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Microsoft Windows XP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Update settings when you install a new monitor (Windows XP)

  • The price of new LCD monitors are dropping, and the used, high-quality CRTs they're replacing can be obtained for a fraction of the original price. Upgrading your monitor is fast and easy, but too many people don't take full advantage of their new, bigger screen.
  • Go to Start | Settings | Control Panel | Display | Settings. The first settings you adjust should be the screen resolution and color quality. Choose a combination of settings that looks good to you. Click the Advanced button to make general, adapter, monitor, troubleshoot, and color management adjustments. The next key setting is the refresh rate in the Monitor tab. 60 Hz is the standard setting, but this setting can cause bigger screens to flicker. Headaches and eyestrain are common results of screen flicker. If you increase the refresh rate, the flicker will decrease. Check the maximum rate for your monitor because rates above the maximum can damage the hardware. In general, 85 HZ is safe on a newer monitor. Once the Display Control panel settings are correct, you may need to adjust the hardware-controlled settings like brightness, contrast, and screen size. New monitors are good, but the right settings can make them great.

Back up your login password to avoid losing it altogether

  • Microsoft Windows XPís Forgotten Password Wizard allows you to create a password reset disk that you can use to recover your user account and personalized computer settings in the event you forget your login password.
  • The procedure to do so differs depending on whether your computer is on a domain or in a workgroup, and whether itís an administrator or limited account. For specific details on each procedure, search for the phrase password reset disk in the Help and Support Center. If you choose to create a password reset disk, make sure you keep it secure, as anyone with access to the disk can change the associated accountís password.

Locate this XML file and choose the right backup feature

  • Windows XPís System Restore feature is an excellent first step for replacing system files Registry entries that were corrupted by a virus or bad driver. It wonít back up and replace user files, such as Favorites, or data files with extensions like .jpg or .doc. Before you use System Restore to replace the existing registry with an old one, for example, you might want to determine exactly which file types System Restore will replace and which it will ignore.
  • Fortunately, Windows XP stores a file named FileList.xml in which it lists all the extensions System Restore recovers. You can view the list from any Windows XP computer as long as you log in to the PC as a user with access to the system files.
  • To view the System Restore extension list:
    • 1. Open Windows Explorer and select Tools | Folder Options and select the View tab.
    • 2. Deselect the Hide Protected Operating System Files (Recommend) check box (if selected) and click OK.
    • 3. In the resulting Warning dialog box, click OK, and then click OK to close the Folder Options dialog box.
    • 4. Navigate to %systemroot%\system32\restore (%systemroot% is often C:\Windows) and double-click the file FileList.xml.

Turn back the clock with System Restore (Win XP)

  • The System Restore feature, first available in Windows Me, enables users and administrators to restore a computer to a previous state without experiencing the loss of any data. This feature enables you to undo any changes you've made to your system's hardware, software, or settings that have left your computer in an undesirable state.
  • All you need to do is first launch the System Restore program. Simply click the Start button and choose All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Restore. The System Restore feature monitors and tracks changes you've made to your system and, at specific intervals, automatically creates restore points or checkpoints when events such as program installations occur. These checkpoints, automatically created every 10 hours your computer runs regardless of whether you've made any major changes to your OS, tell Windows XP to return your system's settings to this point in time should XP experience any problems. You can apply thee automatic checkpoints to your system by selecting the Restore My Computer To An Earlier time option button. Then, select the restore point of your choice, click Next, and then click Next again to restore your system to its last healthy state.

Stay up-to-date with DirectX so you avoid system crashes

  • Microsoft DirectX is a suite of multimedia application programming interfaces (APIs) built into Windows thatís employed by graphic- or video-intensive business applications. Without the right version installed, you might have problems that could crash your apps or even produce Windows stop errors. Fortunately, you can use the DirectX End User Run Time monthly to stay up-to-date with the latest patches so you guarantee smooth video sailing.
  • To update your DirectX version using the DirectX End User Run Time:
    • 1. Per Microsoft, set a System Restore point (in XP) in case problems arise. You canít uninstall DirectX End User Run Time.
    • 2. Point your browser to www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=2DA43D38-DB71-4C1B-BC6A-9B6652CD92A3&displaylang=en and click on the Continue button to validate Windows.
    • 3. Download and install the runtime. The installation is straightforward.
  • Once you click the Finish button on the last page of the run timeís installation wizard, you can rest assured that youíve successfully updated your system.

