September 2018 Accessible Android App List

Below is a list of Android apps that I am currently using on my LG G6 from Sprint which is running Android 8.0
I use an external bluetooth keyboard (Logitech K380) along with touch to do things I want and need to do on my phone. Its with this combination that I consider these apps accessible. While the term accessible means different things based on what each person may need, you might find your mileage may vary.
I love Talkback and also use its great list of keyboard shortcuts. Here is a link to my blog with a list of Talkback Keyboard Shortcuts. https://blindbites.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/talkback-keyboard-shortcuts/

I’m fairly certain my next phone will be the OnePlus 6T later this or early next year. That depends on the Sprint / T-Mobile merger and my current lease with Sprint. I’m liking what I’ve read about the T-Mobile version of the OnePlus 6T as it will be customized to use the 600 MHZ. frequency that T-Mobile has available.
I like that the OnePlus 6T has a system wide dark theme. This is an accessibility need for some such as my Wife, who is low vision. I wish Google would get the clue that it isn’t just a customization choice and make it a regular part of Android.

I love making accessible labels with NFC tags. The ones I buy have a small section that is punched out and I loop a rubber band through to attach the tag to bottles of syrup, bags of coffee, laundry detergent and so much more. I buy them directly from Go To Tags. Here is a link to the tags I use along with NFC Labeler which is further down in this list.

https://goo.gl/vapmhq

I do try other apps and modify my list as I find ones that I like, so check back often.

Amazon Alexa
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.dee.app

Android Messages
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.messaging&hl=en_US

Be My Eyes
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bemyeyes.bemyeyes

Calendar
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.calendar

Clipper+
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fi.rojekti.clipper

DoorDash
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dd.doordash

Envision AI
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.letsenvision.envisionai

Express (Google Express)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.shopping.express

Freemotion change
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.visionandroid.apps.motionsensor

Gmail
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.gm&hl=en_US

Grocery (Walmart Grocery)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.walmart.grocery

Home (Google Home)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.chromecast.app

KNFB Reader
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sensotec.knfbreader

LastPass
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lastpass.lpandroid

Lyft
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=me.lyft.android

MacroDroid
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arlosoft.macrodroid

Music Folder Player Full
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.zorillasoft.musicfolderplayer.donate

My App List
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

Netflix
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netflix.mediaclient

NFC Labeler
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hu.gersoft.nfclabeler

Nova Launcher
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher

Nova Launcher Prime
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher.prime

Pocket Casts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.shiftyjelly.pocketcasts

SensorPush
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cousins_sears.beaconthermometer

Shouter
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bhkapps.proshouter

Skype Lite
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skype.m2

Spotify
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spotify.music

TapTapSee
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.msearcher.taptapsee.android

The Weather Channel
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.weather.Weather

Trusted Contacts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.emergencyassist

Tubi TV
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tubitv

TuneIn Radio Pro
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=radiotime.player

Tweetings
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dwdesign.tweetings

Uber
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab

Uber Eats
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab.eats

Shared by ‘My App List’ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

Advertisements
Comments Off on September 2018 Accessible Android App List Posted in general

New Coffee Maker & Info On How I Make Coffee

I got a new coffee maker a few weeks ago and thought I’d share the info and give a few tips on using it as a guy who is blind.

Hamilton-Proctor 46896 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker

https://goo.gl/pDkhcx

 

This makes very yummy coffee and its pretty easy to use. One of the things I like about it is the insulated carafe keeps the coffee hot, and not a heating element on the coffee maker. Once its done brewing, unplug the coffee maker, as it serves no other purpose.

There is a small display on the front, but its not a touch screen as some really fancy coffee makers have. There is a button on the left side of the display and a button on the right side. They are both large buttons and are easy to feel.
There are three small buttons under the display but those are only needed for setting the time on the display. The left button sets the brew mode and the button on the right starts brewing.
There are two covers on top of the coffee maker. The one closest to the front covers the filter basket and the one in back covers where you will add water.

So here’s my routine for making coffee.

I buy whole bean coffee & grind it with an inexpensive KitchenAid coffee grinder.

KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder BCG111OB – Onyx Black
$29.99
https://goo.gl/ZcDt3V
While the shortened link is to Google Express, I’ve seen it as low as $20 from time to time on Amazon. The link is just to make things easier, I get nothing in return, so shop around.

The metal grinding cup will lock into position by placing it into the groove and turning the cup clockwise to lock or counterclockwise to unlock. You turn the grinder on or off by pressing down on the lid or lifting up from pressing the lid.
It may take a couple times of inserting & removing the grinding cup to get the feel of the right position to lock the cup into the rest of the grinder.

