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How to use all of the Clipboard features in Windows 10 and Windows 11

Updated March 9, 2023

The Clipboard is one of the most widely used features inside Windows. It used to be just for copying a small amount of text, but not anymore. Let's look at all the Clipboard features inside Windows.

How to use all of the Clipboard features in Windows

In the early days of computing, users could store small amounts of data in the computer's RAM (Random Access Memory), which was called the Paste Buffer. You could only save one piece of data at a time, and every time you copied a new piece of data, the last piece was erased.

But over the decades, the Paste Buffer, now known as the Clipboard, has evolved into a valuable and essential tool for productivity. The Clipboard in Windows 10 and Windows 11 can hold multiple pieces of text and images. And how you access the Clipboard has changed over the years.

Before you can take advantage of the full capability of the Windows Clipboard, you have to do a couple of things. The first thing you need to do is to make sure that the Clipboard history feature is turned on.

With Clipboard history turned on, you can view and paste all of the different items you have copied to the Clipboard. You will need to go to Windows Settings to make sure that this feature is activated.

How to get to the Clipboard section of the Windows 11 Settings app

  1. Open the Windows Settings app by either:
    • Left-click on the Start button to bring up the Start menu. In the upper right-hand corner of the Start menu, left-click on All apps. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on Settings.
    • Right-click on the Start button to bring up the Power User menu. On the Power User menu, left-click on Settings.
    • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + I.
  2. Left-click on the System category in the left-hand column.
  3. Scroll down the right-hand column and left-click on the Clipboard category.

How to get to the Clipboard section of the Windows 10 Settings app

  1. Open the Windows Settings app by either:
    • Left-click on the Start button, which will bring up the Start menu. On the Start menu left-click on the gear icon (Settings).
    • Right-click on the Start button, which will bring up the Power User menu. On the Power User menu, left-click on Settings.
    • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + I.
  2. Left-click on the System category.
  3. Scroll down the left-hand column and left-click on the Clipboard category.

Once you are in the Clipboard section, make sure that the Clipboard history is turned on.
The Clipboard history switch inside of Windows 10 Settings
You can also clear all of the items on the Clipboard from here.

Now copying text to the Clipboard has always been pretty straightforward, but there may be times you want to copy images to it. The second thing to do is to make sure you have all the programs you can use to capture images.

The first screen capture program built into Windows is the Snipping Tool, and it has been in Windows since Windows 7, and it works well for capturing anything on-screen (if you can see it, you can capture it).
The Snipping Tool inside of Windows
And it automatically copies whatever you snip to the Clipboard. But it does prompt you to save your snip to a file when you close it.

And the second built-in app for capturing screen snips is the Snipping Bar.
The Snipping Bar inside of Windows
Microsoft included it in Windows 10 Version 1809, and few people know about it. That's because you have to use a combination of three (3) keys on the keyboard to bring it up (Windows logo key Windows logo key + Shift + S).

The downside of the Snipping Bar is that it only captures one snip at a time. Every time you want to capture a screen snip, you have to press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + Shift + S keys. The Snipping Tool will capture as many snips as you like until you close it.

We are now all set to start copying items to the Clipboard. Remember that you can paste text from the Clipboard into almost any program, but you can only paste images into programs that can display images.

For example, you can paste text from the Clipboard into Notepad but not images. But can paste both text and images from the Clipboard into Paint or Wordpad.

There are several different ways to copy and paste from the Clipboard. Here are a few of the most common ways to do it.

Ways to copy text to the Clipboard

Highlight the text you want to copy and then:

  • Press Ctrl + C on the keyboard
    Copying text to the Clipboard using the context menu inside of Windows 10
  • Right-click on the highlighted text and select Copy from the context menu

Ways to copy graphics to the Clipboard

Highlight the image you want to copy and then:

  • Press Ctrl + C on the keyboard

If you can not highlight the image then:

Copying an image to the Clipboard using the context menu inside of Windows 10

  • Right-click on it and select Copy.
  • Use the Snipping Tool or the Snipping Bar to capture a snip of it.

Ways to paste from the Clipboard

Select where you want to place the graphic or text in the program of your choice then:

  • To paste the last item copied to the Clipboard, press Ctrl + V on the keyboard.
  • To select an item on the Clipboard, press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + V to display the Clipboard history.
    Pasting an item from the Clipboard using Clipboard history in Windows 10
    Then use your mouse or keyboard arrows to scroll through the clips. When you find the one you want to use, left-click on it (mouse) or press enter (keyboard).

