Q: I recently bought my son an Xbox One game console. Because he had no e-mail account, we used my Hotmail account to set up the console. But now my son’s name appears on my Windows 10 login screen and I get messages on the PC screen about Xbox games he is playing. In addition, if I forward an e-mail to someone, it lists the sender as my son. How can I put my PC and e-mail back in my own name?

Rick Forrest, Oakdale

 

A: By setting up your son’s Xbox using your Hotmail account, you have made your son the named user of that account. That has altered the “sender name” on your e-mails.

The same account change has put your PC in your son’s name, causing it to receive his Xbox game data. Why? Because you log in to your PC using a Microsoft Account network password (your Hotmail address, the same one the Xbox uses) rather than using a local password (one that exists only on your PC.) (See tinyurl.com/y9jk72o6). There are two ways you can fix this:

• Let your son continue to use your existing e-mail account and create a new account for yourself (see tinyurl.com/ek2al). The downside is that you will have to notify people about your new e-mail address.

• Get a new e-mail account for your son and make it his primary sign-in password for the Xbox. Then reclaim your existing e-mail address for yourself.

If you choose the second alternative, create a new e-mail address for your son using the tinyurl above. Make the switch on the Xbox by first logging in to the console using your existing e-mail address. Then change the Xbox settings by clicking “Your info” (see tinyurl.com/ydch8asn and scroll down to “How to change the e-mail address or phone number you use to sign in to your Microsoft account online.”) Once you have made your son’s new e-mail address the “primary alias” (sign-in account) for the Xbox, leave your address in the Xbox account list. Otherwise your e-mail account will be wiped out.

You can reclaim your existing Hotmail account by changing the user name associated with it (see tinyurl.com/ybapqvgw). Erase your son’s name and type in yours.

 

Q: I’ve been given a Gateway desktop PC, but the previous owner can’t recall the Windows password. How can I gain access to the PC?

Charles Seaman, Thibodaux, La.

 

A: There are several free, downloadable programs that bypass Windows to either recover or erase a lost password. Erasing eliminates the PC’s password protection. (See tinyurl.com/ya3doy2a). To use one of these programs, download it on another PC and store it on a flash drive. Then set the problem PC to boot, or start up, from the flash drive (see tinyurl.com/zj8qmpy). Insert the flash drive into the problem PC and restart the computer.

 

Q: I want to download my confidential Gmail messages to a flash drive. How can I do it?

Scott Waters, Minneapolis

 

A: It’s fairly easy to download Gmail messages to a flash drive. Try this: (see tinyurl.com/lxprlzm).

 

E-mail your tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 650 3rd Av. S., Suite 1300, ­Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.