Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly

Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly
Issue #878
Volume 17 Number41
August 7, 2020

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly Issue #878. Thank you very much for subscribing and for being a part of our Cloudeight family. We appreciate your friendship and support very much!  Please share our newsletters and our Website with your family and all your friends.

We wish you all the best during the global pandemic. Our prayers and good wishes go out to all of you during this difficult time. We are all in this together.

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Help Us During our Summer 2020 Donation Drive

If you don't need any of our products or services right now, consider helping us with a small donation.

Did you know that we provide support to thousands of people? Every week we help dozens of people via email at no charge. The questions and answers you see in our newsletters are from the email answers and help we provide to everyone free of charge.

Thanks to your gifts, we do a lot more than provide this free newsletter. We help you recognize online threats, fight for your online privacy, provide you with the knowledge you need to navigate the Web safely, provide you with suggestions for safe, free software and websites, and help you get more out of your PC.

Please Help us keep up the good fight with a small gift.

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Rosa wants to know what's included with the free Open Office
What is included with "Open Office"? Will it do everything that Word does? Will I still need Power Point? Thanks in advance.

Our answer
Hi Rosa. Let's clarify. Word is the word processor in Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office includes: Word (a word processor), Excel (spreadsheet), Access (database) PowerPoint (presentation software), Outlook (email) to name the major components of MS Office. Open Office includes: Writer (a word processor), Calc (spreadsheet), Base (database), Impress (presentation software), and others.

So, yes, other than an email program, Open Office includes everything that MS Office includes. Whether you need PowerPoint (or Impress in Open Office) I cannot tell you. What you need or don't need is based on your personal requirements.

You can see all the features of Open Office here.

You can download Open Office (free) here:

If all you need is an alternate for Microsoft Word, take a look at AbleWord - it's an excellent free word processor that you can also use to edit, open, and create PDF files.

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Linda wants to know if she can still upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10

Good Morning! Is it too late to upgrade to windows 10? Just have put it off. Really not tech savvy. Could you help me? Tell me what the best thing to do. Is there a certain time to do it? How long does it take? I have been member for a lot of years.

Our answer
Hi Linda. Thank you. You can still upgrade to Windows 10 without paying for Windows 10, the Windows 10 upgrade is still free for Windows 7 users.

As far as how long will it take to upgrade, it's hard to say, there are a lot of variables like Internet speed, computer RAM, etc. It can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours - sometimes even longer.

If you'd like help upgrading to Windows 10 we offer a service to help you through the process and even include the option to make your Windows 10 upgrade look and work more like Windows 7.

You can read more about our service here:

Let us know if you need any more information or help.

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Kathleen wants to know what happened to create a desktop shortcut in Windows 10
You have probably addressed this before. What happened to the create a desktop shortcut in Windows 10? This is something I use quite often and am having a bit of a melt down without it. Thank you so much for the info you give all of us. No idea what I would do without your help. Thank you, Kathleen.

Our answer
Hi Kathleen. There is no difference between Windows 7 and Windows 10 as far as the right-click menu. You can right-click most file types, click "Send to" >"Desktop (Create shortcut)".

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This is exactly the way it worked in Windows 10.You can also right-click on a blank area of the desktop and choose "New" > "Shortcut" and follow the onscreen prompts.

We hope this helps you.

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Tom wants to know if it's OK to use his laptop with the battery removed
I have a question about my HP DV7 c95 DX laptop. I'd like to know if it's okay to run the computer in AC power mode, with the battery completely removed? The computer has a bad screen and I am using it for a desktop with an external monitor. The battery is also bad, so I decided to take it out and run it without the battery.  Also, can I keep it on all the time, and just have the monitor go to sleep? I've heard conflicting things on the internet on this topic wondering what your opinion is. Thank you, Tom.

Our answer
Hi Tom. It won't hurt to run your laptop plugged in and without a battery installed. But always make sure you’re using the original power adapter that came with the laptop. Using a different power adapter could cause power variations that could damage components on the laptop’s motherboard.

You can still set the power options in Settings > System > Power & sleep to turn off the screen after whatever number of minutes works for you. Change the setting under "When plugged in, turn off after..."

