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How to Disable/Enable the Insert Key in Windows 10

The Insert Key was needed in early versions of Windows. In our modern day of Windows, the key is no longer needed. Now, we just place our cursor where we want to insert text and start typing. If we use the Insert Key, our text is overwritten. This can be frustrating as we find ourselves clicking Undo and starting over.

Every key has a corresponding key scan code that tells Windows how to handle the keystroke. We can find this code and change it to a null character in the Windows Registry, which disables the key.

Instead of editing the Registry directly, we are going to use a free software utility to perform this task.

Note! You should first create a backup of the Registry. See my blog post on Wise Registry Cleaner on how create a backup or click this link to download and install the free Regbak software.

This is for desktop/laptop using Windows 10. SharpKeys will run on Vista through Windows 10.

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Running Regbak Software

First, open and run the program. Next, click on the New Backup button to create a Registry backup. Refer to below image:

Regbak 1
Selecting a new backup

A backup dialog box will appear. Here you can chose a Backup Folder. It is recommended you use the default. Next, give the backup a Description of your choice, then click Start. See below image:

Regbak 2
Chosing the backup location and entering a description

When the program has finished, you will receive a message at the top of the screen that the backup operation has completed. At the bottom of the dialog box, check for the mesage that the operation finished successfully. Now, click Close. See following image:

Regbak 3
Completing the process

A final dialog box will appear showing your newly created Registry backup entry. Additionally, by highlighting an entry you can either Restore or Delete a Registry backup. Click Close to end the program. Refer to below image:

Regbak 4
Exit the program

SharpKeys Overview

SharpKeys is free software for you to edit specific Registry entries. It uses a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to remap keys on your keyboard. This software makes it easy to edit the Registry without using the built-in Registry Editor. Using the Editor is time consuming and error prone.

Download and Install

Open your browser and click this link to download and install SharpKeys. You can download the file in Microsoft Installer (MSI) or Zip format; the easiest method is using the MSI.

Using SharpKeys

Note! This program requires Administrative Privileges to run. Please open the program as an Administrator by right-clicking on the program under Start, and click on More > Run as Administrator.

Once the program is running, click the Add button. See below image:

SharpKeys 1
Opening the program

Scroll through the list on the left and click on Special: Insert (E0_52). Next, click on Turn Key Off (00_00) from the list on the right. To remap the Insert Key, click OK. Refer to below image:

SharpKeys 2
Selecting the Insert Key to be remapped

The value in parentheses is the key scan code associated with it. We are replacing the Insert Key code of E0_52 to a non-existence code of 00_00, which will disable the key.

Next, click the Write to Registry button. The software will add the new code for the Insert Key to the Registry for you. See following image:

SharpKeys 3
Write the null key scan code to the Registry

To complete the process, click OK. Refer to below image:

SharpKeys 4
Restart message

To exit the program, click Close. See below image:

SharpKeys 5
Exit the program

For the changes to take effect, you will need to log out or restart your computer.

You can use SharpKeys to remap a host of other keyboard characters.

Undoing Your Change

If you have made no other changes, you can use Wise Registry Cleaner or Regbak to restore the Registry depending on which software you used to create a Registry backup. If you have made other changes and wish to restore the Insert Key function, those changes will be lost.

Another method is using the Registry Editor to reenable the Insert Key function. This method is very technical, frustrating and error prone; so I don’t recommend doing this.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Backup Facebook Photos and Videos

You have searched for a favorite photo or video on Facebook but are unable to locate it. Facebook has an option to backup most anything saved through its app. This would allow for easier searching instead of scrolling endlessly through Facebook posts.

You may have decided to deactivate your account for health reasons or you just want a backup. There is no such thing as “too many backups”. In my IT career, I have been “burned” by not having adequate backups resulting in lost time in recreating them.

Depending on how long you have been a Facebook user, the backup file can be quite large. If you have limited storage or on a free storage plan for your mobile device, you might consider backing up to a PC or Mac.

Using this post as a guide, I am backing up thirteen years of Facebook photos and videos on a Windows 10 PC. My backup file, in Zip format, was a 1.4 GB file.

