Saturday Bonus Questions & Answers – 110621
It’s Saturday! And you know what that means. It’s time for more Bonus Questions & Answers.
Sometimes the best tips and tricks are hidden in the questions and answers we publish. And rarely do we post questions and answers on this website. Today, we’re featuring some of the questions and answers from past issues of our InfoAve Weekly newsletters.
These answers were selected at random from past InfoAve Weekly newsletters.
Saturday Bonus Questions & Answers – 110621
Barb wants to know about BrowserSecurityCenter
I recently went to my Rukuten site to download a book and was directed to this site. Since there are so many scams these days, I was wondering if this is a legitimate site and if I should be using the product they are recommending.
The URL is as follows:
Thank you in advance for your advice. Barb.
Hi Barb. BrowserSecurityCenter is a browser hijacker that displays ads and redirects links in your browser. It is based in the Cayman Islands.
It’s bad medicine and you should avoid it. A simple Google search turns up results such as these:
And those are just the top 5 results – there are plenty more just like it.
Our advice – run away from this malware & scam company.
James wants his browser to open in a large window
Hi. How to make my browser open with a large window instead of a tiny one?
Hi James. Open your browser and make the window the size you want it. Then hold down the shift key and while holding it down, click the x in the top-right corner to close the browser window. From then on when you open your browser it will be the size it was when you closed it.
I hope this helps you.
James wrote back: “Thank you, thank you, thank you! That’s exactly what I wanted to do!”
Mona wants to know wants to completely wipe her laptop before giving it away
I have recently purchased a new computer, and the laptop that I had been using will have a new owner soon. I wish to give the laptop to someone who can use it. I have wiped that laptop, keeping Windows 10 on it. I can’t remember how to get my name and MS account off that computer. It seems that I have read an item in your newsletter regarding this procedure, but can’t find it. I would appreciate a link to any information that will help me.
Hi Mona. Thanks so much.
Read this Cloudeight article. It explains how to wipe all the data from your hard drive including your name and user accounts. It wipes everything and then reinstalls Windows 10. Whoever you give the computer to, will have to set up their user account just like they would do if it were a new computer.
If you need more help, please let us know.
Jim wants to create a recovery drive for his new computer
I just purchased a new laptop with a 1 TB hard drive but no Optical drive. Should I create a USB recovery drive or a USB boot drive? I have created an ISO image as of today on a USB hard Drive but should I also create a boot or recovery USB drive as mentioned above?
Hi Jim. Computers that do not have optical drives (CD/DVD drives) have the BIOS set up to boot from bootable flash drives. So you can create a bootable Windows 10 installation flash drive by going to this page:
On that page click on the button labeled “Download tool now”. You’ll be able to create a Windows 10 installation flash drive using the tool.
We recommend you create a Windows 10 installation flash drive. It has everything a recovery drive has and more and it’s bootable. You can boot your computer from it, use troubleshooting tools, and even do a reset or repair installation using it. And since your computer has no optical drives, its BIOS is already set to boot from a bootable flash drive.
I hope this helps you, Jim.
Eleanor has Windows 10 and wants to do daily backups
Hi…I’ve had your Infoave Premium for years and have read all your wonderful suggestions over the years. I’ve wanted to back up my computer for quite a while and finally bought a Seagate 4 TB Backup Plus Portable backup. I have not connected it yet because I’m wondering if there is a program that I could get to just daily backup what’s new instead of backing up everything every day. I don’t know if you could help me with this, but I thought I would ask anyway. Thanks…Eleanor
Hi Eleanor. Windows 10 comes with a really good backup program that is available to you.
Before we get to that, we recommend that you don’t install the software that came with your external hard drive, it’s unnecessary. Just plug it into a USB port on your computer. And, for best results with your backup make sure you leave the backup drive plugged in all the time. Only unplug it when absolutely necessary.
Plugin your external drive and use the following steps to turn on Windows 10 File History backup.
1. Right-click the start button & click “Settings”
2. In Settings click on “Update & Security”
3. In Update & Security click on “Backup” in the menu on the left.
4. Under “Back up using File History” click the big plus sign next to “Add a drive”
5. Select your Seagate 4TB hard drive.
That’s it. With a drive as large as your Seagate, just leave File History set at its defaults.
File History backs up all your files and folders all the time. While it does not create an image backup, it creates reliable backups of all of the personal files (Pics, Documents, Music, Videos, Favorites, etc.). And with all the ways Windows 10 offers to recover your computer in case of major problems (and the fact you can make free Windows 10 installation media – DVD or USB flash drive) the need for image backups is less than it used to be in previous versions of Windows.
