How to Remove that Annoying Right-Hand Tools Pane in Adobe Reader DC

By default, Adobe Reader opens a right-hand “Tools Pane”, which is basically a bunch of stuff it wants to sell you. It’s more like a “Tools Pain“, because it hogs a huge amount of screen real estate, especially on laptops.

Here’s how to default Adobe Reader DC to opening with the Tools Pane closed:

1) Open Adobe Reader
2) Open a .pdf document in Adobe Reader DC.
3) Shift+F4 (or click the arrow to the left of the Tools Pane) to close it.

Tools Pane in Adobe Reader DC
Either press Shift+F4 or click on the right-pointing arrow in the left margin of the Tools Pane.

4) In the top menu, click “Edit”, then click “Preferences”.
Screenshot Showing Edit | Preference
Click “Edit” in the top of window menu, then click “Preferences.”

6) Click “Documents” (under Categories)
Adobe Reader DC Preferences Window
Click “Documents”, then make sure the “Remember current state of Tools Pane” is check marked.

7) Checkmark “Remember current state of Tools Pane.”
8) Click the “OK” button.

That does it–until the next Adobe Reader update. It tends to turn the Tools Pane back on, so you might have to repeat this procedure.

(This document is relevant as of Adobe Reader DC version 2018.011.20038)

How to Convert an Office 365 Mailbox to a Shared Mailbox

Let’s say a user has retired or quit. You, as administrator, want to convert the mailbox to a shared mailbox to free up the license the mailbox was using but keep the departed user’s important communications available or his or her successor to view and to intercept any emails that should now be addressed to that successor.

First, here are some really important things to you need to know:

  • The user mailbox you’re converting needs an Office 365 license assigned to it before you convert it to a shared mailbox. Otherwise, you won’t see the option to convert the mailbox.  If you’ve removed the license, add it back so you can convert the mailbox. After converting the mailbox to a shared one, you can remove the license from the user’s account.
  • Shared mailboxes can have up to 50GB of data without a license assigned to them. To hold more data than that, you need a license assigned to it.  You may need to delete a bunch of large emails (say, ones with attachments) from the shared mailbox to shrink it down so you can remove the license.
  • Don’t delete the old user’s account. That’s required to anchor the shared mailbox.  If you’ve already deleted the user account, see Convert the mailbox of a deleted user.

A license is not required for a shared mailbox provided you do not enable In-place Archive. If you are converting a user mailbox with an In-place archive to a shared mailbox, you’ll need export the archive to a pst before converting the mailbox.

Note: It’s probably a good idea to export the mailbox to a .pst file before converting, just in case the conversion doesn’t “take” properly.

Here’s how you convert a mailbox to a shared mailbox:

  1. Sign in with your Office 365 admin account at
  2. On the Active users page, select the user whose mailbox you want to convert.
  3. On the user’s page, expand Mail Settings and click Convert to shared mailbox. You won’t see this option if the user doesn’t have an Office 365 license assigned to them.
  4. Click Convert to complete the conversion. 
  5. If the mailbox is smaller than 50GB, you can remove the license from the user, and stop paying for it. Don’t delete the user’s old mailbox. The shared mailbox needs it there as an anchor. The user won’t be able to sign in using the old account.
  6. For everything else you need to know about shared mailboxes, please see Create a shared mailbox.

It will take a few minutes to convert the mailbox to shared. Once finished, if the mailbox is smaller than 50GB, remove the license from the mailbox in the Office 365 Admin center. Select the account, then click Edit next to the Assign license information on the right.


To Remove a License from Users in Office 365 Business

  1. In the Office 365 admin center, go to the Active users page, or choose Users > Active users.
  2. Select the box for the name of the user from whom you want to remove a license.
  3. On the right, in the Product licenses row, choose Edit.
  4. In the Product licenses pane, switch the toggle to the Off position for the license you want to remove from the user.
  5. At the bottom of the Product licenses pane, choose Save > Close > Close.  

Source 1: Diane Poremsky

Source 2: Diane Faigel

Source 2:

Zoom Not Working in Word 2016 Print Layout View

All of a sudden today, my print layout view in Word 2016 was teeny tiny and the zoom slider on the lower right of the screen was grayed out.  On the view tab, the Zoom section only had “Thumbnails”, which effectively made the view even smaller.

