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AOL Help: Error: "AOL was unable to connect. Please try again"

If you're trying to connect to AOL but get the error message "AOL was unable to connect. Please try again", try one or all of the following steps to resolve the issue:

1. Check your PC specification
Ensure that your PC meets the required specification to run AOL.

The minimum system requirements for AOL 9.0 are as follows:

  • Operating system: Windows 98, 2000, Me or XP.
  • Processor: Pentium-class; minimum speed as recommended for your operating system (e.g. 266MHz or above for Windows XP)
  • RAM: 64MB or above (128MB recommended)
  • Hard disk space: 129MB or above
  • Screen resolution: 800x600 and 256 colours or greater
  • Connection: Any of the following: 28.8Kbps modem or faster; broadband (DSL or cable); ISDN; or TCP/IP (LAN connections)


2. Ensure you are using the best AOL access number

  1. Visit the following page for help with setting up a new access number:  Which AOL access number should I choose?
  2. Then try to connect to AOL again.


3. Check your modem connection

  1. Make sure that your modem is connected directly to the wall socket, with no cable splitters on the line.
  2. Make sure the telephone cable is connected to the correct socket on the modem.  If there are two sockets, it should be connected to the one marked Line.
  3. Make sure nothing else is plugged into the same phone line (e.g. fax machine, digital TV set-top box, etc.).


4. Perform a HyperTerminal test

  1. Click on Start and select Run.
  2. Type hypertrm then click OK.
  3. Type test and click OK.
  4. Enter your access number and click Dial
    After a successful test, you should get the prompt: Login.

If this fails to dial, please contact your PC vendor for technical support.


5. Close all other software while starting AOL

  1. Shut down all running programs, except anti-virus and firewall software.
    Windows 95/98 users: Press the CTRL, ALT and DELETE keys simultaneously. The Close Program window will appear. The only tasks that should be listed are Explorer and Systray, all others must be ended.
    Note: If an internal ISDN TA or USB ISDN TA are being used then either CFOSDW or OEMCFOS applications should be left running
    Windows 2000/XP users: Having closed all open programs, press the CTRL, ALT and DELETE keys simultaneously. The Applications tab should be empty. If it is not, highlight any programs shown and click End Task.
  2. Look at icons in the Windows taskbar (area by the clock on the task-bar) and see if any of these can be closed. Remember to leave anti-virus and firewall software running. Close programs by right-clicking on the icon and selecting Exit or Close.
    If you are unsure of what an icon is, try placing the mouse cursor over the icon. A pop-up should appear advising what the program is.
  3. Restart your AOL software by double-clicking the AOL icon on your desktop.


6. Repair the AOL Connectivity Service (AOL 9.0 only)

  1. Click Start, then Settings and Control Panel. Windows XP users: Click Start and Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remove programs. Windows XP users: Click Change/Remove programs.
  3. Select AOL Connectivity Services and click Add/Remove.
  4. Select Repair AOL Connectivity Services, click OK to start the repair process.
  5. Once complete, close all windows, start AOL 9.0 and click Sign On.
  6. Enter the location name and click Next to continue. AOL will now auto-detect the connection device.
  7. Confirm connection device by clicking Next and then click Sign on to AOL Now.


7. AOL 8.0 and below: Clear your AOL modem setup

  1. Start the AOL software.
  2. On the AOL Sign-On Screen, click Setup and then click Expert Setup.
  3. Click on the Devices tab, choose your modem from the list and click Delete.
  4. Exit the AOL software and restart it again. AOL will attempt to auto-detect your modem, then try to connect to AOL again.

If the problem reoccurs, call AOL Member Services on 0870 320 2020 for further technical support.