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  • Aunty Virus 25th Apr 2017

    Jan via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I have bought a printer over here in Spain and replaced inks with compatibles from England but can't seem to get it to work, it keeps showing there is no ink. It's an Epson sx253. Can you help with any ideas?
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Jan. Was the printer standing for a while? as this can cause the print nozzles & heads to clog. Also you will need to check that the inks that you have brought over from the UK haven’t dried out and that they are a reasonable quality brand. There should be an Epson printer maintenance option on your computer that will let you run a few simple tests to try and flush out any dried ink or blocked nozzles.


    Ted from Campoverde asks:
    Iwas given a Lenovo tablet whilst in the UK butI didn’t get itsetupuntil I was back herein Spain. Ihave managed todownload and install the kindle appso I can get my books butany new ones I look forare coming up in Spanish. I have noticed that Google PlayStore is in Spanish so I’m supposingthisisbecause I have set it up in Spain or is there a way of changing the language to English? The tablet is registered to an English Address so should this make a difference? Thank you.
    Aunty Says:
    Ted. There aresettings that you need to change on your phone and within your Google account, and possibly within the Play Store app. On your phone settings you need to set your location up as the UK(or Ireland) and then the same with your Google account. Once you’ve signed back in to the Play Store you should find everything is in English. As expats we do need to spend a little time manually setting up our location because most devices (including Windows & Apple) will use your Internet address to auto detect where you and force all of you downloads and apps etc. into Spanish. All devices are a little different but I found searching Google gave me some more detailed instructions.


    Malcolm via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, I have a new HP laptop with Windows 10 and it has taken a bit of time to get used to but I quite like it now. There is one thing is driving me crazy though and that is, where is my old friend The Recycle Bin?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Malcolm. If it is not automatically showing on your desktop then right click on and empty space on your desktopthen select “Personalize” and then “Themes” and “Desktop icon settings” and tick/slide the Recycle Bin check box. Click apply and you should be cooking on gas.

    That’s all for this week people, email me your questions and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 18 Apr 2017

    Beth from Guadamar asks:
    Hello Aunty. When I go on to the Internet with Chrome to get my Gmail emails I keep getting my Google search page in Spanish. I have followed your previous instructions and set as my home page but when it loads it seems to change to and gives me mostly Spanish search results. My Nephew found me a way around this by adding “” as a bookmark but it’s not the tidiest solution.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Beth. I think what you have done here is a very easy mistake where you have used the .com ending instead of the Basically what happens here is that Chrome is trying to be helpful and has detected you are in Spain and returning what it thinks are most relevant search results, but by using the extension you are directing everything to UK based sources. This works with most websites and Amazon & EBay are great examples. For those of you who need a reminder of how to set your homepage; go to the settings section of Google Chrome (click on the three dots in the top right corner) and change the “on startup” and “search”  sections to (or .ie for Ireland) and you should find you get a lot more relevant results from any searches.

    Pat via email asks:
    Dear Aunty. I print a few bits & bobs now & then and nearly everything I print is text so I very rarely print using colour (not deliberately but my boarding passes are usually plastered with colour adverts) yet I seem to get through nearly as much colour ink as I do the black one. Are there printers where you can put in 2 black cartridges or even leave the colour cartridge out? The ink for my HP is so expensive and I was told by the shop that if I use copy inks it can damage the printer and void the warranty.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Pat. It is a scandal when a set of original ink cartridges can cost nearly as much as a printer. I find a set of decent compatibles from are just as good and normally have loads more ink and last longer. I don’t know of a printer that you can swap the colour cartridge for the black or leave a cartridge out, but you can easily set up your printer to print only in black (sometimes called draft/economy/greyscale). The easiest way to do this is by holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key and pressing ‘P’ just before you are ready to print.  Click the ‘properties’ button and you should see various printing options where you can fiddle around. All printers are a little different, but the principles are the same. One cheap option is to get yourself a €70 black and white (monochrome) laser printer which will print fast copies at around a 10th of the price. I like the Samsung and Brother ones. There are printers that have an extra black cartridge but these are expensive and don’t really fix your problem.

    Any questions then email me and I will see you all next week.

  • Aunty Virus 4th April 2017

    Dave from La Mata asks:
    Hi Aunty, I have just had the sprogs out for a visit and was told I was “not backing up properly”. I scan with Malawarebytes, Superantispyware and Avast weekly all at the same time. I've done it this way for 7 years and never had a problem. Is this just luck or are my Know-it-All sprogs correct?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Dave. With those 3 programs you most certainly have enough security coverage going on, but scanning with Malwarebytes, Superantivirus and Avast has nothing to do with “backing up” your computer! A simple form of backup would be making a copy of your valuable personal files, such as photos & documents, onto a USB stick (or USB hard drive if you have a lot) just incase something should happen to your computer. As a side note Dave I would strongly recommend not running your 3 different scans at the same time as most of these apps like/need exclusive access to your Windows system files so they can thoroughly check for any unwanted visitors.

