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Aunty Virus - free computer help and advice

  • Aunty Virus 25th July 2017

    Jason via email asks:
    I have recently acquired a fairly new laptop with Windows10 and before that I had  Windows XP on an old Acer Tower PC. If I ever ran into a minor problem on my old Tower system I could easily restore my computer to a previous time before the problem occurred by using System Restore. I have experienced a number of problems with Windows 10 and my HP printer but I cannot for the life of me find the old fashion system restore program. Can I still do this in Windows10 and, if so, how?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Jason. You can still use the old style System Restore but Microsoft have made it a little more difficult to find than it was in Windows XP. The easiest way to find it is to click the Windows/Start icon (looks like a flag) and type SYSTEM RESTORE which should bring up the System Restore control panel. You may first need to switch on System Restore by creating a restore point.

    Jim via email asks:
     Hi Aunty, somehow I have deleted all my WhatsApp history conversation with my wife! I have tried unsuccessfully to get them back but is this something you can
    help me with? I have an iPhone 7Plus.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Jim. WhatsApp automatically does a backup at around 3AM everyday which it may restore if you uninstall and reinstall the WhatsApp app, but you will only know by trying. If you want to keep a more controlled backup you can tell WhatsApp to backup to Google One Drive from the “settings” and “chats” menu via the three small dots top right.

    Elizabeth from Rojales asks:
    Hi Aunty. For some reason my Google translator has stopped working. When I copy some Spanish text from a document into the Google Translator app on my desktop, it just sits there showing a spinning symbol but nothing happens.  I am using Windows 10 and I use Google Chrome to access the Internet. Any ideas?
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Elizabeth. I have always accessed the Google Translator via the official Google website which seems to work 100% of the time. Because you are using Google’s Chrome as your browser you can also easily add the translator extension as a permanent fixture (which you can get from the Chrome Web Store) which will allow you to easily and quickly translate a whole webpage using the right mouse button.

    Pam via email asks:
    Hello Aunty, I have a Windows 10 laptop and I am recently getting a message that my trial version of McAfee will expire soon. I don’t remember signing up for a trial but should I go ahead with this or just ignore it, what are my alternatives?
    Aunty Says:
    I wouldn’t bother Pam. The free trial from McAfee was probably pre-installed on your laptop or sneaked on when you did an Adobe Reader install. Windows 10 comes 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 4th July 2017

    Dan via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, every time I go on the internet a warning comes up saying, "your Windows license will expire soon". I go to the settings and put in my product key which is on the bottom of my laptop, but it says it is not valid. I was on windows 7 (I think), but took advantage of the free windows 10 upgrade about 18 months ago. I`ve been on the internet looking for a fix and tried a good few, but to no avail. Any help would be gratefully accepted.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Dan. If you definitely have a valid Windows 7 license sticker/key then you should be able to reactivate your copy of Windows 10. If entering the 25 digit number doesn’t work then you can maybe try the built in support chat feature that come with Windows 10. If you type CONTACT SUPPORT into the search box (near your Start icon) you can access the app and explain exactly what you have told me and you should get sorted. They may ask if it’s OK for them to temporarily have remote access to your computer which is fine as it is a secure chat connection that you have initiated; just to be clear, if you ever get a phone call from someone supposedly from Microsoft asking for access to your computer then that is definitely a scam so tell them you live in a tent and don’t have a computer.

    Frank from Catral asks:
    I am going to uninstall MacAfee from my computer as it is taking forever to startup and coincidently it is the only program that I have installed in the last 6 months. I have Malwarebytes and Spybot so do you think they will be enough to keep me safe? I do a fair bit of stuff on Ebay and Amazon and I do all my banking in the internet these days. I have Windows 10 and a Lenovo laptop.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Frank. It’s quite sad really because MacAfee used to be a great free antivirus program, but it does seem to have gone the same way as a lot of them and now it loads a lot of unwanted additional junk on your computer which can slow startup and surfing down to a crawl. You will still need an antivirus program to run alongside your two antispyware programs so activate the built in Windows Defender which came bundled with Windows 10. Once you’ve removed MacAfee, type DEFENDER into the search box and the app should appear in the list.

    Tony via email asks:
    I have just replace my tower with a new laptop with Windows 10 and I seem to have a problem with my Canon MG Wi-Fi printer. When I try to print I keep getting a “Printer Offline" message but I have tried everything that I can think of. Everything worked fine with my Windows 7 PC.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Tony. Wi-Fi printing is still in its infancy but I’ve found 99% of the time, downloading the latest software for your printer from the support section of the manufacturer’s website ( will fix things. Let me know how you get on.

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

  • Aunty Virus 26th July

    Ben via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I had a countdown timer that popped up on my laptop telling me I only had 8 days and 4 hours to get my free Windows 10 upgrade, so the question is, should I stick with Windows 7 that I love and has never given me any problems, or should I go for the upgrade to Windows 10 which I’m a bit wary about?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Ben. Firstly Win7 is safe and will be supported up until January 14th 2020, so if you do choose to opt out of the free upgrade you will be OK for a good while. Win8 seems to be having more and more problems so in my opinion if any of you are running Win8 then do take advantage of the free upgrade. As of mid July there are still around 50% of us still using Win7, compared to just 10% using Win8, so I imagine Microsoft will focus more resources keeping it’s Win7 users happy. I took advantage of the Win7 to Win10 upgrade and I’m very impressed.