For more information on the keyboard shortcuts discussed in this article, follow the links below.

Windows logo key shortcuts for Windows 11

Windows logo key shortcuts for Windows 10

General keyboard shortcuts

Check out the following video for examples of copying to and pasting from the Clipboard inside Windows 10.

How to remotely access your personal computers with TeamViewer

Do you have two personal computers and would like to remotely access one from the other? Looking for an effortless way to do it? You can do just that for free with the personal version of TeamViewer.

How to remotely access your personal computers with TeamViewer

Remotely accessing a computer is pretty commonplace nowadays. It used to be pretty technically involved to set up remote connections between two computers. But with software like TeamViewer, setting up remote access between computers is pretty straightforward.

So what would be the main reason for using remote access software? First, it would be to access the software installed on another computer. Second, it would be to use that software to access files on that computer or the network it is on. It comes down to being able to work on your computer without having to be sitting in front of it.

We here at Geeks in Phoenix have been using commercial, pay-per-seat remote access software for years now. In researching this article, I wanted to find remote access software that could be used for personal use for free.

I have worked with TeamViewer over the years, as some of our customers use it regularly. For personal use, the free version works quite well. Sure, it doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of the paid version, like remote printing or tech support, but for remote access and file sharing, it works well.

Setting up TeamViewer on two computers for personal use is pretty simple. The installation process involves installing the software on both systems and creating a TeamViewer account that links the computers together.

The first thing you do is download and install the TeamViewer software on one of the two computers you want to link together. During the installation, you will come to a screen that asks you how you would like to set up TeamViewer.

TeamViewer setup options screen with Personal Non-commercial use highlighted

When prompted for the type of installation, I recommend using the default setup. When you get prompted for how you want to use TeamViewer, select Personal / Non-commercial use since you are just using it to connect two of your personal computers.

Once the installation is done on the first computer, the TeamViewer program will appear. In the left-hand column, you will see a menu with several categories: Remote Control, Remote Management, Meeting, Computer & Contacts, Chat, and Augmented Reality.

The Remote Control category should be highlighted, and in the center column, you will find a section labeled Unattended Access.
TeamViewer Remote Control category with the Unattended Access options highlighted
Select Start TeamViewer with Windows and Grant easy access.

When you select Grant easy access, the Assign to account form will pop-up asking you for an e-mail address and password.
TeamViewer Assign to account screen with Create account highlighted
This is where you are going to create a TeamViewer account.

Click on Create Account, and then the Create TeamViewer account form will appear.
Create TeamViewer account screen
Just fill in the required information and go through the steps to verify your e-mail address.

You now have a TeamViewer account. Go back to the TeamViewer screen and make sure that Grant easy access is selected under Remote Control. If it is not, then select it and put in your TeamViewer account details.

Now download and install TeamViewer on your second computer. Use the same options you used for the installation on your first computer. When the installation is complete, the TeamViewer's main screen will appear.

Just like with the first computer you installed TeamViewer on, the Remote Control category should be highlighted. Under Unattended access, select Start TeamViewer with Windows and Grant easy access. When the Assign to account form appears, just type in your e-mail address and password associated with your TeamViewer account.

Once you have both of your computers linked to your TeamViewer account, you should see both of them listed under the Computers & Contacts category on both computers.
TeamViewer Computer and Contacts category with the computers associated with your account listed
You can double-click on the name of the computer you want to access remotely, and a separate screen for that computer will appear. For more options, you can also right-click on the computer name
Connection options context menu for TeamViewer computers
and a context menu will appear with all of the options available. For more information on TeamViewer, just click on the link to their website below.

TeamViewer

Free Microsoft PowerToys for Windows 10 and Windows 11

Updated September 3, 2023

Microsoft developers have always liked to create handy system utilities that add more functionality to the Windows operating system. They call them PowerToys and are released as a stand-alone program with File Explorer add-ons. And as always, these programs are entirely free.

Free Microsoft PowerToys for Windows 10 and Windows 11

It is kind of like Déjà vu for me with the PowerToys for Windows 10 / Windows 11. I hate to admit it, and I'm going to show my age here, but I have used the two (2) previous versions of PowerToys. The first version was PowerToys for Windows 95. The second version was PowerToys for Windows XP. TweakUI (Windows 95 / Windows XP) and Command Prompt Here (Windows 95) / Open Command Windows Here (Windows XP) were two (2) of my favorites.

