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.

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Neville Clarkson

PC World
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