Maybe that’s OK for a Millennial’s eyesight, but for those of us who started out in WordStar back in the early ’80s, this is a major impediment.

It turns out that this is a “feature” and not a bug.

Here’s the explanation and fix from Jay Freedman, a Community Moderator on, responding to questions from Debra Hollinrake and Anthony Cooney:

“Anthony, I suspect that both you and Debra have run into the problem with one of Word’s new “features”, side-to-side scrolling. I can tell from Debra’s screen shot — because of the presence of the Zoom group containing only a Thumbnails button, that her Word is set to side-to-side. If your View tab looks like this, it’s also the cause of your problem: When side-to-side is turned on, all zooming is disabled except for the thumbnails view (which makes the pages even smaller).”


Click the Vertical button to return to “normal”, and the zoom will be re-enabled.

A huge thank you to Jay!

How to Implement Secure Emails in Office 365

When people ask me how secure email is, I tell them, “Never put anything in an email that you wouldn’t want posted on a public bulletin board.” In other words, email really isn’t secure.

So, can I send sensitive information (account numbers, social security numbers, credit card information, bank accounts, etc.) through email?

Yes, you can, if you implement a secure email system. For those of us with Office 365, that’s called the “Azure Information Protection client“, (AIPC) an inexpensive add-on to O365 from Microsoft.

Your O365 dealer (or Microsoft) can sell you this add-on for $2/month/email address that needs the protection. (Not every email address you have in O365 has to have the protection.)

Installation of Azure Information Protection

You will need administrative rights to your Office 365 account to do this.

  1. Purchase Azure Information Protection from Microsoft or your dealer.
  2. Log in to
  3. Click the “waffle” waffle icon in the upper left-hand corner of the portal screen.
  4. Click the Admin icon Office Portal Admin Icon in the left-hand menu.
  5. Click “Users” and then “Active Users” in the left-hand menu 
  6. In the list of users that will appear, click the email account to which you want to add the Azure Information Protection.
  7. In the mailbox detail pop-up, click the “Edit” link in the Product Licenses area.
  8. In the Product licenses pop-up click the “Off” switch of “Azure Information Protection Plan 1” to turn it on. 
  9. Click “Save”.
  10. Close the mailbox detail pop-up.
  11. You may log out of the portal.
  12. On the PC where you already have Office 365 installed, download and install the Azure Information Protection Client
    • Go to this website: then click the “Download” button. (Note: if you’re going to be doing more than one installation, chose the MSI installation file, which you can put on a thumb drive or a shared drive. That way you only have to download the software once. See the Azure Information Protection Client Administrator Guide for details.)
    • Select and download AZInfoProtection.exe
    • Double-click the file to start the installation
    • Select Install a demo policy if you want to experience Azure Information Protection labeling by using a demo policy that doesn’t require connecting to Azure
    • Click I agree to install the client.
    • When the installation completes, click Finish.
    • If you had Office application open (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), close and restart them to view the Information Protection bar.
  13. Configure your Azure Information Protection policy:

[More to come]


How to Add an Office 365 Email Account to the iOS Mail App

Microsoft’s latest rev of the Outlook for iOS app has promise, but I still find the iPhone’s built-in Mail App is easier to use and much better integrated into the iPhone  and iPad ecosystem of emails, calendars and contacts.

Go to your device’s Settings, scroll down and tap Mail > Accounts >Add Account.

Device Settings > Mail

Add Account

Select Exchange.

Choose Exchange

Enter your Office 365 email address, password, and a description of your account. Tap Next.

NOTE: Your email address should be your Office 365 business account or school account. Such as,, or

Exchange Sign In

If you’re prompted to enter server settings, enter the following and tap Next.

  • Email: your full email address.
  • Server:
  • Username: your full email address.
  • Password: email account password.

The Mail app may request certain permissions such as accessing your calendar and contacts. To agree, tap Yes.

Then choose the apps you want your email account to sync with your iOS device and tap Save.

Now you’re all set to go!

