Q: My iPhone 6 Plus is one of six phones on my plan that share 40 gigabytes of cellular data per month. Although the phone is always connected to Wi-Fi at work and at home (where I use Pandora Internet Radio and other apps), it still uses nearly half the plan’s cellular data. I only use the iPhone’s cellular connection about an hour a day, when I’m in the car commuting. Why is the phone using so much cellular data?

Joan Smithey, Jacksonville, Fla.


A: Because your iPhone is probably using the iOS 9 or iOS 10 operating system, it may be consuming cellular data without your knowledge.

Why? By default, those iOS versions use a feature called “Wi-Fi Assist” that is designed to maintain a strong signal when you use your phone to access the internet.

Suppose you’ve set your phone to use a Wi-Fi internet connection at work and at home. As you move around, the Wi-Fi signal may become weaker, endangering your internet connection. Wi-Fi Assist then automatically switches the phone from Wi-Fi to cellular so that your internet access isn’t interrupted; it will stay on cellular as long as the Wi-Fi signal is weak. Your only clue that this has happened will be the reappearance of the cellular icon at the top left of your phone screen. If you don’t notice the change, your phone could be using gigabytes of metered cellular data on apps such as Pandora (which uses up to a gigabyte of cellular data in 36 hours.)

To avoid this, turn off Wi-Fi Assist. Click on settings, select Cellular and scroll to the bottom of the lengthy menu to find the on-off button for Wi-Fi Assist.

Alternatively, leave Wi-Fi Assist on, but prevent high data-use apps from using cellular (they’ll continue to work on Wi-Fi.) Click Settings, select Cellular, then browse the list of apps under “use cellular data for” and turn off those that are heavy data users.


Q: I upgraded to Windows 10 several months ago. But after the most recent Windows 10 update, my QuickBooks Pro 2011 accounting program stopped working. While I have backups of my business and personal accounting files, the program can’t open them. Is there a workaround?

Arnaldo Partesotti, New Orleans


A: The only practical solution is to buy a newer copy of QuickBooks, such as the 2015 or 2016 versions that are designed to work on Windows 10. Software firm Intuit, the owner of QuickBooks, says it doesn’t guarantee that earlier versions will work on Windows 10.


Q: My HP Omni PC came with BeatsAudio music-enhancing software. But after a recent Windows 10 update, the BeatsAudio program seems to have disappeared. What can I do?

Anthony Williams, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


A: BeatsAudio software, which modifies the bass sound frequencies typically found in hip-hop music, seems to disappear when a Windows 10 update makes the Beats software driver stop working.

To download a new software driver, go to tinyurl.com/q3v4xkh. The download will begin automatically. Let it complete, then double-click on the file.

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