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Q: I just installed Windows 8.1 and now when I click on any email link, whether it’s in an email or on a website, Windows calls up Windows Live instead of my Outlook 2013. How do I fix this?

— J. Kenner


A: You’d think Microsoft would recognize that if you’ve installed Microsoft Outlook you probably want that to be the default program when you click on an email link, right?


So you’re going to need to manually specify Outlook as your default email program.

To do so, call up the Control Panel and select Default Programs. (You can also click on the Windows 8.1 Start icon and then scroll to the Default Programs icon.) When Default Programs loads, choose “Set your default programs” and then click on Outlook. Finally, click on “Set this program as default.”

Q: Last week I installed a new motherboard and processor in a home-built desktop computer. After reinstalling the original Windows 7 and data from the Windows old folder, I found my Word files (Office 2007) are now restricted.

I had created a folder on the C: drive for Word documents and placed a number of subfolders in there as well. When I open the top-level folder, all the Word documents and some of the subfolders show the file/folders name in green font. Anything in green font seems to be restricted.

I’ve tried to change permissions in the file and folder security tab, but nothing works so far. When I tried to copy the folder to a USB drive I got a message that the Word files are encrypted. This isn’t something I would have done.

Could you point me to someone that could help?

— Bruce McKibben

A: Windows keeps track not only of your software, but of your hardware too. And it’s not uncommon when you swap out a critical piece like the motherboard to run into glitches.

And for those who have a branded version of Windows — one sold with, and tuned for, the brand of computer — you may not even be able to reinstall the branded version.

If things were working normally, the file names being displayed in green would indicate that the files are encrypted. Assuming that they are not, I would focus on the fact that you’re receiving a message indicating the files are restricted. That means, of course, that you don’t have the proper rights to open the files. In turn, that means you’ve got to change the rights associated with those files. Here’s how:

While logged into Windows as an administrator, open Windows Explorer and locate the file you want to change. Right click and then click on Properties, then select the Security tab. On this screen you can select users and permissions.

You may also want to try loading the application you want to use first and then try to open the file from within the application instead of through Windows Explorer.

Q: I have a refresh issue when making changes to folder contents. If I go into a folder and, say, delete a file or — just discovered recently — add a folder to the desktop, I have to hit F5, refresh, to see the change.

Refreshes to see changes are not as automatic as they once were. I’ve looked at the folder options several times but see nothing that will help me correct this issue. I have an HP desktop running Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit. Any ideas?

— Ken Noll

A: There are quite a number of potential causes for this glitch, and the corrective steps are too detailed to offer here. Accordingly, I suggest trying the steps at

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to or, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at