If you subscribe to Microsoft Office 365, you already have a full terabyte of data in the cloud. And thanks to some recent changes to OneDrive, it’s now a usable place to back up to. I wrote an article in 2014 on using sync services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, as backup, and I disqualified Microsoft’s OneDrive because it only versioned Microsoft Office file types instead of all file types. Versioning – a necessary feature for a decent backup system – allows you to recover not just the most recent version of a file, but also any reasonably recent version. You’d want this feature in case the most recent version of a file was corrupted or if you had to walk back some of your work. Because OneDrive limited this feature to Microsoft’s own formats, it didn’t cut the grade until this summer. Now Microsoft is rolling out a OneDrive update that fixes the problem. When the feature hits your PC (I got mine weeks ago), you’ll not only be able to recover last Thursday’s version of your Excel spreadsheets, but your Photoshop files, as well. I tried recovering old versions of files in eight different formats — .pdf, .kdbx, .zip, … Read More
The command prompt is still alive and well in Windows 10, and here’s how you can use and control it. Yes, Windows 10 is packed with lots of GUI features, but that doesn’t mean the command prompt is a has-been. Even in Windows 10, the command prompt remains an effective tool for running certain commands and accessing certain features. Though the command prompt has remained more or less the same over the years, you will find some new tricks up its sleeve in Windows 10. So, what can you do with the command prompt and how can you manage and control it to make it easier to use? Let’s look at how to tame the command prompt in Windows 10. First off, the command you use to open a command shell from the Windows Power Users menu (the menu that appears when you right-click on the Start button) differs based on your version of Windows 10. In the original version and the Anniversary Update, the command is known as Command Prompt. And launching that command places you at the familiar prompt that’s been around since the early days of Windows. In the Spring Creators Update released in April 2017, Microsoft … Read More
There are a handful of ways to get around logging on to Windows 10 without having to use the default password method. In fact, you can even skip using a password altogether with some minor tweaks. Although some of the alternative log-ons require using touch screen tech, there are mouse and keyboard roundabouts are built into the OS, too. Let’s survey how you can circumvent the password log-on. But First, an Explanation for Why There Are Passwords on Your Machine If you’re going to use Windows 10, Microsoft requires a Microsoft account. There’s no way around this. That’s because Microsoft wants to be tethered to your PC for security updates, password resets, online connection, access to the Microsoft Store, and for automatic updates. But Microsoft knows passwords can be troublesome (some of us have memory issues, for example), so they have built half a dozen different ways to log on to your PC beyond the traditional password. Some of these require your PC or laptop have integrated biometric hardware such as fingerprint readers, camera-based facial readers or eye scanners. If your computer has any of this special hardware you will be able to set up a sign-in using Windows Hello. For … Read More
You can free up memory and boost performance by putting the kibosh on unnecessary startup programs. Every program that automatically loads when Windows starts up chews up more of your PC’s memory. The more programs that muscle their way into your startup routine, the less available memory you have to run your applications. And many programs that start up automatically don’t necessarily need to do so. How can you control your Windows startup programs? In Windows 7, you can use the System Configuration tool. In Windows 8.1 and 10, you can use the Task Manager. But if these built-in tools aren’t sufficient, you can turn to a third-party utility. Such tools as Sysinternals AutoRuns and Autorun Organizer can help you determine which programs you can kick out of your startup routine and how to give them the heave-ho. Let’s see how you can get a better handle on your Windows startup programs. Many Windows programs like to climb onboard your startup routine. Some programs do legitimately need to launch at startup, such as anti-virus software and backup software like Microsoft OneDrive. But a lot of programs insist on starting up automatically whether or not they need to. That may be … Read More
Want to get more out of Microsoft OneDrive or just customize some of its settings? Here’s how. You may already be running Microsoft OneDrive and hopefully find it an effective way to back up and synchronize your documents and other files. But what if you want to make changes to your OneDrive configuration? Maybe you want to add or remove folders to sync via OneDrive. Perhaps you want to change the location of the local folders that you sync with OneDrive. Or maybe you’ve accidentally deleted a folder or file in OneDrive and need to recover it. (Hint: OneDrive offers a Recycle Bin through which you can often recover deleted files). Yep, you can do all this by tapping into OneDrive’s settings on your PC and your online storage space. Let’s look at how to customize and manage your OneDrive configuration. We’ll be using the regular desktop version of OneDrive to start. The software is already baked into Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. Windows 7 users running OneDrive should already have downloaded the OneDrive application from the home page of the OneDrive website and used it to set up the service. Okay, let’s say you’ve been using OneDrive and now … Read More
