Q: At about 11:30 a.m. every day since upgrading my computer from Windows 7 to Windows 10, something seems to be running in the background that slows down any task I am doing and almost makes it impossible to do another task/application at the same time.

I cannot find how to see what is running or do any diagnostic. Can you start me on a path?

— Robert Wainger, Redmond

A: Have you tried the Task Manager? Right-click on an empty space in the task bar and then select Task Manager from the list that pops up. If there’s a button at the bottom labeled “More details,” click on it. Next click on the Processes tab. You’ll be able to see just which processes are using how much of the computer’s CPU resources and memory, as well as how much they are accessing the hard drive and the network.

The potential snag is that some of the processes have names that don’t make it obvious what program they belong to. But a quick internet search should tip you off.

My guess? An anti-virus scan may be taking place. And if it’s that, you can reschedule the scan to take place at a time when you’re generally not using the computer.

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Q: My question is: How would I change the format of my multiple Gmail accounts and my desktop email client from POP3 to IMAP without losing all the messages and their folder structure already stored on my desktop?


If I were to change the settings for each of these accounts from POP3 to IMAP in both Gmail and my desktop client:

1. Would my existing messages be retained on my desktop PC and all messages after the conversion to IMAP stored on Gmail servers?

2. Would Gmail move all messages on my desktop PC, in their existing folder structure, to Gmail servers?

3. What may happen if I change the Gmail settings to treat each account as both POP3 and IMAP (it looks like Gmail might allow this dual status under “Forwarding and POP/IMAP”)?

— Jerry Rudy

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A: The main difference between POP3 and IMAP is, as you say, that when you connect to a POP3 account all the mail is downloaded to your local computer. If you then go to another computer and access that POP3 account, those messages are no longer there.

With IMAP it’s not simply that the messages stay on the server — the message store is synchronized with the local client on all connected devices. If you download a message on one computer it’s still available to any other device you have that connects to the server. And if you delete an email on one device it will be deleted on the server and all devices.


Obviously, this is a convenience for all of us who access our mail from various devices — computers, tables, smartphones and, now, even smartwatches. It’s also more secure. If you download POP3 mail and then your device is lost or destroyed … well, that mail is gone forever.

Anyway, as to your specific questions. First, yes, your existing messages stored locally will still be there after you convert to an IMAP account. Secondly, no existing messages in your old account that have been downloaded will be uploaded to your IMAP account unless you do it manually. Finally, an email account is one or the other — POP3 or IMAP. You can’t have it be both.

Oh, and …

Yes, you will lose the folder structure you created on your local computer. You’ll have to recreate it manually. After you’ve converted your Gmail account to IMAP you’ll want to make a new connection to it using whatever local client you choose.

Then manually create the folder structure you want. Then manually move items from your old account to the new account.