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Sunday, March 1, 2015

1579. Browsing on iPad Returns to Home Screen

A friend was using their iPad and suddenly while in Safari the iPad flickers and they now only see their home screen. This happens without touching anything. What can they do?

This particular problem was on an older Apple device but strange things like this can happen on your Android and your Windows and Mac computers. Sometimes you get a strange result and it is a bug in the operating system having low memory errors.

This person's solution was to double click the Home button and a list of all of the programs that were started since the last time the device was shut down appeared. All that they needed to do was select each application they wanted to stop by pressing the minus sign next to the application's icon. Remember this should not be something you should have to do.

Most of the time a problem will be directly related to the application. But if not it is much more difficult to resolve.

There are apps that try to help you decide what application is causing the problem. But I don't think we should waste our time trying to decide what application to stop. Sure as heck I would stop the wrong thing and I will no longer get my mail or the appointment reminder will not beep and I miss my next appointment.

If you continue to have these types of problems I would call the manufacturer and report the problem. Try to find a solution in the blogs that may identify the application that you may use that causes the same problem you have.

My final advise is to restart the device. The problem will most likely not appear again. If it does you may have to contact the manufacturer.  

So help.

1578. Drying a Wet Phone

Friend got water on his iPhone, What to do?

I suggest immediately:

1. shut it off immediately!!!!
2. remove all things covering so it can get air, covers, charger, phone cozy's
3. Empty it out. shake blow dry. a hair drier will help.

Everyone has heard to try rice. I don't believe that would dry the dampness out but things have been tried like silica gel, cat litter or rice if that is all you have may work. Can't hurt and it may save you $600. A food dehydrator is likely to help. Remember that $350 food dehydrator you bought in the 90's that was going to keep your beef jerky for years. Well this might help to recover some of that money.  

What you are trying to do is to dry out any water before the electronics is turned on to use or charge the phone.  

Remember if you don't have insurance the warranty doesn't cover taking your phone swimming with you.

You do not want to plug it into the charger to soon. You want to get the phone as dry as possible as soon as possible.

It doesn't hurt to try these suggestions. It is one thing to splash water another dropping in the fish bowl.

1577. Solve Mysterious Outlook Email Problems

Over the years I have experienced problems with Outlook and my email. Mari complained that her email was always "syncing spam " with her Outlook 2013 program. She uses Google Business mail to host her email account.

At first I thought this was just a performance issue with Shari's internet connection being slow. That with the fact that she had two computers with Outlook and an iPhone all trying to actually syncronize the mail.

Her email is hosted by GMail bu siness and their way of creating Email labels and folders was also a concern. I was sure this combination was causing the problems.  

As it turns out it seems to be a simple bug related to the Outlook Mail "Profile". When you start Outlook and set up your email address(s), a file is created called the Outlook Profile. If you go to the Control Panel, and find the Mail icon and open it, you will be able to look at, create, change the mail profiles. You can create different profiles that allow you to open different mail accounts on the same computer.  

But back to the immediate problem. All I had to do was to create a new Mail Profile. All of the account information is the same but for whatever reason the Original Mail Profile was causing the problem.  

When reflecting on this problem I remembered this computer was a replacement for another computer (Windows XP and the new computer is a Windows 7). I used the Windows Upgrade utility (Easy Transfer) to move everything from the XP to the Windows 7 system.  

This ends up copying all of the documents and other user files but the Mail setup intsructions as well. The other thing I remembered was the original Outlook on the XP machine was Outlook 2007.  

So when I recreated the Profile all was good. The sync problem is gone.

1576. Reasons Why Not to Post Photos on Facebook

Why should I be concerned about showing pictures in FACEBOOK?

I have heard many different stories about this and the best and most current information is "always be concerned about anything you post anywhere on the internet". This includes Facebook, blogs, and any pictures you upload.

My first choice is to remove all my concerns by turning the Geo location information off on all of my cameras.

