Note: Upgrade to the latest version of the AOL Desktop software to take advantage of great new features!

The AOL Desktop Software automatically saves your Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC), Favorite Places, Signatures, and Away Messages to the AOL Saved PFC folder on the Windows desktop when you uninstall the software. To restore the folder, copy it to the newly installed AOL Desktop by following the instructions below.

Note: You may wish to print or save a copy of these instructions as this page may not remain visible as you go through the suggested steps.


  • If you are transferring files from older copies of the AOL Desktop Software to the most recently installed copy of the software, some of the emails stored in your PFC may not transfer correctly because of software changes. In such cases, it's better to upgrade from an existing version rather than copying these files.
  • If you have saved any email in the AOL PFC folder since the installation of the current copy of the AOL Desktop, the folder will be overwritten when you transfer files from the older copy of the AOL Desktop Software.
  • You must sign off from the AOL service before you proceed.

1. Ensure that AOL is not running in the background by following the instructions in the help article Run the AOL process shut down utility.

2. On the Windows desktop, double-click the AOL Saved PFC folder.


3. Double-click the folder that corresponds to the copy of the AOL Desktop Software that you were previously using.



  • If you were using AOL Desktop 9.6 or AOL 9.5: Double-click C_AOL 9.6 or C_AOL 9.5.
  • If you were using AOL 9.1: Double-click C_AOL 9.1.
  • If you were using AOL 9.0: Double-click C_America Online 9.0.

Note: If multiple folders are present, double-click the most recent copy of the AOL Desktop Software that you used. To identify the folder of the most recently used copy of the AOL Desktop Software, click the View menu on the toolbar, and then click Details. Click the Date Modified header to sort the folders by the last modified date.

4. Double-click the Organize folder.
5. Right-click the file name that matches your Username and has no extension, and then click Copy.
6. Close all open windows.
7. Open AOL System Information.

  • If you are using Windows 7: Click Start. In the Search box, type "system" then click AOL System Information. If prompted by the User Account Control window, click Yes to open the AOL System Information 2.0 window.

    Programs list

    IMPORTANT: If no window appears, check the Windows taskbar for a flashing tab. If you see the flashing tab, click it. The User Account Control window will now appear. Click Yes to open the AOL System Information window.

    User Account Control

  • If you are using Windows XP/2000/Me/98: Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type "sinf", and click OK. If prompted by a caution window, click OK. The AOL System Information 2.0 or AOL System Information window will appear.

Note: If you are unable to access AOL System Information, you can manually open the AOL folder where you need to paste the saved PFC. To do so, refer to our help article Open Data Folder. When finished, continue from Step 10.

8. Click the AOL software tab.

AOL Software

9. Click Open Data Folder.

Open Data folder

10. On the toolbar, click the Organize menu, and then click Paste.

Organize menu

Note: If prompted, click Yes.

11. Close all open windows.

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