Protecting Microsoft Word Files (Disable Editing)

When you’re collaborating with multiple people on a Microsoft Word document, it may be helpful to mark a draft as FINAL to prevent further edits. To do this in Microsoft Word, go to the File tab and under the Info options select “Protect Document” and “Mark as Final“. This lets other readers know that this is a final draft. When they open the document, they’ll see a yellow banner across the top that says “An author has marked this document as final to discourage editing”. Note that discourages editing, but the reader can go ahead and select “Edit Anyway” to make further edits.


Other options to protect the document include “Encrypt with a Password” so a password will be required to open the document. You can also “Restrict Editing” to restrict what kind of changes can be made to the document, either by tracking changes or by making the document “read only”. If you decide to protect the document with a password, make sure you have a way to remember the password!

Create a PDF Document in Microsoft Office

Here’s a tip to get more from the small business technology you already have.  One of the helpful features in Microsoft Office is the ability to directly create a PDF document by using the “save as PDF” feature.  Instead of relying on a third-party application, the capability is built right in.

To create a PDF, simple to to File / Save As Type – and pick “PDF”:

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PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and this means anyone can view your file and keep the formatting intact, even if they don’t have Microsoft Word on their system. This feature is also built into PowerPoint, so this makes it easy to share your presentations over the web.

Have you noticed it takes longer to open PDF files?

I received calls about pdf files starting to take a lot longer to open.

The culprit? Adobe Reader “Enhanced Security“. This is apparently the result of an update, and the new settings automatically call for Adobe to look up a “policy file” for the document. Of course security is a good thing, but in this case, too much security will slow you down. If you have up to date antivirus protection, anti-malware protection, a good firewall, and you’re careful about opening files from trusted sources, this is a case where you probably don’t need an extra layer of protection.

To revert the settings, in Adobe Reader, go to “Edit” and select “Preferences” from the pull-down. In the “Preferences” window, under “Categories” select “Security (Enhanced)” which is about 3/4 down the list. Then un-check the “Enable Enhanced Security” box.


Feed your need for speed by installing SSDs in RAID 0 SSD

Feed your need for speed by installing SSDs in RAID 0

Tired of waiting while your top-of-the-line SSD loads files?

RAID 0 works far better with SSDs than it does with hard drives, because mechanical drives aren’t fast enough to take full advantage of the increased bandwidth.

This tip is primarily for desktop PC owners. SSD

The performance of both the ssds-raid-03



How to Disable Creation of Thumbs.db Windows

Thumbs.db, as its name states, is a file based database that stores thumbnails of image files, certain types of documents and video files, mostly for Windows Explorer’s thumbnail view. They are stored locally in each directory that contains thumbnails on Windows system and are created to prevent system wide use of the data. Thumbs.db files are hidden system files, so you will need to turn off “Hide protected operating system files” in order to see them.

This idea of caching thumbnails in a spread thumbs.db local file has been around since Windows XP. While it seems to be a good idea, it sometimes could be annoying seeing this “File in Use” dialogue box pops up when trying to clean up the directory in Windows Explorer. And it seems to happen quite often in Windows 8 for some reason.Valley Computer Systems 206.730.1111

Since they don’t seem to be very useful to me, I’d like to disable them to 1) prevent this “File in Use” from happening so often; and 2) save some disk space for being good to my SSD.

To disable it, all you need to do is just to enable “Always show icons, never thumbnails” option in Folder Options. To open Folder Options window, the easiest way in Windows 7 and 8 is to press Win key, type “folder options”, and click it.
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Your image folders will become so plain and boring once you Apply the change.

Now, to free up the disk space if you like, you can fire up Disk Clean Up utility, check Thumbnails, and delete them.
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Turn Off Caching of Thumbnails

There are a couple of ways to turn off caching of thumbnails, one includes editing the registry and the other includes using the Local Group Policy Editor. I have edited the registry a million times and don’t mind doing that, but it doesn’t get any easier than using the Local Group Policy Editor. The first step is to log on to Windows 7 as an administrator. To start the Local Group Policy Editor, click the Windows 7 start icon and type gpedit.msc in the search text box and hit Enter. The Editor will open to the top-level Local Computer Policy, so you will have to expand the User Configuration item in the left-side pane of the Editor window. Drill down through Administrative Templates, then Windows Components, and click on the Windows Explorer item. Near the top of the list in the right-hand pane of the Editor window you will find the setting “Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files” (see below).

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To edit this policy setting, either double-click on the title of the policy or click the link titled “Edit Policy Setting” to the left of the setting list after you select the policy. It is interesting to note that below the Edit Policy Setting link it indicates that the requirement is Windows Vista Service Pack 1. To change the policy, merely check the “Enabled” radio button and click OK (see below).
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Close the Local Group Policy Editor and you will notice that all of those thumbs.db files have disappeared.

Turn the Preview Pane Off on Windows 7

You can use the preview pane in Windows Explorer to see the contents of most files. If you select an e‑mail message, text file, picture, or video for example, you can see a preview of its contents without opening it in a program. The preview pane is turned off by default in Windows 7.

This will show you how to turn the Preview pane off on all Windows Explorer windows in Windows 7

Windows Explorer Layout


To Turn “Preview Pane” Off in Windows Explorer
1. Open Windows Explorer (explorer.exe).

2. On the toolbar, click on Organize and Layout. (see screenshots below)


Disable Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7

If you want to speed up browsing around in explorer, you might think about disabling thumbnail previews in folders.
To make this change, go to Start -> Computer -> Organize -> Folder and Search Options
Click the View tab, and then check the Always show icons, never thumbnails checkbox.
Click OK, and you’re done.

Windows 10 Disable WiFi Sense

How to disable Windows 10’s WiFi Sense password sharing

WiFi Sense in Windows 10 takes the headache out of managing WiFi networks, but some people have security and privacy concerns.

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Disable WiFi Sense

How to disable WiFi Sense in Windows 10

First, open the Start menu and head to Settings > Network & Internet > WiFi > Manage WiFi settings. In here, you basically want to disable every option you see, as well as tell Windows 10 to forget any WiFi networks you’ve signed into in the past.

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Disable WiFi Sense

That’s easy, and all well and good. But what if you don’t want your friends sharing the information about your network’s password with their friends? That takes some additional tinkering, and it’s not obvious. There isn’t a mere option toggle in Windows 10 itself.

Instead, you need to dive into your actual router’s settings and give your network a new name with “_optout” at the end. For example, a network called “WiFiSenseUgh_optout” wouldn’t be stored by WiFi Sense, while one that’s just called “WiFiSenseUgh” would be usable with Microsoft’s sharing feature.

You will need to add “_optout” to your network if you want to stay out of Microsoft’s WiFi Sense database, you’ll need to manually enter your password on your friends’ devices when they pop by your house and make sure to uncheck Windows 10’s “Share network with my contacts” box when you do so.

Network Adapter get disabled after resuming from sleep mode

Does your network adapter get disabled after resuming from sleep mode (wake up from sleep)? If yes, then we have a solution for you. Here is the quick rundown of the problem and its solution. By default Windows 7 will disable a network device to save power, all you need to do is to tell Windows to mind it’s own business. Go to Device Manager, right-click the network adapter (that keeps getting turned off), and select Properties.

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Disabled Network Adaptor

Now head over to the Power Management tab, uncheck the option that says “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”, and Hit OK.

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Disabled Network Adaptor