Find answers and solutions to common IT problems
Frequently Asked Questions
Being in IT support, I am often asked a number of common questions. On this page I have gathered a list of common questions and possible solution scenarios to help you to solve some of your computer queries.
Q: How to Start Windows 10 in Safe Mode?
Either at the sign-in screen or from the Windows Start Menu, hold down the Shift key and select "Power" and "Restart". When the computer reboots, choose "Troubleshoot" from the "Choose an option" menu. Now choose "Advanced options" followed by choosing "Startup Settings". Now choose "Restart" to have the computer reboot. At the special boot menu, choose option "4" being "Safe Mode". Simply restart or shutdown to exit Safe Mode.
Q: Can I upgrade my Windows 7 / 8.1 to Windows 10 for free?
If your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 product is currently activated with a valid licence (product key), you can easily upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Follow the instructions here. You need not lose any applications (unless they are not compatible = rare), data and emails.
Q: Do I need add a security package (anti-virus) to Windows 10?
No, the much improved Windows Defender that comes default with the latest Windows 10 is a good choice for your protection. The Windows 10 Defender has the following features: 1) It will catch the overwhelming majority of malware. 2) It’s distributed and updated as a part of Windows 10 itself. 3) A strong security strategy does not rely on anti-malware to catch everything. Read more about that here.
Q: I am still using Windows 7. Is it safe?
Basically Windows 7 is made mostly safe by both common sense and being very prudent about Internet and email hygiene. Windows 7 is being retired in January 2020. So you can continue to use Windows 7, but do note it will never be as secure as Windows 10. Windows 10 now offers a much improved real-time protection and better application isolation. If you really must use Windows 7, then it would be wise to switch to using Google Chrome which has built up its own defenses over time - including a new site isolation capability that helps isolate one browser tab from another.
Q: I cannot send or receive emails?
Verify that your computer is able to see the Internet by using the browser to ensure that you computer is connected to the Internet. If not, troubleshoot your Internet connection. Try restarting your Computer and Router.
Q: I cannot open any links in my email?
Most commonly this caused by not having the email program you are using set as the "default" in Windows. To correct this, open the Windows "control Panel", now open the "Default Programs" and click on the "Set your default programs" and then select "Mail" and choose your preferred program for email. Be sure it locks in with your email program.