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Aunty Virus - free computer help and advice

  • Aunty Virus 30th May 2017

    Frank from Pego asks:
    Hi Aunty. Many places are offering Android TV boxes and claiming that an internet speed of minimum 2Mbps is required for them to work. Tutorials on sites like YouTube often review these boxes and in almost all cases it seems a minimum internet speed of 50 to 100Mbps is the norm. Even at these speeds, buffering occurs, especially on live TV channels.  Do you know of any location in our part of Spain that provides internet speeds which are higher than the maximum 6.5 to 10Mbps? I feel that many people are purchasing Android IPTV boxes expecting to receive the thousands of channels that are advertised, and are disappointed when the promise does not materialise. Your advice is always appreciated, and this item could help many potential purchasers to decide if the outlay is worth it.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Frank. Most of these new wave of cheapo Android TV boxes will be setup to use Kodi and Mobdro which I find works 90% OK on 8Mbps, but even with a supposedly 8Mb connection your internet speed may drift up and down and this will cause the dreaded “buffering” problem.  Even with a fast and stable internet connection you can sometimes experience a poor quality stream if the source of the stream is overloaded i.e. too many people are trying to watch stuff sent from the same source. The legality of watching subscription channels via IPTV is still a very dark grey area, and we may or may not be breaching all kinds of copyright infringements, but it is a well known fact that the likes of Sky and Premier League are doing their best to “disrupt” these illegal services which I translate into them deliberately hacking and overloading the servers. Fiber optics is slowly appearing around the towns so keep an eye in the local papers to see who is offering what. In the meantime I would  suggest running a few times a day over a few days and if you’re getting a reasonably steady 8Mbps then try an IPTV android box and take it on the chin if it doesn’t work.

    Denise via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. A couple of months ago my hubby treated me to a new Dell laptop but recently I’ve had a constant notification that my trial version of McAfee Security has expired but I don’t remember ever signing up for a free trial and I certainly don’t want to pay for something I haven’t requested. Would you consider it a good product and would it be safe to pay for it over the internet? I am a bit green with computers so please explain in a simple language.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Denise. The free trial of MacAfee could have been pre-installed on your laptop or it could have sneaked its way onto your computer when you install or update your Adobe Reader app. I’ve always been a big fan of Microsoft’s Defender which comes pre-bundled with Windows 8.1 and 10 and it is free so no need to purchase anything over the Internet. You will first need to uninstall McAfee using the “Apps & Features” function (start icon and type APPS into the search box) and Windows Defender should then take over as your antivirus program. You should also install the free Malwarebytes or Superantispyware.

    Well that’s all for this week folks, email you questions to and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 22nd May 2017

    Mary from Benijofar asks:
    After this recent virus that was on the news (that crippled the NHS) I’m worried that I don’t have a backup of my computer, and should anything like that happen I would be lost. I followed your advice in one of your previous articles and I have copied my Pictures and Documents folders onto a USB stick (which I add to every few weeks) but do I also need to have some kind of recovery disk to include my Windows and apps? I have a Lenovo laptop with Windows 10. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Aunty Says:
    By keeping a separate copy of your personal stuff on a separate device Mary you are doing the most important thing, but you absolutely must remember to unplug the USB stick once you have copied your files, as that particular strain of virus (ransomware) is capable of also infecting your data on external hard drives & USB memory sticks. If you also want to backup your Windows system you can quite easily create a “recovery drive” onto another USB stick by using the built in Recovery app. Click on the Start icon and type RECOVERY and double click on the “Create a Recovery Drive” option. A new window will popup, click on “next” and it will tell you how big a USB stick you will need. Personally I would buy a good brand 32GB USB3, such as Kingston or Sandisk, and use it just for this task.

    Lynda from Almoradi asks:
    Everyone loves free WatsApp calls, and other free apps, which made me wonder, are they really free? Also I have a friend who forwards me, via WhatsApp, quotations, jokes and chain letters, urging me to forward on to my address book! I never do but I am curious as to what is the point of these? Does this make money for someone and does it use up data. Apologies if this is common knowledge as I am not very techno wise.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Lynda. WhatsApp now have upwards of 900 million users which is an immense marketplace for advertisers, and this is where/how we pay. These quotations and jokes that do the rounds are mostly harmless but unfortunately they will use up a small amount of your internet. Anyone knowingly forwarding this kind of junk should be banned from using the Internet for 6 months and made to sit a rehabilitation exam.

