If you are not able to find your AOL Favorite Places while using the AOL Desktop Software, try the solutions listed below. After trying the first solution, check whether you can view your Favorite Places on the AOL service. If the issue persists, continue trying the suggested solutions until the problem is fixed.

Note: Adding at least 3 items to your favorites will help increase visibilty of the service.


Select a solution below for more information.

Upgrade the AOL Desktop Software

When you upgrade to a newer version of the AOL Desktop Software, your existing data (such as your Usernames, Personal Filing Cabinet, Favorite Places, software settings and AOL downloads) from the last used copy of AOL Desktop is copied over to the newer version of the AOL Desktop Software. For instructions on how to upgrade, please read our help article Upgrade to the latest version of the AOL Desktop Software.

Run Quick Restore

The Quick Restore feature allows you to reset the AOL Desktop Software to the default state by deleting all the updates downloaded in the past. It can help resolve issues that you may have with AOL Desktop without having to reinstall the software.

Once Quick Restore is completed, you will receive a series of AOL Desktop Software updates.

Please click the link corresponding to the version of ACS installed on your computer for instructions on how to run Quick Restore.

Note: If you are using AOL 8.0 Plus or lower, go to Clear AOL Artwork Database.

Restore your AOL Favorites with a copy

To restore your AOL Desktop Favorites, you first need to create a copy of your favorites. There are two options for creating a copy. You can create a local copy from the information already on your device, or you can create a copy from the information stored on an AOL server. Follow the steps below to create a Local or Server copy.

To create a local copy:

IMPORTANT: If the AOL System Information window doesn't appear, check the Windows taskbar for a flashing tab. If you see a flashing tab, click it. The User Account Control window will then appear. Click Yes. The AOL System Information window will appear.

Note: If you are unable to open AOL System Information, check out our help article Open Data Folder to find out how to manually open the Data Folder. When finished, continue from Step 4.


Note: If you have stored local copies of your Favorites on your device, you may use the latest copy to restore your Favorites.

  1. Close AOL Desktop.
  2. Click the Start button. In the Search programs and files or Start Search box, type 'system' and then click AOL System Information. If prompted by the User Account Control window, click Yes or Continue. The AOL System Information 2.0 window will appear.
  3. Click the AOL Software tab, and then click Open Data Folder.
  4. Double-click the organize folder.
  5. Locate the screen name file you wish to restore favorites for.
Note: The screen name will be compressed, containing no spaces and all lower case letters in the file name.

To create a copy from a server:

Once you have created a copy of your Favorites, you’ll be able to restore them.

To restore your favorites from a copy:

Note: Ignore everything in the PFC file, except for “Favorite Places”.

Note: This will delete your existing Favorites and replace them with the items in the file you select. This will NOT merge your favorites. To merge your favorites, you will need to copy them or drag them one by one into the Favorites section.

Note: You will need to follow this process for each screen name that experiences this issue.

If your AOL Desktop Favorites still aren’t synching, consider dragging your favorites from the local copy you’ve created to My Favorite Places on the AOL Desktop.

  • Create a copy of the file and rename the copy to “[username].PFC”.
    1. Sign-on to the AOL Desktop as a guest.
    2. Click Favorites or go to Keyword: Favorites.
    3. Click Manage and select Save My Favorite Places as a Favorites File on my Computer.
    1. Open the PFC file you created in the AOL Software by clicking File and selecting Open.
    2. Review “Favorite Places” in the file.
    3. Remove or correct any favorites that are not needed anymore or appear to be corrupted (such as empty entries).
    4. Close the PFC file.
    5. From the AOL Desktop, Click Favorites or go to Keyword: Favorites.
    6. Click Manage and select Replace My Favorite Places with Favorites File. Select the local PFC file you created.
    7. Check your Favorites on the AOL Desktop to make sure everything is working.

Restart your computer

If you haven't recently restarted your computer or you don't restart your computer very often, we recommend that you restart the computer to clear the internal memory. For instructions to restart your computer, refer to our help article Restart the computer.

Sign in as a guest

  1. Select Guest from the Select Screen Name or Screen Name drop-down menu on the AOL Sign On screen, and then click Sign On.

  2. On the Guest Sign-On window, type your Username in the Enter Screen Name box and type your password in the Enter Password box.

  3. Click OK.

Restore AOL Saved PFC

After uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software, your Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC) files will be automatically stored on the desktop in a folder named AOL Saved PFC. Restoring your PFC helps to fix issues related to accessing your email and Favorite Places. To do so, follow the instructions given in the help article How do I restore my AOL Saved PFC?

Verify "Only store my Favorite Places on my computer" is unchecked

To verify whether the Only store my Favorite Places on my computer option is unchecked:

  1. Click the Keyword menu and click Go to Keyword.

  2. Type the keyword: Favorite Places Preferences.

  3. Ensure that the Only store my Favorite Places on my computer option is NOT selected.

  4. Click Save.

Note: If this option is checked, it means that the AOL Favorite Places are stored locally on the hard drive of your computer.

Manually restore your Favorite Places

Before manually restoring AOL Favorite Places, please run the AOL process shut down. 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.

If you have a previous version or a previous installation of the AOL Desktop Software on your computer, you can copy the favorite places from the previous copy of AOL Desktop to the new copy of the AOL Desktop Software. Please click the link corresponding to the version of Windows you have on your computer for instructions to manually restore your favorite places.