A funny thing just happened. I was checking my PC’s Device Manager to see if dialup was installed, and I came across a new tutorial for Anti-AOL: How to find and uninstall the AOL WAN Miniport.
The software that installed it, AOL 9.0 VR, has been off my computer for months. All versions of AOL install the WAN Miniport Adapter, so here I’ll show you how to find and get rid of it so you won’t get a nasty surprise like I did.
- 1. To uninstall the AOL WAN Miniport Adapter manually, use this step. To uninstall it from the Device Manager panel instead, jump to Step 2.
There’s a chance AOL software connects to the Adapter during removal, so leave removing the Adapter for last, after you’ve removed every other AOL program on your computer.
If you’re using a version of AOL older than 9.0VR, or if you block AOL’s access to the Internet during installation, you’ll need to uninstall the AOL WAN Miniport manually. In either of those cases it will not be listed under Device Manager/Network Adapters.
To remove the AOL Adapter/Miniport manually from either Windows XP or Vista:
- Navigate to Start->My Computer->C:WindowsSystem32Driverswanatw4.sys
- Navigate to Start->My Computer->C:WindowsSystem32Driverswanatw.sys
- Right-click and delete those files and you’re done.
- You may also remove the corresponding registry key at ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServiceswanatw. Just right-click the key and click Delete.
- 2. To see if the Adapter is listed in Device Manager…
Click Start, right-click My Computer, and click Properties. On the drop-down list, click the Hardware tab, then click the Device Manager button.
A list of installed software and hardware devices will open up.
Scroll down to Network Adapters. There’s a little plus sign (+) sign on the left; click it to expand the list.
- 3. What you want to do now is….
Right-click the the AOL Adapter (it should have a name like WAN Miniport (ATW)) and click Properties. If it is the AOL Adapter, the name America Online will be listed in the Properties.
- 4. To uninstall the Adapter…
Click Uninstall on the Properties menu. You can also right-click the Adapter from the Device Manager and choose Uninstall from the drop-down menu. In a few seconds, the Adapter will be gone.
You may also remove the corresponding registry key at ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServiceswanatw. Just right-click the key and click Delete.
If you need to uninstall AOL Connectivity Service, which is a slightly different beast, how to do it is explained here.