Q: I mainly use the Google Chrome browser on my Windows 10 PC. But sometimes video won’t play on that browser, and I have to switch to Mozilla Firefox. Sometimes web links won’t work on one of those browsers, but they do work on the Microsoft Edge browser. I’d rather just use one browser; where can I get one that works for everything?

Mark Hendrickson, Minneapolis


A: All browsers have their problems with video and web links, but most are easy to fix. In Google Chrome, the simplest video remedy is to turn off the PC’s “hardware acceleration,” in which the PC’s processor hands video tasks to a graphics chip. But that doesn’t always result in a good video experience. See tinyurl.com/ycktoxdp for details on turning off hardware acceleration.

If that doesn’t work, try deleting Chrome’s accumulated “browsing data,” which can conflict with watching video. See the same tinyurl (to make the changes called for, scroll to the bottom of the “settings” screen and click on “advanced.”) Note that this deletes the browser’s “cookies,” the code that identifies you to websites. You will need to log into some websites again.

Clearing Chrome’s internet data can also solve some web link problems. Other potential web-link fixes for Chrome include eliminating some browser extensions, replacing the user profile or removing unwanted programs (see tinyurl.com/y7xjhk5n).

Some Mozilla Firefox video problems can also be fixed by turning off hardware acceleration (see tinyurl.com/ych4pnkm). But Firefox also has a unique video issue, a feature called either “content blocking” or “tracking protection.” The feature prevents someone from adding code to your browser that will track your movements from one website to another. But it can also interfere with watching video. (To turn it off, see tinyurl.com/y7d5rhuo).

Firefox web-link problems can also be solved by turning off hardware acceleration or by clearing the cache and cookies (see tinyurl.com/yb4quccw).

Video problems with the Microsoft Edge browser can often be fixed by enabling or updating the browser’s Adobe Flash Player software or by downloading the latest software driver for the PC’s video card (see tinyurl.com/y8ykko5d).

To fix Web-link problems with Edge, try clearing the browser data (see tinyurl.com/hk5dblk).


Q: I used a computer-aided design program called AutoSketch 2.1 on early versions of Windows in the 1990s. The program’s performance declined in later versions of Windows, and it quit working when Windows 2000 was introduced. There are newer versions of AutoSketch available, but I don’t care for them. Is there any way I can use AutoSketch 2.1 on Windows 7?

Jeff Menard, Youngsville, La.


A: Maybe. Microsoft operating systems since Windows 2000 used a different technical design than previous consumer versions of Windows, so it’s not surprising that your older program didn’t work with them. But you can try using Windows 7’s “compatibility mode,” which allows it to imitate the way older versions of Windows worked. Compatibility mode goes back as far as Windows 95, so it may help you (see tinyurl.com/nnvuctm).


E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com. Include name, city and telephone number.