Microsoft 365

Common IT Issues We Faced During Our Tech Support Sessions in Westchester

Common IT Issues We Faced During Our Tech Support Sessions in Westchester We have recently analyzed all the emails, service tickets and phone calls we have received regarding requests for Tech support help and we have decided to provide a glimpse on what we discovered. Our aim is not to be judgmental towards our clients but to teach users that several computer problems can be avoided by staying calm and using common sense. Also, Westchester county users are not any different from any other user or company in new York City or Connecticut: it’s just a matter for us to be professional in doing or job and provide computer and networking assistance when needed. OUTLOOK NOT GETTING EMAILS If a user calls than he or she cannot receive emails, the problem can be caused by the fact that user may have updated recently her password and he/she cannot see the message at the bottom right that says “Need password”.  Also one of the main complaints that users have is that they “did not receive all the emails”. In this case a compare contrast with the cloud version of Outlook will she light on what it’s missing. MOUSE AND KEYBOARD NOT WORKING If a hardwired usb mouse and keybaord are not workinmg, the IT consultant should check the connections and possibly swap the USB ports. If instead users has a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, check the batteries first and see if they work or not. Try to replace the batteries with new ones and see if it’s a usb dongle issue. CANNOT GET TO A WEBSITE If the user unable to get to a specific website or to any website? If user cannot get into any website, it can be that there is no Internet on his machine or in the office. If the user cannot get into a specific web page, it can be a firewall that blocks it and in that case user can ask IT department to apply an exception explaining the reasons behind the request. INTERNET IS NOT WORKING If a user cannot get to any network resource or to any website, the Internet may be down. It’s recommended in this case to do first a reboot of the computer, check the physical connections. Sometimes our clients in Westchester had the NIC that was not picking up signal anymore and with a ethernet to a USB adapter, the issue was resolved and user was back in business. USER NEEDS ACCESS TO A NETWORK DRIVE Usually those requests are handled by the help desk in a coporate environment. The access to a shared drive would need to be first approved. Once it is approved, the help desk, pulls up active directory and put the user to the group he/she has been approved for. After that, the user should log off from his machine and log back on to see the new drive showing up in the list of the drives. If the drive does not show up, the tech support can map the drive in person or remotely for the user. THE AUDIO ON MY PC IS NOT WORKING The problem here can be that usually users had plugged headsets and forgot to adjust the defalt sound. Also, tech support should check if drivers or software for headsets are needed. If headsets are USB, users can try to use another usb port. EXCEL CRASHING WHEN RUNNING MACROS Check if the corporate environment blocks macros first or if macros are allowed, I would run Microsoft Office repair tools or SARA.

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8 Cool Outlook Features We Should All Use and Master

8 Cool Outlook Features We Should All Use and Master Microsoft Word and Outlook are the most popular and widely used programs, but how well do we know them? Do we know Outlook’s advanced features, and how far our knowledge can go to get the most out of the most popular email program?This article will list the main features that can be used in our daily use of Outlook’s desktop version, with the warning that these features are present in the Windows version of Outlook and may be curtailed if you use Outlook on a MAC. 1- INSERT A POLL This new feature was introduced by Microsoft in 2018. To insert a poll, you would need to open a new email message. Then go up to the ribbon and click on new email; once a new email message appears, you can insert a poll by going to the top ribbon and click on insert poll. This opens up a pane on the right hand side where I can enter a question and then I could type a few different options. You can even add more options if you need to. After you have completed your questions, you can toggle a button that allows the poll to be more comprehensive by giving multiple answers. Once you are done typing your question(s) and providing the answer(s), you can click on insert poll in your email. The email will contain a link to the poll that the recipient will receive. Once the recipient clicks on the link, a browser window will open displaying the main question and the different available answers. Recipient can also insert his/her email to see the results page and how the other users responded. 2- DISTRIBUTION LIST You don’t need to be a Microsoft 365 admin to setup a distribution list. If you email only a certain number of emails addresses, you may want to gather those individual addresses into distribution groups. To set up a distribution list you can head down to the bottom left-hand corner and click on the people icon. In the top left-hand corner, you have the option to create a new contact group. After clicking on this option, a window opens where you can create your own distribution group. Type the name of the group you want to create. To add members to the group, you may want to skip adding each individual email. What you can do instead is to go back to the top, in the ribbon, and add members from the address book. Click on save and close to save the newly created group. To send an email to the group, open outlook again, click on new email and type the name of your new group. 3- TURN ON DARK MODE You can turn on dark mode in Microsoft outlook to create less strain on your eyes. To turn on dark mode go to the top left hand corner and click on the file menu; within file, go down to office account and within office account about midway down you can select your office theme. By default, the theme is set to colorful. Click on the theme selection and set it to dark gray which makes the experience a little bit darker. If you prefer, you can also go to black if you want to make it as dark as possible. One thing to note when you turn on dark mode is that the feature will turn on dark mode in all the other Microsoft applications such as Word, Power Point and Excel. Once you are on dark mode, you can use a mixed approach when writing an email; on the ribbon, on the top right, you can switch the background of the email. Basically, that button allows to replace the dark background of your email body from black to white. 4- CREATE AND INSERT SIGNATURE If you run or work in a business environment, you may consider using a signature at the bottom of your emails so that recipients will easily find your contact name next time they have to communicate with you. To insert a signature, click on a new email, go to the ribbon on the top and find insert and insert the signature. The signatures and stationary dialog come up. You can now create a new signature by clicking on new and give your new signature a name once you have filled out the required fields. On the right side, you can choose to which email account the signature will be applied to. You can also tweak the frequency of the signature by applying it to a new message and or to the replies and forwarded messages. You can create cool signatures by styling the fonts and the logo images that go with your signature so that all can look nice. My personal way to create a signature is by using a Word file where I can create a table first, remove the table edges and then insert the image on the left and text with links on the right of the table. 5- INSERT QUICK PARTS This Outlook feature helps saving time when you need to send the same text or parts of a text to different recipients. To use a quick part, first open a new email and copy and past the text you will send in the future to others. Let’s say you want to send instruction to someone and then the same instructions can be used by another person. You can automate the task by copying and paste the text only once and highlight it. Go then to insert and on the right, you can find quick part where you can save the selected text for future reference and giving it a name. More specifically, you have the option to save the selection to the quick part gallery and give it the name you wish. If you need to insert the saved text again, you can simply repeat the same process you

