Stop emailing your photos

The most inefficient way to share your photos or videos with someone is with email.

I’ll show you a better way. I’ll also show you how to get a rogue keyboard under control.

Stop trying to email your photos. Just stop it.

Today’s cameras, including the cameras in iPads and in phones, are so good that the high-resolution pictures they take generate huge files.

Even if your Internet Service Provider will let you send an email with a dozen pictures attached, there’s no guarantee that your recipients’ ISPs will pass them through.

Slower Internet connections will stagger under the load. And as for the obvious alternative, I don’t know many people who enjoy receiving a dozen emails, each with one photo attached.

And then there are videos. Not a week goes by without someone writing me saying their email tries to break a file into 40 pieces, and asking how can they stop it.

Here’s how: Stop trying to email videos.

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

You can easily share using OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, or a service like WeTransfer.

Although the steps differ slightly from product to product, the concept is the same. Upload your files.

When the upload completes, copy the link to the files and email that link to your intended recipients. Clicking on that link takes them to your shared files in the secure cloud storage.

They can view the video (or pictures, or document, or whatever you’ve uploaded) or download it. Either way, there are no giant files to clog up email.

Fix an unresponsive keyboard

Of the many frustrating things that can interfere with your productive day, an unresponsive keyboard is high on the list.

Pressing a key or keys makes nothing happens or the computer freezes. Sometimes the mouse doesn’t work either. That is painful to troubleshoot.

But there’s another type of unresponsive keyboard problem, and it’s far easier to fix. When you press a key nothing happens on screen, but you can hear a click with each keypress. And … the mouse (or trackpad on a laptop) works just fine.

The first time I encountered this, I tried the normal things. Rebooting the computer didn’t help.

Plugging in an external keyboard didn’t help either, and the clicking noise was there even when typing on the external keyboard. That was actually quite confusing.

It turns out there’s a feature called Filter Keys, and by default, Windows activates it whenever you hold the right Shift key down for more than eight seconds. And that is surprisingly easy to do without realizing it, especially on a laptop.

Filter Keys is an accessibility function that tells the keyboard to ignore brief or repeated keystrokes, in order to make typing easier for users with hand tremors. A Wikipedia article explains this.

If you have hand tremors, you might want to turn it on. If not, it’s a good idea to turn this feature off.

In any version of Windows:

  • Use your mouse to get to Control Panel (In Windows 10, right-click on the Start button and click on Control Panel)
  • Click on Ease of Access
  • Click on Make the keyboard easier to use (I know. Hilarious, right?)
  • Clear the checkmark from the box that says Turn on Filter Keys
  • Click on Apply or Save/OK
  • If you’d like that never to happen again, turn off the eight second activation:
  • Click on Set up Filter Keys
  • Clear the check mark from the box that says Turn on Filter Keys when right SHIFT is pressed for 8 seconds
  • Click on Save/OK

Happy Anniversary

A big Anniversary Update for Windows 10 is starting to roll out:  Have you got yours yet? Did it go smoothly? Let me know!

Send email to [email protected] and share your story.

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 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].


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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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