Ask Leo! #579 – 2015 in Review, Fixing the Recycle Bin, Downloading a File, and more…

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2015 in Review

Continue Reading: 2015 in Review


How do I fix the recycle bin?

My Recycle Bin is full of items like "HTML" and "gif" and I cannot empty it even though I once gave it 12 hours to populate the list and do so. It happened when I attempted to delete unnecessary photos and apparently went overboard. Right clicking won't work. I can delete one at a time but there are 6,864 of them. I have searched the internet and the list of your subjects to no avail. I believe the only way to fix the Recycle Bin is to to remove the Bin entirely and rebuild it in the Registry.

The good news is that the registry is not involved.

More good news is that we can easily delete the entire Recycle Bin. In fact, it's probably faster to delete the Recycle Bin than it is to empty it, when it's that full.

The bad news is that if you want to recover anything currently in the Recycle Bin, you'll need to do that manually, one at a time, before you start.

Continue Reading: How do I fix the recycle bin?

How do I download a file from a web page?

I've purchased one of your books, and I want to download it. I have access to the page that has the links to the book in different formats, but … now what? When I click on the links either the book's displayed in my browser, which I don't want, or something gets downloaded but I don't know where? What do I do?

This applies to just about any download from a web page, not just my books.

When you're given a link to download a file, what happens when you click on that link depends on the type of file, how that file is referenced on the web site, and even what browser you're using. Bottom line: something as "simple" as downloading a file can be a confusing and befuddling mess.

I'll outline an approach that I recommend you use for any and all downloads. Naturally, there will still be small differences based on what browser you're using, but at least you'll know what's happening.

And for now, at least, I'll tell you which browser to avoid, since it just doesn't work.

Continue Reading: How do I download a file from a web page?


Saved! Baking Up With EaseUS Todo

Previous Issue

Glossary Term

incremental backup

An incremental backup is a backup of only those files which have changed since an immediately preceding backup. The term derives from the word "increment", in that only an increment of the entire collection of files may be included in the backup.

Incremental backups are used as space-saving alternatives to full image backups, which backup everything.

An incremental backup is used when a series of backups is being taken periodically. The first backup taken is a full backup of everything, but each subsequent backup in the series is incremental, backing up only those files which have been modified since preceding backup.

While incremental backups do save space, they have an explicit built-in dependency – in order to recover an entire collection of files to its most recent state, the initial full backup, plus all the intervening incremental backups, must be used.

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
Have a term you'd like defined? Submit it here.

Featured Comments

You Can use Free Email Safely (but most people don't)

H Davis writes:


What you might be missing is that you have to train the spam filters to get better results. If you don't train it spam detection will be based on its experience with other users. You however, might consider some things as spam which few other do and it will not be tagged as spam unless you train it to your particular preferences.

I use Gmail and Thunderbird as my local client. I gave up on the TB spam filter because I didn't think it performed particularly well. When you download your mail to TB and notice some spam you have to go to your Gmail account using your browser, locate the offending spam mail in the All Mail section and mark it as spam. While you're there you should go to the spam section (Gmail doesn't have folders), check it for messages that aren't spam and mark them as not spam. If you choose to continue to use the TB spam filter you must train it also by marking messages in TB.

Over time you'll be adding the particular things that you, as opposed to all other Gmail users, consider spam. That will fine tune your Gmail spam filter to yield better results for you. Granted this is a little cumbersome when you use a local client like TB instead of reading your mail using your browser to access your Gmail account directly. My own experience using only Gmail spam filtering is that I get hardly any spam at all and very very few false positives.

Many folks recommend using TB with the IMAP protocol to access your Gmail account. This will make the contents of your account on Gmail and on TB the same; it will regularly sync the two. If you delete a message on TB it will be deleted on Gmail and vice versa. This is handy if you access your Gmail account from several devices as whatever you've done on one device will be reflected on all the other devices (messages only, not contacts).

Some of the commenters have mentioned using TB to back up their Gmail accounts on their local machine. This does work but I prefer to think of the back up process as the reverse of that. I think of the contents of my TB folders as the originals and the contents of the Gmail account as the back up. If I use the POP protocol (with proper settings) no messages in my Gmail account will be deleted unless I specifically go to the account using my browser and delete them. I periodically download new messages from my Gmail account to TB. As they come in I have several filters that sort them into folders for processing, generally based on how important they are. As I deal with each one I move it to a set of folders by category. Many are deleted at this point because they were not worth saving, like ads or minor missives from friends. These deletions are not reflected in the Gmail account because of the POP protocol.

This creates a set of only the important messages in TB that I can back up locally on my own machine with my usual daily back ups. Gmail still has those messages and all those I've deleted - just in case (maybe I deleted something I later regretted). It also means I am backing up only the important stuff so keeping the size of my back up smaller and quicker.

I keep my contacts in TB and do all my email sending from it using Gmail as my outgoing email server. By not keeping my contacts in my Gmail account they are not susceptible to being compromised if hacked. This will not work if you do a lot of sending of messages from several devices because you won't have the addresses available on each device unless you're willing to maintain a separate contacts list on each device.

Another advantage of using TB (or any local client) as the primary tool to read your emails is that you don't get any of the ads that Gmail normally adds to the page if you view them in your browser.

Also, I have a filter in my Gmail account that forwards nearly everything to another of my email accounts, with another company, that is used only for backing up the Gmail account. This is more to protect against the possibility that my Gmail account might someday be hacked and I would be locked out. Yes, I have set up all the recovery methods that Gmail offers but it's belt and suspenders for me.

Leo's Books

Backing Up 101 Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect - 2nd Edition Saved! Backing Up With EaseUS Todo
Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 7 Backup Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 8 Backup
Just Do This: Back Up! The Ask Leo! Guide to Internet Safety The Ask Leo! Guide to Routine Maintenance Maintaining Windows XP - A Practical Guide

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