    Keith via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. When I receive an email or message in Spanish is there any way to convert that message into English on my iPad or iPhone?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Keith. I’m not an Apple user but I use the Google Translate app on my Android phone which works great with Google Gmail and Chrome. I believe there is a similar app called iTranslate in Apple’s App Store which will do a similar job with Apple’s email app and Safari.

    Any questions you can email me at and I’ll see you all next week.

  • Aunty Virus 16th May 2017

    Beth from Murcia asks:
    Hello Aunty. When I go onto some of my favourite websites or email page, loads of adverts keep popping up. When this happens it can stop me from typing and even freeze my laptop. Is there any way that I can stop these ads appearing as they are so annoying? I am using Windows 8 and Google Chrome.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Beth. I’m still a huge fan of Adblock which you can get from It is “pay what you like” which is basically free if you don’t feel like paying for it. You should also definitely give your machine a full scan with Malwarebytes and your favourite antivirus program.

    Brian via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I have a question that’s not technically computer related but I hope you can still help. I have a Samsung Galaxy phone which has become very slow and is now all but unusable because (I am told by my niece) due to all of the apps I have installed. I use Skype and Facebook and a few games. She advised me to install an “SD card” and then transfer some of my stuff from the phone’s internal memory onto the new SD card, which will apparently free up some valuable space. I have no idea how to do this and before I take it into my local shop I would like some advice so I know what I am paying for, or even have a go myself if it isn’t too technical. I do hope you can help.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Brian. It’s not too difficult so have a go yourself, what’s the worst that could happen!? What you will need to do first is purchase a Micro SD card, which you can pick up from Media Mark or Carrefour for under €15 for a 32GB one. Switch off your phone/tablet and locate the slot where the card will go, you will either have a slot on the side somewhere or you will need to gently prise the back cover off but if you’re not sure then I would suggest Googling this with the model of your phone. Once your new SD card is installed you can switch your device back on and go to “settings” “apps manager” and you will see a list of all kind of apps that are on your phone, some you will recognize but most will be system/android apps. Locate Skype in the list and it will give you the option “Move to SD card”. Do this for any apps you recognize but don’t worry because if an app can’t be moved it will have the “Move to SD card” option greyed out. You can do the same for photos but try this first and let me know how you get on.

    Mark via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, I use Google Chrome for surfing the Internet and for accessing my Gmail. After some kind of update or scan last week it now comes up in Spanish, and although I can get by it’s the spell checker that is annoying me as it is constantly showing errors and it tries to change English words to Spanish words. Can you please tell me if I can force it back to English?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Mark. Probably the easiest way is to use (rather than .com or .es) as this will force the English version, and Gmail and most search results will then be the UK ones. Windows and Chrome both check your location and choose what language accordingly and as .com sites are global this will cause this kind of problem.

    Any questions you can email me at /Documents/Aunty/"> and I’ll see you all next week.

  • Aunty Virus 9th May 2017

    Jack from Torre La Mata asks:
    Good day Aunty. On my old (and dearly missed) XP tower PC I used to have 2 icons on my desktop startup screen that took me straight to my Yahoo email and also to my bowls webpages which I access every morning. On my new laptop I have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get to where I want to go. I cannot remember who set them up for me and I daren’t fiddle around with my new laptop too much. I have Windows 10 and use Chrome to go onto the internet.
    Aunty says:
    Hi Jack. Google have made this really simple in Chrome and here’s what you do. Once you are on your Yahoo email page if you click on the three vertical dots in the very top right corner you will see a drop down menu. Hover over the “More tools” option and you will see “Add to desktop…” Click on this and it will bring up a small box where you can name the link and tick the “Open as windows” box. Repeat this for your bowls site and it’s as simple as that.

    David via email asks:
    Hello  Aunty,   Hope you can help me as you have in the past. For some time now when using Firefox and when I go to Hotmail it always comes up with an error. I have removed & reloaded Firefox but it's still the same. I do use another browser but prefer Firefox most of the time. Hope you can help.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi David. Without seeing the content of the error message I can’t be sure of the exact source of the problem but there is one generic fix you could try. One very common problem is an out of date bookmark/favorite. Microsoft are continually messing around with their email system and Hotmail has since been replaced with Outlook then LiveMail (or is it the other way round) so maybe try going to or where you should be able to login using your Hotmail details. If this works you should delete the old bookmark and create a new one.

