Recover Notes Label in Gmail from iOS / Apple Notes (lost notes label)

This article is for the following scenario:

  • You use iOS and a Gmail (Google Apps) account, and sync your notes between Gmail and iOS / Apple Mac OS X.
  • You accidentally deleted the label “Notes” in Gmail, because you didn’t think it was important
  • Now, your Notes are missing, or you don’t know how to get them in Gmail anymore.

Basically, Apple creates a system label called “Notes” within Gmail. It tags all Notes you create with this label. Interestingly, it tags all versions of each note with this label. So, any note you update may have dozens or hundreds of versions contained within it. Gmail essentially saves all of these notes as unsent emails, if you will.

The problem comes if you delete this label called “Notes”. I did this because I didn’t remember creating it (oops!).

I noticed that each Note has a unique entry in the header of the email, which looks like this:


So, in order to locate all the emails in Gmail that are notes, we have to find all emails that have that identifier. Unfortunately, Gmail does not allow searching the headers in this way for this particular field.

The way I was able to locate all the correct headers was to load my Gmail via IMAP in another email program that allows searching headers. I happened to use Microsoft Outlook 2016, but perhaps other apps will allow you to do the same thing. You just need an email app that supports IMAP, and supports searching headers.

Here are the instructions on how to do this in Outlook:

  1. First, Go ahead and create a new “Notes” label in Gmail (either through Outlook or through the Gmail interface). Or, allow iOS to re-create the label. We’re going to move the notes back to the right place in a later step.
    1. IMPORTANT: If you want iOS to recognize it, then you should make sure iOS creates the label automatically, you should NOT create the label manually.
  2. Make sure your Gmail account is added to Outlook, and that the “All Mail” folder is available as an IMAP folder. (If you don’t know how to do this, Google it).
  3. Go into the “All Mail” folder and make sure it is fully populated in Outlook.
  4. What you want to do next is create a Rule which will search the headers. Click “Rules” in the ribbon, and then “Create Rule…”
  5. Choose “Advanced”
  6. Choose the option, “with specific words in the message header”
  7. Now, populate the search with this text:
  8. On the next step, we want to move the matching items to the “Notes” label that you created in step 1. To do this, check the option “move it to a folder”, and then choose the folder called “Notes”:
  9. Click “Next” through the options. On the last page, choose the option, “Run this rule now on messages already in “All Mail” and UNCHECK the option, “Turn on this rule”.
  10. Click “Finish” and it should run. It may take a while if you have a lot of emails.

When you’re done, you should now have that Notes folder populated in Gmail.

As always, if you have any issues, please post in the comments!


Outlook 2016 / Office 365 – Arrange By Missing, Disappeared – FIX / WORKAROUND

One of the most recent updates to Microsoft Office 365 / Outlook 2016 has removed the ability to Sort or “Arrange By”. Apparently, Microsoft thought this extremely useful feature created too much clutter.

This is the feature that allowed you to quickly change the view “By Date” or “From”. It’s no longer there, it has completely disappeared.

It used to look like this:




Now, it looks like this:


This appears to be a new “feature” that cropped up in one of the latest Office 365 updates. As far as I can tell, no amount of resetting the view will bring it back. Instead of one-click access, you then have to go through several options under the “All” drop-down to arrange by date or name (something I do all the time).

I did find a workaround that will allow you to quickly use the same sorting options, albeit a slightly different way.

The solution is to add the “Sort By” arrangement options to the Quick Access toolbar at the very top. This isn’t exactly a fix, but it is a workaround that gives you access to the same sort features just as quickly.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In Outlook 2016, click the Quick Access Toolbar drop-down, then click “More Commands…”
  2. Under the drop-down “Choose commands from:” change this to “All Commands”
  3. Scroll down until you find “Arrangement Options” (see highlighted below). Highlight this option, then click “Add”
  4. You will now see a handy drop-down in the Quick Access Toolbar that allows you to arrange by Date and From in one click, as you did before.

There you go! I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or issues, feel free to post in the comments.

Lastly, if you would like to vote for Microsoft to bring back the feature as it was before, please click this link and vote!

FIX: Windows 10 – iPhone / iPad won’t appear in iTunes and doesn’t show up under Device Manager

I had the following symptoms:

  • New install of Windows 10
  • Clean install of iTunes
  • Neither my iPhone or my iPad would connect to iTunes, it wouldn’t even try
  • Mobile Device Support was working as it should. (The service existed and was started).
  • Followed the instructions in this article, which didn’t help:
  • Uninstalled & Reinstalled iTunes
  • Rebooted multiple times

No matter what I tried, I noticed that my devices refused to be recognized at all in Device Manager. They just weren’t there  at all. They weren’t listed under Universal Serial Bus Controllers, or under Other Devices. It just didn’t exist.

