5 ways to diagnose a website that's not working

Ian M. Wright asked why a particular website wouldn’t load for him, while others did without fail.

When something gets lost in that complex communication mishmash that we call the Internet, it’s not always easy to figure out who is to blame. But you need to know. Because if the problem is yours, it’s not going to go away until you’ve fixed it.

Try these tests to solve the problem.

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How to back up Gmail to your computer or local drive

Karicharla Venugopa asked for a safe way to back up a large collection of Gmail messages to a local drive.

I’ve been using Gmail for nearly a decade. Within the 40,000-plus messages I’ve sent or received, I have important professional correspondence and personal messages from loved ones who have since passed on. I really don’t want to lose them.

I know that Google backs up its servers. But I still feel better with all those messages stored locally.

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If you forget your Windows admin password, try this

Kkumjae Lee forgot his logon password. Here’s how to regain access.

Yes, you can log into Windows even if you forgot your password—even if there is no other administrative account on the PC. From a security point of view, this is actually scary news. But there are legitimate reasons to use the tricks below, and none of them will let a criminal log in without your knowledge (the password is changed, not revealed) or access encrypted data. Yet another reason to encrypt your sensitive files.

I’ve provided instructions here for Windows 7 and 10. Windows 8 users should have no trouble following the Windows 10 instructions.

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When a deleted Windows file won't go away: 3 ways to move or erase it

Jugalkumar Kshirsagar asked how to delete a file that Windows insists is open.

For reasons that should be obvious, Windows can’t delete a file—or move one—if it’s in use by a program. The obvious solution is to close the program holding onto the file. But it’s not always clear what program is holding onto that file.

Here are three ways to close the file and move it to the Recycle Bin (or someplace else).

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You can change drive letters, but know the risk of doing so

Luke Lindsay wants to change his drive letters. But he’s worried about the problems it may cause.

Drive letters were part of the PC environment before they were called PCs. My first computer ran CP/M, and the two floppy drives were A: and B:. We’re still using drive letters today, but they’re more pliable—and they can also create more problems.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]

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How to embed fonts in Word documents so they stay even if you send the file

Sara Shutt wants to email Word documents with an unusual font. But her documents arrive without the font she chose.

Back in the days when we printed our documents and snail-mailed them, this wasn't a problem. But today, if you care about your chosen font, you have to make sure it travels with the document.

That's actually pretty easy with Microsoft Word. But there are, of course, qualifications.

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How to enter Windows 10's Safe Mode

Aaron Kalmin asked how to boot into Safe Mode in Windows 10.

Windows’ Safe Mode provides a simple, stripped-down version of the operating system. The programs that usually load automatically when you boot Windows don’t do that here. And Safe Mode only uses the most generic drivers. Thus, Safe Mode can be a big help for diagnosing certain problems. For instance, it’s a great place to scan for malware.

But the old-fashioned way to get into Safe Mode—booting the PC and pressing F8 at the exact right moment—seldom works on PCs running Windows 10. These techniques will:

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