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Set up your AOL 4.0 preferences

July 3, 1998
Web posted at: 11:01 AM EDT

by Lisa Moskowitz

(IDG) -- Customization is the name of the game in America Online 4.0. Many options can be set by clicking the My AOL button in the toolbar and selecting Preferences. Here are a few tips for personalizing your toolbar, avoiding pop-up spam, and speeding up your Web browsing. If you don't have AOL 4.0 yet, see the link to "You've Got Tips" below for information on downloading it.

Toolbar Shuffle

The new toolbar is a dynamic creature. You can change the way it looks and even its position on the screen. To do this, go to My AOL and select Preferences. Click the Toolbar button. Now you can choose to view the toolbar buttons with icons and text, or text only, and you can move the entire toolbar from the top to the bottom of your screen. Once you've made your selections, click OK.

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When you log on to AOL, you're often presented with pop-up marketing screens. Before you can check your e-mail or surf the Web, you have to click a "No Thanks" option. Here's how to prevent these dialog boxes from popping up in the first place. Go to My AOL and select Preferences. Now click the Marketing button. In the window that appears, click Pop-Up, then Continue. On the next screen, select the box for "No, I do not want to receive special AOL members-only pop-up offers." Click OK to close the window.

Privacy, Please

you share your account and would like your online whereabouts to remain private, AOL 4.0 lets you clear your history when you sign off. To do this, select My AOL on the toolbar, choose Preferences, and click the Toolbar icon. Under History Trail, check the "Clear History after each Sign Off or Switch Screen Name." Click OK.

Compressed Web Graphics

To avoid sluggish Web page displays, try compressing the graphics. To set this preference, go to My AOL and select Preferences. Click the WWW button and select the Web Graphics tab. Now select the "Use compressed graphics" box and click OK. Graphics-heavy Web pages should load a little more quickly now.

Web Page Speed Demon

Compressing the graphics on the Web page isn't the only way to speed up Web page loading. You can go one step further and turn off graphics, sound, and video files altogether. To do this, go to My AOL, select Preferences, then click the WWW button. Now select the General tab. You'll see three boxes: Show pictures, Play sounds, and Play videos. Deselect any or all of these boxes to turn off Web page graphics, sounds, and videos when you load a page. Click OK to apply your choices and close the window.

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