Portal:AOL-Files/Articles/Creating Dead Screennames

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(Originally by AOL-Files staff member Tau)

Dead, aka "ded", screen names are screen names that can be accessed even though they technically belong to no account. The drawbacks are that you cannot send mail from them and that it takes a few steps to do. newriot.com has also written a tutorial on how to do this. That tutorial is very lengthy and complicated. Here you will learn how to do it in 3 easy steps. No special tools are required. I'm going to credit Rikky for this because he originally showed me how do it.


  1. Make a screen name as you normally do that you will later kill. Sign on that screen name and store the sign on password for it. (My AOL | Preferences | Passwords)
  2. Now switch back to the master screen name. Close all windows. Open the Switch Screen Name window but do not switch to any other screen name. Move that window to the bottom left corner of your screen.
  3. Go to Keyword Names.
    1. Open the delete screen name window. There will be a listbox with all the names you can delete.
    2. Move the selection to the name that you are going to kill. You have to do the following steps very quickly.
    3. Click Delete.
    4. While AOL is processing your delete command move your cursor to the switch screen name window and position it over the name.
    5. When the "Screen name has been deleted from your account" message box appears press Enter to close it
    6. Now, switch to that name.

The purpose of moving the cursor to where the Switch Screen name list was to save you time from having to move there after you closed the message box.

If you do this fast enough it will be alive when you switch to it. If you try switching to it and it says invalid account then you didn't do it quick enough. This is why we store the password, so you dont have to take the time to type it.

You can do this repeatedly by restoring the name then following the same steps as you did originally.

I cannot emphasize enough how fast this needs to be done. It should take you less than a second to delete it and switch to it. Any longer and it may not work.


This is what it you will see if you try to send mail:

"Your mailbox could not be found, please call Customer Service."

You cannot receive e-mail either.