AOL is slow

Text Size


AOL is slow

If you see that programs are responding slower than expected when you use the AOL software, please try the solutions listed below to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you get a better response. If the problem persists, continue using the suggested solutions until the problem is fixed.

You may wish to print or save a copy of these instructions, as this page may not remain visible as you go through the suggested steps.

Information you need

You will need to know the version of the Microsoft Windows operating system installed on your computer. You can find this information by following the steps given in the online help article How do I determine the version of Windows I have?

You will also need to know the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) installed on your computer before attempting the solutions given below. If you are using AOL 9.0 VR or higher, you have ACS 4 installed on your computer. If you are using AOL 9.0 Optimized, AOL 9.0 Optimized SE/LE, or AOL Security Edition, follow the instructions given in the online help article How do I determine the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) I have?

Solutions


Check whether McAfee SecurityCenter is being updated

In the Windows taskbar, look for the icon. This icon indicates that McAfee Internet Security Suite is being updated. This process is critical and cannot be stopped. This process will slow down the computer and may take three to four hours to complete if you are on a dial-up connection. Please wait for the updates to be completed. If McAfee SecurityCenter does not get updated, skip to the next solution.

Once the update is complete, click the Restart my computer now option, and then click OK.

Back to Top


Verify whether the computer meets the system requirements for the AOL software

Computers that fail to meet the minimum system requirements may experience this issue. Open AOL System Information to verify the minimum system requirements for the AOL software.

To open AOL System Information, click Start, select All Programs or Programs, select AOL or America Online, and then click AOL System Information. To know the minimum system requirements for the AOL software, refer to our online help article Minimum system requirements for the AOL software.

Note: Once you have verified that your computer meets the minimum system requirements, close the AOL System Information window.


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. Not all startup programs are essential for the proper functioning of your computer. For instructions to enable only the essential startup programs on your computer, please click the appropriate link from the ones given below, depending on the version of Windows installed on your computer.

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

Back to Top


Disable restored session

This solution is applicable only if you are using AOL 9.6, AOL 9.5, or AOL 9.1. If you are using any other version of the AOL software, skip to the next solution.

To disable a restored session
1. Go to AOL Keyword: Browser Settings. This keyword works only with the AOL software.

Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop v10.1.

2. Under Related Settings
  • If you are using AOL 9.6 or AOL 9.5, uncheck the Remember Browser Windows box.
  • If you are using AOL 9.1, uncheck the Enable restored sessions box.

3. Click Save.

Back to Top


Delete browser cache and rebuild AOL Adapter

AOL Adapter connects the AOL software to Internet Explorer. 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. Click the appropriate link from the ones given below for instructions to rebuild AOL Adapter. (Determine the version of ACS you have.)

Back to Top


Delete all connection locations and redetect the modem

Completely deleting the sign on locations and connectivity files removes not only bad access phone numbers but also dialing options and incorrect modem or broadband settings. The AOL software will automatically search for and select the right connection device and guide you through the process of selecting appropriate access phone numbers and dialing options.

WARNING: You will incur charges on your phone bill if you select an AOL access phone number that is a long-distance call or is not covered by your local calling plan. Please check with your local phone company to determine whether the access phone numbers that you select are local for your calling plan. Remember that members on certain plans may be charged an hourly rate for dial-up connections. See AOL Keyword: My Account or go to http://myaccount.aol.com for details regarding the charges applicable to your account.

Please click the link corresponding to the version of ACS on your computer for instructions to delete the connection locations and redetect the modem.


Clear AOL Artwork Database

Note: If you are using AOL Desktop v10.1, please skip to the Lower hardware acceleration.

The AOL software stores online graphics on your computer to speed up the loading of AOL images. Over time, unwanted graphics from pages that you no longer visit or pages that have changed can fill up your artwork database and reduce the efficiency of the AOL software. You can store and speed load new graphics by first reducing, and then resetting the size of the artwork database. Click the link corresponding to the version of the AOL software you have on your computer for more information on clearing the artwork database.


Run Quick Restore

Note: Please close the AOL software before running Quick Restore.

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

Once Quick Restore is completed, you may receive a series of AOL software updates, also known as AOL TOD (Tools on Demand) updates. For more information, read our online help article AOL TOD update.

The instructions to run Quick Restore may differ depending on the version of ACS installed on your computer. Click the appropriate link from the ones given below for instructions to run Quick Restore.

Note: If you are using AOL Desktop v10.1, skip to the next solution.

Back to Top


Lower hardware acceleration

Hardware acceleration is the concept of enhancing the processing speed of a software application such as an advanced computer game or a graphics program. If the hardware acceleration of your Windows operating system has been changed or set to high, you may see programs responding slower than expected when you use the AOL software. Lowering the hardware acceleration of your Windows operating system may resolve this issue.

Click the link corresponding to the version of Windows installed on your computer to know how to lower the hardware acceleration.


Uninstall and reinstall ACS

The AOL 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 given below to know how to uninstall and reinstall ACS.

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

Back to Top


Run ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter

ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter are tools used for maintaining your computer's efficiency. These tools inform you about potential problems with your hard drive. ScanDisk scans the computer for infected files and fixes them to improve your computer's performance. Disk Defragmenter maintains your computer by consolidating data and helps you find information efficiently.

WARNING: Do not perform Disk Defragmentation on a solid-state drive (SSD) as it may lower the life span of the drive. If you are unsure about the drive(s) in your computer, please contact your computer manufacturer.

Click the link corresponding to the version of Windows you have on your computer for instructions to run ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter on your computer.


Uninstall and reinstall the AOL software

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

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

Back to Top






About this article:
Last updated: 11-15-2013
© 2010 AOL Inc.