January 26, 2018

Just when I think I’ve seen everything, I see something else. Usually, that’s good! I learned two things last week researching weird things.

Weird Things Happen

I live in Canada, but my computer thinks I’m in Brazil.

Last week a new customer mentioned that the time and date was wrong on her computer. You wouldn’t think that’s a big deal, but a wrong date/time can create problems.

For some reason, her computer was on Brasilia Time. I checked the location settings, and everything said Canada, Canadian English. I changed the time zone in settings manually, but when I turned everything back to automatic, the computer’s time automatically went back to the wrong time zone.

That was a new one on me, and I thought it was a one-off. Her computer was malware-free, wasn’t having any other problems, and when I manually set the time and time zone instead of letting it discover the time zone itself, everything was fine.

Then, the same thing happened to one of the computers here.

I found something that fixes the problem. There are more complicated solutions, but I suggest trying this one first. If it doesn’t work, then look at the complicated ones!

  • Right-click on the taskbar clock
  • Click on Adjust date/time
  • If your Time zone says Brasilia (and that’s not where you are) move the sliders to turn off Set time automatically and Set time zone automatically
  • Press the WindowsKey and the S key at the same time to open search
  • Begin typing Control Panel until you see it in the search results
  • Click on Control Panel
  • Make sure you’re in Icon view
  • Click on Date and Time | Internet Time | Change settings…
  • Use the dropdown arrow to select
  • Click on Update now | OK
  • Restart the computer
  • Right-click on the taskbar clock
  • Click on Adjust date/time
  • Move the sliders to turn on Set time automatically and Set time zone automatically

Your time zone, date, and time should now be correct.

Media Player worked fine, but suddenly it vanished.

Microsoft adds a little something every time a Windows 10 Upgrade rolls out. “Gee, that’s nice,” said practically no one ever.

But wait, there’s more.

Turns out they remove a little something, too.

Sometimes you don’t notice right away. I still get plenty of questions from people using Windows Live Mail, even though Microsoft no longer supports it. Did you notice that?

You also may not have realized that Windows Media Player is on its way out. I certainly didn’t know that because I’ve been using an alternative for years. But readers have been emailing me asking how to get it back.

Apparently when you install the Fall Creators Update, it disables and hides Windows Media Player. Why? Beats me. Here’s how to get it back (at least for now):

  • Start | Settings | Apps | Apps & Features
  • Click on Manage optional features | Add a feature
  • Scroll down to Windows Media Player
  • Click on Install

Go grab a Pepsi and a slice. This is going to take some time. Once the process completes, click on the shiny new Windows Media Player shortcut in your Start Menu to fire up the app.

How long are we going to be allowed to use this legacy program? No idea. There are plenty of alternatives! The best video player is VLC player, available here. Please, please, please download it from that (safe) page.

VLC will also play music, but it’s not as easy to navigate for music as Windows Media Player. You could use the built-in Windows Media Player replacement, called Groove Music, but it’s kind of terrible. Our friends at recommend some for you.

And of course, there’s always iTunes, which is also terrible, but which is currently the only player I can find that will allow me to download podcasts and transfer them to my out-of-date-but-beloved iPod Nano 7th Generation.

Have you had something weird happen on your computer? You’re probably not alone. Tell me about it at and maybe we’ll all learn something!


Do you need help with your computer? I’m here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to

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This column also appeared on January 29, 2018