Can’t Change Default Search Engine with Cortana

ChrometataI noticed this morning I couldn’t change the default search engine for Cortana. She loads Bing by default and I rather have Google or DuckDuckGo. I searched the internet for possible fixes and I came across a work around.

If you use the Chrome browser, you can download an extension called Chrometana. After installing the extension, Chrometana will ask you to select your default browser: Google, DuckDuckGo or Yahoo. Obviously, you don’t want Bing as your default because then you wouldn’t need this extension.

Now when I type in a search, Cortana loads Bing and Chrome quickly forwards the request to my search engine of choice. Based on my searches, it seems Microsoft has no plans to allow a change in the default browser, so I will take this workaround for now.

When the Surface Pro 3 Keyboard Doesn’t Work

Surface Pro 3It took me a moment to find this fix so I wanted to share this with you.

If your Surface Pro 3 keyboard will not work (touchpad and keys) then of course you try the obvious:

1. Make sure your computer has the latest Windows updates.
2. Gently clean off the connectors with a cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.

But this evening, neither of these options worked. After rebooting several times, I went back to Google to search more possible fixes and discovered this one.

3. Make sure the Surface is turned off. Press and hold Volume Up (on the left side) and the Power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds. You may see the screen flash the Surface logo but continue to hold for 15 seconds. Release both buttons and wait 15 more seconds. Turn on the Surface as usual.

The third option above worked just fine for me this evening.

Google Drive Plugin for Microsoft Office

Google Drive for Microsoft Office

 

If you use Microsoft Office with OneDrive as well as Google Drive for your documents, spreadsheets and presentations, then you may find the new plugin from Google handy.Google Drive Plugin in Excel

After downloading and installing the plugin, Google Drive will prompt you to sign into your account. Then a Google Drive tab will be added to the Office Suite. A screen shot of the plugin in Excel is shown above. I primarily use Google Drive for my files; however, I also use OneDrive for some items. I was happy to see a new way of integrating items I use frequently for work and personal use.

TeamViewer Trial Period Has Expired Fix

TeamViewerI’ve been using TeamViewer for a couple of years to remotely log into my computers. I started using TeamViewer exclusively after LogMeIn ended their free version of the service. TeamViewer is free as long as it is for personal use.

Recently, I accidently did not select personal use when installing it on my Surface Pro 3. At the end of the trial, I tried to uninstall and reinstall for personal use. This didn’t work.

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