So try this solution if your iPhone or iPad won’t show up in iTunes, and when you look in Device Manager, you do not see anything listed when you plug it in. 

The solution for me ended up being pretty simple. I manually installed the driver from the folder on my computer, and it worked.

  1. First, make sure your iDevice is plugged in and iTunes is open
  2. Navigate to: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers
  3. Then right-click on this file: usbaapl64.inf and click “Install”

Here is a screenshot of the step:

It should now install the driver, and your iDevice should show up in iTunes! I had to do this separately for both my iPhone and iPad, but now they show up from now on.

Restore / Recover your messages / sms / text messages TO iPhone from iTunes Backup

I recently had a situation where I did an iTunes restore to an iPhone 5 (and iOS 7.1), and for some reason it did not restore all the personal data such as message history, call logs, photos, etc.

This was obviously highly frustrating! I have no idea why the iTunes Restore missed these things, and Apple support was no help. So, this article will probably help you if you are in a situation similar to what I was in: messages and other data were missing from iPhone after iTunes restore.

I found a lot of programs out there that would allow me to extract the messages and download them to my computer, but this wasn’t all that helpful. I really wanted to get them back on to the iPhone.

Well, I am pleased to report there is a program that does this, and it actually works! The program is called Backuptrans iPhone SMS Backup & Restore, you can find a link here:

I was able to restore over 75,000 SMS messages to the phone. No jailbreak required. I was able to merge those messages with a few message that were already on the phone since after the restore. I highly recommend this program! At the time of this writing, it costs $20USD, but in my mind it is well worth that cost as there is no other way (that I know of) to recover these to your phone (unless you are jailbroken, but this article is not about that).

One caveat: It will not recover MMS messages/pictures, only text. Also, it appears that it perhaps converts iMessages to Texts, but still, to get all these back on your phone is great! Also,  you do need to have a valid iTunes Backup that includes your messages.

There are instructions on their website but here are a few instructions to do the recovery:

  1. Purchase, download and install Backuptrans SMS Backup & Restore:
  2. You will have to turn off Find my iPhone and iCloud backup temporarily for this. So, go ahead and do that now.
  3. When you open the program, you will first want to load the iTunes backup that contains your messages. To do this, choose the option “Import SMS from iTunes Backup to Local Database.”Image
  4. You will be presented with a list of backups to choose from. Choose the backup that contains your messages, click “Confirm.” It will then ask you to give a name for the local database. Do this, and you will see it listed under Local Databases, like so:


  5. So, you will notice that it has all your contacts on the left, and all the messages on the right. NOTE: If you have downloaded the trial, it will only show you 20 SMS messages, so if you are not seeing all your messages, you probably don’t have the purchased version.
  6. Now, go ahead and plug in your iPhone. If you have a passcode you will want to unlock it. Also, make sure and turn off Find my iPhone and iCloud backup if you haven’t done so already (you can turn these back on once the process is complete).
  7. When you connect your phone it will “back up” your data. Give it some time to do this. You will now see your phone listed under “Devices”, and on the right side you should see all your messages on your phone (if you have any).
  8. This step is only if you want to merge the messages on your phone since recovery with your old messages. If you have no new messages, you can skip this step. Right-click on your phone under “Devices” and choose “Backup SMS from this iPhone to local database”.
    backuptrans3It will ask you which database to merge into. Choose the database that you created in step 4, the local database. It will now merge all your messages from your phone into the same database as your old messages.
  9. Now, once that’s done, it’s time to put your messages back on your phone! Right-click the database name under local databases (the one you created in step 4). Make sure to right-click at the databse level, not the individual messages level. Choose the option “Transfer SMS from Database to iPhone”.
  10. That’s it! It will now go through the process of uploading all those messages back to your phone.

One issue I did face was a message about insufficient disk space on the phone. I don’t know how much free space is required, they do not make that clear, however to be safe, you may want to do this process before adding music and other large media to your phone.

I hope this article helps! Let me know in the comments if this works for you.

Outlook iCloud Calendar – The set of folders cannot be opened. The information store could not be opened.

I got this error on iCloud Calendar for Outlook on Windows 8 and Office 2013.