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We hope this helps you, Tom.

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Don wants to set a browser home page (start page) in Microsoft Edge
I am trying to set Thundercloud Start Page as my home page when I am using Microsoft Edge. For some reason I am not able to do that when clicking the three dots, settings, etc. The selection never comes up for me to select the right track to set my home page. Can you help? Thank you.

Our answer
Hi Don, Thanks for thinking of us. Here's a quick and easy guide to setting a home page or pages in the new Microsoft Edge.

1. Click the 3 horizontal dots at the top right of Edge. Then click "Settings" (see below).

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2. In Settings, from the menu on the left, select "On startup". Then select the circle next to "Open a specific page or pages" and enter the URL to the page or pages you want to open when you open Edge. You can type in the URL or copy and paste it.

Our Start page is and our InfoAve computer tips site is

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I hope this helps you, Don.

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Arline needs a converter for Outlook Express .DBX files
You mention Converter 365 in your email. Do you know of a converter that reads DBX files? I have a court case coming up and I have to provide documentation with some old Outlook Express emails. They have been transferred to my current computer, but I cannot open them. Can you provide any help, please? Thank you so much for all that you do.

Our answer
Hi Arlene Thanks! We don't know of any free DBX converters. And I don't have any .DBX files to convert. But I did find a program that can convert .DBX to .EML files which can be open my most modern email programs, for instance Thunderbird which is free.

The program is called OE Mail Recovery and it costs $27 for a personal license. If you need these files for a court case it may be worth $27 to you. You can read more about OE Mail Recovery and converting .DBX to .EML file here.

We hope this helps you.

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Mike wants to know if the crazy cheap MS Office prices are legitimate.
I get a daily Pinterest email, and it's often filled with posts to get free Microsoft Office, such as this one ((link removed by Cloudeight)).

Are any of these legit, or would you suggest to just bite the bullet and pay full retail for a full Microsoft Office suite plus license? I currently have a limited Office 2007 suite.

Thanks so much for your help and advice, and thanks for a wonderful newsletter. --- Mike

Our answer
Hi Mike. Thank you! All of these crazy low prices you see for MS Office (and Windows) are mostly all pirated versions or OEM licensed versions (for manufacturers to use); neither are legal for use by individuals. You'll find copies of Windows for crazy low prices too - which are not legit. And while it's not likely that every person using an illegally licensed product will be "caught" and the program disabled, it's matter of doing the right thing.

Darcy and I both use MS Office 365 - I pay $7 a month, which I hardly notice -and I'm certainly not wealthy. I have all the Office programs on my computer and I'm always using the newest version of Office. I am using MS Office 365 - Personal which is $69.99 a year or $6.99 a month. You can read more about Office 365 and the various options here.

It has worked great for us for several years... and it's nice always having the current version of Office.

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During this global crisis, we are offering a special telephone hotline service to all SeniorPass holders. There are reports of many COVID19 scams targeting seniors. If you are approached by a scammer or encounter something suspicious, you can use our hotline to discuss your situation with us. We check into it for you and do all we can to help you.

If you currently have a SeniorPass, all you need to do is contact us. Send us your telephone number and a brief message/a> describing your problem and we'll call you back during normal business hours.

If you don't yet have a Cloudeight SeniorPass and you'd like to know more about our SeniorPass,
please see this page.

Please note: Currently, our telephone hotline service is only available to SeniorPass holders in the United States due to international call restrictions.

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium -Tips & Tricks

Generate a Complete System Summary Using MSINFO32
Windows 10 (all versions)

This tip will probably appeal more to those of you who love to dig deep in detail - or to those who want to learn how to do something new, just because you can. But this is something we just stumbled upon the other day, wondering if there was a way we could save all info you get when you run MSINFO32 in a text file.

If you've never run MSINFO32 before, it's easy to do It gives you a tremendous amount of information about your computer. To run it type:


Into taskbar search and press Enter when System Information appears in the search results.