    Ron from Los Balcones asks:
    Hi Aunty. When my whiz kid 15 year old Grandson was over from New Zealand he used a 4 digit PIN number that he used to access his HP laptop which seems so much easier than my long and complicated password. He told me how to do it but I didn’t want to appear dumb so I just nodded and pretended I understood! Is this something simple enough for an old grey dinosaur to do or will I need to take it in somewhere? I have a Lenovo Idealpad with Windows 10.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Ron. This is a really useful feature in Windows 10 and very easy to setup. Click on the Start icon and type SETTINGS and press enter. From the windows that pops up click on the “Accounts” section and choose “Sign-in options” and the rest is fairly obvious (if any of you don’t already have a normal password setup then you will first need to add one)

    That’ll do for this week. Email me your problems to and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 2nd May 2017

    Harold via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, could you please tell me how to completely remove AVG from my laptop as I'm sick of  it popping up every time I start Windows and when I go on the internet.  I did the free upgrade to Windows 10 about a year ago and following your brilliant advice I have been using the built in Windows Defender and Malwarebytes and I am happy this is enough security.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Harold. The standard way of removing AVG is through ‘Control Panel’ ‘programs and features’ (either right click on the Start icon or type control panel into the search box) but if you´ve tried this and it still appearing then maybe try AVG’s handy removal tool which you will find by typing AVG REMOVER into Google.

    Valerie via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. I recently bought a second hand Acer laptop that is supposedly less than 12 months old but I seriously have my doubts. It keeps randomly freezing at no particular time and sometimes it restarts with no warning, and when it restarts it is has a message something like “Ooops the disk needs to scanned and repaired” I have taken it back to the shop where I bought it from in Montesisnos but typically it doesn’t ever go wrong when it’s there. It is not in that bad condition and I have Windows 7 Ultimate. Any suggestions?
    Aunty Says:

    Hi Valerie. Its difficult to be 100% sure but this sounds typical of an overheating problem, or possibly a dying hard disk. Before you do anything you should make a backup copy of any personal photos & documents just in case the laptop’s hard drive completely packs up. A quick and easy fix that you can do yourself is to check that all the air vents around the sides and underneath are clear from dust & fluff. I’m a tad curious that a “less than 12 month old” laptop should have Win7 because the newest version of Windows (Win10) has been around for nearly 2 years and its predecessor (Win8) is getting on for 4 years old.  Anytime I have seen a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate (or Enterprise) it has been a cracked copy. Can you send me the make/model Valerie and I will investigate further.

    Ben from La Zenia asks:
    Hi Aunty I hope you can help me. I have signed up for my Water bill (Agamed) online but when it arrives in my email inbox, I can read it on the screen but I would like to download (and sometimes print) a copy. It comes attached as a PDF file but when I double click to open or download it, a window appears asking “open with” and “choose the program you want to use to open the file’. I have to scroll through a list and choose Adobe Acrobat Reader and everything seems OK but how can I stop it asking this every time?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Ben. There should be a box you can tick to ‘always use the selected program’ which will stop the message re-appearing.

    Well that’s it for this week. Email me your questions to and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 24th May

    Victor via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, could you please tell me how to remove AVG from my computer? I'm fed up with it popping up every time I start my laptop or when I go on the internet.  I have upgraded to Windows 10 and installed the new Windows Defender and Malwarebytes and I am told this is enough security.
    Aunty Says:
    Those should be enough Victor. You can remove AVG from ‘Control Panel’ ‘programs and features’ (type control panel into the search box) but if you´ve tried this and it still pops up then maybe try AVG’s very own removal tool which you will find by typing AVG REMOVER into Google.

    Michael via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I have gone over to Windows 10 and my Google translator has stopped working! The translation in progress just keeps spinning and nothing happens, any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Michael. I will need to know what browser you are using to be 100% sure (Chrome or Firefox etc) but I have always accessed the Google Translator via the Google website which seems to work OK regardless of which browser you are using.

