Many file extension not registered in Windows 11 and no way to fix this

I have installed IrfanView (for browsing images) and VLC VideoLAN (for watching video) — my “default pack” on freshly installed Windows 11 Pro. It turned out that many common file extensions (like .gif, .png, .jpg, .mp4, .mkv and .avi) are not registered with the corresponding applications. While all others (like .bmp, .mp3, .wav, etc.) are registered correctly.

Microsoft has messed things up even further with Windows 11 so the regular methods of manually registering these file extensions (that were working just perfectly in Windows 10) are not working anymore.

If you’re struggling with this or similar problem then you may find certain solutions in this blog post.

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Remove garbage from Windows 11

Four years later (after this article) I am removing “uninstallable” garbage from Windows 11 this time. The “uninstallable” is a new word that denotes applications, programs and system elements that you cannot uninstall the regular way (i.e. using Add or Remove Programs component in Settings). But you can with a little bit help from Windows PowerShell and this article.

To not make this post too long, consider it as an update to the original text with only list of applications that can be uninstalled the mentioned way from Windows 11. If you have any additional questions or problems (i.e. how to bring back something incorrectly uninstalled) then, please, refer to the original post.

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Reduce PowerPoint presentation’s file size in easy steps

In these days we want to have our PowerPoint presentations “rich and beautiful”. Cool fonts, soft backgrounds and a serie of animations or transitions that pisses-off everyone except presentation’s author are just not enough. We want to have many beautiful images do depict our presentations. Maybe we even want every slide to have different fully photographic background etc.

This is especially true given the fact that there are many services like pixabay.com which offers you hundreds of thousands of beautiful photos completely royalty-free.

However, there’s a well known problem with PowerPoint. If you add any filter or modification to the image placed on some slide, it will be internally saved as PNG format irrespective of the actual format that source image has!

For example, I had a tiny, 9-slides presentation, where each slide had a different full-page photo as a background. Because images were too bright (overlying slide’s text was hard to read), I applied a -40% brightness filter to each image. All my nine source images were saved as JPEGs and took only 1.50 MB on disk. But PowerPoint presentation using them had… 18,1 MB! Over ten times more. And I had to implement a serie of steps to prevent that.

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Customize how Office starts or default Office templates

You can have customized document (Word), workbook and worksheet (Excel) or presentation (PowerPoint) opened up as default whenever you start corresponding Microsoft Office application.

In this article I’ll be talking a little bit about file name, content and location for each of three key Microsoft Office components. That is, what to store, where to store and how to name a file.

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Duplicating current tab out of omnibar

Most of you probably know this for years, I have discovered this today:

  • Ctrl+Enter in browser’s omnibar — open currently entered URL in new window
  • Alt+Enter — open in new tab

Tested in Microsoft Edge. Probably works in Chrome and maybe in others.

Works for URL currently entered to the omnibar, not on current page’s URL. Meaning that you can hit F4 then change current page’s URL a little bit and then hit one of those above and get modified URL opened in either new window or tab.

Useful for quickly duplication current tab: F4 + Alt+Enter.

I know that there’s Ctrl+Alt+K, but it seems less natural to be remembered and doesn’t allow to duplicate current tab with modified URL, because it works on current page’s URL.

Prevent PowerPoint from auto-changing typing language

On freshly installed PowerPoint when you start typing any content in any slide, your language will be automatically changed to your keyboard language layout. If you have your presentation in any other language they you’ll start seeing (nearly) every word underlined as not correct, which is very annoying.

Both solutions that I found in the Internet (this one and this one) turned out to be wrong or not enough, so I had to come with my own.

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Running Office 365 apps in Safe Mode

There’s a handy Safe Mode for all Office 365 offline apps (and probably for older version of Office as well) that you can use to start any Office app without any add-ins and many other things (like themes, animations, etc.) turned off or disabled. Very handy for diagnosing possible problems with some Office app.

To enable it, simply hold Ctrl key when launching any of Office app. When you see app’s button in the taskbar, release the Ctrl key, click that button and answer Yes in the dialog window that appears:

That would be pretty much all.

Simple data validation or enum fields in Excel

Excel is still often used for simple time tracking or roadmap planning in small IT projects. It is good to know that with a simple steps you can create a basic data validation for certain fields in your sheets.

