AOL Triton Active Update Fix

Note: Everyone should check the later comments below out, as people are always leaving different ways to remove the AOL popup from this and later versions.

If anyone has been getting the damn active update popup from AOL Instant Messenger, Triton version, here is the way to get rid of it.

Anotify.exe is the program that controls all of those annoying popups you get asking you to upgrade this, upgrade that, the only reason I have ever upgraded to a newer version of AOL is because I’m using a different computer and can’t find the last version of the software, so I have to download the latest version. Triton is really a resource hog and those popups suck. So, here is easiest way to get rid of them.

Search for anotify.exe on your system, when you find it, rename it or delete it. Bamm, right there AOL, hehe. Now gotta reboot and make sure it doesn’t reinstall the software. Nope.

Allright, no more AOL Triton popups, woohoo. I was so tired of hearing my kid complain about it, I had already moved to Trillian, so I still had to figure out how to stop it for AOL IM users.

Added: I had a friend who was having the same problem, yet her system did not contain anotify.exe, it ended up being aolsoftware.exe, so I renamed it and it quit working. If you cannot find anotify or aolsaoftware, when you get the popup, hit ctrl-alt-del and click on applications on the box that pops up, then find the active update program, right click it and click on Go to Process. This will give you the name it is currently using, so you can search for the file and rename it or delete it. No more popups.

This is why I hate to update AIM at all, everytime I have upgraded, it’s gotten slower, hogs more resources and is more intrusive.

Added: Don noted in the comments that it has been a few months and I might want to clarify a few things. It’s entirely possible a user might find BOTH anotify.exe and aolsoftware.exe, you should be able to delete both with no problems. In order to find them via Windows Explorer, you have to include system folders in the search, and possibly also hidden files and folders. If you go into Windows Explorer, click on tools, then on folder options, if will bring up the properties screen, click on the view tab at the top and select show hidden files and folders, and it should include those the next time you search.

This is some stuff I probably should’ve included to start with, I always include the hidden stuff in mine etc, so, if some of these instructions have been confusing I apologize. I will rewrite this page one day to make sure it is a lot better.

This entry was posted in AOL, Instant Messaging, Research. Bookmark the permalink.

151 Responses to AOL Triton Active Update Fix

  1. Rhonda says:

    Searched for anotify.exe in all folders including system and hidden ones and no file found. I’m still receiving the same annoying Triton update popup.

  2. Josh says:

    YOU F*CKING ROCK!!!!! I hate that f*cking triton update, I wouldnt mind stabbing whoever thought that a popup that comes up at the worst times was a good idea

  3. Hehe, thanks Josh, sorry, but I edited a couple letters, hope you don’t mind. I wish more people would leave a comment, lot of people hitting this page, so I hope it is helping most at least.

  4. Callie says:

    thank you so much. i’m working on getting that damn thing off right now. it comes up constantly, ,and no matter how many times ive tried to find a way to get rid of it, it always comes back. thanks again.

  5. Roxann says:

    Thank you so much for posting this solution. This has been driving me crazy!!! I renamed the aolsoftware.exe file and have been pop-up free since! Thanks again

  6. Jeff says:

    Thank you for the info on how to get rid of the aol tumor. aol should be ashamed of themselves for not allowing a user to simply say no I do not want to upgrade. How many millions of people have been forced to upgrade against their will? AOL go F yourself.

  7. Arnold says:

    As you instructed, I found the file using Control Alt Delete when that annoying pop up message came up. I renamed it…..AOL BUH HUMBAG….. he, he, he. Thanks

  8. RW says:

    thanks dude

  9. Tom says:

    Wow thanks so much. I have looked long for an add-on that would remove that dumb popup…who knew it would be so easy. Take that AIM!

  10. jimmy says:

    Hey, Why cant that file just be removed? I have done as you said and my computer runs so much more efficiently now and without that damn pop-up crap. However, i hate having dead links (or whatever) that accumulate and cause clutter. Why cant it just be disabled and removed?

    -Knows nothing about computers.

  11. I’m sorry, it can be deleted, when I first wrote this article, I had just killed it, and I posted what I did and didn’t think about it again, I will modify the post.

  12. Don says:

    Hi Jimmy –

    I realize your original post was done way back in November. The annoying piece of garbage known as “AOL Core Services – Active Update” is still around and some people, like me, are seeing it for the first time.

    Your instructions were VERY helpful and most appreciated.

    If you want to keep it up to date, you might consider adding the following:

    1. It’s entirely possible a user might find BOTH anotify.exe and aolsoftware.exe and that both of them will be running when they look under Processes in Task Manager. I found one instance of anotify.exe and two of aolsoftware.exe, all running and consuming system resources.

    2. Killing them in Task Manager, brought up by Ctrl-Alt-Delete or via the Task Bar, will only stop the running instances of them — it doesn’t get rid of the programs, so they’ll restart. You have to delete the programs themselves.

    3. In order to find them via Windows Explorer, you have to include system folders in the search, and possibly also hidden files and folders — I included both so I’m not sure if the latter was necessary. In any event, I found both anotify.exe and aolsoftware.exe and deleted them both. The two names also surfaced as Prefetch files, so I deleted them as well.

    I just did all this and then rebooted and restarted AOL and neither the files nor the processes, nor the pop-up, came back, so thank you again for your guidance.



