Monday, April 27th13.2°C
25924
24805
Getting Along With Your Computer

Quick fixes

I love it when confronted with a new problem. But in the meantime, I still get many of the same questions again and again --- just with new people. Here are the answers to three of the most often asked.

 

How the heck do I print in Windows 8.1?

Windows 8 apps fill the entire screen. That’s how Microsoft intended it to be, and it takes some getting used to.

The first I opened up a PDF document in Windows 8, it filled the whole screen. “How do I print this?” I wondered.

It turns out that the same key combination, CTRL + P, that works in all previous versions of Windows also works in this one. Holding down the CTRL and the P keys at the same time opened the printer dialog. Later I learned that another way is to move the mouse cursor to the upper or lower right corner of the screen (both work) and display the Charms bar. Select Devices, click on the printer and you’re ready to print.


How do I send email to “Undisclosed Recipients”?

Simply typing “Undisclosed Recipients” in the To field will not do it!

If you want to conceal the email addresses, use the Bcc field. Leave the To field blank and only enter email addresses in the bcc field, and the term Undisclosed Recipients will automatically appear in the To field when you send the email.

If you don’t see the bcc field:

  • In Windows Live Mail, open a new Email message and click on “Show cc and bcc”
  • In Outlook, see this article for instructions for the version you’re using: http://www.msoutlook.info/question/121
  • In Gmail, compose a new message and click on “add bcc”
  • In Hotmail, compose a new message and click on “Show CC and Bcc”

Can I get rid of a lot of emails at once?

A good way to manage your email is to create folders for messages you want to keep. Don’t keep them in your In box, and for goodness sake, don’t keep them in your Deleted Items. Put the ones you don’t want in Deleted Items, and then empty that every so often.

If you’re using a computer-based email program like Thunderbird or Windows Live Mail and you have many emails to delete, the procedure is pretty much the same.

Good news: You don’t have to sit there and click on each and every one.

It’s easy to select multiple files and perform the same action on all of them. Place your mouse cursor on the first email you want to delete. Now hold down the Shift key and scroll down to the last one you want to delete and click on it. This is called “Shift-Click.” You should see all the emails including the first and last are now selected. (Another way to select all the files you want to act on is to put your cursor over any one of those files, then press the CTRL and the A keys simultaneously. I remember this trick by thinking “Control ALL!”)

Once your files are selected, press the DEL key, or right-click then click Delete. Or if you have a big red X in your email program click on that. Any of those actions will cause everything you’ve selected to move to the Deleted Items folder.

If you want to perform the same action on a group of files that are not continuous, click on the first one and hold down the CTRL key while you click on every other file you want to act on. This is called “Control-Click.” You delete them the same way as above.

To empty your Deleted Items in every email program I know that runs on Windows, right-click on the Deleted Items box and then click on “Empty Deleted Items.”

 

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

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

You can read previous columns here: http://rlis.com/column.htm . If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618 . It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml.



26068


Help!

The last few weeks have been pretty interesting. Here are three problems and solutions that might help you! Put icons on the Desktop task bar and tiles on the Start Screen in Windows 8.1. Share videos and other large files. (No, you can’t email videos no matter how much you want to.) Get Windows Live Photo Gallery back on track.

 

Yikes! I can’t find anything in Windows 8.1!

Windows 8.1 has two main views. One is the new Start Screen which contains tiles. The other is the more familiar Desktop view, which looks a lot like Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows. The strip of icons along the bottom of the Desktop is called the Task Bar. You can get to your programs and apps from either the Start Screen or the Desktop. Clicking on a tile on the Start Screen will open your app or program, and clicking on an icon on the Desktop does the same thing. Those tiles and icons are shortcuts to the programs.

Sometimes you can lose track of those tiles and icons. How do you open your programs if you can’t see the shortcut? It’s easy!

Go to the Start Screen and place your cursor on any blank area. Just start typing the name of the program and Windows will begin searching for it. When you see the program you want, you have some choices. Simply clicking on it will open up your program, which is good, but you’ll need to search for it again the next time. If you want a tile and/or icon so you can easily get to it from now on, right-click on the program and choose Pin to Start to put a tile one the Start Screen or Pin to Taskbar to put an icon at the bottom of the Desktop. You can move those tiles and icons around to where you find them most convenient. A short video explains all this here:


How come I can’t email videos?

