Leslie's Un-Geek Windows XP Newsletter Volume #3 ~ February 9, 2010

Date: February 9th 2010

Greetings, Dear Readers!

Hello, Dear Readers. And an extra special welcome to my new subscribers. Please send in your questions and comments to me by clicking here. I really love hearing from you.

Winter is almost over and Spring is on its way. And with Spring comes Spring cleaning. Let's get a head start and clean up our computers before it gets warm enough to focus on your yards. In this issue I'll tell you how to

1) Clean up your email program

2) Clean up your desktop.


By default Outlook Express saves copies of all the emails you send in a folder called "Sent Items" and all the emails you delete in a folder called "Deleted Items". Over time these folders grow and grow, and every time you start up your email program it takes longer and longer for these folders to load as they become more and more bloated. There are two different possible solutions. If you want Outlook to stop saving them at all so you don't ever have to worry about it, you can tweak the settings to make it that way and I'll show you how. The problem with this solution is that if you ever need to access a deleted or sent email at a later date you can't. They're gone. The other option is to let Outlook Express go ahead and save everything and then clean out the folders manually. The only problem with this method is actually remembering to do it. But if this is your preference there are ways to do it quickly and easily and I'll show you how.

First let's look at the settings in Outlook Express. Click one time on the "tools" button on the menu bar, then "options".

You'll get a neat box with tons of options for customizing Outlook Express behaviors. Explore and play with these if you're so inclined. Here's how to make Outlook Express stop saving sent and deleted emails. Click on the "Send" tab at the top of the box and you'll see this.

See the option at the top "Save copy of sent messages in the 'Sent Items' folder"? Click on the little check mark to the left of it and the little check mark should go away and the "Apply" button at the bottom should light up like this:

Click the "Apply" button.

Then click on the "Maintenance" tab at the top. The top option in this window is "Empty messages from the 'Deleted Items' folder on exit." The little box to the left of it is blank. Click one time in the little box and a check mark should appear and the "Apply" button at the bottom will light up again.

Click "Apply" and "OK". The box will go away and Outlook Express will no longer save your sent or deleted emails.

You'll still need to clean out your bloated folders. Clean out the "Sent Items" folder first because when you delete those emails they will be deposited into the "Deleted Items" folder. If you were to clean out the "Deleted Items" folder first you would end up having to do it twice.

In the left hand column click one time on "Sent Items" and all your sent emails will appear in the next column over.

Now instead of deleting them one by one (and chances are you have hundreds!) you can do it all at once. Here's how:

Highlight the first one by clicking one time on it.

Scroll down to the last email. Now press down the "shift" key on your keyboard and hold it down while you click one time on the last email. Now they are all highlighted! Cool!

Now all you have to do is hit the "delete" key on your keyboard and they all go away.

If you want to keep a few in the folder and not delete all at once there is still a quicker way than deleting them one by one. Press and hold down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and while holding it down click one time on each email you want to delete. This will highlight just the ones you click on, the ones you want to delete.

Now hit your "delete" key and only the highlighted ones will be deleted.

Now to the "Deleted Items". If you want to clean out the folder completely there is an even quicker way! Click on the "Edit" button on the top menu and then halfway down the little menu find and click one time on "Empty 'Deleted Items' Folder".

You'll get a little pop up asking if you're sure because this is a permanent action and after this none of these emails will ever be retrievable again.

If you want to take another look to see if there's anything in there you might want to keep just click "no" and your emails will stay in the "Deleted Items" folder. If you're sure, click "yes" and voila! They all disappear! If you want to only permanently delete certain ones you can follow the same procedure as you did in the "Sent Items" folder.

Now your email program should load fast again (provided your internet connection is good).


Again, there are two good solutions. You can safely delete the desktop icons you don't use. They are only shortcuts to the programs and deleting them won't effect the programs at all. All your programs will still have shortcuts in your START menu so you can access them from there.

BUT if you want a really clean desktop with nothing but your awesome wallpaper showing and don't want to have to hunt through your start menu for your favorite programs there's a really cool option. You can hide all your desktop icons. Right click on any blank space on your desktop and you'll get a menu.

How do you like my wallpaper? These are my Baby Beastie Boys. Anyway, the top choice on the little menu says "Arrange Icons By". Hover your cursor on that command and another little menu will open up.

Click on "Show Desktop Icons" and the little check mark next to it will disappear and so will your icons!

Nice and clean! "But how do I access my shortcuts?" you cry. Here's the coolest part!

Right click on the bar at the bottom of your screen and you get a menu.

See the "Toolbars" option on the top? Hover your cursor over that and you get another little menu.

Click on the "Desktop" option. Now on the right end of the bar appears the word "Desktop".

See the little arrow just to the right of the word "Desktop"? Click on that and you'll get a whole list of all the icons that you disappeared off your desktop. Just click on any one of them to open it!

Now you can enjoy your beautiful picture without anything cluttering it up but still have access to your programs super quick. If you ever want to get your icons back onto your desktop just follow the same procedure you did to hide them but this time when you click on "Show Desktop Icons" they will reappear.

As you can see it is a general rule that just about anytime you right click on something you'll get some kind of menu. Also just about every program has some sort of "options" or "preferences" menu you can use to customize the behaviors of your programs to suite your particular needs. Explore and play with all the options you can find. It's fun and you'll learn about tons of things your computer can do that you never imagined.


Well, that's about it for now. Again, please send me all your questions and I'll use them in the next issue. CLICK HERE to email me. And don't forget to visit my website here ---> Computer RX of Eastern Washington

Happy computing!
Leslie, The Un-Geek

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