Category Archives: Windows

Windows 10 Personalized (Ver 1809)

The default settings in Windows 10 can be altered to reflect your own tastes.  For example, the mode for the windows is either light or dark.  The default is light, however, dark mode may be better for your eyesight, especially at night, (ironically).  Another option are the colors of the title bars, windows borders, start, the taskbar and action center.

To test which color is best for you, place your mouse in an open area of the desktop and right click.  Select Personalize and then Colors, (scroll down for that…).  You can make your choices by clicking on a color first, then checking an item.  For example, click the dark blue square and then check the box, or boxes, for it to take effect.

The option to for light and dark mode cannot be altered other than white or black.  Dark mode has more of a contrast between letters and background so it may be easier on the eyes.

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Making labels, (using Office version 2010 or later)

If you have a list of names and addresses compiled in Excel and wish to make labels the process can be confusing and frustrating. There are several steps that need to be taken to print your labels correctly.
First is to prepare your Excel data sheet for exporting to Word so you can print labels. Add a new row at the top of the list, (#1), by highlighting the existing first row and then clicking to Insert a new row. This results in a blank row 1. Title each column using the data in each column. For example, Name, Address, City, State and Zip. (Make sure the Zip column is formatted for zip codes or the zero will not appear). Next, save the excel sheet by naming it and saving in a place that is easy to access, such as the Desktop.
Open Word. Click on the Mailing(s) tab. Click Start Mail Merge, then click Labels. Here is where you select the label you will be using, (Avery 7160, for example). Click OK and then select, still under Start Mail Merge, Select Recipients and then Use Existing List. Find and open your list just saved to the desktop. After clicking OK, you will see the labels populate with text like “Next Record.” Now we need to insert the addresses.
Still under the Mailings tab, select Address Book. Here you will see an example of what the label will look like. If that is OK, click the button at the bottom right, Match Fields. This will show you where the data will be placed on the label. Make any changes necessary. Then click OK. Now, click Update Labels. This is a very important step often missed!! Now you will see your labels with the added text “Address Book.” Finally, click on the button in the menu to Finish and Merge, then Edit Individual Documents and the OK.
Now you are ready to print your labels! If you need to make any changes to the labels, such as delete or edit an address, you can do so right on the label sheet created in Word.
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Disappearing Icons in Windows 7

Every week my desktop icons disappear.  No reason, just gone.  Every week I spend the time putting the shortcuts back.  This has to stop.

The reason this occurs is Win7 has a scheduled task built into the operating system that will clean up the desktop of “broken” icons, or what the system determines is a broken icon.  If, for example, you use a lot of network shortcuts as icons on the desktop, the operating system may think they are broken and delete them.  The same can be said of icons unused for seven days or more.

To turn this task off, you will need to go to the Control Panel, click System, then look for System and Security, Computer Maintenance and turn off the task.  You can also Search for Computer Maintenance if you have a hard time finding it.

As with any adjustment to the operating system, be cautious when making changes.

Files, Shortcuts will not open

You get the message “Your Internet security settings prevented one or more files from being opened,” when you try to open a network connected icon.  For example, a program is housed on a server or another computer and the shortcut is on your desktop.

The issue can be resolved by changing the default security settings on both the computer where the program is housed and on your system.

First, click to get a “run” window and type inetcpl.cpl.  This will open the IE properties window where you can reset the setting of IE.  Click on the Advanced tab and then the Restore button.  Click to restore settings and then Close when complete.

Second, make sure the firewalls are allowing access to that program.  This may necessitate changing those settings on both the systems.  Go to Control Panel and then click Windows Firewall to find out if the problem is there and to make any adjustments.

Restart the computer after you have made the changes.  Try again after reboot.

Fix a corrupted Recycle Bin

When you try to delete or empty the Recycle Bin you receive the error message that it is corrupted.  You can not delete files or empty the Trash.

The fix is fairly easy.  Open a command prompt by entering cmd in the Cortana line, or Run line.  When you see the icon for cmd, right click it and select Run as Administrator.  The dialogue box opens, (it looks like a dos window).  At the blinking cursor, type:  rd/s/q C:\$Recycle.bin.  Hit Enter and then type Exit to close the window.

