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Download and install AOL Desktop 9.7

To download and install AOL Desktop 9.7, please follow the instructions below:

1. Visit discover.aol.com/aoldesktop97.

2. Under AOL Desktop 9.7, click Download Now. If you encounter any difficulties while downloading, please check out our help article Troubleshooting AOL Desktop 9.7.

3. Open the file and click Run.

4. If you are using Windows XP, click Run again. If you are using Windows 7, or 8, or Vista and are prompted by the User Account Control window, click Yes or Continue. The AOL Desktop 9.7 installer will launch and begin downloading necessary files for installation. You can minimize this and let it download in the background by clicking Minimize. If you wish to quit the download process, please click Quit Now.

5. Next you'll be prompted to shut down any AOL applications you have open. To do this, click Continue Install.

Note: If you do not see this message move to the next step.

6. If you already have a previous version of the AOL Desktop software installed on your computer, select Upgrade Existing Version to copy your email, address book settings, etc. to AOL Desktop 9.7. Before doing so, please select your previous version from the drop-down provided to make sure AOL copies over your correct data. If you don't already have a version of the AOL Desktop software on your computer, select Install New Version. After selecting an option, click Continue.

7. Select your preferred software settings by checking the corresponding check boxes and then click Continue.

8. Review your selected settings.

9. Select the folder in which you want to install AOL Desktop 9.7 by clicking Change Location.

10. Once you’re finished, click Install Now. Once installation completes, AOL Desktop 9.7 will run.

If you would like to burn your own AOL CD, please see our help article BURN-YOUR-OWN-AOL-CD.

For more information on setting up a new AOL account, please see our help article Creating a new AOL account in AOL Desktop 9.7.

System Requirements for AOL Desktop 9.7

Before installing the AOL Desktop software, please ensure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for AOL Desktop 9.7. If you install the AOL Desktop software on a computer that doesn't meet the system requirements, you may experience problems with either the software or the computer.

For instructions on how to check whether your computer meets the system requirements specified below, please read our help article How do I determine whether my computer meets the system requirements?

Minimum system requirements for AOL Desktop 9.7:

  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8
  • Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, or 10
  • 266 MHz or faster computer processor
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 250 MB free hard disk space*
  • 28.8 kbps or faster modem, or other Internet connection
  • 800 x 600 or higher screen resolution

Note: you may need additional disk space if you have a large Personal Filing Cabinet. This only applies if you upgrade to AOL Desktop 9.7 from a previous version of the AOL Desktop software.

Uninstall and reinstall AOL Desktop 9.7

For instructions to uninstall and reinstall AOL Desktop 9.7, select your operating system below:

Windows 8

To uninstall and reinstall AOL Desktop 9.7:

1. From the Start screen, right-click AOL Desktop 9.7 and select Uninstall at the bottom of the screen.

2. From the list of currently installed programs, double-click AOL Uninstaller to begin the uninstall process.

3. A window will appear, asking to perform a scan of your system for all AOL software. Click Yes. The scan may take some time to complete.

4. On the AOL Uninstaller screen, select all of the applications available by checking the corresponding check boxes.

5. Click Uninstall. The uninstall process will begin.

6. If you're asked if you want to keep your old files, check the Personal Data and Settings check box and click OK.

7. When the uninstall process completes, you will be asked to restart your computer. Make sure to save any documents or files you have open, and then click Restart.

8. After you restart your computer, visit discover.aol.com/software/.

9. Under AOL Desktop 9.7, click Download Now. If you encounter any difficulties while downloading, please see Troubleshooting AOL Desktop 9.7.

10. Open the file and click Run. If you are prompted by the User Account Control window, click Yes or Continue.

11. Next you'll be prompted to shut down any AOL applications you have open. To do this, click Continue Install.

12. Select Install New Version and click Continue.

13. Select your preferred software settings by checking the corresponding check boxes and then click Continue. For more information on the available options, click the question mark bubbles.

14. Review your selected settings.

15. Once you’re finished, click Install Now. Once installation completes, AOL Desktop 9.7 will run.

16. On the Let's Get Started window, select Use your existing AOL Screen Name.

17. Enter your Screen Name and Password and click Next. You will then be signed into the AOL Desktop software.

18. You've successfully reinstalled AOL Desktop 9.7! Continue to use the software as you like.

Windows XP, Vista, or 7

To uninstall and reinstall AOL Desktop 9.7:

1. Click Start and select Control Panel.

2. Select Add or Remove Programs or Uninstall a program (this option may be different depending on your operating system or current view).

3. From the list of currently installed programs, select AOL Uninstaller and click Uninstall/Remove to begin the uninstall process.

4. A window will appear, asking to perform a scan of your system for all AOL software. Click Yes. The scan may take some time to complete.

5. On the AOL Uninstaller screen, select all of the applications available by checking the corresponding check boxes.

6. Click Uninstall. The uninstall process will begin.

7. If you're asked if you want to keep your old files, check the Personal Data and Settings check box and click OK.

8. When the uninstall process completes, you will be asked to restart your computer. Make sure to save any documents or files you have open, and then click Restart.

9. After you restart your computer, visit daol.aol.com/software/aoldesktop97.

10. Under AOL Desktop 9.7, click Download Now. If you encounter any difficulties while downloading, please see Troubleshooting AOL Desktop 9.7.

11. Open the file and click Run. If you are prompted by the User Account Control window, click Yes or Continue.

12. Next you'll be prompted to shut down any AOL applications you have open. To do this, click Continue Install.

13. Select Install New Version and click Continue.

14. Select your preferred software settings by checking the corresponding check boxes and then click Continue. For more information on the available options, click the question mark bubbles.

15. Review your selected settings.

16. Once you’re finished, click Install Now. Once installation completes, AOL Desktop 9.7 will run.

17. On the Let's Get Started window, select Use your existing AOL Screen Name.

18. Enter your Screen Name and Password and click Next. You will then be signed into the AOL Desktop software.

19. You've successfully reinstalled AOL Desktop 9.7! Continue to use the software as you like.

Install the AOL Desktop Software using the setup file from a previous version

Based on the installation file that you have on your computer you will get either the version of the AOL software last installed or the one that was last updated on your computer. You may later upgrade your AOL software by going to AOL Keyword: Upgrade. Please note that the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop v10.1.

How to


Install the AOL software using the setup file in waol or SUD folder

The setup file in waol or SUD folder will help install the AOL software that was downloaded from the Web or updated with AOL Software Updates? respectively.

The instructions provided below are applicable only for Windows 7/Vista/XP. If you are using an earlier version of Windows, skip to Install the AOL software using aolback.exe.

To install AOL using the setup file in waol or SUD folder on Windows 7/Vista
1. Click the Start button and click Computer or My Computer.

2. Double-click Local Disk (C:).

3. On the menu bar (if you don't see the menu bar, tap the Alt key on your keyboard; the menu bar will appear), click Tools, and then click Folder options.

4. On the Folder Options window, click the View tab.

5. Choose the option Show hidden files, folders and drives, and then click OK.

6. Double-click ProgramData.

7. Double-click AOL Downloads.

8. Check whether you have a folder that starts with waol or SUD. If yes, double-click the folder. If no, skip to Install the AOL software using aolback.exe.

9. Double-click the folder that's named with numbers. If you find multiple folders, double-click the folder that was modified most recently (the folder(s) name will be in numbers).

10. Double-click the setup file, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the AOL software.

To install AOL using the setup file in waol or SUD folder on Windows XP
1. Click Start and click My Computer.

2. Double-click Local Disk (C:).

3. Click Tools and click Folder Options.

4. The Folder Options window appears, click View.

5. Choose Show hidden files and folders, and then click OK.

6. Double-click Documents and Settings.

7. Double-click All Users.

8. Double-click Application Data.

9. Double-click AOL Downloads.

10. Double-click SUDxxxx (x represents number) folder or the folder that starts with waol. If you have more than one SUDxxxx or waol folders, double-click the one that was modified most recently.

11. Double-click waol-x.xxxx.xx.x, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the AOL software. If you don't find waol-x.xxxx.xx.x, but find folder(s), double-click the folder that was modified most recently (the folder(s) name will be in numbers). Double-click waol-x.xxxx.xx.x, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the AOL software.


Install the AOL software using aolback.exe

The installation file (aolback.exe) will install the version of the AOL software last installed on your computer using an AOL CD.

To install the AOL software using aolback.exe
1. Open the Search window.

  • If you are using Windows Vista, click Start, and then click Search. Click the Advanced Search drop-down menu to open it, and then check the box next to Include non-indexed, hidden, and system files (might be slow).
  • If you are using Windows XP, click Start, and then click Search. In the Search Results window, click All files and folders.
  • If you are using Windows 2000/Me, click Start, select Search, and then click For Files and Folders.
  • If you are using Windows 98, click Start, select Find, and then click Files or Folders.

2. Search for the aolback.exe file.

  • If you are using Windows Vista, click the Location drop-down menu to open it, and then choose Local Hard Drives (C:) from the list by clicking it. In the Search box, type aolback.exe, and then click Search.
  • If you are using Windows XP, in the All or part of the file name box, type aolback.exe. Ensure that the Look in box is set to C:\ drive, and then click Search.
  • If you are using Windows 2000/Me, in the Search for files or folders named box, type aolback.exe. Ensure that the Look in box is set to C:\ drive, and then click Search Now.
  • If you are using Windows 98, in the Named box, type aolback.exe. Ensure that the Look in drop-down menu is set to C:\ drive, and then click Find Now.

3. Double-click the aolback.exe file, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the AOL software.

Note: If you are an existing member, the New Member Information window that requests for your name, address, and other details will not appear. If the wind43488ow appears, updating the information in the window will lead to the creation of a new AOL account. Please read our online help article Sign on to the AOL software as a current member for instructions to sign on with your current screen name.