Please note: When you first add the Outlook 365 account to the Mail App, depending on how man emails you have in your account, it may take 5-15 minutes to sync up and work properly.  You’ll know this because the list of emails may be complete, but clicking on any email, the contents will come up blank.   Don’t panic.  Just go off and have a cup of coffee and then try again later.


How to Add a Shared Outlook 365 Email Account to an iPhone

None of the Microsoft options to do this work as simply and elegantly as the iPhone’s built in mail app. The Outlook for iOS app is pretty good but does not, as of this writing, allow for shared email accounts. The OWA for iOS app claims to handle shared but it’s really slow with larger volumes of mail.
Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts and Calendars > Add Account. From the choices available, go to the bottom and choose “Other” to manually set up the shared mailbox account.


On the Other screen, select “Add Mail Account.” In the new screen, you will enter:

  • Name – The name that will be displayed to recipients on email
  • Email – The shared mailbox’s email (example:
  • Password – Your personal email password
  • Description – Anything you choose to describe the account on your device


Select “Next” to get to the full settings. Make sure that at the top of the new screen the type of account highlighted is IMAP.


Scroll down to the “Incoming Mail Server” section, where you will enter:

  • Host Name –
  • User Name – [your email name]@[your domain name]/[the shared mailbox’s name] (example: if your name is ed and if your organization has a shared email account named (and you have rights to it) you would enter )
  • Password – Your personal email password


Scroll down again to the “Outgoing Mail Server” section, where you will enter:

  • Host Name –
  • User Name – [Your email name] (example:
  • Password – Your personal email password


Select “Next” and wait for the server to verify your settings. When complete, you will be presented with the option of what you want to sync. Make your choices, and select “Save.”


Now you will find the shared account in your Mail app, under Mailboxes, with the description name you gave it.


Less than NetZero, or How Personal Email can Spoil Your Day

Why do malware attacks seem to happen to the same people at work all the time—people who you’d think would be the least likely to spend their idle moments on trolling through the worst of the Internet?

And why, after your company has spent a lot of time, money and energy setting up firewalls, anti-virus, anti-malware and spam filters does still an occasional malware attack gets through?

As I noted in my WannaCry missives earlier this week, the most “successful” malware attacks spread through emails and the result of human habits that are hard to break. (“Oh, here’s an email from Uncle Harry.  I haven’t heard from him in years!”)

I got a panicky call yesterday from an employee of a long-time client. “I’m getting this message that says I’ve been attacked and I’m not supposed to reboot or close the message.  I called Microsoft, using a telephone number on the message.  They told me they couldn’t help and that I have to call my IT guy. I’m stuck.”

After taking a deep breath, I said, as calmly as possible, “I’ll be there as soon as I can. Just let everything alone for now.”

It turned out to be an infected website that took over her Chrome browser.  I was able to use the old three-fingered solute (ctrl-alt-delete) and task manager to close the browser windows, updated and ran my good buddy Malwarebytes. It found two PUPs (possibly unwanted programs) and a Trojan (as in horse), which it quarantined. After rebooting, I downloaded the newest version of Malwarebytes and scanned it again. This time we got 16 more nasties.

So, this being a browser event, I asked, “What websites were you on recently?” Her response was “Oh, Google, a government site, and—oh, yeah—I checked my NetZero email.

Bingo. We’ve chosen the safest email systems we can afford for our workplace and it’s doing a reasonable job of keeping out the bad stuff. However, NetZero, and its “ancient” brethren, are still with us.  Given their revenue sources (Why do you think they called it Zero?), it’s not surprising that they don’t vet incoming email as well as the giants (Gmail, Microsoft).

Lures we don’t see on the workplace’s email come crashing through on a web-based personal email account that the employee has had for years. They were just doing what they’ve always done.

So here’s today’s takeaway:  Please ask your employees to check their personal emails on their phone or other NON-WORK device.  Or, ask them to wait until they get home to check their personal emails.

Warning: Phishy Attachments

The world was focused on WannaCry recently, but there here is another ongoing threat that your employees need to be aware of:

Word and Excel Documents as well as .pdf files can carry malware payloads, as well.  If the takeaway message in the last post was “Don’t Click”, today’s is: Don’t Open That Attachment!