Many of us use some form of cloud storage these days and if you are in the Microsoft ecosystem that means you are more than likely to be using OneDrive for that option. OneDrive is a sync-based cloud service: That means if you change, delete, or move a file on one device where you access those files then that action will be duplicated across all of your OneDrive access points. It does not make for a very good backup option compared to more traditional backups. However, there is a feature available that provides a short-term option to recover previous versions of your files, if you need to return to older editions to check revisions you made or reverse them. As of right now, OneDrive only supports Office documents for this Version History feature. however, this week Microsoft announced a change that will roll out to consumers by the end of summer: Instead of being able to retrieve only older Office documents, you’ll be able to recover previous versions of any file type you can store on OneDrive — so long as those previous file version are less than 30 days old. With all that said, let’s walk through how the version-history feature works in OneDrive. … Read More
So you want to get rid of all those browser cookies that track your every move online and result in annoying, targeted Web ads. So you open up your browser settings and delete all or some of the cookies that have accumulated. But the targeted ads keep coming. So what’s up? What’s up is a little Flash quirk that allows sites to store bits of code called “super cookies,” “persistent cookies,” or “zombie cookies.” No matter how you refer to them, their source is Adobe Flash which saves its version of cookies independent of any web browser functions. The possibly insidious nature of Flash cookies containing personal information and then directly or indirectly sharing it with abandon became quite the brouhaha in 2009 and 2010. Because Adobe Flash, too often needed for playing videos and audio, also became a favorite carrier of malware, Adobe was compelled to repeatedly patch and update to ward off real and potential security threats. So although the current versions have mostly cleaned up the malware intruders, Flash still permits sites to add tracking and other miscellaneous cookies. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown in how it works, using common sites as real-life examples. Let’s say Yahoo sells an ad to DoubleClick. This means when you … Read More
Is that file you permanently deleted gone for good? Not if you have the right software to bring it back to life. You’ve deleted a document or other file in Windows — only to realize you need that file. What can you do to get it back? Naturally, the first place to look is the Windows Recycle Bin. To check for the file, double-click on the Recycle Bin icon, which should be nestled on your desktop. You’ll see all the deleted files in the Recycle Bin folder. If you spot the file you want to recover, great. Just right-click on it and click Restore from the popup menu. The file is restored to its original location. The same holds true for a folder. Right-click it and click Restore, and the folder is returned to its original locale. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Have a second hard drive and want to move your personal Windows files and content there? Here’s how. You have a PC with two hard drives. And you want to move your personal files and certain content from your C drive to your D drive to keep them separate from your Windows system files. Yep, that’s doable, though it does involve a few steps. You have to redirect each folder to its new location so Windows knows where you’ve put it. And you have to tell your various applications, such as Microsoft Office, that your documents and files will be housed in different default folders. But if you follow the right steps, your personal files will rest soundly in their new location, and Windows and your applications will know just where to find them. Windows creates a Users folder to store subfolders for anyone who has an account on a PC. The folder for your account is home to an array of files and other data, including your contacts, your desktop icons, your favorite webpages, your downloads, your documents, your music, your pictures, your videos, and more. By default, your Users folder is created on your C drive right off … Read More
These days I do not need a full FTP client as much as I used to several years ago. Part of this is just because we now tend to access everything over the Internet through websites instead of downloads from FTP servers. Remember getting some big updates from a company by downloading from their FTP server? Anyway, while there are plenty of fully equipped FTP clients out there to download, sometimes we just need a quick connection to grab some files – in my case for my website maintenance – and need something straight forward and simple. Well did you know that there is an FTP client built right into the Windows File Explorer? It has actually been there through the last few versions of Windows and is very easy to setup and use for these infrequent FTP sessions. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.