Kind of validation, as discussed here, focuses on forcing user to select or enter only values that are found in some reference list (dictionary). A classing enum / enumerator field well known in databases. If user provided an incorrect (out of scope) value then an error is displayed:

Unfortunately, due to nature of Microsoft Excel, this fails completely when data is pasted.

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Get rid of “Pick up where you left off” from Word — three methods

Microsoft loves to “enrich” our lives with a wonderful (in their opinion) yet totally useless and pissing off (in our opinions) features. The “Pick up where you left off” is one of them.

This tiny little thing wouldn’t be so irritating and could be easily ignored, if it wouldn’t be for a single fact. It blocks keyboard shortcuts completely, until it hides itself (so for approx. 3-5 seconds)! Preventing you from pressing Ctrl+F to do an ultra-fast-searching-millisecond-after-opening-a-document (my beloved feature).

There’s a fairly easy solution to this problem (my own article) that requires you to do some dirty tricks in the Windows Registry. One and a half month after writing that article it turned out that a method described there simply isn’t working at all on one of my computers. So I came out with the following post.

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Disable “Pick up where you left off” in Word

The “Pick up where you left off” is one of the worst features that Microsoft added to Word, because it prevents you from quickly opening and searching the document. With this feature enabled, now you have to wait approx. 3-5 seconds after you open any document and before you can hit Ctrl+F.

Disabling this feature is fairly easy, but — because this is Microsoft — again involves messing up with the Windows Registry, so you need administrator account in order to perform these steps.

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Remove one-letter word (orphans) from the end of line

In English an orphan is:

A paragraph-opening line that appears by itself at the bottom of a page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text

Thus, in English typography it is understood in the context of the whole paragraph. Single line of a new paragraph, left alone on the preceding page (before page break) is not allowed.

Polish language is more strict by that and “explores” an alternative (less known) definition of “orphan”. In Polish typography this term is understood in the context of single line and regarded as a:

Single word (single letter in most cases) left along at the end of line (next to right paragraph).

And similarly this is prohibited in Polish typesetting.

In this article you can find a Word macro for removing such orphans from your text.

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Enable FTP support in Chrome / Edge (August 2021)

There’s an answer at Super User that explains how to enable FTP protocol support in Chrome. It is dated May 29th and right now (Chrome 92 / Edge 92) it is already out-dated / no longer valid. It took only two months to make enable-ftp flag completely gone from Chrome and Edge browsers:

Right now (August 2021) you still have a chance too access FTP address in Chrome / Edge (details below), but I expect that my answer will become outdated in next couple of months just as in the above mentioned case.

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Print two A5 pages on singe A4 paper sheet

Suppose you have a Microsoft Word document that is formatted to be printed on A5 pages. For any reason (you don’t have A5 page, you want to save paper etc.) you want to print it so that two A5 pages will appear next to each other on single A4 page.

On contrary to common beliefs this is not as easy as selecting 2 Pages Per Sheet because, without additional settings, your printer will be still asking you to feed it with A5 paper.

It’s not that easy, but the solution is still surprisingly simple.

This article is specific to (ISO 216 standard) paper size standard and for printing two A5 pages on one A4 sheet. But the very same steps should theoretically work in every scenario where you want to print two half-sized pages on single page format that is twice as big. Thus, printing (plotting?) two B3 pages on one huge B2 poster should work. Or printing two Letter-sized pages (216 × 279 mm) on one Ledger page (432 × 279 mm).

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Error code 6009 when deleting folder from OneDrive

If you’re getting “Error Code 6009” during attempting to delete any folder from OneDrive:

Then look carefully for all open browser windows and tabs. Because this error means that you are trying to delete a folder which contains any file that is already opened in some window or tab.

If you cannot find any tab or windows of such kind then restart browser and try to delete folder again (alternatively, restart the whole computer). As there maybe some background task, not visible to you, that is holding a file lock and preventing you from deleting a parent folder.

Put significance on tens and ones or round to a negative precision [updated!]

I had a situation in Excel where tens and ones are the only significant parts of a any number. For some Polish language-specific issues I have come with the situation that no matter how big number is, I need to know the value of its last two digits or last digit.

For example:

21 --> 21 and 1
56 --> 56 and 6
160 --> 60 and 0
1122 --> 22 and 2
679014 --> 14 and 4
1053405 --> 5 and 5

Learning the fact that ROUND(), ROUNDUP() and ROUNDDOWN() functions in Excel can be used with a negative precision parameter helped me solved this issue.

