Category Archives: Tech Tips

Tech Tip: Who is the Captain?

By: Ryan Johnson

Tech Tip: The Captain screenshot

Have you ever come back to your desk and noticed something called thecaptain is logged into your machine?  The captain is simply I-Tech’s name for an admin account on your machine.  This account is typically used to log into your machine when you are not available to troubleshoot an issue or update a program on your machine.

To log back into your Libraries account, simply click Other user located in the bottom left hand corner of the login screen and enter in with your Penn State ID along with and your password.

Tech tip: Other user screnshot


Tech Tip: Redesigned 2FA launching in June

By: Ryan  Johnson

tech tip: 2FA redesign screen shot

Later this month, users of WebAccess—the University’s authentication system that protects University email, Canvas, LionPATH and more—will notice a slight redesign to the system’s two-factor authentication (2FA) prompt. The change follows last year’s more significant interface redesign and is triggered by an upgrade to the system.

The new 2FA prompt will look different from the current prompt but be functionally the same. However, the upgrade to the 2FA service will increase security and allow for new features to be enabled, including a “Remember my device” feature that will allow users to log in with 2FA less frequently.


Tech Tip: Time to update your University Libraries listservs, what are my options?

By: Ryan Johnson

tech tip graphic, collaboration and communications in the Libraries

The current ULL list management interface is being retired in July.

I-Tech will maintain short list of essential and aggregate listservs (ULIBS, etc).  But responsibility for creating and managing communication for committees, working groups, etc. is being handed over to you, the end user.  You now have several options for group communication and the freedom to use what works best for your need.

For most areas, Microsoft Groups will be the preferred choice.

To learn more about what options are available, please visit the new Communication and Collaboration page available on the staff site.

Tech Tip: Learn about Microsoft Groups and Teams at Discovery Day

By: Ryan Johnson

Microsoft Groups and Teams is the communication and teamwork hub of Office 365. Teams helps users meet, connect, and share their knowledge with others. Penn State University is now using teams to for projects, committees and communication sharing.

In this session, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about using Teams, starting with how to set up and join existing teams. We will cover how to organize teams and engage in
conversations. In addition, we will cover how to add extra functionality using apps, connect Box and use video chat.

Presenter: Ryan Johnson
Location: W211A Pattee

Tech Tip: Box folder email and notification settings

By: Ryan Johnson

The folder settings page allows you to control the actions possible within a specific folder, and modify the default settings to better suit your needs. These folder settings are inherited by sub-folders, and cannot be ‘undone’ at a sub-folder level.

Note: Some settings can only be modified by folder owners and co-owners

To modify folder settings, right-click on a folder (or click the ellipses ()) to open the More Options menu, then click Settings.

Box Folder Email and Notification Settings

  • Use my default notification settings – If this option is enabled, you will receive notifications according to your notification preferences in your Account Settings.
  • Override default settings for this folder and all subfolders – If this option is enabled, you can set custom notification preferences.  To receive more or fewer notifications than usual for this folder and any subfolders, click check boxes under Notify me when someone.
    Enable this option to access Disable all email notifications for all collaborators.
  • Disable all email notifications for all collaborators –  If this option is enabled, collaborators will receive no emails about activity in this folder.

Tech Tip: New Penn State IT Alerts Page

By: Ryan Johnson

The previous Penn State IT alerts system and website was recently replaced by a new subscription page.

The service page will provide information on any current outages or degradations, as well as planned service maintenance and historical service information. Users may elect to subscribe to email notifications by service to ensure that they receive service status information about services that are important to them.

tech tip: IT Alerts screen shot

tech tip: IT Alerts screen shot

To learn more about the system status page and how to subscribe to alerts, take a look at the following video.

Penn State Wireless changes beginning on May 4

By: Ryan Johnson

Enterprise IT recently announced Penn State Wireless changes that occurred this past weekend on May 4. What does this mean for Libraries Machines?

1.) I-Tech has pushed the update to all Windows networked machines automatically, nothing will need to be done on your end.

2.) Mac’s will need to be done manually beginning May 4. Instructions are provided in the email and online at this location. If further assistance is needed, please open a helpdesk ticket.

3.) Any department wireless laptops or Student Circulating laptops will need to be done manually as well. Again if assistance is needed, please open a helpdesk ticket.

4.) Finally any personal devices (iPhones, iPads) will need to be done manually beginning on May 4 as well. Please follow the instructions here. Android devices and Chromebooks will not
require an update.

If you have any other questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact the Libraries Helpdesk.

Tech Tip: Attention Lynda users: LinkedIn Learning coming to Penn State Community

By: Ryan Johnson

LinkedIn graphic for Tech tip

In August 2019, Penn State IT will be upgrading accounts to LinkedIn Learning in order to take advantage of the newly-named service’s upgraded features and capability to work with LinkedIn to bolster your learning needs.

Although you will notice changes to the longtime learning and professional development platform, many of the features that are popular with users will remain intact.

