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Tips & Tricks

  • Beware of virus hoaxes in your e-mail.

    Don’t believe everything you read in your email, especially from anonymous sources. In addition to the normal junk mail you receive, you may get messages saying your system has a virus and advising you to delete an essential system file on your hard drive.

    Here’s one such hoax that has been discredited:

  • How to change your desktop wallpaper or screen saver.

    Changing your desktop wallpaper or screen saver is as easy a few clicks of your mouse button. Simply, right-click on your current desktop wallpaper, and select “Properties.” Then select the “Desktop” tab and you can select from any number of backgrounds. To change your screen saver, click on the “Screen Saver” tab. From there, you can select a screen saver to your liking.

  • Change your startup page in Internet Explorer.

    Are you sick of Internet Explorer loading MSN or some other website when you start it up? Choosing your own startup page is easier than you might think.

    1. Browse to the website you want to appear when you start Internet Explorer.
    2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
    3. Click the General tab.
    4. Under Home page, click Use Current and voila!

  • Create a desktop shortcut for your favorite programs.

    Want to create a desktop icon for your favorite program? No problem. Simply click on the “Start” button in the lower left hand corner of your screen, go to “Programs” and scroll to the program you want to create the shortcut for. Then click the right mouse button, and select “Send to” and then click on “Desktop (Create Shortcut).”

  • Remove the Real Player icon from your system tray.

    Like many programs you install in Windows, Real Player automatically puts itself in the system tray on your desktop (next to the clock). To remove it, simply follow these steps.

    1. Click the View menu and choose Preferences.
    2. Click the General tab.
    3. Click the Settings button in the StartCenter section.
    4. Click to clear the Enable StartCenter check box in the StartCenter Settings dialog box.
    5. Click OK in the StartCenter Settings dialog box.
    6. Click OK in the Preferences dialog box to save your changes.

  • Prevent programs from automatically loading when you start Windows

    Many programs you install on your computer will automatically start up when you boot up Windows. However, every program that is loaded by Windows consumes memory and valuable system resources. In many cases, it isn't necessary for the program to be running until you actually need to use it.

    To eliminate most programs from auto-loading, follow these steps:

    1. Click on the Start menu button at the lower left hand corner of your screen.
    2. Move the mouse cursor to Programs.
    3. Now go to the item named "Startup."
    4. To delete an unwanted item, simply move the mouse to that item in Startup, right-click on it, and click delete.
    5. When asked if you want to send this item to the recycle bin, click yes.
    6. If later, you decide you want this item back in Startup. Click on the Recycle Bin on your desktop. Find the item you deleted, right click on it and select Restore.

  • How to configure the Auto-Complete function in Internet Explorer.

    The Auto-Complete function in Internet Explorer can be useful for filling in frequently used information on web forms. However, you may also want to delete certain information from the Auto-Complete list or turn off the function altogether.

    1. Start up Internet Explorer.
    2. Click on the Tools menu option and scroll down to Internet Options.
    3. Click on the Content tab.
    4. From here, you can select what in cases you want to use the Auto-Complete function, clear out your form and password history, or turn off the function.

  • Internet Explorer 6 auto-resizes images.
    How to view the accurate size of the image by default.

    By default, Internet Explorer 6 auto-resizes images to fit within the browser window on your screen. In many cases, this renders the image too small to read, and in other cases you may simply want to view the real rendition of the image.

    To view the accurate size of the image, hold the mouse over the image until a small box appears in the lower right hand corner of the image. If you click on the box, the image will resize to its full size.

    To turn off the auto-resize function altogether so that images automatically reflect their real resolution, follow the steps below:

    1. Open Internet Explorer 6.
    2. Click on the Tools menu option.
    3. Scroll down to Internet Options and click on it.
    4. Select the Advanced tab.
    5. Scroll down to the Multimedia options, and uncheck Enable Automatic Image Resizing.
    6. Click on OK, and the function will be disabled.
    7. To re-enable the function, follow the above steps, but re-check Enable Automatic Image Resizing.

  • Turn off the return-receipt request function in your email program.

    Return receipts can be helpful when you need to know whether the receipient received your email. However, it can also be an annoyance to other receipients. Never fear. This option can be turned off. Follow the steps below depending on the program you use to send email:


    1. Click on the Tools menu option.
    2. Scroll down to and click on Options.
    3. Click on the the Preferences tab.
    4. Select E-mail Options.
    5. Click on Tracking Options.
    6. Uncheck "Request a read receipt for all messages I send."
    7. Click OK to save the changes.

    Outlook Express 6

    1. Click on the Tools menu option.
    2. Scroll down to and click on Options.
    3. Click on the Receipts tab.
    4. Uncheck "Request a return receipt for all sent messages."
    5. Click OK to save the changes.