  13. Well here it is May 2007 and that popup has been driving me crazy for about a week.

    I did a few searches before I finally found this place. Well, I did everything suggested and described and so far so good.

    We shall see.



  14. Karen says:

    Thank you Jimmy! Problem fixed!

  15. Bootsie says:

    Thank you for the AOL Core Services – Active Update pop-up solution. -Bootsie

  16. Davud says:

    Woot! Just found this site. Looks to be way after it was useful to most, but I think I just nailed that annoying pop up. It was coming up EVERY 45 MINUTES! AOL must really want me to take that update! Well, I say HELL NO. Thanks, Jimmy!

  17. Honey French says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I had to follow the process going through Cntrl Alt Delete several times deleting each time to find all the anotify.exe.
    Oh, no! As I was writing this, up pops the Active Update again! This has been for AOL Core Services each time instead of Instant Messenger.
    One of the times, \”Shellmon.exe\” was at the top of Processes and I deleted it then noticed anotify.exe was lower down on the list. I haven\’t noticed what difference deleting Shellmon.exe made. Do you have any idea? Well, I\’ll delete anotify again and see if this finally fixes it!
    Yes, that\’s my real name!

  18. Jon says:

    Alright, i think it worked!
    thanks man, you really helped me out wit hsuch an annoying thing.
    it kept ruining all the games i was running, and would make my programs lag. but thanks to you its gone!!!

  19. Rebecca says:

    Yesterday I followed the “active update” popup through ctrl-alt-del through right click to processes, and found anotify.exe was to blame. I searched for it and renamed it asnotify.exe. I used task manager to “end task” the open popup.
    Today I followed the “AOL connectivity services” popup through ctrl-alt-del through right click to processes, and found aolsoftware.exe was the bad guy. I searched for it and renamed it aolstupid.exe. Again I used task manager to “end task” the open popup.
    So, two different popups have been hunted down and extinguished. Thank you ever so much both! This works great!

  20. faye says:

    thank you!!!!! I just upgraded recently to the newer AOL because I got a new computer. Programs that think they’re the boss top my list of pet peeves, ranking right up there with the borrowed authority of airline gate agents!

  21. Kevin says:


  22. kim says:

    that damn crap has been popping up for me for about a wk and what seems like every 10 min! …. i sometimes forget to turn to the net for trouble shooting, worked like a charm! thankx for sharing your brilliance with the masses!

  23. jamie says:

    THANK YOU. This was driving me absolutely insane.

  24. Kay says:

    Hi, I know this was posted a year ago but I’ve had this pop-up problem recently and I deleted both aolsoftware.exe and anotify.exe but now I can’t seem to get AIM to work. What’s wrong with it?!?! Please help!!!

  25. MarkL says:

    Greetings Jimmy!

    I have AIM versions:
    if you want.

    - MarkL

  26. Kay,
    Not sure why they would quit working like that. You might try re-installing it, and then renaming those files to see if it happens again.

    PS The dates on these comments are wrong, they are showing the original post date for some reason, instead of the actual date and time. This comment date should be June 11, 2007.

  27. Mark,
    Thanks for offering, I really don’t use AIM that much anymore, and in fact use Trillian on some machines instead. I may email you in the future if the need arises though. ;)

  28. Kay says:

    So I reinstalled it AND renamed those programs but then AIM disappeared….I swore I had reinstalled it again but the program was nowhere to be found. Does this mean I’m going to have to keep those annoying programs with those annoying pop-ups???

  29. kim says:

    hey kay, i had the same problem when i rebooted…i had to reinstall triton and im just living with the pop ups, becuz if you do the update i don’t think its for triton and i like this one becuz of the xm radio option…. it is damn annoying tho. i just leave the update box up and pull theother windows to the front.

  30. DeniseB says:

    WOW I have been trying to deals with this problem for a long time. Maybe you could train the AOL morons that offer no help and give me a headache. Thank you so much for just helping me stop the core update garbage. Really THANK YOU! that was the best search I have ever done :) you’re da man!

  31. Kay,
    Did you try uninstalling AIM first? It may be best to uninstall it completely, reboot and reinstall it again. And make sure you are renaming the correct files. When you have the popup up, open up task manager by hitting ctrl alt and delete at the same time. Click on the applications button at the top, in the list you should see the active update program in there, right click it and click on go to process. This will give you the correct name of the file you need to delete or rename. Search for it, rename it and see if AIM still works.

  32. DeniseB,
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Everyone: I finally have the correct time and dates showing on the comments, woohoo. Some things sure are harder than they need to be…

  33. Cory says:

    OMG thx a billion. It never goes away. I have recently deleted it for good and i’ll spread the word to all my aim users. U got my respect!

  34. Billy says:

    Hey, I was able to rename anotify.exe, but Triton wouldn’t start if I tried to modify aolsoftware.exe. We’ll see if this works.

  35. They are probably changing it around, I may have to download the latest version to check it out.

  36. Helen Hart says:

    I’m going crazy over this damn pop up too! I was
    so glad to find your web site!

    I just got rid of a virus and I think it came from AOL! I am so mad I could “chew nails and spit
    screws,” at AOL!What is as bad, just try to get a LIVE OPERATOR when you call them! That is a no

    I will try your way when I got off of here, hope I
    can do it…I don’t do Windows very good!

    Thank you again!


