Turn Off Indexing in Windows for Better Performance

If you turn off the Windows search index feature on your hard drives, you can get better performance on Windows 10. First let’s take a look at why you may want to do this. Afterwards, we’ll explain how to do it.

Sometimes, you may not want to disable Windows search indexing. It depends on what hardware you use. Below are some prime examples of when you should or shouldn’t disable it. 

Also, let’s just dispel a quick myth. Windows search indexing is still used in Windows 10 and it works in much the same way as older versions of Windows. With that in mind, here’s what we suggest:

  1. Good CPU and a standard hard drive = Keep indexing on
  2. Slow CPU and any hard drive = Turn indexing off
  3. Any CPU with an SSD = Turn indexing off

If you have a slow hard drive and a good CPU, it makes more sense to keep your search indexing on, but otherwise it’s best to turn it off. This is especially true for those with SSDs because they can read your files so quickly.

For those curious, search indexing doesn’t damage your computer in any way. With it turned on, all searches are indexed so that searches are faster – however, the search indexer uses CPU and RAM, so with it switched off, you will save those resources.

Turn Off Windows Search Indexing Selectively

You have the option to turn off indexing for specific folders, so if you regularly search areas on your PC, it may be worth keeping indexing on for those, and disabling it elsewhere. 

We’ll start with this option because it’s a great middle ground for saving PC resources and fast search speed. To do this, Open the Start menu and type Indexing. Click on Indexing Options.

Once in the Indexing Options page, you’ll see a list that shows all included and excluded locations for indexing. This will include your Start Menu, Internet Explorer History, and most importantly, the Users folder and everything inside it. This means everything like your documents, downloads, pictures, and videos folders. 

These folders could contain a lot of files you rarely look at. If that’s the case, you should choose to turn off indexing. Click Modify, then on the new page, scroll down to the ticked Users folder and untick it. After, click OK. Take note that there may be multiple Users folders, so make sure you find the one that is ticked. 

You can take it further by clicking the drop down arrow on the Users folder and unticking individual folders. This could be useful, for example, if you visit my documents a lot, but rarely touch the other folders.

If you keep adding files to each folder, the indexing will continue, wasting more resources, so it’s best to switch this off for folders you rarely enter to save system resources.

Turn Off Outlook Search Indexing

By default, Microsoft Outlook doesn’t appear in the search indexing page. We need to go through Microsoft Outlook instead. So, open Outlook, then click File – Options

In the Options page, click the Search tab on the left and then click on the blue highlighted Indexing Options… button. Next, you’ll see a similar menu to before, but you’ll now see Microsoft Outlook in the list.

To turn off Outlook search indexing, first click Microsoft Outlook in the list to highlight it. Next, click Modify and then click the tick box in the new window to untick it. Finally, click OK.

Turn Off Windows Search Indexing For Specific Drives

If you want to turn off Windows search indexing for specific drives, you can do so with a different process. It’s recommended to turn off search indexing for drives you rarely touch, for example, backup drives. 

To do it, first open the Start menu and type PC and click on This PC when it appears in the search results. 

Next, right click a drive and click Properties.

On the General tab, click to uncheck Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties at the bottom. After, click Apply.

You will be given the option to choose all files or just the drive itself. Make sure to select Apply changes to Drive X:\, subfolders and files. After, click OK.

The next step will take some time. Your PC will now apply this new attribute to every file on that drive. Thankfully, you can let it run in the background and it shouldn’t have a huge impact on your performance, unless you’re applying it to the drive you are using Windows on. 

If any Access Denied messages appear, just click Ignore All – these are system files or other files that are currently being used.

Completely Disable Indexing

If you want to disable search indexing on Windows 10 completely, you must use another method. The methods above can stop search indexing for specific files and folders, but the search index service is still running. 

This option is only recommended if Windows search is not working, or your CPU is really slow and running into performance issues. Follow the steps below to disable Windows search.

You can start by pressing Windows Key + R, typing services.msc and clicking OK.

Look for Windows Search in the list of services. To find it easier, click the Name button twice to organize alphabetically from Z-A. Double click Windows Search when you find it.

In the new tab that opens, click Stop to stop the Windows Search indexing service, and then click the Startup type dropdown box. In the list that appears, select Disabled. After, click Apply

You can now restart your PC and Windows Search indexing will be disabled entirely.

