I had a visit from my lovely Aunty V this week. Her Windows computer had, recently, been regularly popping up messages saying that she had lots of problems with her computer.
A product call Win Tuneup Pro had somehow made its way onto her computer - she's not sure how - and she was concerned about what it was, and whether her computer did have the level of problems reported by Win Tuneup Pro.
Googling Win Tuneup Pro comes up with a long list of search results about this product being classified as 'Malware'.
What is Win Tuneup Pro
Like MacKeeper on a Mac, these results show that Win Tuneup Pro is classified as an 'adware' product, trying to convince you that you have non-existent problems and that you should pay them money to fix these non-existent problems.
The best approach is to remove it!
How do you remove a product like this?
To remove Win Tuneup Pro, we went to the Control Panel and chose the 'Add or Remove Program' option (Aunty V's computer is still on Windows 7). After finding Win Tuneup Pro in the list of programs, we selected it and chose the 'Uninstall' option.
However, the 'uninstall' seemed to 'stall'.
How to force the removal of a product like this
So we downloaded an excellent product call Malwarebytes and ran it. Malwarebytes is a free product that can remove products like Win Tuneup Pro - products that have been classified as 'malware'.
Malwarebytes found all the 'hidden' files and registry entries on Aunty V's computer and 'quarantined' them, so that we could easily delete them.
Then, lo and behold, Win Tuneup Pro was gone - finally uninstalled!
Where did this product come from?
But how did this product make its way onto Aunty V's computer, especially given that she has AVG anti-virus software running on it?
Products like Win Tuneup Pro can get onto your computer when you download other free software. They are sometimes bundled with another product, and you don't realise that you have installed more that the product you intended to install.
The best approach when downloading free software is to make sure you get it from the maker's website. Sometime when you download software from other sites, you will get a 'bundle' of other software that you did not ask for.
(A word of warning though - even free software from the maker's site can sometimes come with 'stowaways'. An example was the free video converter Handbrake, whose download was compromised by hackers recently. This was quickly fixed, but as a user of Handbrake, it was worrying to think how easily one can fall victim to malicious downloads - even when 'playing by the rules'.)
Related Handy Hints and Articles
Just in case you missed all the reports in the press last week, thousands of Windows computers worldwide were impacted by a ransomware attack.
The ransomware was able to infect computers on a network when any user clicked on a suspect link or downloaded an infected file that they received in an email.
Here is as article about this attack: WannaCrypt: what you need to know about the global ransomware cyber attack
An important thing to note is that the computers that were impacted were those that were not running the latest update to Windows. (Mac computers were not impacted by this attack, nor were Apple mobile devices or Android devices.)
Microsoft had already patched the vulnerability that the attackers took advantage of, and released the security update in March. So anyone whose computer was up to date would have been protected.
The big question is: How up to date is your own version of Windows? Are you safe from attacks such as this?
It might be time to check, and ensure that you install the latest update - and also check that you have current anti-virus protection from Windows Defender or a third-party product.
Contact iTandCoffee on 1300 885 420 if you need to make an appointment for assistance with this.
If you have a Windows computer and have been resisting the upgrade to Windows 10, it may be time to think about jumping in and getting this upgrade done.
You only have until July 30th to grab this upgrade for free. From July 30th, it will cost you at least $179. I read in The Age today that Microsoft will then be releasing an anniversary upgrade to Windows 10 with many new features.
But before you do consider upgrading, have a read of this article from The Age.
It provides details of what computers can cope with the upgrade, because not all can. It suggests that, for some people who have older computers, it may be best to leave your old computer alone, and wait until upgrade to a new computer.
My own experience with many clients who have upgraded is that older printers and devices have stopped working after the upgrade. This has sometimes just required the download of a new 'driver' or other software. But, in some cases, the device was just not supported by Windows 10, making the 'free' upgrade a bit of a 'false economy'.
(If you have an older computer and are considering moving to something newer, make sure you consider whether you really need a computer! For most people, an iPad or other tablet may very well meet your needs. Make sure the check out these options.)
Related iTandCoffee Articles and Handy Hints
While I quite like Windows 10, over the past few weeks I have seen several clients with the a variety of problems with their Windows laptops or desktops - in most cases problems that have arisen with connecting to and using existing devices after upgrade to Windows 10.
