Take control of your settings

We do not have to accept the default settings for most programs. We can take control of those settings and make our computing lives a lot easier.

Microsoft Edge is still a terrible browser

Microsoft introduced the Edge browser with Windows 10, intending it to be a replacement for the slow, unsafe, ugly Internet Explorer. I’m all for replacing Internet Explorer with something faster, safer and prettier.

For instance, Firefox. Or even Chrome.

But no. Microsoft introduced another clunky, ugly browser, and they made it extremely tedious to change anything about it. As Windows 10 improved with each new release, Edge was dragged along kicking and screaming.

It’s still a clunky, ugly, annoying piece of software. For instance, there’s this question from a long-time reader:

"With the recent uploading of the Creators version of Windows 10, it appears that Internet Explorer has finally become unusable.

"I am plugging my nose, and getting used to Edge. (Do not like Chrome, too many Google things out there as it is)  I was able to set Castanet as my Home Page on startup, but if I wish to go back to that from a browsing session, the home page goes to MSN.

"How can I rid myself of the MSN pushiness?"

It's ridiculously complicated. This usually works:

  • Open Edge
  • Click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner
  • Click on Settings
  • Scroll down and click on View advanced settings
  • Make sure Show home button is set to On
  • In the dropdown box under that, select A specific page
  • In the box below that, type (or paste in!) the URL you want.
  • Click on the floppy disk icon to the right of that box to save your changes

Outlook suggestions are not always welcome

Another long-time reader has an issue with Outlook:

"When I start a new outgoing email in Outlook, I start to type in the recipients address, but after just a letter or two, a multitude of "possible" addresses pop up. The one I was intending to SEND to is usually there somewhere but there are a lot more listed and I'd like to figure out where they came from and how to get them OUT of my Outlook.They actually look like SPAM/HUNTING email addresses used by spammers to "spray" the internet with their crap.

"Is there a way to restrict these "helpful hint" addresses to ONLY my Outlook address book?"

The addresses you see in that dropdown box don't come from the Outlook address book. They come from the Auto-Complete list that Outlook builds from addresses you've used.

I knew how to delete one or more of those Auto-Complete entries, but in researching the answer further I also learned that you can turn off that feature completely! Awesome!

To delete one or more entries:

  • Type characters into the To: field. A list of names/email addresses appears.
  • When you see an entry you want to delete, hover your mouse or use the keyboard arrow keys to select it
  • Press the DELete key, or click on the X

(Most email programs will let you do this. One exception is Thunderbird, which only gets that information from its address book. So, delete the entry (or correct it) there, and it will appear correctly when you start typing the address.)

To turn off Auto-Complete … completely:

  • Click on File | Options | Mail
  • In the Send Messages section, clear the check mark from the box for Use Auto-complete list to…
  • Click on OK

If you want to clear the list out and start over (or clear the list out and leave the feature turned off!):

  • Click on File | Options | Mail
  • In the Send Messages section, click on Empty Auto-Complete list
  • Click on Yes

What settings or programs would you like to control? Send email to [email protected] and I’ll try to help.


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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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