Blocking and Unblocking Email Addresses

How do I block Spam in AOL Mail?

Your AOL Mail account will block most spam from ever reaching your Inbox. But if some spam slips through the cracks, just click the box next to each spam email and then click the Spam button in the menu bar and we'll do the rest.

report spam button

The more you use the Spam button, the better your personal Spam filter will be at identifying spam mail.

How do I block emails from a particular sender?

Is someone sending you unwanted mail? You can create a filter to send unwanted messages from that sender to your Spam or Trash folder.

Notes:

  • You can create up to 50 filters by email address, subject line and message body.
  • A domain is the part of the email address after the @ symbol. For example, if the email address is address@aol.com, then aol.com is the domain.

To learn more about setting up mail filters, please visit our help article AOL Mail: Features and Actions and then click the heading 'Searching Your Mail and Using Email Filters.'

How can I disable links in emails from people I don't know?

Turning off links in messages from people you don't know is a great way to protect yourself from accidentally downloading a virus. We highly recommend it! And it's easy.


To disable links in AOL Mail:

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

mail settings

2. On the General Settings page, in the "Reading" section, click the box next to Disable links in mail from unknown senders to place a check mark in it.

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

4. To make sure this new setting is active in your current session of Mail, click your browser's "Refresh" button (the circular arrow) to reload your inbox. All right: Done!

How do I unblock emails from a particular sender?

Did an email from a sender get sent to spam accidentally? If it's been fewer than five days since the message was delivered to your Spam folder, you can still move it back to your inbox.

To move a message from your Spam folder back to your inbox:

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

    spam button

  2. Click the box to the left of the message that you want to move out of the Spam folder, and then above your list of messages, click the OK (Not Spam) button.

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Voila! You'll find the message back in your inbox filed under the original date you received it.

If the emails from the sender have already been deleted from your Spam folder, or if emails from this sender continue to be delivered to your Spam folder, you can add the sender to your Contacts. This will ensure that the emails get delivered to your Inbox going forward.

To add an email address to your contacts:

  1. Log in to your email at mail.aol.com.
  2. Click the Contacts icon on the left-hand menu.

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  3. Click New Contact.

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  4. Add the Sender’s information to the form and click Add Contact. Now the sender is in your Address Book as a Contact.

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Using the Spam Filter/Folder

How does the AOL Spam Filter work?

By marking messages as Spam or Not Spam you are customizing your personal Spam filter to learn what is spam and what is not.

AOL spam controls filter email for possible spam, even before the mail reaches your Inbox or Spam Folder. This system is largely reputation-based, so senders with good reputation will have their email delivered (at which point, your personal filters will perform the extra filtering). Emails from senders with bad reputation are blocked. If our Global Filters decide to block an email, we return the message to the sender with a mailer-daemon error explaining why the email was returned.

What is the Spam Folder?

The Spam folder, located in the left panel, contains email messages that you have marked as spam (or messages that our system has flagged as spam).

spam button

Things to know about your Spam Folder:

  • This folder can hold a maximum of 250 emails.
  • Emails deleted from the Spam folder are permanently deleted from the AOL Mail servers.
  • The Spam folder will also be visible for the Teen and Kids Only accounts, depending on the Parental Controls settings for those accounts.
  • Email messages in this folder are automatically deleted after five days.
  • Sometimes, non-spam items can be marked as spam so it's a good idea to check it periodically to see if any important emails accidentally made their way to the Spam folder.
  • To empty the Spam folder, move your pointer over the Spam folder and click the Trash Can icon on the right.

How do I retrieve an email that was accidentally marked as spam?

Accidentally mark a message as Spam? If it's been less than five days since you marked the message as Spam, you can still move it back to your inbox. After five days, your Spam folder will be automatically deleted.

To move a message from your Spam folder back to your inbox:

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

spam button

2. Click the box to the left of the message that you want to move out of the Spam folder, and then above your list of messages, click the OK NOT SPAM button.

User-added image

Voila! You'll find the message back in your inbox filed under the original date you received it.

Does AOL Mail check incoming attachments for viruses?

Yes! AOL Mail scans your incoming messages and attachments for viruses to make sure the mail you're receiving is safe.

If a virus is found, one of two things will happen:

1. The virus will be removed from the attachment and a clean and safe attachment will be delivered to you.

2. The email and attachment will be returned to the sender.

Even though your messages and attachments are being scanned for viruses, the safest policy is to never download or open attachments sent from people you don't know and don't click any links in those emails.

Reporting Spam and Objectionable Mail

How do I mark an email as Spam?

Is Spam cluttering up your inbox? If so, you can mark any email as Spam and move it to the Spam folder. The more often you mark messages as Spam, the more you tune your personal Spam filter, making it better equipped to identify incoming Spam emails.