    Lisa via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. In the last couple of days I have regularly been getting a message 'Policia Atencion' coming up (screen snapshot attached) and I can only get rid of it temporarily using Task Manager and then each time it appears it is from a different website. Any ideas on what is it and how on earth do I get rid of it?
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Lisa. This is a nasty virus that has been doing the rounds since 2010 and has morphed into different forms. Originally it appeared to be from the FBI and warned the victim that “illegal copyright or porn activity has been detected on your computer, but if you pay $200 you would get off with just a warning” The virus writers then adapted it to include the Metropolitan Police, and recently Interpol, and I have recently seen it showing up on a few Android devices. It is very authentic looking and pretty much stops you doing anything until you pay the fee. It is a really tricky virus to remove completely so maybe give it a go with your favourite antivirus program and Malwarebytes. If this fails then let me know and we can try a few other things.

    Terry via email asks:
    Hi there. I was running Windows 7 and I upgraded to 10 but prior to, and since the upgrade, I often get the error “cannot connect to DNS server”. My connection is showing reasonable signal strength but I'm also told I'm not connected. I have Advance System Care installed along with I0bit Malware Fighter. Could you please help?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi there Terry. The first thing I would suggest is to uninstall both those dodgy IObit apps and install Malwarebytes and do a full system scan. Also enable the built in Windows Defender antivirus app and do a full system scan with that as well. I think that will solve the problem but if not then there are a few simple tweaks in the “Network and Sharing Centre” but we can look into that if need be.

    Well that’s all folks, email me your problems to and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 19th July

    Ian via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I have a UK laptop with Windows 7 and I have just returned back to Spain and I am being pestered to sign up for the free Windows 10 upgrade and I'm tempted because of the magic word, FREE! What sort of problems can I expect and will it be in English or is it better sticking with Windows 7? Hope you can help.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Ian. Yes it is totally free (if you have a genuine install of Win7 or 8) and it will detect and upgrade in your current language. So far I have heard pretty much all good things about Win10 so I would go for it before the free upgrade offer runs out at the end of this month (July 2016). If you have any very old programs/apps then you may find they need reinstalling and also make sure you have a backup of any photos or documents just in case.

    Sandra via email asks:
    I have a new Toshiba laptop running Windows 10 which came with the Microsoft Student & Office app pre-installed. Unfortunately this turned out to be just a trial version and is now warning me that it will expire in 4 days. I use Word every day and have tried the free Open Office but it doesn’t seem to work the same. Is there any other program I can use?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Sandra. There is a great free Word type app that come pre-bundled with Windows called “Wordpad” so click on the start button and type Wordpad and it should show in the list. If you need more functionality then maybe try Google Docs or Libre Office which are both free and work as really good substitutes for Microsoft apps. I’m surprised that you didn’t find Open Office suitable (I am writing this with it) as it pretty much does everything that the Microsoft Office suite can do.

    Louise via email asks:
    Dear Aunty, You have been kind enough to help me in the past and I am now having so much trouble with my laptop because randomly and at no particular time it will simply shut down and I have to restart it again with the on/off button. Can you help me in any way to solve the problem? Keep up the great work.
    Aunty Says:
    Normally Louise when a computer consistently shuts down it is caused by overheating, and this generally gets worse as it heats up. Blowing any fluff from the air vents underneath and around the sides, and also propping the laptop up slightly so cool air can flow underneath will often improve things. As your problem is random and I guess happens regardless of how long you have been using it then maybe check you don’t have a loose connection where the power charger is plugged in. Keep me posted.

    Well that’s all for this week, email me your problems to and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 6th July

    David Cook from El Albir asks:
    Dear Aunty. I've seen advice to install all available Windows 7 updates before installing the free upgrade to Windows 10 but my Windows 7 PC freezes/hangs for ever when it’s searching for updates. The last updates were installed on 28/29 Jan 2016. I restored it back to the last restore point of March 2016, but it still hangs.  Should I go for the upgrade anyway?  I wanted to try Windows 10 and see what programs do not work before upgrading (or not) my Windows 8.1 PC, which I love and is up to date.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello David. Go for the Windows 10 upgrade as your version of Win7 should be sufficiently up to date, and of course you can roll-back to your original Win7 within a month of the upgrade. It does concern me that your Win7 updates are failing as this hints that you may have a virus or corrupted system files but I’m quietly confident that the Win10 upgrade will fix, or at least highlight any such problems.

    John from Benidorm asks:
    Good Morning Aunty. Can you offer some guidance on how to handle the “downloads” folder.   Mine fills up with numerous files over the years, most of them difficult to identify and apparently useless. I feel like simply deleting them all, but it seems I will need to do this one by one?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi John. You can cut/paste any files you want to keep by using the right mouse or laptop touchpad button, here’s how. Once you have opened your downloads folder, right click on a file and choose “cut” then right click on a folder in the left windows (Picture, Documents or Music) and choose “paste”. Once you’re happy you have moved any valuable files you can simply highlight the entire remaining & unwanted contents of your downloads folder by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing “a” and then right click and “delete”. Depending on which version of Windows you have you will also be able to access these copy, cut and paste functions from the menu or “Organize” button. Do practice this as these are important housekeeping tasks that we should all keep on top of.

    Couchpod via email asks:
    I am thinking of uninstalling AVG free from my computer as it is slowing it down on startup. I can't seem to disable the update on startup. I have CCleaner, Malwarebytes and Spywareblaster (free). Is that enough to keep it safe, and am I wrong to blame AVG? It seems worse since I updated it recently. I have version 16.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Couchpod. AVG used to be my favourite free antivirus program but it does seem to have gone the same way as a lot of the old guards and over bloated itself with unnecessary, and often detrimental add-on features. I think you will still need an antivirus program alongside the two anti spyware programs so activate the built in Windows Defender (Win 8 and 10) previously known as Microsoft Security Essentials.

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



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