I am not too good in Excel, so maybe (update!) there are prettier solutions. This one works, however…

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Disable automatic restarts in Windows 10

Windows knows better then you when to restart your computer. And Windows 10 is the most qualified in such knowledge. That’s why in some scenarios you may lost 40+ tabs open in your browser and a lot of programs running, when your Windows decided that it must be restarted right now.

There are many approaches to preventing Windows 10 from auto-restarting itself:

However, the solution that worked for me is “Disable Automatic Windows 10 Restarts” script at GitHub.

Batch-change value of thousands of cells in Excel sheet

There are milion of ways on modifying many cells’ value in single pass using… formula. But, what about a situation, when you need to perform only a single one-time bulk-change of value in many Excel’s cells?

I had a situation when I was preparing some IT project’s budget. Since I am an IT geek then writing amounts in thousands like 1,30k USD was no problem at all. However, this solution had two falls:

  • Some accounting freak, having nothing to do with IT, had problems understanding that “k” means thousands
  • Cells itself had to use some custom formatting of ##0,00k USD in order to add that damn “k”

Thus, I had to do a one-time recalculation of most of cells in my sheet to multiply their value by 1000.

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Change page size when scanning in Windows 10

If you’re scanning images using Window’s native drives and software (i.e. not those provided by your scanner manufacturer) you may often hit the wall of not being able to change scanned page side due to fact that corresponding list is disabled:

In this article I’ll show you how to change this value (page size). But, keep in mind that this will be a one time solution. As far as I know there is now permanent solution for this problem.

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Can’t enable BitLocker for pendrive or USB removable drive

If your pendrive or removable drive (after selecting it in This PC) has BitLocker button disabled (in Protect section of Drive Tools tab) or if you can’t see it listed in BitLocker itself then it is (currently) not supported. Most guides you’ll find will tell you that the destructive way of formatting drive is the only option.

That turned out to be not true, at least in my case. Simple deactivation of pendrive’s partition using DiskPart solved problem.

Of course you need Windows 10 Pro, because “lower” editions of this system does not have BitLocker.

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The server drafts location you entered for offline editing is not valid (updated)

At some point in your struggle with Office 365 off-line applications (Word 365, Excel 365, PowerPoint 365 etc.), when trying to save any changes to Options dialog, you may run into following error:

The server drafts location you entered for offline editing is not valid or you do not have permission to access that location. Specify a location on your local computer.

In short, this has nothing to do with Office and most likely, you (or someone / something else) deleted your c:\Users\[username]\Documents folder. Closing Office 365, re-creating this folder should fix this problem.

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Paste not formatted text to Word

In many programs, applications and web services you can use the Ctrl+Shift+V keyboard shortcut when pasting to override source formatting and paste copied text “as is”, thus using destination document’s formatting. Google services are especially promoting this shortcut, which you can use to paste not formatted text i.e. to Gmail message.

In Word this isn’t that easy. You must:

  • bring up Paste Special window (I use another keyboard shortcut for this — Ctrl+Shift+Insert for example),
  • navigate through list of available options (using Up or Down keys) to locate Unformatted Text option,
  • confirm selection with Enter or by clicking OK.

I wanted to make it simpler and working the same way as in other services. Fortunately, it was an easy keyboard shortcut assignment in Word.

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“Unprotect” a sheet or a workbook in Excel

Microsoft developers’ ignorance has hit jackpot one more time. If you “protect” a sheet or workbook, Excel only places a special tag inside .xlsx file. Changing it and thus “unprotecting” such file is a piece of cake.

You can remove it in a matter of two minutes using software like Total Commander or 7-Zip. By doing so, you can gain access to “protected” sheet or workbook without knowing a password. Something that in theory should never happen.

In previous versions of Excel (Office) that were using old .xls file you had to work with some nasty, multi-level macro to unprotect a protected file. Now they have made even easier. Instead of using some dully macros all you need is a text editor and a file to unpack and repack archive.

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If you can’t get rid of Windows 10’s folders…

…then change their destination!

All those default system folders in any version of Windows simply drives me crazy:

You can try to play with Ultimate Windows Tweaker or similar software to get rid of them. But the keep getting back after each important Windows Update.

So… if you can get rid of them, learn to like them, but first… change their location.

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