Each Thursday, the UIS Service Desk shares important updates and tips to keep CU System employees more informed and secure. Tech Tip Thursday emails include helpful information, resources and basic troubleshooting tips, in service of one the UIS Service Desk’s primary goals: Empowering System employees to accomplish tasks and resolve issues.

Here are some recent Tech Tips, but System employees are encouraged to keep an eye on their inbox each Thursday for a new round of Tech Tips.

Have a suggestion for a Tech Tip topic? Let us know!

Update your drivers to keep your machine running smoothly, learn how to grab screenshots and more, July 9

TIP #1: COMPUTER OR APPLICATIONS RUNNING SLOW? MAYBE YOUR DRIVERS NEED AN UPDATE!

If you notice your computer has been running slower than usual, it could be due to outdated device drivers. Device drivers are an essential piece of software that helps different hardware components work smoothly with your computer. When these drivers are properly updated, your computer will run great. However, when they have become outdated, they can start causing problems.

Some issues caused by out-of-date drivers include:

  • Monitor display problems
  • USB mouse not detected
  • Webcam issues
  • Slower operating speeds
  • Crashing

Another key advantage of keeping device drivers updated is having the peace of mind of a secure machine. Outdated drivers are a security risk and can make your computer vulnerable to hackers and malicious software.

Updating drivers can solve many problems with both your hardware and software. Give the Service Desk a call to report performance issues and to have one of our skilled technicians troubleshoot and install updates, if needed.

TIP #2:  NEED TO GRAB A QUICK SCREEN CAPTURE OR IMAGE?

Need to capture a screenshot? Windows 10 and MacOS contain built-in snapshot tools that can be utilized with keyboard shortcuts.

Windows

For Windows 10 users, pressing the WIN+SHIFT+S keys together will allow you to 'snip' a portion of your screen to be saved. A small menu bar will appear at the top and give you the option to draw your snip area, snip a specific application window or capture the entire screen. The image is then saved to your clipboard, and can be pasted into an email, chat, document, etc. Note: you cannot save your item directly this way. You must paste it somewhere (such as an empty document, Paint, an email, etc.).

You can also use the snipping tool application by searching for it in your bottom search bar. This tool will give you more options, and allow you to save your item by pressing the “save” icon to pick where you’d like the capture saved. Learn more about what your snipping tool can do here.

Mac 

For Mac users, pressing the COMMAND+SHIFT+4 keys will allow you to snip a portion of your screen. You can then click and drag your cursor to draw a box around your desired screenshot. These automatically save to your desktop as a file that can then be attached or embedded anywhere.

If you press the COMMAND+SHIFT+3 it allows you to take a full capture of whatever screen you have open. This also automatically saves to your desktop.

TIP #3: CONSIDER UPGRADING TO ADOBE ACROBAT PRO

As the university moves towards a paperless environment, it is essential to start using a more current version of Adobe. Many of you are still using Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, which stopped receiving support from Adobe in October 2017. Windows updates have been known to render this software version unusable. The Service Desk has been able to apply “fixes” so far, but that won’t work indefinitely. In addition, for those that have Adobe Acrobat Pro 2017, it will no longer be supported as of June 2022. For the many users at 1800 Grant who use this version, you will receive support and updates through June 2022.

Departments using the outdated, unsupported version of Acrobat (XI) should consider purchasing the most current version. Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 can be purchased for $102.35. Purchasing this version will ensure you receive updates and support through June 2025. For larger departments, these licenses are transferrable. As employees leave and replacements fill their positions, you will not need to purchase another. The UIS Service Desk simply reassigns the license to the new employee.

To request assistance in purchasing Adobe Acrobat 2020, email the UIS Service Desk at help@cu.edu stating the request and include your department’s SpeedType. We will take care of the rest!
 

Having other issues? Please contact our technicians by emailing help@cu.edu or calling (303) 860-HELP (4357). 

Reboot your computer to prevent slowness, secure your files by saving to the P: drive and more, July 2

TIP #1: REBOOT YOUR COMPUTER TO PREVENT SLOWNESS


Have you ever wondered why the Service Desk Team will ask, “Have you tried rebooting your computer?” It might sound like a dismissive response, but rebooting or restarting a computer can solve many issues. This solution is not limited to computers; it applies to all types of computing devices: wireless routers, iPads and mobile phones. It also applies to software – is Google Chrome acting slow and consuming a lot of memory? Try closing it and reopening it!

