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How to Access AOL Mail in Mozilla Thunderbird

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You can read your AOL email on the web when you're anywhere and in the AOL desktop application when you're nostalgic.

What about the instances, more and more common, when you feel powerful and in command; when you want to read your AOL email in an email program that you know as powerful and that puts you in command; when you want your AOL email in Mozilla Thunderbird?

After you have set it up once, all the mail is there, and all the folders, too. It's easy.

Access AOL Mail in Mozilla Thunderbird

To set up an AOL email account in Mozilla Thunderbird:

  • Select Tools | Account Settings... (Windows, Mac) or Edit | Account Settings (Linux) from the menu in Mozilla Thunderbird.
    • Press the Alt key if you cannot see the menu.
  • Click Account Actions.
  • Select Add Mail Account... from the menu that comes up.
  • Type your name under Your Name:.
  • Now type your full AOL email address (including "@aol.com" or to whatever domain your address belongs) under Email Address:.
  • Enter your AOL email password under Password:.
  • Click Continue.
  • Make sure IMAP (remote folders) is selected.
    • Select POP3 (keep mail on your computer) to have Mozilla Thunderbird download new mail from AOL but not synchronize folders and actions.
      • Note that, with POP3, Mozilla Thunderbird will be set up to delete downloaded messages from AOL after two weeks or after you have deleted them locally; you can change these options under your accounts's Server Settings following the next step.
  • Click Done.
  • Click OK.

Access AOL Mail in Mozilla Thunderbird 2

To set up access to an AOL Mail email account in Mozilla Thunderbird 2:

  • Select Tools | Account Settings... or Edit | Account Settings from the menu.
  • Click Add Account....
  • Make sure Email account is selected.
  • Click Continue.
  • Enter your name under Your Name:.
  • Type your AOL email address under Email Address:.
    • Remember to include the "@aol.com" part following your AOL screen name. If your screen name is "essempio", for example, use "essempio@aol.com".
  • Click Continue.
  • Make sure IMAP is selected under Select the type of incoming server you are using.
  • Type "imap.aol.com" under Incoming Server:.
  • Click Continue.
  • Verify Mozilla Thunderbird has entered your AOL screen name in the Incoming User Name: and Outgoing User Name: fields.
  • Click Continue.
  • Give the account a descriptive name ("AOL Email" or what Mozilla Thunderbird suggests, your AOL email address) under Account Name:.
  • Click Continue.
  • Now click Done.
  • Highlight Outgoing Server in the account list.
  • Click Add... on the right.
  • Type "AOL Email" under Description:.
  • Enter "smtp.aol.com" under Server Name:.
  • Type "587" under Port:.
  • Make sure Use name and password is checked.
  • Enter your AOL screen name under User Name:.
  • Click OK.
  • Now highlight your AOL account in the account list.
  • Under Outgoing Server (SMTP):, choose AOL Email - smtp.aol.com.
  • Highlight Copies & Folders under your AIM Mail account in the server list.
  • Make sure Place a copy in: is not checked under When sending messages, automatically:.
  • Click OK.

(Updated May 2014)

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