For my iPhone Settings>General>Reset>Reset Location & Privacy. Then launch the Camera App, select "Don't Allow" when prompted. You can also turn this off: Settings>Privacy>Location Services>Camera>Off.

I have heard that Facebook will strip this information from all pictures uploaded.  I would not trust this to anyone.  Remove the data yourself.  Facebook protection.

As a recap

1. Turn off Geo information on your phone.
2. Check any photes you upload to make sure there is no Geo data.
3.If any remove it.

1574. Run Android Apps on Windows

You know I may be more geiky than most, but I would love to run some Android applications on my Windows computer. Is there some trick to make this possible?

The first question is maybe why should I run Androids apps on my Windows computer. Well you might notice that Pandora has not until recently worked on as an application on Windows. So if you like that application and want to carry over the features of it to your Windows computer you need to get Android applications to run on Windows.

The first thing you need to do is install BlueStacks. Bluestacks is an application that allows your to run Android apps on windows.

So download and install Bluestacks. Make sure it is running and then download and install Pandora. Or for that matter most any Android applications.

This is not something that the faint of heart would want to do, but it is something that has some great benefits and on a snowy afternoon it may just be something you want to do.

Visit ouw techtipguys web site and we have all of the links to make this happen.

Install Bluestacks

Install and run Pandora on Windows.

1567. Alternatives to password manager.

Although I understand the need to use a password manager so I don't have to remember the millions of passwords I use daily. I know that there are some people that aren't comfortable using a password manager and would rather not. Have you got any tips for those people on how to create reasonable passwords that you can actually remember? 

I can understand the concern people have for a password manager. Can you really trust somebody that gives you something for free? Or for very little money? There must be something wrong with what they are doing to get money for their time. At least they are up front with you. Here is something for free and all you have to do is give them your most secret information that is protecting all of your money.

Are we crazy?

Here are some options:

1. Use upper and lower case and special characters. 8 in length, This will take 2 years to hack,
2. Length over complexity. 10 character password - 1 week to hack. 15 characters 1.49 centuries.
3. Do not use dictionary words, slang, names, or email addresses, Use a passphrass that means something. Don't use a totally random set of 10 numbers, symbols, and characters. Just too hard to remember.
4. Don't disclose your passwords to anyone. And don't write them down. Would you go on vacation and leave your key taped to the front door handle?
5. Be vigilant. Don't leave your computer open when you walk away.
6. Get a password manager. It is worth it. 1Password, Lastpass, and KeyPass are all good password managers.

For more details on the list of options:

1566. How do I change the default font on a Mac

I really don't like the default font in Mac OS X Yosemite. Is there some way to change it to something easier to read?

Well the answer is maybe. I didn't like the Helvetica font - it was just not "enough" for me.

I found some likes that allowed me to easily change the font. These links were mostly showing the rather new San Francisco font. Some links may have been removed and I am not sure why but I have the links that work in the blog.

Here is a link to the step-by-step instructions. Thanks to Wells Riley:

1565. The Internet Is Full! Running out of IP addresses?

I heard on TV that the Internet is running out of addresses, or something like that, and that it’s all going to collapse and we’ll be disconnected. Isn’t this a huge problem? Do I need to do anything about it?
Remember this: TV news makes its money with sensationalism. The world is not ending; it’s not a conspiracy to end democracy as we know it. The fact is this: the Internet uses an addressing system that provides your network, and devices on your network, each with a unique address. And yes, the set of unique addresses using the current system of addressing is running out of new addresses. The current system, called IPv4, uses a set of four values between 0 and 255 (like, or to represent the address of a particular computer or device. Your phone has a unique IPv4 address, as does the main Web server at (To see what Web address Google uses, open a command prompt in Windows or a Terminal window in OS X, and type “ping”. Your domain name server will resolve the name to its corresponding IPv4 address and will display it for you.) “IPv4” refers to “Internet Protocol version 4” addresses, as you might guess.
There are a limited number of IPv4 addresses available, around 4.3 billion of them, and because you needed to have a connected thermostat (not to point fingers), almost all 4.3 billion of them have been assigned. Before you start wearing a tin-foil hat, let us point out that this IPv4 exhaustion (as it’s called) was planned, and isn’t a surprise to anyone involved in the assignment of IP addresses. The numbers of available IPv4 addresses have been near depletion since 2008, and now it’s finally getting to be time to deal with it.
Luckily, you don’t have to do anything, unless you run the IT department at a major Internet provider or vendor. The “plumbing” for IPv6 has been built into all operating systems for a few years, and any transition should be transparent to you.
The successor to IPv4 addressing, IPv6, allows for far more addresses; the addresses use many more digits, and although not every combination of digits is possible because of reservations in the IPv6 system, there are certainly upwards of 2 to the 125th power IPv6 addresses. That’s a lot. We found an article that suggests that if you could scan one million IPv6 addresses per second, it would take 69,000 years to scan them all. None of us will be around to finish that scan, clearly, so here’s the takeaway: No matter what you hear, don’t worry about this. It makes a far more compelling news story than it deserves.

