Category Archives: Tech Tips

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.


Tech Tip: How to update your profile (and picture) in Office 365

By: Ryan Johnson

In Office 365, your profile page is located in Delve.  Delve is a tool to manage your Office 365 profile.  Delve will display popular documents across your work area and display your most recent documents in Office 365.

Delve screen shot for tech tip

You can click on someone’s name or their picture anywhere in Delve and you can see what they are working on and learn more about them.

To Edit your profile, including your picture, click update profile.

Click the camera icon to upload or change your profile pic.  This picture will appear throughout Office 365.   Your basic contact information is maintained centrally and cannot be changed.  However, you can add additional information including about me, skills and expertise, schools and education and interests and hobbies.

Tech Tip: What are Office 365 Safelinks?

By: Ryan Johnson

safelinks screenshot image for tech tip 1/14/19

Office 365 at Penn State is equipped with a security feature known as “Safe Links.” This feature ensures that “links,” or web addresses and URLs, transmitted through emails, documents, etc., are safe to open and are not malicious. You may have noticed that links shared within Office 365 applications are displayed in a “long-URL” format, which appears longer than the usual site address.

When a message contains a clickable image or text, the original address of the link will be replaced with a “safe link”. The safe link directs your browser to an Office 365 service that tests to determine if the original address is potentially dangerous.

Safe links contain “” near the beginning of the link in Office 365. If you point your mouse at a link, you’ll see where the link points.

Any link that references a Penn State site (i.e. sites ending in “”) through Office 365 will not be shown in the longer format (i.e.…) and will retain the original URL.

Tech Tip: How to uninstall programs with Defendpoint

By: Ryan Johnson

Do you know you can uninstall programs with that you may no longer need or want with Privilege Guard? To do this, please follow these simple instructions:

Go to your Start menu, click on Defendpoint Utilities, and select Remove Programs:

screenshot for tech tip 1/7/19

The Avecto Programs and Features Manager will appear. From here, you can choose the name of the program you wish to uninstall. Choose the program you want to delete and choose Uninstall from the top menu.

screenshot for tech tip 1/7/19

Tech Tip: Windows update to Libraries machines over break

By: Ryan Johnson

Windows Update to Libraries Machines Beginning This Week

I-Tech will be updating Libraries PC machines beginning this week to a new version of Windows.  The changes are minor, but you will notice a few differences when you log into your machine.

IMPORTANT: Please sign out of your machine when leaving for break(Don’t power down or lock the computer)

Below are the two major differences you will see on your desktop:

Cortana (Windows Search) will revert to a Full Search Box in your Taskbar:

windows search bar screenshot

To change this back to an icon or hide it completely, simply right-click on your Windows taskbar and Select Cortana and make your selection.  The default setting is to Show Cortana Icon.

show Cortana icon screenshot

  1. A People icon will also be added to your task bar in the new Windows update .  Show People icon for screenshot - tech tip              To remove this, right-click on your taskbar and click on “Show People on the taskbar”.