What is waol.exe?

The genuine waol.exe file is a software component of AOL Desktop by AOL.
Waol.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.

WAOl stands for Windows America Online launcher

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 waol.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 waol.exe related errors

Waol.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with waol
Waol.exe process in Windows Task Manager

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

Description: Waol.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Waol.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files"—usually C:\Program Files\America Online 9.0a\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 39,472 bytes (28% of all occurrences), 39,264 bytes and 11 more variants. 
It is not a Windows core file. The file is a Verisign signed file. The waol.exe file is certified by a trustworthy company. The software has no file description. The program has no visible window. Waol.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 41% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: In the event of any problems with waol.exe, you can also remove the entire program waol or AOL LLC using Windows Control Panel or look for help on the website.

Recommended: Identify waol.exe related errors

If waol.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\, the security rating is 54% dangerous. The file size is 39,208 bytes. Waol.exe is a Verisign signed file. Waol.exe is digitally signed. The waol.exe file is not a Windows core file. The program has a visible window. The software has no file description. Waol.exe is able to record keyboard inputs. The process uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet.

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as waol.exe. Therefore, you should check the waol.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

  Belial   (further information)
Its AOL. Have some respect.
  Billy Bradshaw   (further information)
its a keylogger that records your key strokes and mouse move movements
  mark hamill   (further information)
Part of AOL Startup program
  steve c  
keeps my computers from running
  Albert Hoser  
You can turn end the process in task mgr
i have no idea what it is, but it is using a lot of memory
connects to aol
it is a PUP (potentialy unwanted program) because it can record keystrokes and mouse movements
First, in the UK, AOL is now owned bt Talk-Talk. The WAOL.exe with its embrded manifest (waol.exe.manifest) and its (waol.dll) are still gobbling up resources to the extent of around 94% (More than the system Ide Process at times). AOL/TALK_TALK need to address this WAOL.exe issue before many customers migrate to another ISP.
  Vincent Carlysle  
It uses a lot (98%) of my cpu
  Tom Wallis  
It freezes my PC, I hate it, if I can't get it off my PC. than I'l dump AOL.....
  fred martin  
AOL needs it. If using lots of CPU (as seen in task manager- waol.exe) CLOSE THE WELCOME WINDOW.
waol.exe connects to internet. You need it for AOL. Close AOL Welcome window--see if that drops your CPU usage.
I know that it completely slows down and even stops my system
  Ed Dahle  
uses to much memory and slows computer
is installed with winamp toolbar, when open ie 7 it aks you for permission on vista
  danny o  
the REAL WAOL.exe is a valid file; ur looking at at fake
Uses up huge amounts of CPU and when that is the case, computer is very very sluggish.
It records key strokes but how key entry is retrieved, I do not know.
  Dolores Roberto  
This stupid program sometimes stops AOL from running so I have to shut it off in task manager.
It stops me from getting to the enternet
  Benjamin Thorne  
constantly have to restart computer; and always close welcome difference.
  Dave R  
nothing ..... i want to delete adobe flash player and it says to delete WAOL
waol.exe consumes a lot of memory and slows my computer
Totally consumes my PC resources. I'm switching to gmail.
  Don B  
I am told by AOL support that it is a trojan and nothing to do with AOL in spite of me telling them the problem only occures when using AOL for emails Takes over 50% of my system memory which causes system to stop
If AOL hangs up, I check processes. If Waol is hogging memory, I end the process. Usually AOL will offer to self start.
  Lou A  
The Waol.exe error is caused by many factors. It normally occurs when an excutable file gets infected by a virus, trojan or any other threats. In order to determine whether or not a computer is under attack, it's best to examine the Waol.exe error location. In any given case where the file is not found in its respective location , the problem should be attacked right away before the damage starts materializing. For more infor
  Samantha Williams   (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of waol.exe: based on 26 votes with 29 user comments. 6 users think waol.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 4 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 5 users suspect danger. 8 users think waol.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 8 users don't grade waol.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving waol issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with waol. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic 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 6resmon 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 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the waol.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity 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. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

waol.exe [all]