Tech Tip – Re-Open A Recently Closed Tab

Sometimes you can accidentally close an important browser tab. Here’s a fast and easy way to re-open that tab:

– In Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, right click on the title bar of the browser (the part above the address field).

– Select ‘Reopen closed tab’.

– Alternatively, press Ctrl + Shift + T.

Tech Tip – Sending ‘Private’ Emails in Gmail

If you need to send an email containing private/sensitive information, you can do it in Gmail using confidential mode. Here’s how:

– Open Gmail and log into your account.

– In the upper-left corner of the screen, select Compose.

– At the bottom of the New Message window, marked by a padlock and clock icon, is an option to ‘Turn confidential mode on/off’. Turn it to ‘on’.

– Set the expiration date for the email i.e.,1 day, 1week, 1 month, 3 months, or 5 years.

– If you would like the email to require a passcode in order for it to be read, select the ‘SMS passcode’ checkbox.

– Click ‘Save’.

– Write the email and send it.

It’s worth noting that the contents of any emails you send using this confidential mode can’t be forwarded by the recipient, copied, printed, or downloaded.

Tech Tip – How To Delete The Last 15 Minutes of Your Search History In Google

If, for whatever reason, you have not used Incognito browsing in Google and would like a fast and easy way to delete the last 15 minutes of your search history, here’s how:

– Open the Google Search app on your Android or iOS device.

– Tap on your profile picture (top-right).

– Tap on “Delete the last 15 mins”.

To erase your search history for a longer period:

– Tap on the Search history button.

– Select the date range to be deleted.

– Alternatively, set up an auto delete function via the search and location history in the Google account settings.

Tech Tip : Using Alexa As An Intercom System

If you have Amazon Echo devices in your home (or office), the ‘Drop In’ feature allows you to use Alexa as an intercom through your Echo devices. Here’s how:

  • Open your Alexa app.
  • Tap ‘Devices’ (lower-right corner).
  • Tap ‘Echo & Alexa’ to display a list of all of your Echo devices and enable ‘Drop In’ on each device.
  • Scroll down to ‘Communications’ and select ‘Drop In’ (to select from ‘On’, ‘My Household’, or ‘Off’). ‘On’ allows only permitted contacts to Drop In, ‘My Household’ is so only devices on your account can Drop In. For no Dropping In, choose Off.

To Drop In (use the Echo as an intercom):

  • For a specific device: say “Alexa, drop in on Living Room Echo” (or wherever the Echo is). The name of the device can also be used if you know it.
  • For a group of devices, if there is more than one on in one area (e.g. the living room) say “Alexa, drop in on Living Room.”
  • To speak to the whole household/all devices: ask Alexa to “Drop in everywhere.”
  • To end the Drop In connection: say “Alexa, end drop in.”

Tech Tip – Add Or Remove Comments In Word

Using comments in Microsoft Word is a good way to leave feedback and reply to feedback in documents that you and your team are working on. Here’s how:

– To add a comment, click the ‘Review’ tab (top of the screen).

– Highlight a word in the document or place your cursor on the screen and click ‘New Comment’. This opens a comment box (on the right) which has a line leading to the specific comment.

– Other ways to add comments are to highlight text or right-click on the text and select ‘New Comment’ from the context menu that appears, or to select a word or place your cursor, go to ‘Insert’ at the top of the screen, and choose ‘Comment’.

– To reply to an existing comment, click the speech bubble at the top-right corner, and write the reply in the text field that opens. Alternatively, right-click on an existing comment, and select ‘Reply to Comment’ from the menu.

Tech Tip – Setting Up An ‘Out Of Office’ Autoreply In Gmail

Many people may be familiar with how to set up an ‘out of office’ email in Outlook, but it can also be done in Gmail too. Here’s how:

– Log in to Gmail and select the ‘gear’ (settings) symbol (top right).

– Select ‘See all settings’.

– Scroll down to ‘Vacation responder’ and change the setting to ‘on’.

– Select the date of the first day you’ll be away. Although it is not necessary to enable and select a last day, it may be a good idea just in case you forget to switch the autoreply off.

– Type your subject line and autoreply message.

– If you only want to target the autoreply to people you already know, select ‘Only send a response to people in my Contacts’.

– Select Save Changes.

– To turn the autoreply off again, follow the route through Gmail Settings to the ‘Vacation responder’ section and switch to ‘off’.

Tech Tip – Receive Only Your Important Notifications in Outlook

If you would like to save time by configuring Outlook to only send you alerts when important emails arrive, here’s how:

This involves setting up custom alert rules for specific people whose emails are particularly important to you e.g., the boss and other colleagues. To set up a custom alerting rule for a specific person:

– Open Outlook, find an email from someone for whom you want an alert.

– Right-click the email (or go to the Home tab of the ribbon at the top).

– Select Rules > Create Rule.

– Switch on the checkbox by the sender’s name.

– Choose “Display In The New Item Alert Window” and/or “Play A Selected Sound”.

– Choose the sound file to play for the alert. You can use the play button in the “Create Rule” window to hear the sound before making your choice.

– Click ‘OK’ to set the rule.

– Repeat the process for the other contacts you would like to receive alerts for.

To set up a custom rule for a whole domain:

– In the Home tab, click on Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts.

– Click “New Rule.”

