Stop it!

Stop Facebook autoplay! Stop the flashing Live Tiles in Windows 8.x! Stop Windows from making too many copies! Now take a deep breath and notice how you feel.


Stop Facebook video autoplay

Facebook is rolling out a “feature” that consists of 15-second video ads (http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/13/facebook-launches-video-ads/). They will start playing on their own, but with the sound off. Tapping or clicking on the ad expands it and plays the audio.

To prepare us for this, Facebook turned on autoplay for videos posted by our Facebook friends. They start when you open the page, and the sound plays too. You can change a setting right there in Facebook to stop this behaviour. I made a screen cast (http://youtu.be/6GUrfErwN6I) that shows you how to do it. The ads haven’t rolled out to me yet, so I don’t know if it will stop them from auto playing. Enjoy the peace and quiet for now!

Stop the flashing tiles in Windows 8.x

The squares and rectangles on the Windows 8 Start screen are called Tiles. They act like the icons on the desktop of your older version of Windows. Many of these tiles simply say what they’re for: Kindle, OneDrive, Skype, and so on. Others flash information at you: Facebook, Mail, Weather. These are called Live Tiles. I happen to like Weather, but I find most of the other Live Tiles distracting. If you do, too, I can help you. Here’s how to make them stop flashing and act like the regular Tiles.

In Windows 8 and 8.1, right-click on the offending tile. At the bottom of the screen you’ll have several choices. Clicking on Turn off Live Tile leaves the Tile on the Start Screen but it does not flash. You can banish the tile completely by choosing Unpin from Start. And of course you already guessed what “Uninstall” does.

In the Windows 8.1.1 update, it’s a little more like what we’re used to. Right-clicking on a Live Tile yields a context menu with those same choices. Easier to see, easier to click.

If you have a touch screen, long pressing on a Live Tile acts like a right-click.

Stop that silly copying

When you have more than one file to move, delete, cut, or drag & drop, doing the same action over and over can be tedious. Why not select all the files, and just do the action one time?

To select more than one file, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the files you want. Then, you can drag and drop them or right-click and select from that menu, or delete them. As long as you want to do the same thing to all the selected files, you're in good shape.

You SHOULD be in good shape, that is. But sometimes when I select a big whack of files to move, Windows just starts copying them. What’s up with that? I never told Windows to copy! Well, it turns out I probably did, and never knew it.

When you select files and end up dragging them more than four pixels in any direction, Windows assumes you mean to copy them.

In the olden days when we used Windows XP, a great little utility called TweakUI fixed the problem. That won’t work in any modern version of Windows, but there is an easy fix. Tell Windows you want a little box to check for the items you select.

In Vista or Windows 7:

  • Click on the Start button
  • In the Search box, type Folder
  • In the results, double-click on Folder Options
  • Click on View
  • In the Advanced settings box, place a check in the box for "Use check boxes to select items"
  • OK your way out

Windows 8.x makes this easier still:

  • Navigate to the Desktop
  • Click on the File Explorer icon in the taskbar. It’s the one that looks like yellow file folders.
  • Click on View at the top of the window
  • Put a check mark in the box called Item check boxes

Now when you hover over folders or files, you'll see a little check box to the left of them. Just put a check instead of Ctrl+Click to select multiple items, then drag & drop without all the extra copies.


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.

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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.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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