This is for PCs, Mac, mobile devices and similar platforms using Facebook

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Accessing Facebook Settings

Launch Facebook. in the upper right hand corner, click on the Account icon. Next, click the Settings & Privacy option. See below image

Facebook Photo Backup 1
The Settings and Privacy option

Next, click on the Settings option. Refer to below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 2
The Settings option

Downloading Your Facebook Information

Then click on Your Facebook Information. See following image:

Facebook Photo Backup 3
The Facebook Information option

Next, click on Download Your Information. See below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 4
Download your information option

Selecting ONLY Photos and Videos

From here, click on Deselect All link. Then select only Photos and Videos option. From this screen there are many options on what to backup. For our purposes, we only want photos and videos. Refer to below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 5
Deselecting all, then selecting only photos and videos option

Once photos and videos have been selected and all other option are unselected, click the Create File button. See below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 6
Clicking the Create File option

Messages and Emails From Facebook

You will receive a pop-up message regarding the creation of your Facebook backup for photos and videos. Refer to below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 7
Facebook response to iyour request

Check your email that is associated with your Facebook account for the file request. See below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 8
Email from Facebook about your request

It may take several hours for Facebook to process your request. When the file is ready, you will receive an email that your file is ready. Follow the directions in the message. Refer to below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 9
Email from Facebook that your backup file is ready

Downloading Your Photos and Videos Backup

Click on the link for Download Your Information. Then, click the Available Copies tab. You should see information about your download file. Now, click the Download button. See following image:

Facebook Photo Backup 10
Download option to your Downloads folder

Facebook will ask you to enter your Password, then click Submit. See below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 11
Submitting your password

Viewing Your Downloaded Zip File via File Explorer

Your photos and videos backup file will be in your Downloads folder in Zip format. Below is a screenshot of my backup file. Notice it contains over 3000 files. Your backuped file number will depend on how often you post photos and videos and how many years on Facebook. Refer to below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 12
An example of your downloaded Facebook photos and videos file

What I would like to see is an option to select a date range for the backup instead of everything.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Remove Malware for Windows

If your Windows computer is being redirected to unwanted sites, advertisements are popping up while you browse the Internet, or a message saying a virus was detected, then it is possible that you have malware installed on your computer.

This is for Windows 7 through 10, also applies to Macs and mobile devices. The wording in this post is for Windows 10

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Malware refers to any type of malicious software that tries to infect a computer or mobile device. Hackers use malware for any number of reasons such as, extracting personal information or passwords, stealing money or preventing owners from accessing their device.

Malware includes computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, adware, malicious BHOs, rogue security software and other malicious programs. The majority of malware threats are usually worms or trojans rather than viruses.

Following are some examples of an infected PC:

  1. Your web browser (e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome) freezes, hangs or is unresponsive
  2. You get redirected to web pages other than the one you intended to go to
  3. You receive numerous web-browser popup messages
  4. Strange or unexpected toolbars appear at the top of your web browser
  5. Your computer runs slower than usual
  6. Your computer freezes, hangs or is unresponsive
  7. Your computer restarts by itself (but not a restart caused by Windows Updates)
  8. You see unusual error messages (e.g., messages saying there are missing or corrupt files folders)

For several months, I had malware that crashed my PC on a daily basis. I read lots of help articles and followed its advice. I soon came to realize that no one piece of software will remove the malware. In my case, the virus would attach itself to a Dell executable (exe) file. I located the suspected file and renamed it, no luck here. So, I deleted the file; the suspected file would recreate itself with the virus attached. I did a scan of the Registry to find the infected file, it was not found. What the heck is going on? Then I came across an in-depth article on removing malware. In summary, to remove the malware, perform the following:

Restart your machine and stop all running programs

Download, install and run the following programs one at a time in order as shown below. There is a free or trial version for each software. Do not install any third-party tools associated with the installs. The softare title and links are as follows:

Malwarebytes

Avast

HitmanPro

Zemana

Now, restart your machine. The malware should be eliminated. Since this is a one-time removal, uninstall each program. If left installed and active, they will interfere with each other and cause other problems.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Protect Your Google Drive on iPhone and iPad

Storing important and or sensitive documents in Google Drive isn’t the most secure way to protect your data, but if you are, your iPhone and iPad can help keep everything safe. Let’s see how to protect this cloud storage mobile app using Face ID or Touch ID.

Your mobile device may already be setup to use Face ID or Touch ID. You may ask, why set this up for a particular app, the Google Drive? A friend may ask to see your device. What if they accessed your documents via Google Drive without your knowledge? There is nothing to stop them because you already unlocked your device. So, we are going to add another layer of protection. Of course, enabling two factor authentication for your Google account is the best way to keep prying eyes out of your cloud files.

Note! To follow this guide, you will need the Passcode for your device. The screenshots are for an iPhone.

This is for iPhone and iPad devices

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Open Google Drive

Start by opening the Google Drive app. Use Apple’s built-in Spotlight Search if you can’t find it on your Home screen. Refer to below image:

Google Drive Protect 1
Locating Google Drive app

Next, tap the Hamburger icon in upper left of the screen. See following image:

Google Drive Protect 2
The Hamburger icon

Open the Settings

From the slide out menu that appears, select the Settings option. See below image:

Google Drive Protect 3
Opening Settings

Next, tap on the Privacy Screen option. Refer to below image:

Google Drive Protect 4
Opening the Privacy Screen option

Set the Privacy Option

From here, toggle on the Privacy Screen option. See following image:

Google Drive Protect 5
Turning on the Privacy Screen option

Allow Permission

Now, your iPhone or iPad will display a pop-up box asking for permission to access Face ID or Touch ID. Tap the OK button to allow permission. Refer to below image:

Google Drive Protect 6
Allowing permission for Google Drive by Face ID

The next time you exit and reopen Google Drive, you will be presented a screen for your face or fingerprint to access your cloud storage.

