Saturday Bonus Questions and Answers – 110423
The year is flying by… it’s November already soon the turkeys will be roasting and Santa Claus will be in every town.. And besides all that, it’s time for another edition of Saturday Bonus Questions and Answers.
Sometimes the best tips and tricks are hidden in the questions and answers we publish. And rarely do we post questions and answers on this website. Today, we’re featuring some of the questions and answers from past issues of our InfoAve Weekly newsletters.
These questions & answers were selected at random from past InfoAve Weekly newsletters.
Saturday Bonus Questions and Answers – 102823
Jean has crazy colors on her screen
I have messed up the colors on my PC. This page has a black background with white text. The title “Your Questions, Comments, or Suggestions are Welcome” is in Coral. The taskbar is white. The Start menu with all the tiles has a white background. The apps are Aqua. How do I get out of this mess? I’ve tried to figure it out but not getting very far. I just want to go back to the original. Please help!
Hi Jean. Try this…
1. Press and hold down the Windows Key and tap the U key to open Settings > Ease of Access.
2. In Settings > Ease of Access click on Color Filters (on the left side)
3. In Color Filters if the switch is turned on, turn it off.
4. Next click on “High contrast” in the menu on the left and make sure the switch is turned off.
That should fix your crazy colors.
Joann says every time she starts her computer Firefox asks to be her default browser
Hi TC. Each time that I log onto the internet, a window pops up regarding Firefox. It always asks me if I want to make Firefox my default browser. If I click on “Not now”, it continues to pop up each & every time that I go online. If I click on “yes” or “okay” (whichever it offers), then a big window pops up with all kinds of choices. I never see any that I should accept. What do you advise? I’d like to be finished with this window pop-up for good.
Thank you so much for all of your help. I have so very much appreciated all of your directions, instructions, tips, offers, and help for so many years now! I have learned most of what I know about my computer(s) over those years from your InfoAve e-mails, notices, etc. It has been a treasure and a pleasure to learn from you. Thanks again, Joann.
Hi Joann. Thanks very much for your nice comments and for your long-time support
There is nothing unusual or malicious going on here. When Firefox asks if you want it to be your default browser and you click No (Not now), the next time you open Firefox it will ask you again. When you click YES (Use Firefox as my default browser) , then Settings > Apps > Default Apps will open where you’ll see a list of apps for which you can set your defaults (we explain that here).
Next time Firefox asks if you want to make it your default browser, don’t click yes or (Use Firefox as my default browser) or No (Not now)… remove the checkmark from the box next to “Always perform this check when starting Firefox”. Firefox won’t ask to be your default browser anymore. See the screenshot below.
We hope this helps you, Joann.
John does not want taskbar search on his Windows 10 taskbar
When I go to the Taskbar, I get a black screen with various file names. I don’t want that black screen … ever. It just confuses me. Just to clarify my description. In the lower-left of the screen, this notice shows a magnifying glass and the command “Type here to search”. I hope this description helps. John
Hi John. It’s called the Taskbar search and it’s very useful, but if you don’t like it, you can remove the magnifying glass from your taskbar this way:
Right-click on a blank space on your taskbar…
Find “Search” and then click on “Hidden” and the magnifying glass (taskbar search) will be hidden. If you ever want it back again, repeat the process above and click “Show search icon” or “Show search box”.
Maria wants to transfer her files to a free office suite
I currently have Office 365 and just renewed for another year at a cost of over $100. I only use Word and Excel. What is the best/easiest to take my files and transfer to a free suite? I figure I have a year to transfer and then I won’t renew Office 365. I tried to go back to the regular Office, but couldn’t access my files. It seemed to require me to use Office 365 once I started with it. Maybe I just didn’t know how to get them back. I don’t have a problem with Microsoft Office, I just don’t want to pay for it every year. Any suggestions are welcome. Have a Blessed Day!
Hi Maria. You don’t have to transfer anything. Once you download a free Office program that opens MS Office files (and most of them do). You can associate Word Docs and Excel files with your new free office program. I suggest that you uninstall MS Office first then restart your computer. After you restart download a free office suite like any of the ones we recommend here.