If you notice any problems with search performance, you can consider turning it back on again.

6 Extensions You Can Use To Block Ads In Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is currently considered the fastest web browser available. Users benefit by being able to open web pages quickly, but ads slow down the process and interfere with the user experience. While browsing the web, users are bombarded with pop-up and embedded ads.  

In addition to being annoying and slowing down page loading speeds, ads and pop-ups:

As a response to this intrusion, developers have created browser extensions to block ads in Edge. Below are six free extensions for Microsoft Edge that you can use to block ads:

  • Ghostery
  • Adguard AdBlocker
  • Adblock Plus
  • uBlock Origin
  • Adblocker Ultimate
  • AdBlock

Ghostery

Ghostery advertises itself as a privacy ad blocker. It works to block ads, speed up websites, and stop trackers.

Some of the other features of Ghostery include:

  • Protecting your privacy
  • Increasing browsing speed
  • Blocking scripts that slow down page performance
  • Eliminating clutter by removing ads from a webpage

Choose from the multiple display options and insights dashboard to customize your view. This way you will only see the information that is relevant to you.

Adguard AdBlocker

Adguard blocks all types of ads including those from social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. It is like other ad blockers but has the added benefit of keeping your browsing away from social media. 

Social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube will be blocked from showing users suggested social media pages.

Adguard blocks all types of ads, including:

  • Banner and text (Facebook AdBlock)
  • Rich media advertising
  • Video (YouTube Adblock)
  • Unwanted pop-ups (pop-up blocker)

Adguard AdBlocker also effectively:

  • Speeds up web page loading time
  • Protects privacy by blocking third-party tracking systems, adware, phishing, malware, and spyware
  • Blocks many dialer installers

Protect your privacy, remove social media widgets, and protect yourself from online threats with AdGuard AdBlocker.

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is an extension for all browsers. It supports websites by not automatically permitting some types of ads from appearing.

It also whitelists unobtrusive ads by default.

Some of the additional benefits of Adblock Plus enable users to:

  • Add domains to a non-block whitelist
  • Subscribe to third-party filter lists
  • Control the appearance of the extension in your toolbar
  • Create your own filter
  • Disable malware domains, ad tracking, and popular social network share buttons
  • Use on Android and iOS mobile devices

Adblock Plus is currently in beta early development stages for Microsoft Edge. This means there are some limitations and issues, but it is still a popular ad blocker.

uBlock Origin

Block ads and protect your system from malicious sites with uBlock Origin, a lightweight extension to block ads in Microsoft Edge.

uBlock Origin gets rid of data or browsing history to prevent it from being sold to other websites by using an improved anti-tracker method. It is also:

  • Easy on CPU memory
  • Flexible and enables users to create and read filters from host files
  • Customizable with many menu configuration settings
  • Easy to turn ad-block on or off for any website

Create block filters or choose from block lists included in the extension. 

Usage note: the power button will only enable or disable ads from the site you are currently on; it is not a global button.

Adblocker Ultimate

Designed with a single purpose in mind, Adblocker Ultimate is an extension that removes ads, blocks malware, improves browser performance, and disables tracking.

The types of ads AdBlocker Ultimate blocks are:

  • Webmail
  • Pop-up
  • Text
  • Interstitial
  • Video
  • Banner
  • Facebook
  • Overlay
  • Pop-under

With Adblocker Ultimate, you can switch ads back on for websites that you know do not have any misleading or intrusive ads.

AdBlock

AdBlock is the original ad blocker and considered by many to be the best. Since its launch in 2009, it has been downloaded over 200 million times.

Users can:

  • Whitelist specific YouTube channels
  • Subscribe to filter lists
  • Show ads on selected URLs and domains
  • Allow some forms of advertising by adjusting the settings
  • Create custom filters
  • Block ads by site URL

AdBlock supports websites by not blocking unobtrusive ads. You will see an automatically generated notice that you have access to your website data and browsing history.

This is because AdBlock runs on every tab. Rest assured that it is not monitoring you and you will never need to give up any personal information. Using ad blockers serves many purposes besides not allowing ads to waste your time or annoy you. 

Ads can slow down your browser, spread malware, track your browsing history, and gather data about your location and interests.