Here's how to:

Mark a message as Spam and move it to the Spam folder

1. Click the box to the left of the message that you want to mark as spam, and then above your list of messages, click the Spam button.

report spam

That's it! The message has been moved to your Spam folder, located in the left panel.

Move a message from your Spam folder back to your inbox

Accidentally mark a message as Spam? If it's been less than five days since you marked the message as Spam, you can still move it back to your inbox. After five days, your Spam folder will be automatically deleted.

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

spam button

2. Click the box to the left of the message that you want to move out of the Spam folder, and then above your list of messages, click the OK NOT SPAM button.

User-added image

Voila! You'll find the message back in your inbox filed under the original date you received it.

How do I report suspicious mail or scam emails?

If you receive an email that doesn't seem quite right, it may be a scam email. What's a scam email? It's an email that is phishing for your personal information like your Username, password, credit card information, billing information or other sensitive information. Scam emails may ask you to download an attachment, click a link, or threaten to terminate your service if you don't provide your personal information.

Learn more about phishing by looking at email scam examples on the AOL Mail Security site.

Important: AOL will never ask for your Username, password, or other personal information through emails, and an AOL representative will never send you an email with an attachment. Please know that AOL will ask you to update your billing information only by going to https://bill.aol.com/.

If you receive suspicious email, you should:

  • Do NOT give your AOL password or billing information or enter this information by clicking a hyperlink (in an email or instant message), even if the link takes you to an official-looking website.
  • If you're unsure of an email's authenticity, please forward the email to the email address aol_phish@abuse.aol.com. Highlight the message you want to forward, and then click Forward to ensure that we receive the email along with the original message.

How do I know if an email I received from AOL is legitimate?

AOL has secure technology, privacy protection controls, and restrictions on employee access to safeguard your personal information. Whenever we communicate with members, we do so by AOL Certified Mail only. AOL Certified Mail contains important information for AOL members.

You can easily identify AOL Certified Mail by the green ribbon in your message list. If it has the green ribbon, it's from us and safe to open.

For information on AOL Certified Mail, please visit our help article What is AOL Certified Mail?


AOL now offers Virus Removal services for as low as $39.99 (or it may be included in your existing plan - click here to see if you're eligible). Call 1-855-288-1686 and let one of our expert technicians access your computer from a remote location to identify and remove viruses or malware.

I receive spam emails from my own email address

Your Sent folder may offer the best clue to whether you have been hacked or spoofed.

  • If you DO find email in your Sent folder that you did NOT send: Your account has been compromised (hacked).
  • If you DO NOT find any strange email in your Sent Folder: Your account has most likely been spoofed.

Email spoofing is a technique that spammers use to send spam without it seeming like the message was from them. To learn more about spoofing and what to do if you receive emails from your own address, please visit our help article Account Management: Identifying suspicious activity

The sent folder or outbox contains email that I didn't send

Are your contacts getting emails that you didn’t send? Is your Sent folder (or any other folder) suddenly empty or missing?

If so, your account has most likely been hacked (or compromised) and has been accessed by someone other than you. It usually means someone figured out your password.

Check for these signs:

  • Your inbox is full of MAILER-DAEMON rejection notices for messages you didn't send.
  • People you know are getting emails from you that you didn’t send.
  • There are outgoing messages in your Sent, Drafts or Outbox folder that you didn’t create or send.
  • Your account folders (Sent, Deleted, Spam, Inbox, etc.) have been emptied or deleted.
  • Your Address Book contacts have been erased.
  • During sign-in or when sending a message, you're asked to pass an image challenge.
  • Emails you try to send are suddenly getting refused and returned to you.
  • There are contacts in your Address Book you didn’t add.
  • You keep getting bumped offline when you're signed into your account.
  • Your Display Name has been changed or looks odd.
  • Your email signature suddenly has a link you didn’t put there.
  • You're not getting new mail, OR your new mail is going straight into your Saved IMs folder.

If you think your account has been hacked, please visit our help article Account Management: Identifying suspicious activity to learn what to do.

Email and Instant Message scams

Email and instant messaging services allow you to quickly and easily communicate with your friends, family, and coworkers. Unfortunately, some people misuse these services and send out unwanted and unsolicited emails and instant messages (IMs). AOL provides you with the means to report unwanted email and IMs and keep yourself safe online. Check out the FAQs given below to know more.

What is AOL Certified Mail?

When AOL needs to contact you, you'll receive an AOL Certified Mail, a feature designed to help you to easily identify email that has been sent by AOL. You can easily identify AOL Certified Mail by the green ribbon in your message list.

