It didn't look like this yesterday!Working with boomers and seniors, I hear a lot about change!

“When I turned my tablet on this morning I have a very different screen than I saw yesterday? Where did Google go?”

“I booted up my computer this morning and my email does not look like it always has. What do I do now?”:

Good questions. (And who changed my device?)

Sometimes there is a logical answer for why things look different and sometimes there is not.

And that alone frustrates some older tech users.

Sometimes my response of “Don’t worry about it” is not sufficient.

But, perhaps the “what can you do about something new on your computer or tablet or smartphone” ultimately trumps the why question.


What can you do when faced with change—when you don’t see what you expect to see?

Here are several possibilities.

1. Don’t panic. Look around. What do you see that looks familiar? Make sure that you are actually on the page you normally use. If you have multiple pages open in a browser, you might have navigated to another webpage you had opened previously. Close everything you don’t need and re-start your computer. That may solve your problem.


Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.44.36 AM2. Email systems where the print size shrinks or the format or style of the page changes are not uncommon. In Gmail, for example, the settings icon, a small gear like device, opens to three possible settings—comfortable, cozy, and compact. Each controls how you view your email messages from more space to much less space. Quite often, the biggest issue with pages that don’t look like they once did is a simple re-adjustment of the format, print size, or layout of the page.  Use the Settings or Preferences icon to make changes in format and font size.


Search Engine possibilities3. Another common “Where did my page go” problem occurs when you have switched browsers, say from Google to Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo. When you turn on your device and see something other than your normal search engine anything else will look different and potentially throw you off base. Remember though that most search engines do essentially the same thing so you don’t necessarily need to use only one. The point is not to get flustered when you see one search box in place of another. To correct the problem, you can simply click on the search bar and select the search engine that you expect to see.


4. Perhaps you updated your operating system, some software, or an app and now things look different.  Keeping your operating system and apps up-to-date means that they will operate best and at full efficiency. When this happens that also means that things may change and look different from what you are used to. Without getting too philosophical about this you simply must learn to live with some ambiguity…and change!


Technology is technology and sometimes things happen that we don’t anticipate, can’t predict, or even explain why they happened. For the little things, don’t always worry about the WHY, instead think about what you can do about it.


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