Head off hibernation problems before they arise

  • If your computer suffers from errors when you bring it out of hibernation, you should take some proactive steps for every hibernation session.
  • Before and during hibernation/standby:
    • Never change major hardware configurations. For example, donít dock a laptop that was undocked when it entered standby, and never attach USB devices during this time.
    • Always close applications that donít work well with power saving modes before forcing hibernation or standby. CD and DVD burning applications and backup utilities are common culprits of computer instability after resuming.

Crack down on unnecessary services that slow down your computer

  • Few things irritate Windows power users more than a slow computer, but the longer you have XP on your system, the slower it gets. Speed things up now by eliminating unnecessary services.
  • To help you expertly tune-up your system, we'll:
    • Discuss how services get started in the first place and your options for how they behave at startup.
    • Stop a service right away so you can test the effects that a service has on your daily Windows operations.
    • Provide a guide to help you judge which services you can safely stop and disable without negatively affecting your computer.
    • Read More About This Tip Click Here > MS Window XP Tips

Vista offers quick fixes for common clutter problems

  • Windows Vista comes packed with quicker access to some of the utilities you need, and long term solutions to some XP annoyances. You can use two such quick fixes when de-cluttering your desktop.
  • For a more organized Vista Start menu without the hassle of reordering it by hand or by registry edit, use the Sort All Programs Menu By Name check box. Unfortunately, the option doesnít apply to the Classic menu in Vista.
  • If you want to hide system tray icons in Vista, you can more quickly access the necessary dialog box. Just right-click in the system tray and choose Customize Notification Icons.

Share your registry know-how and your best tweaks without venturing into Registry Editor

  • You make the most of Windows by tweaking the registry, but when you share your knowledge and tweaks you'll find that it takes forever to re-create them on other machines, and you face the danger of corrupting their registries. Spare yourself the risk and the hassle by exporting your tweaks to a REG file and importing it to other registries.
  • To save time and trouble by tweaking multiple XP registries with a single trip to Registry Editor, we'll:
    • Provide an overview of registry keys and values so you know what you're about to export.
    • Create a registry value that customizes how Windows labels new shortcuts that will cut down on shortcut creation time.
    • Export the tweak as a REG file and review it for any computer-specific information that you need to strip out.
    • Import the REG file and test it out for guaranteed quick-fix success.
    • Read More About This Tip Click Here > MS Window XP Tips

Stay secure and mobile with these indispensable WiFi tips

  • You want to access your company's LAN from every conference room and the internet from anywhere, but your laptop's WiFi connection doesn't always live up to expectations. With our guide to common wireless problems that cause security and service lapses, you can troubleshoot WiFi glitches in no time.
  • To get your WiFi connections in working order, we'll:
    • Examine XP-specific tools that you can use to configure and troubleshoot your connections without fussing with a third-party tool.
    • Discuss IP address assignments and how to ensure your computer's IP address plays nice with the right network.
    • Guarantee you connect to a secured WiFi network to protect your computer.
    • Read More About This Tip Click Here > MS Window XP Tips

Tip: Connect two computers with a USB cable, but beware

  • You can connect two computers via a USB cable in order to share files, but you canít use standard USB cables. Warning: If you use a standard USB cable, you might damage the USB ports on both systems, or even the respective system boards.
  • Instead, you need to use a special USB cable, known as a USB Bridge cable. A USB Bridge cable reverses both the send and receive signals as well as the power voltage, so that you donít create a short.

Tip: Protect your computer AND tweak your registry by skipping Registry Editor

  • It's dangerous to work in the registry because easy-to-make mistakes can cause irreparable damage to your computer. But the changes you know you can make probably tempt you in. Fortunately, you can make many registry changes without ever opening Registry Editor by using the existing administrative tools, such as Control Panel, or Windows XP PowerToys, such as TweakUI.
  • Itís safer to make changes to the registry with one of those tools because the GUIs safeguard the registry and prohibit you from mistakenly making destructive changes.
  • For example, you can create a registry value of EnableBalloonTips in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  • \Advanced key and give it a value of 0 to disable balloon tips. If you install TweakUI, you can do the same thing with a simple check box.