PowerToys have always been a cool collection of handy utilities that you wonder why they were not part of Windows to begin with. In fact, some of the functionality of the PowerToys do get built into later releases of Windows.

The latest version, PowerToys for Windows 10 / Windows 11, currently has twelve (19) utilities (as of 4/6/23) included, and there are plans to add even more. As more features are added, I will update this article.

Note: Microsoft PowerToys requires Windows 11 or Windows 10 20H1 (version 2004).

And since the Windows 10 / Windows 11 PowerToys are all inside one program, updates, and new features will be easy to install. There is even an update button that takes you to the website so you can check for new releases.

Screen capture of the PowerToys General Settings for Windows 10 / Windows 11

The PowerToys General Settings includes all the options for all the actual PowerToys. This means there is only one place to enable/disable and configure the settings for the various programs.

Now you have to keep in mind that the PowerToys is an open-source project, and the code is freely available. That is why the installer is over on the developer website GitHub, which, by the way, Microsoft owns.

The following is a list of the PowerToys for Windows 10 versions, the date released, and the utilities included. They are:

v0.12 - Released on 10/29/19

FancyZones - This is a utility that allows you to create zones (predefined areas for program windows) on your desktop for the various programs you run.
Screen capture of the FancyZones PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11
For example, you can create a layout that has a separate zone for your e-mail program, word processor, and spreadsheet, all neatly arranged on your desktop. This program is beneficial if you have multiple monitors and want to keep all of your running programs organized.

PowerRename - This utility does just what its name implies; it renames files. But it has so many options that it can be used in so many different ways.
Screen capture of the PowerRename PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11
You change just the file names or only the file extensions. You can exclude files, folders, and sub-folders. It is the swiss army knife of file renaming.

Shortcut Guide - This cool little utility shows you what Windows logo key Windows logo key shortcuts you can use at any given time.
Screen capture of the Shortcut Guide PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11
You just hold down the Windows logo key Windows logo key for a preset amount of time, and the screen appears with the available shortcuts you can use. If you find these shortcuts handy, we have a complete list of Windows logo key shortcuts for Windows 10.

v0.16 - Released 3/31/20

File Explorer add-ons - This is a collection of valuable add-ons for File Explorer that extends the functionally of the Preview Pane and Icon Preview. There are currently five (5) Preview Pane and four (4) Icon Preview File Explorer add-ons.
Screen capture of the File Explorer Preview Pane PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11
The current file types that can be rendered in the Preview Pane are: Markdown (.md), SVG (.svg), Developer files (.cpp, .py. etc.), PDF (.pdf) and G-code (.gcode).

File Explorer Preview Pane add-ons

The current file types that can have Icon thumb previews are: SVG (.svg), PDF (.pdf), G-code (.gcode) and STL (.stl).

File Explorer Icon thumb preview add-ons

Image Resizer - This utility is similar to the one for Windows XP, but this version has way more features. Right-click on one or more images, and you will get a context menu. Left-click on Resize pictures, and you get the Image Resizer screen.
Screen capture of the Image Resizer PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11
There are several picture sizes to choose from, or you can create a custom size. Left-click on the Settings link, and you get even more options for resizing your images. A must-have for anybody that does photo editing.

v0.18 - Released 5/19/20

Keyboard Manager - This utility allows you to remap a single key on your keyboard to another. You can also map current keyboard shortcuts to different key combinations.
Screen capture of the Keyboard Manager PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11
Keep in mind that when remapping keyboard shortcuts, you are limited to a combination of two keys.

PowerToys Run - This utility can perform all sorts of different functions. Type a couple of letters, and PowerToys Run will display a list of programs, folders, and files with the letter(s) in their name(s).
Screen capture of the PowerToys Run for Windows 10 / Windows 11
It can also search for running processes, run shell commands, and do simple math calculations.

v0.20 - Released 7/31/20

Color Picker - This utility will display the color of anything you place your mouse cursor over in both HEX and RGB values. You can copy the color value to the clipboard by left-clicking on the object.
Screen capture of the Color Picker PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11
You can change the hotkey shortcut used to bring up Color Picker, and the values (HEX or RGB) copied to the clipboard. And if you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, you can use it to bring up a magnifier window to get an even more detailed color pick.

v0.41.2 - Released 6/28/21

Awake - This utility will keep your Windows 10 computer from going asleep. This is really handy when you are doing updates and upgrades. No more do you have to create a special power plan to keep your computer awake.

