SMS Messages Not Opening in Outlook 2016

If you are use to opening SMS messages in Outlook and find them not working, this post will explain why.

If you have switched the facility on in your email app on your Android phone to sync SMS messages so that you can open them in Outlook then suddenly found you can’t, this is because Microsoft have removed the facility of opening them in Outlook 2016. You can still see the text but not open them, as a workaround you can open them in OWA (Outlook Web Access), if you absolutely need too.

Our advice is, as you can see/read the text and see the number that sent them, I wouldn’t worry about it too much and this should be enough for most users.

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OneDrive – Archive vs. Sync Mode

OneDrive is an amazing tool to allow users to access the same files from multiple devices. However, what if you don’t want to sync files to all of these devices but instead you just want to archive a bunch of files off your computer for safe keeping.

This article explains how you can use OneDrive to do just that.

What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is a cloud platform that provides storage space to save photos or documents and then be able to access them from any device, anywhere. You can use your phone, tablet or PC to view, edit and save documents or photos and then be able to continue on from any other device. These files can also be shared with other users and especially users who have Office 365 which can provide a rich real-time collaboration in editing documents very handy if you are working on a joint project.

What is Syncing?

Syncing is the process of uploaded files into the cloud and then have them sync to any other device you have like a phone, PC or tablet. The advantage of this is that your files are always accessible from any device anytime and from anywhere. When you alter, add or delete a file then the same process is echoed to all other devices connected to the cloud service.

 

 

What is Archiving

Archiving is the process of uploading files to your cloud storage service but not enabling synchronisation for that particular folder. The advantage of this is that certain files that you don’t want to be available on all your devices are only kept in the cloud which is handy for large files (i.e. video or audio) and means you have created a nice simple place to store files you want to keep (i.e. legal documents, old photographs)

 

Conclusion

Depending on your requirements you can use OneDrive either as a sync service to provide continuous access to files on all your devices or switch off syncronisation for particular folders that you don’t and instead use those folders as an archive. Remember if you want to access files and folders that you have setup to be “archive” or “Cloud Only” you won’t see them on your PC but instead you would have to login to the cloud service to access them.

See Also:

OneDrive Placeholders is Back!!!

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OneDrive Placeholders is Back!!!

Back in the day of Windows 8 Microsoft introduced a cool feature that allowed users to keep their files stored in the cloud and use the built-in file explorer to see these files and access them without taking up precious storage space. However, when Microsoft released Windows 10 the feature simply disappeared.

Now after a very long wait Microsoft are releasing the Fall Creators Update (Due for worldwide release 17th, October 2017 and officially version 1709 build number 16299) which will include the return of placeholders under the new name “Files On-Demand”.

Placeholders, are a simple concept of storing all your files in the cloud instead of on the device, thus saving storage space on new devices like tablets and mobile devices that utilise small SSD (Solid State Disk) storage that typically hold only gigabytes of data. When the user opens a file it is simply downloaded from the cloud and opened in the appropriate application.

Previously, if you wanted to access your cloud files you had to choose which folders to “sync” to your PC this meant that not all the files you had could be accessed without logging-in to OneDrive web access.

With the new File On-Demand service, you now have three different methods of keeping your files.

Online-only files don’t take up space on your computer. You see a cloud icon for each online-only file in File Explorer, but the file doesn’t download to your device until you open it. You can’t open online-only files when your device isn’t connected to the Internet.

 

When you open an online-only file, it downloads to your device and becomes a locally available file. You can open a locally available file anytime, even without Internet access. If you need more space, you can change the file back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Free up space.”

Only files that you mark as “Always keep on this device” have the green circle with the white check mark. These files download to your device and take up space, but they’re always there for you even when you’re offline.

 

The new feature has been long awaited for many users of tablets, hybrid tablets and mobiles. You can read more information on the Microsoft website. You can also read more about the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update here.

See Also:

OneDrive – Archive vs. Sync Mode

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What is a Microsoft Account?

Customer’s frequently ask me, “What is my Microsoft Account?”. So I thought I would explain with this simple little post.

