Updated 11-24-16 to change recommended add-ons and browser tools to include McAfee’s Site Advisor instead of Web of Trust. Web of Trust is currently not available for use in most web browsers over data-selling and other issues that have recently come to light.
This may come as a surprise, but you’re not staying safe by using AOL. Every day you encounter possibly unsafe ads, phishers and Nigerian scams. AOL is not protecting you (or me) from such routine online dangers.
AOL Email is Unsafe
Clicking the Spam Button in AOL’s email doesn’t make scams or phishers go away – for every email you mark “Spam”, more spam arrives in its place. Anyone can get their bulk (and sometimes, spammy) email whitelisted by AOL because it’s not a matter of the sender having a good website or email for you to read; it’s a matter of them wanting to send out email in bulk. Whoever’s willing to do so can get whitelisted. And your GoodMail? Really not so good, if you’ll pardon my pun.
The most frequent questions I get are: “How do I find, save, and import my AOL email and Address Book?” I think the reason I keep getting such questions – in spite of my Email FAQS – is that this blog has lacked (until now) a quick overview of all your options.
I never needed to save or export AOL email when I was still a subscriber or even once I canceled AOL, so just thinking about answering these questions makes me nervous. That said, I’ll do my best to gather every possible answer here. This will probably be the last time I do this, so please, no more emails about AOL email….thanks. 🙂
Before you read this, it’s important to know that you don’t need AOL software or any software to get your AOL email. Once you cancel AOL and remove AOL from your computer, just sign in at http://aol.com/ to read and write your email. AOL mail is free and yours to keep, forever, even once you cancel AOL.
The web version of AOL mail does everything the desktop version does: it saves hard copies of email to your PC, it allows you to read and reply to your email using rich or plain text formats, and it stores an unlimited amount of your email.
AOL Is LYING
I’m not going to beat around the bush: AOL is run by liars, thieves and crooks. Take this lie slapped across a cancel page on aol.com:
“If you cancel you will no longer have an Internet connection, live technical support or security software.”
FACT: In the US, most of you will NOT lose your high-speed connection to the Internet if you cancel AOL.
There are a few exceptions:
“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:
AOL’s software and services, like email accounts, have been given away for free to AOL members in the US and the UK since August of 2006. This FAQ answers your questions about canceling payment of AOL, converting to a free AOL account, and removing AOL. Just click the links below to be brought to the Questions and Answers that you need.
Click this link for the answers…
Last updated 1-31-10.
This FAQ is for people having problems removing AOL. It is not a replacement for my how-to-uninstall AOL tutorials. Please see the tutorials if you missed them on your way in. You can leave a comment here or send me an email to get other questions answered or to offer up your own solutions.
If you’re looking for an operating system-specific FAQ, please see these:
The instructions on this page will work for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 users in most cases (if not, see the how-to pages linked to above). My tutorial index and FAQs are constantly updated to reflect changes in AOL’s and Microsoft’s software.