Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

AOL software can be tricky. I have two recommendations.

I'm running Windows 7. When I try to download an attachment in Windows Media format from say AOL, it downloads but shuts down AOL, which I then have to restart. What's the problem?

In this excerpt from Answercast #29, I look at a problem with AOL software crashing.

AOL shuts down

I have no idea. I really don't. I'm not very familiar with AOL software and typically I recommend that most people (unless they absolutely need it) avoid it. But if AOL is your ISP, you're kinda sorta stuck.

My recommendation in a situation like this is two-fold:

  • One, reinstall the AOL software.

You theoretically have the discs that came with your AOL subscription or AOL ISP connection. Reinstall that and see if that doesn't solve the problem.

AOL support

If it does not, then the only thing that I can suggest is that:

  • You contact AOL.

This is clearly an AOL specific problem. The AOL software should not be shutting down. It may very well be a simple problem with their software, or something that they are familiar with having to support in their software. They can direct you to a solution.

Article C5511 - June 25, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?


Greg Neilson
June 26, 2012 8:36 AM

I've had aol for many years. I use IE for downloads though, faster and more reliable.

Eric Von Leue
June 28, 2012 4:32 PM

I am not an AOL user or fan, but my experience in fixing my customer's computers point out a few discrepancies with your advice.

First, AOL has stopped publishing their ubiquitous installation CDs years ago. The only current reliable source is directly from, then scroll all the way to the bottom and click on the Download AOL link.

Second, unless you are still paying for AOL (which no one should do unless you are in the rare situation of still needing dial-up access), then you will not find any reliable support from AOL. If un-installing/rebooting/reinstalling AOL from the download link above doesn't fix it, then consider NOT using the AOL software, but going directly to, sign in and get your email and other social services that way.

Billy Bob
June 30, 2012 6:46 PM

AOL still exists?

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