Screen capture of the Awake PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11

Remember that if your computer goes to sleep, anything it was doing, like performing a Windows 10 Feature update, will be paused. So when you need to prevent your computer from going asleep, Awake can be the perfect solution.

v0.49.0 - Released 10/28/21

Video Conference Mute - This utility lets you turn off your camera and mute your microphone with a single keystroke. This utility has finally made it to the stable release of PowerToys, as it was previously categorized as experimental in previous releases.

Screen capture of the Video Conference Mute PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11

There are three (3) keyboard shortcuts that the Video Conference Mute utility uses. The first one will mute the camera and microphone, the second will mute just the microphone, and the third will mute just the camera. And these shortcuts can be customized to a user's preference.

Mouse utilities - This is a collection of useful apps that extends and enhance the functionality of the mouse and cursor in Windows 10 / Windows 11. Currently, there are two (2) utilities in the collection: Find My Mouse and Mouse Highlighter.

Screen capture of the Find My Mouse PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11

Find My Mouse is a simple utility that displays a spotlight on the mouse cursor when the left control key is pressed twice. Quite handy when you are using multiple screens.

Screen capture of the Mouse Highlighter PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11

Mouse Highlighter is another simple utility that highlights the mouse cursor when clicking either mouse button. You can choose which color is displayed for each mouse button (left or right), the opacity, radius, fade delay, and fade duration.

Screen capture of the Mouse Pointer Crosshairs PowerToy

Mouse Pointer Crosshairs is another simple utility that, when activated, shows crosshairs across the entire screen to indicate the mouse pointer's location.

v0.53.1 - Released 1/6/22

Always on Top - This utility will keep a program that is running on top of all of the rest of the open program windows. This PowerToy can be helpful if you have a program that you want to always be in front of all other app windows.

Screen capture of the Always on Top PowerToy for Windows 10 / Windows 11

Along with putting a particular app window in front of the others, you can also have a border around that window. You can select the color and thickness of the border. You can also have Always on Top play a sound when you activate it.

v0.62.0 - Released 9/6/22

Quick Accent - This utility makes inserting accented characters simple. Once you activate this PowerToy, you must press the character key to which you want to add an accent and the Activation Key (either the space key, left/right arrow, or both).

Screen capture of the Quick Accent PowerToy

If you hold down the keys for more than 200 milliseconds, an overlay appears that allows you to scroll through all of the available accents. You can select which keys you want to use for Activation Keys and the default input delay that triggers the accent overlay.

Screen Ruler - This utility allows you to measure any place on your screen in pixels. Just activate Screen Ruler with the shortcut keys, and you can measure anything you can display on your screen.

Screen capture of the Screen Ruler PowerToy

Some advanced features include changing the color of the measured lines, changing the edge detection tolerance, and customizing the activation shortcut. If you do any graphic design, this is a must-have app!

Text Extractor- This utility can extract text from any legible text on your screen. Similar to the Snipping Tool, this program captures a selected area on your screen, uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to convert any text it recognizes, and then puts the output to the Clipboard.

Screen capture of the Text Extractor PowerToy

From there, you paste the output from the Clipboard into a word processor, spreadsheet, email, etc. This utility is so handy that you will wonder how you were ever able to work without it.

v0.64.0 - Released 11/2/22

File Locksmith - This utility is a shell extension that allows you quickly find out what process is using a particular file. This can be useful when you want to close a file, and get a warning about it being used by another program.

Screen capture of the File Locksmith PowerToy

Once you enable File Locksmith, all you have to do is right-click on the file in question in File Explorer and left-click on What's using this file? from the context menu that appears. File Locksmith then appears with a list of programs that are currently accessing the file. It gives you the option of ending that particular task.

Hosts File Editor - This utility allows for easy editing of Hosts file inside of Windows. The Hosts file is the first place Windows goes to resolve domain names, like geeksinphoenix.com, to IP (Internet Protocol) addresses.

