Your questions answered

Just when I think I’ve seen every possible computer question, someone has a new one. Awesome! Keep them coming. This week’s crop: Quarantine’s purpose, easier Drag + Drop, and iTunes “deauthorization” instructions.


What does Quarantine do, anyway?

People often ask if an antimalware program will interfere with their antivirus program. You should not have more than one antivirus program running. You can --- and should --- supplement any antivirus program with an antimalware program.

A more unusual question is:

If I remove an antivirus program and install a new one, what happens to the viruses that are in quarantine?  They are not part of the old program files, so I don't know if they get deleted, or are they set free to run amuck again?

I think every antivirus program I've ever uninstalled gives the option of deleting/removing all the files in quarantine/virus chest/whatever that program calls it. I guess there could be one out there that doesn't, but I can't remember ever seeing that.

Even if you miss that step in the uninstall process, any file in quarantine wouldn't be able to function as a virus or malware. When an antivirus or antimalware program quarantines a file, the file is altered in such a way that it can't run. If you use the very same antivirus program to remove something from quarantine, the file is restored to its original state and functions as designed.

Quarantine is like a holding pen before Delete. The reason we quarantine things rather than simply delete them is because once in awhile there's a false positive and we don't really want to delete files that turn out to be critical to Windows or a real program working properly.


How can I see the files on my flash drive and the files in Documents at the same time?

You need to open two Explorer windows at the same time. (Not Internet Explorer, just the File Explorer that’s built into Windows.) To do that:

  • Open your Documents folder as you normally would
  • Hold down the Ctrl and the N key simultaneously. That tells Windows to open a new Window.
  • Navigate to your flash drive, and you’re good to go.

Another way it to press the key with the Windows logo/flag on it and the E key at the same time. That opens up another Explorer window. Again, navigate to the folder you want, and you can drag and drop files between the open windows.

If you want to make it easy to drag and drop, right-click on your taskbar and then click on “Show Windows Side by Side.”


iTunes is complaining that I used all my authorized devices. What???

If you use iTunes and have an account at the iTunes Store, one thing you need to do before you get rid of an old computer is “deauthorize” that computer. iTunes allows a maximum of five computers associated with your Apple ID. (And by the way, why isn’t it an Apple iD”?) If you give that computer to someone else without deauthorizing it, that person has access to all your iTunes content, and of course the associated credit card. Whoa.

If the computer is still able to connect to the iTunes store:

  • Open iTunes
  • Click on iTunes Store
  • Click on Deauthorize this computer
  • Type your Apple ID and password
  • Click on Deauthorize

If you can’t get your old computer online or if you’ve already dropped it from a great height or given it away, go to a different computer, go to the iTunes store and deauthorize ALL your computers. You can then authorize just the ones you want. (You can only do that once a year, for some reason, so be careful.)

More information on the Apple support site, here:


Happy Canada Day and Happy Independence Day!


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 [email protected].

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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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