People often ask me how to email videos. You can’t email videos! Stop trying to do that!

What you need to do to share videos and other large files is upload them to a storage space and email the link to the file, not the file itself.

For instance, you can upload a file to your OneDrive, to GoogleDrive, Dropbox, or to a service like WeTransfer (https://www.wetransfer.com/).

WeTransfer doesn’t require you to create an account or provide your email address. Follow the prompts to upload your file(s). Once the upload is complete, copy the link to the file and email that link to your intended recipients. They can view the video (or pictures, or document, or whatever you’ve uploaded) or download it. Either way, there is no giant file to email.
 

Windows Live Photo Gallery won’t open! I can’t import my pictures!

Windows Live Photo Gallery is a program that lets you view and edit pictures. Generally it works so well that you might not even realize you’re using it. But once in awhile something goes haywire when you try to view or import photos Windows Live Photo Gallery in Windows 8. You might get an error message with the code 0x8007000b, or an error message like this:

"Documents.library-ms" is no longer working. This library can be safely deleted from your computer. Folders that have been included will not be affected.

That message is more informative, and it tells you how to fix the problem. Libraries are just a way of viewing the contents of certain folders. You can delete a library and the contents will remain. In this case:

  • Open Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer --- that’s something else)
  • Right-click on the Pictures library
  • Click on Delete
  • Click on Yes
  • In the navigation pane on the left side, right-click on Libraries
  • Click on Restore Default Libraries

That will rebuild your Pictures library, and that should fix the problem with Windows Live Photo Gallery.

 

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

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

You can read previous columns here: http://rlis.com/column.htm . If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618 . It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml.



How to...

Three simple solutions to common annoyances: Disable that new autoplay annoyance on YouTube, find the menu bar in Internet Explorer or Firefox, and manage those irritating CAPTCHAs.

 

How to disable the new autoplay feature on YouTube

Here I was, just researching something for this column, and I followed a click-path to a YouTube video. I watched the video and the next thing I knew it was half an hour later, and my column hadn’t written itself. But I now know everything there is to know about pygmy goats.

That’s when I noticed the new YouTube “feature” that just keeps playing the next video on some YouTube-constructed playlist. This “feature” is at least as annoying as the autoplay Facebook feature. (If you want to know how to turn THAT off, look at my video below - but not until I tell you how to turn off the YouTube autoplay!)

It’s easy to turn this off if you don’t want to go down the YouTube rabbit hole. Look in the upper right or lower right corner just outside of the video, for a blue button with “Autoplay” beside it. The position of the button depends on the screen size you’re viewing. Slide that button to the left to turn it gray and turn off the autoplay feature. It’s just that simple. Later, if you want to go exploring, turn it back on again and enjoy your playlist.

How to display the menu bar in Internet Explorer or Firefox

People ask me about this all the time. The Menu Bar is near the top of a window, and shows choices for File Edit View Tools, and so on. If you wonder what happened to the Menu Bar in Internet Explorer and Firefox, it’s in there, but by default it’s just turned off. Why is it off by default? Beats me. The good news is it’s easy to turn it back on.

Open Internet Explorer or Firefox, then press the ALT key, and you’ll see the familiar choices displayed in the old familiar places. Nice trick, right? The problem is that as soon as you do anything, the Menu Bar goes into hiding again. If you want it there all the time:

  • Press the ALT key
  • Click on View | Toolbars
  • Place a check next to Menu Bar

There. That does it!

Are you using Google Chrome? Tough luck. No menu bar for you! Click on the list icon over on the right side of the window to get to the items that you would other wise find on the Menu bar.


How to manage those stupid CAPTCHAs

When you sign up for something online, take an online poll, make an online purchase or perform any other number of online tasks, you often encounter a much-hated test. That form containing illegible characters is a CAPTCHA, and that stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart.

Why would you need to test for this? Because a CAPTCHA is one defence against computer-generated problems like spam. CAPTCHAs You can read more about that here: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/captcha.htm.

