Frequently Asked Questions

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Every day Pamela receives numerous questions from troubled computer and iPad/iPhone users, by email and at various seminars and workshops. Her answers provide advice on a variety of subjects related to computer hardware and software and Apple iPad and iPhones. Listed below are the questions that Pamela feels will be helpful to most users, from beginners to the more advanced.

If you cannot find the answer to your question listed below, ask Pamela your questions here or click on the ‘Ask Pamela’ link on the sidebar menu below the category list. You can also leave Pamela a Message by clicking on the Blue Button at the bottom of the right hand sidebar. Pamela always answers promptly.


Why can’t I delete, send or receive any emails in Microsoft Outlook?

If you do not Compact Folders in Outlook regularly it could stop working effectively.

When you delete email messages they go into your ‘Deleted’ folder. After you empty your ‘Deleted’ folder, the folder is empty but the emails still have not been deleted from your computer system. They are in a hidden file that just keeps growing if you do not ‘Compact’ it regularly. This will eventually halt the activity in Microsoft Outlook and it also applies to Outlook Express.

From time to time, your system will ask you if you want to ‘Compact’ your emails, unless you have disabled this option. You should click ‘Yes’ or you can compact them manually.

In order to free the “backlog” and give you some space back on your hard drive, try the processes below. Make sure that you close all open programs and leave the computer to “compact” without touching it until it has finished. Any interruption could cause a malfunction.

In Microsoft Outlook 2007:

  1. Select File
  2. Data File Management.
  3. Select outlook.pst, and then click Settings.
  4. Click Compact Now.

In Microsoft Outlook 2010:

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Select Info in the left pane.
  3. Click Account Settings, and Account Settings again.
  4. In the Account Settings dialog box, click the Data Files tab.
  5. Select the file and click Settings
  6. Click Compact Now.

While Microsoft Outlook is compacting the folders, walk away from the computer and do not work on the computer until the process completes. After the compacting has finished, close Microsoft Outlook and restart the computer.



Why are the emails in Microsoft Outlook not in date order? All the dates are mixed up and the most recent emails are not at the top of the list. What has gone wrong?

You can view your lists of emails in many ways and you will find it very useful to be able to sort them differently according to your needs. If all the dates are mixed up they are sorted by ‘conversation’ instead of by ‘date’ and that is the reason that they appear to be jumbled. Right click on the bar at the top of your email list and you will see a menu of choices. Select the first preference ‘Date’ and the most recent emails will be shown at the top of the list. You can change the order for sorting at any time.

You recommend using BCC when sending emails to more than one recipient. Can you explain the reason and where do I find the BCC option?

If you send an email with a list of recipient’s email addresses in the ‘TO’ line, they can be accessed by hackers or spammers or other recipients. This will result in “spam” “spyware” or “viruses” being sent to the entire list and don’t forget that YOU are on that list!
To protect your security and that of your friends and family ‘copy and paste’ the information below and email it to them:
Create a new entry in your address book with your email address and instead of your name, name it i.e. Undisclosed Recipient, Friends, Family etc.

  1. If you wish to make a distribution list of a group of friends that you send group emails to on a regular basis, it will save you time. If you have a distribution list called i.e. “Golf Buddies” all you need to do is click on the list and everyone in that list will be sent an email but remember to BCC the list.
  2.  When forwarding an email that contains a long list of email addresses: DELETE the list of addresses that may appear at the head of the article or story.
  3. BCC or BLINDCOPY to ALL your recipients if sending to more than one recipient.

See the illustration below for more information:

Prevent Identity Theft

Prevent Identity Theft

Thank you for helping to protect privacy and prevent Identity Theft.

How would I send an Excel list by email that is saved on my desktop?

To send an Excel list, a picture or any other file by email, you will need to ‘attach’ it to your email. Just write your email and then click on ‘attach.’  This action prompts you to ‘browse’ for your attachment which, in this case, is on your desktop. When you locate the file, click on it and it will attach itself to your email. Then send your email in the usual way.

How do I send my Email Group BCC with Hotmail?

Once you add a ‘Group’ in Hotmail and click the ‘Cc & Bcc’ link the ‘BCC’ box is covered by your contact list. Click above the ‘CC’ box to close the list and show the ‘BCC’ box. Then click into the ‘BCC’ box to start adding your contacts. To protect the privacy of your recipients and prevent ‘Identity Theft’ always ‘BCC’ your recipients if sending to more than one in the same email.

Why am I receiving emails that seem to come from my friends but my friends did not send them? When I clicked on the link in the email it shut down my computer and it would not restart. Why is this happening and how can I prevent it?

