Monthly Archives: November 2016

Know More About Gmail Search

When Gmail debuted 12 years ago it made a shift in how we thought about email. At a time when the norm was Hotmail’s 2MB free storage, or using an ISP email address you were likely to lose at some point, the days of having to tightly manage your email storage are long gone.

Instead of deleting, the idea of archiving messages indefinitely became plausible. This has been helped by a clean interface to keep a tidy inbox and powerful search capabilities, so you can find and retrieve old emails at will. Gmail search is also speedy which makes it practical, even if you don’t keep your inbox at all organized.
For sake of brevity, I’ll cover a few of my favorite and most useful Gmail search operators and then give you the full list below with some examples.

First Things First
If you don’t want to remember any operators, clicking on the search box down arrow will bring up a dialog with useful ways to search, covering typical queries using labels, date, recipients, and so on.
On the opposite of the spectrum, those who love keyboard shortcuts will certainly want to enter operators by hand. So make sure you have Gmail keyboard shortcuts turned on (Shift + ‘ / ‘ shows the full list) and simply hitting ‘ / ‘ (forward slash) will bring focus on the search box.

Most Useful
Using quotes “search goes here” and the minus sign “-”
Similar to searching on Google, if you wrap your query around with quotes, it will make a literal search. So you can look up an exact string like “a new hope”. Conversely, adding a minus sign before a certain term or email address, will remove those from your results. For example, “star wars” -battlefront.

from: to: subject:
Run a standard search while adding who you sent or received an email from. This will narrow search results considerably, effectively filtering results in a breeze. If it’s someone in your address book, Gmail will help matters further by autocompleting names which is handy.
Similarly, with subject: you can ignore emails’ content and search text in the subject line only.
has:attachment and filename:
If you’re looking for a specific email about your “pineapple” project that had an attachment added to it, you can add “has:attachment” and you’ll only get results with emails that have your query term and attachments.
Or if you are looking for a particular file you can search by filename. The filename: operator also works to look up file types/extensions, so you can use “pineapple filename:pdf” and it will narrow things down for you.
size: and larger:
If you’re running out of space (Gmail offers ~15GB of free storage these days), looking up old emails that are larger than say, 10mb larger:10m will help you finding those pesky emails with huge attachments you may no longer need, saving precious free inbox space in the process.
More Options
is: starred/unread/read/chat
If you use Gmail’s star system to mark important messages, this will help narrowing things down considerably. Or if you use Google Chat, searching only within chats, can be a lifesaver, For example: “is:chat Melissa”.

before: and after:
Although a tad cumbersome to use versus picking a date from the search drop down menu. For very specific queries you can use the yyyy/mm/dd format, to search within a certain time frame.
For example, “after:2017/01/01 invoice” or “after:2012/01/01 before:2016/01/01”
For relative time queries, you can also use older_than: and newer_than: (also available from the drop down search dialog).

Gmail search ignores Trash and Spam folders by default, this operator overrides it and searches everywhere.
Using brackets () and OR
Although I rarely use these, they surely come handy for advanced queries.
Brackets () let you group terms. For example, “subject:(star wars)” will look for the complete term in the subject line only, while trying to do the same without brackets “subject:star wars” would only look for the word ‘star’ in the subject and ‘wars’ everywhere else.
The OR operator (must be uppercase) works a little bit like programming. So you can match multiple terms. For example, a search for two different senders: “from:paul OR from:chris”
There are a few more search operators that we haven’t covered here on purpose, since the above will cover 98% of your needs.

Remote Sign Out Of Gmail At Multiple Device

There are many situations in which your Gmail account could be inadvertently exposed to prying eyes, especially if you access your inbox from different devices throughout the day. Whether it’s a lost phone, laptop or tablet; or you had to borrow a laptop in a rush and forgot to log out; or when you need to allow someone to use your main PC — where you keep your session active — while you are away.
Gmail has a remote log out feature that’s quite handy in these situations, allowing you to end all active sessions from any computer or mobile phone. Some of you might not be familiar with it but it sits right there at the bottom of your inbox and is just a single click away.

