How do I back up my Mac?

If you are running Mac OS 10.5 or later, you will have a built-in backup program called Time Machine. If you’re running an older operating system such as 10.4, then I suggest you upgrade (it costs very little to purchase the latest Mac OS).

Get yourself an external hard drive and plug it into your Mac. Time Machine will pop up asking you if you would like to use the drive for a Time Machine backup. Say Yes and you’re set up! The first backup will take long to run, but after that it will run fairly quickly.

Plug in your drive regularly to keep your backups up to date.

Print button is greyed out in Outlook 2010

After upgrading to Office 2010, you may find that you can print from all your Office applications, except Outlook. You can’t click on the Print button, because it is greyed out. You can try the following two solutions:

  1. Activate your Office package: The problem may be due to an activation issue. Open Outlook, click on File and Help. Here you can activate your product by entering your Key.
  2. Reinstall your printer: If your problem is not related to product activation, you can remove the printer, restart the computer and reload it. This should enable you to print.

How do I take a screenshot on an Apple Mac?

There are different ways to take screenshots with an Apple Mac. Below is a list of how to do it:

  • “shift-cmd-3″ — The basic screenshot, will take an image of the full screen.
  • “shift-cmd-4″ — The “selection” mode, will take a shot of the area outlined by dragging the cursor.
  • “shift-cmd-4″ then tapping “Space” — The “Window” mode, will take a shot of the highlighted window.
  • “shift-cmd-4″ dragging, then holding “Space” — Drag mode, will allow the current sized box to be relocated.
  • “shift-cmd-4″ then “options” — The “center” mode, will resize the box focusing on the center.
  • “shift-cmd-4″ then “shift” — The “axis” lock, will resize while locking the movement to one axis, determined by initial mouse movement.
  • By default a PNG image of the screenshot will be saved on your desktop, so no need to paste somewhere.
  • Pressing “escape” before releasing the mouse in any mode will cancel the screenshot.
  • Holding “control” in any mode (ie: “control-shift-command-3″) will output the results to the clipboard instead of to a file, allowing the contents to immediately be pasted into documents.

How do I set up Gmail with IMAP and link it to my own email address?

If you want to sync your emails on more than one device, use Gmail’s free IMAP server and link it to your email address. This is how:

  1. Create a Gmail account. Click here to see how.
  2. Log into your Gmail account with your web browser and click on Settings.
  3. Click on Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
  4. Click Enable IMAP and Save Changes.

We are now going to set up Gmail so you can send and receive with your own email address, but using Gmail’s IMAP server.

  1. Click on Settings again and then on Accounts and Import.
  2. Under Send mail as: click Send mail from another address.
  3. In the box that comes up, type your email address and click Next Step twice. Then click Send verification code.
  4. Find the verfication code in the email that you receive from Gmail, put it into the box and click Verify.
  5. You will see that your email address is added to Send mail as:. You will need to click on make default so it will always send with your own address and not the Gmail address.
  6. Under Check mail using POP3: click Add POP3 email account.
  7. In the box that comes up, type your email address and click Next Step.
  8. You will need to fill in your ISP details (username, password and POP3 server name).
  9. Make sure Leave a copy of the retrieved message on the server is unticked and click Add Account.

You can now use Gmail as your IMAP server, but you will need to add this account to all your devices. To do so click on Forwarding and POP/IMAP and then on Configuration instructions which is under IMAP Access:. This will guide you through setting up the account on your devices.

How do I sync my important files with multiple devices and have them available online?

We have covered how to sync your emails to multiple devices, but how do you do it with files?

Dropbox is a free service that you can subscribe to which will enable you to keep your files automatically synced on more than one device and also the Internet. This means that you will always have the latest copy of a file on all your devices and you can even access your files from any other computer or phone that has Internet access.

To set up a Dropbox account, do the following:

  1. Go to www.dropbox.com
  2. Click Download Dropbox.
  3. Click Run to download and Install the application.
  4. When prompted with I don’t have a Dropbox account, click Next
  5. Type your Name, Surname, Email and Password. You can give the PC a name that will make sense to you. Click Next.
  6. Keep on clicking Next until you’ve read all the windows and get to Finish.
  7. You can now copy your important files into the My Dropbox folder and they will automatically be synced with the server.

To add other devices to your account, repeat the above steps on each device, but at step 4, select I already have a Dropbox account. Log in with your Email and Password and the new device will be linked to your Dropbox account and synced.

If you are a team of users accessing the same files or would like some of your files synced to multiple devices or readily available in a secure area on the Internet, then Dropbox is the app for you.

You can also try out Windows Live. Microsoft has come out with an amazing suite of Apps which are free and include cloud storage of emails, documents and photos. You can sync the documents to multiple devices (including Mac), access and edit them online from any computer and also share it with others. It’s definitely worth looking at.

How do I set up a Gmail account?

