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How to Schedule an Auto Shutdown of Your PC

Do you want to save electricity? Shutting down your Windows 10 Desktop or Laptop at a specific date and time is one answer. Normally, we walk away from our computer at the end of the day. At some point, your PC will slip into hibernation or sleep mode, which saves power consumption but we are going to save even more electricity plus reduce heat buildup.

The Windows operating system has a Task Scheduler which allows us to setup a shutdown at a specific date and time. This Scheduler has been around since Windows XP. By setting up a scheduled task, we are going to shut down your PC at a specific time. I am going to walk you through the setup process screen by screen.

The steps are for Windows 10 operating system. The Task Scheduler is for Windows XP through Windows 10

  • In the Cortana search box, type in “task scheduler“ (without the quotes)
  • Open the Task Scheduler. See following image:
Task Scheduler 0
Opening the Task Scheduler

Create the Auto Shutdown Task

  • Select Create Basic Task. See following image:
Task Scheduler 0A
Creating a Basic Task
  • Give the Task a name and a description. I am using Auto Shutdown at 10 pm as the name. See following image:
Task Scheduler 2
Assigning a Name and Description to our scheduled task

Set the Task Triggers

  • Click Next at the bottom of the screen to open the Task Trigger screen
  • Select Daily (the default). See the following image:
Task Scheduler 3
Selecting the Task Trigger
  • Select Next
  • Select a Start: date and time
  • Set Recur every: 1 day (the default). See below image:
Task Scheduler 4
Setting the start date, time and the recurrence of the scheduled task

Set the Task Action

  • Select Next. You will see the Action screen
  • Select Start a program (the default). See below image:
Task Scheduler 5
Selecting the Action we want to perform

Set the Task Arguments

  • Click Next
  • In the Program/script box, enter “shutdown” (without the quotes)
  • Enter -s -f -t 60 in the Add arguments box. See following screen:
Task Scheduler 6
Entering the program name and arguments for the scheduled task

These arguments are part of the shutdown.exe program. The -s tells Windows to shutdown, you could enter -r for a shutdown and Restart. The -f forces all running programs to close and is implied if the -t argument is greater than 0. The -t 60 adds a 60 seconds countdown, if you want an immediate shutdown, change to -t 0. See following image:

Task Scheduler 6
Setting the program name and arguments

View Your Task Summary

  • Click Next and you will see your Summary screen. See below image:
Task Scheduler 7
A Summary of the scheduled task
  • Click Finish
  • Close the Task Scheduler. For our example, we are initiating a daily shutdown starting on 2/5/2020 at 10pm by closing all running applications with a 60 seconds countdown.

View, Edit or Delete Your Scheduled Task

  • Open Task Scheduler
  • Click on Task Scheduler Library
  • Find your task under the Name column and highlight it. You can view your Triggers and Actions under the appropriate tab. See following image:
Task Scheduler 8
Viewing your scheduled task
  • To Edit your task, highlight the task and select Properties. I recommend you go through each tab and make any necessary change(s). Click OK to apply your change(s).
  • To Delete the task, highlight the task and select Delete. Click Yes to complete the deletion.
  • Close the Task Scheduler

You are finished. At the designated date and time, watch your computer automatically shutdown. In our example, the auto shutdown occurs every day at 10 pm..

Leave a Comment

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

How to Use the Dim Feature in Microsoft PowerPoint

I ran across this neat feature of Microsoft PowerPoint that I want to share with you. As a presenter, you are in control of what is being displayed. Instead of presenting all your bullet points at once lets dim there appearance one at a time. The “dim text” feature allows the audience to focus on one topic. For my example I am using a single slide with five bullet points.

This is for PowerPoint for Office 365 Windows and Mac versions. Other versions of PowerPoint will be similar.

Launch PowerPoint

  • Open PowerPoint on your Desktop/Laptop or Mac
  • Find a slide that contains bullet points or text you want to dim. See my example below:
PowerPoint Slide 1
PowerPoint Slide Bullet Points screen
  • Highlight a bullet point or text
  • Select the Animations tab and choose the Appear animation

Set Animations

The animation will be successfully applied if you see a number next to the bullet point or slide.

