IT consulting and tech support blog

Save hard drive space with OneDrive files on-demand

Published March 19, 2018

OneDrive has just gotten better with the addition of "OneDrive Files On-Demand." This is a great feature that I'm extremely excited about and love using. It allows you to see your entire OneDrive, and access all the files and folders you store there, directly from File Explorer. However, this functionality used to be standard in Windows 8 (then called "Place Holders"), but for whatever reason and without warning, Microsoft took it away from us and in its place implemented a selective folder sync capability which was nowhere even close to comparable.

Now that it’s back, this new version, called Files On-Demand, Microsoft claims to have fixed all the issues that apparently plagued Place Holders (though I never experienced them) and it’s supposed to work better and faster than ever.

Here's how to get started:

  • Select the OneDrive icon in the system tray, open the application and click on settings
  • Screenshot from OneDrive
  • Enable the option "Save space and download files as you use them."
  • Screenshot from OneDrive settings
  • After enabling the function, OneDrive will require a bit of time to sync your complete cloud-based file listing to your computer. But after its done, you can go to OneDrive in File Explorer to see all the OneDrive folders you've chosen to sync to your computer available offline. Also, there's a new Status column, available in the OneDrive folders, which indicates whether each file or folder is "available when online," "available on this device," or "sync pending."
  • Screenshot from OneDrive directory

If you're a OneDrive user (if not, you should be!), there's no good reason not to be using this feature. So, do yourself a favor and start using it now!

O365 version history

Published February 19, 2018

Ever wish you could restore a previous version of a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet? Well if you are an Office 365 subscriber using SharePoint, OneDrive, and OneDrive for Business, you can! Office 2016 automatically saves versions of your files while you’re working on them. This feature allows you to see how files have changed between versions or even restore to an older version should the need arise.

In Word, you can view and restore previous versions by clicking File – View and restore previous versions.

O365 version history screencap

The the list of previous versions of the document opens.

O365 version history list screencap

Check out the Microsoft Support article View previous versions of Office files for more details.

The Equifax data breach

Published October 01, 2017

abstract security breach image

I'm sure everyone is painfully aware of the recent data breach at Equifax. Industry experts are suggesting that this breach was a state-sponsored hack, and I believe them. Chances are everyone reading this newsletter has had their personal financial information compromised. You must take action.

Go to and get a free copy of your credit reports from the big three and review for discrepancies. You can go to the official Equifax site and jump through their hoops just don't use other sites: Some are scams. is the official site.

  1. Freezing your credit is a protective measure, my family chose. You can contact each credit reporting agency individually, or in our case, pay Experian to freeze accounts at all three agencies. Not sure if Experian is still offering this option, but it saved some hassle!
  2. Freezing your credit can be done online or you can call each of the three reporting agencies: TransUnion: 1-888-909-8872; Equifax: 1-800-349-9960; Experian: 1-888-397-3742.
  3. Freezing your credit takes about 30-45 minutes per identity.
  4. There are some additional costs and time associated with unfreezing your credit when you apply for a new credit card or home/auto loan. Additionally, applying for a rental agreement, new utility service or even cell phone agreements may be impacted. When you unfreeze your credit, it can only be unfrozen with your PIN. Don't lose it!
  5. Freezing and unfreezing your credit may be easier than cleaning up after having an identity stolen.
  6. Instituting a fraud alert is another option, but in my opinion, the credit freeze is adequate.

I suspect each of the credit reporting firms is doing a top-down security risk assessment, so hopefully a recurrence is unlikely.

More info is available at Federal Trade Commission's Equifax Data Breach page.

FindTime - an awesome meeting schedule tool

Published June 19, 2017

Screenshot of FindTime meeting details screen.

Okay, scheduling more than one person for a meeting is hard. Millions of electrons give their lives for the countless numbers of emails saying stuff like "Hey can you do Monday at 10:00," "No howbout Tuesday at 3:00," "That doesn’t work for me"; which led to tools, perhaps the most popular being Doodle that allowed for meeting polls.

Microsoft likes to keep up with the Joneses, or, in this case, the Doodles. One way they do keep up is by purchasing, like they did with MileIQ. The other way is that they do things in-house, which is the case with FindTime, written by the experimental folks at Microsoft Garage. FindTime is a meeting polling add-in for Outlook that helps suggest the best meeting times. The cool thing is, of course, it is integrated with Office 365 and will suggest the best meeting times for each recipient in your organization. Of course, it doesn’t know the status of attendees outside your organization (but I bet they are working on it).

It is worth a look. Protip: Avoid using the "calendar hold" feature, it can lead to clutter in the attendees' calendars. I really like this tool, and I think you will, too.

MileIQ Premium now integrated into Office 365

Published April 17, 2017

Microsoft is constantly adding features to 365, so I’m going to try to keep everyone abreast of some of the cooler features as they roll out.

So my wife has been hassling me for years to try MileIQ for tracking my work-related driving. She uses it for her business and absolutely loves it because she drives a lot. But the last thing I needed was yet another app to sign into, keep track of, blah blah blah. Basically, I’m lazy, and I just didn’t want to deal with the hassle. But now I’m out of excuses: MileIQ premium is now integrated into most Office 365 subscriptions, and is totally free.

If you need to keep track of your travels for business (or any reason, really), and you are on 365, you can go to, sign in, and see if your O365 plan qualifies.

I have not been able to track down which 365 plans include MileIQ, even after conversations with our Microsoft Partner Support folks. We’ll update everyone in a future newsletter as soon as Microsoft catches up to itself.

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