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How fixing someone else’s problem broke my computer


I have a situation that happened to me this week that needs to be shared.

One of my co-workers was working on a graphic design project, and he had to add fonts to his computer to edit a document.

For those unfamiliar with the term, font is typeface. Every typeface on your computer is an actual file that needs to be installed before you can use it.

After I found the font files he needed, I decided to install one on my computer as a refresher before I could help him. I haven’t installed a font on a Windows PC in years.

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He works remotely, so we set up a Microsoft Teams meeting. He shared his screen with me, and I let him install the fonts.

That would have been the end of the story, but it wasn’t.

It’s not uncommon to have a follow-up question or issue when I’m working on a computer, but this time the problem shows up on my PC.

After the Teams meeting, I noticed that the default font in my web browser had changed. It’s a different typeface that is very thin and italic. It wasn’t really what I was used to seeing.

I started the troubleshooting by restarting the browser-this time, Google Chrome.

Same font problem.

Then I made sure Chrome was updated and restarted my PC.

Same font problem.

I launched Firefox to see if the problem was limited to Chrome or more widespread.

Firefox has the same font problem.

Aha. This is a system font issue.

I searched for the terms “browser,” “default font” and “modified” and I found an article called “Why does my browser’s font change itself?”

The article will take you through troubleshooting steps, such as trying another browser, then removing any problematic fonts.

The article says to remove any newly added fonts, and of course I installed one earlier in the week.

I uninstalled the font (Helvetica Neue, if you will) and restarted my PC, and the default font in my browser returned to normal.

I’ve had so many computers fixed, but this is the first time I’ve remembered that fixing someone else’s problem caused my computer issue.

That was a good troubleshooting exercise.

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