Mac Windows

AIM Express lets you use IM without installing a client

Karl L. Gechlik 21-06-2008

aim expressDo you depend on Instant Messaging for communication like I do? Have you ever been caught out there without access to your Instant Messenger?


I know I have been! Your friendly neighborhood Admin has been on location where I did not have administrative access to the computer (imagine that!) nor could I plug in my laptop into their network and do what I needed to do. There have even been times I could not get a cell phone signal or anything on my WWAN card. Some places are actually secure and lock down everything. AOL has an option to forward your IM’s to your cell phone via SMS but without cell service this wouldn’t work either!

Security is one thing but limiting functionality is another. So there are ways around the limitations if you can freely browse the web. Let’s get you back to chatting cybering dumb quick.

I use AIM Express from AOL. If a computer has internet access, chances are you can run one of these lightweight in browser clients. To add some icing to the cake they have just released their newest beta version of AIM Express.

aim express

It runs on Adobe’s Flash now and is a lot smoother than previous versions. The client is compatible with Windows and Mac (I’m sure a resourceful young go-getter like yourself could MAKE it work on Linux!) Make sure your system meets these requirements. If it does not, don’t fret we have another option for you. Keep on reading!


aim express

System Requirements


  • Windows 2000/NT/XP/Vista
  • Flash player 9
  • Javascript enabled browser
  • Recommended browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and 7.0, Firefox 1.5 and higher, Safari 3.0

Mac OS X

  • Flash player 9
  • Javascript enabled browser
  • Recommended browsers: Firefox 1.5 and higher, Safari 3.0

aim expressOn a regular basis I use Digsby for my cross platform IM’ing needs but when I can’t use Digsby I run this flash based chat. It is really easy to use and as always it is free. All you need to do is browse on over to AIM Express and launch it. As long as you have flash installed on the machine you are good to go!


But just like I stated above there are ways to get this to work on a machine without Flash. In this situation you need an older version of AIM Express. The previous version is still available and will run on older setups or more locked down environments.

As you can see there are no system requirements and the Browser requirements are pretty easy to match on most systems.

Browser Requirements

To use the AIM Express service, be sure that your computer is running one of the following Web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 5.5 or later
  • Firefox 1.0 and later
  • Mozilla 1.4 or later
  • Netscape 7.1 and later

Note: Web browsers must allow pop-ups from in order for AIM Express to run properly.


If your system does not meet the requirements, you can still access an older version of AIM Express.

Related topics: Adobe Flash, AOL Instant Messenger, Instant Messaging, Online Chat.

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  1. Ethan Piaggi
    November 10, 2009 at 8:11 am

    um im wondering how to get onto aim or facebook at school because i emailed one of my school projects to my email account on facebook bc i dont have a printer and i thought i could print it at school... but it wont let me access it... can anyone help me?

  2. Altzan
    June 21, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Don't know how this compares to Meebo, but eBuddy is pretty good as well.

  3. Ken Burkes
    June 21, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    I agree with Trent. Meebo is a lot better. Like JDW said, with Meebo, you don't even need to sign up. Just sign in with your AIM, MSN, etc and you'll be taken to a window where you can chat with all your friends. Just to make things easier for you, you can sign up for a Meebo account so you only need to type in one password.

  4. jdw
    June 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Meebo is like AIM express for several protocols. Go to and check it out, no install required.

    • Aibek
      June 22, 2008 at 3:50 am

      The problem with Meebo and alike web apps is that it's very easy to block them. If your company firewall blocks IM clients there is a good chance that Meebo is on the blacklist as well.

      • iheartlester
        December 4, 2008 at 12:34 pm

        Is there a way to IM if your company doesn't allow skype or ichat to work as well as having the firewall block sites like meebo and ibuddy.


  5. Karl L. Gechlik
    June 21, 2008 at 11:24 am

    @Trent Can Meebo work without installing it?

    @Jagdesh no sorry aim is for aol instant messenger only.

  6. jagdesh
    June 21, 2008 at 10:30 am

    This is a good post and I will use it if I do have the problem with my instant messanger.1 question.Does it work msn?Thanks

  7. trent cutler
    June 21, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Meebo is a better option.

    • flamik
      June 23, 2008 at 2:41 pm

      Not many people I know say good things about meebo because there are serious fuctional faults. As for me I am using products.