Cannot connect to the AOL service using a broadband connection

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Cannot connect to the AOL service using a broadband connection

You may have trouble connecting to the AOL service using your broadband connection. Listed below are the solutions to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you can connect to the AOL service. If you still can't, 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

The instructions to resolve the issue may differ depending on the version of Windows installed on your computer. To find the version of the Windows installed on your computer, follow 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


Verify whether the Web can be accessed using an external browser

Determine whether you are able to access the Internet using Internet Explorer or Netscape. Try connecting to a Web page, such as www.aol.com, with a stand-alone browser to determine whether the connection to the Internet works without using your AOL software.

Notes:

  • If you are able to access the Web using an external browser, go to Select the correct location to continue troubleshooting.
  • If you are NOT able to access the Web using an external browser, restart your computer and all connectivity-related hardware components to ensure that the computer responds correctly. To know how to do so, refer to our online help article Restart the computer, modem, and router.

After restarting the computer, modem, and router, check whether you are able to access the Web using an external browser. If you are still unable to access the Web, you will need to contact your ISP for further assistance. The AOL software is a program on your computer just like Microsoft Internet Explorer. If Internet Explorer does not function with your Internet connection, then the AOL software won't be able to either. Therefore, in order to get the issue resolved, you'll need to contact your ISP.

On the other hand, if you are able to access the Web using an external browser after restarting the computer, try signing on to the AOL service. If you are still unable to sign on, go to the next solution to continue troubleshooting.

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Select the correct location

1. Launch the AOL software, but do not sign on.

2. Click the Connection drop-down menu, and then click the location specific to your connection method.

Note: For dial-up connections, the default location is Home. All broadband connection methods use Broadband as the default.

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Delete all connection locations and redetect the broadband modem

Completely deleting the sign on locations and connectivity files removes 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 creating a new connection location.

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

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Temporarily disable 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 online help article Disable a firewall.

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Disable SystemGuard using McAfee

SystemGuard may be blocking the AOL software from connecting to the AOL service. Disabling SystemGuard may help you resolve this issue. For instructions on how to disable SystemGuard, refer to the Disable SystemGuard section in the online help article SystemGuard in McAfee Internet Security Suite - Special edition from AOL.


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 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


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.


Repair the network stack list using NetShell

Note: If you are using Windows 98/Me, skip this solution.

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. Therefore, you cannot remove the TCP/IP stack. However, you can reset TCP/IP to its original state by using the NetShell utility (netsh).

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


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 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. To learn more about AOL TOD updates, read our online help article AOL TOD update.

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

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


Enable essential startup programs

Multiple programs may have been set to start automatically when a computer is turned on. These programs may conflict with the AOL software and cause connectivity issues. Not all startup programs are essential for the proper functioning of your computer. Click the link corresponding to the version of Windows installed on your computer to know how to enable only essential startup programs on your computer.

If you are using Windows 2000/Me/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 for instructions to close all programs.


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.


Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

It looks like your AOL software is functioning correctly, but you are unable to establish a connection to the Internet. Since the AOL software relies on the Internet connection, you will have to contact your broadband service provider to help you troubleshoot the issue further. When you contact your ISP, please make sure that you let the representative know that you are having trouble connecting to the Internet.

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About this article:
Last updated: 06-19-2014
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