By Steve Alexander

Q: I’ve been using a POP (Post Office Protocol) account to access my Comcast email; it deletes old mail from the server once I download it to my PC’s Outlook mail program. Now I want to switch to an IMAP (internet message access protocol) email account, which would keep all my mail on the server so I can access it from both my phone and tablet computer. How can I do that while moving 2.5 gigabytes of old email from Outlook to the mail server?

—Kenneth Enstrom, Bloomington, Minn.

A: Comcast makes it fairly easy to switch your email account from POP to IMAP (see tinyurl.com/y2uhg9j8).

But there’s a catch: It’s unclear whether all 2.5 gigabytes of your old email will be copied back to the Comcast mail server during the POP to IMAP conversion. If it isn’t, some of that email might be lost.

To avoid losing any e-mail, back up the contents of Outlook before making the switch from POP to IMAP. By using a process called “exporting,” you can back up your email to a PC folder that’s not part of Outlook (see tinyurl.com/y6smkcev).

Then follow Comcast’s directions for creating a new IMAP account, and for transferring the contents of your inbox, sent mail, etc. to the new account. (This is an attempt by Comcast to copy your PC email back to the mail server. If it works, great. If not, you’ve got the backup.)

Once the transition to IMAP is completed, you can “import” your email back into your PC’s Outlook program (see details at the same URL that explained “export”).

Once you have an IMAP email account, all your devices will be able to read, save or delete new email. Whether your old mail will be visible on all devices, or just your PC, remains to be seen.

Q: My iMac frequently gets a message that I need to update the Adobe Flash software. But when I try to download the software, nothing seems to happen. Then, a few hours later, the warning appears again. How can I either update Flash or get rid of the warning?

—Kendra Garrett, St. Paul, Minn.

A: You don’t need to update Adobe Flash animation and streaming software because it’s being phased out (see tinyurl.com/y59fkw8c). To get rid of the update warning, disable it on your Mac (see tinyurl.com/yxmezl5l).

However, it’s possible that the repeating Flash warning is a fake, and that by “updating” you are actually downloading advertising software (see tinyurl.com/y28k9rmd).

To get rid of junk software, get the free version of the Malwarebytes security program (see tinyurl.com/jf29qxx).

Q: The Internet Explorer browser on my Windows 8.1 PC is getting “this page can’t be displayed” messages on several different Google websites. What should I do?

Harry Thompson, Tucson, Ariz.

A: Use another browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Or, to continue using Internet Explorer, you can try fixes such as disabling “enhanced protected mode,” deleting browser history or disabling add-on programs (see tinyurl.com/y5u2tura).

Steve Alexander covers technology for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Email him at steve.j.alexander@gmail.com. Please include a full name, city and phone number.