Screen capture of the Hosts File Editor PowerToy

The Hosts File Editor can come in handy when you want to test out a new website. All you have to know is the Host (domain) name and the IP address, and you can redirect your network traffic to specific locations.

v0.68.0 - Released 3/1/23

Paste as Plain Text - This utility will take off the format of text placed in the Clipboard and paste just plain text. Nothing worse than pasting unwanted formatting into a document.

Screen capture of the Paste as Plain Text PowerToy

Paste as Plain Text can be convenient if you copy and paste text from emails or websites formatted in HTML. You will no longer have to paste text into Notepad to strip off the formatting.

Mouse jump (one of the Mouse utilities) - This utility allows you to move or jump your mouse cursor over long distances on a single or multiple screens.

Screen capture of the Mouse jump PowerToy

This utility can be handy if you use a large or multiple monitors and want to get your cursor across the screen(s) quickly.

v0.69.0 - Released 4/6/23

Registry Preview - This utility allows you to edit and preview Windows Registry files (.reg). It is a great way to visualize the contents of Registry files.

Screen capture of the Registry Preview PowerToy

And when you are done editing your Registry file, you can save them to file or write them to the Registry.

v0.70.0 - Released 5/23/23

Mouse Without Borders - This utility allows you to use a single mouse across multiple devices. This can come in handy if you have a couple of devices next to each other.

Screen capture of the Mouse Without Borders PowerToy

If this utility sounds familiar, it has been a project at the Microsoft Garage for some time. Glad to see it made its way into the PowerToys.

Peek - This utility lets you preview a file inside File Explorer. That way, you do not have to have the preview pane on for all file types.

Screen capture of the Peek PowerToy

Once open, you can pin the Peek window to its current location or open the file with the program associated with the file type.

v0.72.0 - Released 8/1/23

Value Generator - This handy plug-in for the PowerToys Run utility can generate a GUID (Globally Unique Identifier) for a URL namespace.

Screen capture of the Value Generator plug-in for the PowerToys Run utility

It can also generate SHA1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) hash strings and encode text strings to Base64.

v0.73.0 - Released 8/31/23

Crop And Lock - This handy utility allows you to crop a running app into a smaller window or thumbnail. This can be helpful if you run multiple programs at the same time.

Screen capture of the Crop And Lock PowerToy

You can control an app inside a window but not with a thumbnail. Some apps will not work correctly with Crop And Lock, so I recommended testing a program before trying to use Crop And Lock with it.

If you would like to give the PowerToys a try, I include two (2) links at the bottom of this article. The PowerToys are only available for the 64-bit versions of Windows 10 and Windows 11. As I told you before, the PowerToys download is on GitHub, and for an average Windows user may be kind of hard to find.

The first link is to the PowerToys project description page. It has an overview of all of the programs included in the PowerToys.
Windows 10 / Windows 11 PowerToys download link on GitHub
The second link is to the PowerToys releases page. The link to download PowerToys is in the Assets section at the bottom of each release.

Windows 10 / Windows 11 PowerToys on GitHub - Description page

Windows 10 / Windows 11 PowerToys on GitHub - Download page

How to set up a Virtual Private Network on Windows 10 or Windows 11 using LogMeIn Hamachi

Working remotely, like teleworking or telecommuting, is becoming more popular nowadays. Being able to access files on another computer that is miles away from you can be a real lifesaver. So here is how to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on Windows 10 or Windows 11 using LogMeIn Hamachi.

How to set up a Virtual Private Network on Windows 10 and Windows 11 using LogMeIn Hamachi

Hamachi is a hosted VPN service that allows you to access files on another computer remotely. It works well for home users or small businesses that just need to open and save data on a computer outside of their network.

And pricing for Hamachi is pretty reasonable. If you have five (5) or fewer computers than need VPN service, it's free. I have set up Hamachi several times for customers that just wanted to access files while they were on vacation.

Setting up Hamachi is pretty simple. The first thing you will need to do is create an account over at VPN.net. Once you have created an account, you will log into your account, set up your network, and deploy the Hamachi software to your computers.

Note: When you log in to VPN.net, you will be taken to the LogMeIn website. Hamachi is one of LogMeIn's products. Everything you will need for configuring and deploying Hamachi will be under the Networks menu in the left-side column. Completely ignore the rest of the sub-menus in the left-side column, as they are for other LogMeIn products.