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In the left pane (above) you can select and expand categories and items allowing you to dig deeper into your system information. The right pane shows details of the category/item you selected. There is a lot of information here. If you're a computer wizard, you probably will understand most of it. If you're just the curious type you will understand enough to make it worth your while. And everyone - expert and beginner knows what "Problem devices" means, right?

We've covered most of this stuff before, but here's something new. You can export all that information into a text file and go over it at your leisure.

All you need to do to export a complete system summary from the MSINFO32 report is to click on File -->Export and give it whatever name you want. The only option you'll have is to save it as a text file. One you have given your summary a name, click "Save".

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And what you'll get is a text file that's over 1 megabyte filled with every detail about your system. Some of it will be incomprehensible unless you are a Windows wizard. But for most of you, just being able to save a system summary like this is interesting and some of the information you'll get will be fascinating and sometimes userful.

Best of all, now you know how to export and save a summary of your system.

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Run Chrome in Incognito Mode to Troubleshoot Problems
Windows 8.1, Windows 10 & Google Chrome installed

If you are having problems with Chrome, the easiest way to make sure that it's not a browser extension causing your problem(s) is to open Chrome in Incognito mode. To open Chrome in Incognito mode, right-click on its shortcut and choose "New incognito window".  Incognito mode disables all extensions automatically*. Try browsing with Chrome in Incognito mode for a few minutes and see if you still have the same problems. If you don't have any problems while using Chrome in Incognito mode, then chances are good that one of your extensions is causing your problem(s). You can disable each extension, one at time, until you find the culprit that's causing your problem(s). You can then choose to leave the extension disabled, remove it, or check to see if there's an updated version. 

If you're still having problems, then it's most likely not a problem caused by a browser extension. In that case, you might want to consider resetting Chrome by following the instructions on this page. That page also has instructions for fixing Chrome by completely removing Chrome and reinstalling it. If you choose to re-install Chrome, be sure you export and save your bookmarks first - otherwise you'll lose them. To learn how to save your Chrome bookmarks, see this Cloudeight tip.

*Incognito mode in Google Chrome, disables all extensions except ones you have explicitly chosen to allow in Incognito mode. Most of you shouldn't have to worry about that.

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Windows 10 Warns Users Not to Install CCleaner
Windows 10 (all versions)

We’ve never been fans of CCleaner, its registry cleaner caused its users a lot of problems. And frankly, there are better system cleaners available – like BleachBit. But when Avast bought CCleaner, we were pretty sure Avast would “re-invent” CCleaner in its own image… a questionable application bordering on malware.

Our opinion is that Avast bought the popular CCleaner utility to use as a vehicle to funnel users to Avast and its bundle of questionable programs – many of which they give away “free”. I can’t tell you the number of computers Darcy and I have worked on that had Avast Antivirus installed that were loaded down with malware. We even documented it once, so everyone could see what shoddy protection Avast provides … 

Now, Microsoft Defender is flagging CCleaner as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).

According to Bleeping Computer Microsoft Defender currently detects CCleaner as a PUA. Microsoft says that

‘Certain installers for free and 14-day trial versions of CCleaner come with bundled applications, including applications that are not required by CCleaner or produced by the same publisher Piriform.

‘While the bundled applications themselves are legitimate, bundling of software, especially products from other providers, can result in unexpected software activity that can negatively impact user experiences.’

The bundled apps include Google Chrome browser, Google Toolbar, and Avast Free Antivirus plus AVG Antivirus Free. Avast owns AVG.

The CCleaner installer does provide a way to opt-out of putting these bundled apps on your computer.  Microsoft says that those bundled apps are fine and not malware, it’s just how they’re installed furtively on your machine that’s the problem. But our opinion is that you should always know what’s being installed on your computer – nothing should be installed without your knowledge. It matters not if the software is good or bad – you still should know what’s being installed on your device.

Avast has a history of bundling software – and not all of it is good or useful. Avast Antivirus may try to install the Avast Cleanup, Avast Secureline “Free VPN”, and other Avast programs which you don’t need, and which we believe are questionable.

Here are some of the questionable things Avast has done over the years.

