Staff Directory 10644336

Steve Alexander

Columnist/Reporter | Technology
Steve Alexander follows consumer and business technology trends, and writes a weekly question and answer column for consumers.
Recent content from Steve Alexander

Alexander: Sending iPhone pics to a voice-run Echo Show

Q: My sister, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease and doesn't have a phone, recently got an Amazon Echo Show that plays music and shows photos…

Alexander: Avoiding risks when moving to Windows 10

Q: The older apps on my Windows 7 PC, such as Office 2007, don't run correctly on my new Windows 10 laptop. As a result,…

Alexander: Fixing a PC that gradually slows down

Q: My HP PC (an Envy x360 m6) is running Windows 10 Home with all the current updates, and I use Norton antivirus and the…

How to make iPhone's Siri less intrusive

Q: When I start to type an address into a new e-mail, my iPhone makes "suggestions" about which address I might want. That would be…

Alexander: Adding information to iPhone photo

The easiest way to caption photos is to use the "markup" function in the iPhone's photo editing tools.

Alexander: Cleaning out iPhone trash to save memory

Your iPhone is probably collecting mail for several reasons, but you can fix them all.

Alexander: Deciding if you need app security updates

Q: I recently bought a Windows 10 PC to replace my Windows 7 computer — I knew it would be risky to keep using Windows…

Alexander: An easy way to transfer photos from iPhone to PC

Q: We're having trouble importing photos from our iPhone 7 to our Windows 10 laptop. The PC has difficulty handling an automatic transfer, even…

How to migrate data from a Windows 7 PC to a new Mac

Q: Rather than switch from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I decided to buy a Mac. What's the easiest way to transfer my pictures, important…
An iPhone and dashboard with Apple's CarPlay interface

Alexander: Fixing Bluetooth music in your car

Does your iPhone skip around when it connects to your car speakers via Bluetooth? Here's why.
The shuffles of photos or music are not saved, so it may seem like iPhones are playing the same files more often.

Alexander: Doing the 'shuffle' with music and photos

Q: I like to use the "shuffle" option for music on my iPhone and photos on my digital picture frame. But I've noticed that I'm…

Alexander: How to simplify PC photo management

Q: My many photos are being stored in many different places and I'd like to simplify the situation. The photos on my Windows 10 PC…

Alexander: Just being careful won't keep you safe on Windows 7

Q: We've all been told that Windows 7 won't get security updates after mid-January, and that if your computer can't handle an upgrade to Windows…
Some computer owners will need to weight the benefits of buying SSD storage vs. a new computer like these at a BJ's Wholesale Club on Black Friday.

Alexander: How to choose between a hard drive and SSD for PC storage

Whether you need one depends on how you use a PC and how much you want to spend.
Be mindful that older laptops might not be able to handle the newest versions of Windows.

Alexander: Assessing the risks of upgrading to Windows 10

There's no clear-cut answer for whether you should upgrade your Windows 7 PC to Windows 10.

Alexander: Browser privacy mode won't make you invisible

You don't get complete anonymity because there are other ways your activity can be tracked.

Alexander: Best ways to back up TV shows from a TiVo

Q: My two-year-old TiVo DVR (digital video recorder) is beginning to make strange noises, and I'm worried that I'll lose all my recorded TV shows…

Alexander: Some slow PCs can't be made much faster

It is a problem that you will have to live with, although there are some workarounds.

Alexander: Here's how to upgrade a Mac to Windows 10

Nearly any Mac computer purchased since 2011 and an up-to-date copy of the VMware Fusion software for Mac are musts.
The security and registration codes on a laptop that was first used at work can make it difficult to transfer for home use later.

Alexander: Here's the problem with keeping your work computer

While the PC is now yours, its operating system is not.
Getting locked out of a Facebook account can be difficult to undo.

