Monthly Archives: June 2015

Increase Your Virtual Memory

Have more room for whatever you want to save.

Have more room for whatever you want to save.

Increase Memory Virtually With These Tips

Your computer might be running slow after using it for several months. Increasing your virtual memory on your computer can give a boost to its performance. When the physical RAM on your computer fills up, Windows will move data to what is called page file. This file is a kind of virtual memory. Imagine your computer has 2 GB RAM and you have several applications running that needs 2.5 GB RAM. Windows uses the 2 GB RAM, then the rest of the data is moved to page fil on the hard disk. Writing to physical RAM does not take as long as writing to disk, making performance of your computer degrade when virtual memory is used.

Normally, Windows manages the size of paging file automatically. However, settings for this can be changed to help your computer run more smoothly. By default, the partition that Windows uses is the one that contains the operating system. The recommendation is to set the page file at 1.5 times to the RAM amount you have in your computer.

Changing the Virtual Memory Settings

Open up the control panel and select System. Now select the tab named Advanced. One option under this tab is, Performance. In this setting select Settings. Once in this box, select Advanced again. Underneath the heading, Virtual memory, click Change.

You will now have a dialog box with the name Virtual Memory. If your OS is 7 or higher, the setting Automatically manage paging file size for all drives, is checked already for you. If using a solid state drive that has a Core i3, 5, or 7 processor while running on Windows 8, you will most likely not have to change the stetting due to no huge speed difference will be seen. If not running this, uncheck the box. Next, check the option Custom Size. The initial and maximum sizes should be set according to what the recommendation is.

If you are not sure of how much RAM your computer has, you can check by going into your Control Panel. Next, select System. The amount of RAM you have is stated near the bottom right of the page.

A Second Option

In some situations, if there is more than one hard drive in the computer the page file can be moved to a different drive. Assume one of the hard drives has your operating system and data installed on it and the other has data that is not used often. Moving the paging file to the drive that has only the data can improve your computers performance.

Doing either option will increase performance of your computer. However, if you notice that your page file get used often, try increasing your computers physical RAM.

Resourceful Tips and Tricks for Windows

Windows tips can save a lot of time.

Windows tips can save a lot of time.

Utilizing Windows With These Tips

Microsoft Windows can amaze us with the amount of stuff you can do using this OS. There are some tricks many people are not aware of, or how to use them. Below are some of the more helpful tips and tricks for Windows, users will find handy.

Tip #1

When logging in, go straight to the desktop. The default setting when starting up your computer takes the user to the Start Screen. To change this, on the desktop toolbar, right-click>Properties>Navigation. Look for the box next to “When I sign in or close applications on a screen, go to the desktop instead of start” and check it. Hit apply, then close.

Tip #2

Run applications at all times as administrator. You most likely have already noticed, some programs need you to run as administrator in order to use them. Many older programs require this. To set this, right-click on the shortcut for the program>Properties>Shortcut>Advanced. Put a check in the box, Run as administrator and hit OK.

Tip #3

Tiles on the home screen can be customize. Right clicking on the tiles give you an option for resizing. You can move and group these tiles, as well by dragging them. Each group can be given a name by right clicking and select Name groups. Above each group you will see a space to enter each name.

Tip #4

Have your Windows apps update on your schedule. By default, updates are installed automatically without user consent. To prevent this, open Windows Store then the Setting Charm>Settings>App Updates. There is an option to disable or enable having apps updated automatically.

Tip #5

Default printer can be changed according to your location. To set this feature search Devices and Printers, and open the window. On the printer you want to use as your default, right-click and set it as such. Next, click on any printer in the window and select Manage default printers available on your toolbar. Look for and check, Change my default printer when I change networks. From the dropdown Select printer and Select network, click Add for each one. Continue doing this until you have added all the networks you plan connecting to. If you decide you want to use only one printer, select Always use the same printer as my default printer.