Once you have removed MS Office 365 and installed the free office suite you chose, your Word Documents and Excel files should open automatically with your new Office program. If not, right-click on a Word Document, select “Open with” then choose the office program you just installed and make sure you check the box next to “Always use this program to open this type of file”. Then do the same with any Excel file. From then on, your Word docs and Excel files should open with whatever free office program you installed.
I hope this helps you, Maria.
Susan wants to know if she needs to use the software that came with her external hard drive
I LOVE your Newsletters! In this day and age of scams and fake news, your Newsletters are so refreshing, offering trustworthy programs and answers to great questions! Thank you EVER so much! My question: I’m running Ashampoo for backup onto a Passport external drive. Is it safe to uninstall WD Backup as well as their toolkit, etc.? I don’t see the need for it unless I start having trouble with Ashampoo. Thanks so much, please stay with us, we so need you!
Hi Susan. Thank you and thanks for being with us through the years! Yes, the Western Digital software is completely unnecessary and can be removed. We are not going anywhere!
Susan wrote back: “So good to hear you’ll continue to be helping us! Honestly, I don’t know where we would all turn without you. Thank you so much for doing what you do! Thanks for answering my question so quickly, you guys are amazing! Faithfully yours, Sue “
Erik wants to know if he can modify his PC to run Windows 11
Hello Darcy and TC. I have installed the compatibility app and indeed my PC is not able to run Windows 11. My PC is just 4 years and 1 month old. Intel(R) Core (TM) i7-7700K CPU @ 4.20GHz ..RAM 16 GB. It’s a 64-bit system. My question is: Can I modify something on this PC so that it still runs Windows 11? Thank you very much. Erik.
Hi Erik. First, Microsoft has (at least as of today 7/8/2021) pulled its PC Health Check app from its Windows 11 information page. There’s a better tool you can use to check your PC for compatibility, but you might have to jump through a few hoops to run it. See our article here to learn more about a new and better way to check to see if your computer can run Windows 11.
Remember too, if your computer can’t run Windows 11 it may not be your computer or your processor. It may be because Secure Boot is turned off in the BIOS/UEFI.
See this Microsoft page to learn how to turn on Secure Boot.
Also, your computer must have a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 2.0 chip or you won’t be able to install Windows 11… even though the rest of your computer’s hardware meets the Windows 11 minimum requirements.
To check to see if your PC has a TPM 2.0 chip, do this:
1. Press Windows Key + R
2. Type TPM.MSC in the run box and press Enter
3. A dialog will open and tell you if you have a TPM 2.0 chip installed.
If you want to know more about TPM chips see this page.
Just an FYI: I have two laptops: One is a 9-year-old Dell that I love and use all the time. The other is a 5-year-old ASUS that I don’t use much. I cannot run Windows 11 on the Dell because the processor is too old, Secure Boot is not an option, and it has no TPM chip at all. The Asus has Secure Boot turned on, and a TPM 2.0 chip, but the 5-year-old, Intel i5 processor doesn’t make the cut. Of course, doing what I do, I will have to have a computer that can run Windows 11. But I will continue to use Windows 10 as well. And remember – you’re not going to be forced to upgrade to Windows 11. Windows 10 will be supported until (at least) October 14, 2025.
Sandra is ready to toss her computers
I have a six-year-old computer running Windows 10 will all the updates. I have had several issues since I lost confidence in my computer skills after two bad incidents. I have been looking at your services and do not know which one is really right for me. I know I need help as I am ready to toss all my computers out. I am so frustrated. I have been getting your newsletters for years and have learned a lot. But not enough to get myself out of a “pickle”.
Hi Sandra. Thanks for your nice comments and for subscribing to our newsletters.
With our Cloudeight Direct Computer Care service, we connect to your computer remotely, clean it up, optimize it, scan for problems, bad extensions, malware, etc., and repair any problems we find.