By this point, your version of office should have been patched to NOT open any attachments without asking you first.  Sometimes that means that Office will show the attachment but won’t allow you to edit it until you press an button and respond to a pop-up that says, in effect, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

The warning and extra steps are really annoying when it affects stuff that is legitimate, but it’s an important feature that can help prevent you from being a victim of malware. If you need some before-bed reading, you can read the gory details on the SecureElement website:
SecureElement Advisory on PDF Phishing scam.

No Clicks!

Do NOT click ANY links that inside ANY emails.

They might look something appear to come from a person or company you deal with on a regular basis.  They may like this…

Click here to get information from Microsoft.

…or they might be a button with a similar phrase.  In either case, hold your cursor over any such link. Note that the link is actually to this site and NOT to Microsoft’s website. Sometimes they will include “microsoft” within the link, but it’s not an actual Microsoft URL. For instance, the link may be something like:

instead of a legitimate link like…

It also might have a “mailto” link. However, instead of calling up your email client to send a message to someone, the link could be a trigger for a process that attacks a vulnerability in Windows.

So what do I do?

Don’t click the link. Your options are…

  1. Telephone the sender to confirm that they sent you that particular email.
  2. Go directly to the “sender’s” website using your browser (type the URL into the address bar) instead of clicking the link.
  3. If it’s an email link, open your Outlook or other email client and send the message using the email address you have on file already.

Instead, manually go to the company’s website or manually send an email to the person who supposedly sent you the email instead of clicking the link.

What happens if I forget and click a link?

With luck, you have not clicked a bogus link and all is right with the world.  And, then again, this could pop up on your screen:

At this point, there is currently nothing you can do.  Any option it provides will cost you $$$ and may not work.  The best we can do is to wipe your hard drive and start from scratch.

The name of the game is prevention.  Don’t click and make sure your computer has all of the available Microsoft updates installed.

Some other things to know:

  1. If WannaCry installs itself on a computer on your network, it can not only hold your computer for ransom, it can spread to every other computer on the network, including any unpatched servers.
  2. If your computer is still running Windows XP, that computer is the biggest target of WannaCry.  It’s so bad that Microsoft just released a patch for it—several years after Microsoft stopped supporting and updating XP.  Patch that computer NOW! Google “WannaCry Microsoft” (without the quotes) and click the link for “Customer Guidance for WannaCrypt attacks”, which should be among the top results of the search.  Scroll down to the bottom and click the version of Windows you want to patch (It’s on the line that says “Download English Language security updates:”)
  3. Newer versions of Windows (7, 8, 10)had patches released last month. Those patches were supposed to automatically install themselves.  Sometimes your computer is set up to get the updates but not install them until you tell them to.  If you have a message from Microsoft saying that updates are pending, PLEASE install those updates NOW.
  4. Backups are REALLY important.  Under the worst of circumstances (your computer’s hard drive is encrypted and you don’t have the key, there’s a fire or other damage to your computer or network) you can restore from those backups and be back in business in short order.
  5. Your Desktop is NOT backed up! On networks over which I have control, there are up two different backups (one in the cloud and the other on a local external drives).  That’s the good news.  The bad news: I see a LOT of users who store important information on their desktops or the C:\ drive.  BIG MISTAKE!  Generally speaking, files stored on your local computer are not backed up. If your computer dies, your information stored on the desktop dies with it.  Store all data on your server folder (usually your H: drive).  If you want convenience, put a shortcut to that folder on your desktop.
  6. Employees who access their personal emails using a web-based service like Gmail or Yahoo can also be the target of an attack.  The “no clicks” rule applies to personal email and well as corporate.

Get Proactive

AVG, my current anti-virus system of choice, has come out with a new product that not only deals with traditional viruses, but it also monitors whether all computers are current with Microsoft Updates and allows me to force updates to any non-compliant PC remotely and during non-business hours.  I’m conducting a pilot program now and will be in touch with you when (and if) I’m satisfied with the product.

My goal is to have a central control point available for all of my clients’ workstations and servers so that we catch little problems before they become big ones.  I also envision offering vulnerability testing, that checks to see how “exposed” you are to outside threats that don’t come from email.

Today’s Takeaway: Please share the “Do Not Click” part of this post with your employees.