Slow connection speed while signing on to the AOL service

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Slow connection speed while signing on to the AOL service

Your AOL service may be slow because of any one of the following reasons:

  • Non working access number
  • Modem connecting at slow speeds
  • Too many programs running on your computer
  • Damaged AOL Adapter

Affected software: AOL Desktop v10.1, AOL 9.6, AOL 9.5, AOL 9.1, AOL 9.0VR, AOL 9.0 Security Edition, AOL 9.0 Optimized SE/LE, or AOL 9.0 Optimized

Affected connection type: Dial-up

Troubleshooting tips:

Your modem may be capable of faster connection speed, but the average dial-up modem connection speed is 45- 49 Kbps. The speed is slower for various reasons:

  • Signal conversion from analog to digital
  • Line noise interference
  • Surge suppressors
  • Telecommunication devices on the line
  • Incorrect, corrupted, or multiple modem drivers

To resolve this issue, do the following:

  • Disconnect devices like cordless phones, fax machines, or answering machines.
  • Check whether you have the updated and correct modem driver.
  • Contact your telephone company to find out about the connection speeds in your area and how you can improve it.

Note: If the above-mentioned troubleshooting tips have not resolved the issue, follow the given solutions in the specified order, and then check whether the issue is resolved.

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


Verify the minimum 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.

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Use an alternate access number

Changing the AOL access numbers not only improves the speed of your connection but also resolves connectivity issues with the AOL software.

WARNING: You will incur charges on your phone bill if you select an AOL access 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 numbers that you select are local for your 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. The steps to change access numbers may vary depending on the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) installed on your computer.

Please click the appropriate link given below to change access numbers.


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.)

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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.

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Enable 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.

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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 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 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.

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Scan my computer for viruses using McAfee Internet Security Suite - Special edition from AOL

Spyware or adware, like viruses, are downloaded onto your computer through any software you download, email messages you open, or websites you visit. They are usually downloaded onto your computer without your knowledge. Annoying pop-up ads, mysterious new toolbars, PC slow-downs, and new icons in your system tray are all signs that your computer is infected with spyware or malware programs. Although, these programs are not as dangerous as viruses, they slow down your computer and try to gather personal information.

Adware is any software that, once installed on your computer, tracks your Web browsing habits and sends you pop-ups containing advertisements related to your browsing habits. While these software may seem innocent, they consume the much-needed processor speed and Internet connection speed.

Spyware is similar to adware but much more dangerous. It scans your hard drive for personal information and your Web browsing habits. Once the spyware discovers your email address, it sends you spam mails and junk emails that clutter your inbox.

If your computer appears to be infected with a computer virus, use an antivirus software to detect and eradicate the infection. If you don't have an antivirus software but are able to connect to the AOL service, visit AOL Keyword: Safety or http://daol.aol.com/security to find helpful information about computer safety, viruses, and antivirus software.

Otherwise, contact your PC vendor to obtain the necessary software. Please note that support for third-party antivirus software will be provided by the respective manufacturers.


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.

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Contact your computer manufacturer

We have determined that the issue is not caused by the AOL software. We recommend that you contact your computer manufacturer, or if your computer is no longer under warranty, a local computer repair shop or technician, for further assistance. Let the computer manufacturer/technician know that you are unable to get a connection through your dial-up network and ask him/her to check the following as these items have been known to cause problems with dial-up connections.

  • Out-of-date or corrupted modem drivers
  • Remote access configuration issues
  • Firewall configuration issues
  • Operating system updates
  • Operating system problems
  • Application conflicts
  • Low resources

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About this article:
Last updated: 04-03-2014
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