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Q: I have a 2-year-old Microsoft Surface tablet PC that gets hot to the touch after it has been on for about 3 minutes. This happens whether I use battery power or plug it into the wall outlet. I don’t use complicated programs, just e-mail or Microsoft Word. I’ve run the PC’s “diagnostic kit,” changed the battery power use options and looked at “task manager” to see if too much software is running (not much is), but it didn’t help. What should I do?

Toni Seroshek, Monticello, Minn.

A: There have been numerous reports of Microsoft Surface computers running hot. This is unpleasant for the user, and in the long run may harm the device.

There are some actions you can take, but they may not eliminate the heating problem entirely. Because you have already used the Surface “diagnostic kit” and checked the PC’s “task manager” without success, try adjusting the device’s “power mode.” It allows you to slow down the PC’s processor chip and thus lower the computer’s temperature. Click the battery icon at the lower right of the screen and slide the indicator to the left.

If that doesn’t work, try using a different web browser (some browsers use the PC’s processor more than others do.)

Also make sure your PC has the latest updates of its software and firmware (firmware is computer code that’s designed for a particular type of memory chip.)

If those things don’t help, use “task manager” to turn off some non-Windows programs that run when the PC starts up (see “clean boot troubleshooting” at

Q: I often get a “temporary error” when I try to open Gmail. If I do nothing, Gmail eventually opens. Is there a fix for this?

Bill Gillies, Arden Hills

A: There are different causes of the “temporary error” in Gmail. They can be:

• A network connection wasn’t made properly; this typically resolves itself in a few minutes.

• Web browser problems. Update the browser, use a different browser or clear the browser cache (stored web pages) and cookies (bits of code that websites leave in your browser.) Disable browser add-on programs.

• Malware. Run the free version of Malwarebytes (see

• A conflict between Gmail and your antivirus or firewall software. Temporarily turn off those security programs. If that solves the problem, you will need to adjust your security software settings to exempt Gmail from scrutiny.

Q: I’m getting an odd Gmail notification on my iPhone. In the e-mail listing, the second line reads “This message has no body text.” What does that mean? Should I just delete the e-mail?

Kathy Johnson, Columbia Heights

A: The correct Gmail notification for this problem is “This message has no content.” If you are getting a different message, such as “This message has no body text,” then the e-mail is a hoax (the phrase is the title of a song; see

Rather than just delete those e-mails, move them to the “junk” folder, which adds them to the list of unwanted mail that Gmail tries to block.

E-mail tech questions to or write to Tech Q&A, 650 3rd Av. S., Suite 1300, ­Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.