Whether you want to solve computer problems yourself or enlist the help of someone more technical, you’ll save time and minimize frustration if you know how to do a few simple things. I’m here to help!
Getting Along With Your Computer
In a world where you unlock your car by pressing a button, it seems ironic that you need a password for just about everything else. But you do. Passwords are not going away any time soon. Even using a password manager doesn’t make them go away. It just hides them.
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.
I do not like New Year’s Resolutions. This is not a column about New Year’s Resolutions. This is a column about things you can do to help you get along with your computer. I do like that.
As we careen madly toward Christmas, I find myself reflecting on the past year. I hope you will enjoy these tips from past columns. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best in 2018 to everyone!
Christmas is next week, and for some people, that means a fight to the finish with technology. It used to be we only had to remember to buy batteries for the shiny new presents, but things are a little trickier these days. Read on to learn how to spend less time struggling and more time enjoying your holiday.
If you have brand loyalty or brand aversion, you can probably skip to the middle of this article. If not, my advice is to *start* with the specs that are right for you and *end* by selecting the computer that works, regardless of brand.
This week: More on reminders, more on Tablet Mode, and more on Photos and movies. Thanks for your feedback! You all rock!
If you are a fan of ReminderFox, I have some bad news for you. Also, how do you know where your packages are?
There is such a thing as too much information in Windows 10. Also, the new version of Firefox is here.
Windows 10 has some interesting things going on. I’ve been telling people about the File Explorer ribbon for awhile now, but the update to the Photos app was news to me.
There’s a lot to like in Windows 10, but some days it’s hard to find what I’m looking for, especially a setting. I think eventually Microsoft will to do away with Control Panel completely and dump everything into the Settings app instead. In the meantime, it’s a little like living out of a suitcase: stuff is scattered around everywhere.
The Fall Creators Update takes your computer to version 1709 of Windows 10. This upgrade is roughly equivalent to what we used to call a “service pack” in older versions of Windows. It makes changes to your system files, and it takes a long time. It’s good to be ready.
Love it or hate it, email seems to be here to stay.
Sometimes you get lucky and solve problems. Sometimes you can plan to avoid them. Fix that upside-down screen, pin your often-used folders to the Start Menu, and avoid an Office catastrophe.
Malwarebytes updates just got a little trickier. Firefox extensions are about to get an extreme makeover.
I learned some new things recently, and remembered something I’d forgotten. YouTube has keyboard shortcuts. You can recover from a too-aggressive Google Contacts clear out. Windows Update broke Internet Explorer. Again. But you can fix that. Or you can use a decent browser.
From CCleaner crises to Equifax hacks to Kaspersky confusion, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks for privacy.
Modern versions of Windows, especially Windows 10, really want you to use a password. Each week as I set up or repair computers I encounter people who believe the password requirement exists only to annoy them. It does not. It exists to protect your information from people who can damage or erase it (deliberately or by accident), or steal it.
CrashPlan is ditching their Home customers. And, beware the bad malware in Firefox, Chrome, and FB Messenger.
Just when you think you’re getting a handle on Windows 10, something happens and your screen looks completely different! No problem. You’re likely just in “Tablet Mode.”
Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 include a helpful feature. When things are just too fouled up, you can practically start over. And, when you need to get rid of a computer or just want to start over completely, you can do that, too.
When you need to explain what’s wrong with your computer, send a picture. A picture shows exactly what’s going on. It always clarifies your explanation, and sometimes it’s the only explanation you need!
Getting Along With Your Computer, by Cate Eales, is not available this week. I hope to be back with you next week. Apologies for the inconvenience.
If you have more than one computer, a tablet, iPad, or Smartphone, any of those devices can use a network printer. If your printer also has a scanner in it, you should be able to scan with any device on your network, too.
This week: Readers reveal the secret to last week’s card trick, and a couple of things worth mentioning.
It’s time for a break from floods, fires, and current events. I hope you enjoy this collection of websites that will distract, entertain, and maybe even calm you.