Now that the Privacy Screen setting is enabled, you will see several new options to customize the feature further.

Set Privacy Screen Delay

By default, the Privacy Screen feature locks the Drive app the moment you lock your iPhone’s or iPad’s display or leave the app. If you want to add a time delay, tap on the option that corresponds to the Delay listing. See below image:

Google Drive Protect 10
Accessing Privacy Screen Delay options

You have four options to choose from:

  • Immediately (the default)
  • After 10 seconds
  • After 1 minute
  • After 10 minutes

Once you have checkmarked your selection, tap the Back arrow. By default, the Immediately option is selected and is the recommended setting. Refer to below image:

Google Drive Protect 11
Setting the Privacy Screen Delay option

Using the Passcode Method

You have the option of using your Passcode to protect your files instead of your Face ID or Touch ID. This feature offers a more secure method of accessing Google Drive.

To do this, let’s go back to the Privacy Screen settings menu, then tap the Open System Settings blue link. See following image:

Google Drive Protect 7
Opening System Settings to change access method

You are taken to the Drive’s section for your iPhone or iPad Settings menu. Here, just toggle off permission to use Face ID or Touch ID. See below image:

Google Drive Protect 8
Turning off Face ID permission

Now, the next time you open the Google Drive app,you will be required to enter your device’s lock screen Passcode. Refer to below image:

Google Drive Protect 9
Entering your Passcode to access Google Drive

You have successfully locked your Google Drive app either using your Face ID/Touch ID or your Passcode. That’s it.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Change Your Name on Windows 10 Log-In Screen

Whenever you log-in to Windows 10, your name appears above the password entry. What if you want to change your name? This post addresses this issue.

Whether you use a local account or a Microsoft Account, it’s relative easy to change your display name.

This is for Windows 10 devices

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Changing Your Display Name for a Microsoft Account

To change you name for a Microsoft Account, you need to open your account preferences on the Microsoft website.

Opens the Settings app by pressing the Windows key+I or type in Settings in the Cortana search field, then click the Settings app at top of the screen. Then click on the Accounts option. Refer to below image:

Change Login Name 1
Selecting your Accounts option

Below your name and photo, click on Manage my Microsoft account. See following image:

Change Login Name 2
Selecting Manange my Microsoft account

Signin to your Microsoft Account if not already signed. This will open your account preferences in your browser. After your browser opens, click the More Actions drop-down box, then click on Edit Profile from the options list. See below image:

Change Login Name 3
Selecting Edit Profile

Below your name, click Edit Name. Refer to below image:

Change Login Name 4
Selecting Edit your name

Enter your first and last name, solve the CAPTCHA challenge, then click Save to update your name. See following image:

Change Login Name 5
Changing your firsr and/or last name and entering the CAPTCHA letters

When your Profile page reloads, it will update with the name change.

Note! When you change your Microsoft Account name, it changes on all devices that you use to log-in with this account.

For your new name to show on your Windows 10 log-in screen, you will have to log out of Windows 10. Be sure to save any unsaved work or applications before signing out.

Changing Your Display Name for a Local Account

A local account is a basic approach in using Windows 10. Local accounts don’t have the added features like syncing files, settings, browser history, etc. across multiple devices.

If you want to change your local account name, fire up the Control Panel. In the Cortana search box, type in Control Panel then click on the Control Panel app at the top of the screen.

Next click on the User Accounts option. Refer to below image:

Change Login Name 6
Selecting User Accounts from the Control Panel

Now click on User Accounts one more time. See below image:

Change Login Name 7
Selecting User Accounts again

Now, select Change your account name option to change your log-in name. See following image:

Change Login Name 8
Selection for changing your account name

Note: If an organization manages your device or you don’t have administrator privileges, you won’t be able to change your name.

Enter the new log-in name into the text field, then click the Change Name button to save your changes. Refer to below image:

Change Login Name 9
Changing your log-in name

You are done and may now close the Control Panel window. For your new name to show on your Windows 10 log-in screen, you will have to log out of Windows 10. Be sure to save any unsaved work or applications before signing out.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Sign a PDF on Your iPhone or iPad

You’ve received or need to send a PDF through email that must be signed and sent to the other party. If you’re working with the email on your iPhone or iPad, you can sign the document directly from your mobile device. This handy capability is possible due to the Markup feature. With iOS 13, you can use a variety of tools. In this post, we will look at the Signature Markup tool.

