Can’t Log Into Messages on OS X With an AIM Account? Here’s What to Do

I’ve had an AIM account since Messages was iChat. I’ve never used the AIM app, but I use Messages all the time. A couple of months ago, I could no longer log into my AIM account in Messages on my iMac. Today, I was no longer able to do so on my MacBook.

When I had the first problem in September, I found no way to get into the account, even though it worked on AOL’s website. I deleted the account in Messages, and tried to re-add it. Each time I did, I got this message:

AIM cant log in

But it turns out that what you need to do is not create an AOL account, but rather choose Other Messages Account, and select AIM from the popup menu:

AIM account

Then it works. Go figure.

I still don’t know why the account I used for years stopped working…