Message: An error occurred while loading a file. AOL will attempt to restore the file

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Message: An error occurred while loading a file. AOL will attempt to restore the file

If you receive the message "An error occurred while loading a file. AOL will attempt to restore the file while trying to access your Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC) using the AOL software," then try the solutions listed below. After trying the first solution, check whether the issue is resolved. If not, 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


Compact, and then restore the PFC file

If emails are not stored properly in the PFC, the AOL software will not be able to read them. Compacting and then restoring the PFC will regroup the emails and make your PFC readable. The instructions to compact and then restore your PFC are given in the online help article How do I compact/restore the Filing Cabinet?


Restore the PFC file from a backup copy

The AOL software creates a backup copy of the PFC file every four weeks. You can restore your PFC file from this backup copy.

To restore the PFC file in AOL 9.0 or higher versions of AOL

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

2. Click the Mail menu, and then click Mail Settings.

3. Click the Manage Saved Mail drop-down menu, and then click Restore.

4. Click Yes.

5. Click Save. Your PFC file is now restored.

To restore the PFC file in AOL 8.0 or lower versions of AOL

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

2. Click the File menu, and then click Filing Cabinet.

3. Click the Manage drop-down menu, and then click Restore.

4. Click Yes.

5. Close all open windows.


Manually restore the PFC file from a backup copy

The AOL software creates a backup copy of the PFC file every four weeks. You can restore your PFC file from this backup copy.

Note: You must sign off from the AOL service in order to restore your PFC file.

To restore the PFC file from a backup copy in AOL 9.0 or higher versions of AOL

1. Click Start, click All Programs or Programs, click AOL, and then click AOL System Information.

Note:

  • If you are using Windows 8, on the Windows taskbar, right-click the AOL icon, and then click System Information. If prompted by the User Account Control, click Yes.

  • If you are unable to access AOL System Information, go to the online help article Open Data Folder for instructions on how to manually open the Data Folder. Click the Back to the previous page button of that help article to return to this article, and then continue from Step 8.

2. Click the Utilities tab.

3. In the AOL Utilities section, next to Close All AOL Programs, click Close AOL.

4. Click Continue.

5. Click OK.

6. Click the AOL Software tab.

7. Click Open Data Folder.

8. Double-click the backup folder.

9. Right-click the appropriate Username file that has no extension, and then click Copy.

10. Click Back.

11. Double-click the Organize folder.

12. Right-click, and then click Paste.

13. Click Yes, if prompted to confirm file replacement.

14. Close all open windows.

To restore the PFC file from a backup copy in AOL 8.0 or lower versions of AOL

1. Click Start, click All Programs or Programs, click AOL, and then click AOL System Information.

Note: If you are unable to access AOL System Information, go to the online help article Open Data Folder for instructions on how to manually open the Data Folder. Click the Back to the previous page button of that help article to return to this article, and then continue from Step 3.

2. Click Folder.

3. Double-click the backup folder.

4. Right-click the appropriate Username file that has no extension, and then click Copy.

5. Click Back.

6. Double-click the Organize folder.

7. Right-click, and then click Paste.

8. Click Yes, if prompted to confirm file replacement.

9. Close all open windows.


Search and manually restore the PFC file

If you do not have a backup copy of the PFC file or if the backup copy is corrupted, you can manually restore the PFC file from another copy. However, this can sometimes result in loss of data.

To manually restore the Personal Filing Cabinet in AOL 9.6, AOL 9.5 on Windows 7 and 8

1. Click Start, and then click Computer.

2. On the upper right, in the Search Computer box, enter your Username.

3. From the search results, select the Username file that has no extension. If there are multiple Username files, select the most recently used Username file or the one with the largest file size.

Note: If the search doesn't display any results, then you don't have a backup copy of your PFC, and your PFC cannot be recovered.

4. Click the Organize drop-down menu, and then click Copy.

5. Click Start, click All Programs or Programs, click AOL, and then click AOL System Information.

Note:

  • If you are using Windows 8, on the Windows taskbar, right-click the AOL icon, and then click System Information. If prompted by the User Account Control, click Yes.

  • If you are unable to access AOL System Information, go to the online help article Open Data Folder for instructions on how to manually open the Data Folder. Click the Back to the previous page button of that help article to return to this article, and then continue from Step 8.

