Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly

Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly
Issue #918
Volume 18 Number 28
May 14, 2021

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly Issue #918. 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 friends and family.

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Robert wants to know if you can still upgrade a Windows 8.1 PC to Windows 10 Free of Charge
My daughter has a laptop that still has windows 8.1 on it. Can I still upgrade it to windows 10 for free? If I can, will you please advise how would be the best way and still keep all files and programs.

Our answer
Hi Robert. Yes, she can still upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge. All you need to do to upgrade is go to the following page...

And download the Windows 10 Update tool by clicking the blue "Download tool now" button.. Once you download it, run it, and choose the "Upgrade this PC now" option.

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tips & Tricks

Beneath the blue download button, you'll see various options to get more information. Click on the plus sign next to "Using the tool to upgrade this PC to Windows 10..."

Upgrading to Windows 10 this will allows you to keep all your files and compatible programs.

We hope this helps you, Robert.

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Gary wants to know why his computer doesn't show the Windows 10 21H1 Update
My laptop has just downloaded Windows 10 version 20H2 update. But is does not show any further updates, other than drivers. I don't see any option to download Windows 10 version 21H1. Is NZ a bit behind in getting updates?

Our answer
Hi Gary. Windows 10 21H1 (May 2021 Update) has not been released to the public yet. When it is released, it will be an optional update for Windows 10 version 2004 (May 2020 Update) and Windows 10 20H2 (October 2020 Updates) users. You can always check the current released version of Windows 10 by going to this page:

As of today, 12 May 2021, it still shows Windows 10 October Update (20H2) as the current version.

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Paul can't log in without a PIN
I really enjoy your newsletter. My question is: I upgraded to the new edition of Windows 10 and when i go to sign in, it wants a PIN number. It will not let me sign in. How do i sign in without a PIN? I have tried to find out how to get a PIN number without any luck. Is there any way to sign in without a PIN? My wife and granddaughter are both on my computer. They have the same problem. Is there any way to fix this? Thanks for any help you can give me to fix my problem. Thanks for the great info in your newsletter. Paul.

Our answer
Hi Paul. Thanks! I am not sure how many PINs you have since you mention others using your computer. I don't know if you're using a Microsoft account or not - but since you're using an MSN email address, I assume you are using a Microsoft account on your Windows 10 PC.

On the log-in screen, if you're using a PIN, you'll see the box where you enter your PIN and beneath it, you'll see two options. One is "I forgot my PIN" and the other is "Sign-in options".

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tips & Tricks

Click on "I forgot my PIN" and follow the instructions on the screen. If - for some reason - you're not able to recover your PIN, click on Sign-in options - and after you go through the options and suggestions, you'll see an option to sign in with a Password. If you're using a Microsoft account, your password for Windows 10 will be identical to the password for your MSN email address.

We hope this helps you, Paul.

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JP wants to know if it would be wise to use ProtonMail when buying online
Just a quick question if you have a moment to answer. Would it be wise to dedicate my Proton email address to doing all my online ordering, e.g,. from Amazon, etc.? Thanks, JP

Our answer
Hi JP. That's entirely up to you. People don't get their credit cards and personal info stolen from buying online. They get their personal info stolen when they are tricked into giving it away or from clicking links in spam emails or phishing emails. ProtonMail is not immune to spam or phishing mail.

It really doesn't matter what email address you use to order if you use a strong password and/or two-factor authentication.

Just remember, ProtonMail or any other email account is only as safe as your account password is strong,

Note: For those of you reading this who don't know about ProtonMail, please see this page.

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Uwe wants to know if his external hard drive is kaput
Suddenly my portable SSD is not recognized. I looked in disk management and it says to initialize the disk. Never had to do this. Disk always worked. I tried to initialize and got this message " Request failed due to a fatal device hardware error." Is the disk suddenly corrupt?
Please advise. Thanks. Uwe

Our answer
Hi Uwe. From what you say, our guess is that disk is corrupted. Sometimes, you get no warning and external drives are prone to this. We have had external drives that were working just fine and suddenly go bad - some were not even a year old. And others we've been using for many years.

You should try your external drive on another USB port or another PC to make sure. But if you're getting the message that the device has failed, it probably has.

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John suddenly finds McAfee and Norton on his computer
Somehow in the last week I have McAfee and Norton Antivirus on my computer. Mainly when using Edge. A red warning box appears telling me that I have 3 - 5 viruses and I should run their antivirus. There is no way am I doing that. I have tried Emsisoft since I thought it protected me but to no avail. Help! John.

Our answer
Hi John. Don't worry. You don't have Norton or McAfee; you have either installed a bad extension in Microsoft Edge or you clicked on something and approved it by mistake. Here's how to fix your problem.

Clear Edge's history and reset Edge.

To clear your Edge history, open Edge and type or copy and paste the following in the Edge address bar:


and press "Enter".

