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Issue #449: February 28 – March 5, 2016

Q: I have lots of links pinned to taskbar – programs such as Excel and FireFox. I upgraded to Windows 10 because my grandson came to visit and he is a computer pro for a school district, and found it very difficult to pin links to start menu and impossible to pin to taskbar programs, which I really need. Those and a few other things annoyed me so I went back to Windows 7. I should add that I am older and kind of set in my ways, so I never should have made the upgrade until Bill forced me to.

My start menu came back as it was, but all of the pinned links are gone. I used to be able to drag the shortcut to the program button and it said “Pin to Microsoft Excel (or Firefox)” and it appeared in the jump list, but it doesn’t do that anymore.

I have searched the internet a lot and they all say to drag and drop but nothing about if it doesn’t get to the jump list.  Please help. I read your column every week and also searched here for this problem.

– Ron A.
Navarre, Florida

A: Let’s start by explaining the concepts of Jump Lists and pinning shortcuts to those readers who are unfamiliar with the concept, then I’ll get to your problem, Ron.  When Windows 7 was introduced, Microsoft made extensive modifications to the Windows taskbar.  They combined the former “Quick Launch” functionality with the function of displaying icons for each open application.  This made possible several changes, which included the ability to “Pin” an application to either the taskbar or the Windows Start menu.  The pin is essentially a shortcut that launches the application when clicked.  But it is also linked to a function called the Jump List, which is a menu of items that correspond to previously opened files, or other features of an application.  Pinning makes it very easy to find your most commonly used applications, and Jump Lists make it easy to work on recently opened documents, or access special program features.

I had to do a little digging to find a solution for you, Ron. Like you, I found lots of how-to articles that say how pinning is supposed to work, but precious little on what to do when that feature doesn’t work.  It seems that you must not have searched the entire Internet though, because after extensive digging I finally found some information that I hope will help you at tinyurl.com/IGTM-0449.  The article contains multiple possible solutions to the problem, which are too lengthy to repeat here, so go check it out.  Good luck!

• • •

Q: Is there a way to block internet video ads? When traveling, I use a MYFI and these video ads really slow the response and I wonder if they are consuming large amounts of my data plan. They slow my home wifi speed as well. There is one Yahoo solitaire game that I enjoy and it often moves at a snails pace due to the video taking priority. Thanks for your column and for sharing your knowledge.

– Pat C.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

A: I’ve commented before about the need for ads to support “free” content.  The days of truly free stuff online are largely over, as people altruistic enough to donate their time and talents to create web content without getting paid back are few and far between.  If you’re not willing to pay money for a service, you’re still going to pay.  The payment will simply take some other form, usually sponsor content such as ads.  If content providers determine that too many people are blocking the ads, they’ll simply stop making the content, since their reason for doing so will have dried up.

All that having been said, let’s get your question answered. First of all, yes, advertising (particularly video ads) do consume bandwidth, and therefore eat into your data plan.  The way you stop them varies with the web browser you’re using, and, as above, the details are too lengthy to describe here in the column.  So I found an online article for you that contains instructions for all the major browsers.  You’ll find it at tinyurl.com/IGTM-0449A.


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