“Invasive AOL updates!”
A young lady from Los Angeles emailed me this week asking, “Are you familiar with these invasive AOL updates? Can you help me???”
I test AOL’s software for my blog, so the answer is, “Yes and yes”.
One nearly fool-proof method to make AOL’s forced updates stop is to delete the stick.dll file.
You can also delete the entire folder mentioned below – either method works on AOL 10.0 Desktop but not on AOL 9.0 VR, which I need to play around with a bit more. The full path to the file on a Windows PC should look something like this:
C:Program FilesCommon FilesAOL1144194954eeservicessoftwareUpdateve r1_13_8_3
On older versions of AOL like 9.0 VR you can try deleting anotify.exe, which might stop the white auto-update nag above the system tray but will not stop AOL from notifying you the old fashioned way that it wants to update – by covering your AOL window with a huge “now or later” nag with some buttons on it to click for “now” or “later”.
My reader goes on to tell me that she can’t stop using AOL dial-up because:
- I have lots of email that have important information and don’t want to lose them, so I need to go through all of them and get what I need before I cancel (case in point: I just retrieved some emails 6 months and older today with very imp info).
- My neighbor shares his DSL with me (I can’t afford my own right now), but every once in a while I don’t have a connection and I need to use my AOL dial-up to get online and pay a bill on time.
How to import AOL email?
I would simply import AOL’s email into POP Peeper. When you set up POP Peeper, and before you use it to fetch email from AOL, make sure you change its settings to ensure your AOL email gets copied to your hard drive: Go to Options, Set Options, Storage, then set POP Peeper to “Store Entire messages to disk” and check the box for “Save messages periodically”. Here’s a screen cap of the window you’ll use for that.
If for whatever reason POP Peeper is not for you, you can do a web search for “how to import aol email”. The first result will normally be for the ePreserver program. It costs money, but many of my readers swear by it, so listen to them, not me, when you’re trying to decide how best to fetch your AOL email.
How to switch to another dial-up provider?
If you need to use AOL only infrequently, why not use Net Zero for free instead? (This is the first time I’ve recommended a dial-up ISP in almost three years of writing for this blog, and I’m suggesting Net Zero only because her need for dial-up is not 24/7). They offer a decent plan with 10 hours free each month. That should more than meet your needs. Before you switch, find out how to switch your ISP without losing your connection to the Internet.
The best way to remove AOL?
My reader continues:
Once I get rid of AOL, I plan to copy all of the files on my computer, reformat my hard disk, and start all over to make sure there is nothing from AOL left on my computer. I know this may sound extreme, but I believe it is the best way to completely remove AOL, as suggested by close friends!
Gotta love them “close friends”! My boyfriend and I cannot even agree on this. He insists I should wipe my hard drive and re-install Windows when I’m done with my bi-annual testing of AOL software (we’ve argued about this for three years). I insist it’s easier (and quicker!) to get the computer “like-new” again than it is to format and re-install Windows – but I don’t constantly complain of AOL’s ravaging effects on my computer for nothing, so I’ll flip our “close friends” a quarter for suggesting a computer is much better from scratch than it is after AOL has been on it – even if you remove every last trace of AOL’s invasive software. Ultimately, the choice is up to you.