Search is slow or not working properly in Microsoft Outlook

Do you experience this problem when searching in Microsoft Outlook:

  • It can take a very long time to finish searching
  • Searches display incomplete results, the items you are searching for do not display

I have seen this occurring regularly at clients running Windows 7 and Windows 10, as well as different versions of Microsoft Office (2010, 2013 and 2016). Sometimes it occurs after Windows has done updates and sometimes it just starts misbehaving randomly.

I have found that rebuilding the search indexes seems to solve it MOST of the time.

You do this as follows:

Open Control Panel and Indexing Options.


Now click on the Advanced button


and click Rebuild


Click OK on the Rebuild Index dialog box


Note that it may take a few hours – so leave your device on and running with Outlook open. If you do a search before the indexing is complete, your results will be incomplete.

How to register a new Office 365 Personal or Home licence (with product key)

Great! So you just bought this cool new Office 365 subscription and you have no idea what to do or how to do it.

It’s really easy.

Register a new Microsoft Account

Login to Microsoft’s Office Site

Click on the Sign In button


Note you should use the “We have a new sign-in experience” option – “Try it now


If you don’t have an existing account – create a new one using your current email address



Note: Write your password down and keep it in a safe place

Add your purchased Office 365 product key to your new account

If you now click on Install office, you can add a product key to your account. You will find this product key inside the box you purchased.

When you install Office, use the email address and password you used to create the account.

When you need to renew your licence in a year’s time, you can also do so from the account page.


Help! I cannot login to our Samba file server from Windows 10 (it logs in as the “nobody” user and will not allow access to my share)

This is an incredibly frustrating scenario. And you’ve fixed all the usual suspects and triple-checked everything.

We thought that this was an isolated incident, until we tried to setup and access some new PCs and notebooks for users. It only happens on desktops running Microsoft Windows 10 Creator’s Update that are completely up to date, and it occurs sporadically.

Our first big clue was that (when reviewing the SAMBA logs) the user on which login log an access attempt as the “nobody” user.

On the desktop, these are local administrative accounts. We see the server fine (no need to use the IP address hack), and are able to access public guest shares and write to these files without a problem. Damn! Changing the problem user share to guest also worked without any error. Double Damn!

Solution – use ./username

So, we tried a workaround we saw on a forum.

Precede the username with "./" as in ./myusername.

This worked like a charm! Un-double damn! On restart as well. And when we changed the user password (huh?!). And also note after successful login, and changing the user password we did not need to use “./” preceding the username anymore. Go figure!

Additional Solution – use servername/username

This also works.


We generally use the options below, and ALWAYS set devices up with a local account, and with a password.


And if you’re stuck, just delete the account in user accounts and SAMBA and start again.

No image ISOs available for download for Office 365 Personal

What a pity!

Using image ISOs for Microsoft Office 2016 and Office 365 products saves a ton of time and money.

We download and use these image files for installing Office 2016 offline.

Many of our clients have costly or limited Internet access (like 3G/4G/LTE mobile services).

Office 365 Personal is the only version for which there is NO ISO Image file available for download.

Help! Windows 10 keeps running updates and “gobbling up” all the data on my mobile connection

Microsoft Windows 10 pushes updates automatically and regularly, and as the owner of the PC or notebook, you do not always have full control over how this happens. Especially when you are connecting to the Internet using a 3G/4G/LTE mobile device. And this data can be costly, and used in a flash when updates are downloading.

You can take back the power! And download updates only when you want to on the Internet connection of your choice.

Solution 1 – Set as metered connection

You could set certain connections as a metered connection.

To do this click on the Properties of your WiFi Connection (you access this by clicking on the WiFi network icon in the bottom right hand corner of the taskbar


Now select the Set as metered connection option


This can help with delaying or deferring some updates, but it is not foolproof.

Solution 2 – Manually disable and enable Windows Update

This gives you complete control over updates.

You can manually disable any and all updates, and enable them on the Internet connection of your choice.

You do this by disabling or enabling the service called Windows Update in Services and Applications in Computer Management.

