Word 2013/2016: How to remove the extra "Save AS" Dialog Window

Word 2013 and Word 2016 introduced a new window when you use "Save As". Microsoft calls this "Backstage".

For me, this extra window has absolutely now value and just means one click more. Luckily, there is a setting that removes that extra window. Here is how:

  1. Click on File > Options
  2. Tick Don't show Backstage when opening or saving files
  3. Click OK

What is confusing is that if you go to File > Save As, you will still see the Backstage window! Unfortunately, that tick box only fixes the keyboard shortcut for saving. So if you press Ctrl-S, you will now go directly to the Save File Dialog.

If you don't want to use keyboard shortcuts or can't (because you are on a tablet), you can add the "Save As" to the Quick Access Toolbar:

  1. Click the down arrow on the Quick Access Toolbar
  2. Click on More Commands...
  3. From the list on the left, select Save As and add it to the right list

You can now use Save As with one click: Just click on the Save As button (Floppy disk icon with a pencil on) in the Quick Access Toolbar

Outlook 2013/2016: Make Sender and Subject the same Font Size

In Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016, the sender is shown in a bigger font that the subject in the email list. This is a change from Outlook 2010 where both lines were with the same font size.

To get that behaviour back, do the following:

  1. Go to the View tab
  2. Click on View Settings
  3. Click on Conditional Formatting...
  4. Click on Add and give the new rule a name (e.g. "Sender name")
  5. Click on Font...
  6. Under the "Size" heading, click on Smaller
  7. Click OK
  8. You will get a warning that you have not created a condition. Click Yes

That's it.

Outlook 2013/2016: Don't Show Message Body in Email List

When you move from Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2013 or 2016, you will find that in the list of Emails, Outlook has added a 3rd line:

  1. Sender
  2. Subject
  3. Start of email body

I wanted to remove that 3rd line as it only takes space and it normally only contains stuff like "Hello John" which adds no real information.

So I thought I could go to the View setting and change

Maximum number of lines in compact mode = 2

But I still saw 3 lines in my email list! It took me quite a while until I found out what to do:

  • Go to the View tab
  • Choose Message Preview
  • Choose Off

Simple, isn't it? Why it took me so long to find that out is that I associated "Message Preview" with the Preview Pane (now called "Reading Pane"), so I never looked in there.

Internet Explorer: Favorites list is jumpy and loads very slowly

In Internet Explorer, I found that my favorites list loads slowly and when I hover over it with the mouse, the mouse pointer is hanging and jumpy.

I have redirected my favorites to a network folder, so I can have the same favorites on all my Windows machines. The problem does not occur if my favorites are kept on a local drive (but that is not a solution for me).

What helped and made the favorites list (and the favorites bar) quick and snappy again was the following:

  1. Open File Explorer (not Internet Explorer)
  2. Go to Organize > Folder and Search Options > View
  3. Un-tick Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items
  4. Click OK

That's it. Favorites are fast again.

ESXi 5.5: Get USB 3.0 Passthrough working

With ESXi 5.5 Update 3, VMWare addes USB 3.0 Passthrough support. It does this via xHCI USB adapter and the necessary drivers.

When I upgraded from ESXi 5.5 Update 2 to Update 3b, USB 3.0 did not work, though. The necessary driver had not been installed automatically with the upgrade. So here is what I had to do (in PuTTY):

  1. Install the xHCI driver from the bundle I used to do the upgrade:
    esxcli software vib install -n xhci-xhci -d "/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/Install/VMware-ESXi-5.5.0-Update3-3568722-HPE-550."
  2. Restart the ESX host.
  3. Make sure the driver is loaded:
    esxcli system module load -m xhci
  4. You should now see your USB 3.0 device with:
  5. You can now add the xHCI USB controller in the VM and then add the USB device.

ESXI 5.5: How to install the vCenter Appliance on an existing Host

If you just have ESXi 5.5 installed and you manage it with the vSphere client, you might want to install vCenter, which has some benefits (vSphere Web Client, get ESX alert emails and many others). Be aware that while ESXi 5.5 is free, the vCenter has a license cost. Also, make sure that the vCenter you install is always a newer or the same version than the ESXi you have.

You can either install the vCenter to run on an existing Windows Server or you can just import a virtual appliance (based on Linux). In this post, I describe the import of the virtual appliance.

  1. Download the vCenter .ova file from the myvmware.com page (you must create an account and apply for a 60 day evaluation). The file name is, for example: VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-
  2. Start the vSphere Client and choose File > Deploy OVF Template
  3. Browse to the .ova file you just downloaded and click Next
  4. Leave all the defaults and click Finish at the end. The VM will now be deployed (this can taka a while).
  5. Start the new VM (it is called "VMWare vCenter Server Appliance" by default).
  6. Open a console to the VM.
  7. First you have to login to the Unix shell. Use
    User name: root
    Password: vmware
  8. To change the IP address, type
  9. Once networking is setup, you can do the further configuration via web browser:
    (of course, you must take the IP address you have just configured)
  10. Login to the web page with the same credentials as under point 7.
  11. Configure vServer via web page (leave the defaults for most of the things).
  12. Once completed, use the vSphere Client and connect it to your vCenter IP address (not the ESX host directly anymore).
  13. You are now guided through the data center setup.
  14. That's it.

Blackberry 10: Remove Anti-Theft Protection from Device

With OS version 10.3.2, Blackberry has introduced Anti-Theft Protection (the company was required to do so by law). It did this by integrating Anti-Theft functionality in its "Blackberry Protect" offering.

While this might reduce the number of stolen devices, it is a horror for people that have forgotten their Blackberry ID password. Their Blackberry has turned into a useless brick and Blackberry support was in many cases less than useful.

But there is now a method to remove Anti-Theft Protection. It basically consists of 2 steps: Install an older device OS (e.g. 10.3.1) which removes Anti-Theft and then update to the latest OS again. Here are the steps in detail (this is for a Z30 with the currently latest Software Release on):

  1. Switch your "bricked" phone on and go through the setup wizard until you get to the "The anti-theft protection feature is on. To continue with device set-up you must enter your BlackBerry ID" screen.
  2. Download the developer version of the 10.3.1 Autoloader of your device, e.g. for the Z30 it is
    downloadable from the Blackberry web site here:
  3. Run the executable on a PC (must have BB Link installed for the correct drivers).
  4. Once it says "Connecting to Bootrom", connect your Blackberry device.
  5. It will restart and load the old OS. Wait until this is 100% complete.
  6. Once the device is restarted, it will run you through the setup wizard. Indicate that you want to install updates.
  7. Once the setup is completed, check if updates get installed via "Settings > Software Updates".
  8. It will install the updates, restart, and that's it! You have a "de-bricked" device.

Windows: How to generate a SAN certificate via Web enrollment

In environments where you have a Microsoft PKI Infrastructure (AD CA) setup, you can create new certificates via web enrolment:


This is straight forward for single-name certificates. If you wish to have multiple names for a certificate (Subject Alternative Names = SAN), you need a certain syntax in the "Atrributes" field of the web page:


You can add as many names as you want, separated by "&"

Active Directory: Reset Expiry Date of an expired Password

Many companies have a policy that require their users to change their passwords regularly (e.g. every 90 days). In Active Directory, this is normally enforced via Group Policy.

This works well, but can be problematic if the user is out of the office while the password expires. An example: If he or she is using a mobile phone to access company emails via ActiveSync, the access will be blocked once the password has expired. ActiveSync does not support password changes, so the user has no way to get his or her mail working again.

One possible solution is to have the user call the company's service desk and have them reset his or her password to a standard one. On the ActiveSync device this new password would have to be entered and then mail flow would start again. Once back in the office, the user would have to set the password to something secret again.

While possible, this solution has some drawbacks and also some security and compliance implications.

A better solution is to have the service desk do the following:

  • Go to the user object in AD Users and Computers
  • On the "Account" tab, tick "User must change password at next logon"
  • Click "Apply"
  • Un-tick "User must change password at next logon"
  • Click "Apply"

This will un-expire the password and reset the expiry date to the full period (e.g. 90 days).