Buddy Lists

Q: What is a Buddy List?
A: A Buddy List is a window that shows all your Buddies (friends, family, co-workers, and others) who are signed on to AOL, CompuServe (CS2000), or AIM. Whenever they sign on, their Screen Names appear in your Buddy List, and you can communicate with them instantly.

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Q: How do I add Buddies to my Buddy List?
A: To add a Buddy to your Buddy List, click the List Setup tab, click the Add Buddy icon, and type your Buddy's Screen Name.

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Q: Why can't I see my Buddies in my Buddy List, even though they are online?
A: A You might not be able to see Buddies in your Buddy List for several reasons:

  • Make sure that the "Online" tab in the Buddy List window is the active tab.

  • If the number in parentheses next to a group indicates that there are Buddies online, make sure that the group is expanded. For example, if it says "Friends (5/10)" but no names are listed, then the group is not expanded. To expand the group, click the arrow on the left of the group name so that the arrow points downward.

  • Make sure that your Buddies are not blocking you and that you are not blocking your Buddies. If you block Buddies or they block you, you cannot see them.

  • If the Buddies you can't see are using AOL, then they have enabled an option that allows you to send them Instant Messages but doesn't let you see them on your Buddy List. This feature is only available to AOL users. Ask the AOL users to go the Privacy Preferences in their AOL Buddy List, and choose one of the Allow or Block options that does not cause you to be blocked.

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Q: What does the yellow piece of paper next to my Buddy's name mean?
A: It means that your Buddy's Away message feature is turned on. Your Buddy is still online, and when you send an instant message, you will receive an automated message, indicating your Buddy's unavailability to communicate with you at that time.

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Q: What does it mean when my Buddy's Screen Name turns grey?
A: When your Buddy's Screen Name appears grey (or dim), it means that your Buddy has not used the computer in a while.

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Q: What does the percentage symbol next to my Buddy's name mean?
A: The percentage symbol shows that your Buddy has been warned by another user. Users are usually sent warnings when others feel that they are sending offensive or annoying messages. See the "Warn" topic for more information.

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Q: When I minimise the Buddy List window, how can I control whether it minimises to the task bar or just the system tray? (Windows only)
A: You can set this preference with the "Show Taskbar button when Buddy List window is minimised" option in Buddy preferences.

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Q: How do I transfer my Buddy List from one computer to another?
A: Windows: From the Buddy List window, click the File menu, and select Save Buddy List. Save your Buddy List to a file, and transfer it to your other computer by using a disk or by attaching it to an email. To load the Buddy List file onto your other computer, click the File menu, and select Load Buddy List.

Macintosh: From the Edit menu, select Account Options -> Export Buddy List. Save your Buddy List to a file, and then transfer that file to your other computer by using a disk or by attaching it to an email. On the other computer, select the Edit menu, and then select Account Options -> Import Buddy List.

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Q: Why don't other users see me as being idle when I am signed on to AIM but not performing any AIM activities?
A: If you are using any application in your computer (or just pressing a key or moving your mouse slightly), AIM does not consider you to be idle. For example, if you are using a word-processing application while you are signed on, AIM does not consider you to be idle.

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Q: Why does AIM ignore my option setting to dim Buddies in my Buddy List after they've been idle for 5 minutes? Instead, AIM doesn't dim my Buddies' Screen Names until they've been idle for at least 10 minutes.
A: Your Buddy's Buddy List program might not be notifying the server that your Buddy is idle until after 10 minutes. Each client may be different.

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Q: Why does my Buddy List window appear only in the system tray, and not the taskbar, when I minimise it? (Windows only)
A: In order to make an icon appear in the taskbar when the Buddy List is minimised, go into Buddy preferences and enable the "Show Taskbar button when Buddy List window is minimised" option.

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Q: What should I do when AIM incorrectly reports how long my Buddies have been signed on?
A: Open your Control Panel and double-click the Date/Time icon. Check to make sure that the correct time zone, date, and time are set and that the Daylight Saving Time setting is correct.

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Q: How do I unblock a user?
A: Go into the Controls section of AIM preferences, and remove the user from the Block List.

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Q: My Buddy List window is taking up the entire screen (seems to always be maximised)
A: Although the window appears to be maximised, it probably has just been sized very big instead of being actually maximised. Because it is not technically maximised, the way to fix it is different than if it were maximised Take the following steps:

    1.) At the top-right of the window, there are three buttons. The left one is Minimise and the right one is Close. The middle one will either be Maximise or Restore. If the middle button currently displays the word "Restore" when you move the mouse over it, then click the button once. If the middle button currently displays the word "Maximise" over it, then do not click the button.

    2.) Now simply click on one of the sides or corners of the window and drag your mouse toward the centre of the screen to make the window smaller. That should fix the problem.

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