1564. Logos will not appear in an Email Reply?

I’ve set up a standard footer for all my emails, and the footer includes my company’s logo. Sometimes, I reply to emails and note that my logo doesn’t appear in the response—all the receiver sees is text. Why is this, and what can I do about it?

Not all email content is equivalent, as you’ve seen. Most email client applications (and Web-based email hosts) support rich content in email messages: Things like logos and graphics, multiple fonts and text colors, all appear both in your email as you compose it and when it’s received. Amazingly, some do not. Some email applications require text-only email content, and for this reason, most email clients allow you to create email that can only contain text. In addition, most email clients are configured so that when you reply to an email, the reply uses the same formatting options as the original email: If you reply to a text-only email message, your response will most likely also be text only.
When you include rich text (graphics, and so on) in your email message, you’re most likely using HTML formatting (like a Web page uses) to create the content. (Some email clients support rich-text formatting using a different format, but not all, and we don’t recommend anything other than HTML for sending formatted emails.) If your email client has been configured to respond to the email message using the same format in which it was sent, or if your email client has been configured to only allow text-only email messages, you can modify the settings and allow HTML formatting and rich text. (Note that email editors that allow you to create “stationery”, so that your emails look like fancy paper, also use some sort of HTML formatting, in general. For business use, please do your best to avoid this feature—it’s strictly for personal use.)
Ken balks at using graphics in a footer, mostly because in most email clients, that graphic appears in the list of messages as an attachment; this makes it impossible to determine by glancing at a list of emails which ones actually have attachments, and which have a graphic embedded in a footer. It’s up to you, of course, and it’s not really the topic of this question, but do think about whether it’s worth including a non-essential graphic in every email you send—it certainly clutters up the recipient’s inbox with things that look like attachments, but really aren’t.

For more information on the differences between plain text and HTML-formatted emails, check out this link:

1563. Pandora on Windows 8

How can I make Pandora work better on Windows 8?

I have heard people are having issues with Windows 8 and Pandora. If you are trying to get Pandora to install as a Modern APP in Windows 8 then that is a big problem. There is no Pandora app at this time that runs under the Modern applications of Windows 8. There was a program called MetroRadio that evidently worked but Pandora claimed some infringement and you get an "Error loading Song" message.

However when I am at the Desktop I can go to IE browser and open up the Pandora web site and play everything at the desktop. I can start up other standard Windows programs or Modern apps and Pandora keeps on playing my songs.  

If you want the Pandora browser application to continue playing you need to make sure your power settings that you have selected will allow Pandora to continue playing.

You do NOT want the system to Go To Sleep. or Power Off, Go through the Power settings and review all of them for common sense. Don't turn off multi-media, things like that. It would be a good idea to create a custom power setting for "Playing Pandora". When done you can go back to your standard setting.

We have attached a number of links on the blog that you can follow and see if these help.under Windows 8.1.

One of the options allows you to ADD an application called Bluestats that will allow you to run Android applications. This seems like an interesting techtip in the future.

