Tech Q&A: How to store camera photos where you want them

Question: When I had Windows 7, photos from my camera would be downloaded to my PC. But Windows 10 wants to put my camera photos on OneDrive, Microsoft’s online storage service. How can I get Windows 10 to just put the photos on my PC instead of on OneDrive? — G.C., Metairie, La.

Answer: You can avoid using OneDrive simply by changing your preferences in the Windows 10 Control Panel. But first consider the benefits of using or not using OneDrive.

  • If you use OneDrive, here is what happens: The photos are imported from your camera and stored in the OneDrive folder on your PC. The contents of that folder are copied to the OneDrive online storage service (you are limited to 5 gigabytes of free online storage.) The good news is that your pictures are backed up online in case your PC is lost or damaged. The bad news is that the online storage is continuously linked to the PC folder. If you accidentally delete something from the PC, it disappears online as well. (For details, see
  • If you don’t use OneDrive, here’s what happens: The photos are imported from your camera and stored only in the PC’s Pictures folder. However, you can make a backup by occasionally copying the Pictures folder to a USB flash drive. Because the Pictures folder and flash drive aren’t continuously connected, accidentally deleting a photo on the PC won’t affect what’s stored on the flash drive.

If you want to stop using OneDrive, open Control Panel and, in the search box at the upper right, search for “Autoplay settings.” In the next menu, click on “change default settings for media or devices.” In the resulting menu, find “camera storage” and below it the box labeled “choose a default.” Click the arrow on the box, and in the resulting drop-down menu choose “import photos and videos (photos).”

Question: My 10-year-old HP PC runs Windows 10 and McAfee antivirus, but it is incredibly slow, especially when loading things like pictures and Adobe PDF files. Is there anything I can do to speed up the PC, or do I need to buy a new one? — M.H., Belle Plaine, Minn.

Answer: A slow 10-year-old computer should be replaced. It has outlasted its useful lifetime. Conventional wisdom says that any PC will be useful for three years. Depending on its component parts and upgrades, a well-maintained desktop PC might have a useful lifetime of five to eight years. The useful lifetime of a laptop is said to be three to five years, largely because its components are not as upgradeable.