Patrick Marshall answers your personal technology questions each Saturday.

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Q: Eight months ago I made the move from the PC world to Apple, purchasing an iMac. The move went smoothly, with one significant exception — many of my email messages didn’t make it to the mail client on the iMac. This was very disconcerting, because those folders contained 15 years of genealogical correspondence. Oddly, some messages came across and others didn’t, but nearly all the folders that contained these messages did transfer.

Several different Apple techs worked on this, keeping the new machine almost a week, trying to solve it. In the end, I was told that something about the file type of messages was unique to Windows Mail (this is not Windows LIVE Mail), and that was preventing the affected messages from coming over from my old desktop running Windows Vista Home Premium to the iMac’s email program.

Rather than give up, I’m wondering whether a bridge of sorts would accomplish my goal of preserving these old messages. I also have an older laptop running Windows 7, with Office 2010 on it. I’m wondering if I can move my mail folders from the desktop to the laptop, and open them in Outlook 2010, to acquire a new file type or extension.

— Reiley Kidd, Seattle

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A: All you need to do is download and install Windows Migration Assistant – which you can find at – on both computers and then follow the instructions you’ll find here: By the way, both Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail use the same file format for messages: EML. I’m a little surprised that the Apple techs didn’t point you to Windows Migration Assistant since, after all, it’s Apple software. Do follow up and let me know if it doesn’t work for you.


Q: We are changing our computer security and are not sure which one to go with. Over the years we’ve had Norton. When we moved to Windows 10 we were told that Windows Defender was better than Norton and it’s free so if that’s true we’d like to change. However, we can’t find any reviews on Windows Defender so are a little hesitant. We’ve also heard that Kaspersky is not as good as Windows Defender. We’d appreciate your thoughts on this. If there are others that are better we’d like to check them out, too.

— Pam Read

A: I don’t recommend software unless I’ve tested it recently, and I haven’t done a comparison of anti-virus packages in quite some time. That said, I don’t mind revealing that I use Norton Antivirus. It rates highly in reviews I’ve seen and it’s free with my internet service. If your internet service provider is Comcast (Xfinity) or CenturyLink, you’ll want to consider downloading Norton from their site.

I haven’t seen any recent anti-virus comparisons that rate Windows Defender as highly as Norton or Kasperksy. Most of the major computer magazines – PC Magazine, PC World, CNet, to name a few – regularly run comparisons, so just search the internet for “comparative anti-virus review” if you want more details.


Q: I am using Comcast for email. I am using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 to manage my email. When I manually command Outlook to send and receive messages, the messages in the Comcast Inbox are removed but do not appear in the Outlook Inbox until the following day. This problem started three days ago. Comcast says it is an Outlook problem and not theirs. Can you suggest how to resolve this problem?

— Don Wieckowicz

A: Some users find their email delayed when they have unintentionally configured Outlook to only do send/receive operations infrequently. But you’ve already eliminated that possibility by manually commanding a send/receive. That means the issue is likely with the Comcast servers. The only other explanation I can think of is that you may be running an anti-virus package on your computer that is configured to scan incoming messages. Turn off that feature and see if the problem goes away. If it does, report the issue to the anti-virus company.