Monthly Archives: February 2016

Convenient Windows Tricks Everyone Should Know

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Check Out These Easy Windows Tricks

There are so many features within Windows that bring convenience to one’s life, but some people do not know they even exist. Microsoft did not hide them, many people just tend to overlook them.

Alternative Start Menu

With Windows 10 came the big overhaul of the Start Menu, one of the many reasons why someone should upgrade. Many people tend to forget they can right-click on the Start Menu, and this brings up an alternative Start Menu. This has many shortcuts that are quite useful, such as Control Panel, Power Options, and Device Manager.

Bypass Login Screen on Startup

Many people see typing their password each time their PC starts up as an inconvenience, unless of course they are used in public areas. But if you have a desktop or laptop that is unshared and security is not an issue, boot directly into Windows without having to deal with a login screen.

Push Windows Key + R this bring the Run window up. Next, enter netplwiz and push Ok. Go to Users tab, choose your account, and look for option Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer. Unclick box and push Apply. Enter your username and password this one time. This is last time you see this until you re-enable this feature.

Quick Tasks with Windows Keys

Windows keys does more tasks than opening the Start Menu. Example, Win + E opens up Windows Explorer, Win + D shows the desktop and hides all windows, and Win + X open up the alternative Start Menu. One for Windows 10 users Win + C to activate listening mode for Cortana.

Administrator Account Unlocked

During the day of Windows XP and before, Windows had Administrator accounts that full control over the whole system. In Windows 8, Microsoft added User Account Controls, and they no longer had Administrator accounts, which is when the ability “Run as Administrator” was given to us.

However, Administrator accounts are not actually gone, they are just hidden. Keep in mind so unlocking this is a huge security risk.

In the search bar type CMD , on Command Prompt, right-click and then choose Run as Administrator. Next, type this entire line:

net user administrator /active:yes

When you restart your PC or log out next time, you will see you have Administrator account to use. If you plan on using this, set a password. There are security vulnerabilities with this, unless this account is needed for specific reasons it is recommended not to use it as your primary account.

There are many more tricks that are lost or forgotten out there, and more are being discovered all the time! Here are some more you might be interested in!

Disable Microsoft Upload Center on Windows

Remove the upload center with ease.

Remove the upload center with ease.

Easily Disable the Microsoft Upload Center

A feature introduced in Microsoft Office 2010 is Microsoft Upload Center. This feature still lives on in Office 2013 and 2016. It is an add-on to Office.

Older versions of Microsoft Office were made to save documents, along with other Office files to the local hard drive. With the incorporation of OneDrive and cloud storage having so much emphasis in modern versions, Microsoft has included Upload Center. The purpose of it is to help when uploading documents to cloud storage, basically OneDrive.

When on default setting, if Save is clicked on a document, a copy is saved on your system while Microsoft Office tries to upload it to your OneDrive account. You may not notice anything unless you have a slow connection.

If you are one that uploads tons of documents to OneDrive at one time or you are frequently having to deal with weak wireless connections, MS Upload Center is most likely useful for you and you should probably not disable it. However, if you work only occasionally on a file in Office or never use OneDrive, t is irrelevant and to save resources you can disable it.

Removal of Notification Icon

If you want the icon removed from your system tray but do not mind Upload Center running in the background, you do not have to stop the program to remove the icon. Right-click Upload Center icon and select Settings, under Display Options, uncheck Display icon in notification area. Keep in mind that it is still running, use the start menu to access this program now.

Disabling the Microsoft Upload Center

There are different processes for disabling the Microsoft Upload Center depending on what version Windows and Office you are using.

If you are in use of Office 2010, type into the Search bar MSConfig on Startup tab check and disable the entry MSOSYNC. If any instance of Microsoft Office 2010 is noticed here, you can disable is since there is no reason for it to run at startup.

Another method reported to work for users on Windows 7, Office 2010 is editing the registry. This needs to be done with caution as to avoid damage to your computer.

Go to this location on the Registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Now you need to delete the value OfficeSyncProcess and restart.

For users of Office 2013, you can use Task Scheduler to attempt to remove Upload Center. In the Start menu enter Task Scheduler for it to open. In the left pane click Task Scheduler Library. Browse for Microsoft Office 15 Sync Maintenance for USERNAME and once found rick-click on it to disable.
Hopefully you have found a solution to disable Upload Center, however if you have not there are benefits of keeping your documents saved in the cloud.

Using Document Inspector to Remove Personal Data Hidden in Microsoft Office

Document inspector can help remove unwanted hidden files.