In the Clear browsing data dialog, under "Time range" select "All time" ad make sure you check "Browsing History", "Download history", "Cookies and other site data" and "Cached images and files". Then click the "Clear now" button.

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tips & Tricks

Once you've done this, close Chrome and reopen it, then follow the instructions on this page to reset Edge.  After you reset Edge, close it.

Next, type Notifications in taskbar search and press Enter when "Notifications & actions" appears. At the top, under "Get notifications from apps and other senders" turn the switch to off.

Now you won't see any more Norton/McAfee ads or prompts with or without Edge open.
John wrote back: "Thank You for your quick response. It worked truly great, and everything is working fine. Once again you two have come thru for old man who has forgotten more than I ever knew! You are life savers. John."

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Lucille likes Thunderbird and wants to know if it's still OK
Hi. I have been a member many years and I enjoy all of your comments. Both of you are super. My question is: I have been using Mozilla Thunderbird ever since you recommended it. Is it still OK? I like its layout.

Our Answer
Hi Lucille. Thanks for your kind words.

Sure, Thunderbird is a nice email program. If you like a certain browser or email program, it's always best to stick with it. Email clients and browsers are two very personal choices.

And, I don't know why, but people think when we recommend a program that we "de-recommend" all others like it, but that's not true. A year or so ago we stopped supporting Ashampoo Backup and started recommending Windows File History. Many people asked if they should remove Ashampoo. We always tell them there's nothing wrong with Ashampoo at all - if it's working well, that's great, keep on using it.

So yes, Lucille, if Thunderbird is what you like and you like the layout, by all means, continue to use it.

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium -Tips & Tricks

Simple Tricks That May Speed Up Your Windows 10 Computer
Windows 10 (all supported versions) 

Try Turning off Search Indexing and/or SysMain to Speed Up Your PC

Search Indexing (Windows Search)

Windows 10 constantly indexes your hard disk in the background. It’s called Search Indexing. Indexing is supposed to make searching your PC faster. But if your PC is slow, that constant indexing can decrease performance. Turning off Search Indexing can speed up your computer. This is especially true if your computer has a standard hard drive. But even if you have an SSD drive, turning off indexing can improve your speed, because the constant writing to disk that indexing does can eventually slow down SSDs too.

You can turn off Search Indexing in Windows 10 this way:

1. Type SERVICES.MSC in the taskbar search and press Enter.
2. Locate Windows Search in the list of services and double-click it.
3. Next to “Startup type” click on the down arrow to expand the list and choose “Manual”
4. Click the “Stop” button.
5. Click Apply/OK

Cloudeight InfoAve Windows 10 tips

6. Restart your computer

Your searches may be slightly slower, but your computer should be slightly faster. If desired, you can always go back and change the Windows Search startup type to “Automatic” or “Automatic (Delayed Start)” and restart your computer. Windows will again start search indexing.

Turn off SysMain

SysMain used to be called “SuperFetch” before the release of Windows 10 version 1809. SysMain is a system optimization feature that is supposed to speed up performance. However, many times, SysMain causes high disk or CPU usage that can cause your PC to run slowly. You can disable SysMain harming your computer or Windows installation.

You can disable SysMain this way.

1. Type SERVICES.MSC in the taskbar search and press Enter.
2. Locate SysMain and double-click it.
3. Next to “Startup type” click on the down arrow to expand the list and choose “Disabled”
4. Click the “Stop Button”
5. Click Apply/OK

Cloudeight InfoAve Windows 10 Tips

6. Restart your computer.

If your computer is running slowly, turning off Search Indexing and/or SysMain can help speed up your computer without causing any problems.  

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Control Active Windows Using Your Keyboard
Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 (all versions)

Some shortcuts make managing windows quicker and easier. For instance, you can quickly switch between your email, browser, e-mail, graphic programs, messenger, and other programs without using your mouse or touchpad. 

Here are a few of them:

Minimize a window to your taskbar
With the window you want to minimize in focus (on top) press ALT + SPACEBAR + N (in sequence)

Maximize a window so it takes up your whole desktop
With the window you want to maximize in focus (on top) press Alt + SPACEBAR + X (in sequence)

Switch to the last window you had open
Hold down ALT, then click the TAB key.

Switch to any open program/window
While holding down the ALT key, press the TAB key until the window you want is visible/on top.

Cloudeight Windows Keyboard Shortcuts Windows 10

Close a window
With the window you want to close in focus (on top), hold down the ALT key and tap F4.

Restore a window so it’s visible but does not take up your whole desktop
ALT + SPACEBAR + R (in sequence)

If you use these shortcuts often, you’ll know them by heart, and they will save you time. If you don’t use them often, you’ll forget them, but at least now you know they exist.

