About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

June 21, 2016

Need Your Password?

This column will presuppose you have your browser set up to automatically save your websites’ passwords.  Some people do not but many do save their passwords in their browser so they can very quickly log into websites.  I use it in Google Chrome but you can do the same thing in all of the major browsers. 

One day you may want to see what your password but you cannot due to the asterisks. You know, the, "********" that appears in the password text box.  If you want to see the password in full text you can download special software to do that but it is just as easy to use your browser. 

They are all similarly accessed expect for the newer Microsoft Edge browser.  However, from what I understand not many people us Edge in the real world. 

Manage PasswordsDo view your passwords using Chrome click the "hamburger" (three stacked horizontal lines) in the upper right corner.  Next, "Settings."  In the search box at the top type, "passwords" then scroll to the bottom and click, "Manage passwords."  From the Search Passwords box type the site you are looking for and as you type the site will appear.  Click on the site and then on the right then click, "Show."  You may have to enter your computer’s login password depending on your settings. There you go, you can see your password in Google Chrome.

Password reveal in Chrome

For Firefox it is similar.  Click the same, hamburger, then Options, next Security and finally click, "Saved logins" at the bottom.  Finally follow the similar search process, click the site in the list and at the bottom click, "Show Passwords."  After you say yes to the, "Are you sure…" question you have your password. 

The older versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer are very similar so I bet you can figure them out.  But the later versions and Edge are of course different to reveal passwords.  Thanks MS for that headache!

For newer versions of MSIE and EDGE, click on Start button, type "Control Panel", then User Accounts and select your account if you have more than one on the computer.  Once on your account page, on the left click, "Manage your credentials" and if not select click on the Web Credentials button.  On that page you will see a list of your Web Passwords.  Click the right edge of the one you want to see and you will see the word, "Show" at the bottom of the page.  Done.

This is an easy way to check your passwords. 

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND it is easy for you and it is easy for bad guys too.  Make sure you lock your computer with a complicated password, lock your computer when you are in a coffee shop and you walk away (use Windows key + L).  Always be very careful and extremely circumspect with your computer, phones, tablets, etc.   

May 24, 2016

Windows 10, Improve Performance

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:42 am

OK, if you are a regular reader, you know I like Windows 10; however, it is not perfect.  I finally got tired of one little nag which has bugged me for a while.  I feel that it must be annoying some of you as well so here is all about it – according to Ron.

Every now and then when I boot up a Windows 10 computer I get a notification that says, “Disable apps to help improve performance.”  It goes on to tell me I have three or more apps that start automatically and might be slowing down my computer.

Action Center - Disable Apps

Well heck, no one wants to have their computer start slowly.  So, like most of you, I click the “X” to the right of the warning and ignore that nag.  After a month or two of this on my super-duper amped up computer I realized I wanted this resolved.

I found several programs which were supposed to fix this.  They work by letting you choose the programs that slow the boot down and tell them to start seconds, minutes, or even hours after your computer has finished starting/booting.  The application I chose is called “Startup Delayer” (  It gives you a list of all the programs in your startup application list and you can delay their start.  Warning, DO NOT CHOOSE to delay your antivirus which will always be a RAM hog but you want it to run when your system starts.

First you must find out which apps are possibly slowing down your computer’s startup.  To do this use the Task Manager. There are many ways to open the Task Manager but the easiest is to hold down the Control and Shift keys then tap the Escape key.  (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) Once it is opened click on the Startup tab at the top.  Then click on the “Startup Impact” label until High shows at the top.  The High impact apps are the ones that may be slowing down your boot time.

Task Manager

Startup Delayer is easy to use and now you know how to determine what may be slowing you down.

Startup Delayer screenshot

There is one other way I have found without getting another new app but it is slightly tricky.  This only works while you are receiving the “Disable apps” message previously mentioned.  If you have not gotten it when you start your computer it will not work…only while you are receiving that message.

Right click on start menu and choose "Control Panel"Open the “Control Panel” (right click the start menu then Control Panel on the list) then go to “Security and Maintenance.”  Now click the arrow to the right of the word “Maintenance” and underneath you will see Security and Maintenancea link “Turn off messages about startup apps.”  Click those words and the nags will go away.


Those apps will continue to “possibly” slow down your computer’s start time but you will not be bugged by the message.  I do not think that the amount of slowing caused by these is worth worrying about, but that is your call.

November 5, 2013

Should I Remove It?

We are getting to that time of year again when people are thinking about buying a new PC for themselves or someone else.  Have no fear; this column is not about "How to find the best $5,000 computer for $14.95."  I stopped writing those articles several years ago since I stopped getting emails requesting them.  I think everyone is fairly familiar with getting a new computer.  But of course, if I get countless inquiries before Christmas I would be happy to write another one.

OK, onto today’s topic.  So you get a new computer and guess what?  Every single computer you purchase new from a computer company comes with bloatware, crapware, crudware or one of its many other names.  If you have no idea what they are read on.  Bloatware is basically all of the applications which come on your new computer and those installed over time that really do not do you much good.

For instance, if you are like me you have a favorite "free" antivirus program.  When you get a new computer it will almost certainly come preinstalled with one of the big name apps.  You go ahead and register for this program, since it is free.  The problem is that it will not be free after the free "test" period is complete.  Say in three to six months you have forgotten all about that application, but you get a warning telling you that it has expired and to be protected online you need to purchase it for the next year.  I am not saying that it is a bad app but you may not need it and may also be uneasy about deleting the program. 

There can be ten or even more of these types of applications installed on a new system.  The computer manufacturers receive a fee for putting these on their new systems, so that is why they are there. 