I love Gmail because it’s easy to access from anywhere there’s an Internet connection. But sometimes browsers and even Windows itself don’t know how to attach a PDF file to Gmail. And if you need frequent access to more than one Gmail account, signing out and in again is an annoyance. I found solutions!
We’re all going sometime. And even before we go, we can be in a situation where we can’t handle our own affairs for a time. The polite thing to do is to make sure someone has access to the information they need to look after your digital (and real life) assets.
As we head into the holiday weekend, I need a little bit of a break. This week, we’re re-posting three recent items readers found interesting or helpful. Hope you are enjoying your holiday!
I fix computers and clean up computers for a living. I’m used to seeing popups from malicious software and infected web browsers. But this last two weeks has been a wild ride, with rogue popups from legitimate programs. Here’s how to kill the Amazon Assistant and tame the Office update window.
June 16, 2017 Are you new to Facebook? Are you an experienced Facebook user? Love it or hate it, Facebook has its quirks. Here are a few tips that will make Facebook better. Or at least less annoying. How to download Facebook photos Lots of people ask me this. It’s easy once you know […]
If you’ve received an email from Microsoft informing you you’re over your OneDrive Storage Limit, your first question was probably, “How did that happen?”
I can probably answer that, and I can certainly show you how to fix it.
Years ago, I worked for a long distance phone company. Every month the company sent each of us a copy of the company newsletter, complete with ads for our own company’s long distance service. I found this confusing.
Microsoft must have taken a page from the same book as it sprints toward market domination. I’m using Microsoft Windows 10. Why am I getting ads for Microsoft Windows 10 “features”?
At least we can turn off (most of) the ads.
While I’m not a believer in “Inbox Zero,” I am also not a believer in “Inbox 8,248.” Somewhere in between there will be a comfortable, productive zone for you, and I’d like to help you get there.
Earlier this month a widely-reported ransomware outbreak scared the living daylights out of people all over the world. What happened, and how can you keep it from happening to you?
Test after an update. Move along, move along. Nothing to see here.
Two annoying Windows features, and how to make them stop featuring: Bypass the Word templates and go straight to a new document, and stop your computer from dropping your Internet connection.
This column could have been entitled “Why I almost didn’t get my column written on time this week.”
I’m usually pretty disciplined, but sometimes I just have too much fun. Here’s what distracted me. I hope you have some fun, too.
Creators Update hid the Control Panel … again. Seize control of your Microsoft account.
Can’t turn on your Wi-Fi? Maybe you’re in Airplane mode. And please back away from the cappuccino machine! You can still play Windows 7 games after the Windows 10 Creators Update.
The new version of Windows 10 launched. Have you seen it yet? Microsoft patches an Office security hole. Are your updates up to date?
This we have some new information on items from previous columns. Here comes the next gigantic Windows 10 update! That BatteryCare utility startled some readers. And the Date and Time tweak was confusing.
While I try for a theme for this column each week, sometimes I have a few things that are useful but bear no particular relation to each other. The theme this week is: Odds & Ends!
Using a computer can be frustrating. This week I’ll show you three annoying things you can fix for yourself and your friends. Make the text in Outlook a readable size. Kill off those wrong email addresses in Outlook. And stop those chat-like Facebook posts!
Microsoft promised to release the next big update for Windows 10 this Spring, and it looks like we can expect it to start rolling out soon. The update is free for current Windows 10 users.
Before Fake News there was Fake Tech Support. And it’s still here. Don’t get faked out.
Like it’s older brother Windows XP, Vista is reaching the end of it’s life. It’s time to move on.
Windows 10 sound off? Want updated scores? Tired of templates? We can fix that!
Three tips this week to make your computing experience a lot nicer. Open something more than once; quit scrolling through the Windows 10 Start Menu; kill that space-hogging Tools list on the right side of Acrobat Reader. It’s easy when you know how.