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5 Steps To Setting up Your Business Email With Microsoft 365

5 Steps To Setting up Your Business Email With Microsoft 365 There are several reasons why a business decides to use a business email, such as promoting its brand, building trust with its users, and enhancing the security of its assets. I have already discussed the differences between a business email and an email that is used by single users and the benefits of using a business email rather than an email from providers such as AOL, Hotmail and Gmail. Several years ago, I was visiting clients in Westchester to troubleshoot their Exchange email server. At that time, the mail server was a server box located in the office; that server, in order to display the emails in the computer clients in the office, needed to be configured to pull the user accounts from Active Directory which was hosted in another server box within the same office. The problem with this setup was that it was not cloud based and therefore having only one mail server in a small Westchester office did not really offer redundancy. If the server broke, the entire mail system would have been down. In addition, small companies did not found value in having more than one server in the office which, in that case, would have been justified and offered a better solution against crashes and downtime issues. Nowadays, fortunately, redundancy is offered as a service by the big cloud providers and companies like Microsoft and Google provide the right services to businesses who are looking for a reliable corporate email. This article will guide readers step by step in setting up and configuring a business email with Microsoft 365 and Exchange online. 1- START WITH GOOD FOUNDATIONS: GET THE RIGHT DOMAIN AND HOSTING PROVIDER Finding a reliable domain provider is crucial in setting up a business email. A business email is linked to a domain name. In my experience, I have used both GoDaddy and Ionos but I have found a better provider in IONOS. I don’t like to see advertising banners and buttons on GoDaddy while I am navigating through the interface looking for something. I wasted a lot of time getting through confusing tabs that redirected me to resources I did not need. Check out, in the image below, how easy is to navigate the Ionos interface once you have logged in with your account: The main tabs you are going to use for your setup will be “Domains” and “Hosting”. You would need to use the hosting tab when you need to create and build your website but for the purpose of this tutorial, we will be focusing on the domains tab, because the domain needs to be tweaked to redirect some of its dns records to Microsoft. LET ME BE CLEAR ABOUT ONE POINT: I DO NOT RECOMMEND TO BUY MICROSOFT PRODUCTS THROUGH YOUR DOMAIN PROVIDER FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS: • For the same monthly fee, you will get more by buying directly from Microsoft.• Microsoft customer support is easy to reach out and responds quickly if your company is on a business plan. In Ionos, once you have reached the DNS section of the domain control panel, you will see all the records that your custom domain has. In the following picture, I have circled the TXT and MX records that have to be replaced by Microsoft records: As I have highlighted in the picture above, the TXT and the MX records will need to be pointed to Microsoft servers during the setup of the Microsoft admin account. 2- WHICH MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS ACCOUNT DOES MY BUSINESS NEED? Even if your business does not have many users, I highly recommend to subscribe to the Microsoft 365 Business premium plan, for the following reasons: 3- LINK YOUR DOMAIN NAME TO YOUR NEW MICROSOFT ADMIN ACCOUNT You can buy the business subscription from this link. After you have opened an account with the Microsoft 365 business premium plan, you are now an administrator of that account. The next step an IT administrator would do is to connect that Microsoft account to the domain DNS interface so that the DNS records can be directly pointed to Microsoft. In order to connect the domain to Microsoft, Microsoft will give you three choices: In our case, we have a domain name already so we are going to select “Use a domain you already own” (B) and we will enter our domain name. Once we enter the domain name, we need to verify the ownership of the domain name. Microsoft is telling us that we need to add a txt record to our dns records by signing in to our domain registrar. Go to the dns settings and create a new txt record that we will add to our domain control panel as it is shown two pictures above. 4- CREATE USERS AND ASSIGN LICENSES Once the Microsoft 365 account setup is complete, we can create our first user and we can let the user access the Microsoft products and services the user is assigned to. The most popular and widely used Microsoft services are: New users will login to with the provided username and password but it will be extremely important if, before doing this step, the IT department will enforce the setup of the multifactor authentication so that the new user’s login will be based on three main elements:1) Username2) Password3) Token generated by the Microsoft authenticator app installed on the smartphone. 5- INSTALL THE OUTLOOK APP ON USERS’ SMARTPHONE Finally, a further step is required to enhance the use of a business email on a smartphone. Microsoft products work at their best if they run on Microsoft apps. If users have smartphones, I do not recommend to mix up personal emails with a Microsoft business email. A complete setup offered by and IT consultant should provide the download and installation of the Outlook app on users’ smartphone. As a matter of fact, the Outlook app is really meant for productivity

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The Benefits of Using a Business Email

The Benefits of Using a Business Email I have friends in Westchester county who run a business but are still using gmail, aol and hotmail accounts. I do not recommend to use this type of emails for the following reasons: The cost of running a business entails making good choices such as purchasing a monthly subscription for a domain and a businesses email such as Microsoft Exchange. The reasons why I recommend using Microsoft Exchange and not Google Workspace are several: Lastly, a business email such as Microsoft Exchange is the perfect solution when synchronizing your calendar and contacts to the cloud as Google Workspace very often has issues when used with Microsoft products such as the desktop version of Outlook.

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