  37. David says:

    Jimmy, You’re my hero. Thanks so much for taking the time to track this AOL junk down and helping those of us without the time or where with all to do it.


  38. sideshow bob says:

    Very useful post.

    Thank you

  39. Tammy says:

    10/30/07 You’ve made my day! I pressed control/alt/delete, brought up windows task mgr, clicked on processes, right clicked on aolsoftware.exe to highlight, I chose end processes and my selection was then deleted. I rebooted and boy-o-boy, no more pop up. Now that that’s gone can you please help me get rid of “new aol taskbar available” popup? Any help appreciated.

  40. Lschneide says:

    I deleted what you said I should, 4 things. It appears that the popup box uses Real Player to sneak in. I did this a day ago and it is not back. Have you any idea what this is and who it is from?

  41. EZ says:

    Aaaah peace once again on my screen is sooo nice!
    You know that update is a disguise for some kind of invasive, tracking, spying crap. Much appreciation to for going to lengths to put up your remedy.

  42. Task Manager tells me that the culprit is anotify.exe. I have two hard drives totaling over 400 gb. A Search of all files and folders for anotify.exe returns no results. The search literally takes only seconds and I assumed that at a minimum sub-folders weren’t being searched. I finally succeeded in getting what seemed, time-wise, a legitimate search by doing a Ctrl-A selection of the C drive. This worked only once, however, which suggests an intelligent virus. A search for *.exe returns only two files. Those two files are on the root drive, C:\. I have contact info for the AOL legal department. The threat of a law suit may be enough. Would you be willing to be the lead plaintiff in a class action suit aimed at these issues? My thinking is that, for starters at least, anything which does not have a Properties option should fall into this category.

  43. D says:

    Uuuuuuuuum PROBLEM! I am getting these pop-ups and don’t have AOL!?!?!?

  44. D, the popups come from AOL’s instant messenger, you don’t have to have AOL installed to receive them.

  45. Mike Powell says:

    Thanks Jimmy whoever you are…. it’s fixed.
    Good man! I owe you a beer.

  46. Gary Lee says:

    GREAT DUDE I hated that sh!t

  47. Dane says:

    Yeah, I dont have AOL but I do have AIM and those popups were irritating as hell. They started out once a day and had come to once every 10 minutes.

    Thank You Very Much for the solution!!

  48. Alyssa says:

    I found this really helpful.
    however, when i go to look for
    the anotify.exe, i can’t find
    it!! i’m getting fusterateddddd!

  49. Alyssa says:

    i finally got it.

    thankk you! :)

  50. Zyrena says:

    Thanks so much for this. Couldn’t find a way to get rid of this pop up.
    Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!

  51. cove says:

    thanks i appreciate the most needed help. your recommendations worked to a t, thanks again.

  52. Missi says:

    Hi I have been going crazy with this active update pop-up….finally I d/l’ed and ended up not being able to get online with aol…Called and they said many people were experiencing problems….I ended up having to uninstall aol and reinstalling it and after a day or so, here comes the active pop-ups again…did a search to remove and found your site…..whaaa laaa it worked…..thanks so much…..They really should offer an option to stop the pop-up’s….feels to much like big brother control…..Thanks again for your site……:)

  53. Missi says:

    BTW, one more question….I d/l’ed last year the aol openride and had to uninstall it but now I get these de-bugging windows…contacted aol and of course all I got was a headache from them trying to read the how to manual which meant they could not explain it, because it was book knowledge vs hands on knowledge…..LOL…Anyone know how to get rid of the de-bugging windows? If you say yes it opens a window to show scripts if you say no it will open the page you are attempting to view but it is annoying to have to keep saying no, may 4 or 5 times before the page completes the d/l to open…..AOL knows it is from their “new” software, as they discontinued the aolopenride…….

  54. Debbie says:

    I tried renaming BOTH of these files because I was afraid to delete them. I just put the word “rename” before the old file names. I rebooted my computer and the pop-up is still there!! Why?

  55. Missi, Not sure, haven’t used Openride.

    Debbie, Copy those two files somewhere, like My Documents and then delete them. I have never run into a problem removing them, but at least this way you will have a copy of them.

  56. Debbie says:

    Hi, I just went to search for the “renameanotify.exe” file so that I could copy it and then delete it and found that there was ANOTHER anotify.exe file which hadn’t been there this morning! Plus, there is a file named “Anotify” with the AOL symbol next to it. That file was there before, but I thought it was okay to leave it. What should I do? I want to be able to continue to use AIM.

  57. Debbie says:

    I just searched for the “renameaolsoftware.exe” file and there is ANOTHER new copy of that too, plus a file with the AOL symbol called “Aolsoftware.” Help!!!

  58. Debbie,
    I haven’t tried the latest version of AOL IM yet, as far back as I can remember it’s always been better to stay with the older versions as long as you can. The file with the symbol next to it is probably a icon which will cause you no trouble, so you can leave it alone. I would reboot your computer and search for the files without starting IM, delete them, then start IM and search for the files again and see if they show up again. If they do, let me know and I will install the latest version and see if I can’t figure out what its doing.