A Microsoft Account is the generic name given to ALL Microsoft’s services and is used to access thsose services, so if you have OneDrive, Office365, Hotmail, Microsoft Live, Outllook.com, Skype, or Xbox Live then you have a Microsoft Account.

Now we have got that out of the way, I would like to disperse a few myths about a Microsoft Account:

  • You don’t need to setup a new email address to have a Microsoft Account you can use your own pre-existing email address.
  • The same email address will be used to access all these services, you don’t need to create different account details.
  • Yes Microsoft bought out Skype Inc. So if you have an old Skype account you can merge this with your Microsoft Account and then use your Microsoft Account to login to Skype but you do get to keep your Skype name.

Now for some top tips

  • Always set your security info with a telephone number preferably a mobile so that you can easily unlock your account if you forget your password.
  • Login to https://account.live.com to access your account details, security info, billing, subscriptions, etc.
  • If you own a smartphone consider installing the Microsoft Account Authenticator [Google Play] [Apple App Store]. This app lets you quickly and securely verify your identity online, this way more easier and very simple to setup (see video below)

If you have any questions about how to setup a Microsoft Account or securing it, then comment in the box below.

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Windows Essentials 2012 – End of Life

In January 10, 2017, Microsoft Windows Essentials 2012 suite will reach end of support. So what does this mean to the users and what are the alternatives, you can find the answers here.

Like all things in the IT world, like devices, bits of tech and software applications; all good things have to come to an end. In this case, it’s time for Microsoft’s Windows Essentials 2012 to hang up its coat and say good bye. However, what does this mean to the many people using the applications that was freely available from Microsoft.

What is Windows Live Essentials?

The software suite included “essential” applications that allowed the user to carry out a set of every day tasks on their computer, these included: Photo Gallery, everything you need to organise, edit, and publish your photos. Movie Maker, for making movies from your photos and videos. Windows Live Writer, for creating blog posts in minutes. Windows Live Mail, to manage multiple email accounts, calendars, and your contacts. OneDrive, which allows you to keep your files synchronised on all your devices and Messenger, which was very popular back in the day and allowed users to chat with one another. Most of these applications have been absorbed into the latest version of Windows, however the the main application that will cause many readers a problem will be Windows Live Mail. Windows Essentials 2012

What is the main problem?

Since Windows Live Mail’s introduction back in 2012 email has moved on dramatically, more and more people are now using multiple devices like smartphones and tablets to access their emails and the way those emails are handled has also moved on. Most service providers now use the modern IMAP method of accessing emails instead of the old POP3 method which is less secure and not compatible with users who have multi-devices. So what are the alternatives?

What are your options?

Stay as you are – You could opt to keep using the software, you won’t get support for it and you might find things not working correctly especially if you are using a Hotmail, Live Mail, MSN Mail, Outlook.com and Office 365 email service as Microsoft plans are to move them to one singular Outlook.com system.

Office 365 Subscription – You could invest in Microsoft’s Office 365 annual subscription which provides the latest version of the Office suite which includes Outlook. Although there is a price tag to this option (currently £60 for a personal subscription – annually) it does have the benefit of providing the latest version of the Office suite, 1TB of cloud storage and 60 mins of Skype credit per month. You also have the licence to install the Office suite on a tablet device which could be an Android, iPad or Windows.

Outlook.com – If you don’t want to pay for Office annually you can access your emails via the web. This is how most people without Outlook installed on their PC access their emails. However, there are limitations with this method with the interface and does require some thought in some processes like attaching files, however it is free and easily accessible on any web device.

Mail – If you have an up to date PC running Windows 8.1 and above, there is a simple mail app installed. This has reduced functionality and is designed to provide a overly reduced interface to access your emails.

To conclude, if you are using this software I would advise start looking at alternatives and don’t leave it to the last minute especially if you rely on Windows Live Mail for accessing your emails.

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TIME TO SAY GOODBYE TO WINDOWS VISTA

Windows VistaWindows Vista was the Marmite of the Windows OS family, it introduced many features that carried on in to Windows 7 which became the adopted and the OS of choice. The quirky features of Vista tried to make it a fun tool with some practical elements. However, it quickly got replaced and in fact it is now three generations old being replaced by Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. This article explains why it is essential to say goodbye to Windows Vista and move on to Windows 10.