One of the reasons that you have received this ‘bogus’ email is that you did not secure your account with a strong password and a ‘dictionary attack’ allowed the hackers to fast access.  A ‘dictionary attack’ is a method of breaking into a password-protected computer or server by systematically entering every word in a dictionary as a password. Dictionary attacks work because many computer users and businesses insist on using ordinary words as passwords.

The best password you can use is the first letter of words in a short sentence, include a number, symbol, upper and lower case letter.  For example ‘ My Flower garden Is 4 years Old.”  = MFgI4yO$$  This is a very strong password and will be almost impossible to decipher. It is also wise to change your password from time to time.

Another reason that a hacker infiltrated your computer is that you are on a list of emails that circulate the internet via emails that contain a long list of email addresses in the ‘To” or “CC” lines of an email and get forwarded numerous times.

Always use the ‘BCC’ line when sending to more than one recipient and delete all the email addresses that appear on an email before forwarding. This preserves your recipient’s privacy and prevents ‘web crawlers’ from picking up the list of addresses including yours.

Forwarded emails are sometimes infected with viruses which get into your computer when received.

You need a good AntiVirus program that will protect your computer from dubious emails and malware attacks. I recommend Norton 360 good for 3 computers, available via a safe download here.  I have also supplied a FREE tutorial that you can print and follow to run the software regularly.

Weekly Computer Maintenance is also a must: Run “Disk Cleanup” – “Error Checking” –  “Defragmentation.”  This 3 part process keeps your computer free of Tempory Files, Cookies and unecessary files that are downloaded automatically from the internet causing your computer to slow down and sometimes malfunction.

How can I make sure that my identity does not get stolen online?

There is always a possibility that a ‘hacker’ or ‘spammer’ may send emails that request your personal information so you need to be very careful about opening suspicious email. Take the extra prcautions listed below which will help protect your identity.

  1. Never click on any links in an email that ask for your personal information.
  2. Never give your Social Security Number to anyone, especially in an email or online.
  3. Never give your password or username in a reply to an email.
  4. Always check the email address of the sender. In many cases you will find a mistake in the email address if it is trying to imitate PayPal, eBay or a financial institution.
  5. If you receive an email from a bank that you do not do business with it is usually spam so do not click on any links that ask for your personal information. Delete the email as soon as possible and empty your ‘trash’ folder.
  6. Never click on a ‘pop-up’ that tells you that you have a number of ‘viruses’ in your computer. This is probably a ‘rogue’ program which may shut down your computer or cause it to malfunction. If you have a good Antivirus program installed in your computer it will never ‘pop-up’ and tell you that you have viruses unless you run the software and it finds a problem.
    To make sure that you have a reliable Antivirus program I encourage you to install Norton 360 which is available HERE with a secure download. It is good for three computers which makes the cost very reasonable. I also have a Free Tutorial on how to run Norton 360 on the same page. Print this out and follow each time you scan your computer.

PAYPAL: If you receive an email from PayPal asking for your personal information or telling you that your account has been suspended, forward the email to and they will verify if it is genuine or spam.EBAY:  If you receive an email from eBay asking for your personal information or telling you that your account has been suspended, forward the email to and they will verify if it is genuine or spam.

NOTE: PayPal, eBay or your Bank will never ask you to click on links in an email and add your personal information.

Why do I get the error message that my email is over quota?

Your ISP ( Internet Service Provider ) only gives you a certain amount of space for email and when you exceed it, all your emails will bounce back and not be delivered. You may already have missed some important emails by having it over quota.

I suggest that you clear your Inbox and Deleted Folder at least once a week or maybe more often if you receive a great deal of email including spam.

I have cellular service so why can’t I get my email when away from Wi-Fi?

Check your WiFi signal by going to “Settings” then “WiFi.”

If you see an “unsecured” connection that has a “strong” signalStrong WiFi

If you see an “unsecured” connection that has a “weak” signalWeak WiFi

Your device tries to connect to WiFi first and will continue to do so without changing over to “cellular” even if the signal is weak. In order to switch to cellular, when the WiFi signal is weak, you will need to “turn off” the WiFi in “settings.” Your 3G, 4G or LTE will then take over and you will be able to work with your email and search the internet.

For more Apple iPad and iPhone Tips and Tricks click here.

Why has my text changed to Italics and Bold?


Your text may have changed to Italics if you inadvertently hit the CTRL and the “i” key and then the “B” key.  In order to turn these features off  hold down the CTRL Key and hit the “i” key and it will turn off. You can turn it on again and off again by the same shortcut and can do the same with “Bold” text using the CTRL key and the “B” key. This will turn the “BOLD” on and off as described above. A simple solution to a sometimes annoying problem.