Be sure to choose an ad blocker that is easy to turn on and off because some sites will refuse to display their content until you disable your ad blocker.

Select one of the extensions above to block ads in Edge and enjoy better computer privacy, a better browsing experience, longer battery life, and faster loading times.

How To Stop iTunes From Automatically Opening When You Click On An iOS Link

If iTunes is opening automatically each time you click an iPhone or iPad app download link, then your browser is preset to open the program. You can stop iTunes from automatically opening App Store links by changing how your browser deals with those links. 

Why would you want to stop this from happening? While there are absolutely some really great iOS apps out there, it can be rather frustrating if all you’re wanting is to read through an app’s description or view its rating. It’s especially annoying if iTunes isn’t already open, and now you have to wait for it to fully load just so you can shut it down.

Every browser works a bit differently, so choose the set of directions below that apply to the program where links are opening in iTunes automatically.

Tip: iTunes can be a hassle when it comes to other tasks, too. Learn how to prevent iTunes from modifying your music folder if it’s doing that as well.

Why Do iOS Links Open Automatically?

This is happening because at one point in the past, when you clicked an iOS link, you were asked if you wanted to open it in iTunes. You must have ticked a checkbox to remember your decision, so that each subsequent time you open an iTunes link, it will launch the app’s details page in the program instead of in your browser.

How this works is via a file that ends with the .itms file extension. Since iTunes associates .itms files with itself, any file on your computer that ends with that extension, or any file you try opening from your browser, will launch in iTunes. 

Note: The only difference is with Chrome and Edge, which don’t include an option to “remember” your answer and will thus always open iOS links in iTunes, but only if you manually say to do so. You can’t force those browsers to stop asking you and you can’t remember either a “yes” or “no” answer.

Firefox

  • Select the three-linked menu button on the upper-right side of Firefox.
  • Choose Options.
  • Search for Application from the search bar at the top.
  • Locate the entry called itms.
  • Select the drop-down arrow off to the right, and choose Always ask.

Opera

Opera has a Handlers menu in the settings where you can stop websites from interfacing with your programs, such as iTunes. Unfortunately, you can’t disable just iTunes links, so when completing these steps to prevent iTunes from opening automatically when you click iOS links, you’re also stopping any other protocol handlers (such as mailto: links opening your email program).

  • Select the Opera menu from the top-left corner of the program.
  • Choose Settings.
  • Search for handlers.
  • Click Site Settings.
  • Scroll down and choose Handlers.
  • Disable the setting by clicking the button, making it white instead of blue.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer protocol handlers are managed not in the browser but instead through Control Panel. However, going that route doesn’t always work, so the best way to make sure you can edit the iTunes and Internet Explorer association with .itms files is to make a slight change in the Windows registry.

  • Open Registry Editor by launching the Run dialog box (WIN+R) and entering regedit.
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ProtocolExecute\itms.
  • Double-click WarnOnOpen from the right pane.
  • Change the value to 1.
  • Select OK.

No reboot is necessary to make these changes stick. The next time you open an iOS link in Internet Explorer, you’ll be asked to launch iTunes. 

Just exit that screen, or select Allow but also check the box that asks if you should always be prompted with this window. The check ensures that iTunes won’t open automatically when you click an iOS link.

Chrome & Edge

Edge and modern versions of the Chrome browser don’t automatically launch iTunes, so there’s no need to change any settings. However, you might still be getting asked to open iTunes when you click an iOS link.

To stop this from happening in these browsers when you open the itms link, just click the option that says to not open iTunes. In Chrome, choose Cancel, or No in Edge.

Or, if you have the link to the app copied, paste it without pressing enter, and remove the itms:// part at the beginning. Entering that new URL will let you view the app’s details in your browser instead of iTunes.

How To Write Professional Emails In Under 5 Minutes

In your professional life email is probably one of the most important means of communication. You do it on a daily basis and if you’re anything like me, you’re drowning in it.

Sure, you can dedicate a certain hour or two a day specifically to managing your email. But if you spend 10 minutes or longer on every reply, email will soon take over your whole day – and turning Gmail notifications off isn’t going to save you.

That’s why learning to write professional emails that get replies AND don’t take longer than a few minutes to write is essential. Luckily, today you don’t have to be a great writer or a productivity guru to accomplish that. It’s all about finding the right strategy and a set of tools to go with it. 