As I write this article, I have received in one week several calls from customers asking “why am I getting, no longer supported messages for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer?” Well the answer is simple, the chances are you are using Windows Vista and software manufacturers are keen to move away from it. As you read consider this, “why am I hanging on to Vista ?” Vista is slow, sluggish a beast sent in to test man’s metal to see if he (or she) could handle the change and with a blink of an eye we were given Windows 7, the most stable and loved OS to date.

To boot, hardware manufacturers will be following suit and ending support for Vista, this means if your printer, scanner, camera, sat-nav, etc. fails and you need to buy a new one, you would have to check that it is supported for use with Vista.

So what are your options?

  • One thing you can do is go back to your original purchase and check to see if you were given a dual load for both Windows Vista and Windows 7, some manufacturers gave away both, which means your PC, laptop or netbook is already compatible to run Windows 7 if you haven’t got a dual load system, you could purchase a Windows 7 upgrade (IF you can find one). However, you are only making a single jump up and will still be two generations behind.
  • Buy a new PC system, this is by far the most sensible option, it saves time and money trying to get a square peg to fit a round hole  struggling to find replacement parts for your old system. There is one caveat, when you upgrade your PC you might have to upgrade your other tech, mainly this would be your printer as the jump from old to new is so significant because of WIFI compatibility and the need to print from iPad’s and other mobile devices.

I know what you are thinking, “Why don’t I just download Windows 10, it’s FREE?“. Well the answer is this, Microsoft have only provided the free upgrade for users of Windows 7 SP3 and upwards, this is because Windows 7 was the more stable release, with the right hardware requirements to take the upgrade. Again I hear those cogs working away and thinking, “OK so if I upgrade my PC to Windows 7, I can get the FREE upgrade to 10?“. Well although we haven’t tried this (to date), I can only go by my previous experience and say unlikely, this is because Microsoft leave a trace to the previous OS version meaning it knows the origins of the source OS making it almost unlikely that this would work, however it has not been tried and tested.

I said this before and so I am going to say it again, “the computing market is like no other (except maybe the car industry); it is constantly growing, changing and evolving. Last time I checked a burger was just a burger and a washing machine was just a washing machine. However the PC market changes and when it does we can embrace and move on, or simply sit back and let it pass us by.”

The key point is Microsoft are ending support Windows Vista SP2 in 11 April 2017 and therefore it makes it difficult for us in the industry to support something that software houses no longer support themselves.

We can supply a new PC, laptop or tablet loaded with Windows 10 and a subscription to Office 365 for home or business, also complete all your data transfers, safely and responsibly wipe and scrap your old unit.

For more on the life cycle of Microsoft Windows please visit http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/lifecycle

Rob Lucas MSc MBCS

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How To Get Windows 10

Microsoft have now announced how end users can obtain an upgrade to the new Windows 10 Operating System. The new release will be on July 29th 2015 as a free download for anyone running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 and will only be available for 1 year.

If you are still running Windows XP then you will not be eligible to upgrade and you would have to purchase a license. Windows 10 Home will set you back $119 (just over £77 under the current exchange rate), and Windows 10 Pro will cost you $199 (just over £129). However please note, these are just US pricing and there are no current UK or international pricing at time of writing this article.

How Do I Get Windows 10

If you can remember the article I wrote about “GWXconfigmanager Linked to Windows Patch KB3035583“? Well this is where it now comes into play. In order to get Windows 10 (code-named: GWX) you must have this patch installed, next you have to “reserve” your copy to be entitled to it, here is your To-Do list:-

  • First, you must be running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1, and you must have installed the Windows update KB3035583, which you can check yourself in your Add/Remove programs > View Installed Updates
  • In your system tray (the lower right corner near your clock) you should see a new icon displaying the Windows logo.GWX - Get Windows 10
  • Click that icon, and a window will pop-up that explains how the free upgrade works. Once it’s available, Windows 10 will automatically download onto your PC. You’ll need approx. 3Gb of hard drive space and a good Internet connection, you will receive a notification after the download is complete. Meanwhile, you can scroll through the various screens of the GWX window to read more about the new OS.

