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.


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 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.

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

What do you suggest that I back up on an external drive and what type of medium should I use?

I think that the most important files to back up are your “Documents” and “Pictures.” If you have stored them in the above folders they will be easy to transfer to your external medium.

The new WD (Western Digital) external drives have installed software that will allow you to back up just the files you want and they will also perform incremental back ups when you create new files. You can add a password to protect your data should you lose your external drive. The drive will only “unlock” if the correct password is entered so make sure that you use upper and lower case letters and numbers or symbols to make the password more secure.

The WD Passport Portable External drives are small in physical size and convenient to carry; they also come in several colours. The recent units have 500GB – 750GB and 1TB of storage space. Some are sold with a matching case.

Keeping a back up of your important files will be a safeguard if your computer malfunctions and it is also handy for transporting your files when you travel or wish to move them to another 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.

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 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.

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 add an Outlook icon on my Windows 8 Desktop?

1. Open Outlook

2. In the blank area to the right of the “view all” box, right click.

3. In the drop down box select “create a shortcut” and click it. you will get a message saying this will create a short cut icon on your desktop.

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

How do I create a Desktop shortcut to the Contacts folder in Outlook.

1.  Open the Search field of the Start Menu

2.  Type outlook.exe in the Search field. (Don’t click “enter.”)

Search for outlook.exe3.   When you see the icon appear on the list above the Search Field right click on it and choose; Send To-> Desktop  (create shortcut)

Right Click on Properties

4.  Right-click the shortcut you just created, and from the shortcut menu click “Properties.”   

Outlook Desktop ShortcutOutlook Properties
5.   On the Shortcut tab, locate the “Target box.” It contains the path for Outlook.exe.

6.  Press the “Spacebar” once to type a space after the path, and then type; /select outlook:contacts (include the space after “select.”)

Select Outlook Contacts

7.  Click OK.

 8.  On the desktop, double-click the Outlook shortcut    Outlook Desktop Shortcut that you created and your contact list or lists will appear.

Please contact me if you need more help with this feature by clicking on the blue button in the right hand column. I will answer promptly.

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.

If I cannot close my computer using the Start Button or my computer freezes, is it OK to pull the plug?

No, it is not advisable to “pull the plug” if your computer freezes. The “shock” of pulling the plug on a working computer could cause the hard drive to crash or malfunction.

The safe way to close down the computer is to hold down the CTRL, ALT and DELETE keys simultaneously, which will bring up the Windows Task Manager. This “tool” allows you to close the troublesome program or programs and then continue working on your computer without closing down your system. It also has an option to ‘Disconnect’ or ‘Logoff’ under the ‘Users’ tab.