If you're having trouble with your AOL Desktop Software, or if you receive an error message while using the Desktop Software, the solutions below can help you fix the problem. After trying a solution, please see if the problem with your AOL Desktop Software is fixed. If it's not, please continue to the next solution until the problem is fixed. 

Click a solution below to expand.

Run a full virus scan

Harmful viruses and malware may prevent AOL Desktop from installing or running properly. Run a full virus scan on your computer using your anti-virus software. Though the process will vary depending on the specific anti-virus application you use, most are sufficient at removing the majority of common infections.

After malware and viruses have been removed successfully, reboot your computer and try signing back in to the AOL Desktop Software.

Options for AOL plans:
AOL Advantage - If you are an AOL Advantage Member, you are entitled to a copy of McAfee Anti-Virus as part of your membership benefits. For assistance with running a Scan in McAfee, please visit our help article McAfee: Scan your computer using McAfee Internet Security Suite - Special edit.

Assist by AOL - If you have an AOL Assist Membership, one of our Security Experts can help you assess any threats to your PC and will remove any viruses and malware for you! To reach an Assist Technician, go to https://assist.aol.com/ or Call 1(855) 718-2781. Technicians are available 24 hours a day, every day.

Free AOL Account - If you have a Free AOL account, and you don’t have anti-virus software, you can upgrade your coverage to receive the benefits above.

Note: If you don't know which benefits you are qualified for, log into your AOL account and you will be able to review and change your subscription plan online. To review your service and software benefits, go to http://mybenefits.aol.com

Are you having trouble connecting to the internet?

Are you having trouble connecting your AOL Desktop Software to the internet? If so, please visit our connection troubleshooting help articles:

Upgrade your version of the AOL Desktop Software

If you’re using an older version of the AOL Desktop Software, it could be what’s causing the issue. Upgrading to the latest version of the AOL Desktop Software should fix the problem, while also providing you with an enhanced online experience, with the distinct classic feel of the AOL software that you love. Upgrade to the latest version of the AOL Desktop Software.

Uninstall and Reinstall the AOL Desktop Software

If you have the latest version of the AOL Desktop Software already installed, but are having problems with it, uninstalling and reinstalling the latest version can fix most problems. To learn more about uninstalling and reinstalling the AOL Desktop Software, please visit our help article AOL Desktop Software 9.7: Installing and Uninstalling

Clear cache and browser history in the AOL Desktop Software

If you’re having problems with the web browser in the AOL Desktop Software, clearing your Cookies, Cache, and History can often fix the problem. To learn how to clear your Cookies, Cache, and History, please visit our help article Clear cookies, cache, history and footprints on AOL Desktop Software 9.0 and higher.

Compact and restore the PFC file

If emails are not stored properly in the PFC, the AOL software will not be able to read them. Compacting and then restoring the PFC will regroup the emails and make your PFC readable. The instructions to compact and then restore your PFC are given in the online help article How do I compact the Personal Filing Cabinet? To learn how to restore your PFC, please visit our help articles:

Clear Artwork Database

After an extended period of time, the amount of stored artwork on your computer can reduce efficiency. You can delete the artwork by resetting the amount of space AOL uses to store online art. To learn how to purge the artwork database, please visit our help article Clear AOL Artwork Database.

Contact AOL

Still need help? We’re here for you! There are several ways you can reach us. We offer email, chat, social, and phone support.

Note: Some services are only available to members with paid plans. To learn how to get help, please visit our support page at https://help.aol.com/contact/