As a reminder, you do not need to take any action during the transition and you will not lose any information associated with your account as all admin and learner data including groups, assigned content, account settings, and histories will carry over to LinkedIn Learning.

For news and updates, please visit If you have any questions about the upgrade, please contact

Tech Tip: How to Create a Group in Office 365

By: Ryan Johnson

How to Create a Group in Office 365

With the ULL interface going away, the University Library has several options to use in its place.  One is Office 365 Groups. Think of an Office 365 Group as a collaborative mailing list. When you create an Office 365 Group, you create a convenient mass-mailing list that you and others can use to email the Group. Your group also gets a bunch of other useful stuff, including a shared mailbox, shared calendar, and shared file space in SharePoint. In addition, Office 365 Groups integrate with other useful Microsoft apps. You can also create a Team for your Group in Microsoft Teams.

  1. Open Outlook on the web

2. In the navigation pane, next to Groups, select the + button

Office 365 screenshot for Tech Tip

3.  Fill out the group information

  • Group name: Create a name that captures the spirit of the group.
  • Once you enter a name, a suggested email address is provided. “Not available” means the group name is already in use and you should try a different name. Note that once you choose a group name, it cannot be changed.
  • Description: Optionally, enter a description that will help others understand the group’s purpose. This description will be included in the welcome email when others join the group.
  • Privacy: By default, groups are created as Private. This means only approved members in your organization can see what’s inside the group. Anyone else in your organization who is not approved cannot see what’s in the group.
  • Select Public to create a group where anyone within your organization can view its content and become a member.
  • Select Private to create a group where membership requires approval and only members can view group content.
  • Classification: Choose a classification. Options available depend on what your organization has set up.
  • Send all group conversations and events to members’ inboxes Optionally, check this box to enable members to see all group conversations and events in their inbox without having to visit separate group workspaces. Members can change this setting for their own mailboxes.

4.  Select Create.

Tech Tip: Check your JUNK folder in Outlook

By: Ryan Johnson

junk folder screenshot for tech tip.

Missing any email that you were expecting?  Check your JUNK folder in Outlook.  Any email that is suspected to be Junk will appear in this folder.  If you find an email that should appear in your inbox, mark it as NOT junk or SPAM.  The next time an email is received from this sender, it will appear in your inbox.

Note: This content in this folder will automatically be deleted every 30 days.

junk folder screenshot info for tech tip

Tech Tip: Pin Office 365 apps to the app launcher

By: Ryan Johnson

tech tip: app launcher screen shot

When you view the app launcher for the first time, you’ll see the core Office apps. If your favorites aren’t shown, you can add them—giving you quick access to the Office apps you use most frequently.

  • On the Office 365 navigation bar at the top of the screen, click the App launcher icon tech tip screen shot- waffle
  • Click All apps to view all of the Office 365 available to you.
  • Scroll through the list and locate the app you want to add to the app launcher.
  • Hover over the app to highlight it and then hover over or right-click the ellipsis that appears.
  • Choose Pin to launcher.

Tech Tip: Downloading and Connecting to a Solstice Pod Using a Computer (Windows/Mac)

By: Ryan Johnson

  1. Open a Web Browser and go to the URL shown on the Solstice Pod welcome screen
  2. Click “Get the app and connect!” button in the middle of the screen.
  3. After the software finishes downloading, click to install and run the Solstice Client software.
  4. Run the Solstice client. On first launch, you will be prompted to enter your name.
  5. The client will automatically detect available Solstice Pods in your area. Click on the Solstice Pod name you wish to connect to.
  6. Enter the 4 Character access code listed on the Solstice Pod’s welcome screenSolstice screen shot for tech tip 3/18/19
  7. Pick a sharing method. You can share your entire desktop, an open application window, or stream a media file directly from your hard drive.​ Solstice screen shot for 3/8/19 tech tipTo learn more about Solstice or download a quickstart guide, please visit the Solstice Training page on the staff site.


Tech Tip: Introducing Box Feed

By: Ryan Johnson

Box Feed is now available to all Penn State Faculty and Staff.

Box Feed screen shot for tech tip

This new feature provides an alternate way of viewing your content in the Box Web app.  Feed assesses each document’s relevance based on what you’re working on and who you work most closely with.  Then Feed presents one centralized view from which you can access, share, sort, and comment on all these documents – in effect automatically curating a collection of your most relevant content

You can modify what you see in your feed – AND you can modify what activity of yours is visible in others’ feeds.  For example, you can:

  • Modify sorting to display posts based on the most recent and relevant action taken.
    • If multiple relevant actions are taken on a file, it still appears in the feed only once. However, the frequency of relevant actions does boost a post’s relevance and, as a result, its placement in your feed.  This is similar to the way a Web site’s activity boosts its position in a Google search.
  • Hide a file or folder such that it never appears in your feed.
  • Hide your own activity so that it doesn’t appear in others’ feeds.

Finally, Feed also respects privacy (yours and everyone else’s).  It retains each file’s existing Box permissions, so nobody sees anything they’re not supposed to see.