Repeat the above steps until you have applied an animation to each bullet point or text. Refer to the following image:

PowerPoint Slide 2
PowerPoint Slide with Animation applied screen
  • Select all the Animations by using the “Ctrl” key and clicking on each animation.
  • Select the arrow next to the right side of the animation
PowerPoint Slide 3
PowerPoint Animations screen

Set Effects

Select Effect Options. See following image:

PowerPoint Slide 4
PowerPoint Effects screen

Change Behavior for Dimming

We are going to change the behavior of the default Don’t Dim option by clicking the arrow next to the item (a drop down box selection) and select a color slightly different than your bullet points or text. You want your color selected to be visible to the audience. For my example, I selected a light red color:

PowerPoint Slide 6
PowerPoint Color Selection for Animation screen
  • Click OK

Test Your Slide

Now its time to test out your slide. You should see something like the following screen as you manually or automatically select each bullet point.

PowerPoint Slide 7
PowerPoint using the Dim Feature

This is a nifty feature for your next text presentation. Save your slide or presentation, you are finished.

Leave a Comment

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



How to Protect an Excel Workbook, a Sheet and its Structure

Do you want to protect your Microsoft Excel workbook or a sheet in your workbook? If so, this blog post is for you. We are going to password protect a workbook, protect a sheet in a workbook and the Excel file itself.

This is for Excel for Office 365 Windows and Mac versions. Other versions of Excel will be similar.

Protect a Workbook

I recommend you start with a blank Excel workbook, just in case you forget a password. To assign a password to an Excel workbook, do the following:

  • Open a blank Excel workbook. For demonstration purposes, I am using an Excel workbook that contains one sheet with cell data. You can choose an existing Excel workbook if you chose. See my workbook below :
Excel Security 1
  • Select File>Save As
Excel Security 2
  • Select More options (underneath Excel Workbook drop down box)
Excel Security 3
  • Select the Tools drop down box
  • Chose General Options
Excel Security 4

Set the Password(s)

You will see notice two password boxes, one to open the workbook and one to modify the workbook

  • Enter one or both passwords. Make sure you write down these passwords and store them in a safe place.

You have two other options to set if you chose, Always create backup and Enable Read-only recommended. The first is self explanatory. The second option is an extra layer of protection by enabling the workbook to read-only status upon opening.

  • Confirm your password(s) by reentering the password(s)
  • Click OK
  • Click Save
  • Close or Exit Excel

Note! A user who doesn’t know the second password can open and view the data by clicking the Read Only option. This user can still modify the data, but they are unable to save their changes to the protected workbook. However, the user can save the workbook under a new name, which circumvents the protection process. Of course, password-cracking software will get you into the workbook.

Protect a Sheet

  • Open a blank Excel workbook. For demonstration purposes, I am using an Excel workbook that contains one sheet with cell data. You can choose an existing Excel workbook if you chose.
  • Select the Review tab
  • Click the Protect icon
  • Click Protect Sheet icon. Refer to following image:
Excel Security 5
  • Enter your password in the Password to unprotect sheet box
  • Click OK
  • In the Confirm Password dialog box, type the password again
  • Click OK
  • Save your changes
  • Close or Exit Excel

Tip! To remove a password, click Protect>Unprotect Sheet and enter your password. You can also select Protect Workbook icon to protect a workbook which follows.

Protect Excel Structure

  • Open a blank Excel workbook. For demonstration purposes, I am using an Excel workbook that contains one sheet with cell data. You can choose an existing Excel workbook if you chose.
  • Select the Review tab
  • Click the Protect icon
  • Click Protect Workbook icon. Refer to the following image:
Excel Security 6

Select the Windows option if you want to prevent users from moving, resizing, or closing the workbook window or hide/unhide windows

  • Enter your password
  • Click OK
  • In the Confirm Password dialog box, type the password again
  • Click OK
  • Save your changes
  • Close or Exit Excel

Protect the Excel File

To prevent users from accessing the data in your Excel file, we are going to protect the file with a password

  • Open a blank Excel workbook. For demonstration purposes, I am using an Excel workbook that contains one sheet with cell data. You can choose an existing Excel workbook if you chose.
  • Select File>Info. Refer to my image below:
Excel Security 7
  • Click Protect Workbook icon
  • Chose Encrypt with Password option
Excel Security 8
  • Enter a password in the Encrypt Document dialog box
  • Click OK
  • In the Confirm Password dialog box, type the password again
  • Save your changes
  • Close or Exit Excel

Be cautious when sharing files or passwords with other users. You still run the risk of passwords falling into the hands of unintended users. Remember to write down your passwords and store them in a safe place.

Leave a Comment

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

A Few Notable Features in Safari for iOS 13

Apple had made some new enhancements to its feature browser, Safari, for the iPhone/iPad. There are a few notable features that increase our productivity regarding bookmarks and open tabs. Safari’s toolbar has only five choices for you to select from, Forward, Backward, Share, Bookmarks and New Tab/Page. Instead of just taping on a choice, we are going to press down on these icons and see what happens.