Tip #6

Each screen can be scaled independently by customizing the settings. On your desktop, right-click and choose Screen Resolution. Next, select Make text and other items larger or smaller. Set to the size you desire.

Tip #7

Smart files allows you to view and edit OneDrive files while offline. While you are still connected to the internet right-click on the folders or files you want to use offline and select the option Make Available Offline.

Using these tips and tricks can give you a better experience while using Windows.


Access and Recover Office Files

Fix corrupt files on your Windows software.

Fix corrupt files on your Windows software.

Tips to Access and Recover Office Files that are Corrupt

Everybody that has used Microsoft Office knows that data corruption can happen to anybody. If one of your files in Office is corrupt, there are ways to save it. Sometimes, Office will repair the corrupt file by itself with an automatic repair feature built into the program. When this does not happen there are other ways to recover it.

Open and Repair the Data

When Office fails to repair the file automatically, there is a way for you to ensure the program is trying to repair the data. Open the Office program that has the corrupt file and go to File, then Open. Find the file you want repaired, and select it. Using the dropdown menu, select Open and Repair. With minor corruptions, this method is usually successful.

AutoRecover When Office Shuts Down Unexpectedly

There are times that Office shots down unexpectedly on us, such as from a power outage or a system reboot that is forced. When this happens, it may cause your data to be corrupt. However, with a feature Office has called AutoRecover your data might be recovered. When Office is loaded back up there should be an option that offers you the recovered data. If this does not happen there is a way for you to do it manually.

Launch the Office program that has the corrupt data and select, file. Next, select recent. Recover Unsaved Documents is what needs to be selected next. The wording may be different depending on what program in Office you are using. After making that selection, you will be brought to a folder where the automatic backups are created. Try each one, checking if it contains what you are looking for. If you find it, save the data to a different location.

Previous Version Tab

Your system might have stored a backup of the data, depending on what the settings of your system are. Right click on the Office file, selecting Properties then Previous Versions. You will then be shown a list of previous versions, if any exist. Open each one, checking each to see if there is any with all your data and is not corrupted. If you have found one, select Restore.

Check Temporary Files

You want to do a search of your system by loading your search options, and type *.tmp. All files that end with the extension, temporary file will be found. If any results are found, save them to a different location. Names of the files will most likely not help, the size might be able to though. Load them into your Office program to check if this is your data.

If still unable to find the data, you may want to try a third party program and hope for results.

This can be something that is preventable if you back up your files when maintenance is required on your computer. By doing this, you’ll always have copies of important information on your computer.


Protect Your Windows Data

Protect all of your info on Windows.

Protect all of your info on Windows.

Ways to Protect and Hide Your Data When Using Windows

The majority of people have person information stored on their computer, making them want to protect it from snooping eyes. This may be from possible hackers, or family members. There are different methods to accomplish this, all with different levels of security. You might want to just hide your data from appearing on your system, or you might want to have passwords and encryption employed.

Ways to Hide Your Data

Individual folders and files can be hidden with an inbuilt method that is in Windows. First, you need to be sure files you want marked hidden appear that way. Start Windows Explorer and make your way to organize, then Folder and search options, now select the tab that says View. Select, Don’t show hidden files, folder, or drives underneath where it says Hidden files and Folders. Now click OK.

Now it is time to hide the data you want hidden. Right click on the file or folder, click Properties and on the tab that says General, tick Hidden. Select Advanced to have extra protection. Where you see the archiving options, untick it. When doing a Windows search, this file or folder will not appear.

If you want the hidden data to show, reverse the steps you just completed. As you can see, this method is not greatly secured. This is due the fact, people that are tech savvy will know how to do the same process you did to uncover the files. However, people that are less savvy will be discouraged from finding the data that is hidden.

Hide Your Entire Drive

The entire drive can be hidden from people by going a step further. Search your system for, disk management. Select it when found, this brings a window up showing all the drives you have, whether external or internal that are connected to the computer. Right click on the drive that you want to hide, select Change Drive Letter and Paths. A new window will open, select the letter of the drive, click Remove then select OK. The drive is not searchable now on the computer.

