EarthLink Software Compatibility with Windows 8

Microsoft Windows 8 Metro start screenWill your EarthLink software programs work with Windows 8?

So, it’s been about three weeks since Microsoft launched its new Window 8 operating system, which we wrote about here.

We followed up a couple of weeks ago with a post about how to use EarthLink email with Window 8.

Today we’ll continue to look at Windows 8 and the EarthLink Internet experience, focusing on the compatibility of current versions of EarthLink software with the new operating system. The good news: most of our current software can run on Windows 8 in Desktop mode (see below).

Look for updates as we release new software both here on the EarthLink Blog and in the EarthLink Support Center.

Windows 8 Metro vs. Desktop Mode

Windows 8 features an all-new interface called Metro (all the colorful tiles you see in promotions for Windows 8). In addition to Metro, Windows 8 has a more familiar-looking Desktop mode that operates more like an optimized Window 7 system than the new Metro.

Some programs, like EarthLink Access Software (see below), are not compatible with Metro but are fully compatible in Windows 8 Desktop mode. You may see an icon for these programs on the Metro interface, but when you click on them Windows 8 automatically launches them in Desktop mode.

EarthLink Access Software (current release, version 8.3)*

This free Internet access software is recommended for all our dial-up Internet customers. It helps you connect to the Internet faster and more reliably.

  • EarthLink Access Software installation on Windows 8 will switch to Desktop Mode.
  • You will be able to use our Internet connection software in Desktop mode only.
  • Click the software’s icon from the Metro Start screen and it will open in Desktop mode.
  • Dial-Up Connection and Modem detection both work on Windows 8.
  • Broadband/DSL Connection mode also works on Windows 8.

* Note: PeoplePC Access Software works just like EarthLink Access Software on Windows 8.

Protection Control Center

Protection Control Center is our all-in-one security suite that’s free for both our dial-up and high-speed Internet access members

  • If you currently have Protection Control Center installed, we recommend that you uninstall the security program before upgrading to Windows 8.
  • After Windows 8 is fully installed, you can install or reinstall Protection Control Center.
  • Windows 8 will switch to Desktop mode when installing Protection Control Center.
  • Protection Control Center will work in Desktop mode only.
  • When you click the Protection Control Center icon on the Metro start screen, a window will pop up asking “Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?” You must click Yes for the software to work correctly.
  • Security scans and Firewall work normally in Desktop mode.

EarthLink Online Backup

EarthLink Online Backup offers automatic, remote backup of multiple computers or devices. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t lose any important data or files.

  • EarthLink Online Backup works normally on Windows 8 but in Desktop mode only.
  • If you already have the backup software installed, make sure you uninstall EarthLink Online Backup before you upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 (it can block the Windows upgrade process).
  • After Windows 8 is fully installed, you can reinstall EarthLink Online Backup software normally.

EarthLink System Scanner

The EarthLink System Scanner is a quick and easy way to find out what your PC may need. It checks if your computer is secure, finds simple PC fixes, and analyzes your system.

  • Good news: the EarthLink System Scanner works normally on Windows 8.

PC FineTune

PC FineTune optimizes the speed and performance of your computer. Unfortunately, the current version (v. 11) of PC FineTune is NOT compatible with Windows 8.

We recommend you do not install or run the current version of PC FineTune if you have a Windows 8 computer. Check back with our website for a Windows 8 compatible version. If you currently use PC FineTune and are considering an upgrade to Windows 8, you may want to wait.

Having problems with our software? First uninstall, then reinstall.

If you are one of our customers who are already using our software, we want your Windows 8 upgrade experience to be as positive as possible.

When upgrading from Windows 7, Windows 8 will make an attempt to carry over your previously installed EarthLink programs. However, it is possible some programs will not work correctly after the upgrade or may even prevent the upgrade process.

We recommend if you have any problems with EarthLink or PeoplePC software during the upgrade process that you uninstall them and then reinstall them after the Windows 8 installation is successful. Good luck!

Windows 8 and EarthLink Email

Microsoft Windows 8 operating system - Windows 8 start screenLast week we posted about Microsoft’s launch of the all-new Windows 8 operating system. We know that many of you may have already upgraded or will do so in the near future.

One change we’d like to prepare you for concerns your access to EarthLink email. The Windows 8 operating system no longer comes with Windows Live Mail pre-installed. The new email program does not allow POP email accounts like those from EarthLink to be configured.

