Viewing Your Activity on Facebook

You know that feeling when you’ve liked a link on Facebook but can’t find that link again? Luckily, it’s really easy to find every link, post, and even comment that you’ve liked.

There are quite a few ways you can find anything on your Facebook timeline, but to find everything you’ve ever liked on Facebook, the easiest way to do this is to head over to your profile and click View Activity Log. In addition to seeing your likes, you can see pretty much everything you’ve done on Facebook: what you’ve posted, commented on, saved, and more.

If you want to drill down just to your likes, there’s a menu on the left that allows you to view just one type of interaction. In this case, you’ll want to click Likes. A small submenu will appear that allows you to drill down even further to either posts and comments or pages and interests.

Using the calendar to the right of the screen allows you to view all the content on Facebook you’ve liked from the day you joined the social network.

You can also use the activity log to unlike content without having to go back to someone’s profile or page.

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Saving Data Usage with Facebook

Are you a Facebook addict? Aside from needing to break the addiction as soon as possible (seriously, it’s not a healthy way to live your life), you should give some serious consideration to your data usage. Facebook like other apps just loves to use data – even when you are not looking at the app.

If you’ve had a few “shock” bills from your carrier, Facebook could be to blame. Between high-resolution images and auto-playing videos, the app can burn through data in no time.

Of course, you can turn off auto-playing videos by going to More (the three horizontal lines in the top right-hand corner of the screen) > Help and Settings > App Settings > Auto-play.

But there’s a better way: use the Data Saver tool.

What Does Data Saver Do?

Data Saver not only prevents videos from playing automatically but importantly, it also reduces the resolution of any images in your feed.

To set it up, head to the More menu in the top right-hand corner or your screen. Scroll down until you find Data Saver. It’s in the Help and Settings section.

On the next screen, make sure you slide the toggle next to Data Saver on into the On position. When you enable the setting, a new option will appear. It allows you to disable the Data Saver feature while you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Other Options to Save Data

To further reduce your data usage, there are a couple of other hidden settings you might find useful.

Go to More > App Settings and turn off the toggles next to Upload photos in HD and Upload videos in HD.

As a last resort, you can install Mobile Protect. Navigate to More > Mobile Data to get started.

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Reading Aloud with Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has a new trick up its sleeve, and it should help anyone who struggles with the written word. The new feature is called Read Aloud, and it’s a significant improvement on the previous text-to-speech offerings in Word.

Image result for microsoft word read aloud

Most of us can look at a word and immediately tell whether it’s spelt wrong. Or look at a sentence and tell whether it’s structured correctly. However, some people struggle with these things. Which is the main reason why Microsoft has upped its text-to-speech game with Read Aloud.

Microsoft Word Can Now Read Your Documents Aloud

 

Read Aloud is a new feature which has arrived as part of the latest Office 365 updates. Read Aloud does exactly what you’d expect it to do, with Word reading your document back to you. However, Word can now highlight each word as it’s read aloud right from within your workflow.

In its blog post detailing all of the new Office 365 updates Microsoft states that Read Aloud “makes it easier to recognize and correct errors as you write, improving reading and editing accuracy for everyone, especially users with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.”

Read Aloud, which is listed under the Review tab, is currently only available to Office Insiders. However, Microsoft promises it will become widely available to the general population “later this year”. Which, in Microsoft parlance, means anytime between now and December 31st.

Let’s Make Typos a Thing of the Past

Not everyone will need to make use of the new Read Aloud feature in Word. However, for those who struggle with spelling for whatever reason, this is sure to be useful. And if Read Aloud makes typos a thing of the past then people like myself will be able to sleep more suondly soundly.

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Organizing Your Folders in Outlook 2016

Would you rather spend less time searching and scrolling in Outlook and more time composing and replying? Then you need to learn about the benefits of folders and subfolders.

Image result for outlook tip

Read on to get started with folders.