Avast Promises It Won’t Sell Your Data… Anymore

CCleaner & Avast Still Playing Games with Users

Avast Buys CCleaner Then Distributes an Infected, Hacked Version to Users 

Now Avast has been caught again and based on its history, you can be sure that Avast will quickly do whatever it can to get back in Microsoft’s good graces.  Until the next time when Avast comes up with another scheme to make money from its “free” software.

Our opinion is that everyone deserves a second chance, but Avast has already had numerous chances. It has shown repeatedly that it offers “free” software and then makes the user pay for it by bundling other applications with. And bundling its own questionable Avast products as well. 

How many chances will Avast get before people see Avast for what it is – a questionable company that seems to have very little respect for its customers?

By the time you read this, it may well be that Microsoft Defender will no longer detect CCleaner as a PUA, and if so, you will know that Avast has once again slithered away from its responsibility to its customers.

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium -Tips & Tricks

Polarr: Free Desktop and Online Image Editing

Cloudeight Site Pick Polarr

Polarr is an online and downloadable image editor that offers many excellent photo editing features even with its free tier. If you agree to pay a monthly subscription fee, you gain access to advanced features such as image masks, a large number of extra image filters, export options, and more.

We provide a link to the web version of Polarr so you can try it out in your browser, but Polarr is also available as an app for Windows 10 as well. It’s also available for Android, iOS, and MacOS. If you do choose to purchase a subscription it covers Polarr on the Web and all of your devices.

Polarr is great for editing, brightness, color, contrast correction, as well as more detailed editing feature right down to pixel-by-pixel edits. You can sharpen, crop, distort, colorize, and add filters to enhance your pictures. You can touch up, adjust curves and borders, remove spots, enhance portraits, and more. And Polarr has some excellent automatic enhancements as well. Polarr doesn’t have all the features of Adobe Photoshop but it’s a great alternative image editor with many advanced features that should be plenty enough for most users.

If you want to learn more about the online version of Polarr, visit this page.

If you want to jump right in and try out Polarr, here you go.

Polarr for Windows

Polarr is also a powerful desktop photo editor for Windows 10 and it’s available free from the Windows store. The free editor works great, but many advanced features are available only with a paid subscription).

Cloudeight Site Pick Polarr

Here’s what you get with the downloadable version (according to Polarr):

• Custom overlay and complex blending modes
• Dual lens effects and depth adjustments
• Complete set of masking and local adjustment tools
• Advanced suite of face-editing tools with smart detection
• Create, customize and share your own filters
• Batch exporting

• Make and share your own custom Filters
• Get started with basic filters, grow with pro filters
• Sync filters between all of your devices

Layers and blending modes
• Superimpose photos with 10 and more blending modes
• Add photorealistic effects like clouds, weather effects, light leaks, flares and more
• Duotone your photos with our presets or create your own unique flavor

And many, many more... to many features to list here. For a complete list of features see this page.

Cloudeight Site Pick Polarr

You can download Polarr for Windows 10 free here. Polarr comes with plenty of free features that you can use without signing up for a subscription.

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium - Essays , Rants, etc.

Vegans and Other Ravings

I must admit that letters to the editors and responses to articles on Web sites are one of my main sources of fodder for my rants. “USA Today” prints the best letters to the editor though. They tend to pick out some great letters from morons all over the world. I don’t have any particular Web site that goads me into open rebellion. Web sites vary, but you can be sure that many idiots post replies to articles on news and technology sites that inspire me too.

For some reason, I get very angry when I see or hear coolspeak. Words like “partying”, “party animal”, “bonding” “mic” for “microwave”, “fridge” for “refrigerator”, “hang out” – as in “wanna hang out with me?”, “cloud” when used in place of Web server, “interwebs” in place of “Internet” or “Web”, “a gathering”, when used to describe what used to be called a “get together” or “party”; well you get the idea.

Read the rest of this rant here.

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Reg Organizer: Cloudeight recommended and endorsed.


If you purchased or renewed Reg Organizer through Cloudeight within the last 12 months, you're entitled to a free version upgrade to Reg Organizer 8.43.

Save $14 on Reg Organizer right now!

