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Can Cortana and Xbox be deleted from Windows 10, and how can buffering be eliminated from TVs connected to the internet?

Q: I use Windows 10 and have half a dozen things I want to delete like Xbox, games and games, and Cortana. It has an uninstall button that is inactive or I am referring to “programs” but it is not listed there. Where can I get them? I have a very large disk space, it’s mainly about throwing things away that I don’t use.

Jim Carroll

A: I hear you, especially about Cortana. Fortunately, Microsoft has stopped running Cortana by default in Windows 11.

You can disable Cortana in Windows 10 by going to the Task Manager and clicking the Startup tab. Select Cortana and then click “Disable.”

Next, open the Start menu and find Cortana. Right-click Cortana and select “More.” Click App Settings and turn off “Run and login.”

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Read more from Patrick Marshall here >>

Actually removing the Cortana app from your computer, however, requires using PowerShell and editing the Windows registry. It’s easy to make mistakes, so let me know if you want instructions for doing that.

As for the Xbox, I’m afraid it’s also one of the apps that comes with Windows and can’t be uninstalled without using PowerShell.

Once again, I don’t recommend that for most users, but if you feel the challenge, let me know.

Q: I was wondering if there were any suggestions on how to deal with Apple Mail randomly depositing email into the spam folder. I have to check my spam every day if I want to make sure I’m not missing something important. Emails will spam even if the message is from an address I previously received in mail and if I have the sender in my contact file. This happens often, but not consistently. I repeatedly take the desired items from the spam folder and put them in my regular inbox, to be found the next day or a few days later, new missives go to spam again .

At the same time it continues to put new messages in my mailbox that I previously marked as junk and preferred not to retrieve. So it doesn’t seem to work in both directions.

I’m running an old MacBook, on macOS 10.14.6 Mojave and was told I can’t upgrade that until I get a new computer.

Chuck Eberdt, Bellingham

A: I will start troubleshooting this in two steps.

First, turn off your junk mail filter. To do this go to Mail Preferences and click the Junk Mail tab, then uncheck “Enable junk mail filtering.”

Next, reboot the computer, restore the junk mail filter and reconfigure your settings.

Second, check with your email service provider to see if you have different junk mail settings configured there. Your emails may have been in error before reaching Apple Mail.

Q: A friend got a lot of buffering on his TV. After several technology visits and a new receiver, he finally gave up and bought an expensive new TV. To his horror, buffering happened again.

His TV is not networked with his computer in any way. Can you suggest any reasons why this is going on or what he can do?

Pat Lane, Mount Vernon

A: My TV is also not connected to my computer. But it is directly connected to the internet, and if my internet connection is slow the TV will stop to buffer.

If the TV is connected to the same internet service provider as the computer, I suggest running a broadband speed test on the computer. If the download speed is below 5 megabits per second you are below Netflix’s recommendation. The speed test will also report the ping time, which is the time it takes for your computer to get a response from the server. If that number is higher than 35 milliseconds, it could be the cause of performance problems.

If your download speed is below 5 mbps or your ping speed is above 35ms, it’s time to talk to your service provider about repairing or upgrading your connection.

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