Articles in Category: Administration

Items related to Leo, Ask Leo! and overall website and related operations and administrivia.

Dialing Back Social Media

Facebook is holding you for ransom. Sign up for Confident Computing via email instead.

How I Fixed a Failed Windows 10 Update

Windows Update generally works. Here’s the successful approach I took when it didn’t.

How Do I Move Thunderbird to a New Computer?

Moving email from one machine to another is a snap when you’re using Thunderbird as your email program. I’ll show you how.

Content Re-Use on Ask Leo!

A behind-the-scenes rundown on all the different ways a single Ask Leo! article is re-used, recycled, and re-purposed.

2020’s Most Popular Articles

My annual roundup of which articles got the most attention and generated the most commentary in 2020.

Changes to the Ask Leo! Podcast

I’m making a slight change to the Ask Leo! podcast. Here are the details.


2019’s Most Popular Articles

My annual review of which articles got the most attention and generated the most commentary in 2019.

2018’s Most Popular Articles

My annual review of which articles got the most attention and generated the most commentary in 2018.

2017’s Most Popular Articles

My annual review of which articles got the most attention and generated the most commentary in 2017.

Patreon Changes

Patreon changed their fee structure causing some to decide to drop their support for Ask Leo!. Before you do so, I have an alternative that’s actually better for both of us.

2016’s Most Popular Articles

My annual review of which articles got the most attention and generated the most commentary in 2016.

How Do I Change or Delete my Patreon Subscription?

Changing or deleting your support for Ask Leo! on Patreon may not be obvious, so let me show you how.

Ask Leo! Patron FAQ

Patreon allows you to support Ask Leo! with a monthly contribution, in return for which you get an assortment of patron-only rewards.

2015 in Review

A look at the most popular Ask Leo! articles of 2015, as well as an overview of those that got the most comments (hint: you’ll nod your head in understanding on why one topic, more than any other, might generate so much discussion in 2015).

2015 Survey results

Some high-level results from my 2015 reader survey – what’s bugging you? I now have a better clue.

2014’s Most Popular Articles

As the year ends I once again review which articles on Ask Leo! were the most popular and ponder the trends that they reveal.

2013’s Ten Most Popular Posts

As 2013 draws to a close, I review which articles on Ask Leo! were the most popular and briefly discuss what trends that I feel they reveal.

What’s the difference between an ad and your recommendation?

Advertisements, just like in newspapers or magazines, are nothing more than rented space on a page and should never be confused with recommendations.

Can I copy one USB drive to another without using a computer?

Copying a USB drive without a computer is unlikely. Even a USB duplication
device will need to be some sort of computer.

Is Google Talk a good thing?

Google Talk is a way to talk with other people on their computers. That’s
good if you want to do it and don’t already have an alternative service.

How do I move all emails of a certain year to a folder?

Moving emails to a folder for storage depends on which email program you are
using. First you sort them…

Is cloud backup a reasonable alternative to an external hard drive?

Cloud backup vs. backing up to an external drive isn’t really a debate. You
may want to do both!

Why does Flash keep crashing in Firefox, but work fine in Chrome and IE?

Flash crashing in Firefox means something is wrong with either Flash or
Firefox. We’ll take an investigative approach to get running again.

How Do I Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disk, and What Can I Do With It?

One of the often overlooked steps in preparing for disaster is creating a system repair disk. I’ll review how to do that and what it does and does not do.

Why am I getting tracking cookies from your site?

“Tracking” cookies from most sites aren’t that bad, and usually not tracking
you personally. They are there to help with your user experience.

Which laptop is best?

The best laptop is the one that will fit your needs. To decide what you want
you’ll need to first look at how you’ll use it.

How can I switch back to the old Hotmail from

If it is still possible to switch back to Hotmail… it won’t be available
for long. If you really hate it, you might want to consider changing

There’s Just No Need to Hate Windows 8

I recently upgraded my primary desktop machine to Windows 8. I did so with some trepidation after hearing many complaints. My reaction: what’s all the fuss about?

Leo’s 2013 Sabbatical Results

When I went on my sabbatical, I didn’t share the whole story. Even the word “sabbatical” wasn’t quite right. Here’s the background.

Why Am I Asked About Putting a lot of Things on the Clipboard? And What’s a Clipboard?

A message saying you have lots of things on the clipboard is common and
nothing to worry about. It’s simply managing the information you have copied
into memory.

Why Are Blank Messages Showing Up in My Hotmail Drafts Folder?

Blank messages in your drafts folder don’t necessarily indicate a hacker. There
could be a less nefarious explanation.

Why might streaming music play only with starts and stops?

Music that starts and stops while streaming indicates some resource is
overloaded. We’ll check for overloads on both the internet and locally on your computer.

Will Roboform or Lastpass bypass keyloggers?

A password tool may bypass a few keyloggers – but that’s no reason to use
it. You should be thinking of your overall computer and account safety.

Can I move this green block of files in disk defragmenter?

A green bar in disk defragmenter shows files on the hard drive that cannot be
moved. Usually nothing to worry about.

Can I remove all these updates listed in add/remove programs?

Removing updates from “Add-Remove Programs” would be a bad idea. You would
be removing updates that your system needs to run smoothly and safely.

Why do some sites ask to store information on my machine?

Sites download information onto your hard drive to create a smooth user
experience. There is a simple action that will solve the whole problem.

What does it mean when “traces” are left behind from malware removal?

Traces of malware could be left in various places on a computer after a
virus or spyware infection. First thing: don’t panic!

Why do some Android apps need so many permissions?

Android app sometimes legitimately need services from your phone. But it’s always good to use some caution in giving out permissions.

Does minimizing the time data is spent in use improve security?

Improving data security is best done by keeping anti-malware scans up to
date, and practicing safe internet policy.

Do I need to be online to perform anti-malware scans or backups?

An internet connection is not required for anti-malware scans and backups,
but it is required to keep your software up-to-date.

What password should I change on my router for security?

Routers have several usernames and passwords. One is very important to
change for network security.

Are bigger internal memory or RAM sticks faster then those with less capacity?

Bigger RAM sticks only matter if they help add up the overall total internal
RAM in a computer. Get the most you can!

Are hard drives getting more reliable?

Drives are getting bigger, but are they more reliable? That’s a hard

How do I know what sites to enable in NoScript?

Enabling sites in NoScript is usually done on a site-by-site basis. Each
webpage is different and will need to be checked individually.

How do I obtain the ID of a spammer to block their spam?

You can’t effectively block a spammer’s ID, IP address, or “from” email
address because they’ll just change it and keep sending spam. There’s only one way to battle spam.

How do I enter my product key if I can't read it from the sticker on my machine?

When the Windows sticker becomes worn it is hard to read the product key.
There is software to retrieve it from the installation, but that may not

Why does copying text from some sites cause a program to stop working?

Copying text from websites shouldn’t cause a “stopped working” error. This
will take some investigation.

Why does my backup fail after 13 discs?

That’s a lot of CDs to juggle! Backing up to that many discs can easily fail
from the mechanics of handling those CDs, or from using backup software that
isn’t reliable.

Do I need a specific type of Ethernet card to connect to the internet through my DSL modem?

An Ethernet card to connect an older computer to DSL needs the right
connectors. You may be able to find one secondhand.

Why does my screen suddenly scroll to the bottom when I'm typing?

A screen suddenly scrolling on a new laptop sounds like a touchpad problem.
There is an easy way to test for that.