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Sunday, December 4, 2016

1766. Repairing Macs: REplacing the Hard Drive

I’m generally very handy—I’ve repaired many of my own computers over the years. Now, I have a Mac and I’d like to replace its hard drive. Is this something I can tackle myself? It was really easy in my old Windows computer. Does the Mac do anything that complicates this surgery?

As always the answer is It depends. The MAC itself doesn't do anything specific that makes it more difficult to replace the hard drive. All you need to do is open the computer pop out the old hard drive and put a new one in. Of course it depends on which version of the Mac.

You have all modern computers aiming towards thin and light have become less repairable than older computers. If you have a Surface Pro Windows computer or a new MacBook Air, neither one of them is going to make it easy for you to repair anything inside of it. There's just too much glue.

With most laptops older than a year or two, you should be able to unscrew it take it apart and replace parts. A couple of words of wisdom. If you want to fix any Mac, check out the website by Ifixit. That is IFXIT.COM.

They have instructions on doing all sorts of repairs for every single mac that can be repaired. The second word of wisdom is if you have an iMac, don't even try the iMac. It requires you to use suction cups to pull the screen off there's a million pounds of glue inside, and wires that connect things up that are apparently the same size as the hair of an angel. So if you have an iMAC and it's not one of the old ones, that's pretty thick, I would recommend letting a professional replace the hard drive for you. I have a bunch of old Macbook computers, the old plastic white ones, and I've taken those things apart from front to back replaced every component and it's easy with the help of So can you.

1765. Send Email to Yourself

On my phone, I often want to send myself an email message. It seems really silly to have to type my email address, or even part of it, into the To: field every single time. Is there some shortcut for sending email to myself?

To be honest I do this every single day. I use reminders really I do but sometimes I just want to have it in my inbox because that's what I use for my To Do list daily.

I looked into applications that allow you to send yourself e-mail there are such applications on every phone platform but they have a problem. They either require to hook up into your email application on your phone or worse they ask you for your credentials including your password which I don't want to give to some application I just downloaded.

I did discover a neat trick for this however. On the iPhone I can easily create custom keyboard shortcut and you can do the same on Windows Phone or Android. I've set up a shortcut so that I can type just a simple phrase like @@ into the To field and it expands to be my e-mail address. So if I want to send myself an e-mail, I just type in the To field @@ and then it inserts my email address for me. You can try something like this on any phone operating system and it makes it easy to create an e-mail that you send to yourself. I really suggest you don't use one of the applications whose only purpose in life is to send you an email. It will be more trouble than it's worth.

1764. Remove Unwanted Toolbars

Something has changed on my Windows computer. All of a sudden, I have toolbars I’ve never seen in the browser, and the start page of my browser has changed to some weird page. How did this happen, and how do I fix it?

You have unfortunately been bitten by some sort of malware. There's all sorts of things out there and they can install themselves either by installing an application where you don't read the information clearly or by some malicious application just putting stuff on your computer. There are even websites that have flyby installs just by going to the Web site your computer installs stuff.

It's actually called crapware but whatever you want to call it on to your computer, there are a lot of ways to get rid of this stuff on your computer but we found that searching the web for information on removing crapware often leads you to pages that themselves added malware to your computer. It's actually quite difficult finding the information without getting bogged down in other crap.

We have found an application that works pretty well and it's called AdWCleaner A D W cleaner. You can search for it on the web and find it will put a link to it on our website as well. Once you run this application. It should find the malware and help you remove it. Some malware is more difficult to remove than others but for most toolbars and start page exploits this tool does the job ADWcleaner seems to handle the problem for us.

You should note that this feature works for most of the stock apps but not for all of them. We tried removing the health application. It doesn't want to go away and you won't see a little X in its upper left hand corner.

1763. Add and Remove Stock Apps in iOS 10

I’ve updated to iOS 10 on my iPhone, and after all these versions of iOS, I still see apps I have never used and am never going to use. In previous versions of iOS, there was no way to remove the Stocks app and the Compass app, among others. Has anything changed that would allow me to unclutter my phone and get rid of these useless apps?

I'm sure there are some people that use the stocks app on their iPhone and probably look at it every day but I am not one of those people and I've never used the stock APP. I played with a compass app once and there's this watch app on my phone. It says I don't have an apple watch and I'm unlikely to get one. I will never use.

1762. Change the Formatting of Bulleted and Numbered Lists in Microsoft Word

I can’t figure out how lists work in Microsoft Word. I really want a particular font for the numbers in my list, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t find any settings that control this. Sometimes, I want to use a specific font for the bullets in a bulleted list, as well. Again, I can’t find any setting that controls this behavior. Can you help?

Goodness knows Microsoft Word is a complicated beast and this feature is so well hidden that no one would find it on their own. There isn't a setting that controls what you're looking for instead. Instead Microsoft hides the formatting for bullets and numbers in lists in the paragraph marker for each item in the list.

You can't see that paragraph marker by default. However you need to turn on the display of hidden characters which you can do from the toolbar. It's a little button that looks like a paragraph marker which is a backwards P with an extra vertical stem.

Once you've click that button you'll see all these little things all over your document which are the paragraph markers. If you select the paragraph marker for any item in a list you can change the font or the font size or any other feature of that paragraph marker and it you'll immediately see the changes you've made reflected in the number or the bullet for that list item.

That's the only way to make this happen. So you'll have to turn on the display of hidden characters and then modify the features of the paragraph marker for each item in your list.

1761. Extend iPhone's Battery the East Way

I get reasonably decent battery life from my iPhone, but I need to manage to get just a little more (and who doesn’t?). I don’t have time or inclination to go in and fiddle with specific settings—I’ve seen your tips in the past and they’re too complicated for me. Do you have any simple things I can do to increase my battery life?