Folder management

By default an Outlook account will present the following folders:

  • Inbox — The inbox is the primary location for incoming messages.
  • Drafts — Drafts are messages that have been either completely or partially composed but have not been sent yet. Drafted messages are still able to be opened and edited before sending.
  • Sent Items — A copy of each message you send will be saved in the Sent Items folder. They are not visible in the inbox folder.
  • Deleted Items — As a message is chosen to be deleted, it’s moved to the Deleted Items folder. These messages will be automatically purged after 30 days unless the Retention Policy is changed. Users can also choose to empty the folder of its contents at any time.
  • Clutter — Messages that are considered low priority will be redirected to the Clutter folder. Outlook recognizes which messages are read and determines the unread messages to be of little importance.
  • Junk Email — Messages that seem to exude the appearance of junk mail will be redirected to this folder.
  • Archive — Archiving older messages moves them from the main .pst file into a separate archive.pst file.

Depending on your organization, you may see additional folders created by an administrator or by other services, such as Skype or Yammer. Now understanding the folders that are first presented to you, you should know that you cannot delete these folders. You can, however, create folders of your own and delete them, as well.

How to create a folder:
  1. Locate where the new folder should live on the left pane.
  2. Right-click on the location.
  3. Select New Folder.
  4. Input a name in the resulting Name box.
  5. Press Enter to create.
How to delete a folder:
  1. Right-click on the folder to be deleted.
  2. Select Delete from the command menu.
  3. Select Yes to confirm.

Folder creation and deletion are parts of the overall folder management options found when you right-click on the left pane of the Outlook interface. Keep in mind that many of the actions are grayed out for default folders. Here are the options that are presented:

  • Open in New Window — This opens another Outlook 2016 window with the selected folder opened.
  • New Folder — Creates a folder or sub-folder.
  • Rename Folder — This allows you to rename any folder or subfolder that you created.
  • Copy Folder — This copies the selected folder as a subfolder. You can then choose the destination folder in the resulting Copy Folder pop up box.
  • Move Folder — You can move the folder into any existing folder from inside the popup box.
  • Delete Folder — This option moves the folder and its contents to the Deleted Items folder.
  • Mark all as Read — All messages and other items in the folder will be marked as read.
  • Clean up Folder — Duplicate or redundant messages will be automatically moved to the Deleted Items folder.
  • Delete All — All items in the folder will be deleted. If you choose this action with a folder that contains subfolders, the sub-folders will be removed as well.
  • Show in Favorites — Choose to add this folder to the Favorites section, which is located near the top of the left panel.
  • Remove from Favorites — This option appears when right-clicking in the Favorites section. It removes the folder from Favorites but does not delete it.
  • Sort Subfolders A to Z — All sub folders within a folder will be listed alphabetically.
  • Move Up/Down — Folders and subfolders can be moved up or down the list, one entry at a time.
  • Properties — This action takes you the properties menu of the folder. A series of settings are presented such as selecting the folder policy, permissions and viewing the folder size.
Search folders

searching folders

Those who need Outlook to retain a large volume of messages could potentially have difficulty retrieving information. A Search Folder aims to eliminate the needle-in-a-haystack scenario. It presents messages that match search criteria determined by the user. It doesn’t matter if the messages are stored in various folders. As long as they are contained within the same .pst file, they will be found.

How to create a customized search folder:
  1. Select the Folder tab from the ribbon.
  2. Select New Search Folder.
  3. Select Create a custom Search Folder from the Select a Search Folder list.
  4. Click Choose.
  5. Enter the name of the folder in the name box.
  6. Click Criteria to pick your options from the following sections:
    • Messages – Choose to search for specific words from the subject or body, specific contacts or recipients.
    • More Choices – This offers more criteria such as specifying read or unread items, attachments and level of importance.
    • Advanced – This gives the user the option to create finely tuned criteria to narrow down result. This provides a list of criterion and allows you to choose conditions and values.
  7. Click Browse to select a specific folder to include in the search.
  8. Click Ok on each dialog box to confirm your selections.
How to create a pre-defined search folder:
  1. Select Folder from the ribbon.
  2. Choose New Search folder.
  3. Select a folder type from the Select a Search Folder list.
  4. Select Criteria under the Customize Search Folder section.
  5. Select Ok to save the search folder.
Folder sharing and delegation

sharing folders

Your Outlook folders can also be a place for collaboration. Depending on the necessary tasks, you can either choose to share a folder or delegate one. To delegate is to allow someone to act on your behalf, such as responding to emails or managing items in your folders. Sharing folders is commonly used to promote collaboration.

