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Solutions: How to leave 'dreadful' email behind

Recently, I changed to Windows 8 and found Windows 8 Mail to be dreadful. So I looked for a way to make Vista's Windows Mail work on Windows 8. Everything went smoothly until I tried running WinMail.exe, but it would not run. Is there any way that I can get Windows Mail to work on Windows 8?

Nobody is happy with Windows 8 Mail. I recommend leaving Windows Mail behind. Windows Live Mail 2012 works on Windows 8 and can be downloaded as part of the Microsoft Live Essentials 2012 package (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-live/essentials-home).

For any Windows Live Mail users moving to a Windows 8 PC, here is how to make the transition as easy as possible: Install Windows Live Mail 2012 on your new Windows 8 PC. Run Windows Live Mail, but cancel out when it asks for account information. Using File Explorer, go to C:\Users\John\AppData\Local\Microsoft (replace 'John' with your user id name). You will need to turn on the "Hidden items" view by clicking "View" and checking "Hidden items." Rename the existing Windows Live Mail folder to Windows Live Mail_EMPTY.

On your old PC, go to the same folder (remember to click "Folder options," "View," "View hidden files") and copy the Windows Live Mail folder to a flash or USB drive. Place that folder on the Windows 8 PC in the same location. Start Windows Live Mail. All your accounts, folders and emails will now be in place. Verify your account passwords when prompted and you're set.

I use Windows XP, and an icon always shows up and says my computer might be at risk, if I click on it. It then says "automatic updates is turned off" However, if I check to turn them on, the message comes on that it can't be automatically turned on and I should do it manually. When I go into the control panel, the automatic update is checked. Should I be worried?

Possibly. We need to distinguish between Windows Updating and Microsoft Security Essentials automatic updating. It sounds as if you're getting the message from Security Essentials (or maybe something that has taken over Security Essentials), but you're checking Windows Update. My recommendation is to run the Microsoft Online scanner (http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx) and/or MalwareBytes Antimalware (www.tinyurl.com/2fwj868) and/or Windows Offline Defender (http://tinyurl.com/TBT01).

Make sure you are getting clean scans from all. At that point, you may also need to uninstall/reinstall Security Essentials if the automatic updates still will not turn on.

By the way, Microsoft has just announced the sunset date (end of support) for Microsoft XP. As of April 2014, there will no longer be service and security updates available. Windows XP PCs will still work, and as far as I can tell, Security Essentials updates will continue. But without operating system (Windows) security updates, there will be some risk involved.

Send questions to personaltech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: How to leave 'dreadful' email behind 04/12/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 12, 2013 8:18pm]
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