I know sometimes our tips include solutions that are a little too complicated and if you just want to get something done sometimes that's too much effort. If you do want to get a little more time out of your iPhone's battery we've learned a little trick recently which can help.

There's an option on the iPhone if you have an iPhone five S or later or IOS nine or later, that you can use to turn off the screen.

If you just turn your phone over that is if it's face down the iPhone won't display incoming notifications. If you find that you're getting a lot of notifications for texts or e-mails and your phone is face up the screen lights up every time and every time the screen lights up that sucks some battery life out of your phone.

The easy trick then to save some battery life is to keep your phone face down now in order for this to work you have to turn on Fitness Tracking that's in the Settings under Privacy Motion and Fitness and then the Fitness Tracking option. Once you do that. Notifications won't display on the screen. If your phone is face down.

1767. Remove empty page

Doug, I am not the iPhone expert like you so I have simple needs. How do I remove an empty page?

Well at first I thought this simple need was a real pain. I found solutions requiring me to move all the icons from the rightmost page to the leftmost pages just to get rid of a blank page.

Finally I found a better way. Sort of. It is better than moving everything.

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Home Screen Layout

This will put all of the stock icons back in the order and location that they were when you took your new device out of the box for the first time. OTHER ICONS/APPS WILL BE REARRANGED TO AVAILABLE SPACE, BUT WILL NOT BE DELETED.

You would think they could have put an X on a blank page and press the Home button like when deleting an app, but no.

Of course you have to re-arrange all your apps but at least you don't need to move them all.

1768. Schedule update reboots

How can I schedule when Windows schedules thereboot of my computer after updates?

Well if you have the Windows 10 annivesery Update installed you can't really schedule a time to reboot. You can set the Active hours feature.

Open the Settings option in the Start menu, then head to Update and Security. and then Windows Update. Click Advanced options. Then click the Notify to schedule restart.

You will see that a restart is scheduled and you will have the options to schedule the restart at the time suggested or you can specify a date/time. There should also be a restart "now" option.

Clearly Microsoft has decided to take much of the control for doing upgrades away from you but you still can manually make some decisions. In the same area you can also check to Defer upgrades. Security upgrades will still be applied but others will be deferred until you allow them to be upgraded.

1769. Virtual Desktop option?

How do I use the Virtual Desktop option?

This is a feature in Windows 10 that I need to use more often. If you have many Windows open like I do you should also look at this feature. It allows you to have the ability to group these Windows into different views or what they call virtual desktops.

On the task bar to the left just two icons to the right of the start menu is an icon that looks like a TV screen with square ears. This is the Virtual Desktop icon. Go ahead and just click it.

You will see each of your open windows appear in the top portion of your screen and on the bottom it will identify the Desktops you have defined. There will be two. The current one called Desktop 1 and a potential called Desktop 2. Too the right will be an icon to add more desktops.

Simply select the desktop you want to view. You can drag and drop your windows to the other desktops. Once you have defined your desktop can click on it and that view of your computer will now be your current virtual desktop. You can now organize multiple desktops to make the desktop easier to work on.

A great feature for those people working on different groups of tasks.

1770. Turn off Windows 10 updates

How can I turn off Windows 10 doing updates?

This has become difficult. You can change when it will do reboots after the updates. You can also defer updates but security updates will still be applied.

But you can't set a date or time to next do an update. If you want to turn updating off completely you have to go into the Services options and find Windows Update. Then disable it. Remember this will stop all updates including security updates.

To defer updates go to the Settings, Updates and Security, Windows Update, Advanced options, and check Defer upgrades. Be very careful if you must do this.

1771. Moving Libraries

I need more space on my Windows boot drive. Can I move "My Documents" and do I need to do something special to do this?

Yes moving your documents to another hard drive can be done. The My Documents folder as well as My Pictures, My Videos, Desktop, My Music and Downloads are "Special Windows" folders called Libraries. Since Libraries are used by Windows and other applications it is important to move these folders using the Library Icon.

Find the Documents folder in This PC and right button click on it and select Properties. You will see different tabs than on a regular folder. The tab we care about is the Location Tab. Select the Location Tab and then the Move button.

Use the Select a Destination Dialog to locate the new location for your folder. You will then be asked if you want to move the old contents to the new location. Reply yes. One the operation finished your programs that use these Libraries like MS Word for My Documents will automatically know where to store documents.

Programs that store Pictures will also know where you want to store your pictures. So remember you can move your My Documents and other Library folder just do it this special way so all the applications can find things.

1772. Repaving and keeping UI things

You often recommend "repaving" Windows to clean things up. How can I keep many of my settings, like browser shortcuts, apps and other UI things.

There are utilities that you can purchase that will move most if not all of you files and settings like the Favorites/and shortcuts for your browsers. Laplink has a product called PC Mover. But is costs $59.00.

A free product called EaseUS is supposed to help. We haven't tried it however.

PCMover is supposed to move programs, files and settings so it may be worth the cost. If you have all of the programs that you can re-install then you might try to do it yourself. Remember this can work if you are not upgrading to a new release just "repaving" as Ken says to get a fresh new copy of the same operating system like Windows 10 to Windows 10.

The key folder to look in is your User folder normally on the C: drive. There are folders called Favorites, Links. These folders and the folders where My Documents, Desktops, My Pictures, My Videos and My Music are located should all be moved.

Remember to always get a full image backup of your system using an image backup like Macrium's Reflect before attempting this. It can be tricky so consider the PCMover product.