Set Up Email Templates (Canned Responses)

Creating email templates is a great way to save time for those that often get the same questions or comments via email. Take a day to set up canned responses and you will no longer have to write the same replies ten times a day. Both Gmail and Outlook have this feature, which will help you save time and automate your email for free. 

Here’s how to set up professional email templates in Gmail in just a few clicks:

  • After logging in to your account, click the gear icon and select Settings.
  • Then go to Advanced and click Enable next to the Templates option. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to save the changes.
  • Now you can start working on your own email templates. Type the text you want to save into a new email. Then click three vertical dots at the bottom-right and choose Templates to save your draft as template. 

You can create templates for responses that contain long paragraphs as well as quick 2-3 sentence replies. You’ll be surprised at how much time those will save you in the future. 

Networking Emails

In case your problem isn’t using the email templates but creating them, give Networking Emails a shot. It’s a web tool with dozens of email templates that can help you grow your professional network. 

Created by Resume Worded, Networking Emails is a great resource for optimizing your communication. Some examples of the templates they offer include cold/warm introductions, following up with a non-responder, and even writing thank you notes. 

Each template also comes with useful tips and suggestions that can further improve your communication with the recipient. 

You can use the search button or browse through the list to find the right email. Then all that’s left to do is copy-paste it into your message box and change a few details. 

Word Counter Plus

If you’re someone who writes more than 10 emails a day, it’s essential to keep some of them short and sweet. So if you often end up with emails that are way too long, you might want to consider using a word counter tool to stop yourself. A Chrome extension Word Counter Plus can do the job for you. 

Highlight the text in your email and get the number of words and characters you used in one click. Then you can proceed to either continue writing your email or wrap it up before it becomes a two-parter. 

DraftMap

You can find many great tools that can help you write better and thus cut down the time you spend proofreading and rewriting your emails. DraftMap is one of them. Think Grammarly or Hemingway, plus it also checks for unnecessary word repetition and helps you stick to one writing style. 

This Chrome extension gives you real-time suggestions on your writing that are color-coded. It will help you avoid using passive voice, typos, cliches, as well as advice on your email’s readability. All suggestions are based on Ernest Hemingway’s rules of writing. DraftMap is especially handy as all the processes happen right inside your email composition box.

Don’t worry if you still have highlighted words after you’re finished editing your email. The recipient won’t see the colors, the suggestions are only visible to you. 

Your Email Could Be Better

Your Email Could Be Better is an online tool designed to reduce the time you spend managing emails by educating everyone on the best email practices. 

When composing a professional email you follow certain rules. Like making sure your message has a clear subject line or leaving out unnecessary attachments. You’ll be surprised by how often people break these rules, which ultimately results with both parties spending more time and effort. 

Your Email Could Be Better has a list of 10 common faults. Each of the points comes with an explanation and examples of how to better your email. This can come in handy in case you’d like to tell your colleagues about those rules but don’t know how to do it. You can either use your own words or send them a link to Your Email Could Be Better to illustrate your point. 

We all wish our email became entirely automated and didn’t require any attention at all. While that’s not exactly possible today, every little helps. Whether it’s cutting down your email length or timing yourself when you’re writing, once you establish some rules you’ll notice your first improvements. 

If you just can’t stop writing long time-consuming emails, maybe it’s time to give up email completely. Try using your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) or Slack to exchange messages with your coworkers instead. If nothing else, it’ll help you spend less time on email. 

How to Switch iTunes App Store Account to Another Country

If you’re an expatriate or traveler trying to download apps from other countries’ iTunes or App Store, you could encounter a geoblock.

The Apple store imposes geo-restrictions on apps, which frustrates users who want to download apps and other content to their iOS devices.

For instance, if you live in Australia, you may not have the privilege of downloading some popular games, which U.S. and Canadian residents are free to download anytime they want. Similarly, you may not be able to download free apps on iTunes if your account isn’t linked to the U.S.

How To Download Geo-Restricted Apps Via iTunes

Thankfully though, you can access and download apps that were previously restricted to certain locations, by setting up an iTunes account for another country in the App Store. The challenge with this method is the back-and-forth involved in having to input a new payment method every time.

The other way out of it is by creating a second Apple ID for the country with the apps you’d like to download.

