If your AOL Desktop Software does not respond while you are online, try the solutions listed below to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you are able to use the AOL Desktop Software normally. If the issue persists, 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, AOL Desktop Software, web browser installed on your computer. You will need to know the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) that your AOL Desktop Software (AOL 9.0 or higher) uses to connect to the internet. You can find this information by following the instructions given in our help articles: Determining your version of Microsoft Windows, How do I determine the version of my AOL Desktop Software?, How do I find the version of my web browser? and How do I determine the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) I hav
Verify whether the computer meets the system requirements
You may receive this message if your computer does not meet the minimum system requirements for the AOL Desktop Software installed on your computer. Please read our help article System requirements for AOL Desktop software to check whether your computer meets the system requirements for the AOL Desktop Software.
Note: If your computer doesn't meet the system requirements to run the AOL Desktop Software, please contact your computer manufacturer to upgrade your computer.
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. Click the link corresponding to the version of Windows installed on your computer to know how to enable only essential startup programs on your computer.
If you are using Windows 2000/Me/98, you will have to manually close all the programs 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.
Run the AOL Process Shutdown utility
Closing all AOL processes may resolve the issue. If you are using ACS 4 or ACS 3, you can use the AOL Process Shut Down utility, which is a program that terminates all the AOL applications currently running on your computer. If you are using ACS 2 or ACS 1, you will need to manually close all AOL processes. Please click the appropriate link for instructions to close AOL processes.
Clear AOL Artwork Database
After some time, the amount of stored artwork on your computer can reduce the efficiency of the AOL Desktop Software. You can delete the artwork by resetting the amount of space AOL uses to store online art.
Please click the link corresponding to the version of AOL installed on your computer for instructions on how to clear AOL Artwork Database.
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. These temporary internet files and cookies can sometimes 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 be saved 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 click the link corresponding to the version of ACS installed on your computer for instructions on how to rebuild AOL Adapter.
Restore McAfee Default Settings
To restore your McAfee Firewall back to the default settings:
1. Click the Start button and then move your pointer over All Programs, McAfee, and then McAfee Firewall.
2. Click Firewall.
3. Click Settings.
4. Click Restore Defaults.
Delete all connection locations and redetect the modem
Completely deleting the sign on locations and connectivity files removes not only bad access phone numbers but also dialing options and incorrect modem or broadband settings. The AOL Desktop Software will automatically search for and select the right connection device and guide you through the process of selecting appropriate access phone numbers and dialing options.
WARNING: 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 for details regarding the charges applicable to your account.
Please click the link corresponding to the version of ACS on your computer for instructions to delete the connection locations and redetect the modem.
WebUtil restores the system settings to resolve connection and browsing problems.
Please click the link corresponding to the version of ACS installed on your computer for instructions on how to run WebUtil.
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 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.
Once Quick Restore is completed, you may receive a series of AOL Desktop Software updates, also known as AOL Tools on Demand (TOD) updates.
Please click the link corresponding to the version of ACS installed on your computer for instructions to run Quick Restore.
Note: If you are using AOL Desktop v10.1, or AOL 8.0 Plus or lower, skip to the next solution.
Uninstall and reinstall the AOL Desktop Software
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. 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 to it. For instructions on how to change your password or ASQ, refer to the following help article: Account Management: Managing your AOL Password.
Please click the link corresponding to the version of Windows on your computer for instructions to uninstall the AOL Desktop Software.
- Uninstall the AOL Desktop Software in Windows 7/8/Vista
- Uninstall the AOL Desktop Software in Windows XP/2000/Me/98
Note: If you are unable to uninstall the AOL Desktop Software, visit our help article Can't uninstall the AOL Desktop Software for more information.
Contact your computer manufacturer
There are many programs that the AOL Desktop Software works with in order to deliver content to your computer. One of those programs could be experiencing problems. 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.