Monday, August 31, 2015

How to stop Google from tracking your search history

Whether you know it or not, Google may be tracking your search history.  If you are logged into your Google account and are using Google as your search engine, there's a good chance Google is keeping a log of every search you make.

Luckily, it's easy to disable this web search logging.  To start, go to  (You may be prompted to log in, even if you've already done so.)

The Web & App Activity page will load.  If under the "Get More out of Google" heading you see a link labeled "Get started," then Google is not currently set to save your search history.  However, you can follow the steps below if you like just to verify that the search logging is disabled.

Click on the menu icon in the upper left corner (the three horizontal lines).  On the menu that appears, click on Activity Controls at the bottom.

If search logging is enabled, you will see this on your screen:

Click on the blue slider bar.  A confirmation window will pop up asking if you're sure you want Google to stop tracking your searches.  Select Pause.  The slider bar will turn gray, and you'll see this displayed:

Now you've stopped Google from keeping track of your search history.  However, any previous searches that were tracked are still saved.  To delete the stored search history, go back to  (You may be asked to log in again.)

Any searches that have been stored will be displayed on this page.  Check the box to the left of any items you wish to erase, and then click Delete at the top of the screen.  When the confirmation window loads, click Delete again.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How to cancel a print job on a Ricoh printer

On most Ricoh printers, if you need to cancel a print job you can do it directly from the device.  On Ricoh multifunction printers with a touch screen, press the Printer button and then either select Job Reset on the screen or press the red Stop button.  You'll be asked to confirm your choice, and decide whether you want to cancel the current job or all pending jobs.

On Ricoh printers without a touch screen, you can probably cancel a print job by pressing the Job Reset or Cancel button.  If the printer has a display screen, you may be asked to confirm your choice.

For printers that are connected to a network, you can also cancel print jobs from your computer.  Open a web browser and navigate to the printer's IP address.  (If you don't know the printer's IP address, you can find it by printing out a configuration page.)  When the Ricoh web server page loads, click on the Login button in the upper right corner.  Enter the copier's user name and password, then click Login or press <ENTER>.

Hover over Device Management on the left side of the screen, then select Reset Printer Job.  Select either Reset Current Job or Reset All Jobs, then confirm your choice.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to clear your Adobe Flash Player history on a Chromebook

Adobe's Flash Player keeps a list of sites that you've visited that use Flash.  You can delete this list very easily if you want to.  On a Windows computer, you would delete it through the Control Panel; on a Chromebook, you do it through the Settings.

- Click on the status bar in the lower right corner of the screen (where the time, battery strength, and network signal are displayed).
- Click on Settings.
- Type "flash" into the search bar.
- Click on the "Content settings" button.
- Click on the "Manage exceptions..." button.
- Click on the "Adobe Flash Player storage settings..." link.
- The Website Storage Settings Panel will load in Chrome; click on the "Delete all sites" button.
- Click on the "Confirm" button and the list of websites will be erased.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How to remotely restart a TP-Link TL-PS110U Print Server

If you are having printing issues but there's no error message or indication of what's wrong at the printer itself, the print job may not be making it to the printer.  You may need to restart the print spooler service, or restart your print server if you use one.  This article will show you how to remotely restart a TP-Link TL-PS110U print server.

The TL-PS110U has a web interface that you can use to remotely manage the print server.  To access the web interface, open a web browser, type in your print server's IP address, and press <ENTER>.  If you haven't changed it from the default, the IP address will be  (If you don't know the print server's IP address and you are on a Windows Vista or newer computer, you can use the network map to find the IP address.)

The TP-Link web setup page will load.  From here you can view and change all sorts of settings for your print server.  To reboot the server, click on the Restart button at the top of the page.

A message will appear asking if you're sure you want to restart.  (Note that any current or pending print jobs will be canceled.)  Click OK.

The print server will reboot, and a message stating that will be displayed.  Once the print server has finished shutting down and restarting, the web interface will reload.

Monday, August 24, 2015

How to find the IP address for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablet

To view your IP address from your Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablet when you're connected to a Wi-Fi network:

- From the Home screen, tap Settings.  (If you don't see the Settings icon, tap the app list icon in the lower right corner, with the small 4x4 squares, and then select Settings.)
- If it's not already selected, tap Connections at the top of the screen.
- If it's not already selected, tap Wi-Fi in the left pane.
- Tap the network you are currently connected to (the first one on the list on the right side; it should say "Connected" underneath the network name).