Tip: Use Bit9 FileAdvisor to determine a mystery file's origin

  • If you find a file on your computer that you don't recognize, you may worry that it's malware. Before you panic, check out Bit9's free FileAdvisor to learn if the file comes from a legitimate source.
  • To register with Bit9 and use FileAdvisor on the web:
    • 1. Point your browser to fileadvisor.bit9.com.
    • 2. In the Enter File Name Or Hash text box, enter the name of the file youíre researching and click the Search button.
    • 3. The Search Results page displays and asks you to log in or register.
    • 4. If you havenít registered, click the Register ink and enter the required information. (Itís free!)
    • 5. Click the Login link to log in. FileAdvisor displays a list of files that match your search.
    • 6. Click a file; FileAdvisor displays information about the file you selected.
  • As you can see, Bit9 tells you the suspect fileís source, including a hyperlink to the website. At this time, FileAdvisor lists only legitimate vendors, so you can click the hyperlink to safely investigate the vendor. If Bit9 doesnít list a source, then kick your defense mechanisms into high gear. Make sure your anti-virus program is up-to-date, run a scan of your drive, and ensure youíre firewall is running.

Tip: Boot up more quickly by ditching unnecessary startup programs

  • To speed up your system, you should remove unnecessary programs from the Startup list. These programs add to boot time because Windows needs to load each one.
  • To use MSCONFIG to prevent startup programs:
    • 1. Select Start | Run, type msconfig in the Open text box, and click OK to open the MSCONFIG utility.
    • 2. Select the Startup tab.
    • 3. Deselect the check box for all the programs you donít want to run at boot up. Click OK.
  • Your next boot up should run more smoothly, as will your system after boot up.

Tip: Customize your Start menu so you can get to your programs quickly

  • If you're using the default Start menu that comes with Windows XP, you might be missing out on some customizable features that can help boost your productivity. Take a minute to check out your options and even make a few changes for the better.
  • To begin Start menu customizations:
    • 1. Right-click on the Taskbar and choose Properties to open the Taskbar And Start Menu Properties dialog box.
    • 2. Click on the Start Menu tab and choose the option button for Start Menu or Classic Start Menu.
    • 3. Click the Customize button.
  • You'll have different options depending on whether you chose Classic Start Menu or Start Menu. Don't fear testing out changes because you can always change them back.

Tip: Clean up your Start menu by ditching unwanted help

  • Letís say you want to streamline the Start menu to reduce the clutter and make it easier to access programs. You can accomplish this by removing the Help And Support shortcut from the Start menu.
  • To remove the Help And Support shortcut from the Windows XPís Start menu:
    • 1. Right-click on the taskbar and choose Properties. The Taskbar And Start Menu Properties dialog box opens.
    • 2. Click on the Start Menu tab and then click Customize.
    • 3. In the resulting dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
    • 4. In the Start Menu Items list box, deselect the Help And Support check box.

Tip: Take the express lane to a Windows shutdown

  • If your system has frozen, you might find that you need to shut down Windows as quickly as possible. Although you can accomplish this task simply by pressing the power button on the computer, thereís a way for you to shut down the computer that's less harmful to the operating system. To do it:
    • 1. Press [Ctrl][Alt][Delete] to display the Windows Security dialog box.
    • 2. Hold down the [Ctrl] key and click the Shut Down button.
    • 3. Click OK to confirm that you want to perform an emergency shutdown of the computer.
  • Be aware that when you perform an emergency shutdown, Windows doesnít prompt you to save any open documents. To avoid losing your work, make sure that you save anything youíre currently working on (if possible) before performing an emergency shutdown.

Tip: Rid your Add/Remove Programs dialog box of pesky, out-dated entries

  • If you frequently install new software programs, and then remove them when youíve finished so as not to clutter up your system, you may be surprised to see them still appear in your Add/Remove Programs list. Sometimes a programís uninstall operation doesnít completely remove all traces of the program from your system. Luckily, with a simple registry edit, you can remove these programs from the list.
  • Caution: Since making changes to the registry with the Registry Editor can be dangerous, we strongly suggest that you back up the registry before you perform the operations outlined here.
  • To remove previously uninstalled programs from the Add/Remove list:
    • 1. Log on to the computer as a user with Administrator rights.
    • 2. Select Start | Run, type regedit in the Open text box and click OK to open the Registry Editor.
    • 3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\  CurrentVersion\Uninstall. A list of all the programs available displays in your Add/Remove Programs list.
    • 4. Select an entry from the list on the left and press the [Delete] key.
    • 5. Click Yes in the confirmation message box to remove it.
    • 6. Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows; the item is now gone from the Add/Remove Programs list.

Tip: Is something missing here? Sure, but you can add hardware after SP2

  • Creatures of habit who recently upgraded systems to Windows XP Service Pack 2 probably adapt well to the large, advertised changes Microsoft warned people about. On the other hand, Microsoft introduced some small changes that they didnít discuss at length that might have you searching for alternatives.
  • One such change is that Microsoft removed the Hardware Wizard button from the Hardware tab of System Properties. While the removal may inconvenience you, you can work around it. If you must access to the Hardware Wizard, youíll need to access it by launching the Add Hardware shortcut in Control Panel.

