Walt Mossberg

Recent Columns by Walt Mossberg

Mossberg’s Mailbox

Letting Go of Gmail

Q:

Is there a way to delete a Gmail account?

A:

Yes. First, go to your Google accounts settings page, found at http://tinyurl.com/bm78c8y. Next, click on “Products” at the lower left.

A page will open listing all the different Google products you use. Click the small “Edit” link next to the words “Your Products.” When the next page appears, find the phrase “Delete a Product” at the upper left and click on the link that reads “Remove Gmail Permanently.” Follow the instructions.

Google’s text on this page says “Within two business days of your request, your…mailbox will be closed and all its contents will be permanently deleted.” However, Google warns that: “Residual copies of deleted messages and accounts may take up to 60 days to be deleted from our active servers and may remain in our backup systems for an additional period of time.”

Q:

Is it possible to route Comcast cable channels from the Comcast box through the new Roku 3, which has earphones you plug into its remote? We want to use earphones while on our noisy workout machine.

A:

Roku says the answer is, unfortunately, no. A company official explains: “The earphones are for Roku streaming only. We don’t offer a pass-through of other video inputs,” such as video from your cable box.

Q:

I have a four year old Dell Inspiron running Windows XP. I am planning to buy a new Dell desktop with Windows 7. How can I transfer all my data files (about a hundred) and program files from the old one to the new one without reinstalling all the programs from the original CD. Some programs were downloaded.

A:

Windows 7 includes a utility called Windows Easy Transfer that moves files, email, pictures, and settings, from an older PC to the new one. But it doesn’t transfer programs. You can learn more about it at http://tinyurl.com/n2zoz6. In general, moving programs from one machine to another on Windows is tricky.

However, a company called Laplink makes a product called PCmover that claims to move over both data files and programs. You can learn about it at http://ww2.laplink.com/pcmover/.

Email Walt at mossberg@wsj.com


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