Q: I’m confused about Microsoft e-mails that tell me to reconnect my Outlook 2013 PC program in order to continue getting mail via their Outlook.com website. It said I needed to create a new profile. What is this about?

Frank Kampel, Maple Grove

A: Microsoft has upgraded its e-mail system, which you access through the Outlook.com website. To continue receiving and sending e-mail, you need to reconnect your PC’s Outlook 2013 program to the website. That will provide a more reliable link to the upgraded mail system.

To reconnect, you will need to change your Outlook 2013 profile, which is a list containing your name, e-mail address and password. To create a new profile, click on “file” at the top of the screen. In the resulting “account information” list, choose “add account.” Enter your name, e-mail address and password, click “next,” then click “finish.” (This also works for Outlook 2016.)

To delete the old profile, click “file,” and in the “account information” list click on “account settings.” In the drop-down box, click “account settings” again. The old and new accounts will appear. The one you want to delete includes the phrase “Exchange ActiveSync.”

Highlight the new account, and click on “set as default.” Then highlight the old account, and click on “remove.” When asked if you want to continue, click “yes.” Close Outlook 2013 and reopen it.

Many readers said that Windows Update no longer works properly for Windows 7 PCs, and they are right. (Among those bringing it to my attention were Bill Slobotski of Roseville, John Wells of Minneapolis, Ronald Iannelli of Breezy Point, Minn., Anthony Williams of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Danny Williamson of Baton Rouge, La.)

Microsoft devised a fix by manually downloading two important files from the Microsoft Update Catalog (see tinyurl.com/znbu9mm and scroll down to “Do this:”). Note: The fix only works if you use the internet Explorer browser to download the files.

Once corrected, Windows 7 owners will have a choice of how to receive future updates: Let Windows Update run automatically, or ask Update to see what’s available.


Q: I updated my Windows 7 PC to Windows 10. But because I’ve bought an Apple Mac, I want to clean up the PC and give it away. If I restore the PC to its original settings, will it go back to Windows 7 or continue on Windows 10?

Tom Schendel, Dayton, Minn.

A: If you upgraded to Windows 10 more than a month ago, Windows 7 and its original settings have been permanently deleted from your PC. If it has been less than a month, you can revert to Windows 7 from backup files stored on your hard disk (see tinyurl.com/pta5nw2).

For you, Windows 10 is the best option. That’s because its “reset” feature will return the PC to its default Windows 10 settings while erasing all PC data and non-Windows programs. Obviously, you will want to back up all your data first so you can move it to your Mac.

For directions on resetting your PC, go to tinyurl.com/hvdghql. When you get to step five, choose “remove everything.”

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