Try using the Recycle Bin now.

Ransomware

Like the name implies, this type of virus not only encrypts and holds hostage your critical data, but also demands a ransom be paid to decrypt the infected files.    Getting this virus, which comes in many variants, can cripple a business or home user.

Here are some steps to take to prevent catastrophe:

First:  Backup your data daily.  If you do not already have a backup plan, create one.

Second:  Never visit sites that are questionable, click on ads that are suggestive or curious, such as “Stars then and now.”  Just say No to invitations in e-mail or suspicious links.

Third:   Patch and Block.  Running updates to Java, Flash and OS to get the latest security patches that will help “fill the gap” where a virus can infiltrate.

Fourth:  If you get an infection, STOP AND TURN OFF THE COMPUTER!  Do NOT finish an e-mail, document or other entry.  Just stop what you are doing and shutdown to prevent further damage.  Disconnect from the internet by unplugging the modem and router to prevent spreading the virus over the office network (both wired and wireless).

Call for help.  If you have followed the above, the damage may be limited and the cost may be far less than if you ignore the virus and keep working.  Finally, consider setting up a Business Continuance Plan.  For more information on that,  click on Search and enter Business Continuance.

Win7 and Services

When you boot the computer you find no internet capability, no printing, no connected network drives, unable to install software or uninstall software and some programs will not open or work properly.  What happened?!

The services Microsoft uses to run these types of programs and utilities were disabled.  A virus may be the likely culprit.  To resolve this issue, click on Start and then type msconfig in the run box.  Click the Services tab and either select all to enable or place a check mark in every box.  Click OK and restart the computer.

When the system reboots you should immediately see an improved resolution and all your services should function as expected.  Run virus scans right away to detect any lingering issues.

Zoom and Screen Resolution

If you have a wide screen monitor then you understand the frustration of changing your screen resolution to get the online resolution to be larger and better able to read or to play games.  For example, if you play some of the online games, the game board, (such as Monopoly), is too small to enjoy playing on.  You want to enlarge it.  Absent any screen adjustments built into the program, you are forced to lower your screen resolution to achieve your goal.  Doing so creates the other problem of the viewable area of the wide screen is now smaller.

To resolve this, leave the screen resolution as is.  Click the zoom option in your browser to adjust the size of the program you are playing.  In the case of the Monopoly board, we used Chrome.  We clicked on the three dots in the upper right corner and found a Zoom option, with the scale right there.  We adjusted it our desired size and played on.  Note:  the zoom setting stayed in place.  The next time we clicked to use Chrome the settings were as we had left them.  If necessary, you can readjust them easily.

Task Scheduler Corrupt

A scheduled task is a very convenient way to get things done on a computer without having to remember to do them.  Many items can be checked off the “to do list” by simply having it listed as a scheduled task.  At a designated time and day that task is completed.  What happens when the specific task you are asking the system to perform doesn’t.

The task has become corrupt and needs to be replaced.  When you open the Task Scheduler you may receive a bunch of error messages telling you the various task are corrupt.  To get rid of them and install a replacement task do the following:

With the Task Scheduler open and the error showing, open the C drive.  Click on Windows, then System32, then Tasks.  Towards the bottom of the list are the tasks.  Look for the ones named on each error that pops up.  Right click the task and delete it.  Once all the corrupted tasks are gone you can close the Task Scheduler and reopen to see if there are any errors you missed.  If you get a clean opening then recreate the tasks you need most.

QuickBooks: Keeping Multi User Active

When you want to have more than one user accessing QuickBooks at the same time you are required to have the program set to Multi User Mode.  To use QB in that mode, click on File, then select Switch to Multi User Mode.  Now multiple users can access the same company file.

When you close and then re-open QuickBooks later, you have to repeat the steps, as QB has defaulted back to Single User Mode.  How can we set it up so QB always opens in Multi User Mode?

With QB closed, press and hold the Ctrl key and then click to open QB.  You will be at the Open Company File Window.  Highlight the company you want to open, but do not open it yet.  Click the check box at the bottom of the screen to Always Open in Multi User Mode.  Then click the to open the highlighted company and it should already be in Multi User Mode.

Done.