The content menu on the LogMeIn website

Under the Networks tab, you will find three sub-menus: My Networks, Deployment, and Network Settings. The majority of configuration for your Hamachi VPN can be done under My Networks. Here you can Add Client or Add Network. You can add clients or networks in whatever order you want, but for this article, we are going to start with setting up a network first.

Now there are three (3) types of networks you can create in Hamachi: Mesh, Hub-and-spoke, and Gateway. For the free version (under five clients), a mesh network is recommended. Keep in mind that once you create a network, you cannot change the type of network it is. If you want to change the network type, you will need to create a new network.

And since you can have multiple types of networks, all you have to do is give them different names. And you can quickly reassign a client to a different network if you want. For this article, we will create three (3) various networks based on their type.
The Networks section for the Hamachi VPN on the LogMeIn website
The following is a list of the different types of networks.

  • Mesh - With this type of network, every device is directly connected to each other. This is a simple, no-frills, peer-to-peer type network and a good choice when each device needs access to all of the other devices on the network.
  • Hub and spoke - This type of network is more restrictive and is more like a standard corporate network. With this type of network, you have servers (hubs) that have access to all of the devices (spokes), but the devices only have access to the resources on the servers, not each other.
  • Gateway - This type of network is a standard point-to-point VPN. The gateway device controls IP addressing and allows remote devices to access the entire network. There can be only one gateway in this network, and it cannot be a workstation that is a member of a domain.

Once you have decided on the type of network you want, you need to configure some of the details of it. How you will the devices join the network, is a network password required to join, and the subscription associated with the network. Just go to My Networks in the left-hand column and left-click on the Add Network button.

Remember that you can easily change any of the settings for your network(s) from the website interface. You can add or remove devices with a click of the mouse. It comes in handy if you find a device that is having trouble connecting to a specific network.

Once you have a network setup, it's time to get deploying the Hamachi installer to the clients. Now you might have noticed that I have been referring to the Hamachi members as devices. That's because you can have computers and mobile devices connecting to your Hamachi VPN.

Computers have software that you install to connect to your network, and mobile devices do not. Mobile devices use web browsers to access resources on your network. And since there is no app to install on mobile devices, you cannot share any resources on them. For this reason, I am going to focus on setting up Windows 10 computers on the VPN. I have included links at the bottom for how to connect Android and iOS devices.

There are a couple of ways to deploy the Hamachi software to your computers. You can either directly download it from the LogMeIn website when you are logged into your account (preferred) or send an installation link via e-mail. I like to directly install it from the site, as I can check the status of the installation as soon as it is done.

When you directly download the software from the website, you do not have to option of predefining a network to attach it to. When you send a link via e-mail, you can decide what network to add it to. But changing the network that a Hamachi client is attached to is easy on the website. Like I said before, you can do all sorts of modifications to your network(s) on the site.

The Hamachi software will work on various operating systems, including Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and Windows 11. It also works on Mac OS 10.6 or higher, Ubuntu 16.04 or higher and CentOS 7.2 or higher. The only drawback is that you cannot use a Mac OS computer as a gateway, but it can be a client on a gateway network.

Once you download and install the Hamachi software on your computer, you should be able to see it listed in the LogMeIn website console. It will show up under the network name you attached to or as a non-member client.
The Networks section showing VPN clients that are not members of a network yet
If the computer is shown as a non-member client, just click on the Edit link on the right-hand side, then click on the Networks tab and select the network(s) you want it to be a member of.
Assigning a network to a Hamachi VPN client on the LogMeIn website
Then just click on Save.

Now click on the My Networks tab in the left-hand column, and that computer should now show up under the network(s) that you just attached it to.
The Networks section showing VPN clients that are members of a network
It will have a status indicator (dot/circle) to the left of its name. Green means it is online; red means it is offline.

Technically, we should now have our VPN all set and ready to go. The next thing we have to do is to set up the resources we want to share. There are two (2) things we can share across a network, folders/files, and printers. Now since we are connecting to a remote network that is not close to us, you may not want to set up a remote printer.

Setting up folder sharing on a Windows computer can be a little frustrating, so here's a link to an article that shows you how to share a folder on Windows 10.

