People have been using AOL for email and instant messaging since the early days of the digital age. Even today, among such popular email giants as Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Outlook, many online users choose AOL as their email provider. However, at some point, a user might want or need to cancel their AOL services and move to one of the many other email providers available. We will talk about AOL, how to manage an AOL account, and cover the details of how to delete AOL accounts, right here.
AOL (America Online) originated as a service called PlayNET. PlayNET hosted online multi-player Commodore 64 games. In 1985, the software was licensed to Quantum Link, which was a similar service with additional features. In the mid-1990s, the company decided to focus less on games and more on the online services aspect. At that point, the company became AOL, and by 1995 was the most extensive online service provider with around 20 million users.
AOL is regarded as one of the early innovators of providing internet access to everyday individuals. In the 1990s, they were the most recognized brand of online service providers in the United States. The service began as dial-up, and the computer software to get started with the service was frequently distributed through various outlets on CDs. The service offered its own email, web portal, web browsers, and instant messaging.
AOL purchased Time Warner during a large merger in 2001. However, in the years that followed, dial-up fell from popularity as technology advanced and developed faster means of connecting to the internet. Cable and broadband services took over, and AOL divided from Time Warner in 2009. The company then began to focus on investing in advertising technologies and media brands.
Even with AOL’s decline in popularity as a service provider, many people still use the service for their email and instant messaging. The interface is intuitive, and it syncs easily with smartphones, and it has managed to find a place in the modern world. The company is best known by the abbreviation AOL and has been stylized in recent years to read as Aol. The brand is now marketed by a company called Oath whose parent company is Verizon.
Where AOL Stands Today
There is a bit of a stereotype surrounding AOL and its users. Even though it was once the biggest name in internet service, today it is seen as a dinosaur among the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Many view the brand as out-of-date and not as technologically advanced as its competition. Because of this perception, many people have switched their email providers from AOL to such services as Gmail and Outlook, who are deemed by many as technologically superior.
Making a switch like this can be challenging if a user has been with such a service for a very long time. Trying to figure out how to delete AOL accounts can seem daunting, in addition to deleting an email a user also has to deal with the possibility of lost data and information. It may distress some users to know an AOL email account cannot be deleted without simultaneously canceling all other AOL services, including its popular Instant Messaging. But don’t worry, we’re here to help make the process as easy as possible.
AOL Account Management
AOL users can manage their accounts either online or by contacting AOL’s customer service. Users can cancel their accounts or switch payment plans at any time. If a user is contemplating closing a paid account because of budget concerns, he or she may want to consider merely changing to a more affordable plan. Once an account is closed, the user will lose access to all data and additional features. Accounts are not able to be reactivated once 30 days have passed. Before we go into how to delete AOL accounts, we will look at some other account management features.
How To Cancel A Paid AOL Plan
For paid accounts, rather than deleting an AOL account permanently because of cost, a user may wish to switch to AOL’s free plan. Before doing so, a user should note that any separate paid AOL subscriptions will continue to be billed separately. If a plan changes in the middle of the user’s billing cycle, the user will continue to have the paid service until the billing cycle ends. When a user switches to the free plan, they will continue to have access to their email and can sign into all other AOL websites.
Here’s how to cancel a paid AOL plan:
- Visit My Account on Aol.com
- Click on “My Services”
- Choose “Subscriptions”
- Click “Manage” next to the plan the user wishes to cancel (the user may be prompted to verify their account)
- Click on “Cancel”
- Then click on “Cancel My Billing”
- Choose a reason for canceling
- Click the “Cancel My Billing” link
Changing To Another Paid AOL Plan
Some users may wish to choose a more affordable plan rather than canceling or going to the free plan. For this option, the user should follow the same steps outlined above under “How to Cancel a Paid AOL Plan,” except instead of choosing “Cancel,” they should choose “Change Plan” and select a new plan from there.
Premium subscriptions are additional products or services available for users to purchase or download. These services can be added, managed, or canceled under My Account on Aol.com under “My Services/Subscriptions.” The steps to follow are like the ones outlined above.
If a user needs help managing their account, they can contact AOL Customer Support at 1-800-827-6364. Other options for customer service are online chat, email, and social media.
How To Delete AOL Account: Steps And Tips
Unfortunately, AOL users cannot delete an AOL account feature without removing all the others. For example, if the user wishes only to delete their email account, the account cannot be deactivated if the user is still using AOL Instant Messenger or the AOL mobile app. Before looking into how to delete AOL accounts, the user needs to understand that by doing so, they will lose all of their data associated with AOL. Please read further to learn how to delete AOL accounts and the implications of doing so.
AOL accounts can be closed any time the user wishes. Once an account has been closed, the user will no longer have access to any of their data. The AOL email address will be deleted, and it will be available for another user to claim. Before deleting an AOL account, AOL recommends that the user review the details of their account by accessing their “Privacy Dashboard” and then downloading any data the user wishes to keep.
Before Deleting Your AOL Account
- There must be no remaining balance (if it is a paid account)
- 90 days must have passed since the user last canceled their paid plans or active subscriptions
- A master username can’t be closed until all additional usernames associated with the account are closed
- All usernames related to an account have to be closed individually
- For usernames that share the same payment method: the username without its own payment method must be closed first
It’s also helpful to know if a user deletes an AOL account but then signs back into the account within 30 days, the account will automatically be reactivated. After reactivation, to delete the account, the deletion process will have to be repeated.
How To Delete AOL Account
- Use a web browser to log into the user’s account on Aol.com
- Click on “My Account”
- Click on “Manage My Subscriptions” (the user may be prompted to answer a security question associated with the account)
- Click “Cancel” (AOL will remind the user of all the services the user will lose by closing the account)
- Select a reason for deleting the AOL account
- Click the “Cancel AOL” button
How To Recover AOL Account (Not Available After 30 Days)
- Log into the deleted account within 30 days after termination
- Verify the user’s recovery information
How To Delete AOL Account For A Deceased Family Member
Sometimes an AOL user may pass away, and unfortunately, a loved one will need to cancel or manage the account. When a billing contact for an AOL account passes away, the account can be transferred to another AOL username already associated with the account being canceled. If the relation of the deceased does not have a username under the deceased’s AOL account, they can change that person’s account by contacting AOL Customer Support.
The phone number is 1-800-827-6364.
We hope this article has helped users learn how to delete AOL accounts and manage AOL services and subscriptions. Provided that a user can access their “My Account” page within AOL, we find the process to be relatively simple and straightforward as long as the user follows the prompts. Before electing to delete an AOL account, users should keep in mind that more affordable options (even a free option) are available and that by deleting an AOL account, the user loses access to all other AOL features.