The majority of AOL email subscribers probably use only the webmail browser interface to access the account. If you belong to that group, please note that even though messages are displayed on your computer (through the web browser program), the account and all the emails continue to reside on the AOL servers.
On reading the small print, you’ll come know that AOL, just like other free email service providers, does not guarantee a smooth functioning of your account… forget keeping a backup of the email!
Thus, in order to safeguard important communication and personal information (such as photos), it’s left to you to take a backup of the AOL email. So how does one go about it? Remember, AOL stores email on its computers which are probably located miles from where you live.
The first step is to transfer the messages from AOL servers and store them on your computer. This is typically done using an email client. Your next question will probably be, “From where do I get such a program?“
Unless your computer runs an obscure operating system, an email program would already be installed. But simply having this software on the machine will not download AOL email – you need to set up the account in the software.
This involves providing the email account details (such as the username and password etc.) to the email program so that it can connect to the server and fetch the messages. Once the messages come to your computer they will be stored on the hard disk and you can then take a backup.
The choice of the email program depends somewhat on the operating system. Thus, you can either use the software that came with your computer or download a free or commercial alternative. Below is a quick reference table.
|Windows Live Mail|
By the way, you are not restricted to the software I’ve mentioned above because there are many available – please refer the list of email programs for additional options.
Once an email program is chosen, you need to set up the AOL email account (refer that for details) and then take a backup. Below are the instructions for Outlook Express and Windows Mail Vista – please search the web for others.
The @ sign on the 33 Teletype keyboard which Ray Tomlinson used to invent the email system was located on alphabet "P" key. One had to use shift to type it. [more...]