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Recovering Lost AOL 9.0 Email Folders saved to My PC

by Mocron / January 13, 2007 1:03 AM PST

Recently installed AOL Open Ride on Windows XP. All of the folders containing my "saved to my PC" email are gone. I've decided I don't like Open Ride anyway, so I've gone back to 9.0. Can I recover the lost folders from AOL 9.0?

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Lost AOL mail ........
by alliance905 / February 1, 2007 8:22 AM PST

The same thing happened to me .... and when I called AOL tech they had me reinstall AOL 9.0 and the tech helping me messed up and didnt have me check a box to back up any emails in a PFC file. I have nothing in my "saved on PC" file now !!

But I am still looking for my mail lost from the open ride conversion ?

Have you had any luck yet ?

Thanks !

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lost emails
by mkrevi / February 14, 2007 2:09 AM PST
In reply to: Lost AOL mail ........

how do I try to restore the email messages that I have deleted. I was deleting a few messages and accidently lost some very important ones.
Thank you

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by mizjwolf / August 17, 2007 4:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Lost AOL mail ........

I'll copy in some text that I found 6 pages into a google search while researching this for myself (with 3 years of email history at stake) it was posted in 2002 on a google support page (?!)... I found my files in a different location though. I right-clicked START and selected explore. At the bottom of my list was a folder named AOL SAVED PFC. inside I found my last (just replaced) AOL version and opened it. Then I used the text below to tell me what to do...
" The .pfc files mentioned before don't exist. You need to
create them. Start by double clicking on the MY COMPUTER icon on your
desktop. Double click on the C drive, then double click on PROGRAM
FILES. In this folder, you will find an AMERICA ONLINE 7.0 Folder
(however, there may be more than one). Double click on that folder.
Inside of this folder, you will find an ORGANIZE folder. Drag this
folder to your desktop to make working with it easier. Open the
ORGANIZE folder from your desktop and search for a file that is very
similar to your screen name. It will contain only the letters of your
screen name, and the last few letters may be separated by a period.
The file you are looking for is NOT a .arl file or any other file
extension. If you find more than one file that is labeled as your
screen name, select the largest one. You can find the size of the
file by right clicking on it and selecting properties.

Once you find the file that is labeled the same as your AOL
screen name, right click on it and select RENAME. Rename this file to
whatever you want, and add ".pfc" to the end of it. For example:
Myscreenname.pfc. You have now isolated your filing cabinet and set
it up so that AOL can read it.

Open your AOL 5.0 software. Click on FILE from the menu bar
and select OPEN. Navigate to your desktop, double click on the
ORGANIZE folder that you dragged to the desktop earlier, and double
click on your new .pfc file. This will open your list of favorite
places and email. You should be able to drag and drop these files
back into your filing cabinet from there. "

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the directions are here on the thread
by Oye17 / December 22, 2007 3:46 PM PST

What MizjWolf posted worked like a charm for me. I thought the cause was hopeless as I had reinstalled AOL and thought those old emails were gone for good. Sentimental mails from a friend who has since passed away were retrieved. Priceless! Thank you Mizjwolf!

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drag and drop not working
by poseidon5 / June 30, 2008 8:21 AM PDT

I've got as far as the drag and drop part, but my AOL 9.0 is not allowing me to drag files from the PFC folder on my hard drive, to my filing cabinet on AOL. Anyone experienced this problem?

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Let's see; AIR, the AOL Filing Cabinet files...
by Paul C / February 1, 2007 6:04 PM PST

...are in the Organize folder, which is somewhere in C:\Documents and Settings on a Windows XP machine.

You won't be able to read those, as they're in some AOL-unique format - although you might make some sense of them if you open them in Word Pad. Try to copy that folder to somewhere else, then reinstall AOL 9 and then copy the files you saved back to the new Organize folder and see what that does. Good luck!

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Lost AOL 9.0 Folders
by Mocron / February 3, 2007 2:11 AM PST

I searched my organize folder, and it appears to only go back to 1/10/07. Is it possible to retrieve an AOL folder created prior to that? BTW, I have been unsuccessful at trying system restore, if that is my only option.

