Tech Talk #20 – Mar 5, 2016

Microsoft is ending support for Internet Explorer (IE) prior to IE 11. There will be no security or program updates or features added to IE 8, IE9, or IE10.


What does this mean to you? Well, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 users should be running Internet Explorer 11 by now. Windows Vista users are stuck with version 9, but Microsoft will support that with security updates until the end of Vista support, in April 2017. We won’t even talk about Windows XP here, OK?


Even if you use a different browser like Firefox or Chrome or that Edge browser built into Windows 10, you should still keep Internet Explorer up to date.


Do you know what version of Internet Explorer you’re using? Well, if you’re on Windows 10, Internet Explorer 11 is installed and you’re already up to date. If you’re running an older version of Windows:

  • Open Internet Explorer
  • Click on the gear icon on the top right
  • Click on About Internet Explorer
  • A small window will pop up displaying your version.


If you’re running Windows 7 or better and you’re not on version 11, download the current version by Googling “internet explorer 11: and clicking on (usually) the first link. You’ll be offered the appropriate version for your system.



Not liking Windows 10 so far? You can go back. Here’s how.

As long as you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 within the last month, it’s easy to get your PC back to its old Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 ways.


To go back, open the Start menu and click on Settings. Then click the Update & security icon and select Recovery.


You should see a “Go back to Windows 7” or “Go back to Windows 8.1” option, depending on what was on your PC when you upgraded. Click the Get started button to restore your previous version of Windows. Of course, Microsoft will ask you why you want to go back. Don’t be afraid, let them know.


When the process is finished, your desktop icons, wallpaper, and all your files and programs will still be there.


Even if it’s been more than a month since you upgraded to Windows 10, you can always back up your data and then reinstall the version of Windows that came with your PC using your installation media and its product key.



No cell phone signal?

If you’re in an area where you think you should have cell coverage but your phone isn’t showing any bars, try putting your phone in airplane mode and then turning airplane mode back off. This makes your phone register with all the cell towers it can “see” and you may get coverage back. Hey, it worked for me once.



Beer cans and WiFi

There’s a video on Facebook claiming that you can boost your WiFi signal by cutting up beer cans and placing them behind your router’s antennas to focus their signal.

This type of antenna “improvement” has been around for years and I’ve never gotten any real improvement by using them. Modern routers are much more powerful than the relatively ancient router used in the video.

But hey, it probably works as well as those “One weird way to get rid of belly fat” videos…


Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at                                                                                                                                                                                 

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