Q: I’ve run every computer I’ve ever had in admin mode, with no password, including Windows 10 set up as classic Windows. I did not know that was a big no-no, so I added a strong password to the admin account.

Then I added a new non-administrator account with no password and tried to switch to that new account. After a long time chugging a new version of Windows 10 appeared! But it wasn’t set up the way we like and was missing all the add-ons, adjustments and desktop icons we use.

So I switched back to our original admin account and everything went back to normal. But I have the same problem — I’m signed on to the internet using the admin account and I’m confused as can be.

Am I protected because I added a strong password to that account? Do I need to somehow disable/sign-out of the admin account and somehow sign in to the “daily user” account?

— Ed Waldock

A: Yes, it’s true that when you create a new user account your Windows configuration is essentially “reset.” Windows will remember how you configure things for each user account.

Adding a strong password to that admin account is a good first step. The problem, though, is that if you’re running your computer using that account and someone hacks into your computer over the internet, they don’t need the password. If they get into your computer with that account running things, the intruder has access to all the administrator tools.


I know it’s a pain but if you want to be more secure you’ll want to go back to that non-adminstrator account and reinstall your add-ons, desktop icons, etc.

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Read more from Patrick Marshall here >>

Q: As a Seattle native, I have learned a lot of useful things from your articles over the years. I have an issue that I believe a lot of people face, but I haven’t figured out how to solve it:

My email address is my personal domain, which means I have been downloading my emails to Microsoft Outlook on my personal computer since around 1998. Yes, that means I have moved my Outlook PST file from hard drive to hard drive countless times and my whole email life of the past 20-plus years is in that PST file.

Now I want to have all those emails in the cloud, accessible from anywhere through the internet. In essence I want to access my personal emails the same way my work emails are accessible from a web browser as well as from my desktop.

I subscribed to Microsoft 365 expecting that all I need to do is upload my PST to the cloud service, and keep going. Apparently it is not that simple, and I don’t really understand why not. Do you have any advice for how to achieve my goal?

— Steve Zitkovich

A: You’re right. It’s not a simple thing to store your PST file in OneDrive. You can copy your PST file to OneDrive if you want to store it as a backup, but if you open it with Outlook you’re likely to end up with a corrupt PST file. The thing is, Outlook is constantly writing to and from the active PST file. That’s likely to slow down your internet performance and, yes, could easily result in a corrupt file.

The simplest way to achieve the result you want — being able to access your emails from anywhere, including from a web browser — is to use an IMAP email account. With IMAP your emails are stored on a server and are synced with every device you use to access your account.

Some email-service providers — including Gmail — allow you to convert an existing POP3 account to IMAP.