How to delegate a folder:
  1. Click on File.
  2. Click on Account Settings under Account Information.
  3. Click on Delegate Access.
  4. Click on Add.
  5. Search and select the individual.
  6. Click Add
  7. Select the permission level for the individual under the Permissions box.
  8. Right-click on the account.
  9. Select Folder Permissions.
    • Reviewer – Users can read items but cannot delete them.
    • Author – Users can read and create items.
    • Editor – Users can read, create and modify items.10.Click on the name of the person.11. Select the Permission Level. (then select OK)
How to remove a delegate:
  1. Click on File.
  2. Click on Account Information.
  3. Click on Delegate Access.
  4. Select the name of the current delegate.
  5. Click Remove.
  6. Click Ok.
How to share a folder
  1. Click on the Folder Tab in the ribbon.
  2. Click on Folder Permission in the Properties section
  3. Click on the Permissions tab in the Inbox Properties box.
  4. Click Add to add a user.
  5. Locate the person in the address list.
  6. Click Add
  7. Click Ok.
  8. Select an option from the Permission Level list.
    • Owner – Change permission levels for others who have access. Create, read, modify and delete contents of a folder.
    • Publishing Editor – All contents that the owner has created can be read and deleted. Content and subfolders can be created as well.
    • Editor – All items can be created read and modified.
    • Publishing Author – Items can be modified, deleted, created and read. Sub-folders can be created as well.
    • Author – Allows users to read and create items that the owner has created.
    • Nonediting Author – Owner created items can be deleted. Can create and read items.
    • Reviewer – Can read items but cannot delete them.
    • Contributor – Users can only create items.
  9. Select specific permission in the provided fields.
  10. Click Apply.
  11. Click Ok.
How to stop sharing a folder:
  1. Access the Folder tab from the ribbon.
  2. Select Folder permissions.
  3. Click on the name of the individual.
  4. Select None to suspend sharing.
  5. Select Remove to stop sharing.
Wrapping up

Being able to effectively manage folders enables you to be more productive in your communication. It also allows you to make Outlook both personal and comfortable.

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The Annoying Rise of Scam & Robocalls

Special Report: Have you noticed more & more robocalls or out & out spam phone calls making it to your mobile device? If you have – you are not alone. This has been getting on my nerves for a while now so I looked into just what was going on and why – these annoying calls are becoming more frequent.

An estimated 2.5 billion automated calls are being made each month, according to YouMail, which offers a robocall-blocking app. Three quarters of wireless customers feel like the number of unwanted calls has increased over the past year, and the calls cost Americans an estimated $350 million each year, according to Consumers Union.

Image result for robo calls mobile

There is some good news. The FCC has reported that it wants to crack down on unwanted robocalls and the federal agency looking at ways to help us block them. It’s also been stepping up enforcement of illegal robocalls. Last week, the agency voted to fine a New Mexico-based company $2.88 million for making unlawful robocalls. And last month, the FCC fined a Florida resident $120 million for allegedly making almost 100 million illegal robocalls in a three-month period.

However ridding the world of robocalls entirely is tricky because some legitimate communications are made using automated call technology. That includes weather alerts and messages from schools, public utilities and political organizations. Phone companies don’t want to block legitimate calls that consumers may want to receive.

Here’s what you need to know to understand what’s going on with robocalls.

Annoying Calls Explained

Telemarketing tech that uses automated dialers to make so-called robocalls is pretty simple and inexpensive to set up and run. All you need is a computer connected to a modem and a program that selects and dials numbers from a database. Other features can be added too, such as recording calls or detecting when a person has answered.

Because the cost of making these calls has pretty much come down to zero and it’s possible to make the calls from offshore — where they’re harder to trace and crack down on — it’s become an easy and attractive method for scammers.