    Marco via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, I am having a seriously annoying problem with my laptop. It shuts down for no apparent reason and I have to restart it again with the on/off button and it will often launch a repair which can take forever to finish. Can you advise me as although it is a 6 year old Dell I am very attached to it?
    Aunty Says:
    Normally Marco when a laptop consistently switches off this is a sure sign it is overheating and will likely get worse as the summer comes. Blowing any dust & fluff from the air vents underneath and around the sides will help, and also propping the laptop up slightly so cool air can flow underneath will often improve things. If your problem happens randomly then maybe also check you don’t have a loose connection where the power charger is plugged in. Keep me posted.

    Graham from Newcastle asks:
    Hello Aunty, I have a Dell laptop with Windows 8 for years and just use it for emails, skype and flights etc. but I am recently getting a message that my trial version of my McAfee security program has expired. I don’t ever recall signing up for a free (or any) trial and I don’t think I should have to pay for something I didn’t ask for but I will if I have to. Should I trust this and pay over the internet or keep ignoring it? And what is the best simple alternative?
    Aunty Says:
    I wouldn’t bother Graham. The free trial from MacAfee was likely either pre-installed on your laptop or installed when you did an Adobe Reader or Flash Player update/install. The question of what is the best antivirus/security program is constantly changing but Windows 8 and 10 both come with Windows Defender built in, which coupled with the free Malwarebytes, should give you adequate protection. No amount of security programs will guarantee you 100% protection but as long as you use a bit of common sense and you’re careful as to what websites & links you are accessing you should be fine.

    Email me your questions to and I will see you all next week

  • Aunty Virus 17th May

    Mark via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. I travel back to the UK quite often and was recently over there using my son’s BT fibre optic internet but when I used my iPlayer to watch some movies it told me that it was unable to play the film as I was not in the UK. I have been doing exactly the same for 2 years but this has never happened. It is an HP Pavilion with Windows 7.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Mark. It’s possible that the iPlayer app or website is checking your location or regional settings, and because they are set to Spain it is assuming you are in Spain. The next time you are over there go to “Control Panel” and under the “Region and Language” setting you can change your location to the UK.

    Sue via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. My 5 year old Sony laptop has started to show a blinking green light on the front which is by a battery symbol. It occasionally changes to an orange light, and when it does I get a warning flash up that the battery is critical and to plug into the mains supply. I only ever have it plugged in to the wall and switch it off and unplug it at night but I am worried that I may damage the laptop. Please can you advise what I should do?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Sue. It’s probably time for a new battery, but as you are running your laptop only from the mains then you may as well take your battery out. If you flip your laptop over you should see a spring loaded catch and probably a similar lock that you simply slide and lift the battery out.

    Simon via email asks:
    Dear Aunty, I recently upgraded my tower for a new Windows 10 laptop which has been fine for downloading films and music which is all I use it for. The only problem that I am having is that I have already filled it up very quickly (the hard disk is 320GB) so is it easy enough to add another one or upgrade the hard drive that is in there?
    Aunty Says:
    You won’t be able to add another disk Simon, and although you could in theory replace the existing one, there will be a huge amount of work reinstalling Windows/programs and transferring all your data. You may find using a USB3 external hard disk easier (and cheaper) and you won’t need a geek to fit it. You can pick a 1TB one up for under €50 which you simply plug into a spare USB3 port (USB sockets are blue and faster) and it will simply appear as a new drive letter where you should move all of your films.

    That’s all for this week, any questions you can email me at and I’ll see you all next week.

  • Aunty Virus 10th May

    A quick reminder/disclaimer folks; I do not write or contribute to the article in the Round Town News. My correct email address is


    John via email asks:
    Hello Aunty, since I had my laptop upgraded to Windows 10 I have had a strange startup problem. When startup is done I have no internet connection and I find that doing a restart fixes the problem. What do you think could be the cause?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi John. This was a big problem with Windows 8, but the upgrade to 10 usually sorts it out. You may be lucky and find that manually initiating the Windows Update process fixes this so click on the “Start” icon and go to “Settings” and click on the “Updates & Security option”. You may see that there are already some updates waiting to install or click on the “Check for updates” button. The other thing to try is to check you have the correct drivers for your Wi-Fi card which you can download from the support/downloads page on your laptop manufacturer’s website.