Some benefits of restarting your computer include: 

Flushes RAM – RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is your computer’s main type of memory. When you restart your computer, you flush out all the random, unimportant, and temporary data bogging down your device. 
Boost Performance – Think of RAM like your short-term memory. You can only keep so much in mind at one time without losing concentration, and the same is true for your computer. Rebooting keeps your computer running quickly because it flushes all those temporary files piled on your PC’s memory. 
Saves Time – Rebooting your computer is one of the quickest ways you can fix an error with your machine. 
Bug Fixes – Computers that go without reboots for extended periods of time are prone to an assortment of bugs and glitches. Rebooting your computer will help clean up those little errors and prevent the systems’ processors from becoming overloaded. 
And more! – There are several other benefits to restarting your computer regularly, like completing software updates and allowing simple startup diagnostics to check your computer’s essential file structures.

TIP #2: WHAT IS YOUR P: DRIVE?

When you started at CU, you were provided a computer with access to three drives:

  • P: drive (personal)
  • S: drive (department/shared)
  • R: drive (Scratch – open access)

Your P: drive is a great place to save files as it is continuously backed up to the university’s servers, ensuring you can retrieve a file if it is accidentally deleted or lost.

Recover your lost files by submitting a ticket to the UIS Service Desk. Have questions? Contact the Service Desk with any questions regarding your P: drive while working remote.

TIP #3: UIS SERVICE DESK SUPPORT – WHEN AND WHERE

With the safer-at-home order still in place, the UIS Service Desk has been working hard to ensure you can continue to work remotely without issue. While we have been able to mostly support our end-users using secure remote connections, there are situations where we may ask you to return your device to 1800 Grant for technical support.

The UIS Service Desk Team strives to ensure all employees remain safe during these times. To ensure we are able to social distance appropriately, please contact the Service Desk and schedule a time to meet with one of our technicians if you have to bring your equipment in. We support in-person help on Tuesday’s from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. by appointment.

Our team practices safety measures by wearing face masks, using hand sanitizer continuously and disinfecting your device before giving it back to you. Please help us prevent the spread of COVID-19 by calling (303) 860-4357 and scheduling a time or open a ticket by emailing us at help@cu.edu. We look forward to serving you!

Want to get to know the UIS Service Desk? Visit the website to put a face to the name!

Having other issues? Please contact our technicians by emailing help@cu.edu or calling (303) 860-HELP (4357). 

Create a fillable PDF, connect to the VPN regularly and more, June 25

TIP #1: CREATE FILLABLE PDF FORMS

Have you ever needed to create a form as a fillable PDF? It’s not as difficult as you may think.

Learn how to easily turn a scanned paper form or a simple form made in Microsoft Word, Excel, or another application into an intelligent PDF form with this Adobe guide.

TIP #2: CONNECT TO VPN REGULARLY

What do you do if you see this Windows license dialogue box on your computer?


Some laptops can run into Windows licensing issues, update issues, etc. The UIS Service Desk recommends that you make certain to connect to the Cisco AnyConnect Security Mobility Client Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your machine at least once a week to help ensure that your PC is up-to-date with all policies, for licensing and data security. Visit the How to Guide section to learn more about VPNs.

Security tip: Use the VPN to boost Wi-Fi security at home and when traveling; it provides a secure connection to the CU network from any location and may be required to access many CU-specific drives and applications. Be sure to connect to the VPN before using unsecured networks or public Wi-Fi. Learn more security tips here

TIP #3: ADD EMOJIS TO YOUR KEYBOARD

You can quickly express yourself by adding an emoji with this nifty keyboard shortcut. Do this by pressing the Windows logo key + period (.) to open an emoji panel on a PC. For a Mac press Command + Control + Space to open an emoji panel.

In addition to traditional emojis, you can use kaomojis to create faces with text, as well as symbols—like rare punctuation and currency—to make a statement.

Not seeing the emoji keyboard? Contact the Service Desk for help.

Having other issues? Please contact our technicians by emailing help@cu.edu or calling (303) 860-HELP (4357). 

Creating and managing Outlook rules, resolving Teams login issues, and more, June 18

TIP #1: CREATE AND MODIFY OUTLOOK RULES


In a time when we are relying on electronic communications more than ever, it can often feel overwhelming with how many emails hit our inbox each day. Outlook makes it easy for users to manage and organize their inbox and allow you to teach Outlook how you want specific messages handled automatically.