Using a 1/4 measuring cup I place 3/4 of a cup of coffee beans into the grinder. I prefer a more coarse grind, so once I place the lid on the grinder & plug it in, its just three or four quick presses on the lid to grind the beans. Its one of those things it will take a few times to get the grinding to your liking. Buy a bag or two of some really cheap coffee at the grocery store to play around with. Unplug the grinder, as its job is done, and slide it to the side.

The coffee maker uses a #4 cone coffee filter that you can buy in any grocery or department store, there are about six that come with the coffee maker.

Place the cone coffee filter into the brew basket with its handle facing you. Open up the filter and gently spread it open as you lower the filter into the basket.
Take the lid off of the grinder if you haven’t already. Grab the metal grinding cup, and twist it counter clockwise to unlock. Lift it off of the grinder’s base and set it on the counter.
Take the brewing basket with filter inserted and place it upside down on the top of the grinder cup.
Flip it upside down, dumping the ground coffee from the grinding cup into the filter.
Place the basket with filter & ground coffee into its place on the coffee maker, handle side of the basket towards you and close its lid.

One of the things I like about the insulated carafe is it has a place on top of its handle where one would press down to pour the coffee into a mug, if you don’t press down on this small lever, nothing comes out of the carafe.
You can take the lid with lever off of the carafe by turning it in a counter clockwise motion. This is how you will put water into the carafe so you can pour it into the coffee maker.
Fill it up almost to the top of the carafe, leaving a little extra space, no need to totally fill the carafe.
Place the lid & lever part back onto the carafe so that the lever part is near the carafe’s handle and turn it clockwise. It doesn’t turn far and will be in the right place so you can pour the coffee later.
Play around with that step a few times of filling it up, replacing the lid and then press down on the lever and pour the water back into the sink if that helps you figure out the right levels and what it all feels like before making coffee.

Open the back cover on top of the coffee maker. Feel the opening on the left side. I place a finger there to help guide the carafe in my other hand and after feeling the small lip on the carafe, I line it all up with where the opening is on the coffee maker. Gently press down on the button near the carafe’s handle and water will come out. Slowly pour the water into the coffee maker. If you feel that you don’t have things lined up just right and you are spilling water, just take your finger off of that dispensing button and it will stop.
When the carafe is empty close the lid on the back of the coffee maker. In case any water dripped onto where the carafe goes, just wipe that area dry with a paper towel. Place the carafe into its place on the coffee maker. It may take a few times of inserting and removing the carafe to get it into place.
Plug in the coffee maker and move it around to a safe place on your counter where it won’t get bumped or knocked over.

One of the benefits of unplugging the coffee maker when its done making coffee is you get to start out with the default settings each time you make coffee and don’t have to wonder what it is set to.
By default it is on the regular brew setting. If you press the large button to the left of the display once it will be on the bold setting. Pressing that button twice puts it on the robust setting.
If you press the button too many times, just unplug the coffee maker for about 45 seconds and plug it in again.

The three modes, normal, bold, and robust control how fast water is placed into the brew basket. Normal is fastest and robust is slowest. This is something you will have to find your preference and maybe adjust it when making coffee for others.
I prefer the robust setting. You’ll hear the coffee maker dispense some water into the basket, take a break for a little bit and repeating this process until brewing is done. The three settings will control the fullness or strength of the coffee.
After selecting the brew strength, press the button on the right side of the display and brewing will begin.

You can get coffee before the maker is totally done by removing the carafe, pouring coffee into a mug, and returning the carafe back to the coffee maker. I choose not to do this as you only have about 20 seconds of time to have the carafe removed before the coffee maker will overflow and make a big hot mess. I choose to just play it safe and wait until its done.

You’ll know its done when you don’t hear the sounds of water being put into the basket and that common gurgling sound of a coffee maker as it gets near the end. One very minor thing I’d like to have as with my other coffee makers, a beep when its done but its not a deal breaker for me. A typical estimate of about 14 – 15 minutes on the slowest setting, robust might help you get an idea of how long it takes.

I bought it on Google Express. I’m providing a shortened link to make it easier to find. I don’t get anything in return for you buying it from Google Express.

 

Comments Off on New Coffee Maker & Info On How I Make Coffee Posted in general

Accessible Android Apps June 2018 & Update For NFC Labels

This is the list of apps I’m currently using on my LG G6 which is now running Oreo.
I use a combination of a bluetooth keyboard and touch. It just depends on what I am doing in each app, its just a matter of what works easiest for me. That is why I consider them to be accessible. They may not be for you as we all have our own needs, abilities, & ways of doing things.