Why Are We Getting These Calls?

There are a few reasons.

  • You may have actually given your consent to a company to make these calls. And maybe you didn’t know you’d done so.
  • Your phone number has been reassigned and the previous person who had that number had consented to getting marketing calls and the company calling you hasn’t updated its list. (The FCC is currently considering a proposal to fix this issue. I’ll explain what they’re doing below.)
  • The people calling you are scammers and they don’t care about the law. This is probably the most likely answer to this question.
We May Have Done This To Ourselves!

If you have ever checked a box when signing up for a service, website or at a retailer asking if they can market directly to you, you may have given consent to receive marketing calls. Always double chec

FCC’s Recent Robocall Action Explained

Last week, the commission voted on two items related to ridding the world of unwanted robocalls.

First, it voted to evaluate a system that would let phone companies check if a number calling you is legit. This call authentication system could help improve third-party apps that allow consumers to block unwanted calls and allow phone companies to offer call blocking as a service.

The second thing it voted on was a proposal to consider how to prevent unwanted calls after a number has been reassigned to a different customer. Currently, legitimate companies that make telemarketing calls have no way of knowing if a phone number has been reassigned. This means customers who haven’t given consent for marketing calls are getting them. It also means that legitimate companies making these calls to customers who don’t want the calls are in violation of the law and are subject to stiff penalties.

To help resolve this issue, the FCC is considering whether wireless companies should be required to report when numbers have been reassigned so a database can be created. Companies could access the database so they aren’t calling numbers that have been reassigned to a new customer.

What We Can Do Now?

Ask your phone company to offer robocall-blocking technology — most of them offer some form of protection, although a few will charge you a fee.

If you use a robocall-blocking app or your carrier provides technology already, it often helps to let that company know which numbers are producing unwanted calls so they can help block those calls for you and others. I have been using the truecaller” app for a few months now which has seemed to help quite a bit in respect to identifying robo & spam calls.  With this app, your phone still rings, however the caller identification reports the callers as “spam caller” which at least helps you avoid answering one of these calls. Check out truecaller here.

Image result for truecaller app

Don’t pick up the phone when someone from an unknown or suspicious number is calling you. This is often how scammers know it’s a legit number to target and they may sell your number to other telemarketers and scammers.

File a complaint with the FCC or the FTC. The FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies violating or suspected of violating the do-not-call rules. But it doesn’t award individual damages. The FTC can file lawsuits against companies or individuals violating its rules.

Consider filing a lawsuit, if you can find out who is making the calls. Companies are “strictly” liable for unwanted robocalls made without explicit written consent. And since damages start at a minimum of $500 per unwanted robocall, the penalties can add up.

Forward spam text messages sent from a phone number to 7726 (or SPAM). This free text exchange with the wireless carrier reports the spam number and you’ll receive a response from the carrier thanking you for reporting the spam.

If you need more information, check out the FCC’s website here.

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Protecting Your USB Drives Made Easy

USB thumb drives are small, portable, and universally readable. These features make them perfect vehicles for transporting data between computers. Due to their portability, however, they are also easily lost. Hence, you should always protect sensitive files carried on a USB stick.

Image result for usb drives png security

Unfortunately, you cannot simply password protect your entire USB stick, like you can password protect your PC or phone. Tools that will seriously protect your data all work with encryption. Unless you want to invest in a secure flash drive with hardware encryption, you can use freeware applications to achieve a similar level of protection.

This article summarizes some of the easiest ways to password protect files and folders on your USB flash drive.

1. Save Individual Files With a Password

As mentioned above, you can’t safely password protect your entire USB stick without using encryption. However, if you shy away from the time-consuming encryption process of entire folders and need a really quick way to only protect a few selected files, you can simply save those with a USB password.

Many programs, including Word and Excel, allow you to save files with a password.

For example, in Word, while the document is open, go to File > Info, expand the Protect Document menu, and select Encrypt with Password.

Now enter your password and confirm it to protect your document.

Finally, save your document and don’t forget the password.