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Recovering Lost AOL EMail saved to computer
by DFRogus / March 25, 2007 3:02 AM PDT

This is a recurring problem yet it's extremely difficult to find a solution. Suddenly all of my AOL "Saved on my PC" file prior to March 7 disappeared on only one of our five AOL screen names. After searching for answers, I followed suggestions to seek the files in C:Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data/AOL/C_America Online 9.0a/organize/(screen name).abi .
Located file but am unable to open using AOL, Receive error message saying that file is too large for AOL. I too am stuck. Any solution to this out there? Thanks.

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Disappearing AOL received mail archive
by poolecj / March 31, 2007 4:46 AM PDT

Same prob; I'd wondered if it was a size thing. Using Mac OSX & communicator, can't reach received mail archive. And standard aol prog crashes on/immed after launch, as does fresh download. Any insights yet?
Smaller sent mail archive's fine,


Chris Poole

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AOL Lost Saved to PC email Files
by DFRogus / April 12, 2007 4:20 AM PDT

No insights or solutions yet. Exchanged online chat with AOL, but since I'm no longer a paying subscriber, the tech said that he couldn't help.

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Click yes to saving files off line when you Re-Install AOL
by cmmer31 / March 25, 2007 12:56 PM PDT

When I have a need to Re-Install AOL I may use Quic Restore but it seems best to use an AOL CD.

To Resign on to AOL
Sign on to AOL give sign-on name and old password (don't use - Go to keyword type the words - Store Password - Type password - check mark Box and
Click save password. You must do this or you will have to repeat sign-on.

When asked answer yes to saving mail offline, if you say no you will probably loose your PFC files. You can change this later.

Click yes to saving files off line and I always get my saved mail.

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Saving Mail off line for AOL
by cmmer31 / April 12, 2007 8:00 AM PDT

After you have lost your Mail in your Offline Saved Mail. I don't how to get it back but to keep from loosing it in the first place do this.
After you have REDONE your AOL connection go and click on Read Mail and a sign should come up asking you if you want to save your Off Line
Mail. By Clicking Yes I always keep my offline saved mail.

I always save mail I want to keep on Save on AOL. Later this mail can be opened and go to Edit at the top and click Select All - Go back to your Mail saved on AOL and at the bottom click Save - Save on my PC -
Save - All of this mail will now be recorded on your Offline Saved Mail. It will take a good while for this to get done. Pictures especially will slow it up. If you have to much to do at one time you will have to hold down on the CTRL Key and start left clicking to select what you want.

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Recovering lost aol mail....
by ericadh68 / April 19, 2007 1:00 PM PDT

Here is my story...perhaps someone can help? My computer crashed and someone was able to recover most of my information including what appears to be a whole bunch of AOL stuff. I see IDB folders (which I think is email) but when I go to open them, I too get a message saying they are too large to open.

I have Vista on my new laptop (the old computer is fried) and
I just downloaded AOL 9.0 Vista Ready to my computer. So, I have that on my computer and then I have this AOL folder full of stuff from my old computer...I can't seem to figure out how to integrate it all...there must be a way?

Any help would be great...thanks. And if you have any suggestions, please break it down to "dummy" level for me. I am not all that computer savvy...thanks!

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Lost mail and lost signatures
by uncle k / July 17, 2007 8:11 PM PDT

I work with a Sony nootebook and Windows XP professional. I lost all AOL mail, all folders and all the signatures I set up. I tried to recover them but the back up from AOL does not work. There is no help from AOL. This web site is my last resort.
How can I prevent this problem in the future?

Uncle K

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Lost AOL email files
by DFRogus / July 23, 2007 6:02 AM PDT

You would think that by now this common problem would have a well-publicized solution. But, I have not found one yet.

In the future as a preventative measure I will not download AOL to my computer but rather simply access its mail function via Then I will save all mail on AOL rather than on my computer.

But I very much would like to recover those lost email files still no doubt buried somewhere on the hard drive just waiting for the right magic to be revealed.

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Using AOL since 1998 and.....
by michhala / July 23, 2007 7:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Lost AOL email files

even as a beginner, I got into the habit of doing a copy/paste to a Word Doc of all important mail containing information I wanted to save for future reference or just to keep for whatever reason.

When I paid, I used to regularly backup their Organize, Backup, Favorites, My Calendar (more than necessary Happy ) for when I needed to upgrade or as a just-in-case......but don't do that as often any more. I use AOL primarily for E-Mail, and I use Outlook Calendar and I.E directly for browsing. Although the AOL Address Book is online, I also put important addresses in my Outlook Contacts.