Where can I locate my Address Book? I am able to open it by opening an eMail and clicking on “To”, but there must be another place on my Outlook screen to access it.

You can find your Address Book on the top right of your “Ribbon” as shown below.

Outlook address book

How do I sort or separate email addresses in Excel?

To Separate email addresses in Excel:

Excel Create TablePrecaution: Make a copy of your list and work on the copy in case of errors.

1. Highlight your list and click on ‘Insert’
2. With the highlight still active click on ‘Table’
3. The ‘Create Table’ box will appear with the data rows already inserted. If your columns have headers click the small box next to ‘My table has headers’

NOTE: Make sure you highlight all the columns that contain information and not just the email column otherwise your list will be out of order.

Sort Excel Table4. Click on the down arrow on the heading of your email address column and click into the ‘Search’ box.
5. Type .edu, .com etc. if you wish to sort by extension.
6. Click ‘OK’ and the .edu addresses will appear on a separate list.
7. Click the ‘Undo icon’ to bring the list back to the original or save your changes. (You cannot use the ‘Undo’ feature if you have saved the changes)

To Sort email addresses Using Conditional Formatting:

Precaution: Make a copy of your list and work on the copy in case of errors.

1. Highlight your list.Excel Conditional Formatting
2. Click on ‘Conditional Formatting’
3. Click on ‘Highlight Cells Rules’
4. Click on ‘Text that Contains’
5. Type .edu in the box supplied.

Excel Highlighted TextAll the .edu email addresses will be colored red and you  can sort your list accordingly.
Conditional Formatting has many features in order to sort all your lists.

If you would like more help with this and other features please visit this page.

Why are some of my emails not being delivered?

There are many reasons for the non delivery of emails. Check the list below and see if your email falls into any of the categories.

1.  No subject line – Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) reject emails that do not have a subject line or your recipient may not open it because they fear it may be “Spam.”

2. Suspicious subject line –  Internet Service Providers (ISPs) reject emails that have “suspicious” subject lines and treat them as “Spam” for the user’s protection.

3.  The recipient’s mail box may be full or over-quota.

4.  The recipient’s email address may not be valid any longer.

5.  The recipients address was typed incorrectly. Double check the spelling, proof read your email and make sure that there are no spaces in the email address, before clicking “send.”

6.  The recipient may have changed their email address.

7.  Email Anti-Virus software often removes the contents of an email if it thinks that it has harmful contents such as Viruses.

Why doesn’t my iPad add a capital letter automatically at the beginning of the next sentence?

For Paragraphs: On your iPad and iPhone you just need to hit the “RETURN” key to go to the next line in your email and the “SHIFT ARROW” gets darker. This will produce a capital letter at the beginning of the next paragraph.

For Sentences:  At the end of each sentence just hit the “SPACE BAR” twice and it will produce a “period.” This “period” tells the iPad to create a capital letter at the beginning of the next sentence.

NOTE: If you are using a Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad or iPhone, the above will not happen automatically. You will need to tap the “Shift” arrow to create a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence and add the “period” manually the way you do on your computer keyboard. 

How do I Create a New Distribution or Group List in Excel?

Create a New Distribution List in Microsoft Outlook 2010

1. Open Microsoft Outlook and click on the Address Book icon to open your Address Book.
2. Click the list below Address Book, and then select Contacts.
3. On the File menu, click New Entry.
4. Under Select the entry type, click New Contact Group.
5. In the bottom box under Put this Entry in, click In The Contacts. This selection determines where your new distribution list is saved. This is the default location.
6. Click OK. Your new distribution list is now set to be saved in the Contacts folder, and an untitled distribution list form opens. At this point, you can begin adding contacts to your new distribution list, as outlined in the following section.

Add Contacts to Your New Distribution List

1. In the Name box, type the name of your new contact group.
2. Click the Add Members icon to add members and a Drop Down box will appear giving you choices from any of your Address Book entries or Contacts. If you choose Outlook Contacts your list of entered contacts will appear.
3. Double click on each contact that you wish to be added to your Distribution List and it will appear there.
4. Once you have added all the contacts you need Click Save and Close to save the new distribution list.

The name of the distribution list appears bold as compared to the other entries in the contact folder.

TIP: Always use the remove member option to delete an entry from the contact list. If you use the delete option you will lose the entire list.

How do I save an Email Draft on my iPad to use later?

It’s very useful to be able to save “Form Letters” or “Drafts” to use later and this can be done easily on your iPad. Follow the steps below:

      1. Click to”Compose” a new email.
      2. Write the Subject Line and email content without a recipient’s name in the “TO” line.
      3. Click on “Cancel” in the top left corner of your iPad screen.
      4. The options “Save Draft” or “Delete Draft” will appear.
      5. Choose”Save Draft.

