PC Doctor June 22, 2011

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Dear PC Doctor,

My eyesight isn't what it used to be; sometimes I find it difficult to even find my mouse on the screen! I already the resolution set high enough for me to find everything else, but my mouse just likes to hide. I have to shake my mouse a few times before I'm able to see it. Is there a way for me to somehow get my mouse to stay in the same spot always?


Dear Mandy,

The “hiding mouse syndrome” doesn't just happen to you! Unfortunately it’s small, and it's white of all things! I'm always losing that arrow. It blends right in with my desktop wallpaper, disappearing into that intricate pattern of clouds.  Now I could change my wallpaper to a nice, dark solid color, but that's totally boring. Plus it won't be much help if the cursor happens to be off screen, to the side. Fortunately there's a quick fix for this right under your computer's Mouse Properties. Click Start > Control Panel > Mouse (icon is a mouse). Once Mouse Properties are open, click on the "Pointer's Option" tab. There will be several options displayed. All of which can be quite helpful. However, the option in question is titled "Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key." Check the check-box next to this option. Hit the OK button to close and to apply the setting change. To test it, hit one of your keyboard's Ctrl keys which are at the bottom row of your keyboard. Upon hitting the Ctrl key, a circle will flash around the location of your cursor alerting you of the cursor's exact location, even if it happens to be off screen.

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor,

I need help! I work in an office and it's great! Everyone's nice and it's a great working atmosphere, but everyone likes to pull pranks on each other, especially me, since I'm the new guy! One of the pranks that comes up a lot is messing around with my computer. Nothing really bad, but small stuff like changing my wallpaper, screensaver, hiding my icons, setting different websites as my browser's home page, etc. Somehow they're able to sneak in while I'm gone for a minute getting coffee or visiting the restroom. I don't want to have to shutdown my computer every time I leave for a few minutes. Is there a way I can keep my computer safe from the pranksters? My computer is running Windows 7 if that's any help.


Dear Carter,

I have the perfect solution for you. Just be aware, once you prank-block your computer, the pranksters will move on to something else to prank you at, maybe even something worse than changing your computer's wallpaper! However, the solution is: Lock your computer! This is a great setting you can find under your computer's “User Accounts and Family Safety” in the Control Panel. Under “User Accounts” click on “Change your Windows password”. Set something that you won't forget easily, because you don't want to be locked out of your own computer! (If you ever want to change this password, you'll need to know the current one, so don't worry about someone ever changing your password on you.

Whenever you leave your computer take a second to press the Windows key (the little logo key on your keyboard) and L at the same time. This is the keyboard shortcut to locking your computer. Voila! Your computer is locked and safe from idle hands. When you return to your computer, enter your password and return to your work.

            PC Doctor

Until next time… happy computing!