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That was weird

I enjoy solving problems. So it’s a good thing I work with computers. 

Sometimes, thought, I don’t need to solve problems at all: My very talented customers and readers do it for me. Here are two solutions to weird problems, one from a customer and the other from a faithful column reader.


SOLVED: Some photos won’t sync from iPad to computer

A customer was having trouble getting some, but not all, photos from her computer to her iPad. We looked at all the settings. We looked at all the photos. I never did figure out why some of them wouldn’t sync. My best guess was that the reluctant ones were somehow corrupted. 

Weeks later the customer let me know she’d solved the problem.

The photos that synced normally were, of course, .jpg files. I never looked at the file extension on the ‘bad’ photos, but my customer eventually did and found that every one of them was a .jpe file. She simply changed the extension to .jpg which solved the problem.

If you need to know how to do this, the instructions are here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/file-names-extensions-faq#1TC=windows-7

First, you need to reveal the file extensions. The Windows 7 instructions are here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/show-hide-file-name-extensions#show-hide-file-name-extensions=windows-7 

In Windows 10 it’s even easier:

Open File Explorer (Start | This PC or WinKey + E or click on the folder icon in the Taskbar)

Click on View

Check the box called File name extensions

Those instructions will work in Windows 8.1 as well.

Thanks, Tannis, for the solution.


SOLVED: Google images won’t display in new tab on Google.ca

Long-time reader Viv had an interesting problem. When searching Google Images from the google.ca website, right-clicking on an image in Internet explorer and clicking on ‘Open new tab’ or ‘Open new window’ would only display a black box, not the image.

But doing the same thing from Google.com, or Yahoo! or MSN produced the expected behaviour: The image opened in a new window or tab. She sent me screenshots.

I suggested the usual things in the usual order:

Clear the caches, cookies, and especially history. How to: http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser's-Cache Then close and restart your browser.

It could be a problem with an add-on. Start Internet Explorer in safe mode. This is not the same thing as starting the computer in safe mode. How to: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/350941-internet-explorer-no-add-ons-open.html  If it works fine with the add-ons disabled, go back to starting it the regular way, then manually disable all the add-ons. Enable them one by one until you find the culprit and uninstall it. Keep looking; there might be more than one bad add-on. If you have an add-on that's an ad blocker, start with that. It's the most likely to be the issue.

It could be the result of malicious software and/or unwanted programs. Run an anti-malware tool such as Malwarebytes. The safe link is https://www.malwarebytes.org/  - get the free version from that link. See if it discovers any PUP (potentially unwanted programs) or PUM (potentially unwanted modifications) and be guided by the results - get rid of them.

If none of that helps, try another browser such as Google Chrome https://www.google.com/chrome/ or Mozilla Firefox https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/ 

Well, those were all good suggestions, but none of them fixed the problem.

Viv fixed the problem on her own, by discovering that google.ca was set to display in Compatibility View. Turing that off solved the problem. What the heck is Compatibility View? Learn more here: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1196-internet-explorer-compatibility-view-turn-off.html

Have you solved any weird problems with Windows? Let me know so I can share. Send email to [email protected] 



File names and file extensions: frequently asked questions http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/file-names-extensions-faq#1TC=windows-7

Show or hide file extensions http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/show-hide-file-name-extensions#show-hide-file-name-extensions=windows-7

How to clear IE cache http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser's-Cache

Open IE in safe mode http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/350941-internet-explorer-no-add-ons-open.html

Malware bytes https://www.malwarebytes.org/

Get Google Chrome https://www.google.com/chrome/

Get Firefox https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/

Turn Internet Explorer Compatibility View on/off for a website


Computer Care Kelowna http://computercarekelowna.com/

Getting Along With Your Computer Column Archives http://rlis.com/column.htm

Get Cate's column by email http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618

RSS Feed: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml




Three confusing situations

Avast! Free keeps telling you to pay

Changing your email password breaks email on your iPad

Gmail errors out on your phone or tablet

I can help. Read on.


You do not have to pay for Avast! Free antivirus. It’s free.

Avast! Free is a great antivirus program. It works well, offers some nice features (also for free), and nags you about critical updates to other software. But it has two annoying habits. Most annoying is Avast! Free’s relentless efforts to make us install and use the Google Chrome browser. Just say no.

The other annoyance is Avast! Free’s attempt to get us to upgrade to a paid version of the product. OK, I get that this is the free version and they have every right to keep asking us to pay for a more feature-rich version, but if you don’t actually want anything more than the free version, you have to be persistent.