    Liam from Torrevieja asks:
    Hello Aunty. I purchased a Vodafone USB dongle that I pay as an addition to my mobile phone contract and I use it mostly when we go caravanning around Spain. For the last 10 days our internet has become so slow it is unusable and my daughter’s Samsung phone is also bad. Everything works fine if we connect in a cafe on their WiFi so how can one work but the other doesn’t?
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Liam. Most likely you have exceeded your monthly download quota which will temporarily throttle your download speed to a mere trickle. This could also be caused by poor signal strength of Vodafone’s 4G coverage, but if you've tried it in numerous locations then I would imagine it is your quota.


    Sue via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, I use Google Chrome for browsing and for my gmail emails but last week it has changed to Spanish and I although I can struggle through with most things, my spell checker is always alerting me and sometimes changing English words to Spanish words. Can you please tell me if I can force it back to English?
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Sue. Probably the easiest way is to use rather than .com or .es as this will force the UK English version, and Gmail and most search results will then be the UK ones. Windows and Chrome checks your location and then chooses what language you need, and as .com sites are global this will cause this kind of problem.


    Alan via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. Following an update to Windows 10 some of my icons failed to work correctly.
    For example, my Windows Start icon would not respond to a normal mouse click, but would give me a menu from a right click, likewise the speaker and Wi-Fi control icons would do nothing with a left mouse click but would pop up a small menu following a right click. I did a restore back to April 24 and things came back to normal. If it happens again, how can I access the list of available Wi-Fi networks that I would normally see from a click on the Wi-Fi icon in the bottom right corner?
    Aunty Says:
    This could be a software/driver issue with your mouse or touchpad Alan, but there was a known problem very similar to this that Microsoft have been aware of and have recently released an update to fix it. Can you try a USB mouse just to eliminate whether this is a mouse/touchpad problem and maybe try the manual update solution that I suggested to John.


    Email me your questions to and I will see you all next week

  • Aunty Virus 3rd May

    Patrick via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. I have just had my Windows Vista upgraded to Windows 10 but now when I have an incoming message I cannot for the life of me work out how to print it. I can’t find any button or icon that says “print” and I got so frustrated that I resorted to writing an old pen and stamp style letter that, if I ever find a post box, I imagine will take 3 weeks to get to my brother in Ireland. It is not as easy to use as the last system I had.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Patrick. I’m not 100% sure what kind of message you are trying to print but I imagine you are using the horrible email app that comes with Windows 8 and 10. Try holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key whilst pressing the ‘P’ key which normally brings up the print function with most apps in all versions of Windows. I can see from your email address that you are using Yahoo mail so maybe try accessing your email via and see if that looks more familiar. There’s a post box out the front of Carrefour if that fails.

    Lisa via email asks:
    I have a new laptop running Windows 10 which came with the trial Microsoft 365 Office app pre-installed. Annoyingly this is now warning me that it will expire in 7 days and I don’t want to pay the extortionate price that Microsoft are asking for Office. I use Word every day and have tried the free LibreOffice but it’s way too complicated for what I want to do. Is there any other program that you know of?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Lisa. There is a basic app bundled with Windows called Wordpad which pretty much does everything that most of us require, plus it is laid out very similar to Microsoft Word. Click in the search field (bottom left corner down by the start icon) and type Wordpad and then double click on the top one in the list that pops up.

    David and Beverly ask:
    Hello Aunty. I have an HP ProBook running Windows 7 and I use Internet Explorer 11 (IE) but I have never been able to play videos on some news websites, the Daily Mail for example, but other sites such as The Independent play fine, as do videos on YouTube. Now however I cannot get any video to play using IE, instead I just get “could not install media” messages. The problem seems exclusive to IE as other browsers such as Chrome seem to play videos without any problem. I have reset all settings to the default, I have reinstalled the latest IE but I’ve avoided uninstalling IE as I have lots of bookmarks which is the main reason I have stuck with it. I have reinstalled Flash, Java etc and I run Avast for security. I also use Malwarebytes and Advanced System Care regularly as clean up tools.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello David and Beverly. Wow you have pretty much covered every angle there so I’m going to suggest you simply stick with Google Chrome instead of IE and use the “Import bookmarks and settings” option to bring in your favourites and passwords etc from IE and/or Firefox. I would strongly recommend uninstalling Advance System Care (and any other apps you find from iOBit) as I have seen an alarming amount of computers riddled and crippled by this dodgy software.

    Email me your questions to and I will see you all next week


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