There are many ways to remove them.  My favorite if you are techie enough is to wipe the computer clean (yes, format the drive) and reinstall a clean copy of the operating system.  I DO NOT suggest that for everyone, just for geeks who already know this.  Next, if you know which applications are unnecessary, in Windows 7 go to "Control Panel" and then "Programs & Features" and individually delete them.  OK, for Windows XP, "Control Panel" then "Add or Remove Programs." Then in Windows 8, CP again and next "Uninstall or Change a Program."  OK, there are just too many Windows OS and since "7" is the most popular I will stick with it from now on.

imageYou may also get one of the many programs that will help you with this process.  The one I like most is a free application called, "Should I Remove It?" ( This is a neat little utility you can easily install and use.  Once you download the app it will install a shortcut on your desktop.  Double click the shortcut and the program will start and run for a minute or so looking for applications.

It has a database built from user input like yours.  Each program listed may or may not be crudware but you can scroll through the list and check.  Click on the program’s name see the percentage of people who uninstall it, check into it or choose, "What is it?" or "Uninstall."

"Uninstall" is self-explanatory but the other button will open your browser with information they have gathered about the application and other users’ thoughts regarding the app.  If after reviewing the information you decide you do not need it, click "Uninstall" and it will uninstall it using your windows uninstall program.

This is a very slick little application which actually uses user experiences to help you make a decision. 

August 14, 2012

July 26, 2011

God Mode

The column that was censored.

If you are one of my regular readers you realize that this column was not in the DNR today.  They contacted me before press time and said that they thought it was too advanced and could cause people to mess up their computers. 

All of these commands are available in the Control Panel anyway, the “God Mode” just allows you to access them in an easier more organized way.

So read on and give it a try if you like.


So here it is for you anyway.  Have fun with it…and don’t mess up your systems.

Microsoft has a great way, or at least traditional way from back in the beginnings of Windows to adjust your computers’ settings.  That way is named, the "Control Panel."  However, there is another way to access the Control Panel information and others more difficult to find.  This is called the "God Mode" and was also available in Windows Vista if you knew how to access that neat feature.

Windows 7  alleged, "God Mode" is actually a shortcut to accessing the operating system’s various control settings.  Reports vary as to how it works for Windows Vista.  The 32-bit version usually works and the 64-bit version does not.   However, I have never tried it in Vista so I cannot comment about personal experiences there.

The term "God Mode" comes from long ago in the history of video games. A player could use different "cheat codes" in a game to gain an unfair advantage over other players.  God Mode meant that the player could not be killed even without having earned available weapons.

First, to set up God Mode in Windows 7 (and Vista if you would like to try) is very easy.  (Click the screenshots at the end.)

  1. Copy the following text (without the quotes), "God-Mode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}".
  2. Next, create a new folder and name it by pasting in the text copied in step #1.
    1. If you wish to try it on your desktop all you need to do is right-click on your desktop wallpaper and choose, "New."  Then select "Folder" from the drop down list.

You will now have a folder with an icon for the Control Panel wherever you created the God-Mode.  By the way, if you wish to name it something else, just substitute the "God-Mode" at the beginning of the text with something like, "Total Control".

Once created all you do is double click on the new icon/folder and you will have access to 46 categories (from Action Center to Windows Update) which include (at this time) 282 items you may choose to adjust.  Be cautious since some of them bring about major change while others will hardly be noticed.  You can do simple things like adjusting your mouse or much more complicated procedures.  Proceed with those advanced features at your own risk.

There are other settings you can set up which are similar to this, "Trouble Shooting.{C58C4893-3BE0-4B45-ABB5-A63E4B8C8651}".  This is included in the God Mode.  Have fun, you bunch of newbie hackers.


March 22, 2011

Protection from the Internet, Part 2

Last time I told you about where you can set up ways to restrict website access from your home computers.  Microsoft also adds a similar feature in Windows Vista and 7, titled, "Parental Controls."

"Parental Controls" are useful to help manage how and when your children use a computer.  You can set up games they can play, programs they are allowed to run and time limits on computer use.

You need to be an Administrator on the computer in order to perform the following actions.  To access "Parental Controls" in Windows 7 go to the Start button / Control Panel.  Next, select User Accounts.  You will need to set up an account for each child you wish to restrict if one does not already exist.  If your children are equal in age, ability, trustworthiness, etc. you may only need one account with a password.  You will see the settings for the account you are currently using. Make sure it says the account is password protected. You may not want your children accessing your account.

Make sure when you set up the account for your kids, or before setting up Parental Controls on an existing account, you set the account to a Standard user account.  If your child is an Admin on the computer they will have all rights.

Next, click the Set up Parental Controls link at the bottom of the screen.  From the Parental Control screen, select the child’s account you wish to restrict.   Change "Parental Controls" to "On, enforce current settings." You will see links for Time Limits and Games and Program controls.

Using the "Time Limits" link, you can set limits on when the computer can be used. For example, you can have the computer log on from 7 PM to 9 PM every day and then block all access to the user account.

Click the Games link to control what games can be run. You can filter by rating, content or title. This setting only applies to games in Windows 7’s Game Explorer area. If they aren’t there they cannot be affected.

The last link is, "Allow or block specific programs".  Here you can stop access to any programs installed on the computer.  This will take a couple of minutes to set up since it will search your system for all programs which can be affected.  Once the list loads you can check the applications you want to enable that user to run.  Be cautious since some of them are not labeled well and you may allow access to the wrong application.

Windows Live EssentialsNext week we will look at a few more things you can control on your computer using Windows Live Essentials.

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