  59. Debbie says:

    Jim, I deleted ALL files with “anotify.exe” or “aolsoftware.exe” in their names. However, after I rebooted my computer, new ones appeared and so did the pop-up! I can’t seem to get rid of it. BTW, I have AIM version 5.9.3861 if that helps. I never log onto AIM. I sign into AOL and use the IM’ing feature from there. However, my kids do log into AIM w/o signing onto AOL. My daughter was telling me that all of her friends have the Active Update pop-up on their computers. Thanks for all of your help!

  60. David Brown says:

    Thank you very much! What a great service you’ve provided. I was able to use the Windows XP search function to find anotify.exe with no problem, renamed the file xxxanotifyxxx.exe, and the problem stopped. I’ve used AOL for years and am not going to consider dropping them. Putting such an annoying popup in AOL software really tarnishes AOL’s integrity. What’s next? AOL-generated viruses every time AOL decides to send a so-called “upgrade”? Thanks again for a job well done.

  61. Debbie says:

    How come these instructions are working for everyone else but me????

  62. Jeff says:

    Before I left for work this morning, I searched for, found and deleted Anotify.exe. When I got home, that pop-up was staring me in the face, laughing. I went ahead and searched for aolsoftware.exe and found that too so rather than renaming it I just deleted it. Hopefully thats the end of it. Hopefully its dead. Hopefully its burning in pop-up hell for then I shall have the last laugh. Muahahahahahahaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Jerry says:

    It mystifies me why AOL does this. Why don’t they just include it (whatever it is) in the current version of AOL so everyone downloading AOL gets it, and for those who have AOL already do it in one of those automatic updates you get when you sign off? Very strange.

    Anyway, thanls so much for your instructions to get rid of that pain in the neck.

    Why isn’t there broader awareness of this thing?

  64. April says:

    I can’t tell you how happy we were to find your website. We were beyond tired of this popping up interupting everything we were doing and couldn’t find any obvious way to get rid of it. When we started playing a new game we got and it started interrupting that, that was it. My husband started searching the internet and found your site. Thank you so so much!

  65. lindsay says:

    you should win a nobel peace prize. thank you. so far so good.

  66. Michelle says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! The pop up was destroying my online time!! I found you on a blingo search! YOU ARE AWESOME!! THANKS so much for sharing your expertise!! Sending pure joy from the universe to ya!!

  67. Debbie says:

    Okay…I don’t get what’s going on here. I’ve tried deleting these files several times and the pop-up keeps returning. Is there anyone else out there for whom this method hasn’t worked? Is there anything else I can try?

  68. Kyle says:

    Excellent post, Jimmy. I’m using AIM v6.5.5.2, not AOL Triton. Like everyone else, I want to disable the Active Update feature. I routinely use two different process viewers: Process Explorer plug-in for TrueLaunchBar, and Windows Process Explorer. Windows Process Explorer includes a process tree, showing what files a program will launch.

    With AIM v6.5.5.2, I tried to disable the Active Update using your instructions for AOL Triton. A search (including hidden and system files) for “anotify” and “aolsoftware” files on my computer located anotify.exe and aolsoftware.exe, and their prefetch counterparts.

    Without the aim6.exe process running, I deleted all four files to the Recycle Bin (in case the program didn’t work correctly). I attempted to restart AIM, but it would not work. I looked at the process tree and it showed that aolload.exe was the only process running under aim6.exe. I had to restore aolsoftware.exe from the Recycle bin.

    Since removing aolnotify.exe and aolsoftware.exe seems to have worked for most of those who use the AOL Triton program, it leads me to conclude that perhaps for non-Triton users, the aolload.exe process has been programmed to force aolsoftware.exe to start, otherwise aim6.exe will not work.

    In other words, I am guessing that aim6.exe is the only executible file that is needed for the program to run correctly – but that aolsoftware.exe contains the Active Update and other unknown subprocesses, and AOL is deliberately forcing AIM users (maybe not Triton users) to accept updates by way of force through the aolload.exe process.

    If the aolload.exe process could be modified to bypass the aolsoftware.exe process and go directly to aim6.exe, I think that would solve the problem of not being able to disable Active Update for others whose problems are not solved by the solutions you have given.

    Unfortunately, I am not a computer programmer so I do not know how to “debug” the processes. But I am aware from reading other people’s comments and through my own observations that AIM and AOL Triton’s Active Update

    (1) eats up memory resources,
    (2) interferes with other programs through its popup window,
    (3) leaves a popup window that despite clicking on the link leads up to a html page that tells us nothing specific about the update, and
    (4) places unknown files with unknown specific purposes in our hard drives.

    I’d rather negate all four at the risk of security holes, and be given the flexibilty to do so for such reasons. It seems that they have more control over our flexibility to disable unwanted things than is reasonable.

    If any of you know how to disable the Active Update feature for AIM v6.5.5.2 (or other non-Triton versions), I’d like to know.


  69. Kyle says:

    Read what kp36 says:

    [quote]Old 11-17-2007, 04:38 PM
    kp36 kp36 is offline
    Junior Member

    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Posts: 2
    kp36 is on a distinguished road (10)
    Active Update Folder
    Thanks to a bunch of people on here posting their problems with this, I thought I should share where I found the nasty little file that causes this thing to annoy us.

    I did find the Persistent folder (I had a whole folder, some people I think just had a file) and deleted it. But here’s the path in my computer to the folder I found…pull up a chair…this is LONG.

    Local Disk C/Docs&Settings/All Users/Application Data/AOL OCP/AIM/Storage/All Users/toaster/aol.activeupdate/en-US/

    Where the “toaster” folder was located is also where I found the Persistent folder.