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Trouble downloading AOL Desktop 9.7

If you're having trouble downloading AOL Desktop 9.7 from daol.aol.com/software, follow the instructions below to resolve the issue. Please go through the solutions in order to resolve your issue.

Reset web settings

If you've installed another web browser after installing Internet Explorer, some of your Internet Explorer settings may have changed. You can reset your Internet Explorer to its default settings. The homepage, search pages and the default browser will be reset without changing the settings of the other browsers on your computer. Please visit our help article Reset web settings to learn more.

Download from our alternate location

1. Visit daol.aol.com/software/aoldesktop97alt/.

2. Click Download Now.

3. Click Run.

4. Click Run again.

Note: If you are using Windows Vista/7, click Continue.

5. If you are an existing AOL user, select Upgrade Existing Version and choose your previous version of the AOL Desktop software from the available drop-down menu. If you are a new AOL user, select Install New Version. Selecting Upgrade Existing Version will copy your existing mail and address book settings from a previous version of the AOL Desktop software. Once you've chosen an option, click Continue.

6. Select your preferred AOL Desktop 9.7 settings and click Continue.

7. Review your selected settings, choose your install location, review the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and then click Install Now.

Download and run the software in compatibility mode

1. Visit daol.aol.com/software/aoldesktop97alt/.

2. Click Download Now.

3. Click Save.

4. Select Desktop, and then click Save.

5. Find the AOL_Desktop_9.7.exe file on your desktop, right-click on the icon, and then click Properties.

6. Click the Compatibility tab.

7. Check the Run this program in compatibility mode (making sure Windows 95 is selected from the drop-down menu) and Run in 256 colors check boxes. Click Apply, and then click OK.

8. On your desktop, double-click the AOL_Desktop_9.7.exe icon.

9. Click Run.

Note: If you are using Windows Vista/7, click Continue.

10. If you are an existing AOL user, select Upgrade Existing Version and choose your previous version of the AOL Desktop software from the available drop-down menu. If you are a new AOL user, select Install New Version. Selecting Upgrade Existing Version will copy your existing mail and address book settings from a previous version of the AOL Desktop software. Once you've chosen an option, click Continue.

11. Select your preferred AOL Desktop 9.7 settings and click Continue.

12. Review your selected settings, choose your install location, review the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and then click Install Now.

BURN-YOUR-OWN-AOL-CD

You can create your own AOL CD, and then install AOL Desktop 9.7 from it. BURN-YOUR-OWN-AOL-CD provides instructions on how to download the AOL setup files to your computer and then burn them onto a CD or save them on a flash drive.

Trouble uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software

If you are unable to uninstall the AOL Desktop Software, the solutions below will help resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you can uninstall the AOL Desktop Software. If you are still unable to uninstall the AOL Desktop, continue using the suggested solutions until the problem is fixed.

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 help article Determining your version of Microsoft Windows. For assistance with uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software, refer to our help article How do I uninstall the AOL Desktop Software?.

IMPORTANT: If you have saved your AOL password on the AOL Desktop Software, ensure that you remember the password before you perform the steps given below as uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software will delete your saved password. If you don’t remember your password, we recommend that you change your password before proceeding any further. To do so, you will 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 to it. For instructions on how to change your password or ASQ, refer to the following help article: Account Management: Managing your AOL Password.

Solutions


Enable only essential startup programs

Multiple programs may have been set to start automatically when a computer is turned on, which 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 or 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.


Close all running programs

Other programs or processes that are running on your computer might interfere with the uninstalling process of the AOL Desktop Software. Refer to our help article Close non-essential programs to close all the other programs that may be running on your computer. Once these programs are closed, try uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software from the Control Panel by following the instructions given in our help article How do I uninstall the AOL Desktop Software?.


Run ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter on your hard drive

ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter are tools used for maintaining your computer's efficiency. These tools inform you about potential problems with your hard drive. ScanDisk scans the computer for infected files and fixes them to improve your computer's performance. Disk Defragmenter maintains your computer by consolidating data and helps you find information efficiently.

IMPORTANT: Do not perform Disk Defragmentation on a solid-state drive (SSD) as it may lower the life span of the drive. If you are unsure about the drive(s) in your computer, please contact your computer manufacturer.

Click the link corresponding to the version of Windows you have on your computer for instructions to run ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter on your computer.


Manually delete AOL folders

Sometimes, uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software may not resolve the issue that you are currently facing. In such cases, manually deleting the AOL folders will ensure that all AOL files and folders are removed from your computer. The instructions to delete the AOL folders differ depending on the version of Windows installed on your computer. Click the appropriate version of Windows installed on your computer from the list below for instructions to manually delete the AOL Desktop Software.


Contact your computer manufacturer or a local technician

If you have tried all the solutions above, the problem may not be with the AOL Desktop Software. We recommend that you contact your computer manufacturer or, if your computer is no longer under warranty, contact a local computer repair shop or technician for further assistance. Let the computer manufacturer or technician know details about the issue. AOL uses many programs 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; 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.