If you open AOL Certified Mail, you'll also see the AOL Certified Mail banner above the Subject and details of the message.

certified aol mail

What is a fraudulent billing email?

Fraudulent billing emails are those that ask for confidential billing information (any information that is normally not required for a change of payment method, such as a driver's license number, credit card pin number, or Social Security Number).

What are file request and attachment scams?

Some email and instant message scams try to get you to download files to your computer. The files/attachments often contain viruses that may cause your computer to run incorrectly or send out your password so that someone else can access your account. The files may be presented as a picture, a game, or an electronic greeting. The best policy to keep your computer safe is to never open or accept any file unless it is an expected file from someone you know.

What are AOL-related hoaxes?

You may receive emails or instant messages from people claiming to be from AOL. If you did not initiate the contact, AOL will not contact you via instant message for any problems related to your account. All emails that you receive from official AOL sources will be by AOL Certified Mail (example above).

You may also receive messages claiming that AOL will start charging for services like instant messaging or sending email. These features are included as part of the regular AOL service and will not be charged for separately.

What is a jdbgmgr.exe (teddy bear) hoax?

You may have heard that a lot of viruses are let loose over the Internet. However, some of these viruses aren't really out there at all. Virus hoaxes are more than mere annoyances. They may lead some users to routinely ignore all virus warning messages, leaving them vulnerable to a genuine, destructive virus.

The jdbgmgr.exe hoax is a fraudulent email designed to trick users into deleting a legitimate file, jdbgmgr.exe, from their computer. Jdbgmgr.exe is the Microsoft Debugger Registrar for Java that displays the following icon.

Therefore, the email message stating that this file is a threat to your computer is a hoax. Although the jdbgmgr.exe file may become infected by a number of valid viruses (most commonly, the W32/Magistr@MM virus), the details of this hoax message are not based on actual events. We advise users who receive the email to delete the message. Please do not pass this email on as this is how an email hoax propagates.

What are chain emails and petitions?

Chain letters ask you to forward a specific message to others, often promising health, wealth, or good luck.

Petitions ask you to forward a message to others to demonstrate support for a cause.

Both chain letters and petitions create more mail in everyone's mailbox and may inadvertently give your email address to people who will send you more spam. Therefore, make sure that you do not forward such chain letters or petitions, and delete them instead.

What are pyramid schemes?

Pyramid schemes are emails that ask you to send money to someone and place your name on a list. Eventually, your name and address supposedly reaches the top of the list and others will send you money. Pyramid schemes violate the AOL Terms of Service and should not be encouraged. Please delete such emails or report them by sending an email to aol_phish@abuse.aol.com.

What are third-party charges scams?

You may receive emails claiming to be from a company that has billed your AOL payment method. These emails will include a hyperlink that leads to a Web site that asks you to either enter your Username and password or download files to your computer. The information that you enter is sent to the scammer who can then sign on to your AOL account, read your email, or violate AOL Terms of Service and eventually cause your account to be terminated. Files that you might download from such Web sites may contain computer viruses or Trojan horse programs that have been designed to steal your AOL password. Therefore, AOL strongly suggests that you do not download files or attachments in emails received from unknown senders.

What are 800 and 888 phone number scams?

Instead of asking for your password or credit card number directly, a scammer may give you an 800 or 888 number and PIN number (for a pager or similar service). When you get through and enter the PIN number, the voice recording sounds very official, saying it is AOL and asking you to reveal your password and/or credit card number. Although it sounds legitimate, it is not. Please remember that AOL will never ask for your information in such a manner.

What are junk emails, prizes, and contests?

Junk emails are any unsolicited advertising, promotional material, or other forms of solicitation masquerading as email messages. In addition to being a nuisance, junk mails can carry dangerous Trojan horse programs. These programs come to your mailbox in the form of email attachments disguised as software, screen savers, photos, or some other offers of free products. If you mistakenly download one of these attachments, the Trojan horse program captures your password and mails it back to the hacker's email address.

Contest scams try to trick you into providing your credit card or personal information in order to receive a prize that you have allegedly won. Often the scammer will claim to need the information to cover the shipping and handling costs for your prize. With this information, the scammer can make purchases with your credit card or even alter your credit information, and you never receive the prize that you supposedly won.

How do I report email violations?

If you receive unwanted or malicious email, please forward the email to aol_phish@abuse.aol.com.

Where can I find the full AOL Privacy Policy?

The full AOL Privacy Policy can be accessed by visiting http://privacy.aol.com/privacy-policy/.

What is spoofing?

Spoofing is a process of faking the sending address of a transmission in order to gain illegal entry into a secure system. To learn more about spoofing, please visit our help article What is email spoofing and how can I tell if my account has been spoofed?.