We hope this helps you!
Paul is suspicious of a scam
Hi. I hope you can help me. In the last two days, I’ve gotten phone calls from a place called “Computer Services”. They said my account has been expired and that I should call them at the number at the end of the call. What Account? They indicated a charge has been put on my account of $399.00. The call sounded like it was computer-generated to me. The amount of $399.00 is for 5 years. I thought I knew a scam when I saw one, but this one if it is has me confused. Thank you.
Hi Paul. This is a scam. They can’t charge “your account” anything if you did not give them a credit card number – if you did give them a credit card number, call your credit card company ASAP, and report you’ve been scammed, and they’ll remove the charge and prevent them from charging anything again.
If you didn’t give them a credit card number, then just ignore the call. If it’s a cellphone you can block the number they’re calling from. If it’s a landline, call your telephone company and tell them about this and have them block the number.
You may also want to report the calls to local authorities. It’s illegal to threaten people or attempt to extort money or trick people into paying money for something they didn’t ask for or buy.
Paul wrote back: “Hi. Thank you for the quick reply to the question I had concerning the phone scam. I feel a lot better now. Thanks again. Paul “
Uwe wants to use Proton Mail in Thunderbird
Hello folks. I would like to use Proton Mail that you recommended previously, but I would like to put it into my Thunderbird email program for easier access. I’m not sure how to go about it and don’t want to jam up my 2 existing email accounts that are currently in the program.
Please advise. Thanks. Uwe.
Hi Uwe. Proton mail (Free) does not support POP3 or IMAP, so you cannot use Proto (free) in any email program – Thunderbird, Outlook, or any other.
I hope this helps you.
Bev’s computer is having sleep issues
I am trying to get my computer to go to sleep rather than shutting it down every night. Before the last update, it worked well for me, but now it does not. Any ideas on how I can fix it? I have another computer that is much slower, and it was not messed up with the update, but not the main one that I use for most things. I don’t understand how this can happen like that. You people are so good at helping fix all these silly things. m I don’t know what people who don’t follow you make out. I know I would be totally lost. Thanks for all your help. Bev.
Hi Bev… thanks! It seems to me that Windows 10’s “Sleep” has never worked the way it should. But anyway… there’s no point in putting a computer to sleep unless it’s a laptop and you’re moving from place to place. Windows 10’s sleep is a hybrid of sleep and hibernation, and many people report problems with it.
We set our computers to never sleep and to dim the screen after 10 minutes of inactivity. And that puts the computer into an idle state, but not sleep. The monitor/screen uses most of the power so dimming the monitor/screen after so many minutes of not being used is a great way to save power. If you do it our way, you don’t have to worry about sleep mode and you still save power. Depending on your monitor or laptop screen it can use 100 to 200 watts, whereas the computer/laptop itself when idle uses only 7 to 15 watts (about the same as or a bit more than a nightlight.).
We do practice what we preach. Here is how I have my laptop power settings. I leave my laptop plugged in 99% of the time. This laptop is over 7 years old. I have been settings this way since the early days of Windows 7 and it has never shortened the life of my hard drives or computers.
Assuming you’re not using a laptop, right-click on your start button, click Power Options and do this:
Under Screen “Turn off after 10 minutes”.
Under “Sleep” set it to “Never”.
If it is a laptop, under Screen set it to 5 minutes when on battery and 15 minutes when plugged in.
And under “Power” change it to “PC goes to sleep after 10 minutes” when on battery, and “Never” when it’s plugged in.
If you want to try to fix your sleep mode… do this.
Right-click on your start button and choose “Power options”. Then change whatever settings you have for sleep to something different. In other words, if you have it set to sleep after 10 minutes, change it to 15 minutes -just make sure it’s different. Then restart your computer. Most of the time, just changing the sleep timer works. If this doesn’t work, there are more complicated solutions. Let me know if you need more help.
Judy wants to know if this program will speed up her Internet connection
Recently I did a speed test on my laptop using speedtest.org. Anyway, my download was 5.17 Mbps and the upload was .51 Mbps. Not very good but much better than dial-up. The site pointed out a file to download called SG TCPOptimizer 4 which is supposed to provide an intuitive interface for tuning and optimizing Internet connection. I wonder if you know of it and can it make a difference? I don’t want to put it on my computer for fear it is Spyware. I value your opinion. Thanks for your time. Judy L.