Here are just some of the issues:
Why is installation of a printer so difficult under Windows?
As a long-time user of Windows before I moved to Mac a few years ago, I have so enjoyed how easy it is to install printers on a Mac when compared to a Windows computer - especially under Windows 10.
I have found this especially true with Wi-Fi printers. I frequently visit clients who are having trouble with printing from Windows to their Wi-Fi printer.
With my Mac computer connected to the client's Wi-Fi network, installation of the printer on my Mac is a breeze. And, if the printer has the 'Airprint' feature, I am able to straight away print to the printer from my iPad and iPhone. Why does it have to be so hard on Windows?
Before you upgrade to Windows 10, make sure you understand whether your current printer will continue to work under Windows 10, since many printer 'drivers' (the programs that allow your computer to 'talk to' the computer) are not yet (and may never be) compatible with Windows 10. Others will need to be updated in order for your printer to work under Windows 10.
Here is an article from late-ish last year (2015) that allows you to check what printers are compatible with Windows 10.
Do Windows 10 automatic updates drive you crazy?
A HUGE frustration for me when I work with my own or clients' Windows 10 computers is when the computer 'decides' to do an automatic update at the most inconvenient time.
In a case a week ago, my client's Surface Pro had to restart at the start of the appointment - only to then take OVER AND HOUR to download and install the updates that we didn't want to install at that point. The one-hour appointment was wasted.
On my own Windows 10 computer, I have been been caught needing to restart before applying a quick change at the end of the day, only to find that I am stuck waiting for an update to complete - unable to turn it off until this is done
Here is an article that give some suggestions for getting around the frustration of automatic updates. (One of these work-arounds may disappear soon - here's hoping it doesn't.)
Have you had problems with your update to Windows 10
If you have encountered problems with your Windows 10 update, here is an article about how to deal with 'A Windows 10 Update Meltdown'.
What are your own experiences with Windows 10?
Of course, not everyone experiences issues. What are you own experiences of upgrading to Windows 10? Please feel free to leave a comment below.
This week, my little Macbook Air gave me a message that it was full. It only has 128GB of hard drive storage, so I need to be very careful about what I store on that device.
When I looked at what was taking up a significant chunk of my storage, I found that one of the main culprits was my Dropbox folders and files.
I love my Dropbox for sharing files between my devices, but I do not need the put ALL Dropbox folders on my Macbook Air. I only need my work folders, and even then I only need a selection of these folders.
It's very easy to do - as long as your Dropbox folders are well organised.
This iTandCoffee handy hint tells you how to go about selecting what Dropbox folders to sync with hour computer.
The hint is available to iTandCoffee Club members to view at any time.
Not yet a member? Why not join today for unlimited access to great tips and hints like this from iTandCoffee.
Related Articles and Handy Hints
(Note. Handy Hints can only be viewed by iTandCoffee Club members. Join today! All other articles are free to all readers.)
After upgrading to iOS 8.3, you may have found that you have lost the ability to import your iPad and iPhone photos to your computer using a USB cable.
If this has occurred, you will also have lost the ability to delete photos from your i-Devices using your computer.
So, where are your photos and how do you now back them up to your computer using a USB cable?
The answer to this question is ... It depends.
It depends on whether you have a Mac or Windows computer, and what version of the OS X or Windows operating system you are using. And it also depends on certain Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
This issue is related to the new cloud-based Photo management service from Apple, called iCloud Photo Library
Need to know more?
Free Information Sessions for iTandCoffee Club members
iTandCoffee will be hosting a couple of FREE members-only information sessions about iCloud Photo Library in August (dates at times yet to be decided).
If you are a member of the iTandCoffee Club and are interested in attending this free 1-hour session, register your interest below. Numbers will be strictly limited, so register early avoid disappointment.
If you are not yet an iTandCoffee Club member but would like to take advantage of great free sessions like this, why not join the club today.
If you would like to attend but don't want to join our club, you can still come along - at a cost of $30, payable in advance. Register below and we will be in touch with details of how to pay.
Related Handy Hints (available to iTandCoffee Club members)
If you did not already know about importing photos to Windows using a USB cable, here are the handy hints previously published on this topic - before the latest updates caused this to stop working for some people.
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