    How clever a name is “toaster”, huh? – a toaster “pops up”, doesn’t it? Persistently.

    Curses on you AOL.[/quote]

    When I did a search on ActiveUpdate I found another copy of the file at C:\Program Files\AIM6\services\softwareUpdate\ver2_14_11_12\resources\en-US also. The path may vary depending on version.

  70. Kyle, thanks for the update, I have been sticking to trillian, heck with AIM. I have considered installing it just to see how to remove it in the latest edition, but just haven’t had the time to fool with it.

  71. Kyle says:

    You are welcome, Jimmy.

    Debbie, try following the following steps and see if it works for you since you are using AIM, not Triton:

    1. delete to recycle bin the stic.dll. Use your computer search to locate the file. It is the Active Update AOL EE Service file.
    2. delete to recycle bin the PERSISTENT folder located at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL OCP\AIM\Storage\All Users\SUDS_BBC2683C
    3. delete to recycle bin the toaster folder located at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL OCP\AIM\Storage\All Users
    4. delete to recycle bin the resources folder. Mine was located at C:\Program Files\AIM6\services\softwareUpdate\ver2_14_11_12 , but the AIM6 folder may be named differently for you due to your AIM version
    5. delete to recycle bin anotify.exe and its prefetch counterpart.
    6. delete to recycle bin aolsoftware.exe and its prefetch counterpart.

    Your AIM software may need either (5) or (6) [mine needed (6)] if it ceases to function once both are removed. In that case, you can restore from the recycle bin to its original location either file: anotify.exe or aolsoftware.exe, and test to see which one is required for your version to work properly.

    Let me know if that works for you.

  72. Debbie says:

    Hi Kyle,
    Thanks for your advice. However, I can’t get past the first step. Every time I try to delete the stic.dll file, I get the message “cannot delete file; access is denied.” I get this message even when I’m not logged onto AIM or AOL. However, I was able to delete this file a few weeks ago (based on advice found on the internet) but then restored it because the Active Update popup still appeared.
    Also, I couldn’t find the file you mentioned in step 2 based on your pathway.
    Lastly, how do I find the files in steps 3 and 4 assuming I can get past step 1?
    This is so frustrating!
    Thanks for your help!

  73. Kyle says:

    Hi Debbie,

    Look at the task bar in the bottom right of your screen and look for the AIM icon. Right click on it and click on Exit. You cannot just log off AIM, you have to exit the entire program before deleting a file or folder that is associated with the program, such as stic.dll. You may have to click on the arrow button in the task bar to show all the running programs if the arrow is present.

    You can then click on the Start button (lower left of screen) and go to Search. Once in search, choose to search for ‘All files and folders’. Put in the name of the file or folder you are searching for, under where it says ‘All or part of the file name’. Before starting the search, be sure to also expand ‘More advanced options’ and include a check mark for the following options: Search system folders, Search hidden files and folders, Search subfolders. Then search for any of the files or folders I mentioned previously. Just be sure the file path is under a directory that seems associated with AIM. If the file path seems unassociated with AIM, do not delete the file. The file path does not have to be exactly the same as mine.

    I am using WinXP Pro; I hope you are using WinXP so my directions are accurate. If not, then my directions will be somewhat accurate and you can look for similar wording to complete the steps in the order just given.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you were able to resolve the problem.

  74. Debbie says:

    OMG – This is a day later than my last post and I just realized that I don’t have the Active Update popup anymore! I’ve been at work all day and just noticed this. Last night when I couldn’t delete the stic.dll file, I just renamed it to “renamestic.dll.” I guess that did the trick, although I have my fingers crossed!

  75. sarah says:

    I just did as you described, hopefully it will work. I’m surprised it took me this long to look into it. Usually it does not take much to piss me off on a computer.
    My popup was coming in every 5 minutes. Seriously this is no exaggeration.

  76. Debbie says:

    Well, it’s been five days since my last post and the coast is clear! No Active Update popups have appeared since I changed the name of the stic.dll file to “renamestic.dll.”

  77. DJ says:

    Thank you so much… I had that blasted thing coming up CONSTANTLY and you killed it. It’s people like you who keep America the “land of the free!”
    Thank you very much.

  78. krystal says:

    It stopped the popups.. but now I can’t log onto aim!! Aghh they beat me

  79. dan says:

    thanks so much for the info. theres no way to call AOL if you are not a member and I didn’t know how to stop that stupid popup. I’ll pass the info along

  80. Jaime says:

    Try the following, I did and it appears that it worked for me for now:

    Open C\program files\common files\AOL\1164377353\EE\anotifyAOL AOL LLC

    Delete anotify aol aol llc only.

  81. Pat says:

    I did exactly what Debbie said doing, renaming “stic.dll” to anything else and it completely worked. I did it on my computer and my girlfriend’s and it’s been weeks since a pop up. Thanks so much.
    It’s a much safer fix than deleting other files I assure you.

  82. Nate says:

    Thanks Jimmy. I very much appreciate your help.

  83. Dan Walter says:

    AOL is run by RETARDS. This Internet joike continues to get worst with each passing day. I finally got around to cancelling them and take up the Free AOL deal.. why in the hell was I paying them in the first place? The assholes should have been paying me! The only reason I keep an account now is because over the years my family and friends all joined AOl because I was on it! Jeeeezh.

