Ask Leo! #462 – Outlook, Outlook, Outlook, Idle Computers, Hacked Accounts and more…

*** Featured

How do I change my Hotmail or password?

I cannot get to the Account Summary or Options page for my Hotmail account. I needed to change my password.

As Microsoft updates its mail offering, some of its features are moving or changing.

As I've mentioned before, if you have a Hotmail (or, as it's now called) account, you should expect change. Change happens. Sometimes, it's small and other times, it's quite dramatic ' such as how you change your password.

I'll walk through the steps to change your password in the current (as of this writing) design.

Continue Reading: How do I change my Hotmail or password?

How do I use and clear contacts and auto-complete suggestions?

I am finding the new very annoying. How do I find my list of addresses and save a new one? When forwarding, I have to click through a whole load of addresses to get to the ones I want and then, delete the ones that I did not want. It wastes a lot of time. is the online replacement for Hotmail. It's unrelated to Microsoft's Office Outlook email program. attempts to provide a clean, easy-to-use interface for managing not only your email, but your contacts, calendar, and (with the addition of SkyDrive) your data files as well.

Unfortunately, cleanliness or simplicity only goes so far. You're not the only one who finds the displayed contacts and email addresses confusing when you compose a new email.

Let's look at how it all works.

Continue Reading: How do I use and clear contacts and auto-complete suggestions?

How do Outlook, Outlook Express, and relate?

I see I have Outlook Express on my machine for email. But I also see references here and elsewhere to just "Outlook," and now Are those just other names for the same thing? If not, how do all these "Outlooks" relate to each other?

The short answer is they don't. Not at all. They essentially have only two things in common. They're all related to email and they all have the word "Outlook" in their names.

And that's pretty much where the similarity ends.

It's unfortunate too because lots of people infer from the names that Outlook Express is some kind of "Outlook Lite" and that has something to do with one or the other or both. That's simply not the case at all.

They're completely separate from each other.

Continue Reading: How do Outlook, Outlook Express, and relate?

*** Answercast

AnswerCast #125 - Black monitors, idle windows, moving Office, finding hackers and more...

Would you like to catch someone hacking your computer or move your copy of Microsoft Office? Worried about continuing virus protection on your XP computer or protecting your hard drive? Do you have lots of popup ads or a hacked email account? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen Now!
(Includes the raw transcript on which the articles below were based.)

Why does my monitor go dark for a few seconds?
A monitor going dark could indicate a couple of different problems, but it doesn't necessarily mean you have a hardware issue with the computer itself. I'll show you a couple of ways to diagnose the problem.

Continue reading: Why does my monitor go dark for a few seconds?

If my email account is hacked, what kinds of things should I check?

When a hacker has access to your email account, they can do anything... even change settings that you know nothing about. Let's take a look at some of the possible dangers.

Continue reading: If my email account is hacked, what kinds of things should I check?

Can I stop an "idle" computer from hitting the hard disk at all?
I'll show you how to reduce the last little bit of disk activity happening on your computer, but is that really going to help?

Continue reading: Can I stop an "idle" computer from hitting the hard disk at all?

Why is mail getting automatically placed in a folder I didn't create?
If you didn't change the folder rules, then who did? I'll show you how to fix this problem.

Continue reading: Why is mail getting automatically placed in a folder I didn't create?

Will anti-virus programs for Windows XP stop being updated when Microsoft drops support?
When support for XP ends, you may find yourself open to unpatched vulnerabilities. Having an updated anti-malware tool is going to become your first line of defense.

Continue reading: Will anti-virus programs for Windows XP stop being updated when Microsoft drops support?

Why is my new computer flooded with pop-ups and ads?
Advertisements popping up on a new computer bring several things to mind, including what many call "crapware."

Continue reading: Why is my new computer flooded with pop-ups and ads?

Can I move Office 2010 to another computer?
Moving Microsoft Office to a new computer is usually an easy process as long as you follow a few steps.

Continue reading: Can I move Office 2010 to another computer?

Will someone hacking my router show up on my computer?
Router hacking is rare, but it can happen. I'll discuss what it is.

Continue reading: Will someone hacking my router show up on my computer?

*** Our Sponsor

Keeping Your PC Fast & Secure

PC Matic is safe and simple to use software that automates the
regular maintenance necessary to keep your PC running like new.