Interested in finding out more? Check out the step-by-step instructions in Microsoft Office's walkthrough on managing email messages by using rules.

TIP #2: UNDO/REDO KEYBOARD SHORTCUT

We all make mistakes from time to time. It's impossible to go back in time to correct your previous actions like they never existed… or is it? If you find yourself editing a document and realize you need to quickly undo or redo previous actions, do so with ease using this week's keyboard shortcuts.

In many applications - including Adobe and Microsoft - pressing Ctrl+Z (Cmd+Z in MacOS) undoes the last operation/action you performed. Conversely, you can redo the last operation/action performed by pressing Ctrl+Y (Cmd+Y in MacOS).

TIP #3: RESOLVING TEAMS LOGIN ISSUES

Sometimes after changing your system password, Teams may appear unresponsive, fail to update or fail to login. The login screen may appear blank or display the following message:

If you find yourself in this situation, follow the steps in the Service Desk's guide on How to Troubleshoot Microsoft Teams Login Issues.


Still having problems logging in? Please contact our technicians by emailing help@cu.edu or calling 303-860-HELP (4357). 

Make the most of Microsoft Teams chat, keyboard shortcuts and more, June 11

TIP #1: CREATE AND RENAME A MICROSOFT TEAMS GROUP CHAT


Creating a Microsoft Teams group chat is a great way to stay connected, collaborate and share files as a group – up to 100 people can participate.

Starting a group chat is easy:

  • Start by selecting the New Chat icon at the top of Teams, next to the search box.
  • To add members, select the field labeled To: Enter Name, Email or Tag and type the names of the people you want to add.
  • Name your group using the field labeled Group Name. You can edit the group name at any time by selecting the Pencil Icon next to group’s name.   

Hosts can continue to invite members to the chat by clicking the Add People icon in the top right corner and can decide how much of the chat history a new member can view.

TIP #2: TEAMS VIDEO CHAT NOW ALLOWS FOR 9 PARTICIPANTS

The more, the merrier. As part of recent Microsoft Teams upgrades, users can now video chat with up to nine participants. (The previous limit was four). Microsoft launched this feature in response to many requests from users working at home.

TIP #3: PRINT IT FASTER WITH A KEYBOARD SHORTCUT

Print a document quickly by pressing Ctrl+P (Cmd+P in MacOS). From there, a preview window will let you print or save a PDF copy. This shortcut works in Microsoft O365, on internet browsers and in many other programs.

Archiving Outlook messages, adjusting Zoom audio and more, June 4

TIP #1: ARCHIVING MESSAGES IN OUTLOOK

Emails are a great way of communicating and serve as a reference for work done in the past, so it’s important to be able to have a way to access old emails. However, each user has a 100GB mailbox limit. If your mailbox gets too full, you will be unable to send/receive new emails and can make searching through old emails painstakingly slow. Don’t fret! You can easily clean up storage space without having to resort to deleting any messages.

Archiving your emails provides an easy, reliable way to clean up storage space while still providing you access to all the emails you’ve ever sent and received. Outlook also allows you to be in control of the method and frequency of archiving and has provided a number of resources to help:

TIP #2: CHECKING ZOOM AUDIO INPUT AND OUTPUT

We’ve shared with you before how to test your Zoom audio prior to joining a meeting, but have you ever run into issues with the volume of audio once the meeting starts? You can easily check and adjust the volume of your speaker or microphone during a meeting using these instructions on Testing Audio Using Audio Settings.

TIP #3: MICROSOFT UPDATES

Each month, the Service Desk deploys important updates that provides necessary – and sometimes critical – fixes to known issues with Microsoft products. Known as patches, these fixes are crucial in maintaining a reliable and secure system.

For University Information Services, the Service Desk deploys these updates on the third Saturday of each month, ready to install starting at 6:00 am by restarting your device. Installation is required by 6:00 pm the next day (Sunday).

For the rest of System Administration, the Service Desk deploys these updates the following Friday, ready to be installed starting at noon that day by restarting your device. Installation is required by noon the following Tuesday.

It is important to note that you must restart your computer in order for these updates to install. No action by that deadline will result in an automatic install, forcing your device to shut down. We recommend all users restart their devices prior to that deadline in order to avoid risking losing any unsaved information or being kicked out of a meeting due to the forced restart.