    So I cancelled them, asked what I owed them. They said ‘nothing’. Several months later I get a collection agency on my ass for ‘pass due amount’. MORONS, I’m still on AOL and I hope to suck up as much of their asinine resouces as I can. IDIOTS.

  84. Linda says:

    I don’t know why this happens, but when I delete or rename stic.dll I cannot change the Privacy settings on AIM. For example, once stic.dll is deleted, I cannot switch from allowing people to see that I am idle to not allowing people to see that I am idle. Can anyone help me with this?

  85. Don says:

    Thanks a million!

  86. Frank says:

    Dude. Thanks god damn AOL and thier proprietary crap. helped out a lot.

  87. Matt says:

    Aolsoftware.exe it was – and now, it’s renamed STFUAOL.exe.

    Apparently, it got the message. No more pop-ups. Thanks!

  88. Linda says:

    Sorry for a dumb question, but do you have to quit using AOL IM entirely for these fixes to work on the Active Update? I have Version and this popup remains even though I have deleted both files mentioned numerous times (then rebooted). My husband runs version and has never gotten this popup. Any suggestions?

  89. Linda says:

    This is a HUGH thank you to all who posted fixes for this problem. I them (all, I think) and this annoying popup is finally gone, I hope. It’s only been a few hours, but as they were coming about every 5 minutes, it’s certainly process. Thanks a bunch!

  90. Gary says:

    I have not been able read all the postings, but I have had major problems with the newer versions of aol. I managed to delete them all and return my system to aol 9.0 Optimized. Now I get a update pop-up when closing aol that states 9.0 is being retired and I will need to download 9.1. I have done that in the past and it slows all processes on my pc. I was also guided through installation of aol 9.0VR and aol 10.0 by tech support but things got ugly. I would like to continue running 9.0 Optimized without any further updates notices. Will deleting anotify.exe and aolsoftware.exe solve my problems? Thanks!

  91. Always has for me Gary, certainly worth a try, if you are afraid to delete them, try renaming them to something else. If that doesn’t work, read the comment by Kyle above.

  92. Brian Rockett says:

    Thanks for the tip. I re-named anotify to anotify1 and the pop up has now disappeared.

  93. Gary says:

    J. Daniels:
    I realize that I am asking about the aol parent program but none of the above ideas helped. I only found the “toaster” folder and when I sent it to the recycle bin and restarted aol, I still receive the update notice upon closing aol. I did a search and could not find any of the other files or folders listed in Kyle’s responses. I would greatly appreciate any help I can get here or maybe direct me to another site more dedicated to the parent program, if you know of one. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to provide!

  94. Gary Smith says:

    Thanks alot. When you gave me the info I just went to start,search,and searched for Anotify in files and folders and then deleted Anotify. No more AOL Update Pop Ups. Thanks again.

  95. okay says:

    I am getting an active update for software update. Is there any harm in just installing it? Ive installed the active updates before and its never hurt anything.

  96. okay,
    There shouldn’t be any harm, it is an annoying popup that I, and many others hated, so we have done our best to block it.

  97. okay says:

    Thank you, I installed it but I agree its annoying for it to not tell you much info and to keep popping up. Its a bad way to do things. Your site was the most helpful.

  98. Joel says:

    Hello I am using Vista and deleted both,but it now takes a min to load up and when it does– you type to someone you can not just hit enter you have to actually hit the send button with your mouse.I put them back and it works fine but the pop up comes back. Can you help?? Thanks

  99. Joel says:

    Hello I read some of the other comments and saw to rename the stic.dll/No pop up. thanks very much.You are the best that dame pop up was so annoying.Thanks for having this blog.

  100. Daniel says:

    Hey Guys,

    You don’t need to go around deleting/renaming files to get rid of anotify.exe/progupd.dll/stic.dll and friends.

    Just open regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options

    Next create new keys with names of the above: anotify.exe

    Inside each key, right click and create a new string value called Debugger

    Double click on Debugger and type in rundll32

    What this will do, is any time these .exe’s or .dll’s are executed, it will run rundll32 first, which does nothing by itself and immediately quits, thus effectively killing the program.

    It is a very handy trick on NT-based systems I must say :D

  101. spann says:

    hi. i tried deleteing and renaming but they keep coming back. any suggestions

  102. Dieter says:

    I just activated REGEDIT. Clicked EDIT, went down to Find. This opened a window for me to type anotify.exe, then pressed Enter….
    It went through the entire Registry and found both the Anotify.exe as well as the aolsoftware.exe. I highlighted the little beast and pressed delete. Gone.

  103. Bud says:

    Thanks for this. Anxious to get rid of that piece of s*** You mentioned that you would like to have an older version of AOL on your new computer. I was able to find 9.0 by searching AOL. Don’t remembe exactly how I found it, but it did come from AOL on line downloads somehow. I hated the later versions of AOL.

  104. Bud says:

    Ok, I have XP. I can’t find Anotify.exe or Aolsoftware.exe. Nor can I find regedit anywhere in my computer. Nor can I get any result from right clicking the pupup.

    I have two AOL folders–one named AOL and one named AOL9.0


  105. Bud says:

    Hold on. regedit is under drive C and Widows. Don’t know why a serch wouldn’t find it. Now lets see if the popup stops.

