Q: My Windows 10 PC has been failing to wake up after entering "sleep mode." The only way I can bring the PC back to life is to unplug the power cord, then plug it back in to restart the PC. As a temporary solution, I set the PC to never enter sleep mode. Is there a better solution?
Larry Koosed, Perrysburg, Ohio
A: Some PCs have this problem after being updated to a newer version of Windows 10.
Sleep mode is a reduced power consumption state that automatically begins shortly after a Windows 10 PC is left idle. Normally, a PC awakens because someone pushed the power button, moved the mouse or touched the keyboard, but Windows 10 updates can prevent that.
Fortunately, there are several potential fixes that are relatively easy. They involve using the diagnostic feature "Windows Power Troubleshooter," adjusting the power settings or turning off a deeper PC sleep called "hibernate" (see tinyurl.com/ycnhsgjk).
The same site explains another potential fix: Making sure that your PC's software drivers (which enable PC components to talk to each other) are compatible with your version of Windows 10.
If you think that's more work than it's worth, you can leave PC sleep mode disabled (other readers can see how it's done at tinyurl.com/ybu5cjh9). You will just lose some power savings.
Q: While using the Internet Explorer 11 browser, I continually get a pop-up message urging me to update something called "Silverlight." Because I don't know what Silverlight is, I have been wary of updating it. Do I need the update? How can I stop the pop-up?
Carolyn Fies, Birdsboro, Pa.
A: Microsoft Silverlight is a legitimate program that won't hurt your PC or help it much.
Why? Silverlight is an add-on program for Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, and for other browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari. Silverlight enhances the performance of web pages, making them more interactive and able to display video and animation.
But Silverlight never really caught on, and far more websites use the rival program Adobe Flash. As a result, your Web browsing wouldn't be greatly affected if Silverlight was not on your PC.
But, what's the best way to get rid of the nagging update message? If you want to use Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari, choose to update Silverlight when you're prompted. If you would like to avoid Silverlight, download the latest version of the Google Chrome browser (see tinyurl.com/qbud93e), which doesn't use Silverlight.
David Sherman of Columbus, Ohio, said I was only partly right when I told Sharon Grube of St. Marys, Ga., that some e-mails she received were fake and potentially harmful (see tinyurl.com/y8cs72zs). The e-mail addresses were a jumble of letters and numbers that ended in "onmicrosoft.com."
Sherman correctly notes that "onmicrosoft.com" is not a made-up name that sounds like Microsoft.com. It is the default e-mail address used by Microsoft's online "Office 365" program. Point taken, but it doesn't change my advice. An unsolicited e-mail from a suspicious-sounding address should be considered spam and potentially dangerous.
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