I cannot believe this thing. Seriously, I’m in awe. I’ve been eying it for months but never touched it because I wasn’t using Vista when I found it. And it’s just a simple, lowly batch script. Haven’t had much luck with those in the past!
Ran it just now and words can’t even do it justice – or maybe they can – let’s see: it bypasses AOL’s uninstaller entirely (except for one brief stop at the AOL Toolbar Uninstaller), removes almost every AOL reg entry (just 12 entries left afterward), and requires just one restart no matter how many AOL programs you’ve got installed. And it’s quick! Naturally I want to marry whoever wrote it – or at least reincarnate as him in my next life.
Vista users: try it. XP users: don’t. It only works on Vista, at least as far as I can tell.
You may get a few “cannot find uninstall.exe” warnings. Just click through them and the UA warnings (if UAC is enabled on your PC) – I promise, you won’t be sorry.
5-22-08, Update: This product made my Honorable Mention list as one of the three Greatest AOL Removal Products of All Time.
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.
Last updated 3-16-09.
Problem: How to uninstall AOL.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Uninstalls/Cleans Up After: Any Version of AOL
Good for: XP and Vista/Windows 7 users.
Advanced Vista/Windows 7 users only: I suggest you use CCleaner first, then follow up with jv16 PT 2006 to get at AOL’s leftover registry entries – if you use CCleaner first you can remove every leftover reg entry with jv16 afterward. No other method tested so far on Vista does that.
Credit for the idea to write this tutorial goes to William (the page no longer exists), who’s comments made me check out CCleaner’s neat features.
All visitors running Windows ’98/2000/ME/XP: Before we get started, visit this page to learn how to back up your registry, files, and folders. See this tutorial to uninstall the AOL WAN Miniport after you’ve removed AOL.