Q: I keep getting notices from my bank and credit card companies to update my Web browser. But I’m using Internet Explorer 9, which I’m told is the right browser for my Windows Vista PC. What’s going on? Do I need a new operating system?

Charles Marini, Jacksonville, Fla.

 

A: The notices from your financial institutions are an early warning that you may want to buy a new computer by early next year.

Why? In April 2017, Microsoft will stop providing security updates for Windows Vista and its Internet Explorer 9 Web browser. After that, Vista and IE 9 will be vulnerable to hacker attacks.

Your bank and credit card companies want no part of that, and are urging customers to switch from IE 9 to another Web browser in advance of the change. Newer versions of IE don’t work on Vista, so for now you can comply by switching to a Web browser such as Firefox (see tinyurl.com/z4m8kot) or Opera (see tinyurl.com/5kse). Another popular Web browser, Google Chrome, is no longer safe for you to use because Google has stopped providing browser security updates for Windows Vista.

But that’s only a temporary fix. By next April you will need to bid Windows Vista goodbye, either by purchasing a new computer or by upgrading your current PC to Windows 7 (if it’s still available). Upgrading your older PC to Windows 10 isn’t feasible due to a lack of Windows 10 software drivers to control the PC’s component parts.

 

Q: I have been using the Quattro Pro 11 spreadsheet program on Windows 7 for years, and for a while it worked on Windows 8.1. But suddenly I’m unable to modify the spreadsheets and save them. What’s wrong?

James Kintzer, Reading, Pa.

 

A: Your version of Quattro Pro was introduced in 2003, which makes it too old to be used with Windows 8.1, which was introduced a decade later. I suspect the program worked just well enough to function until some recent update to the operating system finally made the two incompatible.

Corel Corp. offers a newer version of Quattro Pro as part of its WordPerfect Office X8; that software is compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.

 

Q: I discovered that my recently purchased Windows 10 PC was uploading my pictures, documents and other files to a Microsoft server in the “cloud.” But I don’t want that to happen without my permission. What can I do?

John Schultz, Afton, Minn.

 

A: Your copy of Windows 10 has been set to automatically store your files in the OneDrive folder of your PC, which causes them to be backed up to the Microsoft cloud. But you can change the Windows setting so that the files are saved only on your PC (see tinyurl.com/gn2xl8n).

Once you’ve done that, you can still save selected files to the cloud. Using Windows File Explorer, drag the files you want backed up online to the OneDrive folder icon at the left of the screen. Conversely, if there are any files already in the OneDrive folder that you don’t want backed up to the cloud, drag them to the C drive (which is the hard drive inside your PC).

 

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