Tip: Locate this XML file and choose the right backup feature

  • Windows XPís System Restore feature is an excellent first step for replacing system files Registry entries that were corrupted by a virus or bad driver. It wonít back up and replace user files, such as Favorites, or data files with extensions like .jpg or .doc. Before you use System Restore to replace the existing registry with an old one, for example, you might want to determine exactly which file types System Restore will replace and which it will ignore.
    Fortunately, Windows XP stores a file named FileList.xml in which it lists all the extensions System Restore recovers. You can view the list from any Windows XP computer as long as you log in to the PC as a user with access to the system files.
  • To view the System Restore extension list:
    • 1. Open Windows Explorer and select Tools | Folder Options and select the View tab.
    • 2. Deselect the Hide Protected Operating System Files (Recommend) check box (if selected) and click OK.
    • 3. In the resulting Warning dialog box, click OK, and then click OK to close the Folder Options dialog box.
    • 4. Navigate to %systemroot%\system32\restore (%systemroot% is often C:\Windows) and double-click the file FileList.xml.

Tip: Simple upgrades might sabotage your recovery plan

  • If you planned ahead, you mightíve installed Recovery Console on a Windows XP computer. By doing so, you can more quickly address failures for which reconfiguring services or replacing damaged files from a CD or floppy would be helpful. Unfortunately, if you upgraded to Windows XP SP2 or converted the drive to NTFS, the changed removed the Recovery Console installation, without warning you! Before you get caught without the Console at hand, install it again.
  • To install Recovery Console:
    • 1. Insert your Windows XP Professional installation CD into your CD-ROM drive and close the install if it runs automatically.
    • 2. Select Start | Run, and in the Open text box, type d:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons replacing d:, if necessary, with your CD-ROM drive letter.
    • 3. Press [Enter]. When the Windows Setup dialog box appears, confirm the installation by clicking Yes to start the procedure.
    • 4. Press [Esc] to interrupt Dynamic Update.
    • 5. When the installation is complete, restart the computer
      An entry for Microsoft Windows Recovery Console appears on the boot menu.

Tip: Checking out the Task Scheduler log

  • If you're taking advantage of XP's Task Scheduler, you most likely take for granted that each task you've added is being performed. However, if you want some added reassurance that Task Scheduler is doing its job, all you need to do is check out the Task Scheduler Log.
  • Click the Start button, and then choose All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Scheduled Tasks. Then, choose Advanced | View Log. You'll find a lengthy text file that details every recent action of the Task Scheduler, the dates and times the tasks were run, and whether Task Scheduler was able to complete the actions.

Tip: Display the Sharing tab

  • If you've upgraded to Windows XP from Windows 2000, you may be confused when you expect to see the Sharing tab in a folder's Properties dialog box and the tab is nowhere to be found. In Windows XP, this feature is missing by default, but you can make your OS display the Sharing tab if desired.
  • Simply open My Computer, and then choose Tools | Folder Options. Select the View tab. In the Advanced Settings section, scroll down to the bottom and deselect the Use Simple File Sharing (Recommended) check box, and then click OK. You can now share your folders on your local area network just as you would in Windows 2000.

Tip: Hide the clock to expand your notification area

  • If you have a bunch of icons in your notification tray (also referred to as the system tray), that area of the taskbar may quickly become over cluttered. One way to expand the amount of real estate given to the notification tray is to hide the clock from view.
  • To do so, right-click on the Start button and choose Properties. On the Taskbar property sheet, deselect the Show The Clock check box, and then click OK.

Tip: Turn back the clock with System Restore (Win XP)

  • The System Restore feature, first available in Windows Me, enables users and administrators to restore a computer to a previous state without experiencing the loss of any data. This feature enables you to undo any changes you've made to your system's hardware, software, or settings that have left your computer in an undesirable state.
  • All you need to do is first launch the System Restore program. Simply click the Start button and choose All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Restore. The System Restore feature monitors and tracks changes you've made to your system and, at specific intervals, automatically creates restore points or checkpoints when events such as program installations occur. These checkpoints, automatically created every 10 hours your computer runs regardless of whether you've made any major changes to your OS, tell Windows XP to return your system's settings to this point in time should XP experience any problems. You can apply these automatic checkpoints to your system by selecting the Restore My Computer To An Earlier time option button. Then, select the restore point of your choice, click Next, and then click Next again to restore your system to its last healthy state.