When you register the product, you get a license that is good for a year. After a year you need to register again to stay with the free version (unless you want to pay for the upgraded version). The process can be a little confusing, so I have made a short tutorial on YouTube for you:


If you change your password for something somewhere, you also need to change it everywhere.

In a world where you can unlock your car by pressing a button but where you need a password to fire up your computer, life can be pretty frustrating.

In the last three weeks, I’ve had at least a dozen calls from people who changed their email password on their computer and then could not get email on their phones or tablets.

Here’s the thing: You’re not changing the password on your computer. You’re using your computer to change the password that’s kept in a secure area on your provider’s server.

You’re going to use that same user name/email address and password to access your email from every device. Once you change it online, you need to change the settings for your email apps on your phones and tablets, and if you’re using an email program on your computer, you have to change it there as well. If you don’t do that, you’re not going to get your email.


Even I was confused by this one.

One day I was helping a customer set up his Gmail account on his iPhone. I kept getting a ‘password incorrect’ error even though I was sure I’d entered everything correctly.

It turns out that Google considers some devices and apps to be ‘less secure’ because they don’t employ the same strict security standards as Google. Guess what these devices and apps are? Yes: iPhones and iPads, Microsoft Outlook, and some third-party email apps on smartphones. By default, these devices and apps are denied access, but you can easily grant permission.

  • Sign in to your Google Account
  • Click on My Account | Sign-in & security | Connected apps & Sites
  • In the Allow less secure apps section, move the slider to On

Next time you sign in - with the correct password - your Gmail should work perfectly. 

See this article from Google for more information:




What confuses you? Send me an email and not only will I feel your pain, I will share the answers in future columns.


Stay with Avast! Free - Do Not Pay http://youtu.be/QKtaYiBIZl0 

'Password incorrect' error for Gmail https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6009563?hl=en&ref_topic=2401957 

Computer Care Kelowna http://computercarekelowna.com/

Getting Along With Your Computer Column Archives http://rlis.com/column.htm

Get Cate's column by email http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618

RSS Feed http://rlis.com/rlis.xml


Win woes

Windows 10 is still a little rough around the edges, just as Windows 7 was when it was first released. Smoothing those edges can often be accomplished by changing a setting or two, but wait, where are those settings? Well, not the same place they were in Windows 7.


Fix the “Windows 10 keeps going to a blank screen every 60 seconds” problem

This is annoying. And it’s a problem that has annoyed people in previous versions of Windows as well. It’s more annoying in Windows 10, because the setting you need to fix the problem isn’t as easily discovered as in previous versions.

This blanking is caused by the Screen Saver settings. The Screen Saver is different than the Background. In Windows 10:

Click Start | Settings (or just press the WinKey +I).

Click Personalization | Lock Screen | Screen saver settings (you might have to scroll down to see that).

If your settings say Blank, and 1 minute, you’ve found the problem. Change them to None, and if there’s a check in the box to require a password, be sure to remove the checkmark.

Click OK.

That will stop the screen from going blank after a minute of activity.

In previous versions of Windows you can get there as shown here: http://rlis.com/columns/column469.htm

To manage the settings that put the computer to sleep or to turn off the display in Windows 10:

Click on Start | Settings | System | Power & sleep


Fix the ‘Edge won’t let me use Google’ problem 

Windows 10 includes Microsoft’s new browser, called Edge. And Microsoft really wants you to use the Microsoft search engine, called Bing (if you’re not sure what I mean by browser and search engine, have a look at last week’s column. 

So determined are they to get you to use Bing that it’s very hard to find the setting to let you use Google. But . . . I found it! The trick is to go to the Google site and then add it as a search engine.

Open the Edge browser (the icon looks like a lower case blue ‘e’, with a Mohawk).

In the address bar, type google.ca or google.com - whichever you want.

Press Enter.

In the upper right-hand corner of the Edge window, click on the three dots to open the menu.

Click on Settings.

Scroll down until you see View Advanced settings, click on that.

In the box for Search in the address bar with, click on the downward arrow and then on Add new.

Click on the search engine and then on Add as default.

Now when you start typing in the address bar, your search results will be from Google. If you want to add another search engine, follow the same procedure. Some, like DuckDuckGo, will let you click right on that page to add them to Edge.

Fix a problem you might not know you have

If you haven’t seen this already, you soon will. Microsoft will place what they call ‘suggestions’ (and what the rest of us call ‘advertisements’) on the Windows 10 Start Menu. Seriously, Microsoft? 

