“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…
Yes, you can use AOL’s software and email now – for free!
The emails about how to cancel and remove AOL are piling up in my inbox again – in fact, that’s nothing unusual – so let’s go over this one more time, folks:
You can use the AOL software that’s already on your computer, or download and use the latest AOL software from aol.com, and use AOL’s online email service for free since August of 2006. Find out how to cancel your monthly charge for AOL here. Scroll down the page linked to in the previous sentence to choose the cancellation method that best suits your needs. What follows are some exceptions:
When I use Vista I pull my hair out. Why, you may ask? Because using Vista is just like using XP (except much slower) – until you try to delete something. Then it acts more like Fort Knox than an operating system. Gaining complete control over Vista isn’t easy. This post aims to get you over that hurdle.
I’ve added this post for people leaving AOL because some of you use Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. Deleting AOL’s leftover files and folders can’t be done on these systems without learning a few special tricks. As usual, take these steps at your own risk. If you have a question, you can leave a comment or email me.
Last updated 3-11-09.
Issue: You want to remove AOL, but you’re missing the AOL Uninstaller.
Solution: Remove AOL without it.
Difficulty Level: Easy
So you want to remove AOL from your Windows PC but when you check Add/Remove programs you’re missing the AOL Uninstaller (or the entry for “AOL Choose Which Version to Remove”).
What to do? This is one of the most frequently asked questions about removing AOL. What follows is a pretty simple way to remove AOL that doesn’t harm your computer. Whether you’re a tech who’s looking for the easiest way to get AOL off of your customer’s computers, or a beginner who can’t get AOL off of your PC, this page is for you.
I tested this method on AOL 9.0 SE, AOL 9.0 Optimized, AOL 9.0 VR, AOL 9.1 GM (the first public release of 9.1), AOL 9.1, and AOL Desktop on both Windows XP and Windows Vista. This method works well on both operating systems. See this tutorial if you’re an XP user.
With this post I’m beginning an ongoing series of questions and answers from my readers. This week’s first question is from Melissa (and ladylynx would also like an answer).
“Hey. It’s been bugging me for a while. How do I uninstall AOL’s uninstaller?”
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.