This guide will help you set up a Gmail account:

  1. Go to www.gmail.com
  2. Click Create an account
  3. Type in your personal details and select an email address @gmail.com. The problem with gmail though is that the whole world is using it so you may have difficulty getting your name and surname as an email address. Try different variations and click check availability! until you find one that is not taken.
  4. You’ll have to choose a password and also type in the Word verification.
  5. Once everything has been filled in, click I accept. Create my account.
  6. You will now be congratulated for passing this grueling test of filling in your details and choosing an email address.
  7. Click Show me my account.

And that’s it. You now have a Google email account and can access it via your web browser. You can also set up your PC and phone to send/receive Gmail by clicking on Settings (top right) and then on Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Under POP Download:, you can click on Configuration instructions (no. 3) to get see how to set up your email client (Outlook or Outlook Express) for Gmail.

Read this post to help you decide if you should activate IMAP or not.

How do I sync my emails on more than one device?

Many of us have the need to use emails on more than one device such as our desktop, laptop and phone.

Phones are set up in such a way that if you download emails to it, they are not deleted off the server so you’ll get them on your PC too. If you want the same to happen on two PCs, just change your account settings on both PCs to not “Delete messages off server”. This means that you’ll get your messages on both PCs, so you have a copy on each device. This may be perfect for your needs.

The problem with the above setup is that if you read an email on one device, it will still show unread on the other device or if you delete it off one device, you need to delete it off the others too. If you send an email from one device, it will not be under the Sent Items of your other devices.

How do we solve that? There are basically two good options:

1. Using Microsoft Exchange: Most larger businesses use a Microsoft email server called Exchange to manage their emails. You can either have it hosted by an ISP or on your own server. This means that all emails are kept on the server and all folders are synced to all devices where you load the mail account. This will include your Outlook Calendar and Contacts.

Microsoft Exchange is the best option, but many people don’t have their own server. There also aren’t many hosts that support Exchange (chances are that yours doesn’t) and it can be costly. Fortunately, there’s Google..

2. IMAP: For the purposes that we are looking at here, IMAP will do the same as Exchange. If you have a Gmail account, you can activate IMAP by logging into your Gmail on the Internet. Go to Settings and Activate IMAP. You will now have to go and set up your email as an IMAP account on all your devices (instead of POP3).

What though if you don’t have an Exchange server and don’t have Gmail? Well, Google is quite happy that you use their services even with your own account. This means that you can link your own email account to a Gmail account and use their servers (IMAP) to send/receive with your own email address.

Click here to see how to set up Gmail with IMAP and link to your own account.

Two additional benefits of using Gmail’s IMAP is that you never have to worry about email backups as all your emails are automatically saved to your other devices and the Google server. You will also be able to send emails from any connection (ADSL, 3G or anywhere overseas), because you’re using Gmail’s outgoing server which doesn’t care about your connection.

How do I unblock mdb or exe attachments in Outlook?

Outlook has been set to block certain attachments for security reasons. You are able to unblock them using the steps below, but please note that this makes you more vulnerable to open virus attachments and is a fairly technical process. If you do proceed, please familiarize yourself with this post: How can I prevent getting a virus?

  1. Click StartRun
  2. Type in: regedit and click Ok
  3. Expand the folders in the left so you get to the following folder: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\
  4. Now you need to select the folder based on the Office version you have:
    • 10.0 for Outlook 2002
    • 11.0 for Outlook 2003
    • 12.0 for Outlook 2007
  5. Expand the folders to: Outlook\Security
  6. At the top click: EditNewString Value
  7. Make the name: Level1Remove
  8. Double-click on that new entry and make the Value data the following: .mdb;.exe
  9. Restart your computer

How do I reveal hidden files and folders on my computer?

You may need to enable viewing hidden files and folders on your computer to remove a virus or repair some other problem. Here is how:

For Windows XP:

  1. Click the Tools menu in Windows Explorer, and then select Folder Options.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Under Hidden files and folders, click Show hidden files and folders.

For Windows Vista or 7:

  1. Click the Organize button in Explorer, and then select Folder and Search Options.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Under Hidden files and folders, click Show hidden files and folders.

How do I know if my flash drive has a virus on it?

Recently the most virus infections have come from flash drives. Infected computers create an autorun.inf file on the flash drive that will automatically open the virus executable (.exe) file. The autorun.inf file gets activated when you double-click on the flash drive in My Computer or click on the action in the Autoplay pop-up box. You can find out if your flash drive has a virus on in the following two ways:

  1. When you plug the drive in, check the options that show in the Autoplay box. If the first option has something to do with a program running then there’s a virus on. It may say “Open folder to view files”, but below it, it says something like “using the program on the device” or “Publisher not specified”. See this example:

    So, there is a duplicate option of viewing the files, but only the bottom option says “using Windows Explorer”. That is the option you should always choose.
  2. When looking at the files on the device, you see a file called “autorun.inf”. You will need to enable viewing hidden files and folders to be able to see it.