To learn more about how to use Box feed, check out this article.



Tech Tip: What do I need to do For Enterprise Active Directory Migration?

By: Ryan Johnson

Has your machine been migrated to Enterprise Active Directory (EAD) yet?  If not the instructions below are what will be sent to your area before the migration.

Check out the instructions below so you can be ready!

       Before Migration

  • The night before your migration, leave your machine turned onand logged off.  If you have a laptop, please leave the machine at the Libraries and docked.
  • Your machine’s migration to EAD will move faster if you clear your web browser cacheand cleanup your Downloads and My Documents  Please use the following instructions to clear your browser cache.

                     How to Clear Cache in Microsoft Edge

​                     How to Clear Firefox Cache (PC and Mac)

                     How to Clear Cache in Google Chrome (PC and Mac)

  • Review Username’s and Passwords for common applications you use and websites you visit.  You will need to re-authenticate after the migration is complete.

During Migration

  • Your machine will not be accessible for 1-2 hoursand will restart several times.  Your department manager and/or Tech Liaison will be notified when the migration is complete. Please do not attempt to use your machine until the process is complete you have been given approval.

After Migration

  • After the EAD migration, you will need to re-authenticate any application or website behind WebAccess.  In addition, additional non-PSU websites you use will on your libraries machine will need to have the password re-entered.
  • Defendpoint (Privilege Guard) will be disabled temporarily.  You will need to submit a helpdesk ticket to install or update applications. This service will be restored as soon as we are able.

Tech Tips: Add your Office 365 Outlook calendar to Zoom

By: Ryan Johnson

In the new version of Zoom, you can add your Office 365 Outlook Calendar to the home screen.

Office 365 calendar screenshot - tech tip

To do this, follow the steps below:

Click on Add a Calendar in the new zoom home screen.

Select Office 365, Then Authorize with OAuth 2.0.

zoom calendar screenshot - tech tip

In the next window that appears, make sure the EWS URL field is filled out as you see below:

zoom calendar screenshot 2 - tech tip

Click Authorize.

You will then be redirected to pick your Microsoft Account.  Select your Penn State account and then you’re finished!

Tech Tip: New Version of Outlook (On the Web)

By: Ryan Johnson

Recently Outlook on the web is allowing Office 365 customers try the “New Outlook”.

Outlook screen capture for tech tip

When you click the toggle, you will see all new Outlook on the web modules for Mail, Calendar, and People. If you don’t like the new experience, you can opt-in and out as often as you want.

Some of the new features include:

  • An Improved Search – Find messages from a specific person and refine your search using keywords.
  • Calendar Scheduling – New improved functionality when scheduling meetings include the scheduling assistant that is available in the desktop version.

tech tip screen shot of Outlook calendar


Tech Tip: New Voicemail Feature with Office 365

By: Ryan Johnson

Office 365 logo and telephone picture for tech tip

A new voicemail feature has been integrated with Office 365 that will allow Penn State faculty and staff voicemail users to more easily manage their voicemail messages, save time and share information quicker.

Single Inbox connects faculty and staff voicemail accounts with email inboxes and gives users more options for retrieving, managing and storing their messages for better long-term accessibility and increased productivity.

In addition to the traditional methods of checking and managing, users can now check and manage their voicemail in Outlook. With Single Inbox, they will receive an email each time they receive a new voicemail. The email includes a transcription and an audio recording of the message.

Below are a few notes related to the new Single Inbox feature enhancement:

  • Voicemail messages will appear as an email in Outlook with a transcription of the message in the email body and a recording of the message attached as a .wav file.
  • Users can listen to, rewind and fast-forward these recorded messages using media players on their systems.
  • Messages that are read or deleted in email will be marked as read or deleted within the voicemail system and vice versa.
  • The Message Waiting Indicator light on the user’s VoIP telephone will follow the status of voicemail messages delivered to their email account.
  • Users may still listen to voicemail messages as they normally would on their phones.
  • Because voicemails will exist in Outlook, users can take advantage of Outlook’s organizational features by simply moving voicemail messages into related email folders such as ones for projects, certain co-workers or events.
  • Where it previously wasn’t possible, users will be able to share voicemails received from outside working groups with team members by forwarding the message along like a regular email.
  • Users can leverage Outlook’s calendaring features. Voicemail users will be able to call into their voicemail to hear a list of upcoming meetings and their participants, send a message about a meeting, accept or decline invitations and cancel a meeting they’ve organized.


Single Inbox is enabled for all faculty and staff who subscribe to the University’s VoIP voicemail services, however, users will be able to change their preferences for voicemail notifications and how they appear in their email inboxes.

Single Inbox is only available in areas serviced by the University’s Cisco voicemail system and whose users have migrated to Office 365.

To learn more about the Single Inbox feature or to discontinue, resume or modify preferences for voicemail notifications, visit KB0011940 Telephony: Single Inbox – Index of Informational Articles on the Penn State Knowledge Base.