If you sign up for AOL Desktop Gold, your email will be migrated to the new version of the software. If you do not to upgrade to AOL Desktop Gold, you may still access your email using the old version of AOL Desktop software. However, you will not be able to send or receive new email in the old versions.

You can access your email saved on AOL servers (Saved on AOL) for free using AOL Mail at mail.aol.com. Your locally-saved email messages (Saved on My PC) will remain accessible in a read-only format by using the old version of AOL Desktop that is installed on your computer.

Downloaded email attachments can be accessed through the Download Manager feature in your old version of AOL Desktop or through Windows Explorer in the folder where the files were saved.

Refer to the instructions below for viewing and backing up your locally-stored email messages and how to access your email using AOL Mail.

How do I access my local email messages in the old version of AOL Desktop?

Follow the steps below to access your locally-saved email messages using the old version of AOL Desktop installed on your computer:

  1. Launch the AOL Desktop software but do not sign on.
  2. On the Sign On window, click the arrow next to the Username box to display your usernames.

    choose screenname

  3. Select the username you wish to see the mail for.
  4. Close the Sign On window by clicking the X button.

    sign on window

  5. Click the Mailbox icon in the upper left corner of the window.

    mailbox icon

  6. Click on any folder under Saved on My PC to access your locally stored emails.

    mailbox view

  7. Double click on an email to open it.

How do I make a backup of my locally stored email messages?

Follow the steps below to make a backup of your locally stored email messages:

  1. Launch the AOL Desktop software but do not sign on.
  2. On the Sign On window, click the arrow next to the Username box to display your usernames.

    choose screenname

  3. Select the username you wish to see the mail for.
  4. Close the Sign On window by clicking the X button.

    sign on window

  5. Click the Mailbox icon in the upper left corner of the window.

    mailbox icon

  6. Click on any folder under Saved on My PC to access your locally stored emails.

    mailbox view

  7. Double click on an email to open it.
  8. Click the File menu in the upper left corner of the screen.
  9. Click SAVE.
  10. Select the format you wish to save your email in. (Text or HTML)
  11. Enter a name for the file.
  12. Click Save.

How do I access my saved email attachments?

Follow the steps below to access the email attachments that you saved to your computer.

Note: You can only access the attachments that you saved to your computer.

  1. Launch the AOL Desktop software but do not sign on.
  2. On the Sign On window, click the arrow next to the Username box to display your usernames.

    choose screenname

  3. Select the username you wish to see the attachments for.
  4. Close the Sign On window by clicking the X button.

    sign on window

  5. Click the File menu and then click Download Manager in the menu that appears.

    download manager menu

  6. Select an attachment by clicking on it and then click the Find File button.

    download manager window

  7. A Windows Explorer window opens showing your attachments.

How do I access my email using the AOL Mail for free?

Follow the steps below to access your email using AOL Mail:

  1. Visit https://mail.aol.com.
  2. Sign in with your screen name and password.

    webmail login form

  3. Click the Inbox folder to see your email.

    webmail inbox button

You can compose a new email by clicking the Compose button. For more information and instructions on how to use AOL Mail, please visit https://help.aol.com/products/aol-mail.

How do I access my contacts (address book)?

You can access your contacts (address book)  for free using AOL Mail. Follow the steps below to learn how to access your contacts in AOL Mail:

  1. Visit https://mail.aol.com.
  2. Sign in with your screen name and password.

    webmail login form

  3. Click Contacts to see your address book.

    aol mail contacts