If you use OneDrive and you’d like to access all your files without having to download them and use storage space on your Windows device, and you’d like certain files and folders to be always available locally on your device, you can set OneDrive files to ‘On-Demand’. Here’s how:
– Sign in to OneDrive on your device.
– Select the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the Windows taskbar notification area.
– Select More > Settings.
– Select the ‘Save space and download files as you use them’ box. Files On-Demand settings are unique to each device, so make sure they’re turned on for each device where you want to use.
To mark a file or folder for offline use or as online-only:
– Right-click a file or folder.
– Select Always keep on this device or Free up space
You may have found that you’ve been using your gadgets for longer and charging them more during lockdown so, if you’d like to know more about keeping your gadgets’ lithium-ion batteries healthy in the long run, here are a few important tips:
– Lithium-ion batteries do not like being charged fully to 100 per cent each time. Having an energy band of around 60 per cent rather than 100 can double the life of your phone battery.
– Letting your battery get too close to zero charge should be avoided.
– Lithium-ion batteries respond well to being charged in short bursts e.g. for five per cent here or 10 per cent here and there. Bringing your phone charge from 100 per cent right down to zero and then back up again can damage the battery’s performance and cause strange and rapid losses of power.
– Extreme heat is not good for phones and other gadget batteries, and a fully charged and extremely hot phone (left in the sun) should be avoided. However, Lithium-ion batteries like to be just warm while they charge and discharge, so wireless chargers can help battery life.
If you are using Microsoft’s Teams during the lockdown and would like to set up a more professional-looking or even a fun or custom background during your video calls, here’s how:
You can choose to use one of the backgrounds that are built-in to teams or, you can set up your own custom background (putting your image in the uploads folder) in the following way:
– Open File Explorer.
– Select Click This PC >> Windows (C:).
– Open the Users folder, select your user profile and click the View tab (top of File Explorer).
– Check the Hidden items checkbox and open the AppData folder (which should have appeared when you checked the hidden items box).
– Open the Roaming folder, open the Microsoft folder, and open the Teams folder within the Microsoft folder.
– Then, open the Backgrounds folder, open the Uploads folder, and place your chosen image in the uploads folder.
– Finally, right-click on the Uploads folder and select Pin to Quick access. You can also pin the Uploads folder to Quick Access to speed things up if you want to add more images.
To set your chosen (from the built-in images) or custom image as a background:
– Within a video call, select the More actions button (the three dots).
– Select Show background effects, scroll down and select your uploaded image.
– Select Preview and then select Apply (or Apply and turn on video).
With most of us working from home and with a much bigger demand than normal being placed on our broadband connections, here are a few simple ways to try and speed your connection up:
– Move your home router away from other devices e.g. TVs, Bluetooth speakers, baby monitors, cordless phones, and consider placing the router on a table or raised position rather than on the floor.
– Try to stagger the number of family members using the internet at one time.
– Don’t use your microwave while online as this can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal.
– Consider using a homemade DIY ‘parabolic’ antenna e.g. shielding the back of the router in a beer can that’s had the top and bottom cut off, been flattened, and stood up in curved shape. Please note: be incredibly careful to avoid injury if attempting to make this.
– Get a signal booster.
– Set your router to reboot regularly to keep your Wi-Fi speed high.
If you use Twitter for business and networking and you’d like to take precautions around your tweet history, here’s how you can delete your Twitter history:
– Firstly, archive your Tweets – click on the “Your Twitter Data” tab (left-hand column) and scroll down to “Twitter Archive”, and request your archive be sent to the email address associated with your Twitter account.
– When you receive the .zip file containing a folder with an index.html file, click on it to see a webpage in your browser showing your entire Twitter history.
– Next, use a free service e.g. TweetDelete or TwitWipe, or a paid (monthly) service such as TweetDeleter or TweetErase to help you delete your tweets.
– You could, however, decide to simply delete your account without a backup.
Here are some tips for keeping your laptop battery in good condition and the screen nice and clean:
– Avoid using the laptop in very hot places and avoid causing the laptop to overheat, as this can drain more power from the battery.
– Avoid draining the battery completely before charging it again.
– Check the power settings and learn which battery settings to enable.
– Make sure your laptop’s hibernation feature happens before the battery is drained and during downtime.
– Check which (unnecessary) apps are running in the background and stop them from doing so. With Windows 10, this can be helped by enabling the ‘Battery Saver’.
– With MacBooks, consider enabling Power Nap and automatic graphics switching.
To keep the screen of your laptop clean without damaging it:
– Use a microfibre cloth (not a paper towel or tissue), and preferably one that’s suitable for lens or glasses cleaning. You could also use a soft duster.
– Shut the laptop down first (so you can see the dust), press gently when cleaning and wipe in one direction.
If you’re wondering how you can effectively and safely clean your smartphone as an extra way to help protect yourself from the threat of bacteria and viruses, here’s some advice from a medical expert:
As featured on the BBC and in some national newspapers recently, Dr Lena Ciric, a microbiologist from University College London, advises (in her video, on YouTube – see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwPVqXrJitI) that you can make sure your smartphone is really clean in the following way:
– Unplug your smartphone, turn it off and remove the case.
– Dampen a microfibre cloth with water and household hand soap e.g. the soap dispensing bottle type.
– Gently rub the surfaces of the phone with the damp cloth. Try not to get moisture in any of the openings.
– Dry the phone with a clean microfibre cloth.
– Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly can reduce the number of germs that you put on your phone after you’ve washed it.
In the video, Dr Ciric also notes that Apple says that iPhones can also be safely cleaned using 70 per cent isopropyl wipes alcohol.
As well as computer viruses, everyone now needs to consider biological viruses so maintaining hygiene both personally and professionally will now be more important than ever.
If you’re connecting via a mobile device, information, notifications and updates going to and from apps that run in the background can sap your battery power and your data. Here’s how to control which apps are running in the background:
– Go to Settings > Privacy > Background app.
– To stop all apps from running in the background, toggle ‘Let apps run in the background’ to ‘Off’. Be aware that some background app updates serve a useful purpose.
– To stop individual apps from running in the background, scroll down the list and switch to ‘Off’ as required.
In addition to the main Start menu that you can access by clicking on the Windows symbol (bottom left), Windows 10 has a 2nd start menu that gives you fast access to features like PowerShell, Device Manager, Task Manager and File Explorer. Here’s how to launch it:
– Click on the Windows key + X or right-click on the Windows icon (bottom left).
– This will launch the 2nd Start menu.
Ransomware is still a common threat to businesses, but you may not know that Windows 10 already has a ransomware protection features built-in to Windows Defender which is usually disabled by default. Here’s how to enable ransomware protection:
N.B. If you already have third-party antivirus software installed and Windows Defender’s real-time protection is disabled, the Ransomware Protection features screen and Controlled Folder Access feature won’t be accessible to you. You’ll find this out when you follow these instructions:
– Click on the Start menu.
– Type Windows Security and select the search result, or go to the Settings app, then to Update & Security > Windows Security.
– Open Windows Security and click on the Virus & Threat Protection option
– Scroll down to Ransomware Protection and click on the Manage ransomware protection option.
– Next page, you will see a description of Controlled folder access – toggle to enable it.
– To enable Ransomware Protection, turn on Controlled Folder Access and log in to OneDrive.
– This will allow you to configure Controlled Folder Access and choose which folder you want to monitor and block from malicious programs.