Why is there a shield on my Shutdown button?

Once in a while an automatic update runs in the background on your computer imageand it now needs a shutdown or restart to complete the installation. Windows provides this little warning on the Shut down button in the Start menu.

You can get a bit more information on this when you move the pointer to the button.


This is not an alarm, but do heed the advice and shut down or restart the computer when you take a break. Pat yourself on the back for having set up your machine to perform updates automatically.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck


How do I prevent creating sub-folders when importing photos?

When importing photos from a camera, Windows Live Photo Gallery, in the default mode, creates a sub-folder for each group of photos on the camera. imageThe import dialog looks like the illustration here. The photos on the camera are presented in groups, ordered by date and time, usually one group per day. The grouping is adjustable. There is an “Enter a name” box for each group, see the red pointer in the illustration. If a name for the group is entered, the import procedure will create a sub-folder by that name. image

If no group name is specified, a sub-folder is created with the date when the photos were taken as the name followed by a number. For most of us, this is just fine. But what do you do if you don’t want sub-folders, but all the photos imported into one folder? Can that be done?

The process described above is for the default setting in Windows Live Photo Gallery. You can change the way photos are imported in the Live Photo Gallery Options menu.image

Click the blue File tab, then Options. Click the Import tab in the options dialog.

Click on the Folder name: selection, it is probably “Name”. The last item in the drop-down menu is (None). Click on this, then click OK.

When folder name “(None)” is selected, no sub-folders will be made and all photos will be imported into the folder specified in “Import to:”. Note the Browse button which allows you to specify any folder on your system for storing your imported photos.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck

What is the difference between albums and folders on SkyDrive?

Windows Live SkyDrive has a long history and carries a legacy of features. Currently the primary purpose is for storing and sharing files and photos.

SkyDrive in the root location, the first one you come to when you click SkyDrive in the top bar, can contain documents and folders. Folders in the root location have a Folder type parameter. Sub-folders, folders inside other folders, do not have a Folder type.image You can see the Folder type in the information pane under Information.

In the root location the Folder type may be fixed for some folders (legacy Documents, Favorites). Other folders, and all newly added ones, can be of Folder type Documents or Photos and the Folder type can be changed.

When you click Documents in the left pane, only folders of Folder type Documents (and Favorites, if you have any of those) will be shown in the main area.

When you click Photos, only folders of Folder type Photos will be shown in the main area. These are the albums.

There is one other distinction: Only albums, i.e. folders of Folder type Photos, will show in Windows Live Photo Gallery in the upload dialog. So you can only upload photos to “albums”.image

You can change the Folder type of folders in the root location. In the information pane, under Information, you can see the Folder type. There is a Change link.image

Click on Change and a new page allows you to change the Folder type.

The two options are:

  • ● Documents – Store documents, spreadsheets, and other files
  • ● Photos – Store photos to show on your Photos page

To summarize: Albums are folders of folder type Photos. They are located in the root of your SkyDrive. They will be shown in the main display area when you click Photos. These albums will also be shown as album options when uploading from Live Photo Gallery.

Other folders and subfolders may contain photos – by moving individual photos or folders into them. imageWhen a folder, or subfolder, contains a photo, the folder icon will show that photo. When a folder contains more than one photo, the folder will play a continuous little slide show of the photos inside on the folder icon. You can see this by clicking the folder illustration here.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck

How do I link multiple Windows Live accounts?

UPDATE – July 2013: Sorry folks, Microsoft no longer allows linking of accounts.
The post below is no longer of use. Bummer.

Windows Live with SkyDrive and Hotmail makes the “cloud” experience fast and easy. If you have more than one account, linking them makes switching between then a one-click operation.

Many folks have more than one account, a personal one, and maybe a work-related account. Linking them makes switching easy, but does not affect the files or organization of either account. link-10Each account still keeps all its settings and preferences, all the folder and album organization.

Linking the accounts is also straight-forward, here is how to go about it:

Click on your name or move the pointer over the down-pointing arrowhead behind your name (top-right of window). See the illustration. On the drop-down menu click Account.

Sign in to the page with your password. On the Account overview page, toward the bottom, in the Other options sections, click on thelink-11 Linked IDs link.

The Manage linked IDs page shows what accounts are linked and has an Add linked ID link.

Click it to proceed to the Link a Windows Live ID page.link-12

link-13Once more your password is needed. Type in the credentials for the account you wish to add. Then click Link.

The Manage linked IDs page now shows the linked accounts. Note that there is an Unlink option to the right of each linked account name – you can unlink an account at any time.

How do you switch accounts?link-15

With linked accounts all you need to do is click on your name or move the pointer to the down-pointing arrowhead behind your name.

The drop-down menu will show the linked accounts at the bottom. The active, displayed, account is highlighted. Just click on another account and the switch is made.

Note the other options on the drop-down menu. I like to assign different themes to my different accounts to keep myself reminded of which account I am in.

I also set Keep me signed in on the sign-in page. This way I do not need to sign in each time I want to visit SkyDrive or my mail.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck