Four PC Annoyances, Four Quick Fixes

By  |  Monday, August 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Steve Bass's TechBiteI dedicated my book–PC Annoyances, 2nd Edition: How to Fix the Most Annoying Things About Your Personal Computer–to Bill Gates. Without him, my book wouldn’t be possible or even necessary.

I still get dozens of e-mails each week with gnarly Windows-related annoyances. These are actual problems recently e-mailed to me — and might be some you’ve encountered.

IE: Start Remembering My Passwords!

The annoyance: I told Internet Explorer to not “ask to remember passwords.” How can I undo this so my computer will remember passwords?

The Fix: Control Panel, Internet Options, Content tab, choose Autocomplete, and check “User names and passwords on forms.”

Windows passwords

How’s Your Notebook’s Battery Doing?

The Annoyance: My notebook’s battery indicator is hard to read — I always have to click it to see how much juice is left. (I think the engineer who designed it never used the notebook unless it was plugged into power.) Have a fix?

The Fix: The in-your-face BattCursor shows you how your battery’s doing by turning your cursor into a power gauge. The tool is surprisingly flexible — you can change the transparency, manage power profiles, and reduce monitor brightness. It’s a freebie, but here’s the shocker: It works only on Vista and Windows 7.

My Quick Launch Toolbar Is Missing

The Annoyance: I can’t figure out how I did it, but I somehow deleted the Quick Launch toolbar.

The Fix: You might have accidentally deleted the fahrshvindn.dll, a small program responsible for the disappearance of many things on your PC. It’s a no-brainer to bring it back. Right-click a free space on the Taskbar and choose Toolbars and then Quick Launch.

This vanishing act might one day happen to your Show Desktop icon. To retrieve it, grab a free tool written by Doug Knox, aptly named Restore Missing Show Desktop Icon to Quick Launch. After you download, unzip, and install the program, run it to recover your shortcut.

Take Control of the Recycle Bin

The Annoyance: My friend stopped by and offered to, and I quote, “make my PC easier to use.” He fiddled with a lot of things, including something in the Recycle Bin, Now when I empty the Recycle Bin, I don’t get a dialog box that asks if I’m sure I want to delete the files. How do I get it back?

The Fix: The confirmation is annoying, but for some of us, also reassuring. Right-click the Recycle Bin either on the desk- top choose Properties, check the “Display delete confirmation dialog” box, then click OK. And don’t let your pal near your PC again, okay?

[This post is excerpted from Steve’s TechBite newsletter. If you liked it, head here to sign up–it’s delivered on Wednesdays to your inbox, and it’s free.]

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