Ever go to look up instructions for a task on your PC or phone only to find that the instructions are either a little or a lot different from what you see on your device?  There might be screenshots and everything, but nothing looks like what you’re seeing.  Here are some common reasons things might not look the same.

1. Different type of device – Are the instructions for a PC and your computer is a Mac? Are they for a phone and you’re using a desktop computer? What works for a PC isn’t necessarily going to work for a Mac even though outwardly they appear to be very similar devices.

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2. Different operating systems – Some fixes work exactly the same in Windows 7 as they do in Windows 10. Others do not. Android Lollipop looks different than Android Nougat. iOS 9 has different features than iOS 10.  So even if you’re working with the same type of device, operating systems can look quite different.

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3. Different manufacturers – A Mac or iPhone running an operating system will look identical to any other Mac or iPhone running that operating system. That’s because Apple makes all of the devices to ensure uniformity. The same is not true for Android or Windows devices. Android devices can look vastly different even with the same OS. You’ll find some differences in Windows PCs as well.

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4. Different version of program or app – What works with Word 2007 isn’t necessarily going to work with Word 2016. Menus and features can vary greatly between versions of a program.

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5. Different program entirely – Instructions for Internet Explorer are not going to match up with what you need to do to accomplish the same task in Microsoft Edge or Chrome. One common mix-up we see a lot here is confusing the web interface for Outlook.com with the Outlook email client that’s part of Office.

~ Cynthia