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Important Information for AOL users!

AOL users have experienced a number of difficulties viewing websites as technology has advanced and more tools have become available to website owners. We put together this page of tips to help AOL users enjoy a better experience on the Web.

About Image Compression -

Since about 1998, AOL has been using proprietary image compression on its network to conserve bandwidth and disk space on their cache servers. By default, AOL's servers will apply even more compression to already compressed web images. This has resulted in numerous complaints to web designers that AOL users are seeing blurry, color-shifted, distorted, corrupted, or missing graphics and photos on websites.

Fortunately, there is a way for AOL users to turn off this extra compression and restore graphics and photos to the original state their designers intended. The details of the procedure will vary depending on which version of AOL you are using. But generically, you should follow these steps:

Turn off AOL's image compression:

  1. Click the "My AOL" or "Settings" button and select the "Preferences" menu item
  2. Click on "Internet Properties" or "WWW"
  3. Click on the "Web Graphics" or "Graphics" tab
  4. Either UNCHECK the "Use compressed graphics" box or click on the "Never compress graphics" option
  5. Click "Apply"
  6. Click the "General" tab and go to the next section below

Empty your browser's cache and history:

  1. Under "Temporary Internet Files", click "Delete Files"
  2. Check the "Delete all offline content" box, then click "OK"
  3. Under "History", click "Clear History" and click "Yes" at the prompt
  4. Click "OK" and you're done!

About Web Page Caching -

Although the procedure above will clear out any web pages and graphics stored in your browser's cache, AOL also performs caching on its servers to speed up apparent response times to users. Unfortunately, if you use automated website maintenance tools to make frequent updates to your web pages, you may not see the changes immediately because AOL's servers have not fetched the latest version of the page and are still showing you the older, cached version.

Force AOL to reload a web page:

According to AOL you can: "Hold down the 'Control' key on your keyboard and simultaneously click on the Browser Reload icon while the browser window is active. This will clear your proxy cache and display the latest data from the Website."


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