If your Address Book in the AOL Desktop Software is missing, try the solutions given below to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether the issue is resolved. If you find that your Address Book is still missing, continue using the suggested solutions until the issue is resolved.

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 help article Determining your version of Microsoft Windows

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.


Select a solution below for step by step instructions.

Ensure that you sign on using the correct AOL Username

Every screen name has its own Filing Cabinet, AOL Buddy List, Address Book, and Preferences. You must sign on with the correct AOL Username to access your Address Book.

Ensure that the Address Book category menu is set to All Contacts

The Address Book can be sorted by category. The listings on your Address Book may be hidden depending on the category currently selected. To change your category listing, please follow the instructions below:

  1. On the AOL toolbar, click the Mail menu, and then click Address Book.
  2. Select the correct category listing:
    • If you are using AOL 9.6/9.5/9.1/9.0/9.0 SE/LE/Optimized versions of the AOL Desktop Software, ensure that All Contacts is selected in the Groups section on the left.
    • If you are using the AOL 8.0 software, make sure that the View drop-down menu shows All.
  3. Close the Address Book.

Verify whether your Address Book is present in AOL WebMail

Sometimes, the AOL Desktop Software can have problems retrieving your Address Book. Verify whether your Address Book is accessible on AOL WebMail.

  1. Sign on to AOL WebMail by visiting http://webmail.aol.com.
  2. On the left panel, click the Contacts tab and check whether you are able to see your contacts.

Reset your Address State

Resetting the Address State will help re-synchronize the Address Book. To do so, please follow the instructions below:

  1. 1. Go to www.aol.com, click the AOL Mail icon, and then sign on using your AOL Username and Password.
  2. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard, and then click the Help link on the upper right of the AOL Mail window.

    Help link

  3. On the AOL Mail System Summary window, next to Address State, click Reset.

    Address State

  4. Close all open windows.

Run Addressbook Sync Fix

Addressbook Sync Fix is an automated utility that helps you resolve issues such as missing or blank Address Book. Once you run this utility, sync issues with Address Book and Favorite Places will be resolved.

IMPORTANT: This solution does not work for AOL Desktop 9.7.

Delete Address Book files

Some Address Book files of the screen name may have been damaged. Deleting your Address Book files may help resolve the issue. Once these files are deleted, the AOL Desktop Software automatically creates new ones. Please know that deleting the Address Book files will not delete the addresses in your Address Book; only the files linking the Address Book on your computer to the Address Book stored on AOL servers are deleted.

Activate tunneling using AOL Keyword: Browser Fix

You may face this issue if tunneling is not activated on your AOL Desktop Software. Tunneling allows your AOL Desktop Software to work better with your local internet service provider (ISP) network. To learn how to activate tunneling, refer to our help article Activate tunneling using AOL Keyword: Browser Fix.

Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL Desktop Software.

Upgrade the AOL Desktop Software

Upgrading to the latest version of the AOL Desktop Software may fix this issue. Check whether your computer meets the minimum system requirements for the version of the AOL Desktop Software you plan to install.

You can get the latest version of the AOL Desktop Software from multiple sources. Check out the help article Obtain the AOL Desktop Software for additional details.

Uninstall and 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, 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 Desktop Software.

Copy Address Book index files from old folder to new folder

If you're still missing your Address Book, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to your OLD AOL/Organize folder.
  2. Copy the files screenname.aby and screenname.abi.
  3. Navigate to your new AOL/Organize folder. This will most likely be AOL Desktop 9.7/Organize.
  4. Paste the screenname.aby and screenname.abi files into this folder.
  5. Restart AOL and open your Address Book.