Beating back AOL's Instant Messenger

Q I hope you can help me. I installed Netscape Communicator 4.04 onto my machine from your cover disc recently. It installed fine, but every few days I get an "AOL Instant Messenger" window popping up when I start Windows. It's very annoying and I would like to get rid of it but can't work out how to. Please, please help!

- Martin Atkinson

A Recent versions of Netscape Communicator ship with AOL's Instant Messenger, a "chat" application designed for (but not exclusively for) users of America Online. Unfortunately, once installed, AIM won't leave you alone. Like unregistered shareware, it often displays "nag" screens prompting you to sign on.

If you don't want to sign on to the service, there are two ways to deal with these intrusive dialogue boxes. First, you can disable the application. When the Sign On dialogue appears, click the Setup button and clear the Start Netscape AIM when Windows starts checkbox. That should stop the prompting, but if you know you're never going to use the Instant Messenger, you can delete it permanently. To do this, delete the folder c:\Program files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\Aim (your path may vary) and remove the AIM file from Netscape's User directory (normally c:\Program files\Netscape\Users\your name). Now the Instant Messenger won't bother you any more.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Neville Clarkson

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?