This is for an iPhone/iPad and Mac iOS 13 operating system

This seems to be an Apple feature. I have gotten into the habit of pressing down on every icon in iOS 13. Just press and hold the Share icon, the one with an up arrow, nothing happens until you release your hold. You will get the regular Share screen, like the image below:

Safari Share Behavior

Safari Bookmarks

So much for that.

The Bookmarks

Let’s try pressing and holding the Bookmarks icon. You will get the following screenshot:

Safari Add Bookmark

Well, that worked. I do not recommend adding Bookmarks for all open tabs; this would tend to make your bookmarks messy. It would be better just to add a Bookmark for the current tab.

Testing the New Tab/Page

Okay, lets press and hold the New Tab/Page icon. You should get the following screen:

Safari Close Tabs

Yea, two out of three have the press and hold feature. From this screen, you can close all open tabs or just the current one. Also, you can create a new Private Tab or a New Tab.

This time, just press the New Tab/Page icon to reveal your open tabs (normal behavior). Press and hold a tab to move it into a different location. This works in portrait or landscape mode.

Setting the Time Interval

There is another feature to explore; setting a time interval as to when tabs are closed.

Go to Settings and select Safari. You will see the following image:

Safari Close Tabs Timeline

Click the Close Tabs button. Your screen should display options on when to close your Safari tabs like the following image:

Safari Close Tabs Timeframe

Select your choice from the four options.

Okay, for now. Thanks for trying out these iPhone/iPad features for Safari in IOS 13+.

Leave a Comment

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

PC Fine Tuning Summary

You can “pull on that drawer” like the above image to get your PC in shape or follow this blog post.

I have discussed various programs on fine tuning your PC in previous posts. This is a summary post of those programs, all in one place. I have done this fine tuning on many kinds of machines and operating systems in 15 countries as well as the USA. All these programs are free or available on a trial basis.

Some friends of mine had rather take their PC to a geek shop for a reformat of their hard drive and a fresh copy of Microsoft Windows every six months. They spend hundreds of dollars in doing this, which is unnecessary.

You have a choice of following the steps below or paying a consultant (like myself) or paying a geek shop to fine tune your PC. But its not hard to do it on your own. It takes one to three hours about every three to six months. If you haven’t already done so, you will need to download and install the following programs. You only have to do this once, then just run the programs. The links provided below walk you through downloading, installing and running these applications.

This is for a Windows based operating systems

Download and Install Applications

  • DriverMax (paid or trial version) or a similar free program like Driver Booster
  • Belarc Advisor
  • Autoruns
  • CCleaner
  • Wise Disk Cleaner
  • Wise Registry Cleaner
  • Defraggler

Lets get started.

I recommend doing the following steps in order:

Running the Applications

  1. Create a Restore Point and a backup of the Registry using Wise Registry Cleaner
  2. Uninstall applications not being used through the Apps and Features. In the Cortana search box. type “Uninstall Programs” (without the quotes) to load the feature to uninstall your unneeded programs
  3. Check your device driver updates using DriverMax (paid or trial program) or a similar free program like Driver Booster
  4. Run Belarc Advisor for a status of your PC, especially for anti virus software definitions and missing Windows Updates and apply updates as necessary
  5. Check your startup applications and missing entries using Autoruns
  6. Delete junk files using CCleaner and/or Wise Disk Cleaner. Its best to run both
  7. Clean your registry using Wise Registry Cleaner
  8. Defragment your hard drive(s) using Defraggler
  9. Reboot or restart your PC

That’s it. Your PC will now run faster and be more stable!

Leave a Comment

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

Related

Update your drivers using a program like DriverMax

Determine the status of your machine using Belarc Advisor

Turn off missing files using Autoruns

Delete junk file using CCleaner

A more robust file cleanup using Wise Disk Cleaner

Clean the Registry of invalid entries using Wise Registry Cleaner

Defragment your hard drive(s) and partitions using Defraggler

Using the Wise Registry Cleaner Program to Clean the Windows Registry

The Registry keeps growing when you use Windows, so does the obsolete items in the Registry, which would eventually lead to performance degradation and even system crashes. Wise Registry Cleaner scans the Windows Registry and finds errors and residual items in the Registry and then cleans or defrags them. By fixing these residual and corrupted items in Windows Registry, your system will run faster and be more stable.

