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Read and send AOL email with other email applications

You can send and receive your AOL email using almost any other email program. You'll get most of the great features AOL email has to offer and the flexibility to read and send email via another email application. You will have to check that your application supports the IMAP protocol (see note below), but most recent programs will.

Note: There are two major standards for reading email: IMAP and POP3. IMAP allows you to read your email directly from the remote email server and the email will remain accessible on the email server even if you use a different computer to access it later. POP3 requires you to download your email to your computer before you can read it and, depending on the software, the email can be deleted from the email server as soon as it is downloaded or left for a preset period of time. Due to security issues, email programs that only use the POP3 protocol are unable to connect to the AOL email servers.


What your email application must support

AOL email can be sent and received using other email applications by setting up a connection to AOL's email servers. Setting up access to the servers is simple, and the settings are similar for most email applications.

As well as supporting IMAP, your email application must support authenticated SMTP (see note below) as the outgoing email server, which almost all do, and also allow you to change the SMTP server.

Note: SMTP is the major standard for sending email on the internet. Using an authenticated SMTP server means that to send email you must log in to the SMTP server with a user name and password. The user name and password to send AOL email are your AOL screen name and password.


Email application setup basics

Setting up access to the AOL email servers is relatively simple, and the settings are similar for most email applications. The basic information that you need is as follows:

  • Your email address:
    (Be sure to include the or suffix)
  • Incoming mail (IMAP) server address:
  • Outgoing mail (SMTP) server address:; port: 587
  • Your user name is your AOL screen name
  • Your password is your AOL password


Features not available with email applications

The following AOL email features are not available while using other email applications:

  • In the Recently Deleted Email folder, email is marked ready to be deleted in the Inbox or Sent Items folders, then deleted by the AOL IMAP servers every night. Some applications show deleted email in the original folder with the message flagged for deletion (such as Outlook or Eudora), while other applications do not show these emails.
  • You will not be able to check the status of a sent message or retrieve unopened email from AOL members.
  • The Report Spam button is not available on IMAP. To report messages as spam, move them to your Spam folder.
  • AOL IMAP servers do not allow folders to be created or deleted in the root folder. You will see an Inbox, Sent Items, Saved, and Spam folder.
  • You cannot manually add messages to the Inbox or Sent Items folders. Messages will only be added to these folders when an email is received or sent by the AOL IMAP server.