Alexander: How to deal with a Facebook lockout

The big question is why your Facebook account was locked.
This Tuesday, June 28, 2016, photo shows Windows 10 operating on a Microsoft Surface computer, photographed in New York. Windows 10 modernizes computi

Alexander: The rush is on to upgrade Windows 7 by January

Windows 7 users face a Jan. 14 deadline for the end of Microsoft security updates and need to move to Windows 10 or risk being hacked.

Alexander: How to upgrade an e-mail program without losing mail

To avoid losing any e-mail, back up the contents of Outlook before making the switch.

Alexander: Laptop won't stop opening Edge browser

While there are ways to disable or remove Edge, they may damage the operating system. A better solution is to make Edge less intrusive.

Alexander: Smart TV confused by frequency shift

Some software changes will accommodate changes in broadcasting.

Alexander: Is that e-warning a scam? Here are clues

Delete the e-mail without responding.

Alexander: How to end or prevent online hacking harassment

The common thread in all these incidents is wireless communications.
Some spam lists are hard to get away from.

Alexander: Dealing with e-mail issues you can't fix

Q: I wondered why I was getting more than 30 spam e-mails a day with names such as "Russian Women Online" or "Best Home Warranty."…

Alexander: When a flash drive won't work with a PC

To make sure you weren't the victim of an equipment failure, try an experiment.

Alexander: That undelivered e-mail notice for mail you didn't send is spam

Here are some steps to filter them out for yourself.

Alexander: Facebook games harder to play as 'Flash' ends

Q: I have trouble playing Facebook games because my Flash Player software settings seem to disappear. What’s wrong? Marie Ridner, Lakeland, Fla.   A: You…

Alexander: How to find lost photos in a mountain of backup data

System image backups were never intended to serve as backups for individual files.
In this file photo, a customer checked out a new iPhone 5S at an Apple store.

Alexander: No, the iPhone 5s is not obsolete

Q: My husband and I both have iPhone 5s models. While the batteries don’t hold a charge very well, the phones still work. But I’ve…

Alexander: Why Outlook blocks some legitimate e-mail

Outlook sometimes considers an e-mail to be suspicious, even though there's not enough evidence to classify it as harmful.

Alexander: Why your phone shouldn't go swimming

Many newer phones are "water-resistant," but they are still not "waterproof."

Alexander: What you can do when Windows 7 is obsolete

The pending end of Microsoft security updates for Windows 7, scheduled for January 2020, has led some readers to ask about alternatives to its successor, Windows 10.

Alexander: Stop online theft of PC processing power

Q: About once a day, a dialog box pops on my Windows 10 PC. It says: “Zupdate. Error creating process.” That’s followed by a long…

Alexander: What you can turn off to save PC resources

Q: In a recent column (see, you advised readers to conserve PC processing power and memory by using the Windows "Task Manager" to…

Alexander: What to do about the iPad Pro screen freeze

Q: The screen keeps freezing on the Apple iPad Pro (the 12.9-inch-screen model) that I bought last fall. Apple’s online service had me update the…

Alexander: Fix iPhone's wireless printing, audio after installing Windows 10

Q: We have an HP Officejet 4500 printer, and are able to print wirelessly to it from my HP PC and my wife's Mac. But…

Alexander: Fixing a slow wireless keyboard

Q: I'm getting sluggish response time from my PC's wireless keyboard. I wonder if that's because my PC has 204 computing processes running at once.…

Alexander: Endless tablet reboots may be a battery problem

Q: I have two Galaxy Tab S2 tablet computers that continuously turn themselves on and off. I've tried many suggested solutions, including charging the battery,…

Alexander: How to become a bit less LinkedIn

LinkedIn made changes to its groups last year in hopes of stimulating more interest in them.

Alexander: Why some Mac software will soon be outdated

Q: My four-year-old MacBook Pro is warning me that eight of my programs "will not work with future versions of MacOS and need to be…

Alexander: What to do when a PC is out of memory

If eliminating browser add-ons doesn't stop the PC from freezing, the problem may be that other new software on your PC is hogging the RAM.

