How to Display File Extensions in Windows 10 File Explorer Automatically

Did you know that by default Microsoft hides file extensions in File Explorer? You probably didn’t, and like most people just click on details to display them. That’s easy, yes? But it can get a little bit annoying when you have to do it EVERY TIME you open File Explorer! And not doing it can make by a real niggle for those people who need to look for specific types of files, like JPEGs and JPGs.

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So wouldn’t it be easier to just have the extensions displayed by default? Here is how you do that:

1. In the Search bar at the bottom of the screen (next to the Start button) type in File Explorer Options.

2. In the results will be the option in the Control panel. Locate this and click it. (There are actually several different ways to get to this point, but this seems to be the quickest and most straightforward.)

3. In the window that pops up, click the View tab.

4. Uncheck the box that says Hide extensions for known file types.

5. Click Apply, and OK. You should now be able to see file extensions for all files in the File Explorer by default as soon as the program loads.

Instructions

WHICH CABLE DO I NEED TO CONNECT A MONITOR TO MY LAPTOP?

We recently explained how to set up additional monitors with a laptop by making some simple changes in your device settings. Which is all well and good, but what about actually connecting your PC/laptop to the monitor in the first place? 

For example, if your PC or laptop has an HDMI port and your monitor has a display port the cable displayed below, which is sold online in all the major websites as a “Displayport to HDMI cable” will work, right? Wrong!

Most of these types of cables are uni-directional, meaning the “signal” only goes in one direction. And the clue is in the name: Displayport to HDMI. Whatever is connected to this cable via a DisplayPort (on the right) is sending the signal to whatever is connected to this cable via the HDMI port (on the left). This means that the only time this cable would work is if your PC or laptop has a Display Port and your monitor has a HDMI port. Otherwise the signal will be going the wrong way!

Therefore as HDMI ports are a more accepted standard in laptops, and as such more common, it is unlikely that these types of cable will work. It is very rare to find a Display Port in laptop, if at all. 

So, what does this mean? Well, we have 3 options for you to take, depending on the ports you find in your monitor. 

1. If your monitor has a DVI port you can simply purchase a HDMI to DVI cable, such as this one. They are easily available and usually less expensive than the Displayport to HDMI cable. 

2. If you have not yet purchased a cable, and your monitor DOES have a DisplayPort and nothing else, you may need to purchase a bi-directional Displayport to HDMI cable as shown below. Be warned, they are very difficult to find and there is a common consensus that these cables never actually work properly, and whilst we would never state that as fact, we would suggest caution when purchasing a cable advertised as bi-directional. You must make 100% sure that your cable is bi-directional. They are not very common, so beware what you are getting and where you are getting it from. 

3. If you only have a DisplayPort available and have already purchased a Displayport to HDMI cable, only to find that it does not work because it is uni-directional, our advice would be to purchaseHDMI to Display port converter, such as the one in this picture below. If you haven’t yet purchased a cable we would also recommend using this converter with a uni-directional cable if you have any doubts and have to use a DisplayPort. 

Connecting your laptop to a monitor should be easy, but it can be more complicated than necessary. That’s why we at Labyrinth Technology offer this simple advice to you, and if you need to source the cables or converter mentioned above, contact us today as we have a wide range of these peripherals available. 

How To Take A Screenshot Of Just Part Of The Screen 

We all know how to take a screenshot, yes? Actually, there are at least 8 different ways to do this, with most people using Ctrl + Print Screen or even just the Print Screen button on its own. But that takes a screenshot the whole active screen, which then needs to be cropped in some program or other.

But did you know that it is very easy to just select the portion of the screen you want to take a screenshot of? 

Simply press Windows + Shift + S, all at the same time and the Snip & Sketch tool will open up. You have 4 options here: 

  1. A simple 4-sided box selection 
  2. A freeform (or freestyle) “drawing” option 
  3. A “windows snip” option, where you can select just 1 of your active monitors if you are using more than one 
  4. A “fullscreen snip”, which takes a screenshot of the entire open desktop across all monitors (although of course simply pressing the Print Screen button does this as well) 

Options 1 and 2 are obviously the most useful, with option 1 enabling you to screen shot entire blocks of text, pictures, pop up boxes and so much more. 

Try it now. Windows + Shift + S. You will be amazed how useful it is! 

How To Set Up Additional Monitors With A Laptop

Working from home? On a desk? Maybe the dining room table? Or even an ironing board??  

Unless you have a permanent workstation set up in your home, at some point you will probably have to take everything apart and then put it back together again. And as you don’t have an IT team at home it’s up to you to get it right. 