– Select “Apply Rule On Messages I Receive” and click the “Next” button.

– Scroll down and select “With Specific Words In The Sender’s Address”.

– Click the underlined “Specific Words” (bottom panel).

– Add the domain you need to receive alerts for (@therequireddomain.co.uk) and click OK. The domain will replace “Specific Words”. Then click “Next”.

– Choose whether you require a sound played, an alert displayed, or both, and then click “Finish.”

– In “Rules and Alerts”, click “Apply” to turn on the rule.

Tech Tip – Creating An Email List In Outlook

If you’d like a quick and easy way to regularly email group of contacts (e.g. work colleagues or suppliers), Outlook gives you the ability to create a Distribution List (or Contact Group in 365). Here’s how it works:

For Outlook Online

– Log into outlook.com or select Outlook from the app launcher.

– On the Left-hand side, select Groups > New group.

– In the pop-up, name the group, give it a brief description, and select ‘Create’.

– Add group members by searching by name/email address, and they will appear under “This person will be added.”

– When all email addresses have been added, select the ‘Add’ button, and select ‘Close’.

– To send an email to the group, select ‘New message’ and in the ‘To’ field, type the name of the group you created.

For Outlook On Desktop

This is called a ‘Contact Group’ rather than a Distribution List. To build one:

– Launch Outlook and select ‘People’ (lower left).

– From the toolbar, select ‘New Contact Group’ (a ‘New Group’ button in 365).

– When the windows loads, name your contact group.

– To add members, select ‘Add Members’ and choose where to get members from – Outlook Contacts, Address Book, or New Email Contact.

– Search for the people/email addresses to add. When their entry is highlighted, select the ‘Members’ button (or double-click their entry) to add them.

– When this is one, select ‘OK’, save changes, and close the window.

– The name of the Contact Group will appear as an entry in the Outlook address book so can be selected in the ‘To’ field when creating a new email.

Tech Tip – Free Ways to Share Photos

We all take lots of photos with our smartphones, so here is a selection of some of the best free places to share (and back up) photos.

– Google Photos. Just having a Gmail account gives access to this service you can share photos with family, friends, or teammates, create albums, and grant access to those who want to share photos.

– Apple Photos. This sorts your photos, displays them in grid format for easier browsing, stores them to iCloud for ease of access from an iOS device or Mac, and automatically tags your photos based on location and content.

– iCloud. This allows photos to be shared as email attachments in Photos on iCloud or using an iCloud Link. To share photos with others via attachments from iCloud email, select the photos, tap Share > Email (attachments larger than 20 MB are replaced with an iCloud Link). See https://www.icloud.com/.

– Dropbox.  This popular cloud-based file-sharing, backup solution allows the creation of shared folders and shared links can be sent by email, social media, or instant message. See https://www.dropbox.com/.

– WeTransfer.  This is a fast, free, free file-sharing platform that requires no registration that allows the user to share photos across all devices provided they are compatible with web-based apps. Users can also choose to pay for a premium plan for password protection, 1TB of storage, and an increased transfer limit (to 20 MB). See https://wetransfer.com/.

– Flickr. This photo-sharing platform is user-friendly and has easy-to-use menus, and photo editing tools. Flickr also offers other features like auto-backups, an ad-free experience, unlimited storage, and photo stats. See https://www.flickr.com/.

– AirDrop.  This platform allows photos to be shared/sent between Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, or Mac).  The service doesn’t require a special account and sharing is particularly easy if both the sender and recipient are on a Wi-Fi network, and both have AirDrop and Bluetooth enabled.

– Instagram. Yes, it’s a social media app but if you often share photos, and your intended recipients already follow you, it’s a good free option.  It also has photo editing options. See https://www.instagram.com/.

– Cluster.  This free, private group photo sharing app can be accessed via a web browser or mobile app, users can make as many albums as they like, and can invite and connect with others. See https://cluster.co/.

Tech Tip – How To Speed Up Your Phone Charging

If you are finding that your phone is getting slow at charging, here are some of the possible causes and solutions:

  • Incompatible or faulty accessories, such as power brick, USB cable, or charging pad/mat (for wireless charging). Choosing a charger or brick with higher amperage e.g., a power brick with 2 to 3 amps could help speed up charging, as could making sure that you are using an authentic charging (USB) cable that is in good condition. Using a different USB cable and power adapter could be a good first try at solving the problem.
  • Wireless charging slowing things down. Wireless charging tends to be slower than cable charging, so consider switching back to traditional adapter & USB cable charging (bearing in mind the point made above).
  • Damage to or dirt in the charger port on the phone (where the cable plugs in). If there’s dirt, use a wooden toothpick or a soft brush to clean it out. If it is broken, a technician, perhaps recommended by your local phone shop can fix it for you.
  • Background apps using power. To stop this happening (Android), use Settings > Battery> Battery Usage to find the apps and disable their background battery usage. Select the app and tap Background restriction. For iPhones or iPads, go to Settings > Battery and tap Show Activity.
  • An old or defective battery. To check an iPhone or iPad’s battery capacity, use Settings > Battery > Battery Health and if the Maximum Capacity is 80 per cent or lower, this may be a sign that the battery needs replacing.
  • Using the phone while charging. This should be avoided because it causes the phone to charge more slowly, raises battery temperature, and increases the chances of fraying the charging cable.