To those of you who have lost your mail, I wish you good luck and hope it can somehow be retrieved.

AOL 9.0 Optimized

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To get your PFC Files back.
by cmmer31 / October 16, 2007 3:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Lost AOL email files

What mizjwolf posted is the way to get your PFC File back.
This depend on you having and locating your organize file.
Add .pfc at the end and send to desktop if it not already their.
Right click organize and open with America Online after you
have signed on to AOL.
You can go to File - open - desktop - open it to organize -
right click it and click select and it will open with your
Favorites and your saved email.
I didn't need it because I save emai that I want on
(Saved on AOL) When using AOL Quick Restore you sign on and
click on Read email and a popup will come up and you should
click yes to the question.

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by CO-SPRINGS-C0 / July 29, 2007 6:29 PM PDT


Y E S!





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lost pfc files on "save on my pc"
by bssherman / October 16, 2007 8:34 AM PDT

how doe recover theses. i dont know where they went. i also cant open dat files or pfc files. help!!

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How do you open a pfc file on a new Mac
by jbrindger / November 24, 2007 10:53 PM PST

We are got a new I MAC and are getting rid of our old Gateway. I downloaded my pfc files to a memory stick and tried to import them to the new computer. No dice on opening them.

We tried downloading the new AOL and it is not working. So we went to regular AOL site to see if we could open up the old saved pfc files in some sort of import function but it would not let us do that.

The basic question is how do you open a pfc file on a Mac?

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Lost Saved Mail
by Phyllis Goforth / March 3, 2010 5:17 AM PST

I cannot retrieve my "saved mail" on AOL. Please advise how to retrieve.

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Looking for Mail folders saved on my PC on AOL 9.0
by bcmpofu / June 24, 2010 8:35 AM PDT

I upgraded my AOL 9.0 to AOL 9.5, now I kind find all my email folders saved on my PC. How do I restore them?

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mail saved to my pc
by dcpayne44 / July 26, 2010 3:36 AM PDT

I can't seem to see saved mail

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by dancingruth71 / March 8, 2011 7:20 AM PST

How do I get my old aol email back? It was AOL 9. I really liked that but can not get it back on. my email address.

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I dont know if this will help anyone but I had to figure...
by wschultz57 / June 9, 2011 3:46 AM PDT
In reply to: ????

... This one out for myself. I recently uninstalled AOL v 9.5 (after having 9.0 for a while) and remembered I needed the saved emails from my saved to my PC folder. I installed v 9.6 and alas, they were gone. However, When I uninstalled AOL, it moved all the PFC related folders to a folder titled AOL Saved PFC's onto the desktop. I seriously struggled with this for hours trying to figure out how to reintegrate this file into the AOL saved email. I tried all the AOL help file recommendations but alas, no luck. What I had to do was start the AOL system information program. From there I hit the AOL Software tab. There will be a "Open Data Folder" button on the right hand side. Hit this button, and copy down the path you see in the address bar. I would recommend saving this text onto a text file and keep it on your desktop. From there, shut down the computer, and start it in safe mode by restarting and start pressing the F8 key after your manufacturers logo appears on screen as the computer starts (Why will be explained later). Select start in Safe Mode, and let it load. Now, open up the Saved PFC folder which is on your desktop, and look through all the AOL installations listed. There could be AOL v. 9.0, then AOL v. 9.0a and so forth for any and all AOL installations you have ever installed on your system. Look for the last one, the last folder/version listed (in my case before the AOL v. 9.5a folder was the one I needed) Open the folder, and open the Organize folder, and find the file that is listed with no extension. It should take the file name of your screen name, and no extension listed. Usually if you have any amount of saved mail, it will be a file several Mb's in size. The other files in this folder will be only several hundred Kb's. Now, leave this window open. Next, open up the my computer icon on your start list. Open the text file with the path you saved earlier from the AOL Software Information program. Copy that path into the my computer windows address bar, and hit enter. This should bring you to the current AOL installation data folder for organizing computer preferances and files. Now, go back to the window I said to keep open with the extension-less file that's named after your screen name. Drag that file and drop it into the current installation folder. It will ask if you want to replace the existing file. Click yes. Now, restart your computer, and start AOL. If you did everything right, your saved emails should pop up right where they used to be in your mail box. Best of luck!



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