How to share a folder on a private network in Windows 10

Sharing a printer is pretty simple. On a Windows computer that has the printer attached you want to share, bring up a Run dialog box and type in control printers. Then click OK.
The Run dialog box with the control printers command highlighted
The Device and Printers dialog box will appear. Just right-click on the printer you want to share and left-click on Printer properties.
The context menu for a printer in the Control Panel inside of Windows 10
Left-click on the Sharing tab and left-click on the box next to Share this printer. You can keep the name that appears or change it to something that might make more sense to a remote user. Maybe add in the location of the printer (city or office name). Then left-click on the Apply button in the lower right-hand corner.

Now that you have got the resources you want to share ready to go, let's go ahead and get things set up. The first thing we need to do is bring up the LogMeIn Hamachi program. By default, it starts up when you start Windows, and the icon is located in the notification area on the Taskbar (down by the clock). Just right-click on the icon and left-click Restore. You can also double-click on the shortcut on the desktop.

Now that you have the Hamachi program on the screen, right-click on the name of the computer you want to access the folder(s) or printer(s) on.
The context menu for a remote computer connection with the browse option highlighted in Hamachi
Left-click on Browse in the context menu that appears. This will bring up the File Explorer with a list of resources that are shared on that computer.

To access a shared folder, we could just double-click on the folder name and be done with it. But we would have to open the Hamachi program every time we wanted to get to that folder. But we can just map that folder to a drive letter and access it through File Explorer.

To map a shared folder, just right-click on the name of the folder and left-click on Map network drive.
The context menu for a shared folder with Map network drive highlighted in Windows 10
The Map Network Drive form will appear. Just select the drive letter you want to use for the folder from the pull-down menu.
The Map Network Drive dialog box inside of Windows 10
Make sure that Reconnect at sign-in is selected and click on Finish.

To use a remote printer, we will need to install the remote printer on your computer.
The context menu for a shared printer with Connect highlighted in Windows 10
To do this, we need to right-click to the name of the printer and left-click on Connect. Windows 10 will then download the driver for the printer and install it into your computer.

At this point, you should be ready to go with your VPN. Just remember that you need to be connected via the LogMeIn Hamachi program to be able to access any shared folders or printers.

LogMeIn Hamachi

Setting up an Android device as a Hamachi mobile client

Setting up an iOS device as a Hamachi mobile client

How to make your computer look and run like brand-new

Updated June 21, 2023

For most people, there is nothing better than a brand-new computer. But of course, you cannot get a new computer every few months. But you can get that same feeling. Here is how to make your computer look and run like brand-new.

How to make your computer look and run like brand new

For most of us, getting a brand-new computer every year is not financially possible. It would be nice, but realistically it is out of the question. But with a little work, you can get that brand-new feeling from your existing computer.

Looking brand-new

Perception is everything. If it looks new to you, it will feel new to you. And with a little cleaning and maybe a couple of hardware changes, it can look brand-new.

The first place to start is with the keyboard. Most keyboards are black and will show dirt and grim like no tomorrow. You will be amazed at how a good cleaning will make it appear brand new.

A really dirty keyboard before cleaning
A filthy keyboard before cleaning

Now when cleaning your keyboard, you will need to turn off your computer. That way, you do not accidentally press the wrong keys. I have seen it happen, especially with laptops with FN keys.

Since most of us eat while we work, compressed air can help dislodge anything that may have gotten in between or under the keys. A good spray of compressed air should get rid of the massive debris.

When it comes to psychically cleaning the keyboard, remember that liquid and electronics do not mix. Never spray a cleaning solution directly on your keyboard. Always apply it to the cleaning material (cotton swab, paper towel, etc.) first.

Lightly dampen a cotton swab or paper towel with a cleaning solution and ring out any excess liquid before cleaning. It may take some time to clean all of the keys, but remember how long it took to get them dirty (months? years?).

That same dirty keyboard after being cleaned
That same dirty keyboard after being cleaned

Now, if the printing has faded or worn off, maybe it is time to go ahead and replace the keyboard. Desktop keyboards are easy to replace; laptop keyboards can be a little harder. For new laptop keyboards, I recommend LaptopKeyboard.com.

When it comes to your mouse, the body will get dirty, and the buttons get looking worn. The same cleaning technique used for your keyboard applies to your mouse.

If it is a wired mouse, turn off the computer. If it is wireless, turn it off. Clean both the top and bottom with a lightly dampened paper towel. Use a lightly damped cotton swab to clean the optical lens on the bottom.