If you are lucky enough to be working with additional monitors plugging these in to your laptop, either using a docking station or cable should be relatively straightforward, and if you are simply re-assembling your workstation the monitors will hopefully go back to their previous settings. But what if they don’t? Or what if this is a first-time setup? That’s where the problems might start! 

Fear not, just follow our simple guide on how to set up additional monitors with a laptop in Windows 10. 

Firstly, click the Windows icon to open your Start menu, and select the cog wheel button to open the settings menu. 

From the Windows Settings menu, click on Systemand the Display menu should automatically be open for you. If not, search for Display in the left hand menu. 

Making sure that your additional monitors are correctly connected and (if necessary) powered up, click on Detect (to make sure your laptop is aware of all attached monitors), followed by Identify and a number will briefly appear on each of your monitors (possibly including your laptop).  

Once the additional screens have been detected you ideally want them to operate from left to right, and you should re-arrange them in the settings screen to match their actual position on your workstation. So if the left hand monitor is actually “2”, and the right hand monitor is “1”, click and hold on one of the monitors in Display Settings and drag it (left or right) to where you want it to be. When you are happy, click Apply. 

Select a screen resolution that works best for you. Usually a setting that is Recommended by Windows as this is based on the display’s hardware. Also ensure your Display Orientation is set to Landscape. 

Finally, and possibly most importantly, check the settings in the Multiple displays section. The first time any new monitors are plugged in these additional screens are set to Duplicate these displays, which basically means they act as a mirror of your laptop screen across the additional monitors. Assuming your aim is to have 2 (or 3, including your laptop) monitors all acting as a single desktop display, select Extend these displays from the drop-down menu, which allows you to use them as additional monitors instead. If you are going to keep the laptop screen as part of a 3 monitor desktop, we recommend it be set up in position 1 or 3, whichever suits your work setup best. 

But if you are using a laptop and 2 additional monitors and do not want the laptop screen switched on, you can un-check the box labelled Make this my main display, and this switches off the laptop screen, leaving you with the additional monitors only as your display. Obviously if you only attach 1 additional monitor you cannot un-check this box. 

File Emails Automatically In Outlook; How To Create A Rule 

How many emails to you get each day? Too many we hear you shout! And we would wager then several of them are merely updates, information emails about “company performance yesterday” and so on. The sort of email you don’t necessarily need to read immediately but would like to have on file just in case. You try to file them every day but eventually they just clutter up your already bulging inbox. 

Well, did you know you can automatically file these emails without them even going into your inbox? Here’s how. 

Within Outlook, on the left-hand panel right click your Inbox and select New Folder. Type the name of the folder you want the emails to be moved into, then press the Enter key. If you already have a file ready to receive these emails, ignore this step. 

There is a SIMPLE way and an ADVANCED way to do this, and today we are dealing with the EASY way onlySo, from wherever it is in Outlook find the latest email in the series you want to file automatically (like the daily update email mentioned above) and click on it. No need to open it though. Now make sure the Home tab is selected and locate the 3 dots at right end of the menu bar. Click this and then click or hover on Rules. pop-up window will appear, and from this box select Create Rule. 

You will now see a pop-up box with options for you to select regarding which emails you want to file automatically: 

  1. Who the email was sent from 
  2. What the subject contains 
  3. Who the email was sent to 

You will also see in this box options regarding what you want to happen to these emails: 

  1. Whether it is to be automatically displayed in a New Item Alert window 
  2. Whether you want a specific sound played to notify you these emails have arrived (different to the normal “new email” sound) 
  3. Whether you want the emails filed automatically 

Remembering that we are following the EASY method for the purposes of moving a regular emailso you should find that the From and Subject fields will be pre-completed, so all you need to do is check theseHowever, be careful, because if the subject changes because it contains a date for instance, you would need to remove the date part from the Subject contains box (Daily Digest 17/02/21 becomes merely Daily Digest). 

Clicking the arrow in the Sent to box allows you to stipulate whether the emails to be automatically filed are those sent to you only, one of the other recipients, or (assuming we are doing this for regular company emails) the distribution list itself (“Management Team, All Staff and so on). 

Once you are happy with the “When I get email with all of the selected conditions boxes, it is time to look at the last 3 boxes in the Do the following section. 

Because we are only concerned today with moving emails automatically, ignore the first 2 boxes. Go to, and check the box called Move the item to folder, and then select the destination folder from the list presented to you in the pop-up box. 

And that’s it. Click OK and you are done. 