Document inspector can help remove unwanted hidden files.

Remove Personal Data Thats Hidden with Doc Inspector

Microsoft Office produces and keeps a hidden metadata on your documents for Office, including such information as how long the document has been worked on, when creation of the document took place, documents previous versions, and name of each person that worked on it. Every time this document is sent, these details are passed on to the recipient and anybody after that in which the document is sent to. This might be okay to do in some situations, however, there are times when it can be best for your documents to be cleaned of any personal data prior to sending them on.

Information Microsoft Stores

There is several types of hidden data and personal information in which Microsoft Office automatically stores. This data is not immediately noticeable, it is not next to your document on display. It needs to be rooted out. Some information, but not all, Office documents contain include:

  • Personal Information and Document Properties. Document properties indicate metadata for the document, such as author, title, and subject. This is mostly information generated automatically by Office and is kept each time every time a document is worked on. This can include information which is related to specific features a document is used with. For example, printer paths, email headers, and file-path information.
  • Comments, versions, revision marks, and ink annotations. If there was collaboration on your document, there might be comments, revision marks, and more from the working process. Other people are able to see who worked on this document, and what changes each person made.
  • Hidden Text. Hidden text can be placed on Word documents. If you do not know if there is, Document Inspector can look for it.
  • Invisible Content. PowerPoint presentations and Excel workbooks can contain objects which were items formatted as invisible.

In many cases this content being saved does not pose any issue. There is no problems from most people that create and send documents with the use of Microsoft Office sending this information with their work.

Document Inspector for Personal Data

Select File menu in Microsoft Office, now select Info and you will see the tool for Inspect Document. To view this documents hidden metadata, select Check for Issues, then Inspect Document. Now you have a choice of what metadata you want the document examined for. If want to check for all metadata, you can leave all options selected. Finally, select Inspect. Office finally examines your document for all metadata. To remove any metadata found you must select Remove All next to it.

Prevent Metadata Being Stored

This can only be done by document specific, not multiple documents. This setting needs to be saved each time a new document is used. Go to File > Options > Trust Center > Privacy Options. Now select Remove personal information from file properties on save. Keep in mind, this only works on current documents.

Use These Tips to Save on Computer Power

Utilize your power more effectively.

Utilize your power more effectively.

Tips To Make Your Computer Use Less Power

Computers often suck up power, but they do not need to. Ones most thirsty for energy are desktops which are high-powered with graphics hardware dedicated to gaming, but modern PCs are more energy-efficient than older ones.

There are numerous tips for saving computer power on your PC to assist you in using much less power.

  1. Do not use screensavers. Rather than using a screensaver, have your monitor move into suspend mode automatically when not using it. There is almost no power used during this state, and you are able to immediately return to the desktop by touching keyboard or moving mouse cursor.
  2. Brightness level. Brightness level needs to be set appropriately for your room. You are using unnecessary power if it is brighter than need be.
  3. Use hibernate and sleep modes. You do not need to shut down your computer and reboot each time you walk away and back again. However, your computer should not be left on at all times either. Instead, use your computer’s hibernate or sleep modes when it is not in use. You either can have your computer go into hibernation or sleep from the Start menu instead of shutting down, or have your computer automatically sleep when not in use. There is almost no power used when in sleep mode, and within a few seconds return to your open programs on your desktop. If you decide to use hibernation mode instead, there is almost no power used still, but returning to your desktop may take slightly longer than with sleep mode.
  4. Use SmartStrip to plug in all equipment. In majority of homes, computers are used in evenings for a bit of gaming, web surfing, and other miscellaneous activities or work. Many times people need several peripheral for this to be achieved, such as a monitor, speakers, router, printer, and so forth. When the evening ends, people tend to shut their computers off but leave these other pieces of equipment running, draining electricity. When using a SmartStrip, users are able to plug their computer into the master outlet, while other slots on the strip have all other devices plugged into them. Then, other outlets receive energy when computer is turned on, and when turned off, power to other outlets is shut off automatically. Now, when you shut power off each night to your computer, all power to your peripherals is shut off as well.
  5. When replacing equipment, “go green” with EnergyStar 4.0 compliant. You want to replace your older equipment with ones that use minimal energy when time to replace them. EnergyStar 4.0 compliant computers compared to machines that are non-EnergyStar use 25% less energy. That can be a huge savings for people using computers over time.

These are five simple ways of saving power with your computer, making them kilowatt hours add up. Make sure to know how to care for the power cord on your PC.