AOL Email Issues on iPhone

I want to make one thing clear I don’t use AOL Email.

However, a few people have come to me with an issue of not being able to get AOL email on their iPhones with the standard Mail app. I can setup AOL on my Mac, but when I try the same credentials in the iPhone, I get that the password or the account is incorrect. All of them previously had AOL email working with the Mail app, but suddenly are getting that they don’t have a password set.

Anyone else getting this issue (or seen this issue)? If so, have you been able to fix it?

We’ve tried deleting and adding the AOL mail account, but then when we delete it, we can’t add it back in. We tried doing a network reset on the iPhone, restarting the iPhone, and turning Airplane mode on and off. Nothing works.

I don’t use AOL email either, but I have heard that AOL recently started requiring app-specific passwords on iOS/iPadOS. I don’t know why that doesn’t affect Mac mail applications, but it does not seem to do so.

I don’t use AOL mail either, but here’s what their help page says.

It appears that if you have configured 2-step-verification (always a good idea) and use an app that doesn’t use AOL’s login page for authentication (which may well be the case for Apple Mail), then you need to create an app-specific password.

See also Create and manage third-party app passwords - AOL Help

Nope. Definitely not the case. The people using AOL Mail I’m trying to help definitely don’t have 2FA setup.

Ugh. My mother-in-law has AOL and uses an iPad Mini. So far, no calls that she’s having problems, but this may the last straw that gets us to mover her to another mail provider.

One thing that I noticed that is that Apple’s mail server settings page suggests using an SMTP port of 587, but AOL’s page showing manual configuration settings suggests port 465 for SMTP. I think that the mail setup tries to verify the account by connecting to SMTP as the last step, and fails if it cannot successfully log in to it. So, you could have your friends try a manual setup of the account with the incoming server set to IMAP port 993, SMT port 465 at, SSL/TLS set to yes for both, and username set to the full email address.


Port 465 was an unofficial but popular standard for encrypted SMTP. But since it was never official, it became deprecated when IANA assigned something else to that port number.

The official port for encrypted SMTP (once it finally became standardized) was and still is 587.

Later on, IANA made an exception for port 465 because it was used by many high profile mail servers (including, it appears, AOL).

It’s all quite a mess. For the ugly details, see:

AOL and Yahoo are now owned by Verizon who is desperate to get rid of both them. Verizon has famously cut back Yahoo services such as Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Answers. To me, anything on either Yahoo or AOL is a ticking time bomb to EOS irrelevance.

However, Verizon had pushed all of their users onto AOL mail services and shut down the Verizon mail servers, so they must have plans to eventually update AOL. I mean why else would Verizon do that. I mean it’s not like Verizon hates their customers. Oh, wait. This is Verizon.

They’ve very successfully added “View Time Optimization” to their bag of magic advertising tricks. It’s not cookie based and does not track directly. It rearranges the order in which mail is delivered to a target’s mailbox so that paying customers’ emails appear on top no matter when someone logs in. There there is no way to opt out of it:

I solved the problem by logging into on my Mac and was prompted to authorize access by macOS and iOS Mail. I had tried that earlier with my iPad and did not receive the prompt. I did not need to provide an app specific password for Apple Mail. My impression is that requirement is only for 3rd party apps (i.e. the AOL Mail app) and never for Apple apps.