I’ve listed the app for our tempature & humidity sensor, thought I’d include some info for the sensor.
It is a little clunky in the first setup but once its setup and paired, its quick & easy to open the app, hear the average then a current reading. It uses bluetooth low energy. In pairing with the app, move the sensor over & around the screen. The sensor is a small square device you can put on a counter, on a desk, or anywhere out of the way. Talkback speaks the average and current readings just fine.

SensorPush Wireless Thermometer / Hygrometer for iPhone / Android – Humidity & Temperature Smart Sensor with Alerts
$49.99
https://goo.gl/56ZD2N

Here is a drop box link to my collection of .m3u files I use in the VLC app below. I keep them in a folder called AAA so its at the top of wherever I choose to copy the folder, internal or external storage on my phone.
Again, its a matter of how I do things for me, rename it or put the files in a place that works for you. You can also use these with a media player on your computer. AAA6-2018.zip
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4csihmplqepxmf9/AAA6-2018.zip?dl=1

I’ve used different email apps such as Aqua Mail which worked great & I loved, I’ve just taken a more simple approach to things lately with using the Gmail app & others that are from Google instead. Just something I felt like doing for now.

One last update…
I was going to share a link to the NFC Tags I use with both the NFCLabeler app and the MacroDroid app but noticed Amazon, the place I bought them from is out of stock.
I contacted the company that makes the tags and they replied to me within about two minutes. You can buy the tags directly from their store by going to:
http://store.gototags.com/nfc-pvc-badge-ntag213/

If I can be of any help, feel free to contact me on twitter (@blindbites) or you can email me (steve@blindbites.com).

Calendar
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.calendar

Clipper Sync Plugin
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.clippersync.android.plugin

Clipper+
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fi.rojekti.clipper

DoorDash
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dd.doordash

Express
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.shopping.express

Freemotion change
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.visionandroid.apps.motionsensor

Gmail
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.gm&hl=en_US

Home
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.chromecast.app

KNFB Reader
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sensotec.knfbreader

LastPass
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lastpass.lpandroid

Lens
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.ar.lens

Lyft
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=me.lyft.android

MacroDroid
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arlosoft.macrodroid

Music Folder Player Full
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.zorillasoft.musicfolderplayer.donate

My App List
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

Netflix
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netflix.mediaclient

NFC Labeler
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hu.gersoft.nfclabeler

Nova Launcher
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher

Nova Launcher Prime
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher.prime

Pocket Casts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.shiftyjelly.pocketcasts

SensorPush
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cousins_sears.beaconthermometer

Shouter
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bhkapps.proshouter

Skype Lite
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skype.m2

Spotify
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spotify.music

TapTapSee
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.msearcher.taptapsee.android

The Weather Channel
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.weather.Weather

Trusted Contacts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.emergencyassist

TuneIn Radio Pro
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=radiotime.player

Tweetings
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dwdesign.tweetings

Uber
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab

Uber Eats
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab.eats

VLC
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.videolan.vlc

Shared by ‘My App List’
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

Comments Off on Accessible Android Apps June 2018 & Update For NFC Labels Posted in general

Accessible Android Apps May 2018

This is a list of the Android apps I’m currently using on my LG G6, which is still running Android 7.0.

The list does change from time to time as I try new apps for awhile. I’ve learned that sometimes an app which might not have worked well for you six months ago has had some changes and now works great. If you know of an app like that, don’t forget to install it again and see if anything has changed. My experience with that was the Gmail app.

I use a combination of an external keyboard (Logitech K380) and touch. It just depends on the app & what I am doing. This combination makes these apps accessible to me. We all have different accessibility needs, so your mileage may vary.

AccuWeather
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.accuweather.android

Amazon Alexa
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.dee.app

LastPass Authenticator
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lastpass.authenticator

Be My Eyes
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bemyeyes.bemyeyes

Calendar
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.calendar

Clipper Sync Plugin
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.clippersync.android.plugin

Clipper+
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fi.rojekti.clipper

DoorDash
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dd.doordash

Google Express
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.shopping.express

Files Go
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.nbu.files

Find My Device
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.adm

Freemotion change
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.visionandroid.apps.motionsensor

Google Play Books
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.books

Google Home
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.chromecast.app

Gmail
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.gm&hl=en_US

iHeartRadio
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.clearchannel.iheartradio.controller

Keep
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.keep

KNFB Reader
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sensotec.knfbreader