As with hiding files and folders, copying these steps can rediscover your drive that you hid, making security this way not great either.

Protection with Passwords

Third party software offers the proper protection by password use. Some cost, but there are alternatives that are free available. Check online reviews of any third party software you are considering. Always make sure you’re making strong passwords, as well for your protection.

Encrypting the Data

Encryption offers the best protection. Two third party encryption software are AxCrypt and VeraCrypt. These both are easy to use and are free, although they do accept donations.

Security of your data is important. These suggestions should help, and keep in mind you can use a combination for more protection.

Disabling OneDrive on Windows 8.1

Use or disable the drive as needed.

Use or disable the drive as needed.

How to Disable OneDrive on Windows 8.1

Automatic syncing to cloud storage with your laptop or desktop computer, is great. Do you have to use OneDrive for this? No, there are other cloud solutions available that you can use. Take back the space and disable OneDrive.

Reasons to Remove OneDrive from Your Computer

Even with OneDrive storing videos, photos, and documents without issues usually, there are different reasons why you may want to get rid of it. Possibly, you have a preference for a different cloud system. Maybe you have used a different system for long time and are hesitant about switching. No matter the case, there are ways to disable OneDrive.

Simple Way of Disabling OneDrive with Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 has OneDrive built into it, making it unable to be uninstalled. To disable this system, start by disabling features for syncing. Open your Charms bar by pressing Windows+I keys simultaneously. Now follow these steps:

Select Change PC Settings > OneDrive > Sync Settings

The setting, Sync your settings on this PC needs to be disabled.

Disable the setting Save documents to OneDrive by default.

Be sure that you do not drop files into your OneDrive folder. Once a file is put in this folder, it syncs to OneDrive.

Unlink Microsoft Account

As it stands right now, OneDrive is still working. To completely disable this system, your Microsoft account needs to be unlinked from Windows. Using the Charms bar:

Select Change PC Settings > Accounts > Your Account

Look for the name of your account, beneath it there is an option to disconnect. Select this option. By disconnecting your Microsoft account you will no longer have access to the 15 GB storage, or be able to log into any computer with Windows 8 and see your desktop and start screen.

Disabling OneDrive through Group Policy

Group policy editor can be used to change policies for a specific service on your PC. This can be used for disabling OneDrive. If managing multiple PC’s, this can be useful when you want to stop others from using certain applications. There might be documents that you do not want shared from other users. This should be used by only advanced users. Complete the following to disable OneDrive through Group Policy:

  1. First, open up the Start Screen.
  2. Type, group policy.
  3. From the results of the search select, Edit group policy.
  4. Direct yourself to Computer Configuration > Administration Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive that is in the navigation pane on the left.
  5. Where you see “Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage”, double click it.
  6. On the left side of the pop up window select, Enable.

Remember, if you use iOS or an Android, you must also remove OneDrive from your tablet or smartphone in the normal way. Check for instructions on removing OneDrive from Windows Phone, these are more complicated.

While, Windows 8.1 is tough to navigate through, it is not impossible. Check out some of our other posts on doing many functions throughout this unique Windows software.



Evernote -VS- OneNote

OneNote and Evernote have many differences.

OneNote and Evernote have many differences.

Evernote -VS- OneNote Differences and Similarity

Apps for taking notes are handy and practical in several situations. You can make lists or when a good idea pops into your head, you can write it down just in case you forget. OneNote and Evernote are two software solutions that takes notes and offer features that are useful for everybody needing to keep information on track. Both are offered for free. Both offer features for individual and businesses. We will look at each of these apps to see their comparison.

Some Features of OneNote

OneNote division of pages and notebooks are neat. Many platforms are supported. However, features are inconsistent across various platforms. Few of the features that Evernote lacks, OneNote has an integrated thesaurus and dictionary. Desktop apps give the ability for the user to position text where they want, and draw diagrams. Sections can be assigned a password, individual pages cannot have one. Media content can be added, for instance audio and video recordings. Screenshots, pictures, and scanned images taken from Facebook, OneDrive, the hard drive, and Flickr can be added.

