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Windows XP hints and tips

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Edit Internet Explorer's title

Some programs and some ISPs modify the text in Internet Explorer's title bar and it can be quite irritating. It's especially annoying when you switch ISPs or install new software and the title bar still contains the old message. Fortunately, there is a way to change it.

Click Start, Run and enter regedit to load the registry editor. In the left-hand pane, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\ Microsoft\ Internet Explorer\ Main. Look for a value called Window Title in the right-hand pane and either double click it and change the text or right click it and delete it.

Of course, if you don't have any particular message in Internet Explorer's title bar and you want to add your own, then select Edit, New, String and name the new value Window Title. Double click it after creating it and enter the text you want to appear in the title bar.

Crashed? It's just busy!

Each version of Windows is more stable than the previous one and Windows XP is no exception. It's really quite stable and programs rarely crash. Sometimes, however, a program will crash and the computer will stop responding to the mouse. Don't panic and pull the plug out because if you give the computer some time it might start working again. Sometimes when Windows or a program freezes it is just busy doing something. Sometimes it's busy doing nothing, in other words, it's waiting for something to happen. If you give the computer a few minutes it might start working and then you can shut down or restart in the usual way. It's far better and a lot safer than switching off the power.

Force programs to quit

If Windows crashes or a program locks up and waiting a couple of minutes doesn't solve the problem, right click the taskbar and select Task Manager. If this doesn't work, press the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys all at the same time to display Task Manager. Select the Applications tab and then select the program and click End Task. Wait 10 or 20 seconds for Task Manager to do its work and you should see a dialog that gives you the option to force the program to end.

Power off

If Windows has locked up and you can't do anything the only solution is to cut the power. There's no need to pull the plug out of the wall socket though. Just hold down the PC's power button for five seconds and the computer will be powered down.

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