Category Archives: Windows 8

Windows Explorer Made Simple

Some topics don’t lend themselves to a written post. Trying to describe how to navigate Windows Explorer is one of those topics. Here’s a video that will explain it all for you. What is Windows Explorer? Well, it’s like Google Earth for your computer.



Thanks for reading and for watching.  Comments and questions are always welcome. Use the form below or, better yet, ask us on Facebook. Here is the link:Computers Made Simple on Facebook.

Windows Mail is Broken

Windows 8/8.1 is frustrating enough without the problems its default mail client brings to users. If you’ve made the switch to the new version of Windows, you have probably linked it to your Microsoft email account. We’ve shown you how to change your log-in routine from password to pin (here’s the link to that post) . That makes things easier but you’re still faced with using the ‘Mail’ app and that’s the problem. It doesn’t work. Here’s why:

1. The Windows Mail GUI is not user-friendly. Windows arbitrarily sorts your email into folders, taking regular emails from retailers from your inbox and shoving them into a Newsletters folder. The odd thing about this strategy is that some newsletters make it into the Inbox while others don’t. What’s the rationale for that? What obscure algorithm is Microsoft using?

2. Bulk blocking of spam emails does not work. Users are forced to perform individual blocking of spam. The old version of Outlook’s web interface allowed for multiple selection and blocking of spam. In some cases, the blocking does not work at all, even when only one piece of spam is selected.

3. It’s as if the interface was designed for mobile devices instead of desktops and computers. While mobile computing is extremely popular now, many of us still use large screen devices to check our mail. We don’t need large typefaces and split screens. As a matter of fact, having a screen split three ways actually takes up more room than the old web interface that Outlook uses. Here’s what we mean:

Window's Mail App is Broken
If this was designed for tablets, it consumes more screen room than before.







4. The email accounts don’t sync when they are opened on one computer then again on a Windows 8 computer. Emails that have been deleted from the web interface still show up in the Windows 8 app. It’s as if the single account is seen as two separate accounts, depending on which computer/device it is opened with.

These are just a few of the faults that we’ve found with Microsoft’s Windows 8 Outlook App. Trust us, it’s not worth using. You’re far better to sign into Outlook using your browser, we recommend Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, and do all of your email tasks using the simple and very efficient interface used there. Ignore the Windows 8 app completely. If email is important to you, take our advice or switch to Gmail.

Thanks for reading! Questions and comments are always welcome. Comment here or on our Facebook page.  Here is the link:Computers Made Simple on Facebook.


Navigating Windows 8

Well, we did it! Yesterday we installed CamStudio and today we created our first official Computers Made Simple video. It’s short, less than five minutes but we show you how to boot to your desktop, add a PIN to log on to Windows and, best of all, how to shut down your computer.

We will still be writing posts now and then but we’re trying to open up our audience. We will post every new video here, of course, so you won’t miss anything. Speaking of that, why not head over to our Facebook page and click the Like button? That way, you’ll always be on top of our latest posts and videos. Here’s the link to that: Computers Made Simple on Facebook

Thanks for reading! Comments on the video are welcome…just don’t be too critical.

Windows 8 – Shut it down

Windows 8 has made the simple task of turning off your computer into something substantially more frustrating. Microsoft is pushing its tablets, of course, having stepped into the hardware world lately. Tablets shut off with the push of a button, at least they go to sleep that way. For the rest of us who use laptops and desktops, finding the shutdown menu can be very irritating. Here’s where it is:

1. If you’ve installed the 8.1 update, you can get a desktop view, something very similar to the older versions of Windows. How do you do that? Right click on a blank section of your taskbar, choose Properties then click on the Navigation tab on the menu that comes up. Choose “Show my desktop background on Start”. Like this:

Photo of Shut Down Windows 8  1
Click the Navigation tab then choose to see your desktop when Windows starts.














2. So where is the Shut Down switch? Well, it’s carefully hidden behind that little window on the lower left corner of your taskbar. It would make sense that by clicking this window icon you’d have some choices, just like the old versions of Windows. Unfortunately you don’t. All you get is a mass of programs icons. Try right clicking that window and see what happens. Here’s what you get: 

Photo of Shut Down Windows 8  2
So there it is! Buried behind a right click. Choose ‘Shut down or sign out’.













3. You can choose to Shut down your computer or simply Sign out. Sleep is also an option on a desktop. A laptop would have a choice to Hibernate.

There, you found it! Windows 8 is a bit of a mystery, isn’t it? What problems are you having with it? Let us know in a comment or, better yet, Like us on Facebook and ask us there. Here’s the link:

Computers Made Simple on Facebook

Thanks for reading!