Software

Apps, Operating Systems (Windows, MacOS, Linux), or pro level software.

Wha's a Good Alternative to Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook

Episode 1814

Amanda from Petaluma, CA

Tamara has to use Outlook for her work email on her mac and it's just terrible. She can use MacMail. Leo says that email clients are a dime a dozen and you can just about any of them. Leo also says that Microsoft is working on a new Mac version of Outlook, that's supposed to be out soon. Read about it here. Until then, how can she make Outlook look better? Leo says you can always use Outlook.com, a web-based version.

Can I Use SpinRite on a Thumb Drive?

SpinRite

Episode 1814

Duke from Redondo Beach, CA

Terry wants to know if SpinRite will work to solve his USB drive issues. Leo says it could, with some limitations on USB drives. But since USB drives are so cheap, Leo doesn't recommend spending the money for SpinRite. It's expensive at $90. You can buy 20 drives for that. Leo throws them out when they fail. And those thumb drives use a cheap form of solid-state memory, and when it fails, it FAILS. 

Update to ChromeOS Bricks A Bunch of Chromebooks

Chrome OS

Episode 1814

Google uploaded an update to ChromeOS this week that was missing the "&" ampersand code, causing many Chromebooks out in the wild to be locked out of ChromeOS. This comes fresh off another update that left out the "%" sign, causing similar issues should your wifi network or password rely on it. Google didn't announce the problem, but it was ferreted out by a Reddit user this week. The only fix was to powerwash your Chromebook and start over.

Can I Restore a Backup Onto a New Computer?

iDrive

Episode 1813

Stacy from Camden, NJ

Stacy needs a laptop that can run a certain GPS program. Can he restore his backup data from iDrive onto a new computer and will it work? Leo says yes. It'll restore the data and all he will have to do is install the software. Then it'll be ready to go. But remember that if he's planning on uploading the backup, it may take a while to do. But it may be a good idea to make sure the GPS program will still work. If the company doesn't offer the GPS as a download, it may not be using the servers anymore. Can he back up the programs with iDrive too? Leo says no.

How Are the Windows 11 Accessibility Features?

Windows 11 accessibility

Episode 1813

Joseph from Dalton, Georgia

Joseph downloaded and installed Windows 11 to try it out. He's blind and wanted to see how good the accessibility features are. The built-in screen reader worked really well.  But he had a little trouble with it. The face recognition feature stopped working, so he had to reinstall it. Leo said that was an issue with the last update, which clobbered it. It's been fixed now. 

How Can I Get My Admin Privilege Back in Windows?

Windows 10

Episode 1811

Tim from Wallens, TN

Tim upgraded his Windows 10 OS, but now he's lost access to the administrator account. It won't let him update anything. Leo says it sounds like Windows broke UAC (user account control), which gives that option. Look in there and see if it's been turned off.  He can also check to see if the user name has administrator permissions. Outside of that, Tim needs to look at all the accounts and see which one is set up as an admin, and figure out the password. Tim may also be able to find a Windows 10 password cracking app.

Why Can't I See My New Hard Drive in Windows?

Windows

Episode 1808

Don from Los Angeles, CA

Don replaced the power supply on his computer, but now it's having trouble seeing the hard drive he pulled out and plugged in using a drive dock. He got it working, but now he's having problems using Windows functions or downloading PDF files. All he did was replace the power supply and hard drive. Leo says it sounds like the installation of Windows 10 has gone bad. It may be a good idea to refresh Windows 10 or flat out reinstall it. It sounds like there are issues with hard drive permissions. So if the data is already backed up, start over. Reformat the drive and then reinstall Windows.

Wasn't Windows 10 the Last Version?

Windows 11

Episode 1808

Kenny from Tenneessee

Kenny has a few Windows computers and was sold the notion that Windows 10 was the last version we would get. Leo says that officially, Microsoft has never really said that, though it's attributed to them. It was a tech analyst who stated it and the media ran with it. But then again, Microsoft didn't correct the record until the announcement of Windows 11. And it's causing an uproar that it won't be supported on anything but the most recent computers. Most are going to be left behind if they don't buy a new computer. But one way to go is a Mac, that will run Windows virtually.

Windows 11 Will Only Work on Newer Computers

Windows 11

Episode 1808

When Microsoft's Windows 11 comes out later this year, most older computers will not be able to run it. Leo says that's because it will require secure boot circuitry on motherboards in order to run the latest OS. This is causing many to howl as they'll be forced to upgrade in order to keep up. But users have some time, as Microsoft will be killing support for Windows 10 on October 14th, 2025.

Microsoft to Announce Windows 11 This Thursday

Windows 11

Episode 1807

Microsoft will announce Windows 11 this Thursday, and Leo says it's more of a cosmetic overhaul with the same back end. The real question will be, will Microsoft charge for it or initially give it away as they did for Windows 10? Leo says that most people upgrade their Windows when they buy a new computer, and the pundits may be right that Windows 11 will be a free download. But Leo thinks that Microsoft may charge about $35 for the upgrade, which the company gets from each computer that carries the OS. We'll find out Thursday.