If you are using Windows 8, you have three options for downloading your EarthLink POP email:

  • EarthLink Web Mail: The simplest way to get your EarthLink email is to use our Web Mail. Just open any web browser, go to and sign in with your EarthLink email address and password.
  • Add your EarthLink email address to Microsoft’s and then connect Outlook to the Windows 8 Mail app. Here’s how to do it:
  1. Log in to (If you don’t have a Microsoft account, create one.)
  2. Click the settings icon (looks like gears) in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Select More mail settings from the settings menu.
  4. Click Sending/receiving email from other accounts under Managing Your Account.
  5. Click the Add an email account link in the middle of the page.
  6. Click Advanced options.
  7. Configure your email settings by entering your POP server name (, unchecking SSL, choosing Port 587, and adding in your full email address and password. Then click Next.
  8. Select an folder for your EarthLink mail or have it come to your inbox. We recommend having it come to your inbox. Click Save when done.
  9. Verify your email address by clicking a link that comes in a confirmation email that Microsoft sends to your POP account. Your account should now show all the messages that are stored in your POP account.
  10. To associate and your EarthLink email with your Windows 8 computer, click the Windows 8 Mail app tile. Then select Accounts under Settings.
  11. Select Outlook.
  12. Enter your username and password then click Connect.

New Computer Products from Microsoft and Apple

This past week was indeed a big one for tech news, since two of the most iconic companies of the PC-era, Microsoft and Apple, both had major announcements about multiple products.


Microsoft Windows 8 operating system - Windows 8 start screenWindows 8
Microsoft is making one of their biggest operating system changes in the move to Windows 8, which will be officially available tomorrow (October 26). The new OS is a radical departure that some people really love and others… not so much.

CNET’s review of Windows 8 praised its fast boot time, gorgeous apps, Sync feature, security improvements, and affordable $40 upgrade price (only $15 if you bought your PC after June 2 this year). They did warn users about a steep learning curve. Read the full Windows 8 review here. 

Or check out this CNET Windows 8 buying guide for the pros and cons of various product configurations.

The other big Microsoft news is the Surface, the first ever computer (a tablet) made by Microsoft. Most reviewers praised Microsoft for its bold new ideas for a tablet. Th most common critique was the disappointingly small number of available apps (no Facebook, Instagram, Angry Birds, Spotify, etc.). Surface prices range from $499 – $699 depending on configuration. It will be available in Microsoft Stores tomorrow but you can pre-order the Surface from Microsoft now.  Read a round-up of Microsoft Surface reviews on the Wall Street Journal website or this in-depth review from


Apple’s press event on Tuesday was anticipated as an announcement of a smaller version of the iPad. It was that. But Apple also announced an upgraded version of its full sized iPad, a new all-in-one iMac, a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, and a new Mac Mini. You can read the New York Times’ live updates from the Apple product event here. Mashable also has a good round-up of all the new Apple products here.

New Apple iPad MiniiPad Mini
The mini is, not surprisingly, a mini version of the regular iPad. More specifically, it’s 7.87 in. x 5.3 in., and .68 pounds. If you held off getting an iPad because it was just too big, the mini may be perfect for you. It costs less, too. Though at a starting price of $329, the expense of the mini has generated the most negative comments. Read a review of the iPad mini on

iPad 4
The previous version of the iPad came out just last spring, so some recent buyers are miffed that Apple decided to release the new iPad 4. That said, it’s not that much different than the last one. The processor is faster, the Wi-Fi connectivity is more reliable, and there’s a new Lightning connector. But then again, the IPad 3 was already considered a pretty great tablet, so a few additional improvements make it that much better. Read a review of the iPad 4 on

Apple’s all-in-one desktop is getting a major refresh. Most notably, the new iMacs are now a lot thinner. Inside, they’re faster. There are some new hard drive options, including a hybrid SSD/traditional hard drive called Fusion Drive. And the displays are better than ever. They’re still available in 21.5-inch (from $1299) and 27-inch (from $1799). See a video demo of the new iMac on

13-Inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display
The new 13-inch is thinner and lighter than the current 13-inch model. But the headline feature is the stunning Retina display, with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, which Apple introduced on the 15-inch MacBook last spring. compares the Retina MacBook Pro with Sony’s Vaio Z and the old MacBook Pro.

Mac Mini
Mini is Apple’s only PC without a display. The new one is faster, has more memory, new hard drive options, and other upgrades. See CNET’s video review of the new Mac Mini.