AOL freezes while I am online

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AOL freezes while I am online

If your computer or the AOL software freezes while you are online, try the solutions listed below to fix this issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you can stay online uninterrupted. However, if the issue 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 instructions given in the online help article How do I determine the version of Windows I have?

Solutions


Check the system requirements

Computers that fail to meet the minimum system requirements for the AOL software may experience this issue. Open AOL System Information and check whether your computer meets the minimum system requirements of your AOL software. Read our online help article System requirements for the AOL software to know the system requirements for AOL 9.6, AOL 9.5, AOL 9.1, all versions of AOL 9.0, and AOL Desktop v10.1.


Restart your computer and try again

Note: You may want to print this article before proceeding with this solution.

If you haven't recently restarted your computer or you don't restart your computer very often, we recommend that you restart your computer. This helps clear the internal memory (RAM), which often resolves many issues.

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Clear browser cache

Are you able to access websites within the AOL software? If yes, skip to the Run Quick Restore solution. If no, ensure that you are connected to the Internet, and then try to access a website, preferably a site that you haven't been to before. If you are still unable to access websites, clearing the browser cache should help fix the issue.


Rebuild AOL Adapter

AOL Adapter connects the AOL software to Internet Explorer. Any damage to the adapter can affect the AOL service and your access to the Web. You can fix the damage by rebuilding AOL Adapter.

The instructions to rebuild AOL Adapter may differ depending on the version of ACS installed on your computer. Please click the appropriate link from the ones given below for instructions on how to rebuild AOL Adapter.


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.


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.


Disable firewall

The firewall installed on your computer may be the cause of the issue that you are currently experiencing. Disabling the firewall may resolve the problem.

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Run virus scan

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


Use an alternate access phone number

Changing the AOL access phone 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 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 plan. Remember that members on certain plans may be charged an hourly rate for dial-up connections. See AOL Keyword: My Account for your price details.

For instructions on how to use an alternate access number, refer to our online help article Use an alternate access number.


Deactivate graphic compression

Graphic compression improves the time taken to download an image but deteriorates image quality. You can improve image quality by deactivating graphic compression, but the deactivation may increase the time taken to download images.

Note: You cannot deactivate graphic compression on AOL 9.5 and AOL 9.1.

Please click the link corresponding to the version of the AOL software installed on your computer for instructions on how to deactivate graphic compression.

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Lower hardware acceleration and set color depth to 16 bits

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 is set to high, you may have issues like the one you are currently experiencing. Lowering the hardware acceleration of your Windows operating system may help resolve this issue.

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

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Run 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 will receive a series of AOL software updates. To learn more about AOL software updates, read our online help article AOL software update.

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

Notes:
  • Please close the AOL software before running Quick Restore.
  • If you are using AOL Desktop v10.1, skip to the next solution. If you are using AOL 8.0 Plus or lower, go to Clear AOL Artwork Database.

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 for details regarding the charges applicable to your account.

Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, if you are using AOL Desktop v10.1, please skip this solution.

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

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Uninstall AOL Connectivity Services

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


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.


Download and install the latest Java Virtual Machine

Some programs require Java™ to function properly. If you have trouble accessing your websites, installing the latest Java Virtual Machine on your Windows operating system can help resolve this issue. Refer to our online help article for instructions on how to download and install the latest Java Virtual Machine.

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Last updated: 11-15-2013
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