To password protect PDF files on your USB flash drive, you can use PDFTK Builder, which also comes as a portable app.

2. Create an Encrypted & Password Protected Partition

Many tools can encrypt and password protect your data. Most, however, require Administrator rights to run on any given computer. Tools like these are not a viable solution if you need to securely transfer data to a computer where you do not have Administrator rights.

Rohos Mini Drive, on the other hand, is a tool that will work whether or not you possess Administrator rights. The free edition can create a hidden, encrypted, and password-protected partition of up to 2 GB on your USB flash drive. The tool uses automatic on-the-fly encryption with AES 256 bit key length. Thanks to the portable Rohos Disk Browser, which you install directly to your flash drive, you won’t need encryption drivers on the local system. Subsequently, you can access the protected data anywhere.

Click Encrypt USB drive from the Rohos Mini Drive start screen, select the drive, specify a new password, and click Create disk. This will create a password-protected and encrypted container on your external drive.

You can open the protected container by clicking the Rohos Mini.exe icon from the root folder of your USB thumb drive. After entering the password, the Rohos disk will mount as a separate drive and you can access it via File Explorer. To close your Rohos partition, right-click the Rohos icon in the Windows Taskbar notification area and select Disconnect.

Find a more detailed description of Rohos Mini Drive in my PDF guide The Office Worker’s 101 Guide to a USB Thumb Drive.

3. Encrypt Your Entire Flash Drive

VeraCrypt is the successor of TrueCrypt. It comes as a portable app that runs directly from your flash drive. Unfotunately, it still requires Administrator rights to operate.It uses on-the-fly AES 256 bit encryption. The free version is limited to drive size of 2GB.

VeraCrypt features on-the-fly encryption using multiple different algorithms, including 256-bit AES, Serpent, and TwoFish, as well as combinations of these. Like Rohos Mini Drive, it can create a virtual encrypted disk that mounts like a real disk, but you can also encrypt entire partitions or storage devices.

Download VeryCrypt Portable and install it on your USB drive. When you launch the portable app, it will show you all available drive letters. Choose one and click Create Volume. This will launch the VeraCrypt Volume Creation Wizard.

To encrypt your entire USB flash drive, select Encrypt a non-system partition/drive and click Next.

In the next step, you can choose from a Standard or a Hidden VeraCrypt volume. Using a hidden volume reduces the risk that someone forces you to reveal your password. Note that you’ll have to format the entire USB drive if you want to create a Hidden VeraCrypt volume.

We’ll proceed with the Standard VeraCrypt volume. In the next window, click Select Device…, choose your removable disk, confirm with OK, and click Next.

To encrypt the entire USB drive, select Encrypt partition in place and click Next. VeryCrypt will warn you that you should have a backup of the data, in case something goes wrong during encryption. Now select the Encryption and Hash Algorithm; you can go with the default settings. Now you get to set your Volume Password. In the next step, your random mouse movements will determine the cryptographic strength of the encryption.

Now choose your Wipe Mode, the more wipes, the safer. In the final window, click Encrypt to start the encryption.

Download: VeraCrypt Portable

An alternative to VeraCrypt Portable is Toucan, a portable app that lets you sync, backup, and secure your files.

Bonus: Create a Password-Protected Archive

Archive tools like 7-Zip can also encrypt and password protect your files with AES-256.

Install and run 7-Zip, right-click the file or folder on your USB drive, and select 7-Zip > Add to Archive. In the Add to Archive window, choose the Archive format and add a password. Click OK to start the archiving and encryption process.

Download: 7-Zip

Your Files Protected

Now you know how to password protect and encrypt your USB drive.

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Tip! Closing Windows Fast

How many different ways do you know to close a window in Windows? You can click the X in the upper-right corner, use the Alt + F4 shortcut, or right-click a Taskbar icon and choose Close window. But did you know there’s an old relic hanging out in Windows 10 that’s been around for decades?

In any Windows version, you can double-click in the upper-left corner of the title bar to close a window. For many programs, the spot you’ll need to click is marked by the app’s icon. This menu actually contains several other commands, like RestoreMove, and Minimize.

