We understand how frustrating it can be when emails go missing. So here are a handful of solutions we hope will help you resolve the issue.

They are listed based on how you access AOL Mail (on AOL software on Windows, AOL software on Mac, or on other email services).

But first: do you check your AOL Mail in another account or email 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. You can read more about that in the help article AOL Mail: Troubleshooting and Error Messages.

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.

IMPORTANT: Free AOL Mail accounts that aren't used for more than 120 days are deleted.

If you have a paid account or you frequently access your emails, don't worry: Your email experience will remain unchanged. Follow the instructions below to resolve the issue.

If you are using the AOL software on Windows, do the following:

Note: First, try to send an email to yourself to verify whether you can send and receive emails.

If you are using AOL Desktop for Mac:

Note: First, try to send an email to yourself to verify whether you can send and receive emails.

If you're using the AOL Desktop for Mac, please visit our help article AOL Desktop for Mac: Troubleshooting to fix the problem.

If you are using another email program:

Note: First, try to send an email to yourself to verify whether you can send and receive emails.

You can send and receive your AOL Mail using any email program that supports either Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) or Post Office Protocol (POP). However, if your emails are missing, please reconfigure your email program to use the IMAP settings. As mentioned at the top of this page, accessing your mail through POP3 can cause the email software on your computer or mobile device to download your messages locally and immediately delete them from the server. Accessing AOL Mail through IMAP will allow the client to read emails from the server, without deleting them.

For more information on how to use IMAP with your email program, please visit our help article AOL Mail: Features and Actions.