1570. Use Android's Priority Mode

I have an Android phone, and can't figure out how to silence notifications while I'm sleeping--I keep waking up because my friends keep texting me during the night. What can I do?

I’m guessing this is a hypothetical question because I’m not sure how many friends that you have that want to text you late at night. 

But in any case, we've discussed this feature on iPhones previously, it’s new in the latest version of the Android operating system 5.0 or Lollipop. In that version there is a feature that allows you to set a priority mode to only allow notifications in from certain people at certain times. You can decide to let notifications through from certain people or from no one or from everyone in a certain time range. That way you can get your sleep. 

I actually wonder if you might be better off just putting your phone outside your bedroom at night. But, this is something I've told many teenagers and they just laugh at me. So in any case if you don’t wish to be bothered, check out Android’s priority mode but it does require the latest version at this point which is Lollipop version 5.   

More on Priority Mode.

1575. Setting Specific Power Modes in Windows

I’m using a laptop for my daily work, and depending on whether I’m running on battery or not, I’d like to have different settings for screen timeout, hard-drive usage, sleep timing, and so on. Does Windows provide settings that let me control this behavior?
Windows provides full-featured support for managing different power states based on whether you’re plugged in or not. In addition, you can also make power management decisions based on the time of day: For example, you might want to have the power settings work differently during the normal work day than you do at nights or on weekends. The feature is powerful, and its name is Power Plans.
To get started, open the Windows Control Panel, and select Power Options.  Once there, you’ll find some built-in, default power plans. You can modify these power plans, or you can create your own. Choose “Create a power plan” to create a new plan; choose “Change plan settings” to modify an existing plan. You can determine how long to wait before turning off the display, and how long to wait before putting the computer to sleep, in the basic plan settings. Click “Change advanced power settings” to modify other settings, like how long to wait before putting the hard drive to sleep, and whether to wake the computer based on mouse activity. You always have the option to restore power plan default settings, so don’t worry about messing things up!

For more information on creating and modifying power plans, check out the article here: http://

Power Plan options.



1573. Learn to use Windows Phone

A friend gave me her old Windows Phone, but I just can't get the hang of it, coming from Apple's iPhone. Can you help me figure out how to use this thing?

I've enjoyed fiddling around with my Windows phone but I always go back to my iPhone because using the Windows phone does feel a little different than using the iPhone. 

There is an article or a series of articles on Microsoft’s website to help you figure out how to make that transition. The differences are small, it is still a web browser, you still run applications and you still store information about contacts and appointments and you still send emails pretty much the same way but the interface feels different. 

You can check out our website which has a link to Microsoft’s series of articles on transferring from Apple’s iPhone to a modern Windows 8 phone. 

Compare iPhone and Windows Phone.

1572. Visualize Hard Drive Usage

My harddrive keeps filling up with stuff and I don't want to rebuild my computer with a larger drive.  Is there easy way to see what is taking up the most amount of space so I can get rid of that material?

I've seen your hard drive and I think your collection of kitten photos is taking up most of the hard drive space because photos do take up a little space and I’m sure there are a few videos here and there too. 

Videos also take up a lot of space as do audio files. The fact is that sometimes these things get scattered all over your hard drive and it’s hard to find them. There are utilities both for Windows and Mac computers that will help you visually locate where the largest files are so you can get rid of them. 

For the Windows computer there is a utility called WinDirStat, its free, we have a link to it and several others on our website. I found this very useful. I can only suggest however that you don’t just find the largest files and delete them because you might delete some important file. You need to do some research before you start clicking and deleting. 

There is also similar utilities for the Mac. I use one called DaisyDisk, it gives a nice visual representation of all of my files so I can see where the biggest ones are sitting on the drive. Again, don’t delete without checking first and please, backup your computer’s hard drive before you delete anything at all!

Windows solution:

Mac solution:

1570. Use Android's Priority Mode

I have an Android phone, and can't figure out how to silence notifications while I'm sleeping--I keep waking up because my friends keep texting me during the night. What can I do?