Alexander: Turning off forced Windows 10 updates

Q: For the last year, my three-year-old Dell PC has been automatically forced to update its version of Windows 10. The update takes over my…
Google Chrome and Microsoft Explorer get location data in different ways.

Alexander: Telling your PC where you really are

Microsoft's Edge browser and Google's Chrome browser both keep track of your home location, but they get their location data from different places.
Users learn there's a difference between a deleted Facebook account and a deactivated one.

You thought you deleted your Facebook account, but it's still there. Now what?

These days, Facebook promises to remove all deleted accounts within 90 days and to allow no access to the accounts during that time.

Alexander: Making it easy to log in to websites

Q: My wife and I use the same PC, but have separate accounts for websites such as Fitbit or Gmail. Google’s Chrome browser usually saves…

Alexander: How to stop mysterious ads from appearing

On a Mac, the operating system allows you to receive notifications via apps to which you've given messaging permission.

Alexander: Sometimes computer security can hurt you

Who's at fault? E-commerce security software everywhere that isn't up to the task.

Alexander: Blocked malware download keeps trying

The recurring message means the malware keeps attempting to download to your PC, so it is coming from a website that you visit frequently.

Alexander: Why you aren't told your e-mail is blocked

The deliberate blocking of e-mail traffic is an anti-spam (junk mail) defense, but a fleeting one.

Alexander: Here's what you can do if e-mail bypasses your inbox

The problem might be an "e-mail filter," which is a rule that tells Gmail to handle certain types of mail differently.

Alexander: Here's how to block more junk e-mail

You can improve your filter's performance with a setting change, but you cannot stop spam.

Alexander: How to find photos in MS Word documents

The "invisible photo" problem can be caused by incorrect Word settings or by how you "view" the document in Word.

Alexander: Missing e-mail photo is still there

It probably happens because Outlook is using a corrupted "temporary internet file" that stores Web data.

Alexander: What to do if a flash drive won't copy data

Size and compatibility are concerns.

Alexander: How to make friends a 'known' texter

The problem may be caused by different kinds of texts.

Alexander: How to stream PC music to another device

Making the connection between a PC and a Blu-ray player is easier than it sounds.

Alexander: How to make e-mail better for you

The method you want to use is important.

Alexander: Browser video, Web link issues easily fixed

Where is one browser that works for everything?

Alexander: Security upgrade loses some saved e-mail

Comcast is trying to make its e-mail system more secure for customers with older POP (post office protocol) e-mail accounts.

Alexander: What to do if e-mails suddenly disappear

Q: When I opened my Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail program, I kept getting the message: “Do you want to compact all local and offline folders to…

Alexander: How to clear a hard drive to speed up a PC

Here's a list of things that you should never delete.

Alexander: Don't be misled about 'Security Essentials'

Despite their sound-alike names, Microsoft's Windows Essentials and Security Essentials are two different programs.

Alexander: What to do if you're stuck in a photo viewer bubble

A Microsoft technical change has had an unintended effect.

Alexander: A drastic way to filter out more spam

You can block more unwanted mail with a drastic type of e-mail filtering available in the free Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail program.

Alexander: Fixing non-secure internet connections

Q: We have two phones and two tablet computers using our home Wi-Fi network. Lately all the devices have been getting a "your connection is…

Alexander: Dealing with fancy 'HTML' e-mail

It's a little more complicated to transfer HTML mail content to Word than it is to move ordinary e-mail content.

Alexander: How an online bank knows who you are

Why don't financial institutions rely on IP addresses to identify their customers? Because providers usually change them.

Alexander: How to replace online passwords

To untangle your accounts, pay attention to the order that you do things.

Alexander: Why you should trade in an old e-mail system

IMAP (internet Message Access Protocol) e-mail provides a better solution because no single device is the "boss."

Alexander: How to fix problems with e-mail settings

If you prefer to have a POP mail account, you'll have to set it up manually in Outlook.

Alexander: Telling a PC not to ask for a password

It was set up not to require a PIN or password.