You can find the saved Draft when you access the folders in your email account mailbox.

If you need additional help, please contact me by clicking on the blue button to the right of this screen and leave me a message. My response time is “speedy.”

How can I delete the emails from my server when I have deleted them from my iPad?

In order to make sure that your emails are deleted from your server when deleted from your iPad follow the steps below:

1. Tap on “Settings”
2. Tap on “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”
3. Tap on your email account account
4. Tap on Advanced
5. Scroll down to “Incoming Settings”
6. Click on “Delete from Server”
7. Choose “When removed from inbox.”

How do I delete email addresses on an incoming email on my iPad, before forwarding?

In order to delete or change anything on an incoming email you need to tap on “reply” or “forward.”

Tap at the end of the last email address and use the “X” key to back out the text.

When all the text is deleted you are ready to forward or reply to your incoming text.

Alternatively you can tap on one of the words to create a blue box with “handles” that look like blue dots. Grab hold of a dot and drag it over the text that you wish to delete. Tap the “X” button to delete the blue Highlighted Text.

If you would like more help with this and other features please visit this page.

How Do I Delete All emails at once on My iPad or iPhone?

Since Apple does not supply this feature in any of their mobile operating systems I created a “work-around” to enable this to be done. Follow the steps below carefully and do not leave out any steps. If you have many hundreds of emails to delete at one time you may need to repeat the process more than once.

1.  Open the Inbox.  Tap on Edit

Delete All Emails on iPad at Once

2.   Tap on Mark All then tap on Mark As Read















3.  Open Inbox and tap Edit . Check or select the first message. This will activate the Move selection.















4.  Press and hold the Move button and un-check the message that you had checked earlier.

5.  Remove your finger from the screen and the Folder List will open. Tap on Trash and you will see all the marked emails entering the Trash Folder.








 6.  Now all you need to do is to open the Trash folder and tap Edit.












7.  Once you tap Edit the Delete All selection will appear at the bottom of your screen. If you have selected to be “warned before deleting” the option will pop up as shown below. Tap Delete All and you are done. All your emails have been deleted in one fell swoop. Please feel free to contact me if you have more questions or need help with this or other features. You are also welcome to attend one of my iPad and iPhone workshops.


How do I get rid of the coloured text and lines that appear when I forward an email on my iPad?

When you forward an email on your Apple iPhone or iPad you will find that the text colour changes and a coloured line appears on the left side of the email. Every time this email is forwarded the colour changes and another coloured line appears next to the first one. If this email is forwarded many times on an Apple unit the lines will increase.

Remove Coloured Lines










In order to get rid of the coloured text and lines is a simple process. Follow the steps below to make your forwarded email clean and crisp:
1. Click “Forward” on the selected email. (The portion of the email shown below was forwarded twice. You will see each time that the colour changes and an additional line is added.)
2. Highlight or Select the text. A bar of options will appear.
Highlight & Quote Level









3. Click on “Quote Level” and then on “Decrease” and the coloured lines will disappear and the text will turn back to black.

Quote Level - Apple

Decrease Quote Level





If you have more questions or would like to learn more about using the iPad or iPhone please contact me by clicking the blue button in the right hand column below the “Category” list or click HERE.

I look forward to hearing from you and promise to answer promptly.

In Outlook 2013 why can’t I type a letter or two on a new email and have the email address pop up?

Outlook 2013 Emails

How do I import email addresses from People to Contacts in Outlook 2013?

Outlook 2013 People

Outlook 2013 Export

Outlook 2013 Import

Outlook 2013 csv File

Outlook 2013 Mapping

Outlook 2013 Contacts


When typing the temperature I would like to insert a “degree” symbol automatically instead of writing the word “degrees.” Is there a shortcut for this symbol?

Yes, there are two shortcuts for the degree symbol.

1. Hold down the ALT key and type 0176 on the numeric keyboard. The degree
symbol will appear immediately ° You must use the numeric keypad to
type the numbers and not the keyboard. Make sure that the NUM LOCK key
is on if your keyboard requires it to type numbers on the numeric

2. AutoCorrect has a predefined keyboard shortcut for creating a degree
symbol. Press CTRL+@, then press SPACEBAR.

My eyesight is failing and I find it very difficult to enlarge the font in order to read my email online. Is there another way?

Yes, you can easily ENLARGE the font in an online email as follows: Hold down the CTRL key and scroll with the mouse wheel. This works on most websites and other software as well.