GWX1 - ScreenshotGWX2 - ScreenshotGWX3 GWX4 - Screenshot GWX5 - Screenshot GWX7 - Screenshot

  • When you’re done, simply click the button to reserve your free upgrade.
    The reservation screen asks for your email address so you can receive the notification. Enter your email address and click the Send confirmation button. You can now close the GWX window.

GWX8

  • Should you change your mind and wish to cancel the reservation, just click the Get Windows 10 icon again. Click the menu bars in the upper left corner to display the options and click the link for View Confirmation. Then click the link to Cancel reservation and click the button for Cancel reservation to confirm your choice.

What You Need to Know!

Please be advised, by opting to install Windows 10 I would strongly advise you follow these tips:-

  • Backup your essential data BEFORE installing the upgrade.
  • Check with your software and hardware manufacturers that the kit you have is compatible with Windows 10.
  • Make sure the specification of your PC meets the requirements for the new OS.

For further support on upgrading to Windows 10 please contact us on support@rlscomputers.co.uk.

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Coming to grips with Windows 8.1 in a new computer – A Customers Prospective

We ask our customer’s for feedback, and sometimes they give it, and sometimes that feedback warrants a public discussion. In this case the customer makes some very valuable observations in to Microsoft Windows 8.1 and how the interface has become more complex than simplified. What are your views?

The lovely chap who runs RLS Computer Services seems to think a few notes on the journey taken by an ordinary, non-expert PC user, while coming to grips with Windows 8.1 in a new computer, might be of interest to someone. So here goes.

Some of the changes still strike me as bizarre. Why do we have pretty pictures in boxes (yes, I know — apps) lurking in a “Start” that in my mind actually feels not like a start area but somewhere in the back of my computer, instead of plain old program names listed easily where one can see them? Even now I haven’t found an “All Programs” (surely it’s somewhere?) although the Windows Help pages assume there is still an initial “Start > All programs” instruction.

Most of my problems are due to my being blind or silly, and I solve them eventually myself. The “Mail” email program was a pain — for example I couldn’t print an excerpt, only a whole email — so we swapped that for “Windows Live Mail”. At first I raged against the loss of the old “address book”, and fought my way through the complicated process of searching, editing, copying (I couldn’t) addresses through “Start > People” etc , until one day I suddenly realised “Contacts” was right there on the bottom left of my screen. Duh. On the other hand, so is “Recovered items” — and that baffles me. I had been thrilled to find it: occasionally while writing an email I have touched something mysterious (I’ve never known what) and the whole thing has vanished in a flash. Gone! Where? Aha, maybe this is where I can find it, except that there are only files with a date and a strange number that I can’t see a way to open. I’ve combed through the online Help sites without success — so far.

Similarly, I missed having the old “Undo” arrow, until discovering I should know about Ctrl+Z. But why not simply include it in the quick access toolbar? I can no longer prompt Send or Receive, but have to wait for the program to do it. What is the difference between “Sent” and “Sent items”? Is “Sent” the old Outbox? And what is “Trash” versus “Junk”? Is Trash something I should be using for my own purposes? These seem to be questions that are too simple to appear on help pages. But some of us are simple.

A newcomer will probably find their way easily through all this “progress”, but to us older users (who have managed to evolve from manual typewriters through an awful lot of changes that would once have seemed pure magic) some of the innovations feel more, not less, complicated. For example, when copying from a removable disk I always end up using “location of choice” because I now find it hard to pin down the particular folder I want in my PC Documents and not in “OneDrive”, where it always wants to go. And why can I no longer see an option to send (or cut or copy) a web page, either as a page or a link?

I’ll get there. Many changes are rather nice: the layers of mail pages at the bottom of the screen, the panel that floats in from the top corner (if you get your cursor just right) that allows you quick access to help on the web. It’s just that there are moments when I spend more time working out how to tackle a detail than actually getting the job done…

 

Mrs S Hamilton, King’s Lynn

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