Why doesn’t AOL allow clickable links in their emails?

Many people believe that AOL, or America Online, simply doesn’t allow clickable links in their emails. It is true that older versions of AOL prevent these links, called hyperlinks, from being used in emails unless they are used in a specific way, with specific code. That’s why you often see a completely separate link in emails, which is designed for AOL users.

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The reason for this is that AOL email messages, especially in older versions of the program, are mostly text. However, even if the messages are not fully HTML , anchor tags are required to use clickable links. Older versions of AOL basically find or filter HTML tags and format them as they would appear in a browser.

Many users simply copy or cut and paste the information into their browser and then look for the destination indicated in the link. However, this can be problematic for new computer users or new AOL customers accustomed to clickable links. Those who may not realize that it is necessary, those who have not yet learned how to cut and paste or those who do not know where to paste the link to proceed can get frustrated. Long links can also break, leaving out necessary characters.

New versions of AOL email better interpret HTML, allowing users more versatility. However, this does not mean that all customers will upgrade and use the latest versions. Many may still be using 5.0 or an earlier version, which means the links still won’t work properly, even if you’re an AOL member who upgraded. So it’s probably still better to include a separate AOL friendly link if you want clickable links to be available to those who receive your emails.

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In conclusion, it is not necessarily the case that AOL does not “allow” clickable links. The latest versions, in fact, yes. It’s more a matter of older versions of the email program that may still be in use, having problems with formatting. These versions do not readily accept clickable links in the typical format, so unless or until all users update, the links will not work correctly for all users. If you are using an outdated version of the AOL email program and want to be able to use hyperlinks, the simplest option is to update.

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