HELP!!! Removing AOL

My father’s office assistant was supposed to install BellSouth as our new ISP. Instead, she installed AOL’s “free offer”. NOW IT’S TAKEN OVER THE WHOLE COMPUTER! :eek:

We can’t use any of our Office Applications, & we can’t remove the damn AOL!

We called up AOL, & they said they “couldn’t help” us.
Read wouldn’t help us. :mad:
Please help! My family & I are going nuts!!!

[sub]I’m posting from work.[/sub]

Did she download AOL 6.0 from their website? If so, good luck. My daughter did this to Mr. L’s computer a few months ago. We ended up wiping the hard drive. AOL wouldn’t help us either. You might try calling BellSouth. If you don’t get a good answer, call again. Some of the techs know what they are doing, and some don’t.

Oh, no! AOL is so pervasive and proprietary that it just sneaks in everywhere. I don’t think it’s possible to rid yourself of the demon completely without doing as Lyllyan suggested: wipe the hard drive and start clean. Then publicly flog the office assistant for being so decidedly evil.

When my younger brother was staying with me for a time, he loaded up AOL because that was all he had used before. This was after I firmly told him that really detest AOL, and did not want it on my computer. (AOL is a social disease.) After he installed it, it took over my computer, trampling my existing ISP software and everything else.

No one could help me get rid of it, within a month (and I don’t think it mere coincidence) my hard drive crashed completely and my system recovery disk wouldn’t work. Fortunately, I was still covered under my extended warranty plan, so the guru at the local computer store helped reformat my C: drive.


Have you tried McAfee or Norton Anti-virus? I have found these products to be effective at removing viruses.

Seriously, AOL is a virus. Here on Campus AOL gives our students nothing but trouble. If a student installs AOL it creates dialup adapters which “take over” like a virus if the LAN connection goes down for even a couple of minutes, preventing the network from working. This happens even if Explorer is set to “never dial a connection” The only solution is to delete the adapters.

You can at least get rid of the adapters under “system” settings under Control Panel. Go to the Device Manager Tab and find the network adapters (little green cards). Delete anything with the letter A, O, or L in their description.

Can’t help you with “can’t use any of our Office Applications”. You mean you can’t use “Word” or some other Word Processor?

I had a bit of trouble removing an old version of AOL that I foolishly installed, but it never took over my computer, it just refused to be removed. I can’t remember exactly how I got rid of it in the end, but I did. If uninstalling doesn’t work (start>settings>control panel>add/remove programs) and ordinary deleting of the files doesn’t work, run winfile (start>run>winfile) and try deleting the folder from there.

We are talking about AOL 6.0, right? The problem may be worse than I thought. Simply uninstalling AOL may not be enough, since AOL may have changed some important files (such as winsock.dll). Some people report that re-installing AOL 5.0 or 4.0 after uninstalling 6.0 fixes the problems. (You could scrounge up an AOL 5.0 CD somewhere if you don’t already have one). Others suggest removing 6.0 using Norton Utilities. See this forum about AOL 6.0 from Network World Fusion There are links to two articles about AOL 6.0 at the top of that page.

There are a lot of places with instructions on how to uninstall AOL 6.


  1. Click on START, select SETTINGS, then click on CONTROL PANELS.

  2. Double-click on ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS.

  3. Select AMERICA ONLINE, then click on ADD/REMOVE or CHANGE/REMOVE.

    NOTE: To remove more than one copy simultaneously, you can select
    multiple copies of America Online. To save your downloaded files and your
    Personal Filing Cabinet files to your Desktop, ensure that the checkmark is
    next to “Downloaded files” and “Personal Filing Cabinet files.”

  4. Select the copy of America Online you want to remove, then click on NEXT.

  5. Click on NEXT when prompted to uninstall the copy of America Online you

    NOTE: If you have removed all copies of America Online from your computer,
    then continue with step 7 of these instructions.

  6. Select the copy of America Online you wish associate your AOL sounds and
    AOL icons to, then click on NEXT.

    NOTE: You may click on SKIP if you do not wish to re-associate your AOL
    sounds and AOL icons and wish to delete the AOL shortcuts from your

  7. Click on FINISH to complete the uninstall process.

  8. If prompted to restart the computer, click on OK.

When you uninstall the AOL software, there will be two folders that are
automatically saved to your Windows Desktop by default. These folders are:

  • AOL Saved Files
  • AOL Saved PFC

These folders will include any personal files you have created that are part
of the software.

The AOL Saved Files folder will contain downloaded files. The AOL Saved PFC
folder will contain a folder labeled Organize, which contains your Screen
Names along with Personal Filing Cabinets and Favorite Places. For versions
of AOL previous to AOL 6.0, your e-mail Address Book will be included within
the Organize folder as well.

Uninstalling will not remove your AOL Address Book, AOL Buddy List, AOL Stock
Portfolio, nor will it remove any e-mail that you have not yet read. These
settings are saved on America Online servers.

The AOL logging feature to log chat and Instant Message notes will be saved
in your My Documents folder as a default setting, so you will not lose those
unless you have changed the directory to save your log files to an AOL folder.

Tonight, after work , I’m gonna try to fix it.
Wish me luck.

Did Handy’s advice work? I had several AOLs icons on my desktop when I bought it. I could not remove it going through the Control Panel and Internet connections. I did remove AOL simply by the Add and Remove Prgrams Handy referred to. I haven’t noticed any repercussions, such as losing Winsock.dll. I think, though, that after I removed it from the Add and Remove Program, it was still in my TrashBin and I had to permanently remove it by deleting it from there.