Saturday, March 5, 2011

Skype: Remove Skype Links from Web Browser

When you browse the web, Skype will locate phone numbers and offer to let you call the phones through Skype.  You have two options to disable this:

1)  Uninstall "Skype Toolbar" from Add/Remove Programs.

2)  In Skype, go to Tools > Options > Advanced and uncheck the boxes "Use Skype to call callto: links on the web" and "Automatically start Extras".

I recommend just getting rid of the toolbar, which often are culprits when web browsers crash.

Skype Slowness Issues

Problem:  whenever Skype opens, the computer slows down significantly.

Solution (possibly):  I have seen some version of Skype slowdown when trying to pull contacts from Outlook.  Though this feature might be nice for some reason, it wasn't for me and definitely wasn't worth bring my computer to a halt.  Turn off this integration by doing the following:

1.  Open Skype.
2.  Go to Contacts  and make sure "Show Outlook Contacts" is NOT checked.

Older versions of Skype may have the "Show Outlook Contacts" option listed elsewhere, but you should upgrade to the latest version of Skype anyway.  It may fix your problem without disconnecting the Skype/Outlook connection.

Other things to try:  uninstall Skype Toolbar or see if your antivirus might be the culprit. 

Skype: "We are having problems connecting to the download server"

When you go to Skype's main page to download the latest version, you're not really downloading Skype, you're installing a downloader that manages the install of Skype.  Confused yet?  Anyway, sometimes the downloader has problems managing the connection and you'll get errors such as "We are having problems connecting to the download server."

Solution:  Download the standalone install for Skype.

This is especially useful if you have your own download manager that can resume should the source of the problem be a slow or unreliable internet connection.  Or just use it to install it on several computers that may not have an internet connection at the time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Windows cannot find 'search:query=cmd"

Problem:  you go to Start and in the search field you enter the name of some system tool (cmd, run, regedit, etc.) and you get the error "Windows cannot find 'search:query=(whatever you wish to run)".  Other searches seem to run okay, as long as its not a system file.

The indexing service is running and restarting the computer doesn't seem to fix it.  After much trial and error, I was able to fix the root of several problems by running this Microsoft Fixit solution:  KB886549.

I only list this on my blog because the article doesn't directly claim to fix the search:query= error, so I am happy to bring it to everyone's attention.