I’m guessing this is a hypothetical question because I’m not sure how many friends that you have that want to text you late at night. But in any case, we've discussed this feature on iPhones previously, it’s new in the latest version of the Android operating system 5.0 or Lollipop. 

In that version there is a feature that allows you to set a priority mode to only allow notifications in from certain people at certain times. You can decide to let notifications through from certain people or from no one or from everyone in a certain time range. That way you can get your sleep. 

I actually wonder if you might be better off just putting your phone outside your bedroom at night. But, this is something I've told many teenagers and they just laugh at me. So in any case if you don’t wish to be bothered, check out Android’s priority mode but it does require the latest version at this point which is Lollipop version 5.

1571. Find User Manuals Online

I have several high tech gadgets for which I’ve lost the manuals. I know only wimps read manuals, but at this point, I could really use them. Is there some convenient place to find them online?
Having just spent the weekend trying to configure his father’s Comcast remote and the dealing with all the details involved in setting up the remote control, Ken certainly understands your need for having online resources that allow you to find various high-tech gadget manuals. His father had not saved the printed manual, so he had to look around online for help (of course, they could have called Comcast, but what fun would that have been?).
It turns out that there are a number of sites online that provide PDF copies of manuals of all sorts, including the ones we happened to need. One of these is a subscription document service that Ken subscribes to,, which provides books, articles, magazines and other content on demand, much like a Netflix for books—you can pay monthly, or yearly, and read as much as you like. Scribd provides tons and tons of archived documents, like user manuals, and you can get a month for free to try it out (and download the user manual you need today). You don’t have to join Scribd to peruse and read from its collection of user-supplied documents, including online manuals, so check it out!
If you search, you can also find Web sites that provide user manuals for everything from televisions to washing machines to lawn mowers. Central Manuals ( is one of these sites, and we’ve found several useful files there.
Rather than listing all the sites we’ve found here, you can peruse the list provided in this article, and make your choice:

What should you do with the manuals once you find them? We suggest that you download and store them in a place where you can easily locate them next time you need them. Doug uses OneNote, and Ken uses EverNote, for this very purpose. Both applications allow you to store documents, and makes it easy to find them later. For more information, check out OneNote ( and EverNote ( Both sites provide excellent ways to store and manage online documentation.

User Manuals.

1569. Windows Phone 8 App for DropBox

I have a Windows 8 phone and want to use DropBox, where I've got all my important data. But there's no Windows Phone app for DropBox. What can I do?

It’s very strange that even though there are millions of developers who build applications for Windows computers they are slow to move those applications to Windows phones. 

Fortunately, Dropbox did finally release an application native for Windows 8 phones that you can use to interact with Dropbox. It came out early in 2015 and should be available for you to download. 

If you don’t want to use that application, you are always welcome to use a web browser and access DropBox through that web browser. But as of the beginning of the year you can access DropBox using a native Windows 8 phone application from Dropbox directly. 

DropBox for Windows 8.1 Phones.

1568. Really Clean a Hard Drive Before Donating a Computer

I use my iPad a lot when I'm away from my desk, but it recently occurred to me that it would make an excellent second monitor for my laptop when it's sitting there doing nothing when I'm working at my desk. Is there some way to hook the iPad up as a second or third screen for my laptop? This would be especially helpful when I'm travelling.

If we are talking about a device that only uses memory like a phone or tablet it’s pretty easy to just to reset the device and hand it off to someone else, all of your data is gone. On the other hand, if you have a spinning hard drive or solid state drive you need to take extra steps to ensure that everything is gone. 

Deleting your data clearly doesn't actually delete the data, it just marks files for deletion and even formatting the hard drive doesn't completely remove your data. There are tools that will use industrial strength scrubbers to get rid of all of the data on your hard drive so you can be sure that no one can get at that data.