LastPass
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lastpass.lpandroid

Lyft
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=me.lyft.android

MacroDroid
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arlosoft.macrodroid

Music Folder Player Full
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.zorillasoft.musicfolderplayer.donate

My App List
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

Netflix
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netflix.mediaclient

NFC Labeler
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hu.gersoft.nfclabeler

Nova Launcher
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher

Nova Launcher Prime
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher.prime

OneDrive
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.skydrive

ParcelTrack
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.uberblic.parceltrack

Pocket Casts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.shiftyjelly.pocketcasts

Reply
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.area120.reply

SensorPush
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cousins_sears.beaconthermometer

Shouter
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bhkapps.proshouter

Spotify
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spotify.music

TapTapSee
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.msearcher.taptapsee.android

Trusted Contacts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.emergencyassist

Tweetings
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dwdesign.tweetings

Uber
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab

Uber Eats
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab.eats

VLC
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.videolan.vlc

Voice
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.googlevoice

Shared by ‘My App List’
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

Comments Off on Accessible Android Apps May 2018 Posted in general

Adding A Shortcut For Chrome

Here’s a feature of the Google Chrome browser you may not know about that can save you time.

When you are on a web page in Chrome, you can add a shortcut to your desktop in Windows. When you press enter on that shortcut, Chrome will open to that page you made a shortcut for.
If you use Gmail on the web, doing this can make things super easy and fast to go to the gmail site.

First, open Google Chrome and go to the page you want to make a shortcut for.
Once you are there and everything is loaded, press alt f to open the menu in Chrome. Use the cursor or arrow keys to move to More Tools and press enter. Move to Add To Desktop and press enter.
You will now be in a dialog asking you to name the shortcut. Chrome will have a suggested name but enter whatever you want to call it. Tab to add and press enter.

A new shortcut will now be on your desktop.
Next time you want to go directly to that site, just go to your desktop and press enter on the shortcut.

Comments Off on Adding A Shortcut For Chrome Posted in general

My Chromebook Experience 6 Months Later

For the past six months, I’ve been using a Samsung Chromebook Plus and I am still impressed with this great accessible device.
One note, my comments and use are based on someone who is blind. A Chromebook is also very useful to others, especially someone who doesn’t need the complexity of a Windows PC. A Chromebook has Accessibility built in, but if it isn’t needed, you don’t have to turn it on.

First, its not for everyone. For those who might not know, a Chromebook is a small laptop that is running a version of Google’s Chrome browser as its operating system, ChromeOS.
It also runs Android apps, which just adds to the many things one can do with a Chromebook. For the Android apps, it uses Android’s screen reader, Talkback. ChromeOS has its own built-in screen reader, ChromeVox.
Both are easy to use on a Chromebook and its easy to get, or interact with a list of keyboard commands.
These aren’t the same commands that one might use with PC screen readers such as NVDA or Jaws, but that is because this is a Chromebook and not a computer running Windows.
This is why there is a learning curve involved but there always are things to learn with a new or different device. The keystrokes are very logical and easy to use.
One item that is different is the modifier key. On a Windows PC using NVDA for example, you would hold the insert key then press another key. In ChromeVox it is the search key, which you might know better on a regular keyboard for a PC as the caps lock key.
One easy method for navigating a web page using ChromeVox is to hold the search key and use the 4 arrow, or cursor keys. Yes, those keys exist on a Chromebook too. One can simply navigate by heading by pressing search and h. You can move to the next button on a web page with search b. Pressing search shift and h will move you to the previous heading, search shift b will move you to the previous button. This is what I mean by saying the keyboard shortcuts are logical.
If you forget the shortcut or just want to explore the list of ChromeVox shortcuts, press search and period. You’ll be in a list you can explore and will hear what the keyboard shortcut does, along with the keys to press. You can also just hit enter on an item in the list to perform that shortcut. That option is great for those times you remember that there is a shortcut that does what you want, but its one of those things you don’t need to do often enough to remember the command.

I have changed how I use my Chromebook since I got it & took it out of the box. At first I wanted to try different Android apps and experience the differences in using an app on the Chromebook versus using the same Android app on my phone. As time passed and I got more comfortable using a Chromebook, I uninstalled some of the apps for Twitter, email, and other social type apps. My Chromebook has now turned into a device I can go to when I need or want time away from news, tweets, and just have some me time. I can of course go to gmail.com in the Chrome browser to read or send mail, there’s just nothing bothering me that I have five new email messages or three new mentions. When I’m using my Chromebook with headphones or a headset plugged in, all of that stuff can just wait.

Just like many things I can choose how I do things. Using the Chrome browser I can go to Netflix and watch a show. I can also install the Android Netflix app and watch something that way. It gives me freedom to do things my way, after all, as I mentioned earlier, its a great way to have some me time.

The Samsung Chromebook Plus has two USB C ports, a standard headphone jack, and a MicroSD card slot. It has built in WiFi and thanks to the variety of things one can do with a USB C port, I use a Ethernet or wired network connection. There are many things you can add using USB C to add options to how you use a Chromebook. I also have a hub which has three standard USB ports and a Ethernet port. That makes it easy to use a wired USB headset and connect a flash drive, external hard drive or other devices and only use one of the two USB C ports on this Chromebook.

So if there are things you usually do or are willing to do in a browser, a Chromebook might be for you. The same extensions for Chrome on your PC are available for Chrome on a Chromebook. I use LastPass, U Block Orgin, and other extensions on the Chromebook too. One of the nice features, if you use Chrome on your PC, its super easy to sync your settings, extensions, and bookmarks between the two devices.

I’m very happy with the accessibility, general use and features of this Chromebook. It gets frequent updates to the OS, doesn’t have the problem of a virus or malware one might get on a PC and if should anything ever mess up your Chromebook it has a Power Wash feature which very quickly resets your Chromebook to factory defaults. Once you sign in again, all of your settings are there.

You can have multiple users, each person can have things their way, without it messing with anyone Else’s perfect layout and preferences.

There are allot of online tutorials, guides, and support for Chromebooks. Lots of other Chromebook users willing to help. So even though you might use a Chromebook for “my time” you don’t have to be alone if you need some help.

There are many great resources online, a simple Google search will likely find what you need, but here is one of many places to help you get started.

http://www.perkinselearning.org/technology/posts/using-chromevox-your-chomebook-video-tutorials

Comments Off on My Chromebook Experience 6 Months Later Posted in general

Backing Up Application Data

As we are getting closer to the date the Spring 2018 Windows 10 update roll out starts, April 10, 2018 there is one area of backing up your data you might not know about.
Its the Applications Data folder in Windows 10. This is where your programs keep their settings and data files.
Having a copy of these folders sure makes things get back to normal a bit faster after doing a fresh install.

Its just a matter of after the reinstall process is done, going to where you store your backed up data, USB flash drive, external hard drive, etc.. copy those data files back onto your computer and you are set. Well, of course after you install the program again 🙂 .

There are other folders that are actually quite large where these data folders are stored that we don’t want to backup & restore, such as the Microsoft folder.

I’m going to walk through this as if I was copying the folders from my computer. The three main data folders that I want from my computer are the Mozilla folder which has Firefox settings, bookmarks, & add-ons, Thunderbird folder, & TwBlue. To go to where these folders are stored press the windows key and type: “%appdata%” without the quotes and press enter.

Through the magic of Microsoft you are now in the roaming folder.
It helps to not be currently using the programs for which you are going to copy their data folders, some programs don’t like that.

The first one on my computer I want to copy is the Mozilla folder, just arrow down to Mozilla and press control c to copy.
Either press windows key and r to enter the drive you want to go to & save this folder or press Windows key and e to open File Explorer, arrow to the drive you want and press enter. Once you are at your external drive, press control v to paste the folder. I repeat that for the Thunderbird and the TWBlue folders.

Should the time come that I need to wipe the drive and install Windows 10 from a USB Flash Drive and start over, having these program data folders makes getting up and going again faster.

If that time comes, its just a matter of reversing the steps. Go to your external drive, copy the data folders. Press Windows key and r. Type in %appdata% and press enter.
Unless you have already installed, as in my example, Firefox, Thunderbird, and TWBlue, you shouldn’t see any of those folders in the Roaming folder after a fresh install of Windows. So just paste the data folders from your external drive in the folder.
After you install the programs again, there will be all of the settings for Firefox and the other programs I mentioned in the example of my computer.

After a fresh install of Windows 10, if you installed Firefox and the other programs before copying the data folders from your external drive, just delete the data folders for each program that are in the roaming %appdata% folder. Its not a good idea to copy your backed up data folders over existing data folders, sometimes you get a little of this and some of that which causes problems.

Knowing about the folder that %appdata% takes you two can also be handy if you ever want to clear out a program’s settings and just start over from scratch. You could delete the data folders for Mozilla etc.. and the next time you run Firefox, it will recreate its data folder and act like you just installed for the first time.

There is allot of hidden and system stuff in the Microsoft data folder, so its best to just leave that one alone.

Comments Off on Backing Up Application Data Posted in general