've been missing!

Why am I unable to receive emails from specific senders?

If you're unable to receive emails from specific senders on AOL Mail, try the solutions listed below. After trying the first solution, check if the issue is resolved. If it isn't, continue to the next solutions until the issue is resolved.

Check your spam settings:

The spam settings for your Username may block email from a particular email address or email containing pictures, certain words, or phrases.

Note: You need to sign in using a Master Username or a Username in the General Access category to access Spam Settings. A Master Username is the first username that you created for this account and any Username that you have assigned the Master Username's status can be viewed by clicking this link http://names.aol.com.

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

2. In the left panel, click the Spam Settings link.

””

3. In the "Spam Filter" section, make sure your Spam Filter is set to Medium. If not, click the drop-down menu, and then click Medium.

””

4. In the "Sender Filter" section, make sure your Sender Filter is set to Allow mail from all senders. If not, click the drop-down menu, and then click Allow mail from all senders.

””

5. In the "Content Filter" section, make sure the Block mail containing pictures or files, and the Block mail containing specific words and phrases boxes are clear. If not, click the check boxes to clear them.

””

6. In the "Blocked Mail" section, click the circle next to Deliver blocked mail to Spam folder.

””

7. At the bottom of the page, and click Save Settings.

Check your spam folder

The email may have accidentally been delivered to your Spam folder.

1. In the left panel, click Spam.

2. If you find the email that you're looking for, click the box next to it, and then above your messages, click OK NOT SPAM.

””

Note: When you click OK NOT SPAM, the email returns to your Inbox and is listed under the date you originally received the message.

Add the specific sender to your contacts list to ensure that his/her mail is delivered to your Inbox.

Additional Troubleshooting for Domain Admins/Email Service Providers

If you're still not able to receive emails sent from a specific sender, please request the sender's email service provider to contact AOL Postmaster.

Note: For more information, please visit the AOL Postmaster website.

How can I find emails that are missing from my AOL Mail Inbox?

If it looks like you're missing emails that were previously in your AOL Mail Inbox, here are a handful of solutions that'll help you find them.

IMPORTANT: If you have a free account with AOL and you haven't accessed your account in the last 90 days, any email associated with that account will be deleted per AOL's Terms of Service. The next time you sign in, you'll have a new, clean mailbox ready to use. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have a paid account or you frequently access your emails, don't worry: Your email experience will remain unchanged.

Note: The number of days an email stays in your mailbox depends on the type of mailbox you use and the folder in which you saved the email.

You access your email using an email client (like Microsoft Outlook) or on your mobile device

Do you check your AOL Mail using another email account or program? This is perhaps the top reason people don't find email where they think it should be. If you "POP" your mail into another account or program, chances are that the settings in that program are actually set to delete the mail from the AOL server each time you check your mail. The fix? Go into that program's POP/IMAP settings and find the option to "Leave messages on server," and select it.

Alternatively, if your email isn't missing but is going straight into the Old, Recently Deleted or Trash folders, this may simply be the normal outcome of using IMAP to access your AOL Mail in another program or on another device. IMAP syncs your mail regardless of where you use it, which means if you read a message in your mailbox on your mobile device, it will appear as "Read" the next time you check your mail from anywhere else. To learn more about POP vs. IMAP, please visit our help article What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP?.

Check the Trash folder

If the email was accidentally deleted from your inbox, you might be able to recover it from the Trash folder.

To check the Trash folder:

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

2. Determine whether the message that you're looking for is in this folder.

3. If you find the email in your Trash folder you can still restore it. Click the box next to the email, click the Action drop-down menu, and then under "Move To", click where you'd like to move the message to.

Check the Saved Mail folder

The email may have been saved in the Saved Mail folder.

To check the Saved Mail folder:

1. In the left panel, click My Folders.

2. Click the Saved Mail folder.

3. Check if the missing email is in this folder.

Check the Spam Folder

The email may have been accidentally diverted to your Spam folder.

To check the Spam folder:

1. In the left panel, click Spam.

2. Determine whether the email that you're looking for is in this folder. If you find the email in the Spam folder and would like to move it to your Inbox, check the box next to the message, and then above your list of messages, click OK NOT SPAM.

Note: When you click OK NOT SPAM, the email will return to your Inbox and will be listed by the date that it was originally received.

Check the Spam Controls settings

If the email that you're looking for is not in the spam folder, it might have been deleted because of your Spam Control settings.

To check the Spam Control settings:

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

2. In the left panel, click Spam Settings.

3. In the Spam Filter section, click the drop-down menu, and then select Medium.

4. In the Blocked Mail section, select the Deliver blocked mail to Spam folder option, and then click Save Settings.

Delete incoming mail filter

An incoming mail filter could be delivering messages to a particular folder instead of your inbox.

To delete an incoming mail filter:

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

2. In the left panel, click Filters and Alerts.

3. Move your pointer over the filter that you'd like to delete and click the white X in the box to the right of Edit.

4. At the bottom of your screen you'll see a confirmation that the filter has been deleted. Delete the wrong filter? No problem. Click the Undo link on the right to restore the filter.

Check if your account has been compromised

Sometimes, missing emails are an indication that your account has been hacked. To learn how to identify a compromised or hacked account, please visit our help article Account Management: Identifying suspicious activity.

Does my AOL Mail account get deactivated if I don’t use it for 90 days?

Yes, an AOL Mail account does get deactivated if it is inactive for more than 90 days. To keep your account active, please sign in to your account at least once every 90 days. For more information, please click here.

Why is AOL Mail temporarily unavailable?

You may receive the message "Email is temporarily unavailable" or "Mail is not available" because of various factors, including network traffic, system issues, or maintenance. These are system-generated errors. It's also possible that some adjustments are being made in the area where you live. We appreciate your patience and we're hard at work fixing the problem.

The best thing to do is wait a few minutes, and then try accessing your email again. If you still can't access your mail, the solutions may help you resolve this issue: