Google Voicemail Not Picking Up : SOLVED

August 16th, 2019 by steve shields

The other day, Google Voice stopped acting as my voicemail for my Verizon cellphone.

The Google Voicemail Help Forums were littered with posts from people having the same problem and suggestions that were not working.

Here’s how I solved it:

I went to and clicked “Deactivate Google Voicemail on this phone”. Then I reactivated it, following the instructions.

I am not sure why Google makes it so hard to find this setting, but it solved the problem.

Google voicemail is set as the default voicemail for my cell phone.

Windows 10 1903 update stuck at splash screen – SOLVED

July 4th, 2019 by steve shields

I waited several weeks for Microsoft to work out the bugs on their new build of Windows 10, but I still had a problem when I tried to update.

My Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro with the 500 GB SSD drive only had 26 GB free. I figured that would be enough. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t.

I had BitLocker active on my SSD, but I figured that wouldn’t be a problem. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was.

In any case, as the install proceeded, my Lenovo was stuck at the splash screen — the little dots spinning, and then, apparently frozen.

I let it sit for a few hours, then tried to reboot. And it did the same thing — overnight.

The next day, I pressed the tiny button that takes you to the boot menu, and I tried to restore an earlier install only to read that since I had encrypted my drive with BitLocker, I would not be able to restore anything — except the factory settings.

That’s unacceptable.

Getting Back Into Windows

In desperation, I downloaded the Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft and booted from the USB drive. There, I was given the option to restore to a previous installation — and it worked.

Windows 10 was up and running again — minus the 1903 upgrade.

But you need that upgrade, right?

So, after getting back into Windows, here are steps I took to install the 1903 update of Windows 10.

  1. Free up lots of space on the HD. (I moved over 200 GB of music and pictures from the encrypted drive.
  2. Turn off BitLocker (this took me several hours).
  1. Create an image of the drive — just in case. (You might use Rescue Free.)
  2. Now, reboot the computer and install the update as you would normally.

This worked for me — but that’s not saying it will for you.

Afterward, I turned on BitLocker. This took just a couple of minutes.

As always, this information it provided “as-is” without warranty, expressed or implied. Any loss you suffer is the fault of the person pressing the keys on your keyboard. 🙂

Force the Facebook App to Use External Browser

March 20th, 2019 by steve shields

The other day I clicked a link in the Facebook Android App and it took me to Facebook’s internal browser. I feel sure I had changed this to open links in Chrome instead, but it was opening it in the Facebook web browser.

At first I didn’t even notice it. When I did, I thought, it wasn’t a big deal.

But then, one web page it opened wanted me to enter my credentials for that page.


So I searched the web to change it.

How do you get the Facebook App to use Chrome for external links?

Every time I thought I found the solution, it was for an older version of the app. In those older versions, it was a high-menu-level option. In today’s Facebook App, it’s buried clear at the bottom of a settings page under a rather poorly designated heading.

Here’s how to change it:

  1. Open your Facebook App.
  2. Select the Menu icon (the three horizontal lines in the corner).
  3. Scroll down and select Settings & Privacy.
  4. Select Settings.
  5. Scroll down and select Media and Contacts.
  6. Select “Links open externally” setting to On.

And there you have it.

That’s how to make the Facebook App open websites in Chrome instead of their internal browser.