1. Log into Gmail from any web browser
2. Scroll to the bottom of your inbox and just below the last of your received email, to the right, is a section detailing your “Last account activity” alongside a link for more “Details”.

3. Click on details and a new window will popup up with all recent sessions and a button to end them all.

If you just need to make sure you’re logged out everywhere, a single click will do the trick. However, you could also take some time to examine those sessions and identify whether there’s any activity you should worry about or long forgotten apps that you no longer want to grant access.

Particularly in the first column titled “Access Type” you’ll be able to see the browser, device, application or mail server (like POP or IMAP) that you accessed Gmail from. If you don’t recognize the activity on the page, like a location or access type, someone might have access to your account as a result of a phishing scam or malware, and you should change your password immediately.

For entries that read Authorized Applications you can click on Show details and then on Manage Account Access. From here you’ll get a full list of every application that you have granted access to your Gmail, and clicking on an entry will reveal the date this access was granted, along with details of what the app has access to and a Remove button to revoke its authorization.

Still Upgrade Windows 10 Even After Expired

Microsoft officially ended their Windows 10 free upgrade program on July 29th, approximately a year after the operating system was released and just days before the Windows 10 Anniversary Update arrived. Windows 10 is now running on 400 million active devices as of September, thanks in no small measure to that free upgrade offer.
There are still a lot of Windows 7 and 8 PCs out there, however. For those that did want to upgrade but didn’t get around to it, there are still a couple of known ‘loopholes’ to get a free Windows 10 upgrade which Microsoft hasn’t bothered to close, even months after the offer formally ended.
Assistive Technologies Offer
Microsoft is continuing to offer free Windows 10 upgrades to those who use assistive technologies, such as a screen narrator or magnifier. Anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 qualifies for the offer, as Microsoft isn’t really checking to see whether you are actually using these assistive tools.
The upgrade process couldn’t be simpler. Just head to Microsoft’s accessibility website, download the program that’s listed on their upgrade page, and then install your free Windows 10 update.

There is no end date to the free Windows 10 upgrade program for assistive tool users as of writing, but Microsoft will make “a public announcement prior to ending the offer.” The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brought new accessibility features and Microsoft wants to ensure that users who require them get the best experience, so they’re quietly keeping this upgrade path alive for those that need it.
Assistive technologies are designed to provide additional accessibility to individuals who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments, and disabilities. Back when this ‘loophole’ was first reported on, Microsoft noted that they are not restricting the free upgrade offer to specific assistive technologies, however it is not intended to be a workaround for people who don’t use assistive technology and who missed the deadline for the free offer. In other words let your conscience be your guide.

Use an Old Windows 7 or 8.1 Key
Another known and still available loophole to score a free Windows 10 upgrade is to enter valid Windows 7 or Windows 8 product keys into the Windows 10 installer — or later in the operating system.
We’d expected Microsoft to close this activation workaround soon after it was uncovered back in August, but as it turns out, it’s still wide open. I created a virtual machine and installed Windows 10 using an ISO image obtained from the official Windows 10 media creation tool. I didn’t have an old Windows key readily available but you can get them for as little as $30-$40 on sites like Amazon, G2A or Reddit.

Armed with a Windows 7 Ultra key, I entered it during installation and voila: free Windows 10 upgrade.
Microsoft hasn’t commented what’s going on here, or whether it will block this method in the future. They seem more concerned about getting as many people onto Windows 10 as possible, maybe they figure most users will indirectly end up paying for a license when buying an off-the-shelf system.

The Windows Test Bed
For those that just need access to a fresh Windows 10 install temporarily there’s always the option to install Windows 10 into a virtual machine without actually activating it. The operating system will nag you about activating it, but if all you need is to run some tests this is one way to go about it.
You can also download a 90-day evaluation version of Windows 10 Enterprise from Microsoft’s website.