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Getting-Along-With-Your-Computer

Firefox, QuickLaunch

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Firefox, QuickLaunch, and Registry Backup

This week I am relying heavily on questions from readers for column content. So thank you everyone who keeps asking these questions. Apparently I couldn't do this without you!

Firefox, email, and Internet Explorer Favorites
Several faithful readers remarked that they would love to try Firefox, but didn't want to stop using their current email program or change their email address.

You absolutely can use Firefox without changing your email program or your email address. Firefox is an internet browser. You can use it instead of Internet Explorer. It doesn't replace your email, and it has no relationship to your email address.

Firefox does a better job of blocking pop ups, and is generally more secure than Internet Explorer, and it is free. There is no problem using both Firefox and IE. If you like Firefox better, you can simply make it your default browser at some point in the future, but you don't have to make it the default when you install it.

It's simple to bring your Favorites from Internet Explorer over to Firefox. When you install Firefox, you're asked if you want to do that. If you do, great just follow the prompts. If you're not sure, but later you decide you want to, it's still a straightforward process.

Open Firefox
Click on File Import
Select "Microsoft Internet Explorer"
Click on Next

Choose which items you want to import, and continue to follow the prompts.

I encourage you to customize Firefox so that it's the way you like it. A good start is to click on Tools, then Options, and explore the choices.

Missing QuickLaunch Bar
Every so often a reader asks how to get the QuickLaunch bar back. The QuickLaunch Bar generally lives at the bottom of the screen on the left-hand side, next to the "Start" button. (This is not the System Tray, which lives on the right side, next to the clock.) It contains small shortcut icons. Apparently it wanders off on its own from time to time. To restore it:

Right-click on an empty spot on the taskbar. (You might have to close some open programs to get an empty spot.)
Click on (or hover over) "Toolbars".
You want to have a checkmark next to Quick Launch.  If there isn't one there, click on Quick Launch.  If there is, then click once to clear it, click again to put it back. (No reason why that should work but sometimes it does.)
Click somewhere else on the desktop to close the context menu.

You can remove any shortcuts you don't want there by right-clicking on the item you don't want and then clicking on Delete. You can add a short cut to the QuickLaunch bar by dragging a program icon there.

Registry Backup
Another reader emailed to ask how to back up the Registry. The Registry consists of several files that keep track of everything important, from what programs open when you click on things to the colour of your desktop. More on the Registry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_registry). Microsoft provides instructions, here: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=322756). However, there is a free, easy utility called ERUNT that will back up the registry, available here: http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/

You can set ERUNT so that it automagically makes a copy of the registry every day if you want to, or you can leave that off and simply back up the registry when you need to. Download, install, and run it. Note the restore instructions --- that why you back up the registry. So you can restore it!


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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.

Computer Care Kelowna

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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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