Main advantage for the OneNote app is its system, Optical Character recognition (OCR). OneNote identifies automatically imported pictures, screenshots, and scanned images. On the image that is in the note, right click and copy its text, now paste wherever you want. Paragraphs and text from documents are extracted easily.

Notes can be shared through e-mail with the desktop version, web version can be shared by e-mail and URL. Extracting text is done well with documents or scanned book, but not well with websites. Screenshots can be captured but not the text directly. Web and desktop versions are basically the same, with some features missing from the web app.

OneNote is a practical solution with a nice selection of features.

Some Features of Evernote

Features across various platforms are consistent and simple. Third party support for Evernote is wider than OneNote. Features for web clipping are excellent. You can have several notebooks for storing separate sections of images, audio, and notes. Video files can be stored but there is not an option for capturing video notes.

Plugins for browsers, named Evernote Clearly and Evernote Web Clipper allows you to organize and save copies of webpages. This is handy for researching online, storing updates and conversations from e-mails and social media, and capturing articles.

Desktop version of Evernote has a section displaying a list of what is in selected folders. You create and see your content on the right. Evernote does not offer as organization of sections or pages as clear as OneNote. Web version is similar but cleaner.

Main advantage is with its mobile app, being able to capture audio and combine with other notes.

Evernote is a good solution for notes with more consistency over platforms than OneNote. Evernote is better for general notes, and for better video features, consider OneNote.

Ready for a Windows Upgrade?

Those that have Windows 8 are eligible for a free upgrade.

Those that have Windows 8 are eligible for a free upgrade.

Is Your Computer Ready for Windows 10 Upgrade?

Windows 10 release is set for July, now is the time to make sure your system can upgrade. Most likely, if you already run Windows 7 or 8 you will be able to upgrade. Of course, if your system does not run these as smooth and fast as you like, Windows 10 will not either. There are details available so you can be sure.

Windows 10 Hardware Requirements

Official hardware requirements for Windows 10 has not been confirmed yet. However, system requirements for Windows 10 preview states, if you are able to run Windows 8.1, you will be good to go. The installer for Windows 10 checks to make sure your system is suitable, before installing the OS, as well. You need to have internet and a Microsoft account for installation. Requirements for Technical Preview of Windows 10 are as follows:

  • Processor needs to be at least 1 gigahertz (GHz)
  • RAM for 32-bit at least 1 gigabyte (GB) or for 64-bit 2 GB
  • At least 16 GB of hard disk space needs to be free
  • Graphic cards has to be a graphic device with Microsoft DirectX 9 with WINDOWS Display Driver Model (WDDM)

Use a display with a minimum resolution of 1024×768, when using Windows apps to receive better results.

Windows Compatibility Center

Even though at this time, the compatibility center is for upgrades for Windows 8.1, it should work for 10, also. This is because Microsoft said, if your system is fine with 8.1 it will be for Windows 10. Check to make sure all of your hardware (printers, USB devices, mouse, etc.) is connected to the computer, before running the compatibility check. This will show if your devices are compatible.

Important Information You Need to Know

For computers that run Windows 7 or 8.1 at the time of Windows 10 release, updating should be able to be done for free through Windows update. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Upgrading to Windows 10 for free, has to be done within the twelve months after final release.
  2. You should not have any issues if you have a retail version of Windows. Meaning, it is not a version preinstalled on a computer.
  3.  If you have the OEM version, there should not be any problems, providing it is the original computer it was installed on.
  4. If you are using Windows Vista or XP and have hardware that is compatible, you can upgrade. This will be a clean install.
  5.  Enterprise editions will not be able to get the free upgrade.
  6. Devices with Windows RT, are not eligible for the new OS. Some features may be added in the future.

You want to make sure everything with your system is compatible, even with a free upgrade. This will save time and money.