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AOL Explorer
Developer(s)AOL LLC
Initial releaseJuly 2005 (2005-07)
Final release
1.5[1] Edit this on Wikidata / May 2006
Preview releasenone (n/a) [±]
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
SuccessorAOL Desktop
TypeWeb browser
LicenseFreeware Edit this on Wikidata

AOL Explorer, previously known as AOL Browser, was a graphical web browser developed by AOL. It was released in July 2005 as a free, standalone download, or as an optional software bundled while installing AOL Instant Messenger.[2] AOL Explorer supported tabbed browsing and used Microsoft's Trident browser engine.[3] The browser was briefly succeeded by AOL OpenRide in 2006, followed by AOL Desktop in 2007.


In 2003, AOL was given rights to Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser in a seven-year contract.[4] As such, AOL Explorer shared similarities with Microsoft's flagship browser, notably the ability to access Windows updates, and install Internet Explorer-compatible plugins.[5] Security features such as a pop-up blocker and spyware detection were built into the browser.[5]

Version 1.5 was launched in May 2006, adding Desktop Widgets, Visual Themes, a Feeds Screensaver and various performance improvements. Desktop Widgets allowed the user to "tear off" a side panel and use it independently from the browser. RSS Feeds could be shown in a screensaver, and Show Page Preview allowed users to see previews of web page links without leaving the page.[6]


AOL Explorer was praised by PC Magazine for its wealth of features and its visual design.[5] Some criticisms were that the browser had "questionable anti-spyware tools", and that it did not support third-party toolbars.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "What is New in This Version". Archived from the original on May 23, 2006.
  2. ^ Upsdell, Charles (August 26, 2014). "AOL - Review". Website Design. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  3. ^ Popa, Bogdan (May 11, 2006). "More enhanced security and time-saving features than any other browser". Softpedia. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  4. ^ Hu, Jim (June 2, 2003). "Microsoft to pay AOL $750 million". CNET. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d Broida, Rick (January 8, 2005). "AOL Explorer 1.1 - Review". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on December 19, 2005. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  6. ^ "AOL Explorer 1.5 Build". TechSpot. May 11, 2006. Retrieved July 2, 2021.