Can I replace Windows 8.1 on my new laptop with Windows 7?

Jim from Bellflower, CA

Episode 1227

Jim just bought an HP laptop with Windows 8.1, and he doesn't like the operating system. He's wondering if he can get Windows 7 instead. Leo says he could buy Windows 7, or he could call HP and tell them he doesn't like that operating system. It used to be possible to select Windows 7 on a new computer from certain manufacturers instead of Windows 8.1, but that's becoming less common now that Windows 10 is out. Leo says Jim will get an offer to upgrade to Windows 10 soon, and Leo suggests doing that. Windows 10 is a lot more like Windows 7.

Should I buy the Microsoft Surface book?

Episode 1228

Cherise from Lancaster, CA
Microsoft Surface Book

Cherise is about to buy her first laptop and wants to know if she should buy the new Microsoft Surface Book laptop. Leo says while it looks great, it's still too early to tell, and it may not be the best option for Cherise since she's a Mac user. But Cherise says she's an Android user as well. Leo says that Android phones aren't really that great on either OS because they're designed to be wireless. Leo says that Android should wirelessly sync with either.

Why don't videos online play anymore in Windows XP?

Francis from San Diego, CA

Episode 1226

Francis can't get videos to play on websites anymore on her old Windows XP machine. Leo suspects this is a Flash issue. If Francis is going to have Flash, she needs to make sure she keeps it up to date. Leo says there's a few ways to use Windows XP safely. All of the bad stuff that could get on her system will come from the internet, so anything that gets online has to be kept up to date. The good news is that even though Microsoft isn't keeping Internet Explorer up to date, Google has said that it will keep its Chrome browser updated.

Why are my photos blurry in Windows 10?

Episode 1226

Pat from Cypress, CA
Windows 10

Pat has a problem with his Windows 8 computer which he just upgraded to Windows 10. It runs slower and he's also having issues with resolution of his photos. They even print blurry. Leo says that Windows 10 should speed up his computer, not slow it down. As for lower resolution photos, that's a concern. It could be a printer driver issue, or even the beginning of a flakey hard drive. He should try tweaking the settings.

Should I get an iPad Pro or a Surface Pro?

Episode 1224

David from Los Angeles, CA
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

David is wondering whether he should get the iPad Pro when it comes out, or get the Microsoft Surface Pro. We don't really know anything about the iPad Pro quite yet. Leo's impressed by it, but it comes down to whether or not software will take advantage of it. Since David will be using it for business, office work, and multitasking, Leo recommends sticking with the Microsoft Surface Pro. The Surface Pro 3 is good, and the Surface Pro 4, which should be out soon, will be even better.

When should I upgrade to Windows 10?

Joe from Gardena, CA

Episode 1222

Joe is trying to decide if he should upgrade to Windows 10. Leo says that some people love it and others have had "tales of woe." Leo says that most of those are due to people jumping the gun and trying to install Windows 10 directly, rather than waiting until they are invited to. When invited, your computer has passed the compatibility checker and you will receive an invite. That's when it's a good time to upgrade.

Can Windows 10 log in with my Gmail account?

Jim from Atlanta, GA

Episode 1222

Jim has been using Windows 10 for a few months and lately his password hasn't been working. He's also noticed that he has a new account that it attached to his Google account. Leo says that ideally, he'll want to use a Microsoft account, but if it's using his Google password, it could be that Jim's Google account is linked to his Microsoft account. He should check his Microsoft account at and see if he's made any connections inadvertently. It's probably OK, but signing in to a Microsoft account would be better.

Why does Windows XP keep installing the Malicious Software Removal Tool?

Lee from San Diego, CA

Episode 1219

Lee still uses Windows XP and it keeps installing the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool even though it's already been installed. Leo says it's normal for the MSRT to be updated every month. That's the idea.

Would Windows 7 run most of the programs that Lee uses in XP? Leo says yes, unless it's been abandoned by the author. Windows 7 Pro has a great compatibility mode for just that. So upgrading to Windows 7 is a good idea. And he should always remember to run as a limited user.