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How To Get Better Control of Your Relative's Computer

Most of us provide IT support to our family members at some level and if that is the case you know that one relative that keeps clicking on things they should not be clicking on.

Whether it is installing a browser toolbar, another web browser or malware, it all wreaks havoc on their computer system and eventually results in a phone call asking for help because their system is running slow, etc.

Although it is not always the case, many times these are older relatives who might not have the same level of computer skills as some one younger. There are companies out there who understand this dilemma and they cater to it by selling computers that have an entire interface layer over top of the operating system and come with 24/7 phone and remote support.

In this interface you will find big bright buttons pointing to common programs the user wants to access and I am sure it works well but why add another level of complexity to the system and something else that could fail.

I have someone who has asked me to take care of their system on multiple occasions because it has slowed down. When I arrive and take a look at the device I almost always find an extra toolbar installed on their browser because they got prompted to install an update for one of their helper programs such as Adobe Flash or an update to their web browser.

About two months ago they called me and asked me to take a look at the system because it had slowed down again. When I arrived to grab the computer it had two extra toolbars installed on the browser and was slow as described.

I took the computer home with me and the plan was to clean install Windows 7 once again and get them back up to speed. However, what occurred to me was that in a few weeks it would be back to the same state. So I took a chance and installed Windows 10 on the system with the current free upgrade offer.

Once Windows 10 was installed I left the Windows Store set to update apps automatically and also configured Windows Updates to automatically install and restart the computer when it was not in use.

Since they use Yahoo! Mail I downloaded and installed the Yahoo! E-Mail app from the Windows Store and set up their account in that. It is only a web wrapper but it eliminates many of the distractions that come along with the web experience. I placed a shortcut to the app on the Taskbar for quick access.

Next I opened up Microsoft Edge and created a Favorites Toolbar that contained a shortcut to the Yahoo! Mail website as a backup to the app that I installed earlier.  Since they are a big English Football fan I also added shortcuts to the websites they like to get their football news from.

I opted for Edge because external toolbars can not be installed on it, not even inadvertently, and it has pretty fast performance.

After returning the computer I explained the bare necessities of what they needed to know for getting e-mail and football news and left them with the system.

Last week I got a call from them indicating there was some type of issue with the system and if I could come over and check it out.  When I got there I was very concerned about what I would find but it ended up being a non-issue with e-mail replies and it had resolved itself before I got there.

I then asked the big question - how is the system performing? Very quickly they replied that it was running great and had not slowed down at all!

I have to tell you after 8 weeks that was very good to hear and shows that Windows 10 can help remedy the issues that many everyday users experience because of the security of the Edge browser and the automatic system maintenance.

Maybe a setup like this could help you sort out the computer of one of your everyday users as well.

Thoughts?

But, wait…there’s probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

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