almost) the end of the year.
Let’s take a look at 2018’s Ask Leo! website traffic. Personally, I find it an interesting perspective on what people were looking for, what issues they were dealing with, and which answers they found most useful.
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2018’s Most Viewed Articles
These are the articles that the most people looked at, read, and hopefully walked away from having been helped or educated.
10. What Is Pagefile.sys? Can I Delete It? Honestly, this one surprised me. And completely coincidentally, I just updated it last week. My belief is that people with older machines and/or smaller hard disks are looking for additional space, and finding that large, hidden file leads to this very question. [new]
9: What’s a Browser Cache? How Do I Clear It? Why Would I Want to? This is a very practical result. Browsers often misbehave, and clearing the cache is one way you can clear up a lot of that misbehavior. (Seriously, I think I do it every week or so.) This article not only discusses what the cache is and why it exists, but includes instructions for clearing it in popular browsers. [#8 last year]
8: Finding the Owner of an IP Address This is a perennially popular article. For various reasons, be it malicious software, spam, or malicious behavior by a formerly trusted friend or relative, people have an IP address and want to know where it is or who’s at that address. Sadly, it’s not that simple. [#6 last year]
7: Someone’s Sending from My Email Address! How Do I Stop Them?! While at #7 for the year, this article has really taken off in recent months. This is all about spam, and how easy and common it is to forge email that looks like it’s coming from anyone. When they forge it to look like it’s coming from you, this question comes up. Lately, it’s been coming up a lot. [new]
6: How Do I Delete Multiple Emails When I Have a Lot to Delete? Honestly, I blame Outlook.com for this one appearing on this year’s list. Not only does the interface keep changing, but exactly how you delete a lot of emails at once is not at all clear. [new]
5: Does Getting Porn Spam Mean You’ve Been Surfing Porn Sites? There are a lot of suspicious people out there. A lot. Many of them jump to a conclusion when they see porn spam in a family member’s or significant other’s email — an unwarranted conclusion at that. [#9 last year]
4: CHKDSK: What Is It and How Do I Run It? Back in the practical bucket, CHKDSK is a disk repair utility that many turn to when facing disk problems. It has its quirks, and this article covers not just what it is and how to run it, but also what to do when you encounter some of them. [#5 last year]
3: How Do I Move the Taskbar Back to the Bottom? This has been one of my most popular articles for years. Do you know you can put the Windows taskbar on any edge of the screen? Many people don’t, until it shows up where they don’t expect it. (It’s easy to have happen accidentally.) [#4 last year]
2: Can I Use a Charger that Provides the Same Voltage but a Different Amperage? With the ever-increasing plethora of devices that require external power supplies, it’s no surprise that this article is as popular as it is. Exactly what power supply will work with what device can get very confusing very quickly. [#3 last year]
1: Can Everything I Do Online Be Monitored at My Router? 2018 might well be characterized as the year of privacy, or lack thereof. Exactly what can be seen at your router, especially with routers being poorly configured and even hacked, has become a topic of great interest to many, many people. [#1 last year]
2018’s Most Commented-on Articles
The number of comments made on an article is one way to measure how popular or controversial its topic might be. Let’s see if you can identify this year’s clear theme.
10: Am I Wasting My Time Reporting Scam and Spam Emails? The spam problem continues without an end in sight. Some folks have clear ideas on where and how, or whether, to report spam. Sometimes it helps (depending on how it’s reported), and sometimes it just makes them feel better.
9: Managing Brick Risk Earlier in the year, some Windows 10 updates actually bricked (disabled) some computers. My commentary shouldn’t surprise you: the press made a bigger deal of it than it really was, and of course you should back up first. Needless to say, there was a lot of discussion about Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates and the quality thereof.
8: Why Does My Microsoft Word Document Display Differently on Different Computers? A lot of people don’t realize why this happens, and naturally there’s a lot of discussion as to why, and what to do instead.
7: The 40-year Take-away My editorial on my biggest take-away from my (so far) 40-year career — keep learning and teach your kids how to keep learning — garnered a lot of support.
6: Half a Dozen Uses for OneDrive Cloud storage is always a popular and controversial topic. Many people chimed in with horror stories, while others contributed the various ways they’re using OneDrive.
5: How Do I Get the Windows 10 Creators Update 1709 to Install? Somewhat surprising, since this was a 2017 update, but it was another opportunity for people to discuss the quality of Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates.
4: Coping with Windows 10 Did I mention that people like to “discuss” Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates and the quality thereof?
3: How Do I Disable Windows Updates in Windows 10 Home? Once again, another discussion opportunity, with a fair amount of concern that Windows 10 Home users weren’t really given a choice.
2: What External Drive Should I Get? Back to practical matters, I constantly recommend backing up to an external drive as one of the most important things you can do to protect the data stored on your computer from various forms of loss. That naturally leads to this question, and lots of feedback on what people are using and doing.
1: Microsoft, We Deserve Better Though posted later in the year, this editorial, akin to an open letter to Microsoft, received the most commentary — twice as many comments as the #2 item. And once again, it provided an opportunity for people to discuss Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates.
Honestly, there’s really only one new observation this year: Windows 10. It’s all about Windows 10. 2018 was a difficult year for Windows 10, and the article’s topics — particularly the articles on which people left comments — really drive that point home.
Let’s hope that 2019 is less frustrating, at least in that regard.