Open Windows Explorer (Windows Button-E). Right click This PC and select Manage.

Now expand Services and Applications and click on Services.


Double click the Windows Update service and click Stop and then change the Startup Type to Disabled.


To enable it again, just change Startup type to Automatic (the service will restart automatically).

Help! Windows 10 updated and now Sage Accounting does not print my invoices properly

Updates can have unintended and unwelcome changes.

In the recent Microsoft Windows 10 Creators Update, Sage Accounting does not print invoices correctly. And prior to the update there were no problems!

Solution – Set Paper Size back to A4

Change the default paper type and size in your Printer Properties to A4 
(NOT Legal or Letter)

Help! Windows 10 has updated my PC and now things look and work different

Did an update or upgrade make you feel lost or confused when looking at your screen?

The changes Microsoft makes to your device when Windows 10 updates or upgrades itself can be frustrating.

Without requesting your consent, changes are made automatically and without notification! Shortcuts are added to the taskbar that weren’t there before! Desktop icons and default programs change!

Microsoft releases TWO MAJOR UPGRADES for Windows 10 annually. These upgrades include new features and major changes to the operating system.

They also release (usually on a Wednesday) weekly security fixes as well as monthly cumulative fixes and updates.

You need to expect and accept these changes, and resolve them. The good news is that you can easily revert these unwelcome changes and fix them yourself.

Here are the most common problems (and their solutions)

Problem: Default PDF Reader

The default PDF viewer changes from Adobe Acrobat Reader to Microsoft Edge.

Change it back by right clicking on a PDF document. Select Open with and Choose another app


Now select Adobe Acrobat and make sure that Always use this app to open .pdf files is checked. Click OK


Problem: Extra icons on the taskbar

Just right click on the taskbar shortcut and select Unpin from taskbar

unpin-from taskbar

How to fix a mouse pointer that is a “fuzzy square” and not an arrow

It is frustrating when the mouse you are using in Microsoft Windows 10 “magically” transforms from a pointer into a fuzzy looking square.

It looks like this:


I have not figured out why this happens on my dual display setup. It could be a graphics card / USB VGA adapter driver issue on Windows 10, or an LED monitor fault.

Previously, I used to restart my system, however I have found a simpler solution.


Now, I just toggle the Enable pointer shadow check box ON or OFF in the Mouse Properties in Control Panel



Recent Microsoft Update causes MAJOR PROBLEMS with Outlook

In the batch of security updates Microsoft released for June 2017, they introduced a major bug which affects Microsoft Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 in a number of different ways.


Run Office Update or Windows Update (depending on the version of Office you are using). The updates released 27 July seem to have resolved these issues.

Issues Caused

Email Attachments Blocked

Attachments with two consecutive periods ( “..”or full stops) or an exclamation (“!”) at the end of the filename.

Quick Fix

Ask the sender to change the name (remove a period) and resend the email.

Email Attachments Will Not Open if sent as Rich Text

Here the attachment is embedded in the message.

You can also sometimes receive this error

The program used to create this object is Outlook. That program is either not installed on your computer or it is not responding. To edit this object, install Outlook or ensure that any dialog boxes in Outlook are closed.



Quick Fix

Ask the sender to change the default send type to HTML in the email options and resend as an HTML email.

It’s best to change this not only per email, but in Outlook’s options for sending mail to HTML.

Outlook Search Does Not Display Full Results / Incomplete

Quick Fix

You can try a re-index (available from the Control Panel under Indexing Options)


How to setup an Out Of Office automatic reply for Microsoft Exchange mailboxes

Error setting automatic reply in Microsoft Outlook

In some cases you cannot create automatic replies in Microsoft Outlook.

When you click on File and Automatic Replies, you get an error like this one (Your automatic reply settings cannot be displayed because the server is currently unavailable. Try again later.)


How to create your reply in Outlook Web App (OWA)

Use OWA in Internet Explorer (or your favorite internet browser)

Type in the address in your browser and sign in


Click Options (in the top right hand corner of your browser) and Set Automatic Replies …


Type in the reply, select the dates and remember to click Save