The next thing you might want to clean is the monitor. As with the keyboard and mouse, you will want to turn it off, unplug it and let it cool down. Once it is cooled down, you can start to clean it.

Just like with your keyboard, you want to start cleaning your monitor with some compressed air. If your monitor is dusty, you may want to take it outside before clean it with compressed air.

Use the compressed air to clean out all of the ventilation holes in the case. Make sure you get as much of the grime out as you can, as dust does conduct electricity.

Now lightly dampen a paper towel with a cleaning solution and wipe the outside of the case. When you get done with that, it is time to clean the screen.

To clean the screen, I recommend using a soap-based, not ammonia-based, glass cleaner, and microfiber towels to protect the finish. Never directly apply the glass cleaner to the screen to prevent damage to it.

Lightly dampen a microfiber towel with glass cleaner and thoroughly wipe the screen. Now before it has a chance to dry, wipe the screen off with a dry micro-fiber towel to remove any streaks that may have appeared.

The last thing to clean is the outside of the computer case itself. Please make sure you turn it off and unplug the power cord (desktop computer) or ac adapter (laptop computer) before you start to clean it.

Lightly dampen a paper towel with a cleaning solution and wipe down the outside (front, sides, top, bottom, and back). If you have any old and faded stickers, this would be a great time to remove them.

To remove stickers, I recommend using an adhesive remover like Goof Off. Just make sure the area with the label is laying completely horizontal, so you can let the adhesive remover sit on it for a little while.

Once you have let the adhesive remover soak in, use a plastic razor blade or plastic putty knife to scrape the label off. If the sticker has been on there for a while, it may take a few passes to get it removed.

When all of the labels are gone, go ahead and clean it with a paper towel with a cleaning solution. You want to get any residue from the adhesive remover off.

The next thing we want to do is clean the inside of the computer with some compressed air. For this step, we will need to disconnect all cables attached to the computer and take it outside.

Now the procedure is about the same for desktop and laptop computers. For desktop computers, here is a detailed article we did a little while back on how to clean the dust out of your computer.

The same procedures in the article above apply to laptops as well. All you have to do for a laptop computer is to locate the air intake for the cooling fan(s). But instead of using a nonmetallic rod to hold the cooling fan(s), use a straightened-out paper clip.

Running like brand-new

Now that you have the outside and inside clean, maybe it is time to get the operating system and programs cleaned up. Using the Windows built-in Disk Cleanup tool is an excellent place to start.

Windows 7 Disk Cleanup

Windows 8.1 Disk Cleanup

Windows 10 Disk Cleanup

Windows 11 Disk Cleanup

Once you have used the Disk Cleanup program, you can now look at getting rid of some of the programs you no longer need. You will need to get to the Control Panel to do this. The quickest way to get to the Control Panel is by using the Run dialog box.

How to get to and use the Run dialog box in Windows

My favorite (and the fastest way) to bring up the Run dialog box is to press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R keys simultaneously. When it appears, type control and then select OK.

When the Control Panel appears, select either Uninstall a program (category view) or Programs and Features (icon view). You can then start to uninstall the programs you no longer use.

Now, if you want your computer to have that brand-new feeling, you can reset Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and Windows 11. The procedure is similar for Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and Windows 11.

How to reset Windows 10

How to reset Windows 11

But if you want that brand-new feeling, a clean installation of Windows is the way to go. Follow the instructions in the following article to perform a clean installation of Windows 10 or Windows 11.

How to perform a clean Windows 10 installation

How to perform a clean Windows 11 installation

You can use the same procedures listed in the article above for Windows 8.1, but you will have to download the Windows 8.1 Disc Image.

Windows 8.1 Disc Image

What you can do with an ISO file

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Repairing a PC can sometimes be expensive, and that is why we offer free basic in-shop diagnostics. Give one of our professional and experienced technicians a call at (602) 795-1111, and let's see what we can do for you.

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Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. We aim to give the highest quality of service  from computer repair, virus removal, and data recovery.

Bring your computer to us and save

Repairing a computer can be time-consuming. That is why we base our in-shop service on the time we work on your computer, not the time it takes for your computer to work! From running memory checking software to scanning for viruses, these are processes that can take some time.

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If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (602) 795-1111  and talk with one of our Geeks. Or you can send us a message from our contact page contact page , and one of our Geeks will get back to you as soon as possible. Or you can stop by and see us. Here are our hours and location.

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