If you are unable open downloaded files or attachments, try the solutions given below to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you can open the downloaded file or attachment. If the issue persists, continue trying the suggested solutions until the problem is fixed.


Check whether the file type is supported by the AOL software

Your AOL software can open only certain types of files. If your AOL software does not support the type of file that you are trying to open, you may need to use an application appropriate for that file type.

To identify the file type of a downloaded file

1. Click the File menu, and then click Download Manager.
2. In the list of downloaded items, click to highlight the file that you wish to open.
3. In the right panel, in the File Information section, note the filename extension. Extensions are usually 2 to 4 characters in length after the period in the name of the file. They indicate the type of information stored in that file.
  • The file types supported by the AOL software include the following: .au, .art, .avi, .bmp, .chf, .eps, .gif, .htm, .html, .jpg, .jpeg, .log, .mid, .midi, .mme, .pcx, .pfc, .txt, .wav, and .wmv.
  • You can search online to find information on specific file types and the applications that can be used to work with these files. For example, the File Extension Source website catalogs many file extensions.
  • You can also contact the source or sender of the file if you are unsure of the program that is needed to open the file.

Download the file again

The file types supported by the AOL software may not open if the downloaded file is damaged. The damage could be a result of an issue that occurred during file transfer or at the source itself.

Here are a few things you can try:

  • Download the file again, perhaps from a different location.
  • Go to http://www.aol.com/, sign on, and then try downloading the file.
  • Request the sender to check the file before emailing it to you again.

Restart the computer and try again

If you haven't recently restarted your computer or you don't restart your computer very often, we recommend that you restart the computer. Restarting the computer to clear the internal memory (RAM) often resolves many issues.

For instructions on how to restart the computer, please read our online help article Restart the 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 a 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 on how to close all programs.

Delete browser cache and rebuild AOL Adapter

AOL Adapter connects the AOL software to Internet Explorer. Any damage to the adapter can adversely affect the AOL service and your access to the Web. The steps to delete the browser cache and rebuild AOL Adapter may differ depending on the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) installed on your computer. Please click the appropriate link given below.

Run Quick Restore

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

Once Quick Restore is completed, you will receive a series of AOL software updates, also known as AOL TOD (Tools on Demand) updates.

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

  • Please close the AOL software before running Quick Restore.
  • If you are using AOL Desktop, skip to the next solution.

Uninstall and reinstall the AOL software

If the issue persists, we recommend that you uninstall and reinstall the AOL software. Uninstalling the AOL 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 software.