Q: I have a one-year-old Lenovo IdeaPad L340. I am using an Ethernet connection to access the internet, and about one month ago it would download at 500 to 600 Mbps; now it downloads about 90 Mbps. The Ethernet adapter is a Realtek PCle GbE Family Controller; the driver is up to date. I have two other desktop PCs, Windows 10, Home, that continue to operate at 500 to 600 Mbps with an Ethernet connection to the same router. Can you suggest a solution?

— J. Kerry

A: You’ve taken the right first step in troubleshooting — seeing whether the problem is with that computer, your network or the incoming internet service. Since those other computers are getting the expected speeds you’ve isolated the problem to that one computer. There are two things I’d try first: replacing the Ethernet cable you connect that computer with (unless it’s the same cable as is used to connect the other computers) and updating the drivers for the Ethernet adapter on that computer.

Next, try Windows’ built-in troubleshooter. To do that, open the Control Panel and launch the Troubleshooting utility. Next, select “Network and Internet” and then “Connect to the Internet.”

If that doesn’t turn up what’s holding that computer back, I’d suspect either a virus or some other malware.

Related Tech Q&As

Read more from Patrick Marshall here >>

Q: I have an HP 17-inch Envy Laptop running Windows 10. (I don’t know if I have all of the latest updates.) I use Gmail for my email. I am writing to you today because of a problem I am having with my in-basket. Is there a way that I could combine emails coming in from the same email addresses? That way I could handle them at one time. I would save lots of wasted time handling the emails one at a time. If I don’t look at my email for a few days then I end up having from 100 to 300 emails to deal with. Most of them are from the same organizations. Over and over.


Several months ago, I subscribed to a couple of political websites. I didn’t realize they were going to provide my email address to political organizations that have the same political bent as me. I started receiving emails from many political websites including emails from candidates from all over the country sending me emails requesting donations.

— Gene Gershen 

A: Gmail doesn’t support combining multiple emails into a single email. You can, though, filter emails so that you can, say, assemble a group of all emails from a given sender.

First, open an email from that sender and then click on the three dots in the upper-right-hand corner.

Next, click on “Filter messages like this.” A dialog will open with the sender’s name automatically entered. But as you’ll see there are also other things you can filter on, including “has the words,” “doesn’t have the words,” size, etc. Finally, click on the Search button and you’ll see all messages from that sender.

And if you want to block a sender, that’s even easier. Open a message from that sender then click on the three dots in the upper-right-hand corner. Click on “Block [sender’s name]” and then on “Block” one more time.


Q: I hope you can recommend a person or company who can help me using my computer and my devices. What I need is someone who can show me how to get out of trouble or just properly use apps and things that require passwords.

I am in my mid-80s and sometimes use a grandchild, but they skip steps that seem obvious to them but not to me. I have so many questions but don’t know where to find the answers or even if I am asking the right question. Please direct me to someone who can help. 

— Pat Sheffels

A: You can find help by searching for a computer user group in your area, or specifically for a senior computer user group.

Judging from the phone number you put in your email, you’re a local, so I recommend that you check out SeniorTech of Puget Sound (http://www.seniortechps.org/).