You may notice that the programs running on your computer are responding slower than expected when you use your computer or browse the internet. Given below are some solutions to resolve this issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you get a better response. If the programs are still responding slower than expected, continue trying the suggested solutions until the problem is fixed.

Before you begin, you'll need to know the version of the Microsoft Windows operating system and web browser installed on your computer. You can find this information by following the steps given in our help articles Determining your version of Microsoft Windows and How do I find the version of my web browser?


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 refer to our help article Enable only essential startup programs and click the appropriate drop-down, 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.

Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints

Whenever you visit websites, temporary internet files and cookies are stored on your computer to record your return visits. Sometimes, these temporary internet files and cookies can cause the issue you are experiencing. Your history list can be a similar concern. The longer the period of time you have specified for pages to save on your history list, the greater the disk space used on your computer. You can free disk space by clearing this list.

Note: Once you clear your cookies, cache, history and footprints, you may lose the following:

  • AOL Radio presets
  • Websites you have visited
  • Your shopping cart
  • Your customized pages

The instructions to clear your cookies, cache, history and footprints will differ depending on the browser you use. Please visit our help article Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints in your browser to learn how.

Rebuild AOL Adapter

AOL Adapter connects the AOL Desktop 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.

Please refer to our help article Rebuild AOL Adapter for instructions on how to rebuild the AOL Adapter.

Run Quick Restore

Note: Please close the AOL Desktop Software before running Quick Restore.

The Quick Restore feature allows you to reset the AOL Desktop 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 Desktop Software without having to reinstall the software.

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.

Uninstall and then reinstall the AOL Desktop Software

If the issue persists, we recommend that you uninstall and reinstall the AOL Desktop Software. Uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software removes all damaged and non-repairable files. Once the uninstallation is complete, reinstalling a new copy of the AOL Desktop Software is quick and easy. Please note that uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software removes all Usernames and settings associated with it; however, your Filing Cabinet files will automatically be stored on the desktop in a folder named Saved on AOL.

IMPORTANT: If you have saved your AOL password on the AOL Desktop Software, ensure that you remember your password before you uninstall the AOL Desktop Software because uninstalling the software will delete your saved password. If you don’t remember your password, we recommend that you change your password before proceeding any further. You will also need to remember the answer to your Account Security Question (ASQ) to be able to change your password. You can change your ASQ if you don’t remember the answer. For instructions on how to change your password or ASQ, refer to the following help articles:

Please refer to our help article AOL Desktop Software: Installing and Uninstalling for instructions on how to uninstall and reinstall the AOL Desktop Software.