You won’t need to add your credit card in the payment method section either as there’s no valid payment method associated with your second Apple ID, as it only applies to free apps and games.

You can buy a gift card from another country online, and add this as your payment method for the secondary ID.

Note: Changing the country associated with your iTunes account updates the country for the App Store, and the reverse applies. 

For example, if you set your country as Japan on your iPhone for App Store, the changes you make will reflect across the Apple ID on all other devices using your Apple ID such as iPhone, iPad or Mac among others.

Set Up An iTunes Account For Another Country

  • On iPhone or iPad
  • On Mac or PC
  • From Apple ID account profile

iPhone Or iPad

Setting up an iTunes account for another country on your iPhone or iPad is possible, though not as simple as it is on a desktop computer. Here’s how to do it.

The first step is to cancel any subscriptions you have to Apple Music or iTunes Match and other services associated with your local Apple ID, and then sign in again once you switch over.

  • Open Settings > [Your Name]
  • Tap iTunes & App Store.
  • Next, tap your Apple ID. If asked to sign in, authenticate with Touch ID or password.
  • Tap View Apple ID
  • Tap Country/Region.
  • Tap Change Country & Region
  • Select a new country or region and tap Next.
  • Review the terms and conditions and tap Agree to confirm your consent.
  • Enter your payment method (valid for your new country or region) and new billing information, and tap Next once you’re done.

Note: To change your payment information, open Settings > [Your Name] > iTunes & App Store and tap Manage Payments (or Payment Information depending on your iOS version). You can add, remove, reorder or update your payment methods, and upgrade your iCloud Storage based on the new country or region’s pricing.  

You’re all set up and ready to download apps from your newly set up iTunes account. The new country or region updates associated with your Apple ID will reflect across all Apple Services on all your iOS devices.

On a Mac or PC

  • Open iTunes on your Mac or PC. On the menu bar, click Account>View My Account.
  • Sign in using your Apple ID and press Enter or click View Account.
  • Click Change Country or Region on the Account Information page.
  • Review the terms and conditions and click Agree to confirm your consent.
  • Enter your new payment method (valid for the new country or region) and billing information, and click Continue.

The new country or region updates associated with your Apple ID will reflect across all Apple Services on all your iOS devices.

From Apple ID account profile

  • Log into your Apple ID account profile and scroll to Account and tap Country/Region
  • Select your new country or region from the Country/Region menu.
  • A prompt will appear asking whether you’d like to change your country or region. Click Continue to update.
  • Enter your new payment method (valid for the new country/region) and billing information. Click Save once you’ve filled in all the details.

The new country/region updates will reflect across all your iOS devices and Apple services.

Switching Between Multiple Countries On iTunes Or App Store

As mentioned earlier, you can create an account with a new Apple ID and use it to sign in and out of the store. This way, you can grab an app that’s not in your current location’s store, but it’ll only help you download free apps for your iOS devices.

Unfortunately, you can’t use this method to buy “paid apps” as you’d need to add a credit card under the payment method, plus a billing address for your country.  Further, if you have to download updates for any US-specific apps, you need to log in with your US-based Apple ID.

  • To switch between multiple countries, log out of your current country/regional iTunes or App Store by opening App Store > Apple ID [your current email]. 
  • Tap Sign Out 
  • Tap open Settings>General
  • Tap Language & Region
  • Tap Region
  • Choose the new country you’d like to access, and then create a new account for the iTunes or App Store you want to download apps from. To do this, find a free app that’s locked to a U.S. store or the store you want to switch to.
  • Tap on the app. If it still shows your old country/region or notifies you that the item is unavailable in the current store, tap Change Store.
  • Go back to the app’s listing on App Store and tap Get > Install
  • Tap Create New Apple ID, choose the country of choice, and fill out the information required.
  • Under billing, tap None.
  • If you want to buy content from the store, you can get an iTunes gift card for the country you want, and add it later as a payment method.
  • Open Mail to verify your email address and download the app.
  • Next, go back to the app’s listing on App Store from your iOS device, and tap the link. Tap Get > Install. 
  • Sign into your new iTunes account or Apple ID for the country you chose and, if you must, tap Get > Install again to start the download and switch to the new store.

From now on, you can switch stores by signing in and out of iTunes or App Store based on the country or region.