Computer Tips Recommended by Joe McDonald



Windows 10: Click on the "hamburger" (3 lines) to find you stuff.


Windows Versions - type winver into search then hit enter key

Build 1511 = Service Pack 1 (Expired)

Build 1607 = Service Pack 2 (Expired)

Build 1703 = Service Pack 3 (Expired)

Build 1709 = Service Pack 4 (Expired)

Build 1803 = Service Pack 5 (Expires Nov. 2019)

Build 1809 = Service Pack 6 (Expires May 2020)

Spring Feature Update 1903 = Service Pack 7  is due to be released in May-June 2019. 

Make sure to backup your computer before you install an update.  

Build numbers indicate month & year they were created. 1803 was created in March (03) of 2018 (18). All builds (Service Packs) are supported for 18 months (1 1/2 years).  Click here for more information. Feature Updates are released twice a year, these are large updates that take over two hours to install.


I recommend that you log off your account then click on Power button in bottom right then click on Restart. Logging off should save your stuff. 


A service pack includes security updates and a new look. Microsoft labels the versions "builds" which is confusing to most Windows users. So I am labeling the updates Service Packs which is easier to understand.


I am now installing the Classic Shell on Windows 10 computers. It hides the craziness of Windows 10. You can setup the Start menu to the way you want, which makes Windows 10 easier to use. See below for more information on this program.


CTRL + ALT + Delete then Sign Out


Please print out the above picture, and tape it near your computer. This will save you from hours of turmoil related to the bad guys taking over your computer. The latest twist is if you do not pay them the money they demand, then they will lock your computer with a password. If this happens to you, there is NO FIX! You will have to buy a new computer, and all your pictures and documents will be lost. Do not call the number on the screen!!

All it takes is you can be browsing the Internet for a coupon or a recipe, and all of a sudden a window appears on your screen. It says its from Microsoft or Apple, and a phone number is in the message. In some cases, there is also a loud beeping noise, which makes most users panic. If you call the number on the screen, they will say they can 'fix' your computer, and will trick you into giving them remote control over your computer. They will make a copy of all your documents and pictures to their computer, and will install nasty viruses. Finally, they will demand $200 to $400 to 'fix' it. In the latest twist to this scam if you refuse to pay, they add a BIOS password to your computer, and do not give you the password, so you are locked out.

Click here for more information -


Classic Shell start menu. Click here to download this file. This program brings back the Start menu & hides the Metro screen. It makes the computer fun to use again. This is a free program. Please contact me if you need help installing this program on your Windows 8 Or Windows 10 computers. 


Windows 7 expires in January 14th, 2020.  Windows 8 expires in the Spring of 2023. Click here for more information about the Lifecycle of Windows. 

I recommend all Windows 7 users purchase new computer before the Summer of 2019. As the 2020 deadline gets closer the prices of new computers will rise and the availability will go down. Do not wait until the last minute, it can cost you.


Windows - Click here  Windows 10, 8.1 Tips, step by step instructions. 

Windows 10 Tips (highlighted in blue)





Apple/Mac -  Click here

 iMac, Macbook, Mac Mini, iPad & iPhone advice and user guides.



Is your Mac Computer ready for the new OS?

Click on the Apple logo then click on About this Mac. Then compare your specs to the list below.



Avast free antivirus

Avast Essential free antivirus - Excellent protection once it is setup correctly. Requires yearly registration for free service. Click here to see step by step instructions.

If you are having a problem with Avast and the uninstaller does not work you may need to run the Cleanup Utility called Avast Clear. Click here to download this tool -


Windows 10 only - Windows Defender

This is also a free virus program. To get it, uninstall your current virus program then restart your computer. Windows Defender turns itself on when it confirms no other virus program is on the computer. No other actions are needed. Program gives option to run manual scans.

Click here to review the steps to set up this program correctly.


Thunderbird email program is the solution if you are tired of web based mail. When you log into the popular websites to check your email you are met with annoying advertisements, hard to use email programs and slow websites. The solution is to install a program on your computer that brings a copy of your email right to your computer. You will no longer see the ads & the email will be as fast as your Internet speed can handle. You can also setup this program for all your email accounts. I am currently using it to check over 10 email accounts at once. If you would like to try this program, click here to go the the Mozilla Thunderbird website. Then click on the green download button & follow the instructions on the webpage that loads. If your computer has been setup with the Safe Setup Service, please install the program in the Admin account then go your account to add your email addresses. Then sit back and enjoy email like it was meant to be, fun! Can now be installed on Apple/Mac Computers.

Thunderbird Profile Manager instructions (use to transfer profiles to new Computer)

Thunderbird Import Settings from Live Mail.

Firefox Internet browser - I recommend that you have at least 2 Internet browsers on your computer. Your PC computer comes with Internet Explorer, but there are many fine free Internet browsers available.  Your Apple computer comes with Safari. Click here to download the Firefox Internet browser. Click on the green download button & then download & install from your administrator account. When it asks if you want to make Firefox your Default browser - click on NO. This will be your backup browser, so the next time when your Internet appears to be not working, open the Firefox program. If the Internet loads correctly, then there may be a problem with your current browser & not with your Internet provider (Brighthouse, Comcast, Centurylink, etc). That is when you call me for help.


Free Office Program  

If you do not want to purchase Microsoft Office to write letters or word on spread sheets there is a free alternative called Libre Office. This program will open your current Word or Excel documents and allow you to change them. It also allows you to create new documents.  Note: the Draw program can be used to create newsletters and flyers.

Libre Office - Click Here  Click on Green Main Installer button. Looks like Microsoft Office 2003. Easy to install and use. After you install Libre Office Open Writer then click on Tools menu then click on Options then General/Save and change to "Save as Office 2003 Word (.doc)". Turn off Warn when not saving as .odt format. Repeat these steps in the Calc (speadsheets) and set to safe as Speadsheets (.xls)

Click here to see the instructions on how to use these programs (choose PDF versions).



Google Chrome Internet browser is required by some online banks. This program is difficult to find to download, many users end up installing a fake, malware invested version called Chromlin (purple icon). If you have this fake version please have your computer cleaned as soon as possible. Click here to download the real Google Chrome -

If you have Yahoo email & it has been hacked, click here for instructions on how to change your password to lock out the bad guys. Passwords should be at least 8 characters with a mix of upper & lower case letters & at least 1 symbol ($, %, &). If you have Yahoo email & you have a  weak password, please follow these instructions to change your password to a stronger one. 

Yahoo Less Secure Apps

1 - Go to your "Account security" settings.
2 - Select Allow apps that use less secure sign in. 
3 - To deny or turn off app access, deselect the undesired app.

Click here for more information.

Speed Test

Click here to run the Spectrum Speed Test.  Click on GO button. Its measured in Mega Bits Per Second (MBPS). Wireless connections may be slower then Ethernet (cable connection). 

Comcast Speed Test - Click here


Link to HP Printer Drivers website Click here.

Link to Brothers Printer Drivers - Click here.

Link to Epson Printer Drivers - Click here.

Link to Canon Printer Drivers - Click here.

I recommend the HP Envy Printer series.


Please call 352-449-8561 for an appointment in your home or email me at .