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Fast Forward's Help File

By Rob Pegoraro
Sunday, February 3, 2008

Q I use Windows' "Send To" right-click menu as a quick way to copy a file to a flash drive or attach it to an e-mail. How do I get rid of all its irrelevant options?

AThis menu -- one of the items that appear when you right-click on a file in Windows -- can become a dumping ground for shortcuts left there by other programs.

Cleaning it up takes a little digging, though, because the folder that hides these shortcuts is itself hidden. In Windows XP or Vista, type "shell:sendto" into the address-bar space at the top of your documents window. (If you don't see that space in XP, go to the View menu, select Toolbars and then select "Address Bar.") You should then see a folder that lists files named after places and programs on your computer, not all of which you may care about.

For example, Windows puts links here to create a desktop shortcut or make a compressed archive from a selected file. Many third-party programs, such as disc-burning utilities and the Skype Internet-phone program, also leave traces here.

Delete the shortcuts you don't want, and you'll have a simpler and shorter "Send To" menu.

When I try to open iTunes on my PC, it says it cannot run because it has detected a problem with the audio configuration, and then quits.

You need to reload QuickTime, the Apple media-playback software on which iTunes relies. Download a fresh copy ( http://apple.com/quicktime), install that, and you should be fine.

If I may offer a suggestion to the iTunes developers: How about writing an error message that tells people how to fix this problem? The vague notice that users see now offers zero guidance about what to do, not even a link to the tech-support article on Apple's site explaining this issue.

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 orrobp@washpost.com. Turn to Thursday's Business section or visit washingtonpost.com anytime for his Fast Forward column.

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