How many times have you tried to open an account or buy a ticket to something and been unable to decipher the mangled letters?

Me too.

But here’s a trick: When you can’t figure out what the CAPTCHA says, click on the link that says “get a new code” or the little circle that will refresh the picture. Keep going until you get one you like. Tedious as that is, it beats squinting and guessing and typing and getting it wrong!

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

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

You can read previous columns here: http://rlis.com/column.htm . If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618 . It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml.



25474


Fake tech support scams

Six years after the start of this thing, it’s not only still here, it’s much more insidious. Protect yourself.

 
Fake Microsoft Technician scam is still alive and well

I’ve written before (http://rlis.com/columns/column467.htm) about the Fake Microsoft Technician scam. Although Microsoft continues to investigate the scammers and has initiated legal action against some of them (http://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-combats-tech-support-scammers-with-lawsuit/), the scam continues to evolve.
 

And now it’s worse

What started out around 2009 as someone calling you, identifying himself as a Microsoft Technician and then convincing you to grant him remote access to your computer has gotten more sophisticated. Now, fake tech support companies buy ads in Google and other search engines so when you need, for instance, the number for Norton Antivirus support and you search Google for it, you’ll get a whole lot of results that lead you to these scammers.

They have legitimate-looking websites. They have toll-free numbers. They have logos from Microsoft and Dell and Norton and Symantec that make you think they’re reputable. But they are scammers. They’ll take your credit card information and sell it to really bad people doing really bad things. Google tries to keep up and cancel the ads, but it’s impossible to stay out ahead of all the bad guys.
 

Don’t get taken

First of all, know that no one from Microsoft or any Microsoft partner is going to phone you out of the blue and tell you that your computer is having a problem. That just does not happen (http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/msname.aspx).

Also, when reaching out to a company for technical support make sure the website or phone number you’re calling is actually associated with that company. You should see the name of the company you want in the URL --- the internet address.

If you phone a support line and the connection is poor, there’s lots of noise and shouting, and the so-called technician tries to hard sell you something, you are probably not connected to the real deal.

Check on the legitimacy of a website by using the Avast! Antivirus Online Security add-on, the one from Trend-Micro, or whatever your antivirus offers by way of protection. If your antivirus doesn’t offer that or you simply don’t like the one they offer, try the WebOfTrust browser add-on: https://www.mywot.com/. Any of these add-ons will provide a visual indicator of safety in search results.

For excellent protection, use the paid version of MalwareBytes: https://www.malwarebytes.org/antimalware/premium/?utm_source=cj&utm_medium=aff&utm_content=11114052&utm_campaign=AFF-CJ_3829881&tracking=cj.

 

Uh-oh. This warning might have come too late…

If you have been scammed, report the scammer! If it’s someone purporting to be from Microsoft, you can report the problem here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/getsupport?oaspworkflow=start_1.0.0.0&wfname=scamsurvey&ccsid=635634582369899450. If it’s fake technical support for another company, report the problem to the real company and to law enforcement. If you provided the scammers with any credit card information or granted remote access, discuss the matter with your credit card companies and your financial institutions.

Also, if you have granted remote access to scammers, get help from a legitimate computer repair technician. When I receive a call like this I make sure to remove any malicious software the scammers have installed, any malware that may have been there before, and I try to secure the computer so that it’s difficult for that to happen again.

But the first and most powerful line of defence is…YOU. Be careful and be skeptical!

 

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

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected]

You can read previous columns here: http://rlis.com/column.htm . If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618 . It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml.



Read more Computers articles

24947


About the author...

Cate Eales has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible and fun for over 20 years. She lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric, and her dog, Sandy. Cate is a partner in Computer Care Kelowna, helping individuals and small businesses with virus, spyware and malware eradication; personal computer training and management; digital image management; music transfer; and website design, hosting and management.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with your comments, suggestions, or questions. To browse the column archives, visit the Real Life Internet Solutions website at www.rlis.com.




26104


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.


Previous Stories


25289
RSS this page.
(Click for RSS instructions.)
24843