Frequently Asked Questions

  • I am getting blocked and the reason given is "spam complaints". I'm not a spammer, why is AOL targeting my mail?
  • How are spam complaints generated, and how do I get a feed of the complaints?
    • Complaints are generated by AOL members clicking "Spam" on the AOL mail interface. The reports are not automatically generated, and people cannot report mail that was delivered to their spam-folders.
    • If you have ownership rights over your IPs, you can sign up for a Feedback Loop.
  • My mail is going to the spam-folder. How do I make it go to the inbox?
  • What is the maximum e-mail message size that AOL Members can accept from the Internet?
    • The largest piece of e-mail that an AOL member can accept from or send to the Internet is 25 megabytes. This includes the message text, headers and the attachment combined. This size cannot be configured by the Member, or adjusted by the Postmaster team.
  • What about DKIM?
  • I am getting harassed or spammed by an AOL member. To whom can I report the problem?
    • In the event of harassment that requires intervention by law enforcement, please contact AOL Legal
    • You can forward reports of Internet email abuse involving AOL Member accounts to
    • Reports of Usenet, IRC, Internet security issues (denial of services attacks, hacking, mailbombs, etc.) should be sent to
      • When reporting junk, abusive or unwanted e-mail from AOL Members, please forward the full text of the message along with the full header information. Lacking the header information, we cannot determine the actual source of the email.
  • I'm having problems with forwarded mail, what to do?
  • What is Reverse DNS and what requirements does AOL have for it?
    • Reverse DNS is a way of associating an IP address with its domain name.
    • The reverse DNS identifier is contained in the PTR portion of the IP Zone File.
    • The IP Zone File contains all the different ways that your IP and domain name can be associated; each association serves a different need.
      • AOL does require that all connecting Mail Transfer Agents have established reverse DNS, regardless of whether it matches the domain.
      • Reverse DNS must be in the form of a fully-qualified domain name. Reverse DNS containing are not acceptable, as these are merely placeholders for a valid PTR record. Reverse DNS consisting of IP addresses are also not acceptable, as they do not correctly establish the relationship between domain and IP address.
      • Reverse DNS that may be similar to dynamic IP space (containing pool, dhcp, dyn, etc.) may be treated as suspect, and should therefore should be changed to reflect a fully-qualified domain name with standard MTA reverse DNS.

Blocked mail?

  • AOL uses several kinds of temporary and hard blocks to control the incoming mail stream, and we return specific error codes that give information on the nature and reason for the block.
  • Complaints are generated by people clicking "Spam" on the AOL mail interface. The reports are not automatically generated, and people cannot report mail that was delivered to their spam-folders. If people are reporting your mail as spam, there is a problem somewhere.
  • If you are a corporation, small business, school, or similar entity, it is possible that your mail server or a host behind is has been compromised and is being used to send spam without your knowledge. One way to find out is to sign up for an AOL feedback loop, which will give you an idea of what kind of mail is generating the complaints that caused the block. Once the compromise has been secured, please open a support request and let us know.
  • If you are a commercial sender, ensure you are following the AOL best practices for bulk mail. Deliverability rides on IP reputation, which is driven in part by list engagement. If the block is dynamic, rectifying the cause of it will solve the problem. If it is a hard block, please correct the situation that created the block, then open a support request and let us know.

Return to top

Problems with forwarded mail?

Segregate your forwarding IP addresses

  • If possible, send forwarded mail from different IP's than your normal mail. This will allow us to determine which mail is typical mail and which is forwarded.

Let us know about it!

X-Spam-Flag: Yes

  • Implement your normal anti-spam measures on any mail being forwarded. If you detect the mail as spam you can add the above header line and we can deposit that mail in the AOL members Spam folder. If the AOL member has built a relationship with the sender, the mail will be deposited into the inbox and NOT the SPAM folder. Note: The flag must be printed exactly as it is above, and no other information can be added to the line.

Set up a Feedback Loop

  • The Feedback Loop can help determine if your anti-spam measures are working. It can also give you insight as to which customers may need to be educated concerning the forwarding process: for the most part AOL associates the connecting IP with the mail being delivered. This can cause a problem when an AOL member clicks "This is Spam", as they are not reporting the actual origin of the email. Explaining this to your users can help diminish the problem.


  • Include the MTA IP that connected to your network in this header. You must strip applicable X headers when the mail comes in for this information to be accurate. This increases our ability to look through the headers of the email to determine what the originating IP is and act on it appropriately.

Return to top