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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life


December 2010   

  Getting the most from your computer    

You can do IT is a regular feature of aimed at trying to help laterlife visitors make the most of Information Technology on or off the web.     

Jackie Sherman who runs the You can do IT Question & Answer section is an IT trainer and author. Jackie has spent her career in education and specialises in teaching IT to adults. Her courses for adults include such topics as MS Office, the Internet, e-mail and basic web page authoring.

Jackie has also written the four books shown here - you can find more details about these by clicking on the cover images above. Jackie has also been running a course specifically for over 50s.  

Everyday Computer Activities Via Jackie aims to particularly help those new to IT and the web to build up knowledge and confidence, so no question is too basic. At the same time she will cover Q&As for the more experienced user.  

So if you would like to ask a question of Jackie, why not email her  

Or if you have discovered something which may be of interest to others in making the most of the web, then she would love to hear about that too

View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers


December 2010


Q: When I click a link in my email messages, it no longer opens a web page. How can I get this facility back?


A: The link between your email and your web browser programs may be broken, and so you need to re-establish it. The simplest way is to make a different browser the default temporarily and then go back to the original and set it as the default again.

To do this on a Windows XP computer:

1. You will need at least one other browser installed on your computer so if you haven’t done so, download one first e.g. Google Chrome or Opera.
2. (It may ask if you want to set it as the default. If you choose yes, you can skip step 3. If you have previously installed a separate browser, continue to the next step.)
3. Click Start and then click Set Program Access and Defaults. When the window opens, click Custom and then click the arrows to the right of this option. This will open a new window and you can choose any installed browser to set as the default. Choose the one you don’t normally use e.g. Google Chrome to set as your default temporarily and click OK.

set default

4. Now open the original browser you want to use e.g. Internet Explorer, go to Tools and then the appropriate Internet Options menu. On one of the tabs – e.g. Programs in Internet Explorer – you will see that the browser shows it is not set as your default. Click the box labelled Make default and then click OK.
5. Hopefully this will re-establish the link and your email links should now work properly.

browser default



Q: Just out of curiosity, where are my email messages stored? I use Outlook Express.

A: Messages will be in the form of single database files such as Deleted Items.dbx or Inbox.dbx in a folder labelled the Store Folder. They get very large so it is a good idea to delete any messages you don’t want to keep and always agree to the folders being Compacted when you see the Microsoft message.

It is very important not to mess with the dbx files but if you want to know where they are, open the Tools menu and then click Options. Click the Maintenance tab and you will see that you can change the location of the Store Folder.

store folder

All you want is its location so click it and the following window will open.

file details

Right click the file details in the box and click Select All to copy the address. Open a new Word document or Notepad and click Paste. You will see something like this:
C:\Documents and Settings\User\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{6C782B1E-C095-4F92-BE2F-CC978D04EB3D}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Viewing the files: The Outlook Express dbx databases are hidden, so use the Search facility to find them. As an alternative, paste the above file pathway details into your browser Address Box and press Enter.

OE folders

View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers

For a wealth of books on the web and IT generally, visit Amazon and under the books section select Computers and Internet.

Don't forget to visit the general laterlife features section called laterlife interest


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