Recalling a sent email, O365 Tech Talk and more, May 28

TIP #1: GETTING HELP IN MICROSOFT O365 APPLICATIONS

Do you find yourself needing a little assistance when using a Microsoft application like Word or Excel? Get the help you need with this week’s first keyboard shortcut.

While using a Microsoft O365 application, simply press F1 to bring up the Help Screen. From there, you can perform a number of actions including searching for help, reviewing featured help topics, formatting tips and templates and assistance with formulas and functions.

TIP #2: HOW TO RECALL A SENT EMAIL IN OUTLOOK

We’ve all been there – you hit Send on an email only to realize you sent it to the wrong person or forgot to include an attachment. If only there was a way to get that email back before the recipient sees it. Great news – there is! Message recall can delete or replace copies of that email (as long as they have not read the message yet).

To recall an email in Outlook, simply follow these instructions from Microsoft. Outlook can even confirm whether the recall succeeds or fails, allowing you to breathe a little easier knowing the status of your message.

TIP #3: FIND COMMAND KEYBOARD SHORTCUT

No longer scroll through documents trying to find the information you need with this week’s second keyboard shortcut.

In a Microsoft O365 document, press Ctrl+F (Cmd+F in MacOS) to open the Navigation/Find and Replace window (depending on the application). From there, type the word or phrase you are looking for into the search bar to locate your information.

Request a Zoom Pro license, new portal VPN labels and more, May 21

TIP #1: VPN CONNECTION REQUIRED FOR SELECT CU RESOURCES

In the past, we’ve reminded you to always double check that you are connected to CU System’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working remotely, ensuring you have a secure, encrypted connection to our network. This VPN connection is required to access many CU-specific applications.

Earlier this month, UIS made it easier to identify when a VPN connection is required to access select CU Resources portal tiles. Each tile requiring a VPN connection is now marked with a red VPN label:

Need a refresher on connecting to the VPN? Check out the UIS Service Desk how-to-guides on configuring Cisco AnyConnect VPN.

TIP #2: REQUESTING A ZOOM PRO LICENSE

For many of us, Zoom has become a necessity to stay connected to each other and we want to make sure you are getting the most out of it. Some users have signed up for Zoom using the free login and their university email, but this does not give you all the features or protection that a Pro account offers.

UIS has purchased enough Zoom Pro Licenses to provision each System Administration employee with one. If you do need a Zoom account (whether brand new or upgraded from a free account), please contact the UIS Service Desk to request a Pro License by emailing help@cu.edu or calling 303-860-HELP (4357).

TIP #3: REDUCE YOUR RISK BY USING YOUR CU-PROVISIONED LAPTOP

For most users with a CU-provisioned laptop at home, there is no need to remote into a desktop at the office. As long as you are connected to the VPN, you will be able to access all CU applications and network drives (for example, your personal P: drive and shared S: drives).

By asking users to use only one CU-provisioned device, it reduces the risk of power issues - like the one experienced last week - and alleviates the need for each desktop computer to be rebooted after an outage. Please contact the UIS Service Desk for more information.

Coronavirus-themed scams, computer locking shortcut and more, May 14

TIP #1: AVOIDING CORONAVIRUS-THEMED SCAMS

From phishing texts to emails appearing to come from the recipient’s IT help desk, would-be scammers are capitalizing on the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak with an increasing number of new scams.

The best way to protect yourself is to arm yourself with up-to-date information for recognizing phishing attempts and other scams. We encourage all CU System employees to review the Office of Information Security’s information and resources on coronavirus-themed scams and to report anything that looks “phishy” to you.

TIP #2: LOCKING YOUR COMPUTER - KEYBOARD SHORTCUT

As University of Colorado employees, it is our responsibility to protect potentially sensitive or confidential information. When you want to step away from your computer but not shut it off, press Windows+L (Ctrl+Cmd+Q in MacOS) to quickly lock your computer, keeping your files safe and preventing others from accessing your computer.

TIP #3: REMOVING JUNK EMAILS FROM YOUR INBOX

As intuitive as Outlook rules are, some junk mail will always make its way past the filter. While you can simply delete each message, there is a way to identify messages as junk and keep them out of your inbox for good.

To mark a message as junk, right click the message in the preview pane and locate the Junk option. From there, you can select a variety of options – including Block a Sender, ensuring those emails do not continue to clutter your inbox.