We found applications both for Mac and for Windows and we have included links to the ones we think are the best on our website. Make sure to check those out if you are about to give away a hard drive or a computer. Of course another alternative is to use a big hammer or a really serious magnet to demagnetize your hard drive but actually removing the data on purpose is a better solution.   

1561. Extend Mac Laptop Screen to iPad

I use my iPad a lot when I'm away from my desk, but it recently occurred to me that it would make an excellent second monitor for my laptop when it's sitting there doing nothing when I'm working at my desk. Is there some way to hook the iPad up as a second or third screen for my laptop? This would be especially helpful when I'm travelling.

A few years ago you and I both discovered a wireless solution that allows you to hook your iPad up to your Windows machine or a Mac as a second monitor. It works great for shoving for example, your email window off to a second screen while you are trying to work on a laptop with limited screen real estate so you can be watching your email or your Twitter feed while you are trying to do real work. 

The problem with the wireless solution was it was very jerky and not very responsive and neither one of us was happy with the solution. A couple of ex-Apple engineers went off and formed their own company and they solved this problem in a better way. The application is called Duet, it runs on the Mac and on the iPad and it allows you to hook up a wired iPad using a USB connection and this gives you actual full speed activity on your iPad as a second monitor. 

This is very responsive, it plays video okay and I’ve been using it and have been very happy with the results. Check out the Duet app for Mac and iPad. 

It doesn’t help for Windows users, but if you have a Mac it’s a great way to use your iPad as a second monitor at your desk or while traveling.  

Duet app

1560. Enabling OS X Do Not Disturb Mode

When I'm working on my Mac, there are times when I don't want to be disturbed by notifications about emails or messages. I know I can schedule "do not disturb" time, but is there an easy way to turn on "do not disturb" mode at any time I like?

Its true OS 10 really feels like we want to be notified of anything that happens including a text arriving or an email arriving or things that you have set up. 

You can specify for any application whether you want notifications to appear but it takes some effort to set that up. You can also set up Do Not Disturb mode by hours and say between these hours don’t show me any notifications. But, sometimes you might just want to say, right now, show me nothing on the screen so I can actually get some work done. It’s really simple to do. 

In the upper right hand corner in OS 10 there is a little notifications icon, all you have to do is use the Option key, that is the ALT key on a Windows keyboard, and Option click on that little notification icon turns On or Off the Do Not Disturb mode. If it’s currently on, it turns it off, if it’s currently off, it turns it on. 

That’s an easy way to quickly and easily toggle the state of Do Not Disturb mode on your Mac.

Option+Click on Notification Center icon. Turns gray when Do Not Disturb enabled, black when it's not.

1559. Manually Create OS X recovery partition.

My Mac installation is having some trouble, and I'd like to restore it to its default settings. I tried to use the Recovery Partition to do this by holding down Command+R when I boot, but apparently, I don't have a Recovery Partition. Am I out of luck? Is there any way to create a Recovery Partition now?

When you first get a new Mac, you will find that there is a portion of your hard drive set aside for recovery it’s called the “Recovery Partition” and it should be there on any modern Mac. 

On the other hand, through upgrades from one operating system to another or if you manage to format your entire hard drive it’s possible to lose that recovery partition. Luckily there is some software that you can purchase, it’s not very expensive, that allows you to create a recovery partition on an existing hard drive. 

That way if you need to recover your computer, you can just press Command R at boot time and this software will step in and give you the option to recover your computer over the internet or from the original CD’s or DVD’s if you have them. Check out our website for more information on this tool to recreate the Recover Partition.

Recovery Partition.

1558. Try out Windows 10 for free.

I'd like to try out Windows 10 now, but I read in your newspaper column how I shouldn't do this on my real computer. I only have one computer. Do I have any options?

The easiest solution would be to just go out and buy a disposable computer, they’re pretty cheap these days, but for those of us who don’t have excess money to throw around there is a cheap, actually free solution. 

At this point, Windows 10 is available for free for download and you can use what is called a virtual machine to allow you to run Windows 10 on your current computer while you are still running your current operating system. This works both on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. There is a program called Virtualbox, its free, you download it and install it and then it allows you to install another operating system on your current computer while your current operating system is running.

