Ask Leo! #623 – My (Not Yet) Exploding Phone, Extending Networks, Taskbar Space, Recovery Codes, and more…

Ask Leo! Tip of the Day

Short Version: if you want to start getting the Ask Leo! Tip of the Day at the current $2/month Ask Leo! patronage level, you'll want to do that before the end of the month (aka next week). If you're already getting it because of your patronage: Thank You! - nothing changes for you.

I'm having a lot of fun with The Ask Leo! Tip of the Day, and I think it's been very well received. Six (or occasionally seven) days a week, it's a simple tip about Windows, technology, the internet ... you know, the stuff I talk about all the time on Ask Leo!, just in daily, bite-sized doses.

I've already set up a few "themes". For example every Friday's tip relates to "The Basics": concepts and items you might not know, or that we can all use a refresher on. Saturday's go the other way, with a tip related to using the Windows Command Prompt. Soon I'll be dedicating a day to "Security" as well. And the rest? Useful tips to help you use your technology more easily and more confidently.

The Tip of the Day has been a reward for Patrons that choose to pledge at the $2/month level or higher.

I've heard that I'm seriously undervaluing what the Tip of the Day is really worth. I'm listening, and as of November 1, I'm changing it to be one of the $5/month rewards.

What this means to you:

  • If you're getting the Tip of the Day already, you will continue to get it with no change. I'm not raising your price. Thank you for your patronage!
  • If you want to get the Tip of the Day at the lower $2/month patronage level, do so before November 1. That'll lock in that reward at that level for you.
  • If you become a patron on or after November 1, the Tip of the Day will be yours if you pledge $5/month or more.

To become a patron just visit and sign up. Your support helps me keep doing what I do: helping more people become more confident using their technology.


Leo's Blog

Why I'm Keeping My Note 7 (For a While)

Galaxy Note 7 phone is banned from air travel, but I'm still keeping mine. Here's why...

Continue Reading: Why I'm Keeping My Note 7 (For a While)


Extending Your Network With A Wireless Access Point

Here's the scenario: you have an existing connection to the internet that is connected to a router of some sort, which in turn connects to your other computers via ethernet or built-in wireless access point.

You want to extend your wireless range by adding another wireless access point (WAP).

Sounds easy, and it can be. However, there are a couple of "gotcha's" along the way.

Continue Reading: Extending Your Network With A Wireless Access Point

How to Manage Taskbar Space

Machines keep getting more and more powerful. As a result, we tend to have lots of things running at the same time. Combine that with Windows itself running lots of things on startup, and that taskbar at the bottom of your screen may be getting pretty crowded.

There's hope. The taskbar is a surprisingly flexible application. We'll look at some ways to manage taskbar space and get you a little more room, perhaps even making the taskbar a little more useful as we do so.

Continue Reading: How to Manage Taskbar Space

Recover Your Microsoft Account Later by Setting Up a Recovery Code NOW

Here at Ask Leo!, I hear from people with lost, hacked and inaccessible accounts daily.

Nowhere does this seem to happen more frequently than with Hotmail and accounts (now known simply as Microsoft accounts).

Given the increased importance of Microsoft accounts for everything from email to cloud services, and even the ability to log in to your PC, losing access to that account can have dramatic and dire consequences.

Microsoft has instituted a fairly obscure security measure that can help you regain access to your account should you lose it: the recovery code. The only "catch" is that you have to set it up before you need it.

So let's set it up right now.

Continue Reading: Recover Your Microsoft Account Later by Setting Up a Recovery Code NOW


Become a Patron on Patreon

Previous Issue

Glossary Term


Zombie refers to a computer that has been infected with malware that attempts to run without detection to perform tasks for someone else. The most common examples are computers infected with malware that causes them to send spam on behalf of a spammer.

The malware run by zombies typically tries to run without being noticed, so that it can continue to do whatever it's been instructed to do for as long as possible before it is detected and removed.

Zombies are often run at the direction of some form of "master control" computer elsewhere on the internet with whom they communicate. Such a zombie is also referred to as a bot.

Large numbers of bots under the control of a single master control or "bot herder" are referred to as a botnet.

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

Featured Comments

Why I'm Keeping My Note 7 (For a While)

Ray Smith writes:

"Those are odds I can live with because those are odds I accept every day when I get into the car." - You don't necessarily have a viable alternative to using your car and so have to accept the odds. You do have a viable alternative to the Note. In fact, you have plenty of viable alternatives.

"Unless, of course, you were to be toasted in the fire the phone caused. Then you'd not need to worry about replacing it.

Leo writes:

Depends on your definition of "viable".

I certainly could have viable alternatives to my car: bicycles, calling a cab or Uber, taking a bus, electing to have whatever delivered instead of going to get it, teleconference instead of in-person meetings, and so on.

Similarly, I may not consider the current crop of alternative phones viable for my situation and usage. Throw out a number, say, because the screen is too small, throw out all the Apple products because I want Android, throw out what's left because they're underpowered given my expanded usage.

I'm not saying all those things are TRUE, I'm just pointing out that one person's "viable" is another's "no way".

As we often talk about here, it really does just boil down to risk management, which in turn should boil down to be based on realistic risk assessment. This is how I assess my situation, and how I choose to manage the risk.

For now.

I got a call from Microsoft and allowed them access to my computer. What do I do now?

sandra Kendall writes:

I got involved thinking it was Microsoft they told me that my computer had been hacked, like A dummy I let them in my computer. The person wanted me to immediately go to the bank and wired them money before they could work on my computer.I then realized that I was in trouble, I did not go to the bank, nor did I take there calls. I want you to know that they put 500 malware programs on my system, I had to take it and have it fixed. It cost me $2,000. They are still calling me and putting information on my computer that it will be crashing unless I call them. how can I get them out of my computer?

Mark Jacobs (Team Leo) writes:

When malware becomes virtually uncontrollable, the nuclear option will always work: Back up your computer and install Windows and all of your programs from scratch.

The Ask Leo! Tip of the Day

A feature exclusively available to Ask Leo! Patrons.

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

More Ask Leo!

Facebook - YouTube - Google+ - Twitter
Amazon - GoodReads


Need more help with or have questions about the newsletter? Check out the newsletter administration page.

Help Ask Leo! Just forward this message, in its entirety (but without your unsubscribe link below) to your friends. Or, just point them at for their own FREE subscription!

Newsletter contents Copyright © 2016,
Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.
Ask Leo! is a registered trademark ® of Puget Sound Software, LLC

Posted: October 25, 2016 in: 2016
« Previous post:
Next post: »

New Here?

Let me suggest my collection of best and most important articles to get you started.

Of course I strongly recommend you search the site -- there's a ton of information just waiting for you.

Finally, if you just can't find what you're looking for, ask me!

Confident Computing

Confident Computing is the weekly newsletter from Ask Leo!. Each week I give you tools, tips, tricks, answers, and solutions to help you navigate today’s complex world of technology and do so in a way that protects your privacy, your time, and your money, and even help you better connect with the people around you.

The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE Edition

Subscribe for FREE today and claim your copy of The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE Edition. Culled from the articles published on Ask Leo! this FREE downloadable PDF will help you identify the most important steps you can take to keep your computer, and yourself, safe as you navigate today’s digital landscape.

My Privacy Pledge

Leo Who?

I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and after "retiring" in 2001 I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.