Just remember the following: 

  1. You don’t need to check all the boxes. Think logically about each one (for instance, if the daily update email is sent from someone different within an Admin department each day, do not check the From box). 
  2. The rule you create will move the desired emails from your inbox automatically, without you realising itIf you want to read it you will need to go to the new folder to do this. 
  3. When a new email goes into this folder you should see a in bold appear next to the folder name, and this will show the amount of unread emails in this folder. 

Also remember that this is the EASY and SIMPLE version, and that there is also a DIFFICULT and COMPLICATED version, where you have a lot more options and can do more complicated things. Our advice is not to worry about that. Do not click on Advanced Options, you will just get confused. Keep it simple and make your inbox a little bit tidier. 

 

Fingerprint Scanner Not Working? Try This!

Biometric security is becoming more and more common, and while the jury is still out as to whether face and voice recognition is going to become the norm, fingerprint readers have been around for some time now, and theyre simple and easy to use. 

When they work. 

If you know someone that uses face recognition instead of fingerprint scanning, you may notice just how much faster using a face is as opposed to using fingers.

To some degree this is a technological issue, such as the placement of the fingerprint scanner for instance. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Samsung moving the scanner from the rear on the Galaxy S9 (meaning it had to be picked up every time the phone needed to be unlocked) to the front screen on phones such as the latest S21 (where it can be accessed when lying on a desk) has been hugely popular.

But it’s also a question of the fingers themselvesNot only is accurate fingerprint placement on the sensor critical, but it’s quite likely that your hands aren’t always going to be clean when you touch the sensor. Why? Because in the main we use our thumb and forefinger to “pinch” things we want to hold (like bottles, sticky tape, tubes of glue etc). Grease, oily, dirt and adhesive substances can all affect the prints of these fingers. 

So why use them as opposed to the “poor relations” on your hands? Use the middle finger or little finger as your default fingerprint source. Admittedly it can seem a bit strange at first, but after a while it’s easy, especially on phones that use the screen to locate the fingerprint sensor. 

Alt + Tab. The Forgotten Shortcut 

Those of a certain generation will nod their heads in a nostalgic fashion at the mention of Alt+Tab. In the days before a taskbar that showed previews of what programs are open, and indeed what documents are open within each program, the only way to easily get a snake peek at this was to use Alt+Tab. 

But this classic keyboard shortcut remains today, alive and well and available in Windows 10. And what’s more, it remains a very useful function for those users that find themselves with multiple windows open. Yes, you can hover your mouse pointer on the task bar, but to quickly press Alt+Tab and have a full visual display of your open windows simultaneously cannot be beaten. 

And its usefulness doesn’t end there. Once you press and hold Alt with your thumb and press and release Tab with your finger, the open windows remain displayed. And now you can navigate these open windows by either tapping the Tab key to move one at a time, or by using the cursor keys to move from window to window, or even by using your mouse to select the window you want to navigate to. 

And last, but by no means least, there is the classic “back and forth” between 2 open programs. If you are using source data from one window and want to enter it into another, constantly reaching for your mouse can be a pain. So using Alt+Tab is a much easier option. Press and hold Alt with your thumb and press and release Tab twice with your finger, and this navigates back and forth for you. It’s as simple as that. 

How to disable ads in your Chrome browser 

Let’s face it, ads popping up unexpectedly when you are browsing the internet are simply an accepted part of life these days, yes? We are all programmed to close them down on “auto-pilot”, even though they are irritating and annoying. 

So what if you could block ads? Would that make you happy? Keep reading to find out how to disable ads in your Chrome browser! 

Firstly, launch Google Chrome and click the 3 dots in the upper right-hand corner of the window. In the drop-down menu that appears, click or hover over More toolsand then, from the pop up window that appears, click Extensions to open a new Extensions tab. 

Click the three lines (also known as the “hamburger” button) in the top left of the page, and then the link at the bottom of the menu that slides out called Open Chrome Web Store.  

Type “AdBlock” in the “Search the Store” text box and press “Enter.” There should only be (at the moment) 3 results, and you want the one highlighted below. Click the entry to display the extension detail. 

And remember, this is all being done in the official Google Chrome Web Store, and NOT a dodgy third-party website. So, relax and don’t panic!. 

Now click on the Add to Chrome” button which will change to Checking…  

At the same time a pop-up window will appear asking you to confirm that you want to add AdBlocker. Click Add extension. 

Wait a few seconds for Chrome to download and install the AdBlock extension.

