COMPUTER 101–When to Get a New Laptop

The Mouse Trap
by Janis Weber

Check out my archived articles on The Sylvania AdVantage Website ( titled Computer 101.

Cell Phone Backup
Do you have a smart phone? Do you have contacts, a calendar and lots of apps with personal settings? Just like your computer the phone needs to be backed up. If you upgrade your phone or it breaks or is lost, you are going to be happy that you backed it up. Even a flip phone has limited capabilities of being backed up into a cloud.
Every phone has a method of backing up information. Basically, you should search the internet for your model and brand to see exactly how to go to settings and confirm the backup is turned on. From then on, you should not have to be concerned. As long as that setting is not changed, you are fine. Do it today. You never know what will happen tomorrow.
Do Not Lose Your Contacts
No matter what email supplier you use you can save all your contacts, especially if you are using more than one address or are considering changing yours. Each software like Google, Yahoo, AOL etc. have their own way of doing things. For example, open your Gmail account online. Your contacts are stored in Google Contacts, which you can access in the Gmail Contact Manager. Click on “Gmail” at the top of your left-hand sidebar, and from the dropdown menu that appears, pick Contacts. Or you can access them directly by typing into your browser’s address bar.
Once you see your list, take this opportunity to delete, edit and adjust the information for your individual contacts. (I can shell out the suggestion but rarely take the time to do this myself.) Now that you have a fairly clean list, save everything. (Override them later whenever you want.) Look down the menu on the left side of the screen and you will see the words export and import. At this point you want to export. Click on this word and you will see some choices. I recommend using the Google option that is already checked. Click on the word Export and that will roll to a destination. You should pick a location on your computer or better yet on a flash drive. Give this new file a name like a month and year plus the word contacts. By default, your file will save as a CSV (comma separated value) which is universal for all email software which means you can import smoothly if and when you need to.

Former Gmail Account
A lot of us have more than one Gmail account for one reason or another. Dormant accounts are being dealt with. Google routinely cleans out inactive Gmail accounts, which frees up space on its data servers. Google defines an inactive account as one with no login (or very little) activity for 24 months. Once detected, Gmail can automatically delete older things like emails, texts, images and videos from your account without letting you know. If you don’t log in within a nine-month stretch, your account is automatically deleted. There is absolutely no way to get your account or the contents of it back once it’s been deleted. This has often happened without prior warning to the original account holder.
Taking complaints from frustrated users to heart, Google has decided to implement a policy change. Where accounts were previously deleted without warning, Google has opted not to delete them completely anymore. Users will also receive a warning notification that their account is about to be marked as inactive. To buy a bit more time, the period for inactivity has also been increased. This should be a welcome change for those who have important documents in their inbox. Check out any old accounts.

How to Increase the Lifespan of Your Laptop
If you take care of your laptop when using it, the lifespan can be expanded. Now, let’s see some things that you should do to prolong the life of your laptop. Keep the laptop away from food or any liquids. After finishing charging the PC, remember to unplug the charging cable. Clean your laptop at regular intervals to remove all dust or grime by following proper cleaning procedures. Keep the laptop running at low temperatures. This is because overheating components can lead to many issues, shortening the laptop’s life. Upgrade your laptop whenever possible to optimize its performance. For instance, you can add more RAM for this PC or use a better storage drive like an SSD (solid-state drive). Usually, installing antivirus software is recommended, for example, Norton, McAfee, Webroot or even better, use on the on-board Windows Defender for free and add Malwarebytes plus a VPN (Virtual Private Network) at a low cost.

Sylvania Senior Center Classes
New classes with be held as soon as the center reopens. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the most current information. Included will be Windows 10 Computers Basics, Facebook, Microsoft Word, Google Docs and iPhone/iPad. If you have a topic and know some folks who are interested, call the Senior Center and ask for Susan Jennelle at 419-885-3913. Limited seating fills fast so call ASAP to reserve a spot. We are considering an Excel Club. Interested? Call the SSC.

I make house calls (I am vaccinated & wear a mask)
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades and general software or hardware issues. I can be your resident “Geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at 419-290-3570. Do not forget to sign up for my free newsletter at Subscribers will get a copy of this article plus added hints, tips, and trusted/valuable web-links.

Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to
or call her for assistance at 419-318-9112.
Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text or email away.

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