The tricks for using Gmail folders vs. labels

Brenda Wilson recently switched from Outlook to Gmail. Now she’s “trying to get my head wrapped around the whole ‘label’ thing. When I moved an email to a folder in Outlook. it no longer appeared in my Inbox.” That’s not the case with Gmail.

Gmail can confuse people used to other email clients, and the concept of labels causes a lot of that confusion. Labels don’t quite behave like folders, although sometimes they do. Because you can attach multiple labels onto a single conversation, you have far more options.

(Remember that Gmail, by default, organizes not by individual messages but by conversations, each of which contains an original message and all of the replies to that message.)

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You can open old Office files with these settings

George Courtney discovered that he couldn’t print old DOC files from inside Windows Explorer. “Do I have to convert the files to compatible mode?”

No, you don’t have to convert the files, and I hope you never do. As file formats change with application upgrades, the old formats should continue to be supported. Programs change, but content—words, numbers, images, and sounds—should last indefinitely.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen as cleanly as we’d like. As security became a bigger problem, Microsoft altered the Office formats to make them safer. But that meant that the old, less-secure formats had to be handled carefully.

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When you can't create the Windows 10 Recovery Drive, try these three fixes

Arthur Eardley tried to do what he knew he should do—create a Windows 10 Recovery Drive. But Windows’ automated process for creating this drive failed.

If you’re running Windows 10, you need to create a recovery drive—a bootable flash drive that will allow you to restore your system from a restore point, an image backup, or through a complete reinstall.

There’s no single solution to this problem. A fix that works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.

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Clean your Gmail mess with these tricks for selecting a few or a lot of messages

Susie Thompson complains that she has “several thousand emails on my Gmail account and can’t select all [of them] to delete.”

Before you can move, delete, or mark multiple conversations in Gmail, you have to select them. And at first glance, it appears that you can’t select more than you can see. And Gmail can’t display more than 100 conversations at a time.

Luckily, there’s a trick.

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Three ways to fix Windows 10 password problems

Abdi Hamid Malik upgraded to Windows 10, and it changed his login password to his Hotmail password. (Hotmail passwords are also Microsoft passwords.)

Microsoft really wants to attach your Windows environment to your online Microsoft account. Whether you think it’s a good thing depends on how you balance convenience with privacy—and how much you trust Microsoft.

But even if you vote for convenience, you may not want to log in with your Microsoft password, which may be harder to remember or type than a Windows login password.

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Your PC's dead, but you may still be able to save its hard drive

Raizza Reyes asked about using a SATA/USB adapter to recover files from an unbootable PC.

The right adapter might let you recover your files, but there’s no guarantee. A lot of it depends on the physical condition of the drive and the way your files are stored on it.

But first, a reprimand. If you backed up your files daily, you wouldn’t have this problem. You could just restore the files from your backup. It really isn’t difficult.

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This is your best hope for recovering photos from a lost or stolen phone

Greta Flederbach lost her Samsung Galaxy 5. She asked if there’s any way she can recover the photos on it. My answer isn’t exclusive to that phone.

Assuming you have a smartphone, there’s a very good chance that your photos are in the cloud somewhere. But with an old-fashioned cell phone, the chances are pretty much nil.

I assume you’ve already tried the obvious—using another phone to call yours, and listen for the ring. But that won’t help if the phone is really lost, so let’s concentrate on where, aside from your phone, those photos may be.

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