  106. Bud says:

    Okay, that works! Thank you. Now explain this. I have two computers and the popup stopped on my second computer too. They are not networked together. In fact, I have to move the DSL cable from one to the other and the popups stopped on the computer that wasn’t connected to the internet.

  107. Sean says:

    I know this works because I did this back in March, but for some reason I’m having a new problem with this issue. AOLsoftware.exe came back out of nowhere – so I delete the file. Now I’ve got the problem where I need the file to start AIM to sign online!

  108. Sean says:

    Dieter’s suggestion works best. Fixed all problems. USE REGEDIT!!! thanks guys.

  109. Karen says:

    Thank you for posting this. It works great!!

  110. Tina says:

    I found both of these files (anotify.exe and aolsoftware.exe) in the following folder:

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\aol\1188447588\ee

    I had never even looked in the “common files” folder before! A search the files on my computer (start…search…for files or folders) turned up absolutely nothing, so as another person stated, this suggests that AOL is trying to mask these files from us.

    At any rate, that’s where mine were located!

  111. smashleigh says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH… i was almost about to murder my computer with those stupid pop ups. if i could love someone i didnt know.. it would be you..

    hearts hearts hearts!


  112. pramod says:

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\AOL\1144194954\ee\services\softwareUpdate\ve r1_13_8_3\
    use this path and delelete a file named as STIC.DLL and active updates won come up

  113. Michele says:

    I renamed both anotify.exe and aolsoftware.exe today because I wasn’t allowed to delete them. I also “end processed” them. Now, I have no buddies on my buddy list anymore. Oops. Is this the 2008 punishment for trying to stop the Triton?

  114. Jenny says:

    I know its been almost a year since Jimmys post. But I wanted to thank him so much for his toaster discovery. I\’ve been trying forever to get rid of that pop up and nothing was working. thank you!

  115. Aierdre says:

    Now that it’s 2008 i think there’s a difference in the programing. I’m using the Adhack 5.56 version for Aim 6.8 and when I delete aolsoftware.exe i have a number of problems with the Aim program.(Such as the mentioned [enter] key not sending ims, not being able to save preferences, and increased loading time)

    When i delete the anotify.exe however i don’t have problems, but it doesn’t fix the pop-up problem. I don’t think clicking on the install button works either (when i’m just fed up with it and give in) So basically we’re stuck with it.

  116. Robert says:

    That fix worked for me. I searched for anotify.exe and it came up with two results: anotify.exe plus numbers and prefetch; and just plain anotify. I removed them both and no more annoying AOL reminders to update to 9.1 And it hasn’t affected anything else. Thank you very much!

  117. Robert says:

    Here is a site with all the older AOL versions, for anyone that wants it:

  118. Sean says:

    I was here several months ago and used the suggestions provided (delete anotify.exe and aolsoftware.exe, use regedit, etc).

    Long story short, deleting aolsoftware.exe caused a lot of problems for me as well. I also used regedit to delete aolsoftware.exe, which didn’t cause any problems to AIM software, but aolsoftware.exe would reappear in the registry 6-8 hours later, so it was just a nagging temporary fix.

    After all that, I finally found a fix for me.

    i went into
    C:\Program Files\AIM6\services\notification\ver6_4_1_1\ then changed the name of a file called Notify.dll. After i changed that name, the popup has not come up and it’s already been a day and a half. If the popup reappears, i will delete this posting. Hope this helps.

  119. kim says:

    Strange it was all in a folder called “Toaster”

  120. Tholvespope says:


    As newly registered user i just want to say hello to everyone else who uses this site :D

  121. V. Will says:

    Thank you so much……the pop-ups are really annoyi—-ok, hold on! I promise i just deleted the file, yet I’m still recieving pop-ups??? Excuse my lingo, but wt[F]eezie?!

  122. Viva says:

    Jimmy – Thanks for the tip – you have kept me from reaching for your brother Jack to get through the days I work from home! :)

  123. Bob says:

    I am running Windows Vista and AOL 9.1. Anotify.exe & aolsoftware.exe cannot be found after a full search. Ctl-alt-del does not bring up the running programs on Vista, it basically just reboots the whole system. (I’ve tried uninstalling and re-installing AOL, I’ve tried various virus, malware and adware removal tools and none work. Any suggestion on how to get rid of the AOL active update pop-up on Vista?

  124. Bob says:

    The problem seems to be solved. Even though thorough searches didn’t render the anotify.exe and aolsoftware.exe, “task manager” did. I was able to delete the anotify but only after renaming the file and extension. After doing the same with aolsoftware, it still would not allow me to delete it. Thanks so much for your help and information. It’s amazing that this is the only place on the web that has offered concrete help with this annoying problem.

  125. Bob says:

    After re-booting, I was able to go in and delete the last file. Thanks again.

  126. Hugh says:

    On my PC running Windows XP Pro and the new AOL 9vr, I found the offending file in C:\Program Files\AOL\1234437065\ee\services\notification\ver6_2_6_1\Notify.dll
    I changed the file name and so far its looking good (2 hrs)
    Thanks for your help

  127. sizkar9 says:

    hi! i’m running windows vista and the required files to be deleted are NOWHERE to be found! as far as i’m concerned vista is a pain the the ass and aol crashed last week so it took me 2 days to re-install aol vr 9.0! i’ve been on vista for 14 months and last year managed to delete it but for the life of me i can’t remember how to do it. have aol gotten wise to this removal? anyone operating on WINDOWS VISTA AOL 9.0VR please please please let me in on the secret – its driving me mad!!!!!!!