I highly recommend this software utility. I have used this software on many PCs throughout the world. Best of all, there is a free version. This software is a companion product to Wise Disk Cleaner as discussed in a previous post. In troubleshooting a PC, I use them both to clean up a computer.

Its been my experience to find the best free program that does one thing very well. Although CCleaner has a Registry cleaner, I do not recommend it, instead use this software.

This is for a Windows based operating system from XP to Windows 10

Download and Install

Click here to download and install Wise Register Cleaner and follow these steps:

  • Click the Free Download button
  • You will see the download file in the lower left of your screen
  • Click or double click to install the software and follow the simple instructions
  • A desktop/laptop shortcut will be added
  • Close other running program(s)
  • Empty your Recycle Bin
  • Click or double click the shortcut to run

Following image is after an install. Your screen should look similar:

Wise Registry Cleaner
Wise Registry Cleaner main screen

Backup Before Running

Although the program sets a Restore Point and a Backup of the Registry, I prefer doing this procedure manually. To view these options, refer to the last image in this post.

First, we want to create a System Restore point and a backup of the Registry as a safety precaution in case something goes wrong. See the following screenshot:

Wise Registry Cleaner Options
Wish Registry Cleaner Restore and Backup options
  • Select the Create a system restore point button. Once finished you will see the following popup image:
Wise Register Cleaner Restore Complete
Creation of System Restore completed
  • Click OK
  • Repeat above steps, but this time select Create a full registry backup button
  • When finished, your are taken back to the main program screen.

Run the Software

Click the Quick Scan icon to begin scanning your Registry. After completion, you will see a similar screenshot:

Wise Registry Cleaner Results
Results of Wise Registry Cleaner run
  • Click the Clean button to fix your Registry. Your results screen will be similar to the below image:
Wise Registry Cleaner Complete
Wise Registry Cleaner complete

That’s it. You are done. If you want to setup a schedule for checking updates:

  • Click on Settings from the top of the main program screen
  • Select the General and change when to check for updates; I recommend keeping the default to Weekly.

Wise Registry Cleaner Pro has a Scheduler option and many others.

Your scrren should look like the following:

Wise Registry Cleaner Scheduler
  • Close the program
  • Restart your machine

Leave a Comment

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

Related

CCleaner
Wise Disk Cleaner

Using the Wise Disk Cleaner Program to Delete Bad Files

Over time, junk files, temporary files, all kinds of system files and other items you do not need at all accumulate on your Windows computer. Those useless files take up valuable hard disk space and slow down your computer. Wise Disk Cleaner can delete these unnecessary files on your hard disk to free up disk space and make your computer run faster. It also provides many custom options to allow users to clean up more files they don’t need. Wise Disk Cleaner can scan and remove them quickly, making it one of the most efficient disk cleaners out there

I highly recommend this software utility. I have used this software on many PCs throughout the world. Best of all, there is a free version. This software is a companion product to CCleaner as discussed in a previous post. In troubleshooting a PC, I use them both to clean up a computer.

This is for a Windows based operating system from XP to Windows 10

Download and Install

Click here to download the free version of Wise Disk Cleaner and follow these steps:

  • Click the Free Download button
  • You will see the download file in the lower left of your screen
  • Click to install the software and follow the simple instructions
  • A desktop/laptop shortcut will be added
  • Close any running program(s)
  • Empty your Recycle Bin
  • Click or double click the shortcut to run

After installation you will see the following image:

Wise Disk Cleaner Install
Wise Disk Cleaner install

Run the Software

  • Click the Scan button to begin

Your screen will be similar to the following image:

Wise Disk Cleaner Results
Wise Disk Cleaner scan

Notice the results of my scan; the number of files to be deleted, the disk space to be saved and number of Traces to be deleted are shown. Traces are messages that can occupy a large amount of disk space, and they can be deleted without effecting your PC. When you run this software for the first time, do not be surprised at the scan results.

  • Click the Clean button to delete the files

You may receive popup menus regarding closing your browser like the image below:

Wise Disk Cleaner Chrome is Running
Google Chrome popup
  • Click Yes

In my case, I responded with a No because I needed my browser running to document this post. Normally, you would respond with a Yes.

The Results

After cleaning, you will see the results like the image below:

Wise Disk Cleaner Complete
Wise Disk Cleaner results

That’s it, you are done. You may set up a schedule on when to run the software. I recommend you run this program weekly.

  • Close the program
  • Restart your PC

Leave a Comment

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

Related

Delete Junk Files using CCleaner