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Tech Q&A: Telling your PC where you really are

Steve Alexander, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Science & Technology News

Q: I recently moved from Chicago to Lakeland, Fla., but my PC doesn't always realize it.

Whenever I use Google Maps via the Windows 10 Edge browser, the map shows me a Chicago starting point. And if I do a Google search on "Where am I right now?" the answer is Chicago. This is happening even though I went into the Google Maps settings and changed my home and work locations to Lakeland. But, if I use the Google Chrome browser instead of Edge, I get a Florida map for my home location. What's wrong?

--Rex Fermier, Lakeland, Fla.

A: Microsoft's Edge browser and Google's Chrome browser both keep track of your home location, but they get their location data from different places.

Chrome takes its cues from Google Maps. Because you changed your Google Maps home and work locations (other readers can learn how to do it at tinyurl.com/y63gsfb2), Chrome shows you a Florida map centered on Lakeland.

But Edge gets its location data from Windows 10, which maintains a master location setting for many apps. When you view Google Maps in the Edge browser, Edge disregards where Google thinks you are and instead uses your Windows 10 location, which is still set to Chicago.

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To make Edge recognize that you are now living in Florida, change your default location in the Windows 10 "Maps" settings (see tinyurl.com/yycd95lk). Doing so will tell Microsoft's Maps and Weather apps, its Cortana digital assistant and the Edge browser that you have moved.

Q: I need to upgrade from Windows 7, but my budget is limited. Can my nine-year-old Dell Inspiron 560 handle Windows 10?

--Patty Landis, Minneapolis

A: No, your PC is too old to be updated to Windows 10. That leaves you with two choices:

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