Tip: Change the default applications appearing in your Start menu (Win XP)

  • In Microsoft Windows XP, your favorite programs are displayed in the top-left column of the Start menu. By default, you'll begin with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook Express; however, you can easily have a different set of programs appear here.
  • To do so, simply right-click on an empty portion of the Start menu's left column and select Properties. Then, click the Customize button. At the bottom of the General property sheet, deselect the program you no longer want displayed (either Internet, E-mail, or both), and then click OK. Then, using Windows Explorer or My Computer, navigate to the program you want to appear on the Start menu instead. Right-click on the program and select Pin To Start Menu.

Tip: Change your mouse pointer (Win XP)

  • One of the neatest updates to Microsoft's latest operating system is your ability to customize so much of Windows XP to suit your individual tastes and style. And this includes your ability to change your mouse pointer from an arrow or an hourglass to a cool alternative of your choice.
  • All you need to do is open Control Panel, and then double-click on the Mouse icon. Next, select the Pointers tab. From the Scheme dropdown list, select a scheme to preview its pointers. Windows XP offers a number of alternative pointer schemes, such as Dinosaur, Old Fashioned, and Conductor. Once you find one you like, click OK to apply the scheme to your desktop.

Tip: Locate a forgotten Microsoft Internet Explorer web page (Win XP)

  • If you're a frequent web surfer, you likely browse through dozens of pages every day, and may sometimes forget to bookmark a crucial page. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 gives you a way to recover the page using its History feature. To enable and use it, open Internet Explorer and click the History button (or choose View | Explorer Bar | History). The History pane appears on the left side of the Internet Explorer window and contains shortcuts to every page you visited up to three weeks ago. By default, the links are organized by date. Click on the link corresponding to the week in which you believe you last viewed the site. Links in each week's groupings are listed alphabetically.
  • You can also change the number of days pages are saved in the History pane. To do so, choose Tools | Internet Options. On the General property sheet, change the number in the Days To Keep Pages In History spin box. Then, click OK.

Tip: Scroll through your documents hands-free (Win XP)

  • If you often have to use your mouse or keyboard to scroll though long documents looking for one particular section, then you know how tedious it can be to continuously move your documentís scroll bar up and down, or to page up and down using the keyboardís arrow keys. However, if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can page through documents automatically and hands-free. Hereís how to do it.
  • Open your document. Click the bottom portion of your scroll wheel once and youíll see a double-headed arrow with a dot appear on your screen. (Be careful not to inadvertently click one of the mouse buttons at the same time.) Gently move the mouse in the direction you wish to scroll (either up or down), and then remove your hand from the mouse. Your document will then scroll in the direction you chose automatically. Click one of the mouse buttons, or press any key on the keyboard to stop the mouse from automatically scrolling once youíve reached the place in your document for which you were searching.

Tip: Working with the Classic Start menu (Microsoft Windows XP)

  • Microsoft redesigned much of the Windows interface in Windows XP, but if you're not a fan of the new two-column Start menu, you can easily revert to the classic one-column version.
  • Simply right-click on the taskbar and choose Properties. Select the Start Menu tab and then select the Classic Start Menu option button. If you click on the Customize button you can choose exactly which options you'd like to display on the one-column Start menu.

Tip: Automatically end unresponsive tasks in Windows XP

  • Have you ever been frustrated by system freezes that occur when a particular program stops responding? If so, you can end the wait and get back to working faster simply by having Windows XP end the programs automatically after a certain amount of time has passed.
  • All you need to do is open the Registry Editor by clicking the Start button, choosing Run, and typing Regedit in the Open text box. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop and double-click on the AutoEndTasks value. Change the Value Data to 1, and then click OK. Next, open the WaitToKillAppTimeout value and change the Value Data to the number of milliseconds you want XP to wait before terminating the unresponsive application. Then, click OK.

Tip: Delete unnecessary Thumbs.db files in Windows XP

  • Have you ever been mystified as to how the small Thumbs.db files end up in your Windows XP folders? When viewing a folder with the Thumbnails view, Windows XP creates a Thumbs.db file, which is a cache of the current pictures in that folder. If you want to get rid of these annoying extra files and save a little disk space, you can easily do so.
  • Open Windows Explorer, choose Tools | Folder Options, and then select the View tab. Under Files And Folders, select the Do Not Cache Thumbnails check box, and then click Apply and OK.

