Friday, December 30, 2011

How to fix blank/default icons on Windows 7 Task Bar (oops!)

My office is in the process of converting from Windows XP to Windows 7 and I am one of the early testers.  One problem I ran into was that Acrobat PDF files would open-up but without the proper Acrobat icon on the Task Bar.  Normally you could simply right-click on the Task Bar icon, then right-click again on the program name ("Adobe Acrobat') and then click on 'Change Icon' to fix it.  But because of the way Acrobat installed the 'Change Icon' link was greyed-out.

When I tried googling this situation I found lots of varied suggestions, none of which seemed to apply.  What seems to have worked, fortunately, was the following procedure which I believe triggered an update/refresh of the cached icon-image for Acrobat.


  1. located original 'acrobat.exe' in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 9.0\Acrobat
    (I noted that it had the correct icon but it was missing from Task Bar once opened)
  2. created a shortcut to the .EXE
    (the shortcut also had the correct icon)
  3. opening the shortcut showed the correct icon!  
  4. At this point I temporarily pinned the app to the Task Bar.
  5. I tried opening some PDFs and found that they opened in the pinned app and with the correct icon
  6. I unpinned the app from the Task Bar
  7. I opened some PDFs again and now the icon is correct

UPDATE: And just like that it's gone...  I thought I had fixed it this morning but now it's broken again.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Convert phone contacts to Gmail

I just helped a co-worker convert all her built-in phone contacts to Gmail contacts, in preparation for getting a new phone.  (This was on an older Android smartphone.) The trick is sort of counter-intuitive -- you need to disable the built-in contacts rather than the Gmail!

FYI - Here's where I found the solution (though it's not written as clearly as I'm about to do it):

  1. (this might not be necessary?) Open your Contacts app, click the menu button > More > Import/Export Contacts > Export to SD card.  This creates a .VCF file in the root-folder
  2. again click the menu button > Display Options, and disable the view of all built-in Phone contacts.  Only leave your Gmail account selected.  Don't freak-out when the Contacts list goes blank :-)
  3. again click the menu button > More > Import/Export Contacts > Import from SD card > Import from VCF

At this point all the contacts should re-appear and now they'll be marked (the tiny icon to the right of each entry) as both 'G' and 'P' for Gmail and Phone.  Login to your Gmail account, click on the drop-down next to the big MAIL link (in the top-left) and select Contacts.  Everything on the phone should now be there!