 It’s basically like having two computers running at once, at the same time, on the same computer. It’s pretty exciting stuff and it’s free. We’ll have a link on our website for more information about getting Windows 10 for free and installing Virtualbox.

Tree Windows for Free.

1557. Don't Use CCleaner Without a Backup

Now you've done it: I followed your advice and tried out CCleaner, the app that's supposed to magically clean up my computer. Now, every time I try to open a Microsoft Word document, I get a warning about temp folders and nothing really works right. What are you going to do about it?

Well, Doug of course your first mistake was believing anything I tell you. In actuality CCleaner is a very nice utility but you must have a backup before you use it and my mistake was not telling you that explicitly. 

So anyone out there if you’re listening and you’re thinking about using CCleaner, don’t unless you have a backup already. My friend Barry called me because this exact same thing happened to him and I had to help him clean up his computer. He didn’t have a backup but luckily his computer had taken a restore point about a month before he used CCleaner. 

A restore point in Windows allows you to restore your computer to a previous state. You can manually create a restore points or you can count on your computer to automatically create them occasionally. We have a link on our website which shows you how to create and then use restore points to clean up your computer. 

So if you have used CCleaner against your better judgment and have done it without a backup and now your machine doesn’t work right because, well whatever, a restore point might make it possible to put your computer back to its previous state. A restore point can useful but a full image backup is really what you should have before doing anything that could compromise the state of your computer. 

1556. Create filters in Gmail

I use Gmail, and I get a lot of emails from various online shopping sites, and although I do like seeing the specials, it would be so nice if those emails didn't appear in my Inbox. Is there some way to sweep those shopping emails into a separate folder or something?
We completely understand—it’s useful to get notices about special online deals, or perhaps email about upcoming events, or whatever, but having these emails clogging your inbox makes it difficult to see what’s really important. Gmail does provide special filtering for categories of email, and you may find Gmail’s automatic categorization of emails to be useful (we do not, however, and prefer to generate our own filtering mechanisms).
First off, please note that Gmail does not support the standard kind of “folder” concept that you might be used to. Putting email into a “folder” implies that each email can be in, at most, one folder, just like a piece of paper in a real file folder. On the other hand, Gmail supports applying labels to messages, and any message can have as many labels as you want applied to it. These labels can be thought of in the same way as filing messages in folders, but they’re far more powerful. Because you can apply multiple labels to the same email message, you can organize your email in very clever ways, using your own system of labels. Google gives you a huge amount of storage for emails, and their concept is that you never really need to delete an email (unless you really want to)—you can archive all your email, labeling things as you go, and later find old emails by searching for key words or by looking at groups of emails with the same labels applied to them. Note that in Gmail, “inbox” is itself a label applied to messages when they first arrive—when you look at your Gmail inbox, you’re viewing all the messages with the “inbox” label applied to them. If you remove the “inbox” label from a message, it automatically appears in the special All Mail group. Asking Gmail to archive an email does exactly this: It removes the “inbox” label, so that Gmail still maintains the email message, but doesn’t display it in your inbox.
But back to the original question: Labels wouldn’t be very useful if you had to apply them manually to each email. Gmail allows you to create rules that can filter email messages automatically, as they arrive. Given a message that you’d like to filter (so that it doesn’t appear in the inbox, but does have a label associated with it), you can select “Filter messages like this” from the drop-down menu to the right of your email message. This action allows you to create a rule that automatically labels the message for you. Note that if you want the message to have a new label but no longer appear in your inbox (this is Ken’s goal when he receives marketing messages), make sure you also choose the option to skip the inbox—this causes Gmail to remove the “inbox” label from the new message. You can also choose to have Gmail mark the message as read, or leave it in its unread state.

Using Gmail without using labels means that you’re really not taking advantage of all that Gmail has to offer, as labeling messages is one of Gmail’s greatest features. For more information on creating and using Gmail labels, check out this link: