AOL Mail is one of the most active free webmail providers, having redesigned and upgraded its email service several times in the past few years. This elegant mail client works in all modern browsers. Your AOL email address can also be used as an AIM account to login to the AIM chat client (100% compatible with Apple iChat) and other AOL services.
Go to "
mail.aol.com" in your web browser: you should get the blank AOL sign in form. If you don't, click on the Sign out link in the top right corner and start over. Click on the Get a Free Username link under the Sign In button.
Tip: to get an localized email address, go to the country's AOL website. If you go to "mail.aol.co.uk" to sign up, for example, you'll get a UK AOL email account (ending in "@aol.co.uk"). Note: not all countries offer their version of AOL: aol.co.au (Australia) doesn't exist; AOL.ca (Canada) exists, but you get an aol.com email address. AOL.co.nz (New Zealand) redirects to the UK site. AOL.co.in (India) uses the "Cool Age" brand, with standard @aol.com email addresses.
When the Sign-up form loads, type your first name and last name as you'd like them to appear when you send messages from your AOL Mail account (you can always change your name later on!)
Once you've entered your name, AOL will automatically generate a list of email address suggestions based on the usernames still available. Either type a username yourself (the part of the email address that comes before the "@" symbol), or choose one of the suggested email address (clicking on it doesn't always work). Notice that the "
@aol.com" is already there, so you don't have to type it: If you pick your own username, click outside of the text field (or hit the Tab key) to check its availability. If that screen name is already used, you'll get a "Sorry, this username is taken" error message:
Next, type your AOL account password in the Create a password text box: it must be between 6 and 16 characters long, and it is "case-sensitive". The password strentgh meter gives you feedback in real time, as you type your password: try to reach the "Brilliant" goal by mixing up uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Then, re-type your password in the Confirm password field.
Note: the harder it is to remember your password, the harder it will be for hackers to guess it. But don't worry: the rest of the signup process will gather information that allows you to reset your password in case you forget it, like an alternate email address to send you password hints.
• You can change AOL password later on (and should do it regularly for security reasons!)
Now enter your birth date (used to send you a nice email on your birthday or check that you are old enough to access certain content on the AOL network), your gender, and your zip code (postal code - used for example to display local news and weather information on your the AOL homepage).
Caution: since this information is potentially used to verify your identity when you cannot access your AOL profile, make sure to enter actual information. (Or, if you don't feel comfortable sharing personal information with AOL, at least supply fake answers that you'll remember! :)
The following information is very important, since it will be used to help you regain access to your AOL account in case you forget your password, or in case your account was hacked. Pick one of the six security questions and enter your secret answer:
While the last two fields are not mandatory, we *strongly* recommend that you fill them out: your Mobile phone lets AOL send you password reset information to your cell phone or verify your identity if you are locked out, and the Alternate email is used to send you links when you have problems signing in. (The second email doesn't have to be an AOL address - it can be any internet or webmail provider.)
Enter the captcha code to confirm that you are a legitimate user trying to sign up (not automated software for spammers). If you cannot read the code, click on the refresh arrow icon to get a new one. If you prefer, click on the speaker icon to hear a sentence to transcribe instead.
When you are done, click on the big "Sign Up" button at the bottom.
You'll get a "Congratulations! Here is your account information" confirmation screen, which you can print for your record. If you associated a cell phone or smartphone with your account, AOL will send you a text message: reply to it as instructed to confirm that you do own that number. You'll also get a message to your other email account, titled "Confirmation Required for Alternate Email" - click on the confirmation link to validate your alternate email address.
Click on Go to AOL Mail to redirect to your inbox: you are done!
Since AOL accounts are free, and if you like AOL's webmail client, you can sign up for a second AOL Mail account (e.g., one for personal stuff, and another AOL email address for business).
To change your first name and/or last name in AOL Mail, sign in to your account, click on the Options dropdown menu (top right corner), and select "Account Info". A new window will open, and ask you to verify your identity (by re-entering your password, asking to answer your secret question, etc.) Click on the Edit link next to your name. Change your name and click on the Save button: The change takes effect immediately, and your display name will be updated for any email messages you send from your AOL account. This does not affect your your screen name / username.
To change password, login to your account and click on the dropdown arrow next to Options (top right corner), and choose "Account Info" from the dropdown menu: a new window will open (make sure your popup blocker doesn't prevent it from opening!), show your security question and ask for your secret answer. Enter it and click OK. On the next screen, click on the "Change your password" link. As a final confirmation, supply your current password, and type the new one twice. Then click Save.