Sometimes you may not be able to sign on or connect to the AOL service. We've listed several solutions below that you can use to fix this issue. We recommend you attempt the solutions in the order provided.
Before you start
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 our 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. 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 help article How do I determine the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) I have before continuing.
Select the correct location
1. Start the AOL Desktop software, but do not sign on.
2. Select your Click the Connection drop-down menu, and then click the location specific to your connection method.
3. Attempt to sign in by clicking Sign On.
Note: For dial-up connections, the default location is Home. All broadband connection methods use Broadband as the default.
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 Desktop software.
IMPORTANT: 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 phone number, please see Use an alternate access phone number.
Check physical connections
1. Check whether the phone cord is unplugged from the back of the computer or wall jack.
2. Plug a telephone cord into the phone jack used by the modem, and then pick up the receiver to check for the dial tone. If there is no dial tone, please contact your local phone company.
3. Ensure that the phone line goes directly from the wall jack to the computer. Disconnect any splitters or answering machines that are connected to the phone line to ensure that these devices are not causing the issue.
4. Ensure that one end of the phone cord is plugged into the wall jack and the other end is plugged into the modem jack. The modem jack will either be labeled Line or be represented by a phone receiver.
5. If you are using an external modem, ensure that the power cord is plugged into a working wall jack.
6. Ensure that another member of the household is not using the home phone line.
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.
Delete all connection locations and redetect the modem
Completely deleting the sign on locations and connectivity files removes bad access phone numbers and incorrect dialing options, modem and broadband settings. The AOL Desktop software will automatically search for and select the right connection device to guide you through selecting appropriate access phone numbers and dialing options.
IMPORTANT: 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 https://myaccount.aol.com for details regarding the charges applicable to your account.
Please select the version of ACS on your computer for instructions on how to delete connection locations and redetect the modem:
Run Quick Restore
- Please close the AOL Desktop software before running Quick Restore.
- If you are using AOL Desktop 10.1, skip to the next solution.
The Quick Restore feature allows you to reset your AOL Desktop software to its default state. It can help resolve issues that you may have with your AOL Desktop software without having to reinstall.
Once Quick Restore is completed, you may receive a series of AOL Desktop software updates, also known as AOL TOD (Tools on Demand) updates. For more information, please see AOL TOD update.
The instructions to run Quick Restore may change depending on the version of ACS installed on your computer. Select your version of ACS below for instructions on how to run Quick Restore:
Verify if the web can be accessed using another web browser
Try access the internet using another web browser. Open Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome, and attempt to visit AOL.com or any other website.
If you are able to access the internet with an external web browser, and you have completed the previous solutions and still cannot connect with your AOL Desktop software, please continue to the next solution.
If you are not able to access the internet with an external browser, restart your computer, power off your modem for 30 seconds and then power it back on, and then try attempting to connect again. For more information on this, please see Restart the computer, modem, and router. After you have done this, if you are still having connection issues, please continue to the next solutions.
Contact AOL Customer Service directly
If you're still having issues connecting to the internet with your AOL Desktop software, we highly encourage you to contact AOL Customer Service. For more information on how to do so, please see Contact AOL Customer Service.