Uninstall America Online 9.0!

It's easy and fun to remove AOL 9.0 "Security Edition!"

I decided to remove AOL 9 for several reasons. For one, the install process dowloaded and installed all sorts of things. It used my cable modem connection to access the service, when I just wanted it to dial up. And even when AOL wasn't running, there were three AOL-related tasks running that would not be killed. Plus there was an AOL task-bar icon that didn't have an "Exit" option - I couldn't get rid of it!

So... To remove AOL 9.0, just follow these easy steps! These are based on my installation on Windows XP Home. If you have trouble finding the directories or files that were installed or updated, you can use Windows Explorer, View / Details and View / Arrange Icons by / Modified.

1. Go to the control panel, Add/Remove Software, and choose AOL. I think it asks you to restart after this.

All done, right? Not yet!

2. Follow the same steps to remove "Real Player," assuming you don't want it! (Spyware, intrusive.)

3. Follow the same steps to remove "AOL Coach." Apparently uninstalling AOL doen't uninstall this, whatever it is.

4. Follow the same steps to remove "AOL Desk Bar." Hmmm... Maybe this was the icon in the task bar?

5. Follow the same steps to remove "AOL Spyware Protection."

6. Follow the same steps to remove "AOL Toolbar."

7. Follow the same steps to remove "AOL You've Got Pictures Screensaver."

I think we're almost done!

8. Follow the same steps to remove "Pure Networks Port Magic." (What the heck is THAT?)

9. Follow the same steps to remove "Viewpoint Experience Technology."

10. Use Windows Explorer to go to the C: drive / Program Files / Common Files and remove these directories: Real, AOL, Nullsoft, aolshare.

11. Go to the C: drive / Documents and Settings / (your windows ID) / Cookies and remove the cookie for 207.net that AOL installed... I'm not sure why it would do this... 207.net seems to be a marketing company, Omniture, and maybe they've paid AOL to have this cookie placed by them on install? I don't know.

12. Go to the C: drive / Documents and Settings / (your windows ID) / Application Data and remove directories "AOL" and "You've Got Pictures Screensaver."

13. Go to the C: drive / Documents and Settings / All Users / AOL / AOL Downloads. Notice that this directory contains 67 MEGABYTES of data that I guess was downloaded during the install process. Were these files just going to sit there taking up space?

14. Remove the directory "C:/My Music."

15. Under C:/Windows, several files were added or updated, and your mileage may vary:

- wmsetup.log: Did AOL try to install Windows Media Player component updates? The log lists file versions for "Package 'DRM'" (great...) and "Package 'WMFSDK'". It's probably fine to delete this log, but it's harmless.

- win.ini: This file has a "WAOL" section that has references to "C:\ Program Files \ America Online 9.0" and "C:\ Program Files \ Common Files \ AOLSHARE." These directories are gone now, but AOL didn't remove this section, so we can remove it.

- setupapi.log: There are 19 entries in here detailing the installation or removal of drivers, and the starting of AOL "devices." Good times. Lots of messages saying "unsigned or incorrectly signed file (xxx) will be installed."

- msoffice.ini: I don't even have MS Office, but for some reason there is an empty msoffice.ini file here that was updated by either the AOL install or uninstall. I really don't understand why this would happen...

16. There are entries in the registry for AOL, America Online, Pure Networks, and Viewpoint under HKEY Local Machine / Software and HKEY Current User / Software. You can delete these if you want to! There's also an entry under HKEY Current User / Software for "BestToolbars." Guess what some of the "Best Toolbars" are - they are ALL AOL or AIM related! Delete that key...

Wasn't that easy?!? Let me know if you find anything else that was installed by AOL 9.0 Installation so I can remove it from my machine!