Hi Judy. It won’t hurt your computer to try it. And it’s free. And it may increase your speed but only nominally (maybe a few tenths of Mb). Read this honest review here. But whether you have 5.17 Mbps or 5.5 Mbps, you’re not going to notice a difference. The only way you’re going get noticeably faster speeds is by using an ISP who can provide it, or paying extra if your ISP offers a “tiered” service.
It is not spyware, but I think is more of a psychological fix than one that will make a real difference.
Lee wants to know why links don’t open up with his email program anymore
I used to use Outlook 2010 and when I clicked on an email link on a website it automatically opened a new Outlook email for me to complete. However since I had to stop using Outlook as Sky Mail won’t accept it anymore, can you please tell me how to link my new email client, say Gmail, so that a website email link will open a Gmail new email. At the moment it still opens Outlook. Thanks for all the help this past year and all your great advice and tips.
Hi Lee. Thank you! The program that opens email links is not determined by your email service; it is determined by your Windows 10 settings.
Type DEFAULT APPS in taskbar search and press Enter
In “Default apps” click on “Mail”
Select “Google Chrome”.
Now open Chrome and click on the 3 vertical dots in the top right corner.
Click on Settings.
When Chrome Settings opens, click on Privacy and security.
Click on Site Settings, then click on the right arrow >
Scroll down to Additional permissions and expand that section by clicking the down arrow.
Next to ” Protocol handlers”, click on the right arrow >
At the top make sure the circle next “Sites can ask to handle protocols” is selected.
Open Chrome and go to www.gmail.com. In the address bar next to the star you’ll see an icon that looks like 2 overlapping diamonds. Click that icon. Under “Allow mail.google.com to open all email links?” tick “Allow”, then click “Done”.
That’s it. From now on your email links should open in Gmail.
We hope this helps you, Lee.
Mikeal wants to know what we currently recommend to make image backups
I can’t thank you both enough for all the information you give all of us in your newsletters. My question concerns image backup software. Cloudeight used to have an image backup software you installed and set up. I don’t see the information for that service any longer. Is that no longer available? Thanks again for all you both do to help everyone who asks.
Hi Mikeal. Thanks so much for your very kind comments.
We not currently recommending or promoting any image backup software. We recommend using Windows 10 File History to back up your files and folders. Windows 10 has System Reset available to reinstall Windows without removing your files, folders, etc. All you have to do is reinstall your programs – and Windows makes that easier by leaving a list of programs that were removed by the reset, on your desktop.
Also, Windows 10 is available free, so you can make installation media (USB or DVD) so reinstalling Windows on a new hard drive is fairly easy. All this makes image backups a lot less important.
If you still feel you need an image backup, Macrium Reflect works well. The free version is available from here. The program is easy to use, and its documentation is excellent.
I hope this helps you, Mikeal.
Mikeal wrote back: “Thank you so much for the reply, I will do that with a fresh start and back up the files and folders with Windows 10…and again “That was painless to do the reset on windows 10. I can now trim down the number of apps I had installed… Thank you so much for the insight into what I needed. Blessings to you both. Mikeal.”
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Fabulous Newletter again today ! !
Incredible amount of valuable information ! !
like to know why my win 10 laptop is doing a system restore when i did not set it to do so
I would have no idea since I cannot see your computer. Are you sure it’s not an update or crash restart?
Great tip about saving the size of the browser window. Does it only work in browsers though? Because I have a program that I have used for years – including on another Windows 10 computer – but on this computer it constantly opens “short”. It’s full width and aligned at the top of the screen, but leaves a gap at the bottom. I always have to Maximize it. I have tried the Shift+X(close) after maximizing; I have also tried manually sizing the window and then Shift+X, but every time it opens at the previous size. I should note that I am clicking associated files to open it, rather than opening it from its own shortcut.
Specifically, the program is Animation Shop and I double-click a gif on my computer and it opens the program.
I know there is an option in the Shortcut properties to Run in a Maximized window, and I have set that, and when I open the program through that Shortcut, it does open Maximized. But of course that has no effect when opening the program from associated files.
Is there a Registry tweak that will force it to open Maximized? Or some other tweak or trick to get it do what I want?
Some programs open to a specified size. I’m not familiar with it. Did you try expanding the windows to almost maximum size (but not maximum size) then using SHIFT+X to close the window? Some programs won’t open maximized even using SHIFT+X to close them. But if you drag the window to almost maximum size it will open to the almost maximized size.
I thought I had done that, but I guess when I manually dragged the edges, I dragged them all the way to the edges. I tried this time leaving a sliver of the Desktop visible and the SHIFT+X trick worked! Thanks so much for suggesting that!