You will now be presented with the option to make a donation to the creators of AdBlock. PLEASE BE AWARE THERE IS NO OBLIGATION TO DO THIS AND YOU CAN SIMPLY CLOSE THE WEB PAGE AT THIS POINT. The creators of AdBlocker have made this available at their own expense, and making a donation is entirely your decision. Labyrinth technology would also make clear that we have no connection with the creators of AdBlocker, and receive no financial payments, rewards, or favours of any other kind. We are simply offering this as best advice, and not for any commercial gain. 

Now all you need to do is restart Chrome, and AdBlock prevents ads from displaying in the browser and disables pop-up windows with advertisements. 

 

3 Ways To Stop Microsoft Teams Running Slow 

Have you ever thought that Microsoft Teams is running slowly? Obviously there are several considerations if this happens, such as the quality of your broadband connection, or if someone else on that connection is doing something “bandwidth heavy” (such as your partner downstairs on a separate video call!).  

But irrespective of these, Microsoft teams is very memory and CPU usage hungry, which can cause the entire PC to slow down if there is no available memory for other applications to run. This can be particularly noticeable when trying to share your screen, and there is significant “lag”. You can see this for yourself in Task Manager. Simply right click the “Start” button to display the secret start menu” and click on Task Manager. 

Click on the Details tab, then click on Memory (active private working set), only ONCE to sort the list by the most “memory heavy” applications. Usually you will see Teams right up there at the top of the list, and probably more than once! 

So if you suspect you have an issue, here are 3 simple tips that you can try to yourself to make Microsoft Teams run faster. You may not need to do all of these, and we recommend that you try them in the order below. 

1. Changing the Settings in Microsoft Teams  

Click on your profile picture and from the drop-down menu select Settings. 

In the pop-up Settings menu that appears, uncheck the box for Disable GPU hardware acceleration and also for Register Teams as the chat app for Office. Once done you will need to re-start the Teams app. 

2. Changing the Settings in Microsoft Outlook 

Open Outlook and select File. Then select Options from the Account information screen that appears 

Being very careful to follow these instructions correctly, Select Add-ins, and then Microsoft Teams Meeting Add-in for Microsoft Office. Once this is done, click Go. 

From the pop-up box, locate and uncheck the box for Microsoft Teams Meeting Add-in for Microsoft Office, and click OK to confirm. 

3. Clear the Cache in Windows Explorer (CAUTION; FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER!) 

For those that don’t know, a cache is a reserved storage location that collects temporary data to help websites, browsers, and apps load faster, and Microsoft Teams has its own cache.  

Open Windows Explorer and in the address bar type in to %appdata%\Microsoft\teams (or better still, just copy and paste this from this text). 

Then do the following very carefully: 

In the folder called blob_storage, delete all files. 

In the folder called Cache, delete all files. 

In the folder called Code Cache, delete all files in it. 

In the folder called databases, delete all files. 

In the folder called GPUCache, delete all files. 

In the folder called IndexedDB, delete the .db file. 

In the folder called Local Storage, delete all files. 

In the folder called tmp, delete all files. 

Download the guide below or get in touch with us for more information.

3 Ways To Stop Microsoft Teams Running Slow 

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How To Automatically Open Web Pages Every Day In Edge And Chrome

Maybe you have your favourite web pages filed nicely away in folders in your browser. Maybe you actually have a folder called “start”, filled with everything you need open for the day (BBC sport, company SharePoint site, your website, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on)? 

But did you know you can have them open up automatically as soon as you open your browser window? How great would that be? 

Here’s how to set that up, for both Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome; 

Microsoft Edge: 

Open up all of the websites that you want to open every day 

Once they are open and loaded, click the 3 dots in the top right-hand corner of the browser and select Settings. 

In the Settings windows, on the left-hand panel you should see On start-up. Click this. 

Click the option to Use all open tabs  

All of the pages you currently have open should be listed, and you’re done! No need to click save. 

And remember, as and when you find new pages you like or need on a daily basis, you can manually add the URL of these pages. Just follow the same steps but instead of clicking “Use all open tabs”, click “Add a new page” and copy/paste the URL into the pop up box that you’d like to start up automatically. 

 

Google Chrome: 

Open up all of the websites that you want to open every day 

Once they are open and loaded, click the 3 dots in the top right-hand corner of the browser and select Settings. 

In the Settings windows, scroll down until you see the box titled On start-up. 

Click the option to Open a specific page or set of pages and a drop down menu will appear. Click “Use current pages”. 

All of the pages you currently have open should be listed, and you’re done! No need to click save. 

And remember, as and when you find new pages you like or need on a daily basis, you can manually add the URL of these pages. Just follow the same steps but instead of clicking “Use current pages”, click “Add a new page” and copy/paste the URL into the pop up box that you’d like to start up automatically. 

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