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Rex asks about Windows 11, UEFI, and processors
HI Darcy & TC. Thanks for the heads-up regarding Windows 11. I have followed a few reports and found that 32-bit Pcs and processors without UEFI will not be able to run Windows 11. I hope they are rumors for the sake of senior PC owners out there. Thanks for your comments. Rex
Hi Rex. UEFI (and BIOS) have no relationship to the processor or the system type (32-bit/64-bit). UEFI is expected to eventually replace the basic input/output system (BIOS) but is compatible with it. Windows will no longer support 32-bit architecture and computer manufacturers are no longer making 32-bit systems.
Independent of the CPU (processor), Microsoft lists Universal Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) support, TPM 2.0, and Secure Boot capability as hard (mandatory) requirements for Windows 11. Windows 11 won’t work on 32-bit systems – so PCs with 32-bit architecture won’t be able to run Windows 11.
But Windows 10 users and seniors who use Windows 10 can relax. Windows 10 will continue to be supported and updated at least until October 14, 2025. So, everyone running Windows 10 now can continue using it safely for at least another 4 (plus) years.
We hope this clears things up a bit more for you.
Phyllis wants to know about System Restore
Hi! I’m sure you commented on this before, but I wasn’t sure where to look for an answer to my question. I have an external hard drive and wanted to know if I should still do a system restore. Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate all the newsletters. Again, thank you.
Hi Phyllis. Thank you. System Restore is a Windows feature that allows you to restore your computer to a previous point in time. Its main use is when you install a program or make a substantial change to Windows that causes serious Windows problems. System Restore does not remove files or data.
External drives are generally used for backing up files and data. Since System Restore doesn’t remove personal files or data, there is no correlation between having an external drive and doing a System Restore.
If you should install a game, program, or malware that causes serious issues with your computer, you could use System Restore to go back to a time before you installed the game, program, or malware – and it would be like it never happened, providing restore operation was successful. Your personal files and files and folders would not be changed. So, again, there is no correlation between having your personal files/folders/data backed up on an external drive and running or not running System Restore.
We hope this answers your question, Phyllis.
Denton wants to switch from POP3 to IMAP in Microsoft Outlook
I use Gmail as my main email and then forward it to my Microsoft Outlook account. My email is set up for POP and I need to change it to IMAP (as recommended by you guys) How do I do that without losing all my saved emails and make the transition a smooth and uneventful event?
Hi Denton. You’ll need to set up the Gmail IMAP account in MS Outlook. The server settings for IMAP are completely different than POP3. You can deactivate the POP3 account from Outlook and set up your Gmail account using IMAP. See this Google page for server settings and more information.
If you deactivate (i.e., stop checking) your POP3 account in Outlook, the emails you’ve already downloaded should remain in your email client. And they’ll also show up in your “All Mail” folder in Gmail.
Remember that IMAP is a mirror of what is on the mail server. Whatever is in your mail folders on www.gmail.com will be mirrored in your email client (in your case, Outlook) after you set up the IMAP account. So, if you want to know what folders and email will be in your email program after you set up IMAP, just log in to your Gmail account on the Web and check.
Doug says ZDNet recommends the Brave browser and wants our thoughts on this
I just received a ZD net news email, and they are recommending a new browser to replace Chrome called “Brave” @ brave.com. They say it is really fast and secure. What are your thoughts on this?
Hi Doug. Any time a big company like ZDNet, or PC Magazine, or PC World recommends something, my first thought is what’s in it for them? Brave is well-funded. I take things like this recommendation of Brave with a grain of salt. Because any time a large “For Profit” company recommends anything my feeling is somewhere along the line they’re getting paid. This is not true with smaller sites though. Recommendations from smaller, privately owned sites very seldom are big enough to get “payoffs”. Enough about all that.
Brave is based on Chromium as is Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and many other so-called “privacy” browsers such as Iridium, Epic, and others. Whether Brave is really private or not, depends on how much you trust them to do what they say they will do.