  128. sizkar9 says:

    Blimey! i’m a genius! i know i wrote the last thread but i was getting so angry with this pop up i hunted around my files. Vista, as i’ve said, is a pain in the ass operating system coz it always wants you to confirm! here goes….
    click on the “windows” icon bottom left hand corner of screen. click on all programmes then click on aol and then system information. you should then get a page up saying aol system info 2.0. choose aol software scroll down till you find “anotify” then click box on right that says open app. folder. it is then saved as Toaster.dll – my advise is only CHANGE the name DON’T delete it as you never know what you are removing – i’ve given mine the name of “annoying” and i’ve had no pop-ups since! good luck but pleae remember this was done on WINDOWS VISTA AOL 9.0VR! hoooooooooooorayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

  129. Peter says:

    TO sizkar9……..
    You deserve the title of genius! I have the same OS and AOL version. Followed your instructions and even renamed the file “annoying.dll” as you did.IT WORKS! No more pop-up. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  130. sizkar9 says:

    brilliant! i need a life! thanks for your glowing response! xx

  131. missy says:

    I do not want to update the latest AOL, how do I remove the offer. I am afraid someone in my home, i.e. my husband will say yes, I don’t want it. I have been a subscriber for 16 years and if it were not such a pain in the A$$ I would get another provider. Does anyone have a solution to my problem?


  132. Randy says:

    Thanks for the help Bro!

  133. My friend on Facebook shared this link and I’m not dissapointed at all that I came here.

  134. Will says:

    Hey thanks alot, but I have a question/problem.
    Removing the files seem to work… For the most part… Except a little while back my AIM stopped working without them. When I placed the files back in, there would be no problems again. (Well aside from that damn pop up)Did anyone else have THAT problem?

  135. mike says:

    thank you!

  136. Eli says:

    Thanks a bunch, I got killed at Bible Fight cause of these damn pop-ups.

  137. donia says:

    i love you.

  138. JR says:

    I love you as well.

  139. Rox says:

    jimmy, i love you! you da man!!!

  140. Sflames6 says:

    Actually, im running Vista and had the problem, another way to do it was to go into C, Program Files, Aim6, Serivces, SofwareUpdate,ver2_14_16_3,Resources,en-US, then there is a winzip file called ActiveUpdate. I am trying to delete that but everytime I right click, THEW FILE FREEZES, ONLY THE FILE, then I run Task manager and end it to try again. Help.

  141. mel says:

    Thanks! Worked like a charm!

  142. tim says:

    thanks dude!!!! you are #1 on google search :)

  143. angel4555 says:

    Help ! Dont know if you can answer this but i havent got a clue ..I found the necessary files to delete yet when i try to delete them it says I need permission …Im running on windows Vista …who do i need permission from ???

  144. alex says:

    3 years later and this post is still helping
    thank you!

  145. isaac says:

    that thing has been pissing me off 4 almost a month!!
    u rock!!!!!!!

  146. Jock says:

    Here is a cure for the ACTIVE UPDATE that keeps popping up .
    All the others here did not work for me but this did .
    Search for the file stic.dll , you may have to look in C:\programfiles\aim6\services\software uupdates
    Either remame , probably the safest , or delete .
    It worked for me .
    I was getting the popup for ACTIVE UPDATE every few minutes and it would say after clicking on INSTALL it would come back in a few seconds saying ” SORRY The AOL Installation Has Failed ”
    Not any more since I did this fix .

  147. Neil says:

    I’ve delt with this GARBAGE for YEARS. Every hour or so it would pop up. It finally started popping up every 10 minutes a few weeks ago. Then this week it’s every 2 minutes. How can AOL do this to people? I even click INSTALL and then within minutes there’s a New install that needs to be done. It never ends… I went to Program Files/Aim6/Services/SoftwareUpdates and then added “BS” to the end of every file in there. Cuz thats all it is! A bunch of BS!!! Hopefully this will work.

  148. Melissa says:

    omg thank you oh so much! I don’t know why other searches can’t be this simple. You’re a good man, just know that.

  149. David says:

    Thank you thank you. This problem was both on my laptop and desktop. The laptop cleared immediately however on the second round with my desktop – I had to delete versus renaming the prefech file and so far so good.

  150. kayakdude says:

    This might be the latest reply (01/16/2011) and yes, thanks to Jimmy we are now free of that pop-up AOL Connectivity Active Update screen and the annoyance of having to deal with it on every start-up. With AOL 9.5 on VISTA Home Premium there doesn’t seem to be a “anotify.exe” but there was an”aolsoftware.exe” (after a lengthy, all drives search) and renaming the latter file has done the job.
    AOL has not been cooperative in problem-solving with (free) users like us and probably is not for those who do pay, which is why years ago I switched to Gmail. My wife uses AOL on my computer while we share my laptop on vacation and was as annoyed by that now-removed feature as was I. Done deal!!

  151. herman says:

    How do you perform a search that “includes system folders and hidden files “?

    I know I am stupid when it comes to these things but when I click start, there is only one box for searching and I am not given a chance to choose where to search.

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