Despite what you may have heard, Verizon is not forcing you out of your @verizon.net email address. I’ve been very disappointed with Verizon’s handling of the situation because they aren’t making it very clear to their users, and are causing a lot of unneeded worry.
What they are doing is shutting down their email servers, and they are allowing you to move your account and address over to AOL’s servers. So you can keep your email address, it will just be managed by someone else.
What is happening?
Verizon is shutting down their email service but they are offering to move you over to AOL so you can keep your existing @verizon.net email address. You will still have your @verizon.net address if you opt-in to this change, but instead of Verizon handling your email, you’ll be using AOL’s system. It’s kind of like how you can now get an American Express card that is managed by another bank. It’s still an AmEx, but the money is handled by Wells Fargo or CitiBank.
What is not happening:
- They are not giving you an @aol.com address. Your address will continue to be @verizon.net.
- If you have an AOL account already they will not move your information into this existing account. It will be completely separate.
What happens if I don’t opt-in:
Verizon will close your @verizon.net email address if you don’t choose to move to AOL by the deadline. After 180 days of no activity Verizon will delete your account data from their servers.
Why is this good news?
- I’ve found Verizon email to be extremely unreliable. AOL isn’t the best in reliability, but it’s far ahead of Verizon in my experience. Verizon had a tendency to reject connections because of strange technical glitches, which confuses your email program causing them to ask you to enter your password even though you typed it correctly.
- Verizon uses the POP protocol which does not synchronize. If you have a POP account set up on your iPhone and on your Mac, you would get copies of the email sent to both devices. which meant that you had to delete the email from each device individually. AOL supports IMAP, which means that your email is fully synchronized across all devices. You can delete an email on your iPhone and it gets deleted from your Mac. You can read a message on your Mac and it gets marked as “read” on your iPad.
What do I not do?
- Don’t create a new email account with another service such as Yahoo! or Gmail unless you want to stop using your @verizon.net address. Their instructions make it sound like you can just take your @verizon.net address to another service but if you read the details closely what they are really describing is just shutting down your address and signing up for an entirely new address with a third party.
- Don’t go to AOL.com and create an account manually; Verizon will walk you through migrating your account. If you create an AOL account manually you will end up with two AOL accounts.
What do I do?
- Wait for Verizon to send you an email that tells you that your account is ready to move. Don’t worry about missing the email. They will send you several.
- Log into your Verizon account in a web browser.
- Follow the prompts to migrate to AOL.
- Create a new password. This password is not linked to your existing Verizon password.
- Follow the prompts to validate a phone number. This is not used for marketing. It is used in case your password needs to be reset in the future.
- If you wish to use a web browser to check your email, visit mail.aol.com and then log in using your verizon.net email address and the password you created above. You will find that your emails and contacts that were in your old Verizon webmail will be in your new AOL webmail.
- If you wish to get your mail on your iPhone or iPad you can add an account in the Settings app (be sure to remove your old account). If you want something that operates like the website you can download the AOL app from the App Store.
If you want to take advantage of IMAP sync in your mail app
If you use an email app on your computer instead of webmail there are some more complex additional steps if you want to take advantage of IMAP sync. You can’t simply switch the account to IMAP; you have to delete the POP account and then add it back as IMAP (or as AOL if that’s an option). These are the general instructions. As always, be sure your computer is fully backed up if you have old emails that you care about keeping.
- If you want to keep your existing emails you may need to export your inbox and then import them when you are done. In Mail on your Mac click your Verizon inbox, click the “Mailbox” menu, and choose “Export Mailbox”.
- Disable the Verizon account from your email clients such as Apple Mail on your Mac or iPhone. Don’t remove them just yet in case something goes wrong.
- Add the account back on your devices, choosing AOL as the account type, and enter your full @verizon.net email address and the password you created above.
- Give your email account a few minutes to synchronize. Once it does verify that your inbox and other folders show the emails that you want to keep. Once you’ve confirmed that everything is there (take a few days or weeks if you need to) delete your old Verizon account from your devices.
If you don’t need IMAP sync with your Mail app
You can leave your account configured with POP and your email program will continue to function as it did before. You don’t need to change your configuration. If you chose a different password for your new AOL account your email program will probably prompt you for that password.
What if I don’t get an email from Verizon about this?
I’ve heard that people on Verizon who are using an @verizon.net address that is managed by Yahoo aren’t being migrated because they are already off of Verizon’s servers. If you have questions you may need to contact Verizon customer service.
More information can be found on AOL’s website.