    Anna via email asks:
    Hello Aunty My trusty old Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop has recently started showing a flashing orange light above the keyboard (which I believe is the battery symbol) and I keep getting very annoying messages that the battery needs to be replaced. The laptop works fine but will only turn on if it’s plugged into the mains so I am guessing the battery is kaput. I have never used the laptop on battery power as it has been on my desk and connected to the wall socket since I unpacked it so how could the battery have worn out? I have been told different stories by two different shops that I must leave the battery in or the laptop won’t work and also that I could damage the laptop if I continue to use it on a faulty battery. I was quoted nearly €100 to have one fitted which is out of my budget and although I love the Dell it must be getting on for 6 years old. Am I safe carrying on as I have been (if I can put up with the error messages) Thanks for all your help.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Anna. On Dell laptops a flashing orange light normally indicates a duff battery but no harm will come from continuing as you are. If you’re only ever using it on mains power then you could pop the battery out which will get rid of the error message. Flip the laptop over and you should see a spring loaded catch plus maybe a lock catch that you simply slide and lift the battery out. Because of how you are using your laptop, plus its age, I personally would take it to a proper battery recycling bin and I wouldn’t bother replacing it. However a battery for your laptop is around €25 from and fitting one takes around 15 seconds so if you do decide to replace it don’t get tricked.

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

  • Aunty Virus 25th April

    Fran via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. How can I test the speed of my ADSL line? I bought a TV box that uses the internet but it wouldn’t work properly because my service with Eurona was so poor. I have changed back to Movistar who have apparently quadrupled my speed to 8Mb but I’m not convinced my internet is that much faster and I don’t really know what to look for.
    Aunty Says:
    I use Fran. Try it over a few days and at different times to get a good average. Click on the ‘Start Test’ button and if you would like me to have a look then the “Share” button and copy the results into an email. I used to be with Eurona but they were hopeless so I changed to Vodafone and I am getting upwards of 28Mb.

    Elizabeth via email asks:
    My brother is and my friend is but when I try to email my brother my friend’s email address comes up so I cannot contact my brother. Please can you help?
    Aunty Says:
    This is very strange Elizabeth as the names you sent me are totally different. Can you explain this a bit more, i.e when you type your brother’s name into the "to" field does hotmail change the email address to your friend’s automatically? Are you accessing your email via webmail (on the hotmail website) or are you using an email client app such as Outlook or Windows Live Mail? Maybe try removing and re-adding both names into your contacts address book.

    Ray via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. When I am using my yahoo email, adverts keep appearing. When this happens it stops the words I am typing from appearing, is there any way that I can stop these ads as they are so annoying. I am using Windows 10.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Ray. I swear by 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 give your machine a full scan with Malwarebytes and your favourite antivirus program.

    Tony from Villa Martin asks:
    Hello Aunty. I was watching Liverpool pummel Everton on a free sports channel and I stupidly clicked on a pop-up that told me I needed to update my Flash Player which I think has downloaded some kind of virus as my computer has become very slow. I have run AVG and CCleaner and AVG picks up something called Delta Search which it quarantines and confirms that Delta had been removed but when I look in Control Panel, Add and Remove Programs it is still there and when I try to uninstall it, it will not allow me to do so. I am still running Vista on an HP.
    Aunty Says:
    A full scan with Malwarebytes should get rid of this bit of spyware Tony, but if you still have problems uninstalling it then try running the Malwarebytes scan with Windows started in safe mode (tap the F8 key before Windows starts) and whilst still in safe mode try the uninstall process again. You really do need to think about upgrading your system from Windows Vista as it is slowly being phased out by Microsoft and is gradually becoming unsecure.


