We're sorry to hear that you're having trouble with your AOL Mail. Please click a heading below to learn what to do if you're having problems with your account.

Trouble Signing In

Use the following solutions if you're having trouble signing into your AOL Mail account. Select a heading below to expand more information.

I’m having trouble signing in to my account

Can't access AOL Mail? Do you get one of these alerts when you try to sign in:

  a) "We detected unusual activity," or

  b) "Your Username or Password is incorrect"?

If so, then first off, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. To protect your account and get back in, you'll need to reset your password.

Go to account.aol.com to get it done. Typically this is quick and easy. But if you're unable to change your password (and you're in the U.S.), call 855-622-4946 for further instructions (Mon-Fri 8am-1am ET and Sat-Sun 8am-10pm ET).

If you're not seeing either of the alerts above when you attempt to sign in, it might be an issue with your browser. Here are two things to try.

Set your browser's security setting to default

1. First, determine the browser version you're using.

2. Once you’ve identified your browser version, read our help article Reset browser security settings to default level to learn how to set your browser security settings.

3. Try signing in again.

Clear your browser’s cookies, cache, history and footprints

1. Clear your browser's cookies, cache, history and footprints to clean your computer's disk space. Visit our help article Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints in your browser to learn how.

2. Try signing in again.

You barely have time to clean out your closet, so why bother clearing cookies, cache, history and footprints in your browser? A few reasons to consider tidying up:

  • Websites store temporary files and cookies on your computer in order to remember you for return visits (e.g., a link you’ve clicked on in the past will remain darkened). As nice as it is of them to RSVP on your behalf, these temporary files and cookies can cause problems with your e-mail.
  • If your browser’s history settings call for your history to be recorded for an especially long period of time, then the file size can become quite large. Clearing this list frees up space on your computer.

Why do I get a blank screen when trying to sign in to AOL Mail?

There are several reasons why your screen is blank when signing in to AOL Mail. Don't worry, we're here to help!

Try the solutions below, checking to see if you can access your mail after each solution, until the problem is fixed.

Solutions

Sign out and then sign back in

Sometimes, the best solution is also the easiest. If you're having trouble accessing your mail, sign out of your account, wait a few minutes, and then sign back in. This will often do the trick.

Clear browser cache, cookies and history

When you visit a website, temporary Internet files, cookies, and your browsing history are stored on your computer to record your return visit. Deleting these files (Internet files, cookies, and browsing history) can often fix the problem you're experiencing.

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

Resetting your web browser back to the default settings can help fix the problem. Please read our help article Reset browser security settings to default level to learn how to reset your browser security settings.

Try to access your AOL Mail using a different browser

Try accessing your mail using a different web browser. Open the new browser and go to mail.aol.com and sign in with your AOL Username and password. If you still receive the error message, please wait a few minutes and then try again.

If you're using a firewall, allow the following friendly URLs

If you're using a firewall, allow the following friendly URLs: (*.aol.com, *.aim.com, registration.aol.com, webmail.aol.com, and mail.aol.com). For additional support configuring third party firewalls, please contact the firewall manufacturer.

In order to address this issue, please disable your pop-up blocking software. Alternatively, you could add a web site such as AOL.com to the "white list" of domains accepted by your pop-up blocker software. If you are unsure how to disable your pop-up blocking software or add a domain to the"white list", please contact the vendor of your pop-up blocking software for assistance or simply reference the Help guide included with your software.

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

Check if Java Applet Scripting and cookies are enabled in Internet Options

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

My AOL Mail sign in screen is missing

Something missing? If you can't see the AOL Mail sign in screen, try the solutions below to fix the problem, checking whether you can see the sign in screen after each solution.

Solutions

Reset web settings

If you've installed multiple web browsers, some of your browser settings may have changed. However, you can reset your web settings without changing the settings of other browsers on your computer. Please visit our help article Reset web settings and select your browser version to learn how to set your web settings to default.

Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints

When you visit a website, temporary internet files, your browsing history, and cookies are stored on your computer to record your return visit. Deleting these files can fix the problem you're experiencing.

The instructions to clear your cookies, cache, history and footprints will differ depending on the browser you use. Please visit our help article Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints in your browser to learn how.

Problems Receiving or Reading Mail

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 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 multiple web browsers, some of your browser settings may have changed. However, you can reset your web settings without changing the settings of other browsers on your computer. Please visit our help article Reset web settings and select your browser version to learn how to set your web settings to default.

Disable the pop-up blocking software

1. Try to access your AOL Mail using a different browser like Mozilla Firefox or Chrome.

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.

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.

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 multiple web browsers, some of your browser settings may have changed. However, you can reset your web settings without changing the settings of other browsers on your computer. Please visit our help article Reset web settings and select your browser version to learn how to set your web settings to default.

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 right away. 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.

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 multiple web browsers, some of your browser settings may have changed. However, you can reset your web settings without changing the settings of other browsers on your computer. Please visit our help article Reset web settings and select your browser version to learn how to set your web settings to default.

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 "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.

””

4. 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.

””

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

””

6. 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 Mail Settings.

2. In the left panel, click Spam Settings.

3. 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:

Problems Sending or Composing Mail

Use the following solutions to help resolve the your issues with sending or composing mail. Select a heading below to expand more information.

I’m unable to send email

Can't send email with AOL Mail? If you have a problem sending mail, try these options in the order they are listed. After each one, take a look to check if you can send before trying the next option.