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Fine-Tune Your Screen Text with the ClearType Text Tuner
Windows 10 (all supported versions)

Does the text on your screen appear faded, gray, and hard to read? Have you ever wished you could make it darker and easier to read?  You can fine-tune text on your monitor or screen using the ClearType Text Tuner.

How to use the ClearType Text Tuner in Windows 10

1.) Type CLEARTYPE in the taskbar search.
2.) Press Enter when you see it appear in the search results – or click Open.

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tip - The ClearType Tuner

3.) Make sure the box next to “Turn on ClearType” is checked and click “Next”.

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tip - The ClearType Tuner

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tip - The ClearType Tuner

4.) You’ll see text same on each of the following five screens. All you have to do is select the text that looks the clearest and easiest to read.

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tip - The ClearType Tuner

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tip - The ClearType Tuner

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tip - The ClearType Tuner

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tip - The ClearType Tuner

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tip - The ClearType Tuner

5.) Almost done. Just click Finish to save your changes.

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tip - The ClearType Tuner

Hopefully, after you’ve completed running the ClearType Text Tuner, your text will look sharper, darker, crisper, and easier to read.

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Want more tips, tricks, and information?

We have thousands of Windows tips, tricks, and more on our InfoAve web site.

Subscribe to our free InfoAve Daily newsletter.

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium -Tips & Tricks

Thousands of Free Fonts

We both love free fonts – because we’re broke and old and goofy. But you don’t have to be broke, old, or goofy like us, to love free fonts. Anyone can love free fonts and a lot of you do.

But the world isn’t always nice, so you have to be careful with many of the free font sites lying in wait for you on the web. A lot of them like to play “let’s fool the suckers into downloading junk and malware or other junk with the fonts”. But you don’t want that, and we don’t want that.

We all just want free fonts – no games, no tricks, no hassles, no malware… just free fonts.

On today’s site pick, there are over 2800 pages of fonts. The site is called “1001 Fonts”. Did we count them to make sure there are 1001 fonts? Nope, we didn’t. But we can multiply… and we mean that in the mathematical sense only:

2800 pages x 10 fonts per page = a lot more than 1001.

The developers can make fonts and find fonts, but they don’t say much at all, so we can’t invite them here to give you a few words about their site because they have nothing to say. Lucky you!

And to prove we really do check out our site picks, here you go!

Testing 1001 Fonts - A Cloudeight Site Pick

See? You can not only view and download thousands of fonts from our site pick, but you can also test each font right on the website. Type your text and choose a color and you’ll see exactly what the font will look like before you download it. How cool is that?

Many of the fonts from 1001 Free Fonts are free for personal use only. If you’re a mogul and you plan to use fonts for TV or print advertising or for advertising pork chops in the front window of your grocery store – buy a commercial license. If you just want to use them to make cute graphics or whatever, they’re free. Capiche?

Get thousands of free fronts from 1001 Free Fonts

 And if you’re using Windows 10, check out our tip on installing fonts

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium - Essays , Rants, etc.

A Beautiful Morning

This morning, I saw some children waiting for the school bus…

It is such a beautiful morning, and the children look so happy. It makes me pause for a moment and remember a time in my life when I was a child and I waited for the school bus on a morning just like this. The sun well above the horizon and summer is in the air. The dreams and anticipation of picnics, baseball games, a sandy beach on my toes, all dance in my mind this beautiful spring morning.

I remember this same wonderful feeling as a child when after school I would be outside with my friends and had the rest of the day to do whatever I wanted. And knowing all the while that summer vacation was near.

The innocence of children is quickly corrupted by the world and at some point in time we all lose the child that lived inside us – or at least it seems to me that most of us do.

Today, as I watch the children waiting for the bus it occurs to me that that the child inside of me never really died and that this makes me different. I think this is what makes me rebellious and unusual – some would say I can be bellicose; others say I’m weird. But I have a child’s heart. That is to say, I have a soft heart. Sometimes I really do have a heart of gold.

When you’re living in an adult body, but you look at the world through the eyes of a child, it makes for an odd stew...

Please read the rest of this essay here. 

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium - Back to Basics

What does "in focus" mean?

Sometimes, long after midnight, EB will come stumbling in from her night out or merry-go-rounding on the nightclub circuit. I'll try to show her something important, like the company bank balance, and she can't see it because she can't focus. Well, I agree, there's not much to see but you still have to focus to see a zero.

No, no! We're not talking about EB's glazed eyes. We're talking about computers. When you read a tip that says, click on the window in focus, it means the one you're looking at - the one on top. So, the term "in focus" means the window on top - the active window - the one you're looking at.

The next time you see a tip that tells you to click on the window in focus you'll know what it means.

No EB, I do not know where you put your contacts. My eyes are out of focus.

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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.

Have a great weekend... be safe!

Your friends at Cloudeight,

Darcy and TC
Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly - Issue #918
Volume 18 Number 28
May 14, 2021 

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