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How Do I Restore My Computer To What I Had Before I Did A Reset Yesterday?

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AndiFlatland | 14:03 Thu 25th Mar 2021 | Technology
2 Answers
I'm hoping that somebody can help me resolve a problem which I have no idea about. I'll try and keep this as brief as possible, but if somebody can help before I take the computer back to the shop I got it from, to ask them to try and deal with the problem, which will probably cost me a lot of money, I'd be very grateful. I'm very technically untrained, and have little knowledge about the finer workings of computers beyond a basic working capability which gets me what I need (I'm a collector). The computer was specially devised for me after I had been having similar problems with my previous device, and was working very well to begin with, about 18 months ago. It's a desktop unit, which was using Mozilla Firefox as browser.

The computer had been slowing down badly for a long time, due to having way too many tabs open, and I was getting infuriating problems with scrolling, lengthy waits for the spinning circle to stop and allow me to continue, and endless 'not responding' messages, etc.

I had been trying to make a series of small payments on eBay via PayPal, which I've done countless times, and had no serious problems. But - and I don't know if anybody else has had the same difficulties - recently PayPal seem to have adopted an infuriatingly complicated new way of establishing your identity and authorising payments, which adds a lot of wasted time to the process.

It now never seems to work the same way twice running, and has been sending me into fits of anger at the finicky and tedious new processes. Often I have sat with the PayPal 'pay now' box in the middle of the screen, and the spinning circle stuck there endlessly, without getting any further. Most times I just give up, hit the X, and go back and start again. But on this occasion, it not only got stuck with the spinning circle, but also wouldn't allow me to do anything more at all. So I finally gave up, and decided to do a restart in order to try and speed things up. As it was about to go through the final stage of the restart process, I got a message in a box on the screen, asking me if I wanted to reset my computer, and after a few moments to consider this, I decided that that was probably what I needed to do, and clicked on 'yes'. I had believed that this would enable a more responsive computer.

The screen then went blank, and as I waited, it went through a lengthy series of on-screen % updates, and I thought it was just doing what 'restart' did, only better. But to my annoyance, when the whole process was over, I ended up with Microsoft Bing (which I hate), and all attempts to open my e-mail were fruitless. No matter what I tried, it would not recognise any password I offered. I had been unable to access my online bank account for some time before this, and I'm having the same problem with eBay, BBC iPlayer, and other sites which demand a password.

The site I'm using bears no resemblance to what I had before, and I'm concerned that if I can't get the computer to return to Mozilla Firefox - which it doesn't seem to want to do - I will have lost a vast amount of creative writing I had saved in my drafts folder. Fortunately, I managed to get back on to Microsoft Word, and found that a 22,500-word thing I had written had not been wiped out. But how to get back to my e-mail??? I've tried resetting my password - that doesn't get me anywhere, either - and I know I have a considerable number of messages to answer, and I am losing out on a few eBay bids while this problem remains unresolved.

Can anybody explain, in fairly simple terms, what has happened here, and how I can get back to the way it was before (with all its faults and timewasting) even if that is possible? I rather suspect that I have lost all the tabs I had open, and all the things I wanted to go back to at some stage will have been dumped out in the reset process.

If you can offer any help, or give me any hope that all is not lost, and that all my previous settings can be recovered - many thanks!

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Have you tried downloading Firefox? https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/new/

What do you use for your email? Gmail or something else?

You mention creative writing saved in your 'drafts folder'. Was this in Microsoft Word?
The web browser on your computer has nothing to do with your creative writing. That should be stored in a folder that has nothing to do with your browser.

Further, Microsoft Bing isn't a web browser. It's a search engine (which can be accessed from any browser). So I'm confused as to whether you've still got Firefox as your browser (but with Bing now selected as its default search engine) or whether you've now got Microsoft Edge appearing as your web browser (which uses Bing by default).

Go to the Start button and look through the list of programs on your computer. If Firefox is listed there (as I believe that it will still be) click on it to open it. Click the three lines (top right) and select 'Options'. 'General' will probably be pre-selected; if not, click on it. Click on 'Make Default'. (If you see that Firefox is already selected as your default browser, you can ignore this step).

Now, instead of having 'General' displayed, click on 'Search'. Change 'Default search engine' from 'Bing' (if that's what it's showing) to 'Google' (if that's the search engine you want to use).

With regard to your email, you've not told us how you access it. Some people open a login page on their email provider's website (using their web browser to do so), whereas others access their email through a dedicated program (which is independent of their web browser), such as the Windows 10 Mail app or Thunderbird. Without knowing which method you're using, it's difficult to advise you.

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