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Some of our most Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) follow. If you don't see your question below, just ask! You can always write us at email addr, and you can get a real person most of the day at (if not, just leave a message!).

Can the PawPawMail User forward e-mail? ... print out the text of e-mails? ... print out the photos from the album? ... modify his or her own address book (like adding contacts)? ... send a single message to multiple contacts?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. You may not see these options when you first sign up because we start all users off in Basic Mode. However, more advanced Users can get access to far more functions while still using the simple design of PawPawMail by setting their accounts to "Advanced" mode. To find out more about this see our Advanced Mode question.

How can I set up my mom's/dad's/friend's computer to make it the easiest possible?

There are two components to this: hardware (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.) and software configuration (big pointer, simple start menu, etc.). The answers to both could, and do, take up many books.

The quick version for hardware: For beginner users, or those without great dexterity, get a big keyboard and a trackball rather than a mouse (trackballs separate cursor movement from clicking, meaning that users click what they're aiming at). Even better, a touch-screen monitor is bliss (though potentially expensive). You can also check out computers built specifically for seniors which already include all of these components.

The quick version for software: Use your native screen resolution and increase font, icon, and cursor sizes rather than decreasing resolution. This may seem more difficult, but by altering the resolution, you're making everything fuzzy and generally restricting what kinds of software have enough room to run. In the ideal scenario, create startup items to launch software automatically and turn the machine into a single-purpose appliance (see our FAQ on that).

For much more detail on all of the above, download our extensive document titled "Computers for Seniors: A Caregiver's Guide".

Logging on is the only complicated part -- can't I set it up so that it logs in automatically?

There's a hidden button on the User interface to save a password. When logging on as a User, type in username and password, then hold down the Control key (sometimes Command on Mac) and then click the button that appears. Once you've saved the password, you can set up a shortcut to log in automatically by adding "#auto=y" to the end of the web address:

as in:

Note that you should ONLY use this when you are the exclusive user of your computer. It would be entirely non-secure for a shared computer!

How do I convert a trial into a full PawPawMail account?

Your trial account has full access to all PawPawMail functions, but it's time-limited. Before it expires, you can upgrade to a full account by going to the following link:

Simply enter the account name and payment information. Welcome aboard!

If I install PawPawMail on one computer, do I have to get a new account to move it to another?

Absolutely not! PawPawMail is web-based, so any tweaks we make to simplify PawPawMail are shown to you as soon as we launch them, plus you can use it from anywhere at any time.

I am setting PawPawMail up for my mom/dad/etc.; do I need to have access to his/her computer? Can I be an Assistant from another city?

Remote assistance is what PawPawMail is designed for. Someone may need to set the User up initially (this can be as simple as setting up a shortcut or bookmark for PawPawMail), but just about anyone with access to the User's computer can do this in minutes. Just grab the nearest teenager and tell them "set up the simplest way on this computer of launching a web browser pointed to", and you're done with the User's computer setup.

The Assistant has his or her own password but shares an account name with the User, and uses a separate interface, available at - both User and Assistant can use their respective interfaces anywhere there's an internet connection: from home to public library to cruise ship on the other side of the world.

All those "File" and "Edit" menus are confusing -- can't I just have PawPawMail in full screen?

Absolutely. In fact, we suggest launching in full-screen mode. The easiest way to do this on a PC is to create the following shortcut (which you can make launch automatically on startup) by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting "New" > "Shortcut", then entering (quotes included):

"c:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -k ""

... and to preserve auto-login (see FAQ):

"c:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -k ""

The directions for Mac and Linux take a couple more steps, so contact us if you need asssistance on those platforms.

I just want an e-mail machine! How do I turn an old computer into a PawPawMail-only appliance?

The simplest configuration possible for a User is to set up the computer as an appliance. By this, we mean "turn it on, turn it off". The computer is set to boot into full-screen PawPawMail, and the User can simply turn it off when he or she is done.

This is also relatively simple to set up. See the instructions for setting it up in full screen and with auto-login. Then take that shortcut and place it in the Startup folder, which you'll find under the Start Menu > (All) Programs. You can find these in the windows file browser by going to

c:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Start Menu\...

The directions for Mac and Linux take a couple more steps, so contact us if you need asssistance on those platforms.

Help me upgrade! My parent is on an old WebTV system (or Yahoo Mail, or something else)

PawPawMail's a great alternative to WebTV, and it works really well both rejuvenating old, dusty computers you have in the attic and on modern lightweight "webtop" computers like the Google Chromebook.

Find out more about upgrading existing e-mail systems in our ever-growing roundup.

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