A lot of people cling to AOL & Compuserve despite the number of better, faster, and cheaper connections available to them for one simple reason: There isn't an easy way to download your AOL address book & favorite places to your computer. So, rather than lose their address book, a lot of users choose to stay with AOL.
Fear not, AOL user. There is a way to download your America Online address book & favorite places to your computer. You can then use any number of tools (IE, Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape, Mozilla, etc) to connect via another service.
UPDATE: This tool was written for older versions of AOL. If you're using AOL 8 or 9, the save tool is now called "Sync". AOL Search "sync" or see more info here.
Step One: Check for Sun's Java Runtime Environment.
The programs to download the AOL address book and favorites require Sun's free Java Runtime Environment (JRE). If you have Windows XP, you may not have this installed because Microsoft has it's own version. It's free, though, and you can download it directly from Sun. Just so you know, it's a big file (about 5MB).
Step Two: Download AOLeave's Address Book Tool and Favorite Places Tool
This handy tool from AOLeave.com allows you to download your address book and favorites. It's pretty simple actually. Just download the Address Book Tool and the Favorite Places Tool from AOLeave.com.
Step Three: Save the Address Book as a .pst file
Outlook and Outlook Express use a Personal Folder File (.pst) format. Using the AOLeave address book tool, save your AOL address book as a .pst file.
Step Four: Import your .pst file into Outlook
Open Outlook or Outlook Express. On the File menu, click "Import and Export." Then click "Import from another program or file" and hit Next. In "Select the file type to import from," click "Personal Folder File (.pst)," then Next.
In "File to Import," click Browse to locate the .pst file you want to import and click Next. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
Step Five: Verify your address book
Click on the Contacts area in Outlook and verify that your address book imported correctly. Feel free to make any updates or add additional info, as Outlook will general support more information than your AOL address book.
That's it. Just five easy steps to import your AOL adress book into Microsoft Outlook. Now you can decide to keep AOL or leave AOL at any time! In any case, at least you have a backup of your AOL address book.