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

  • Aunty Virus 11th April

    Rose from Jacarrilla asks:
    Dear Aunty.  A few months ago you explained how to remove Spanish adverts from the internet explorer pages. I did not think I would need it but in the last two weeks it has been annoying, can you help? I think that it was caused when I had a problem and took it to some cowboy to fix my computer and they changed Win 8.1 back to 8.0 which I could have done myself.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Rose. The two main things you need to do is to scan your computer with an updated version of the free Malwarebytes and download and install a free plugin called Adblock Plus, both of which you can get from Maybe the cowboy simply restored your computer back to your earlier Windows version which probably wasn’t enough to fix an issue like this.
    Gwen and Tony from San Miguel de Salinas ask:
    We have recently bought a new computer with windows 10 installed, our problem is that we have an Epson 215 Wi-Fi printer and when trying to print we keep getting printer "offline" we have tried everything that is available but no joy.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello G&T. Wi-Fi printing is still a bit hit and miss but I’ve found the best way to get things working is to download the latest software for your printer from the support section of the Epson website and run the installation wizard. Make sure the printer is switched on and that the Wi-Fi light is on and you should be OK. Let me know how you get on.

    John from Benidorm asks:
    I have used Internet Explorer without problems for years. I also have Google Chrome installed but use it rarely, and over the past week a problem has arisen. When I try to connect to Banco Santander the process starts but then after a few seconds everything stops and the computer locks and it simply will not respond to touchpad, mouse or keyboard. The only option is to hold down the power button to close down. I have tried accessing Santander through my favourites link and also by typing in the website address with the same result. IE works OK with other websites and if I use Google Chrome the Santander site opens correctly. I have another laptop and I can access Santander via IE from that without problems.
    I prefer to use IE so any suggestions?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi John. Unfortunately this could be any number of things but most likely a rogue plugin/add-on, or possibly spyware or virus. Check your laptop is squeaky clean and then get the latest IE from the Microsoft website. Also disable any add-ons via the “tools” option in IE and see how you get on.
    Steve via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. After reading your column, and acting on some of the tips you have revealed over the years, which some I find are very useful, I am stuck! Somehow I downloaded the " virus and it has taken over my browsers (IE and Google) and makes life difficult. I have tried for the last three days to get rid of it and it has defied all my efforts so far. I have both anti malware and spybot and run them both repeatedly to no avail. I have tried scanning with Avast but again to no avail. They all come up with “no malware present” I am appealing to your expertise as to how best to tackle this particular virus.
    Aunty Says:
    This is a particularly nasty browser hijacker Steve and somewhat troublesome to get rid of. Try the free Adwcleaner from which has got me out of many a sticky situation. Once installed click on the “Scan” button and once finished click on the “Clean” button. There are places that search.mpc can hide that are beyond the reach of any cleaning apps, so try Adwcleaner and let me know how it goes.


    Email me your questions to and I’ll see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 4th April

    Steve via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. I keep getting emails with my own email address, like I am sending myself an email. Someone has got my email access from somewhere so can I block this person? I use F-secure antivirus and Malawarebytes and they both say my machine is clean.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Steve. Not a lot you can do about this I’m afraid but it’s not as bad as you may think. The way that these spammers operate is to simply edit 1000s of junk emails with the same email address for the receiver and the sender. This supposedly adds some kind of credibility to the origin of the email and hopefully tricks you into opening it, unfortunately an easy and common method known as “spoofing”.  Certainly no harm in changing your email password just to be 100% sure that someone isn’t logging in as you.

    Dave from La Mata asks:
    Hi Aunty. Is there a way to secure a memory stick, as when I travel I keep my info on one? The only option I can see is to encrypt every file. Thanks in anticipation of your normal rescue.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Dave. There is a freebee app called “Rohos Mini Drive”  that is good for up to an 8GB USB drive and I’m pretty sure it’s one of the only free ones that will then work no matter what computer you plug your stick into.  Probably an easier option (though it will depend on the type of files you want to protect) would be to password protect certain documents as you save them. In Word there is a “Save As” option and a small “Tools” drop down (next to the Save button) and here you select “General Options” and add a password. In theory you could easily create one large Word or XL document with text, photos and PDF files inserted. Whatever option you choose you totally, utterly and absolutely must make a note of the password you use, as encryption apps are all using AES 256 bit encryption which is impenetrable without the password.  

    Meri via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. Can you tell me please how to delete an old file which is no longer needed? Thanks.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Meri. I simply click once on the file and hit the Del key (Supr on a Spanish keyboard). You can also use a right mouse click which will give you a few more options but remember it will still be in your Recycle Bin so remember to clear that out as well.

    Lisa via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, I am thinking of buying a new laptop from Amazon Spain which will come with Windows 10 in Spanish. Is it possible (and easy enough) to change the language from Spanish to English? My Spanish is OK but probably not quite good enough to navigate around a new version of Windows.
    Aunty Says:
    It is indeed Lisa. Click on the Start icon and go to “Settings” then “Time & Language” and select “Region & language”. Click “Add a language” on the right and choose English UK. You may need to wait a short while whilst Windows downloads the language pack and then you will see the option to set it as your default display language.

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


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