Reg Organizer - A Swiss Army Knife of Windows Tools - Works Great on Windows 10! 

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium - Back to Basics

What is Airplane mode?

For those of you with tablets & smart phones, Airplane mode is probably no mystery. But if you're sitting there behind a Windows 10 Desktop with a 32" monitor you're probably wondering - because you can't imagine dragging your desktop on an airplane.

Well, Microsoft has visions of a unified operating system, even Windows in the Cloud. So, they're bound and determined to make one size fit all. So that's why you'll see Windows 10 on smart phones (but not many), Tablets, laptops and desktops.

While Airplane mode does come in handy for smart phones, and to a lesser extent for tablets, it's less important for laptops users and just about meaningless for desktop users.

So, what is Airplane mode, anyway?

Airplane mode is a feature on wireless devices (tablets, smartphones, laptops) that immediately disables all wireless frequencies, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G, etc. It is meant to provide a quick and easy way to disengage devices from wireless frequencies when flying on commercial aircraft.

This reason why the feature was necessary in the first place, is because the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the airlines - believed that wireless signals to and from connected devices may interfere with navigation. It has since been determined that such wireless signals and communications have little or no effect on aviation or navigation, and wireless devices are allowed on most U.S. domestic flights. So, Airplane Mode is no longer a necessity... however, the feature is still present on most devices - including all Windows 10 devices including desktops.

So if you don't have a tablet or smartphone and you were wondering what Airplane mode is and what it does, now you know.

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Help us help you.

Help Us During our Summer 2020 Donation Drive

If you don't need any of our products or services right now, consider helping us with a small donation.

When you support us with a small gift, you help us continue our mission to keep you informed, separate the truth from the hyperbole, and help keep you safe online. And our computer tips make your computer easier to use.

Did you know that we provide support to thousands of people? Every week we help dozens of people via email at no charge. The questions and answers you see in our newsletters are from the email answers and help we provide to everyone free of charge.

Thanks to your gifts, we do a lot more than provide this free newsletter. We help you recognize online threats, fight for your online privacy, provide you with the knowledge you need to navigate the Web safely, provide you with suggestions for safe, free software and websites, and help you get more out of your PC.

Please Help us keep up the good fight with a small gift.

Interested in making an automatic monthly gift? Visit this page. Help us keep helping you... and helping you stay safe on the Web.

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Sales of the following products and services help support our newsletters, websites, and free computer help services we provide.

Cloudeight Direct Computer Care: Single Keys, SeniorPass, or Season Tickets - always a great deal. Cloudeight Direct Computer Care is like having PC insurance. Get more information here.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware:  Emsisoft is the only Cloudeight endorsed and recommended Windows security program. It provides users with a complete antivirus, antimalware, anti-ransomware, anti-PUPs solution. We offer single Emsisoft licenses and multi-computer licenses at discount prices. Also, we offer our exclusive Emsisoft with Cloudeight installation & setup. Get more information here.

Thunderbird Email Setup: Thunderbird is a great email program that you can use with your Gmail and (Hotmail) webmail accounts as well as with your Internet provider's email. We'll set it up correctly you. Our set up includes configuring up to 3 email accounts and setting up Thunderbird to use stationery (if desired). Our Thunderbird Email Setup Service is always a great deal. For more information visit this page.

Reg Organizer: Reg Organizer is the Swiss Army Knife of Windows tools. It's far more than just a registry optimizer and cleaner... it's a Windows all-in-one toolkit. Reg Organizer helps you keep your computer in tip-top shape and helps you solve annoying Windows problems. Reg Organizer works great with Windows 10! Get more information about Reg Organizer (and get our special discount prices) here.

SeniorPass - One year of Cloudeight Direct Computer Care - unlimited sessions! Get more information here.

Windows 10 Customization: Make Windows 10 look and work the way you want it to. Learn more.

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We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly. Thanks so much for your support and for being an InfoAve Weekly subscriber.

With hope and prayers, may you and your loved ones stay safe and well.

Your friends at Cloudeight,

Darcy and TC
Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly - Issue #878
Volume 17 Number41
August 7, 2020

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