These suggestions/ads are for apps. Clicking on a suggestion takes you to the Microsoft Store and right to where you can download that app. Isn’t that efficient?

This makes people angry, including me. You dismiss a suggestion by right-clicking on it and then clicking on Don’t show this suggestion. You can also turn off all suggestions by clicking on that choice.

If you haven’t seen this yet, and you never, ever want to, you can turn it off now:

Click on Start | Settings | Personalization | Start
Turn off Occasionally show suggestions in Start

Have you fixed something annoying about Windows 10? Tell me about it, and I'll share your tip (and give you full credit, of course. 

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along.



Quick Tips http://rlis.com/columns/column469.htm

Not the Same Thing http://rlis.com/columns/column531.htm 

Computer Care Kelowna http://computercarekelowna.com/

Getting Along With Your Computer Column Archives http://rlis.com/column.htm

Get Cate's column by email http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618

RSS Feed http://rlis.com/rlis.xml

Not the same thing

Files and programs are not the same thing.

Search engines and browsers are not the same thing. 

Is that important? Almost as important as knowing that the brake and accelerator pedals aren’t the same thing.


Files and Programs are not the same thing

Are you getting a new computer and do you want your stuff transferred? That shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s good to understand just what we mean by ‘stuff’.

Files and programs are not the same thing. Documents, music, pictures, email, address books, and Favourites/Bookmarks are files, and can be transferred if you know what you’re doing.

Programs are what create and handle those files. Word is a program, it lets you read and create documents. Programs need to be installed, not transferred. This is true because the makers of programs want to sell more programs. It is also true that some older programs might not be compatible with your new version of Windows. For programs that are important to you, check to see if you can get an upgrade at all, and especially check to see if you can get one for a discount or free. You will still need to install it.

Google is NOT a browser

So many people are confused about browsers and search engines. They are not the same thing. A car and a map aren’t the same thing, either. Your browser is like a car, transporting you to your destination. A search engine is the map you need to find your way.

A browser is a program on your computer that allows you to visit places on the World Wide Web called websites. You’ve been using browsers all along, even if you didn’t know it.

Internet Explorer is a browser made by Microsoft. It comes installed on Windows computers. If you’ve ever clicked on the lower case blue ‘e’ with the gold line through it, you’ve used Internet Explorer. On Windows 10, you also get the new Microsoft browser called Edge

The Firefox browser from Mozilla is a good alternative to Internet Explorer (and Edge). It is safer and generally faster than IE. You can download Firefox here: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/. I like Firefox a lot. I’ve been using it for years, and strongly recommend it. 

Chrome, from Google, is now more widely used than Internet Explorer. It’s fast. You can download it here: http://www.google.com/chrome. There are other browsers as well, notably Safari from Apple (but it will run on Windows).

Each of these browsers is a little different, but the thing they all have in common is that they exist for the purpose of guiding you through the World Wide Web. For the best brief explanation of this I have ever seen, visit this page (in your browser) from Common Craft.

Get to know your browser; it’s one of the most important programs on your computer. What browser are you using? Find out here: https://whatbrowser.org/. What browser should you choose? It’s entirely up to you.

Google IS a search engine

A search engine is a site on the World Wide Web that finds and organizes information for you, based on what you tell it you’re looking for. You get there using --- wait for it --- a browser.

If you want to find the answer to a question, or you want to find some websites about a particular topic, you open up your browser and use a search engine to find what you’re looking for. Each search engine is just a place on the Web, and you get there with your browser.

Google has the overwhelming lead in the search engine market, but there are plenty of other search engines. You might be familiar with Yahoo! search, and Bing, which is Microsoft’s challenge to Google search. If you are concerned about a lack of privacy with Google, Yahoo! Bing, or anything else, try DuckDuckGo. It’s a good, fast, rich alternative that doesn’t collect or share personal information, and does not track you. Look for it in a browser near you.


Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along.


CommonCraft Explanation: Browsers http://www.commoncraft.com/video/web-browsers

What browser am I using? https://whatbrowser.org/ 

Download Firefox http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

Download Chrome http://www.google.com/chrome

Download Safari http://www.apple.com/safari/

Download Opera http://www.opera.com/

Computer Care Kelowna http://computercarekelowna.com/

Getting Along With Your Computer Column Archives http://rlis.com/column.htm

Get Cate's column by email http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618

RSS Feed: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml


More Getting Along With Your Computer articles

About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with your comments, suggestions, or questions. To browse the column archives, visit the Computer Care Kelowna website.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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