What is aol.exe?

The genuine aol.exe file is a software component of AOL Desktop by AOL.
Aol.exe is an executable file that belongs to the AOL Desktop, an integration of a web browser, a media player and an instant messenger client. This is not an essential Windows process and can be disabled if known to create problems. AOL Desktop is a set of software programs developed for users of AOL products. The suite offers AOL Mail, a mail application; Triton, an instant messaging client; and AOL Explorer, a browser based on Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The program also includes a universal address book including email and Internet telephony, as well as numerous security features. America Online (AOL) is an American telecommunications company that was established in 1985 by Jim Kimsey. It was originally called Quantum Computer Services and provided online services. AOL Inc. is based in New York City and develops and invests in web sites and brands. AOL distributes digital content, markets products, and offers numerous services to consumers, publishers, and advertisers.

AOl stands for America Online

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the aol.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

Click to Run a Free Scan for aol.exe related errors

Aol.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with aol
Aol.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as AOL Software or America Online belongs to software waol or America Online by AOL ( or America Online (

Description: Aol.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Aol.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 50,528 bytes (18% of all occurrences), 50,472 bytes and 7 more variants. 
The program has a visible window. Aol.exe is a Verisign signed file. The aol.exe file is certified by a trustworthy company. The software is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: Run, DEFAULT\Run). The aol.exe file is not a Windows system file. There is no description of the program. Aol.exe is able to monitor applications. aol.exe appears to be a compressed file. Therefore the technical security rating is 18% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you are having problems with aol.exe, you can also do the following:
  1) uninstall the program using the Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Programwaol or AOL LLC
  2) look for help on the website.

Recommended: Identify aol.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as aol.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the aol.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

I tried to play a DVD and the message came up that my aol exe file could not be found.

Summary: Average user rating of aol.exe: based on 1 vote with 1 user comment. One user thinks it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving aol issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with aol. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the aol.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

aol.exe [all]