My thoughts are that there is no privacy on the web, and I have no expectation of privacy when I’m on the web. Bitcoin was supposed to be the “safe” “untraceable” way to pay, yet the FBI was able to trace the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline by following the money trail. Brave’s “advertising” is based on blockchain (cryptocurrency).
This comes from Brave Software…
I’ve been testing Brave for quite a while with the thought that I’d make it a freeware pick someday, but after about 8 months, I’m still not sure if I’d recommend it as a “Privacy” browser. Things like this that show up when you open Brave, concern me…
If Brave is truly private, exactly how would they “match” their newsfeed to me and my device? Matching my news to my device would certainly have to include my location as well. I sure don’t want news from Bulgaria or Bolivia.
Finally, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Brave as a browser. I don’t know if it’s faster than Google Chrome. It’s probably somewhat more private, but as I said, they’d have to prove that, and proof requires more than just their word. I don’t think it’s “faster” than Chrome. Chrome runs well on my PC. Microsoft Edge is Darcy’s favorite, and Edge is based on Chromium – just like Google Chrome. Darcy says Edge runs faster on her PC than Chrome.
But the browser you use is the one that works best for you. So, go ahead and try Brave and see how you like it – but don’t assume because ZD Net says it’s faster and more private than Chrome that it really is.
Brave, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc. will all run differently on different systems. And we encourage everyone to install more than two or more browsers. I have six browsers installed on my computer. When you have a choice, eventually you’ll stick with the one that works best for you. For me, that’s Chrome, for Darcy’s that’s Edge, and for you, it might well be Brave.
Go ahead and try Brave. It won’t hurt anything, and you may like it. You can download it free from here.
Greg doesn’t get what Microsoft is trying to do with Windows 11
Hi TC and EB. I know there are lots of things being written about Windows 11 and at the moment the articles seem to be more negative than positive, but we will see. Microsoft is bound to change requirements etc. before the final release. I am not too worried about TPM or the rest of the other issues. The one issue I do not like is no more local accounts.
From what have read so far is that Windows 11 Home will NOT be able to have a local account but must use an outlook.com account as login… (yes, I know according to reports Win11 Pro will allow local accounts but only after you have first signed in with an outlook.com account. I do not like this and am sure lots of others will not like this either. It should be people’s choice to have a local or otherwise account. Microsoft is dictating this and therefore monitoring what people are or are not doing…
It is a blatant means of tracking that Microsoft has employed. Yes, I did upgrade to Win10, and to be honest, I do not mind it some things are quirky, but overall it is pretty good. But no local account. I am not sure about Windows 11 and from the screenshots that I’ve seen. I have to say it looks like a Mac layout.
What happens if the login server goes down for whatever reason or a person’s internet connection goes down or even has no internet? Does that mean no one will be able to log in on their PCs? Or will it then go “local”? I just do not see the justification for making this a requirement. And for me, at least, it would stop me from ever using Win11. Most of the other things I can handle and accept, but that form of dictatorial control no. What are your thoughts on this? As most talk has been about the requirements to run it but not about the Microsoft account issue. And yes I know can keep using Windows 10 until October 14, 2025, but what about after that?
Hi Greg. First, as you note, you do have almost 3 years to continue to use Windows 10 and in computer terms, that’s a long time from now. And I really don’t see many amazing features in Windows 11 – at least nothing that I’ve seen so far – that would make me want to make the jump to Windows 11. If I weren’t in this business, I would not even consider installing Windows 11 at this point.
Secondly, you don’t need a connection to log in with your Microsoft Account. We both use Microsoft accounts on Windows 10, and we can access our computers without a connection. So, it’s not true that you’ll get locked out of your computer when you use a Microsoft account. You will need a connection to set up the account. But in Windows 10 and Windows 11, you don’t even need an outlook.com, Hotmail.com, msn.com, live.com, or live.ca, email address to set up a Microsoft account. You can use Gmail for instance.
Honestly, if it were not for my job, I would not even worry about Windows 11 or what Microsoft is thinking. I’d just keep using Windows 10 until the end of service date of October 14, 2025, and whatever happens then happens. One thing is for sure… by then I’m certain Windows 11 will be much different than it is now…and we may be talking about Windows 12 soon.