This is for iPhone/iPad or similar devices using iOS 13 or above

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How to Add a Signature

Follow these steps when you want to email someone a PDF from your iPhone or iPad but need to sign it before sending it.

1. Make sure the PDF is stored in a convenient location, such as OneDrive, iCloud Drive or other online service accessible from your iPhone or iPad
2. Attach the file to your email
3. Tap the attachment and select Markup from the toolbar. Refer to below image:

PDF Signature 1
Selecting the Markup option

4. Swipe down to the area where you need to sign. If not, the Signature will be placed in the middle.
5. On the Markup toolbar at the bottom, tap the “+” icon and select Signature. See below image:

PDF Signature 2
Selecting the Signature option

Drawing Your Signature

6. If you’re doing this for the first time, write your Signature via your finger tip or a stylus
7. Tap Clear if you wish to start over. See following image:

PDF Signature 3
Writing your Signature

8. When you’re satisfied with your Signature, tap Done. See below image:

PDF Signature 4
Your Signature in the document

Position Your Signature

9. Move the text box for your Signature to the right spot. You can also resize the box by dragging any of the corners. Refer to below image:

PDF Signature 5
Positioning your Signature

Email Your Signed Document

10. When the Signature is sized and positioned correctly, tap Done at the upper left corner for the new Signature. Now you are ready to send your email by tapping on the Up Arrow icon. See following image:

PDF Signature 6
Email your signed document

How to Reply With Your Signature

If you receive an attachment that you need to sign and send back to the sender, the process is similar. 

1. Tap the PDF to open it and swipe down to the area that requires your Signature
2. Tap the Markup icon in the upper right (the one that resumbles a pen tip)
3. Tap the “+” icon on the Markup toolbar at bottom righ hand corner and select Signature. Your Signature will automatically appear if you already created it via Markup.
4. Tap your Signature, position and resize it accordingly
5. When finished, tap Done
6, Tap New Message or Reply All and send the signed document back to the sender. For demonstration purposes, I just placed my Signature again, this time in lower right hand corner. Refer to below image:

PDF Signature 7
Selecting the Reply All option

7. Tap the Up Arrow icon to send your return message. See below image:

PDF Signature 8
Returing your signed document back to the sender

You have successfully adding your Signature to a PDF file, emailed the attachment and replied to the other party with your Signature.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Use Word AutoText Feature

Creating and using custom AutoText entries for frequently used phrases is a great way to speed up your content creation in Microsoft Word. By default, Word has very few entries so you may want to add your own. The good news is you can set up these time-savers in just a few clicks!

The software does come with lots of AutoText Document fields, like Author, Company Info, Status and other built-in entries such as Headers, Footers, Tables, Watermarks, etc., that you can choose for your document. You can use these entries in addition to your own AutoText entries for your documents.

Note! Your AutoText entries maintain its formatting when inserted into a document.

This is for PCs, Macs and other platforms that support Word

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Creating an AutoText Entry

To begin, highlight the text in your Word document that you’d like to use to create your new AutoText entry. Refer to below image:

Word AutoText 1
Selecting the text for your AutoText entry

Press Alt+F3 to open the Create New Building Block window. Then, type in a name (within the 32-character limit) for your AutoText entry. Next, click OK. See following image:

Word AutoText 2
Saving your AutoText entry

Your AutoText entry will be saved. Now that was easy.

Using an AutoText Entry

To use your AutoText entry, place your cursor where you want to insert the text in your Word document. Navigate to the Insert tab and click the Explore Quick Parts icon in the Text group. See below image:

Word AutoText 3
Accessing your AutoText

A drop-down menu will be displayed. Hover your pointer over AutoText. Refer to below image:

Word AutoText 4
Selecting the AutoText feature

A list of AutoText entries will appear. Select the one you want to use. See below image:

Word AutoText 5
Inserting your custom AutoText entry

The entry you selected will be inserted into your document.

Deleting an AutoText Entry

If your AutoText list is getting crowded, or you made a mistake when you created a custom entry, you can delete them.

To do so, go back to the Insert tab and select the Text group. Then click the Explore Quick Parts icon, and then hover your pointer over AutoText.

From here, right-click the AutoText entry you want to delete. In the context pop-up menu that appears, click the option Organize and Delete. Refer to following image:

Word AutoText 6
Accessing the Delete option

The Building Blocks Organizer window will be displayed with your AutoText entry highlighted. At the bottom of this dialog box, click on Delete. See below image:

Word AutoText 7
The delete button at the end of the AutoText entries

A message box will appear asking you to confirm the deletion of your entry. To delete this entry, click Yes. Refer to below image:

Word AutoText 8
Confirming your custom AutoText deletion

Now your entry will be deleted. You have successfully adding, inserted and deleted an AutoText entry. That’s it.

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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