Unable to access websites

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Unable to access websites

Sometimes, you may not be able to access websites on your computer. Listed below are some solutions to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you are able to access websites. If not, continue trying the suggested solutions until the problem is fixed.

Information you need

Before you begin, you'll need to know the version of the Microsoft Windows operating system and web browser installed on your computer. You can find this information by following the instructions given in the help articles Determining your version of Microsoft Windows and How do I determine my browser version?

Solutions


Rebuild AOL Adapter

AOL Adapter connects the AOL Desktop Software to the internet. Any damage to the adapter can adversely affect the AOL service and your access to the web. The steps to delete the browser cache and rebuild AOL Adapter may differ depending on the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) installed on your computer. Please click the appropriate link below to rebuild the AOL Adapter.


Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints

Whenever you visit websites, temporary internet files and cookies are stored on your computer to record your return visits. These files and cookies can sometimes cause the issue you are experiencing. Similarly, your history list can also be a concern. The longer time period you have specified for pages to be saved on your history list, the greater the disk space used on your computer. You can free disk space by clearing this list.

Note: Once you clear your cookies, cache, history and footprints you may lose the following:

  • AOL Radio presets
  • Websites you have visited
  • Your shopping cart
  • Your customized pages

The instructions to clear your cache, cookies, and footprints will differ depending on the browser you use. To learn how, please visit our help article Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints.


Remove temporary files

It is possible that when you clear the browser cache some temporary files will not get deleted. Please follow the steps below to clear the temporary files.

Note: This solution is applicable only for a Windows computer.

1. Click Start, and then click Run.

Note: If you are using Windows 8, press the windows button on your keyboard or move your mouse to the bottom left of the screen and then click the Start window that you see. To locate Run, press "R" on your keyboard.

2. In the Run window, type "%temp%" and click OK.

3. Click the Edit drop-down menu, and then click Select All.

4. Click the File drop-down menu option, and then click Delete.

Note: You may receive a message saying that a particular file cannot be deleted because it is currently in use. Click OK on the message, deselect the file, and then continue deleting rest of the files. You may receive this message multiple times during the deletion.


Reset web settings

If you've installed multiple web browsers your settings may have changed; however, you can reset your browser to its default settings. The homepage, the search pages and the default browser will be reset without changing the settings of the other browsers on your computer. Please visit our help article Reset web settings to learn how to reset your web settings.


Activate tunneling using AOL Keyword: Browser Fix

You may not be able to access websites if tunneling is not activated on the AOL Desktop Software. Tunneling allows the AOL Desktop Software to work better with your local internet service provider network. To learn how to activate tunneling, refer to our help article Activate tunneling with AOL Keyword: Browser Fix.

Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL Desktop Software; however, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop v10.1. Please skip this solution.


Temporarily disable your firewall or configure McAfee

There may be a firewall or other security software on your computer that is preventing you from connecting to the AOL service. You can temporarily disable your firewall and check whether you are able to connect to the internet. To learn how to disable the firewall, read our help article Disable third-party firewall software.


Power cycle my computer, modem and home networking equipment

Power cycle refers to the process of resetting the networking devices. This helps your computer recover from a slow response or an unresponsive state such as a crash or hang situation.

For instructions on how to power cycle the networking devices, please refer to our help article Power cycle the networking devices using Mac or Power cycle your computer, modem and/or router using Windows.


Disable the pop-up blocking software

Disabling the pop-up blocking software may resolve this issue. Click the link corresponding to the browser installed on your computer to know how to disable the pop-up blocking software on your browser.


Reset security settings

Restoring your web browser security settings to the default level will remove any restrictions placed on accessing websites. Please read our help article Reset browser security settings to default for information on how to reset your browser security settings.


Enable cookies on your browser

Whenever you visit websites, temporary internet files and cookies are stored on your computer to record your return visits. Disabling the cookies on your browser may sometimes cause the issue you are experiencing; therefore, you may want to enable the cookies if they are disabled. Check out our help article Enable cookies on your browser to learn how.


Run Quick Restore

The Quick Restore feature allows you to reset the AOL Desktop Software to the default state by deleting all the updates downloaded in the past. It can help resolve issues that you may have with the AOL Desktop Software without having to reinstall the software.

Once Quick Restore is completed, you will receive a series of AOL Desktop Software updates. To learn more about AOL Desktop Software updates, read our help article AOL TOD update.

Please click the link corresponding to the version of ACS installed on your computer for instructions on how to run Quick Restore.

Note: If you are using the AOL Desktop Software, skip to the next solution. If you are using AOL 8.0 Plus or lower, go to our help article Clear AOL Artwork Database.


