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Q: I just purchased a laptop with Windows 8 installed. I have struggled with it, and thanks to your recommendations, I feel like I am getting a handle on it. I have another computer with Windows 7 on it and use MSN Explorer as a subscriber to get MSN email.

Apparently Windows 8 will not allow me to use MSN Mail and only will allow Outlook as the default email. I, of course, am familiar with my old email and use it frequently when I cannot get Outlook to do what I want.

My major concern in Outlook is that I cannot figure out how to establish the formation of groups to email to. Do you know of any way to form a group email with Outlook under a single group heading?

— Jackson Simmons

A: Windows 8 will allow you to use MSN Mail, though you may need to first uninstall and then reinstall MSN Mail so it is properly configured.

As for Outlook, yes, you can send to groups of people. In the current version, these are called Contact Groups. To create one, click on the People view and then select New Contact Group from the Home menu bar. A new window will open that allows you to select members of the new group. Click on the Add Members button, select the address book you want to use, and Outlook will open that address book. Highlight all the entries you want to include, then click on the Members button and they will all be added. Give your group a name, and you’re in business.

From that point, if you want to send to that entire group, the only addressee you need to enter will be that group name.

Q: Could you please give at least a general idea as to why everything loads so slowly on my Windows 7 machine? I am guessing my recent addition of Norton only added to the problem. I use Super Anti-Spyware and System Mechanic also. Does this combination spell trouble for performance?

— Jim Nunn

A: Generally, if all of your applications are loading very slowly it means one of two things: either you’ve got some malware on the computer or your computer is running low on system resources.

If, for example, you are low on available system memory and you load another application, Windows will have to pause to save some application data to disc in order to free up memory. That’s very time-consuming.

To check on your system resources, right-click in the system tray at the bottom of your screen and then launch Task Manager. Next, click on Performance and you’ll get a quick view of CPU usage and the amount of free system memory. If you want a more detailed look at resources, click on the Resource Monitor button.

So what can drain system resources? Of course, the more applications you run, the more memory will be required. And if you have multiple browser instances open, you may be eating up memory unnecessarily.

Also, of course, you may be automatically loading programs at bootup that you don’t really need. If, however, you really can’t trim down the number of applications you want to run, another solution is to add memory.

Q: I am trying to assist my brother-in-law with his email accounts. He has had Yahoo Mail for many years, and Yahoo evidently changed its email program. He had what they called “Classic Mail.”

When this changed a few weeks ago, he was no longer able to access his old email and all of the contacts. We tried logging in to his account, but it would not let him in using the user ID and password he has used for years. It also had a popup saying it would send a code to his alternate email, which was a Juno account he has not used for more than 12 years. I considered restoring to an earlier time, but did not want to do that unless a good option.

Are you able to find a solution?

— Ted

A: That is correct. As of July 9, Classic Mail at Yahoo is dead. Yahoo did send out notices that after that date users would not be able to access their service without upgrading their email accounts, or using a third-party client to access email using the IMAP protocol.

Here’s a link that explains the options: .

If the options aren’t clear or he still is encountering problems, I’d recommend contacting Yahoo’s free tech support.

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. More columns at