You can also activate this menu in any open app by pressing Alt + Space or by right-clicking the title bar.

Because keyboard shortcuts and newer Windows versions offer better ways to perform these functions, most people have forgotten about this menu. Probably its most useful function is the Move command, which lets you click and drag to slide a window around.

This comes in particularly handy when apps disappear off-screen — anyone who uses a laptop with a dock will know this annoyance. The Move command instantly snaps your mouse to the title bar of the affected app, so you don’t have to hunt around for it.

Most people probably don’t use this menu often, but it’s a neat trick to keep in your pocket. It’s fun to see what’s left over from Windows versions of old, and the Move command might save you some stress in the future!

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Taking Control of Your iPhone’s Privacy Settings

As technology continues to take over our lives, the struggle to maintain privacy becomes ever harder. But while we may take special steps to update our privacy settings on Facebook and other social media services it turns out that just having your phone on you at all times has some disturbing consequences.

Did you know that every place you’ve ever visited such as the the local supermarket, the office where you work, the movie theater, your own home is all being stored on your iPhone? This information even includes the exact address and the number of times you’ve been to that location.

Are your feeling a bit freaked out right about now?

How is This Happening?

The reason is a feature hidden deep in your privacy settings called ‘Frequent Locations’, and while it’s in no way new, it often goes unnoticed. For years, the system has been pinpointing the places you visit on a map and logging your arrival and departure times from each location, so your iPhone can help improve the Maps app and serve you best.

Clear your location history settings right here if you are feeling spied on by Apple.

Stopping This – If You Want

So if you want to stop this here’s what you do:

  1. Open your ‘Settings’ menu
  2. Select ‘Privacy’
  3. Select ‘Location Services’
  4. Scroll really far down and select ‘System Services’
  5. Scroll more and select ‘Frequent Locations’
  6. Select ‘Clear History’
  7. Swipe left on the ‘Frequent Locations’ tab to turn it off

There you go – you can now rest easy.  Be warned however – that your Maps app probably will not work as well.

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iPhone Battery Saving Tips

How is the battery on your iPhone? Do you find that it’s running out of power long before your day is done? This is one of the most common problems I hear. The first thing that most complainers of a “bad battery” state to me is that “I hope my battery isn’t going bad”. The good news is that very often it is not the battery that is bad – but a problem with one of the apps or settings on your phone.

The challenge here is that you need to be a detective to figure out what is draining your battery. I have some things you can try if you are a victim of a “bad battery” on your iPhone.

Lets take a look at some things you can do to improve the battery life of your iPhone before you drop hard earned cash on a new one.

First head over to Settings > Battery and take a look at the Battery Usage list. Tap anywhere on the list to change it from showing percentages to also show you a breakdown of how much screen time and background time the running apps are taking.

What to do if your iPhone has a battery drain issue
Battery Usage screen in iOS

Remember that while some apps — the Music app for example — are designed to work in the background, most apps are not and could be the cause of the problem.

While you’re here also look to see if you have No Cell Coverage on the list. If this is responsible for high battery usage then you’ve found your problem — being out of cell coverage or in an area with poor coverage. If this figure is high, try putting the iPhone into Airplane Mode when cell coverage is poor (you can still turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth independently) and see if that helps.

If you notice an app with unexplained high background usage then you may have solved your problem. Go into Settings > General > Background App Refresh and turn off background refresh for that specific app.

After you’ve done this it is a good idea to check to see if the battery drain issue is any better by repeating the tests you carried out here. If things are now good, then you’re done. If things are better then look for another app that may be working in the background where it shouldn’t and switch that off too. And if things are no better, undo the change you made previously.

Push Email

Another feature that could be draining your battery is push email, which can actually prevent your iPhone from going to sleep properly.

Head over to Settings > Mail > Accounts > Fetch New Data and temporarily disable push and see if that helps. If you have multiple email accounts coming to your handset then you can click on them separately and disable push separately and see if that works.

I find that push works well for iCloud accounts but routinely causes problems with other third-party email providers.

