AOL Desktop 9.8.1 (Beta): By clicking the download button above you agree to the terms of the Beta License Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service.

If you're looking for the latest non-beta version of the AOL Desktop software, please visit Discover AOL.

Info and Community

System Requirements

  • Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1, 10
  • Internet Explorer 7+
  • 266 MHz or faster computer processor; 1024 x 768 or higher screen resolution recommended
  • 1 GB RAM, 512 MB free hard disk space
  • 28.8 Kbps or faster modem, or other Internet connection


  • Current Beta - 4346.1013
  • Current Beta Download- 4346.1013
  • Current GM - 4346.1012
Oct 1 — The beta version of the AOL Desktop 9.8.1 GM is now available for download.

You can now download version 4346.1013 and install the beta version of AOL Desktop 9.8.1 directly. This build is not distributing through auto-updates just yet, but you needn't wait for that to install it.

This release does include some fixes that were not in our last test build (4346.1010) and you're likely to see some marked improvements, including a fix for Quick Restore and an issue where some videos did not appear or play in new stories. Make sure to update as soon as possible.

Sept 30 — AOL Desktop 9.8.1 has gone GM!

AOL Desktop 9.8.1 has gone GM with version 4346.1012 which is now available for download and use. Don't run off and update to it just yet, though. We have a special parallel version of the GM just for beta testers on it's way.

Our thanks to all of you who tested and shared your feedback with us. As always, it's greatly appreciated!

Sept 23 — Beta 2 is distributing!

Hello Testers!

AOL Desktop 9.8.1 beta 2 (version 4346.1010) will begin distributing to testers who have previous beta versions of AOL Desktop 9.7.4, 9.8.0 and 9.8.1 beta 1.

If you have not yet received the update, but believe you should have, you may wish to try either closing and restarting the previous beta version of the software or rebooting your computer. Both of these trigger our update mechanism to check whether a new update is available for you. If you never end up receiving the update, please let us know by sending feedback.

Please be on the lookout for issues. If you encounter one, like during install, or regular operation, please file a report using the "Help" > "Feedback" link in the AOL menu bar.


  • How can I download the 9.8.1 software directly?

    Typically we make the beta software available for direct download immediately, however the update process for this software is so important and critical that we'll be delaying the direct download of 9.8.0 for, at the very least, several days.

    We highly encourage you to participate in the update part of this test. This is your opportunity to weigh in on and help influence the direction of future updates for the AOL software.

  • How can I test the update process again?

    Great question! In order to re-test the auto-update mechanism, you need to:

    • Uninstall this beta software — Uninstall AOL Desktop 9.8.0. We won't try to update you again if you already have the update installed.
    • Ensure you have previous beta software installed — We're using the beta software installed on your machine as the trigger to tell us you need an update. If you don't have beta software still installed, or you're uncertain, you can download the latest beta version of AOL Desktop 9.8.0 (4346.14) using the Download Now button in the top right corner.
    • Be a little patient — The update will not start immediately. It may take a couple hours before the update begins. Please note that you may want to reboot following the uninstall of the previous version of 9.8.1 to trigger it sooner.

  • How do I share feedback about my update experience?

    Aside from the common process of sending feedback to us about your experience on the AOL Desktop (Help > Send Feedback form your menu bar), we will be delivering you a pop-up on your first sign in of the 9.8 software as well. From here we’ll be asking you to send feedback or complete a survey about the update process.

  • Are there specific areas you would like me to focus my feedback on?

    Although we have made many changes within the desktop experience, there are a couple key areas that we are actively collecting feedback to make immediate changes to. These are:

    • Update Mechanism — This is the update mechanism that's traditionally been known as SUDs (Software Updates). This experience should be much improved, but we want your take on it.
    • Browser elements — This includes items like the Spell Checker, Password Manager & Print utilities.
    • Mail Font Settings — By popular demand, you now have additional control over your mail text size. These settings are available in KEYWORD: MAIL SETTINGS

  • How can I opt out?

    Right now, identification of the beta testing population is strictly based on the version(s) of the AOL software you have installed. This means, if you still have our beta software on your computer, you're part of the beta testing population.

    To remove yourself from this group:

    1. Download and install the latest GM (non-beta) software. — This software is always available at Discover AOL's AOL Desktop for Windows page.
    2. Uninstall any previous version of AOL Desktop beta software. — It’s important that beta software be removed entirely. If you have a previous version of the beta software installed on your machine, you’ll still receive this update. If you’re uncertain how to uninstall previous software, you can refer to this helpful AOL Help article on the subject.

  • How can I opt in if I don't already have beta software?

    Simply download the 9.8.0 beta software using the "Download Now" button in the top right of this page and you'll be set-up to receive the auto-update! Please note that it may take a little for the 9.8 update to be triggered and download.