This article is primarily
written for users of AOL 7.0 and earlier.
There's no doubt about it.
AOL and now AOL/Time-Warner have a pretty good corner on the ISP
market with what??? 20 million users and counting? Sure, AOL
has a great front end and many of us grew into the Internet using
AOL, even if we don't use them now.
What is amazing to those
coming off AOL is that suddenly, graphics on the Internet suddenly
look fantastic. It's like finally deciding to try on that set
of glasses because the world is now in focus again. Here's
AOL reduces traffic on their network by drastically compressing images
to a very low quality, without your permission. If you are
using their internal web browser, you must forbid AOL from doing this to
view images appropriately.
Otherwise, images may appear fuzzy, murky, or
blurry. Changing the compressed graphics setting is not necessary
if you are using an external web browser, like Netscape Navigator or Internet
Explorer. Making adjustments to your monitor settings
will improve graphics within any browser.
Follow the simple instructions below and in minutes you will see an
improvement in all the web sites you visit.
AOL Graphics Fix
1. After you have logged onto AOL, go to the Task Bar at the top of
the screen and find the icon button which says "My AOL" and click it.
2. Click on "Preferences"
3. Click on "WWW"
4. Click on "Web Graphics"
5. Now un-click "Use Compressed Graphics" to disable the compression
software that distorts art in the AOL browser.
6. You must close AOL for the changes to take effect. You may restart
AOL normally and the images should now be crisp and clear.
not, click here to troubleshoot.
Note: Disabling the graphic compression feature on AOL will increase
the time it takes to load graphics. In most cases, load time is increased by
seconds, but if you have a very slow modem or connect to AOL during heavy
traffic periods, you may find the wait period unacceptable. In which case,
repeat the steps above and re-enable Compressed Graphics.
You followed all the instructions on this page, and your graphics still
The most common problem related to the AOL graphics compression relates
to the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser. Like a virus, the AOL Multipurpose
Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) get inside the Microsoft browser and hijack
the ".jpg" and ".jpeg" extensions, converting them to AOL ".x-jp"
--distorting the graphics viewed in the Microsoft browser, even if you
are not connected to the web through AOL. Fortunately, this does not occur
in any of the Netscape browsers.
Here's the fix.
1. Open the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, and at the top of the
page click "View"
2. Click "Options"
3. Click "Advanced"
4. Click "Temporary Internet Files" (your cache)
5. Click "Settings"
6. Click "Empty Folder" which deletes all the temporary internet files
in your cache, including the AOL files which have hijacked your system.
7. Click "View Files" and take a look around to see if there are any
nasty AOL files still lurking in the browser. They usually have the green
or blue AOL pyramid icon. If you spot any, delete them by hand.
8. Close all these windows and that should fix the problem.
Ideal Monitor Settings
You may be experiencing trouble with web graphics because you have an
early model computer with low resolution or low color setting. Most web
pages today are optimized for 24 bit color and 800x600 screen resolution.
On Windows, here's how to check:
Click the following sequence:
Once inside the Display window, click Settings and confirm or change
the following settings:
1. Color Palette = True Color (24 bit or
2. Desktop Area = 800x600 pixel resolution or
3. Font Size = Large Fonts.
Note: Making adjustments to any of these three settings
may involve restarting
your computer to allow the changes to take effect. Even if it doesn't, the
screen may go black and jump around a bit. This is normal and
you may also have to readjust some of the items on your desktop.