Tip: Quickly adjust your speakers by adding the Volume icon to the system tray (Microsoft Windows XP)

  • If you often need to adjust the volume of your speakers or headphones while listening to tunes at work, you can have faster access to volume control settings on your Windows XP system simply by adding an icon to your system tray.
  • All you need to do is open the Control Panel and double-click on the Sounds And Audio Devices applet. On the Volume property sheet, select the Place Volume Icon In The Taskbar check box, and then click OK. You can now adjust your sound settings by double-clicking on the speaker icon in your system tray.

Tip: View maximum screen real estate while browsing (Microsoft Windows XP)

  • If you find yourself constantly scrolling web pages while surfing online, you can easily view more of Internet Explorer's screen with a simple keyboard stroke. Simply press [F11], and Internet Explorer switches to Full Screen mode. In this view, the Windows taskbar and system tray on the bottom of your screen disappear. To get the most possible viewing space, right-click on the empty gray area on the right side of the top menu bar and select Auto-Hide. This will hide the top menu bar as well. Simply hover your mouse over the bottom or top of the screen to display the corresponding menu or taskbar. You can exit this view mode by pressing [F11] again.

Tip: Control your cookie intake in Windows XP

  • If you're worried about too many cookies being stored on your PC, you'll be pleased to know that there's an easy way to control your PC's cookie intake. Just click the Start button and then choose Control Panel. If you're using Category view, click on the Network And Internet Connections link and then click on Internet Options. If you're using Classic view, double-click on the Internet Options icon.
  • Next, select the Privacy tab, and use the slider bar to modify your cookie settings. To increase your PC security, try out all the privacy settings in this property sheet to choose the best one for your needs. The lowest level is Accept All Cookies while the highest is Block All Cookies, with Low, Medium, Medium-high, and High settings in between.

Tip: Save time by simultaneously closing all open applications (Win XP)

  • When youíre done working on your computer for the day, you probably close each open application individually. If so, chances are that youíve wished you could close all your open applications at the same time. Fortunately, Windows XP includes a hidden technique that allows you to do so.
  • To begin, hold down the [Ctrl] key and click on each application button on your taskbar. When you do, youíll notice that each button remains selected. Once youíve selected all the application buttons on the taskbar, right-click on any one of them and select the Close command (or Close Group if you have open more than one file of each application type) from the shortcut menu. When you do, all your applications close. If you have any application in which an open file hasnít yet been saved, that application prompts you to save the file.
Tip: Highlight your Address Bar without using your mouse (Win XP)
  • Instead of reaching for your mouse to click in your address bar and type a new URL, press [Alt]D instead. This highlights the current address in IE so that you can instantly type a new address or paste a URL you've copied by pressing [Ctrl]V. In addition, you can quickly move your cursor to different sections of a URL by pressing [Ctrl][Left Arrow] to go back, or [Ctrl][Right Arrow] to go forward.

Tip: Rearrange Internet Explorer's toolbars (Win XP)

  • information you can view on your screen at one time with Internet Explorer. One simple way is to condense, expand, or remove Internet Explorer's toolbars.
  • To rearrange Internet Explorer's toolbars, click on the end of any of the toolbars and hold down the mouse button while dragging it to a new location. You can also shrink or enlarge the height or width of a toolbar by hovering your mouse pointer over the edge of a toolbar until it changes to a double-sided arrow. Then, click and drag the edge closer to or farther from the opposite side to change the toolbar's size. Finally, you can disable, enable, or change what's available on any of these toolbars by right-clicking on one and making the appropriate changes in the resulting shortcut menu. You can also access this capability by choosing View | Toolbars from the Internet Explorer menu bar.

Tip: Avoid seeing the Close Connection message box when disconnecting a dial-up connection (Win XP)

  • If you're using a dial-up service to access the internet, Windows XP may prompt you with a message box asking you if you want to close your internet connection whenever you exit your web browser or your email program. While this little reminder might be nice if you're new to surfing, it can turn into a nuisance once you've become a veteran. Luckily, we've discovered a way to disable this message and prevent it from appearing again.
  • Click the Start button and then choose Control Panel. If you're using Classic view, double-click on the Internet Options icon. If you're using Category view, click on the Network And Internet Connections link, and then click on the Internet Connections link. Select the Connections tab, click once on your internet connection in the Dial-up And Virtual Private Network Settings list box, and then click Settings. Click the Advanced button and then uncheck the Disconnect When Connection May No Longer Be Needed option button. When you've finished, click OK.

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