Run WebUtil

WebUtil restores the system settings to resolve connection and browsing problems.

Please click the link corresponding to the version of ACS installed on your computer for instructions on how to run WebUtil.


Uninstall and reinstall ACS

The AOL Desktop Software uses ACS to connect to the AOL service. Uninstalling ACS will allow a fresh copy of the ACS files to be installed. Please click the appropriate link from the table below to know how to uninstall and reinstall ACS.

Operating System
ACS Version
Windows 8/7/Vista ACS 4NA NA NA
Windows XPACS 4ACS 3ACS 2ACS 1
Windows 2000ACS 4ACS 3ACS 2ACS 1
Windows Me/98ACS 4ACS 3ACS 2ACS 1


Manually set up the dial-up modem

Some older models of the modem cannot be detected by the AOL Desktop Software. If the AOL Desktop Software is not able to detect your modem, you can manually enter the modem configuration. The help article Manually set up the dial-up modem explains how you can configure your modem manually.


Uninstall and reinstall the AOL Desktop Software

If the issue persists, we recommend that you uninstall and reinstall the AOL Desktop Software. Uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software removes all damaged and non-repairable files, and reinstalling the software creates new, error-free files.

Please click the link corresponding to the version of Windows on your computer for instructions on how to uninstall the AOL Desktop Software.


Repair the network stack list using NetShell

Note: If you are using Windows 98 or Me, follow the instructions given in the help article How to run WebUtil.

One of the components of the internet connection on your computer is a built-in set of instructions called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). TCP/IP can sometimes become damaged or corrupted. If you can't access websites in spite of trying all the above-mentioned solutions, we suspect TCP/IP to be the cause of the issue.

TCP/IP is a core component of Windows and you cannot remove the TCP/IP stack; however, you can reset TCP/IP to its original state by using the NetShell utility.

Click the link corresponding to the version of Windows installed on your computer to learn how to repair the network stack.


Run winsockfix.exe

You can fix Windows sockets by running the winsockfix.exe file.

Note: If you are using Windows Vista, skip this solution.

Windows sockets can be fixed by running the winsockfix.exe file. Please read our help article Run WinsockFix.exe to know how to run it.


Run a virus scan

If you have antivirus software, please run it to scan your computer. If you have McAfee Internet Suite - Special Edition from AOL, please read our help article Scan my computer for viruses using McAfee Security Center - Special edition from AOL to learn how to scan your computer using McAfee.


Enable only essential startup programs

Multiple programs may have been set to start automatically when a computer is turned on. These programs may cause the computer to slow down as not all startup programs are essential for the proper functioning of a computer. Click the link corresponding to the version of Windows installed on your computer to learn how to enable only essential startup programs on your computer.

If you are using Windows 2000, Me or 98, you will have to manually close all the programs currently running on your computer to resolve the issue. Please click the link corresponding to the version of Windows you have on your computer to learn how to close all programs.


Disable third-party browser extensions

Disabling third-party browser extensions may resolve this issue. Please click the link corresponding to the version of Windows on your computer for instructions on how to disable the third party-browser extensions on your browser.


Run the Windows Update utility

Microsoft often releases patches that fix security holes and protect your computer. By running the Windows Update application and installing these patches (called "Critical Updates" by Microsoft), you can help protect your computer.

To run the Windows Update utility:

1. Open Internet Explorer.

2. Click the Tools menu, and then click Windows Update.

Note: If you don't see the Menu toolbar, press "Alt" button on your keyboard.

3. Follow the on-screen instructions to update your operating system.

Note: If you are unable to connect to Windows Update through the Tools menu, please visit the Microsoft Update site.


Configure Remote Access Connection Manager, Remote Access Auto Connection Manager and Telephone services

The Windows operating system contains remote access service files that the AOL Desktop Software requires to connect you to the internet. If these files are not configured properly, they can cause the issue that you are currently experiencing. Please read our help article Configure remote access settings to help resolve this issue.

Note: If you are using Windows 98 or Me, skip to Uninstall dial-up networking (DUN).


Disable the proxy server

1. Open Internet Explorer.

2. Click the Tools menu, and then click Internet Options.

Note: Alternatively, to open Internet Options from AOL System Information, click Start, click Run, type "SINF" and click OK. Click the Utilities tab. In the Browser section, next to Internet Options Control Panel, click Open.

3. Click the Connections tab.

4. Click LAN Settings.

5. Click to clear the check box next to Use a proxy server for your LAN (These settings will not apply to dial-up or VPN connections), and then click OK.

6. Click OK.




About this article:
Last updated: 05-05-2014
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