You might want to print a copy of these instructions, or make sure the page is open in a separate browser window as you go through the suggested steps.

Information you need

You will need to know the version of the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Internet Explorer browser installed on your computer. You can find this information by following the instructions given in the online help articles mentioned below:

Solutions

Clear cookies, cache, history, and footprints

Whenever you visit websites, temporary Internet files and cookies are stored on your computer to record your return visits. Sometimes, these temporary Internet files and cookies can cause the issue that you are 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.

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.

Verify spam settings

Your Mail Controls settings may block you from sending or receiving email in general, or sending or receiving email with pictures and file attachments. To know how to verify your Mail Controls, read our online help article AOL Mail: Spam and Privacy.

Disable the pop-up blocking software

In order to address this issue, please disable your pop-up blocking software. Alternatively, you could add AOL.com to the "white list" of domains accepted by your pop-up blocker software. If you are not sure how to disable your pop-up blocking software or add AOL.com to the "white list," please contact the vendor of your pop-up blocking software for assistance or simply refer to the help guide included with your software.

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.

Restart the computer

If you haven't recently restarted your computer or you don't restart your computer very often, we recommend that you restart the computer. Restarting the computer to clear the internal memory (RAM) often resolves many issues.

Use a different browser

The problem could be with the browser that you're using. Try to access AOL Mail using a different browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.

Enable/disable firewall using McAfee Internet Security Suite - Special edition from AOL

A firewall prevents computer hackers from accessing your computer through the Internet to steal sensitive information or infect your computer system with viruses.

To know how to enable or disable firewall, read our online help article Enable/disable firewall using McAfee Internet Security Suite - Special.

Why won’t images show when forwarded through AOL Mail?

The recipient of your email may not be able to view the picture in the email you forwarded through AOL Mail if you are sending email in plain text, or if you're using the Mac Safari™ browser. After trying the solution, check to see if the recipient of your email can view the picture in the email you sent. If they are still unable to view the picture in the email you sent, continue using the suggested solutions until the problem is fixed.

Enable Rich Text/HTML:

If your Compose Settings are not set to use rich text or HTML, images will not be seen in forwarded emails.

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

2. In the left panel, click Compose.

””

3. Click the box next to Use Rich Text/HTML Editing to place a check mark in it.

””

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

Note: You can also enable this feature by clicking the Enable rich text editor button, in the compose mail window.

Download the Attachment, Then Resend the Image as an Attachment:

You may need to save the attachment to your computer and then send the image with a new email.

1. Open the email which has attachments, then click the attached file.

2. On the File Download window, click the Save button.

3. On the Save As window, navigate to the folder where you want to save the image, then click the Save button.

4. On the Download complete window, click the Close button.

5. In the upper right of the email with attachment, click the X button to close it.

6. Click the Compose button.

7. In the To: box, type the Username or email address of the person to whom you want to send the image.

8. To attach the file, click the paper clip icon.

9. Navigate to the folder with the image you want to attach, click the file name to highlight it, then click the Open button.

Note: Repeat the last two steps for each image you want to attach.

10. When you're ready to send your message, click the Send button at the top.

My Sent folder or outbox contains emails 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, you should:

  • Go to account.aol.com to change your password. Visit our help article Account Management: Managing your AOL Password for our most up-to-date recommendations on making the strongest password possible.
    Note: The new password should be at least six characters long and include at least one number, letter (combination of upper and lower cases) and special character ($, *, &, !, etc.). Also, if you used the same password for other online accounts such as social media and financial services, change those passwords as well. Make sure these new passwords are very different from your new AOL Mail password.
  • For more information on what you should do if you think your account has been compromised, please visit our help article Account Management: Identifying suspicious activity.

If you can’t sign on with your current password…

When an email account suddenly appears tied to suspicious activity, we place a temporary hold on the account. You can access your account again by changing your password. If you’re not sure how to do so, read our help article Account Management: Managing your AOL Password.

Note: If you still can't change your password or security question (ASQ) after visiting account.aol.com, please call 1-855-622-4946 (Mon-Fri 8am-1am ET and Sat-Sun 8am-10pm ET) and we'll be more than happy to help you.

To help keep your account safe, we recommend that you:

  • Learn to spot phishing email scams. Please visit the AOL Account Security site for more information on how to best protect your account, how to spot a phishing email, and what you should do when you receive one.
  • Protect your account with comprehensive online security. You can download software to help protect your computer from viruses, spyware, hackers and even identity theft. For more information regarding safety and security for your PC, please visit AOL Internet Security Central.
  • Keep tabs on your account. Periodically check the Usernames on your account by going to account.aol.com. If you see a Username you don’t recognize, select it and click delete. If you’re missing a Username that you formerly had under your account, you can restore it by clicking Restore a Recently Deleted Screen Name from the main Screen Names menu. Check each Username's profile to make sure it hasn’t been changed.
  • Recognize AOL Certified emails. Email coming from AOL is often sent as “Certified Mail,” which means it’s marked with a unique green ribbon icon. This icon is visible from your inbox view before you open the email to help you identify authentic AOL messages.

REMEMBER: AOL employees will never ask you for your password.

Why am I getting an image challenge when trying to send mail?

If you’re seeing an image challenge when trying to send mail, entering the image in the box should do the trick. However, if you correctly enter the image challenge and still can’t send mail, it may be signs of a more serious issue with your account. For more information, please visit our help article What should I do if I get an image challenge when trying to send mail?.