6. Click the AOL Software tab, and then click Open Data Folder.

7. Double-click the folder that corresponds to the version of the AOL software that you are using.

8. Right-click the Organize folder, and then click Paste.

9. Click Yes, if prompted to confirm file replacement.

10. Close all open windows.

To manually restore the Personal Filing Cabinet in any version of AOL 9.0 on Windows Vista

1. Click Start, and then click Search.

2. On the upper right, click the arrow next to Advanced Search.

3. Click the Location drop-down menu, and then click Computer. In the box next to Name, type your Username, and then click Search.

4. Select the Username file that has no extension. If there are multiple Username files, select the most recently used Username file or the one with the largest file size.

Note: If the search doesn't display any results, then you don't have a backup copy of your PFC, and your PFC cannot be recovered.

5. Click the Organize drop-down menu, and then click Copy.

6. Click Start, click All Programs or Programs, click AOL, and then click AOL System Information.

Note: If you are unable to access AOL System Information, go to the online help article Open Data Folder for instructions on how to manually open the Data Folder. Click the Back to previous page button of that help article to return to this article, and then continue from Step 8.

7. Click the AOL Software tab, and then click Open Data Folder.

8. Double-click the folder that corresponds to the version of the AOL software you are using.

9. Right-click the Organize folder, and then click Paste.

10. Click Yes, if prompted to confirm file replacement.

11. Close all open windows.

To manually restore the Personal Filing Cabinet in any version of AOL 9.0 or AOL 8.0 on Windows XP/2000/Me/98

1. Open the Search window:

  • If you are using Windows XP, click Start, and then click Search or Start Search.
  • If you are using Windows 2000/Me, click Start, select Search, and then click For Files or Folders.
  • If you are using Windows 98, click Start, select Find, and then click Files or Folders.

2. Search for your Username:

  • If you are using Windows XP, on the Search Results window, click All files and folders. Type your Username in the check box next to All or part of the file name, and then click Search.
  • If you are using Windows 2000/Me, type your Username in the Search for files or folders named box, and then click Search Now.
  • If you are using Windows 98, type your Username in the Named box, and then click Find Now.

3. Select the Username file that has no extension. If there are multiple Username files, select the most recently used Username file or the one with the largest file size.

Note: If the search doesn't display any results, then you don't have a backup copy of your Filing Cabinet.

5. Click the Edit menu, and then click Copy.

6. Click Start, select ALL Programs or Programs, select America Online, and then click AOL System Information.

7. Click Data Folder.

Notes:

  • If you are using AOL Optimized 9.0 SE/LE, click the WAOL tab, and then click Data folder.
  • If you are using AOL 8.0, click Folder.

8. Double-click the folder that corresponds to the version of the AOL software that you are using.

9. Right-click the Organize folder, and then click Paste.

10. Click Yes, if prompted to confirm file replacement.


Remove the PFC file of the affected Username

Sometimes, the PFC file may become permanently corrupted and will have to be removed from its default location for your mailbox to display correctly. You can move the PFC file to your desktop.

Note: Run the AOL process shut down utility before you move the PFC.

To move the PFC file to the desktop

1. Close the AOL software.

2. Click Start, click All Programs or Programs, click AOL, and then click AOL System Information.

Note: If you are unable to access AOL System Information, go to the online help article Open Data Folder for instructions on how to manually open the Data Folder. Click the Back to the previous page button of that help article to return to this article, and then continue from Step 4.

3. Open the Data folder:

  • If you are using AOL 9.0VR or higher, click the AOL Software tab, and then click Open Data Folder.
  • If you are using AOL 9.0 Optimized, click Data Folder.
  • If you are using AOL 8.0 plus or lower, click Folder.

4. Right-click the Username file that has no extension, and then click Cut.

5. On the upper right, click X to close the Organize window.

6. Click Close or X to close the AOL System Information window.

7. Paste PFC onto the desktop

8. Start the AOL software as you normally would.

Note: Ensure that you do not sign on to the AOL software.

9. Click the File menu, and then click Open.

10. Locate the "[Username].pfc" file on your Desktop, and then click Open to access your old PFC file.

Note: Please repeat Steps 8 - 10 each time you want to access your old PFC file.


Uninstall and then 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 on how to uninstall the AOL software.

 


 

Delete the cache

Sometimes, simply deleting your cache will fix the above error. For instructions on how to delete the cache, please refer to our help article Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints.

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