Developed by PC Pitstop - relied on by millions of
computer users for award winning troubleshooting tools.

Start with a Free Diagnostic Scan Today!

Advertisement. Ask Leo about advertising here.

*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week


Idle is the term used to characterize the time when a computer's processor – its CPU – has nothing to do.

An idle state is very similar to that of an automobile – the engine is still running, but it's not moving the vehicle.

In a computer the CPU is typically always running, even when it has nothing to do. Depending on the hardware involved the CPU can enter a "sleep" or low-power state (not to be confused with putting your entire to sleep or hibernation). For fractions of a second the CPU can slow down dramatically or in some cases even halt until it has something to do.

This idle state is often reflected in process monitoring utilities as a faux "Idle" process which reflects the fact that the CPU is doing nothing.


Word o' the Week features a computer term or acronym taken from the Ask Leo! Glossary. If there's a word you're not sure of and would like to see defined, click here to let me know.

*** Featured Reader Comments

How risky will it be to keep running Windows XP?

Bill writes:

My problem with the constantly changing OS is the same as a few others have expressed. I'm not against learning a new interface, but I can't afford to update all my software and peripherals. I thought I saw a good resolution in Windows 7 Pro, because it could still run XL software and drivers. I guess I waited too long to try to update though. A couple of months ago, I decided to buy a large (17") laptop to use as an alternative (but not replacement) for my desktop computer. I found a new Dell that had almost every feature I wanted, but they wouldn't load it with Windows 7 Pro. The only laptops available with that OS are business versions that cost considerably more and omit several of the features I want. I wound up not buying a new computer at all. I'll run this 8-year old Dell until it drops. I replaced a bad graphics card last week and ordered a new monitor for it this week. If I have to switch to Windows 8, I'm afraid my wife will stop using the computer altogether. She is very tech shy, and I doubt if I can convert her, although I'll try.

Mark Jacobs writes:

If you install Classic Shell, your wife won't even feel the difference as it makes Windows 8 behave almost identically to windows 7 with a touch of XP. I installed it on my daughter's office computer and she forgets she's using Windows 8.

How can I view online video without the starts and stops?

Richard Pedersen writes:

Hi Leo,

I have a solution for the DASH problem. That's where YouTube only provides a short buffer rather than downloading the whole video to its end.

It involves a third-party add-on for FireFox users. I am not affiliated with this product in any way. It provides many uses other than simply controlling DASH and is completely free to use.

Note: There are scripts and plug-ins available for other browsers as well.

I wrote a guest article for Dave's Computer Tips that covers this very subject and it can be found at this link:

Thank you for all the helpful information you provide us.

I hope this helps,


How do I switch to Linux?

GeekDog writes:

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the fabulous Zorin OS Linux distro. (Here, or anywhere.)

I've been using it for about 3 years now (since ver 3), and not looking back! It's billed as "the distro of choice for users making the transition to Linux from Windows," and I have to agree, it was an easy transition. You can choose your interface to emulate whichever version of Windows you like, or choose Gnome or KDE.

Here's the only article I've ever seen outside of the Linux community:

They praise it well.

*** Thoughts and Comments

Congratulations to Hans B., the final winner of the 10th Anniversary Drawing.

I had fun with the contest, and hope to do something like it again in the future.

Yes, this week's newsletter has a bit of an focus to it. I get a lot of questions on it, so it makes sense to feature some of those answers.

I know not everyone uses, so I try not to overwhelm you with it. Even if you don't use itself, though, many of the concepts apply to other free email services as well.

In particular I'd encourage you to read How do Outlook, Outlook Express, and relate? just to keep all your Outlook's straight. (I still have a hard time understanding how Microsoft chooses its product names from time to time - could they get more confusing?) It's a revision to one of my older articles, but since the confusion is so common I figured it was worth a re-run.

Till next time...

Leo A. Notenboom
Facebook - Google+
YouTube - Twitter

*** Administration

If you have a question don't reply to this email. Instead, head over here:

and submit your question there.

That form is the best way to get an answer. (This article explains why.)

Need more help with or have questions about the newsletter? Check out the newsletter administration page.

Help Ask Leo! Just forward this message, in its entirety (but without your unsubscribe link below) to your friends. Or, just point them at for their own FREE subscription!

Newsletter contents Copyright © 2013,
Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.
Ask Leo! is a registered trademark ® of Puget Sound Software, LLC