A box will pop up showing a list of details about the network connection, and at the bottom of the list will be the device's IP address.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What to do when the Attach button in Outlook Web App doesn't work in Chrome

If you are using Outlook Web App for your email through Chrome and the Attach button does not work when you are composing an email, there is an easy fix for this problem (though it's only a short-term fix).

The reason the Attach button won't work is because the Microsoft Silverlight plugin is either not installed or has been disabled.  Chrome will soon be discontinuing the use of Silverlight and other NPAPI plugins, but in the meantime you can enable Silverlight and make use of OWA's attach function.

If you need to download Silverlight, you can download it from Microsoft here.  Once you have it installed, this article shows you how to enable Silverlight in Chrome.

As a workaround, if you can't install Silverlight for some reason (or don't want to) when you log into Outlook Web App, select the "Use the light version of Outlook Web App" option (below where you specify if you are using a public or private computer).  When you run the light version of OWA, attachments are loaded differently, and you can add an attachment to your email without Silverlight.

UPDATE: Here is a simple JavaScript workaround to bring the attachment functionality back to OWA in Chrome, without having to use the light version:

Friday, August 21, 2015

How to share a printer in Windows 7

With more and more devices being networked, sharing printers has become less common.  However, it is still a practice that is used in some environments.  If you need to share a printer from your Windows 7 computer, this guide will show you exactly how to do that.

Click on the Start button (Windows orb) in the lower left corner of the screen (or press the Windows key on your keyboard).  When the Start menu appears, select Devices and Printers.  Right click on the printer you wish to share.  From the context menu, select Printer Properties.  Select the Sharing tab.

Click the box next to "Share this printer" to place a check mark there.  A default share name will be displayed for your printer, which may be the same as the printer's local name.  You can change this name if you want, or leave it how it is.  If you need to add a 32-bit driver or 64-bit driver (if you are sharing the printer with operating systems that may not use the current driver you have installed) you can do so by clicking the Additional Drivers... button and following the instructions to browse for the other print driver version(s).

Once you have the settings how you want them, click OK at the bottom of the window to close the window and apply the share settings.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to ping from a Chromebook

Many people think of a Chromebook as a glorified web browser and not much else.  While it's true that the web browser is a large part of what a Chromebook does, there is still other functionality that can be taken advantage of on a Chrome OS computer.

You can ping from a Chromebook very similarly to how you would ping from a Windows, Mac, or Linux machine.  To bring up the terminal interface, press CTRL + ALT + T.  A "crosh" (Chrome OS developer shell) tab will open up.  This tab includes the command line interface that you can use to ping.

The basic syntax for the ping command is:
ping <IP address | domain name | hostname>
Using ping this way will start a continuous ping process that you can stop by pressing CTRL + C.  To specify the number of ping attempts, use this format:
ping -c <# attempts> <IP address | domain name | hostname>
For more switches you can use with ping, type help at the command line and press ENTER.  To exit the terminal interface and close the tab, type exit and press ENTER.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to print the event log from an HP LaserJet 4345 mfp

On an HP LaserJet 4345 mfp, the configuration page shows you the last three events, with very limited information.  By printing out the event log, you can get a longer list of recent events, with more detailed descriptions of each event.

To print the event log from an HP LaserJet 4345 mfp:

- Press the Menu button
- Scroll down to Diagnostics and select it
- Select Print Event Log

Monday, August 17, 2015

How to find the IP address for your Chromebook

For users who are to new to Chromebooks and the Chrome OS, finding your IP address when you need it can be a little tricky, but it's not hard to do.   When you are connected to a network, follow these steps to view your Chromebooks' IP address:

- Click on the status bar in the lower right corner (the area with the time, sound icon, battery icon, and wireless connectivity icon).
- You will see "Connected to" followed by the network you're on; click on that line.
- A list of available Wi-Fi networks will be shown, with the current connected network at the top, in bold.  Click on the network you are connected to.
- In the network connection window, click on the Network tab.

Your Chromebook's IP address, along with the subnet mask and gateway, will be displayed.  Note that if you are on a private network (such as a home or business network) this IP address is not the same as an Internet-facing IP address or public IP address.

