Sometimes, you may receive the message "Your computer is currently running communication software that needs to be shut down before installing AOL" while trying to install the AOL software. Listed below are the solutions to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you can install the AOL software. If you are still unable to install the software, 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 steps given in the online help article How do I determine the version of Windows I have.


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.

Stop the waol.exe32 process using Task Manager

Follow the steps below to stop the waol.exe32 process:

1. Press and hold the Ctrl and Alt keys on your keyboard, while you tap the Delete key. A dialog box will appear.

2. Click the Task Manager button.

Note: Instead of Steps 1 and 2, you can also right-click the Windows Taskbar and click Task Manager.

3. Click the Processes tab.

4. Find and right-click waol.exe32 and then click End Process.

Note: You can also find and click waol.exe32 to highlight it, and then click the End Process button.

5. Click the Yes button.

6. Click the X button on the upper-right of the window, to close the Task Manager window.

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.

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 about the issue. There are many other programs that AOL uses in order to deliver content to your computer, and these programs should function efficiently. All software programs are highly dependent on the computer's operating system and other applications to work properly. It appears that one of the following programs/applications may be the cause of the issue.

  • The computer operating system
  • Several media players
  • Many text editors and text viewers
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer and other Web browsers

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