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Q:I just spent one whole hour dancing around I tried to edit my profile, the help function, etc. I cannot seem to be able to unsubscribe from Facebook. If there is a way to unsubscribe, please let me know. Facebook is the biggest waste of time ever invented. It provides more useless information than anybody wants or needs to know.

— Dorli Rainey

A: The simplest thing is to deactivate your account. Your profile will still be on the Facebook servers, but it won’t be accessible by anyone unless you reactivate it.

To deactivate your account, click on the gear symbol in the upper-right corner, then select Account Settings and then Security. You’ll see an option at the bottom that says “Deactivate your account.” Follow the directions, and you’ll be done with it. The only trace of you that will still be in the Facebook world are things you have sent to others.

If you want to reactivate your account in the future, all you have to do is log into Facebook again.

If you want to permanently delete your account, log into your account and then click on this link:

Q:I have Comcast for Internet, seldom use it now and soon will use it less — not enough to justify the $40-plus per month it costs. I also have Hotmail for email, which I use daily.

If I cancel Comcast, will Hotmail continue to work by itself or does it need an Internet connection through Comcast or some other Internet thing? I’ve looked at the Hotmail, Comcast and Microsoft websites, including clicking through the help functions. They tell me how marvelous their products are without providing much information.

— H.W. Petersen,

A: Actually, if you’re using Hotmail daily, you’re using your Internet service daily. You can’t reach your Hotmail account without the Internet. If you don’t want to pay for your own Internet service, you could always frequent the public library or a coffee shop that offers free Wi-Fi connections.

Q: I have problems with my computer, which is running Windows XP. It is slow to load programs and slow to close them. (Often, I must use “Task Manager” to close.) I get various messages regularly, such as “Not Responding” and “High Memory Usage On Windows Explorer.”

I keep all my Microsoft/Windows updates up to date. I have used Malwarebytes AntiMalware for several years, and I do updates and scans regularly. I have TuneUp Utilities and I do updates regularly, and the computer is set up to run the scans nightly. I have NoAdware, and I do updates regularly, and the computer is set up to run the scans nightly. I have AVG, and it is set up to do updates and scans nightly. I run Defrag almost daily and the hard drive is still 37 percent empty

The computer seems to be addicted to some of these scans … if I do not do them daily. I would appreciate any suggestions. I am at a loss.

— Bruce Miller, Issaquah

A: It sounds like you’ve been running this computer for quite some time. The first thing I’d look at is how much system memory you have. Applications keep getting more demanding of memory, and while 2 gigabytes of RAM was sufficient several years ago, having only that much might bog down your system if you start loading up a lot of applications and data files through the day.

Also, if you have installed a lot of applications and drivers over the years, even if you have uninstalled some of them, your Windows registry can get pretty cluttered.

Finally, anti-virus and malware programs don’t catch everything.

If I was in your position, I’d figure it was about time to start fresh. After backing up my data, I’d reformat the drive and reinstall from scratch.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to or, or by mail at Q&A/Technology,

The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111.

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