Q: I have Malwarebytes. I just ran a scan. I am still getting those annoying pop-ups on the lower right of my screen. Currently, it says, “How to get rid of Saggy Jowls.”
I’ve tried everything to get rid of these. If you address these in your column, it would be greatly appreciated.
— Kathy Olson
A: I’d say you definitely have a piece of malware on your computer. The trick now is finding it.
Malwarebytes is a good program, but no anti-malware program I know of can snag all pieces of malware, especially new variants. If there are no other clues as to the source of the malware — such as if it was hyping only one product — you’ll just have to try different packages until you find one that removes the culprit.
That, or … If it was me and there wasn’t a quick way to remove the malware, I’d reinstall Windows. During that process you’ll be prompted as to whether you want to reformat the drive. Do so.
Before going this route, however, note that you’ll also have to reinstall any applications you want to use. And, above all, save all data you care about to external storage — and external drive or cloud storage — before you reinstall.
Obviously, that includes documents and photos you want to keep. But don’t forget emails!
Q: Following one of your columns, I’ve started syncing files I want backed up to the cloud. I’m using Microsoft’s OneDrive. My question is about how to sync an external drive. Specifically, I’ve got large files on a USB drive that I don’t want taking up space on my computer’s hard drive. But I don’t see how to designate files or folders on the external drive to OneDrive. Am I missing something?
— B. Austin
A: Unfortunately, you’re not missing something. You can sync an external drive to OneDrive but OneDrive will only allow you to sync one drive per computer. In other words, if you’re syncing folders on the computer’s hard drive you won’t be able sync the external drive until you disconnect the syncing of the internal hard drive.
Google Drive, by the way, does allow you to specify multiple drives on a computer for syncing. But be aware that by default Google Drive will only sync photos and videos. You can change the setting to sync other file types.
And be aware that both cloud-storage solutions tie the syncing to the computer rather than to the drive. That is, if you take that external drive and attach it to another computer it won’t be syncing.
Q: I had Avast anti-virus on my computer for a time, and I realize that it is a highly rated anti-virus. I wish to use Microsoft Defender, which I know is also a good anti-virus program.
I am unable to get Avast off my computer. It keeps popping up about my status and I have noted it is in my list of programs under the Start button and there is no uninstall option. It also appears on the lower right with the hidden icons on the taskbar.
However, it is not listed in the add/remove programs in the Control Panel so I have no way of uninstalling it from my computer. This is very frustrating for me and makes me angry with Avast for these actions. Do you have any suggestions to completely uninstall this program?
— Roger Clark
A: For situations like yours — in which you can’t uninstall Avast using the usual tool in the Control Panel — Avast offers a utility you can download to do the job: https://www.avast.com/uninstall-utility. I guess they’ve run into this before …