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Solutions: .gif pictures won't open as desktop background

I have a new HP TouchSmart desktop using Windows 7. Why can't I get my ".gif" pictures to open when I set them as desktop background? It worked on my old computer, an XP.

Try this: Navigate to your .gif file using File Explorer (Windows key + E). Right-click the file and choose "Open with."

If Internet Explorer is listed, click it, otherwise click "choose default program … " Click Browse and go to C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer and choose iexplore.exe (Internet Explorer). You can uncheck the "Always use this program to open this kind of file" option. Once Internet Explorer opens the .gif file, right-click the picture and select, "Set as background."

In the bottom right of my screen several icons are displayed. If I right-click the Taskbar I see the Taskbar and Start Menu windows. How do things get placed there and can you delete some of them?

The programs place themselves there when they initiate, most likely at Windows Boot time. If you right-click those icons, they may present a menu where the option to keep them from starting can be set. Otherwise you'll need to go into the Microsoft System Configuration Tool as follows: Click Start, Run, type MSCONFIG and click OK. Click the Startup tab.

You'll see a list of all the programs that start automatically when you start Windows. Uncheck the items that you want to keep from auto starting. Some may be self-explanatory, others you may need to Google to find exactly what they are and whether it is necessary to auto start. Every system will be different.

How can I restore the "Spell Check" in the Outlook Express E-Mail Program? I have Windows XP Home Edition.

Spellchecker should be available in Outlook Express in any Microsoft Office product. There are a few things, however, that can knock it off the tracks. First check within Outlook Express, Tools, Options, Spellcheck to make sure it is turned on. A registry issue could also cause Outlook Express to look in the wrong place for the Csapi3t1.dll file. Go to and follow the steps provided there for editing the particular registry entry.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: .gif pictures won't open as desktop background 12/26/10 [Last modified: Sunday, December 26, 2010 5:45pm]
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