Friday, August 14, 2015

How to restart the print spooler in Windows 7

In Windows, the print spooler is the service that loads print jobs to be sent to the printer.  Sometimes this service can freeze or hang up, causing jobs to not get printed.  When this happens, you can often restart the print spooler to correct the issue.  This guide will show you how to restart the print spooler on a Windows 7 PC.

Click on the Windows button on the left side of the task bar (where the Start button used to be in Windows XP).  Type "services.msc" into the Search bar on the Start menu, then press <ENTER>.  The Services window will open shortly.

Scroll down the list of services until you get to Print Spooler.  To the left of the list of services you will see "Restart the service" with "Restart" displayed in blue; click on this text.  A status bar will appear showing the progress of the service, and once it completes, the print spooler will have been restarted.

If you don't see "Restart the service" when you click on Print Spooler, then your account does not have administrator rights.  You won't be able to restart the print spooler manually, but you can reboot the computer, which will restart the print spooler (and the other services).

Monday, August 10, 2015

How to disable MMS auto-fetching on a Motorola Droid Maxx

Auto-fetching, also called auto-retrieve or auto-download, is a feature that many smart phones use to automatically download the content sent within an MMS (multimedia messaging service) text message.  Your phone likely has this feature enabled by default.

Normally, auto-fetching is a handy feature that saves you the trouble of manually downloading a picture, video, or audio file sent within a text message.  But with the recent Android Stagefright vulnerability scare, many experts, including Lookout, are recommending that you disable MMS auto-fetching, at least until your phone can be patched with the permanent fix.

The steps below will show you how to disable auto-fetching on a Motorola Droid Maxx smart phone.  (The steps will be similar for other smart phones, but the wording and setting location may vary slightly.)

If you are using the default Messaging app for text messaging:
- Open the Messaging app (either from your Home screen or the list of apps)
- Select the Menu icon (the three stacked squares) in the lower right corner
- Select Settings
- Scroll down to find "Auto-retrieve"
- If the box next to it is checked, tap it to uncheck it

If you are using Google Hangouts for text messaging:
- Open the Hangouts app (either from your Home screen or the list of apps)
- Select the Menu icon (the three stacked lines) in the upper left corner
- Select Settings
- Select SMS
- Scroll down to "Auto retrieve MMS"
- If the box next to it is checked, tap it to uncheck it

Friday, August 7, 2015

How to remove the main control board from a Xerox Phaser 8200 printer

On most printers and copiers, the main control board (sometimes called the controller board) is essential to the device functioning.  There are many components on this board which could fail and cause problems.  Sometimes, resetting this board's connections (or resetting the memory DIMM or DIMMs on the board) can fix the problem.  For a Xerox Phaser 8200 printer, follow the steps below to remove the main control board.

The control board comes out through the back of the printer, so you'll need to turn or position the printer so that you have access to the rear side, with at least a couple of feet of open space for room to work.

While you're looking at the rear of the printer, flip the power switch to turn the printer off (if it's not already off) and wait for it to power down.  (You may have to select Standard Shutdown.)

The controller board lies horizontally inside the printer.  There are two ridged knobs that secure it in place, one on the left side of the back of the printer and one on the right.  Turn these two knobs counter-clockwise to unscrew them.  After a couple of turns they should be fully unscrewed.

There is a plastic handle for the controller board assembly located halfway between the two knobs.  Pull out on this handle to slide it out from the board.  It will extend about two or three inches, giving you room to grab it.  Pull the handle gently outward to remove the controller board assembly.  The board is attached the metal plate where the data ports are visible.  The whole unit slides out as one piece.  (If you are ordering replacement parts, you can see the part numbers here.)

Things to note:
- Be careful to touch a metal part of the printer's frame before touching the control board, in order to ground yourself and reduce the chance of electrostatic damage to the board.
- If you are removing the memory card, grasp it by the edges and avoid touching the metal contacts.
- When reinstalling the main control board, be sure to insert it all the way into the printer.  If it's not fully seated, the two knobs won't be able to be turned.

(Originally published on, October 2012)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

How to find the IP address of a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet

If you need to find the IP address of your Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, you can do so easily:

- Tap the Settings icon (typically found on one of the home screens, but if you don't see it there you can get to it from the app list -- the small cluster of squares in the upper right corner of the screen)

- Scroll down to About device and select it

- Tap Status

Your IP address will be listed on the status screen.  Note that if you are not connected to a network, your tablet won't have an IP address, so it will display "Unavailable" where the IP address would otherwise be shown.