Get your apps under control

Apps can have an indirect effect on battery life in a couple of ways.

  • Working in the background.
  • Popping up notifications

This is why you need to get your apps under control. Here are a few ways to do that.

  • Delete apps you are not using
  • For apps that you don’t use much, disable features such as notifications (Settings > Notifications), background refresh (Settings > General > Background App Refresh), and also location services (Settings > Privacy > Locations Services).

If all else fails…

If none of the above helped you narrow down the battery drain problem you are facing then you’re down to a few final options:

  • Wipe your iPhone and either reinstall everything from a backup (which risks bringing the problem back) or setting it up from scratch (which is time consuming).
  • Take your iPhone to an Apple Store and let the Geniuses attempt to fix it by laying their healing hands on it.
  • Carry a portable battery pack with you to recharge during the day. This can be a great cost saving solution that at least will allow you to save some time before going out any buying a new phone.

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Keyboard Tricks for Windows

Another quiet week in the tech world gives us some more time for actual technology tips. Lets look at some keyboard shortcuts you can use to make your life easier with Microsoft’s Windows.

High Contrast: SHIFT + ALT + PRINT

In its default setting, this shortcut opens a warning window before applying any changes. Click Yes or simply hit Return to switch to the high contrast setting.

This will enlarge the font on all open windows and change colors to high contrast. For example, the desktop will turn black, what was black text on white background before will be reversed. Clicking the same key combination again reverts the changes.

Switch Between Open Windows: ALT + TAB

This keyboard shortcut launches a layover window that shows all open programs. Hold onto the ALT key and click the TAB key to move to the next application. Release both keys to open the selected window.

You can reverse the direction by holding ALT + SHIFT while pressing the TAB key.

Delete Without Confirmation: SHIFT + DEL

Do you hate these nagging windows asking you whether you really want to do this or that. If you want to quickly delete something, without being harrassed for a confirmation, use this shortcut.

Do you want to make the instant delete route your default setting? Right click the Recycle Bin on your desktop, select Properties, and remove the checkmark next to Display delete confirmation dialog.

Show Desktop / Restore Open Windows: Windows key + D

Rather than moving your mouse into the bottom right corner of your screen to see your desktop, press this keyboard shortcut. Press it again to restore your windows exactly as they were before.

Lock System: Windows key + L

You should never leave your desktop unattended. Before you head out to the loo or to grab another coffee, press this keyboard shortcut to lock your system. When you return and log back in, all programs and windows will appear the way you left them.

Run Command Prompt as Administrator: Windows key + R, type cmd, hold CTRL + SHIFT, hit ENTER

This is one complex chain of commands. But if you manage to do it right, you’ll have instant Administrator access to the command prompt.

Unfortunately, this shortcut doesn’t seem to work anymore as of the Windows 10 Creators Update. Alternatively, press Windows key + X to open the Quick Access Menu, then use the UP/DOWN arrow keys to move the Command Prompt (Admin) entry, and hit ENTER.

Shut Down: Windows key + X, U, I / U / R / H / S

You can shut Windows down with a few button clicks. It all starts with Windows key + X to open the Quick Access Menu, followed by the U key to expand the Shut down or sign out options. Finally, press I to sign out, U to shut down, R to restart, H to hibernate, and S to sleep.

Create Your Own Desktop Keyboard Trick

Are there folders or applications you need a lot? Why not create your own keyboard shortcut to quickly access these tools.

Note: This will only work for shortcuts located on your desktop!

First you need to create an actual desktop shortcut. In Windows 10, this has become a little more tricks. Right-click on the application in its program folder or send it from the Start Menu to the Taskbar and SHIFT + right-click its Taskbar icon, then select Create Shortcut from the context menu.

Make sure the shortcut sits on your desktop. Now right-click the shortcut and select Properties. You should see a line that says Shortcut Key: None. Click that line and then click a letter on your keyboard, for example P. This will create a shortcut, here CTRL + ALT + P.

desktop shortcut

And there you go, now you have your own personal shortcut key.

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