Windows 10 will be supported and updated for almost 3 more years. And as we’ve already said, in terms of computers, that’s a long time. In three more years, I’ll be ready for a new computer.
Our Cloudeight SeniorPass is a great deal. You get unlimited support for one full year from the date you first use your SeniorPass. We can help keep your computer running well, fix all kinds of computer problems, clean up malware, and a whole lot more. Our SeniorPass is like having insurance for your computer. And it’s only $99 for an entire year.
To learn more about our SeniorPass, please see this page.
David thinks his video problems might be BIOS-related
I think something is changing my Bios settings. The computer screen is black but the HDMA to the TV works and I can see the program on the TV. It also has some other things that need tweaking.
Hi David. I’m not aware of any BIOS settings being a major cause of black screens. If it were the BIOS, you’d not be able to see anything on a TV screen using the HDMI port. The BIOS loads before Windows starts.
The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is a ROM (Read Only Memory) chip found on motherboards that allows you to access and set up your computer system at the most basic level. The BIOS includes instructions on how to load basic computer hardware. It also includes a test referred to as a POST (Power-On Self-Test) that helps verify the computer meets the requirements to boot up properly. If the computer does not pass the POST, you hear a combination of beeps indicating what is malfunctioning in the computer.
Since you don’t mention hearing any beeps indicating that the BIOS is detecting something wrong, I think it’s your computer’s screen (hardware) and not the BIOS.
Finally, we cannot fix hardware remotely or replace a computer screen or any other hardware device. The BIOS can only be accessed outside of Windows (before Windows boots) and requires a physical presence. We cannot work on the BIOS remotely; we can only connect to computers where Windows is loaded, and the computer is online.
Stanley wants to know about bandwidth and connection speed
I am rather confused about the difference between bandwidth and speed. I was under the impression that the time taken to get a web page was analogous to a water pipe. The rate of getting a website (water received) was dependent on speed (water pressure) and bandwidth (diameter of the water pipe). However, in your very interesting freeware pick, it seems that speed and bandwidth are the same things. Regards, Stanley.
Hi Stanley. Actually, these were site picks and there were five of them. The Cloudeight Site Picks article was titled “Five Good Internet Speed Testing Sites“. We didn’t mention bandwidth at all. I see that one of the sites (at least) claimed to measure bandwidth but I take that with a grain of salt.
Bandwidth is often mistaken for internet speed. Bandwidth is the volume of information that can be sent over a connection in a measured amount of time. This is usually shown as download speed and upload speed but that is not bandwidth.
But let’s use water as an example since that was your analogy. The speed of your internet connection is the speed at which data downloads to your device and uploads from your device to servers on the Internet. Bandwidth is the amount (volume) of data your connection can carry before it slows down. Think of bandwidth this way. A garden hose vs. a fire hose. Water flows just as fast through a garden hose as it does through a fire hose (theoretically), but there’s a big difference between the volume of water each can carry. A fire hose has a great deal more “bandwidth” than a garden hose, although the speed of the water flow remains the same with each.
Bandwidth does not matter so much if you have only one or two devices in your home using your wireless Internet connection… but if you have several smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, computers, and other Internet-connected devices in your home all using the Internet at the same time, then you’re going to need a lot of bandwidth, or your connection speed will slow considerably. Think of watering a garden vs. putting out a house fire.
Tammy wants us to recommend a good file recovery program
Hi. What do you recommend to recover files that were accidentally deleted? I am looking for a freeware program, but I would pay for a file recovery program if there aren’t any good free ones. I love your newsletters and your tips! Thanks, Tammy S.
Hi Tammy. We’ve tested a lot of file recovery programs and my favorite is one called Puran File Recovery.
It’s a former Cloudeight freeware pick. You can read more about Puran File Recovery here.
You can use wildcards to find file types – I found wildcards work exceptionally well. Also, its deep scan feature is supposed to help you to recover data from formatted drives. I have not tested this, but it sounds like a great feature.
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