Screen Names

Q: What can I do if the Screen Name I want is already taken?
A: If the Screen Name you want is already taken, try variations of that name, or select another. You can use up to 16 letters, numbers, and spaces for your Screen Name. For example, if the Screen Name you want is "joebloggs", try using "joebloggs1," "joebloggsuk," etc.

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Q: How do I use multiple Screen Names with my existing copy of AIM?
A: All you need to do to add the new Screen Name to your list is sign on with it. To do this:

  • Select the "Switch Screen Name" option if you're online.
  • Then, click the arrow next to the "Screen Name" box and select the item.
  • With highlighted, type your new Screen Name in its place; then enter your password in the password field.
  • Confirm whether you want to enable the "Save Password" and "Auto-Login" options, and then click the Sign On button.

You should be all set. After you sign on & off once you should see the new name in the box when you use "Switch Screen Name" in the future.

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Q: How can I change my Screen Name?
A: If you don't like your current Screen Name, you can either change the formatting (capitalisation and spacing) of your Screen Name, or you can register a new one.

To format your Screen Name on Windows, select the File menu, select My Options, and select Format Screen Name.

On the Macintosh, select the Edit menu, and then select Account Options -> Screen Name Format.

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Q: Can I delete one of my old AIM Screen Names?
A: No, you cannot delete old AIM Screen Names at this time. However, you can prevent other users from finding one of your Screen Names by performing the following steps:

Windows: Select the File menu, click My Options, and then click Edit Preferences. After the window appears, click the Controls tab, and click Nothing about me.

Macintosh: Select the Edit menu, and click Preferences. After the window appears, click the Controls tab, and click Nothing about me.

You can also go into the Profile wizard (File menu on Windows; People menu on Mac), and remove any information from your profile that would lead other users to find your Screen Name.

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Q: How do I remove Screen Names from the Sign On screen?
A: Windows: Select the Screen Name on the Sign On screen, and press the Delete key. If the Screen Name is still not deleted, upgrade to the latest version of AIM.

Macintosh: At the bottom of the Screen Name drop-down list on the Sign On screen, choose the "Remove" option. If you don't have this option, then upgrade to the latest version of AIM.

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Q: How do I delete Screen Names from the drop-down list in the Instant Message window or from the Info window?
A: Windows: Highlight the Screen Name, and press the Delete key. If the Screen Name is still not deleted, upgrade to the latest version of AIM.

Macintosh: Quit AIM, and delete the following file: "System Folder:Preferences:AOL Instant Messenger:Users:AIM Prefs." (This action also loses most of your preferences and any saved passwords.)

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Q: Why do I get an error message, indicating one of the names is invalid, when I try to go from the List Setup tab to the Online tab?
A: The highlighted Screen Name contains invalid characters. After you click OK to delete the error message, AIM highlights the invalid Screen Name. Delete or edit the Screen Name, and click the Online tab.

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Q: Do my Screen Names and Buddy List transfer to any new copy of AIM that I install on the same computer?
A: Yes, installing a new copy of AIM on the same computer will retain the Buddy List and preferences for all of your Screen Names that you have been using on that computer.

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