The set of folders cannot be opened. The information store could not be opened

The solution for me was quite simple. I went to Control Panel –> Add/Remove Programs. Choose “iCloud” and click Change. Then, choose the “Repair” option (make sure Outlook is closed).

After doing the repair, my iCloud came back!


Solution – ceiling fan with remote randomly changes speeds / randomly turns on without warning (Hunter Ceiling Fan)

This isn’t really a computer issue, but it was something that was really annoying until I found the simple solution.

Our Hunter ceiling fan has a remote, and we found that it would randomly turn itself on, or change speeds in the middle of the night without warning or for no reason. We replaced batteries in the remote but that didn’t fix it. I did a quick Google search and a bunch of other people had similar problems. My favorite solution someone posted online: “Maybe your ghost is hot.”

Anyways, I discovered that there is a dip switch on the receiver and remote that sets different frequencies. If you are having this issue, it is likely that something else around you (a neighbor’s garage door opener, or some other device) is interfering. I saw a lot of reports that these ceiling fan remotes work from incredibly far distances.

So, the solution is to change the dip switch. Here are a couple links to Hunter manuals that discuss this:

Owner’s Manual
Informational PDF

CrashPlan Pro for Linux: Stuck at “Waiting for Backup” or “Connecting to Backup Destination”

First off, I want to give a shout-out to a very helpful post. Thank you to Bryan for posting these tremendously helpful posts on how to get CrashPlan up-and-running on headless Linux server (aka: pretty much any Linux Web Server).

Installing CrashPlan on a Headless Linux Server
Using the Windows CrashPlan Client to manage a headless Linux server 

Also there is more on CrashPlan’s own site about this here.

Anyways, so the rest of this article assumes that you have successfully gotten CrashPlan installed on your Linux server, and that you are able to manage it via a remote client and select folders for backup.

So, what happened to me was, I got everything configured correctly, but still could not get the backup going. These are the symptoms I faced:

1. The folders were successfully selected; I could see them on CrashPlan’s web interface as selected
2. CrashPlan PRO Online (CrashPlan Central) was selected as the destination
3. No matter  what I tried, it would just sit there saying “Waiting for Backup” or “Connecting to Backup Desitnation” and would say 0 files completed.

These are the troubleshooting steps I performed:

1. I verified that ports 443, 4242 and 4243 were allowed for outbound connections
2. I tried restarting the CrashPlan Engine multiple times
3. I even uninstalled and re-installed CrashPlan completely
4. There were various posts online about versions of Java and changing things with the Java install. I didn’t think this was the problem for me…so I would suggest you skip those steps if you see them.

I eventually started looking at the logs, and found this Java error in one of the log files:

Exception in thread "W30145090_ScanWrkr" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: Could not initialize class com.code42.jna.inotify.InotifyManager
at com.code42.jna.inotify.JNAInotifyFileWatcherDriver.<init>(
at com.code42.backup.path.BackupSetsManager.initFileWatcherDriver(
at com.code42.backup.path.BackupSetsManager.startScheduledFileQueue(
at com.code42.backup.path.BackupSetsManager.access$1600(
at com.code42.backup.path.BackupSetsManager$ScanWorker.delay(

Now, as far as I understand it, inotify is only needed if you want to do scanning for real-time file changes. I actually didn’t even want to do this, so I disabled that, but it still didn’t find my problem.

I finally came across this post on CrashPlan’s own site that has a viable answer! Unfortunately the title of the post doesn’t say anything about “Waiting for Backup” so it is hard to connect it as the solution for this particular issue. Thank you to Renee S from CrashPlan for posting a viable solution that works on that forum!

Basically, the short of it is, CrashPlan doesn’t have the right parameter on the /tmp/ folder it needs to perform the backups.

Here are the instructions to get it to work again. 

1. You will need to create a new tmp folder for CrashPlan on your Linux server. Here are the specifications for that folder
– They recommend putting the directory in a user’s home directory (not root’s)
– The user CrashPlan was installed under must have write permissions on the directory you create
– IMPORTANT: The directory must be without the noexec restriction.
– So, for example, your directory might be: /home/myname/crashplan-temp

2. Once you have your temp folder created, you need to edit the run.conf file which is located here: /usr/local/crashplan/bin/run.conf

3. Open up this file, and look for this line:

SRV_JAVA_OPTS="-Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -Dapp=CrashPlanService -DappBaseName=CrashPlan -Xms20m -Xmx512m -Dnetworkaddress.cache.ttl=300 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.negative.ttl=0"

4. We need to add an additional paramater specifying the new temp directory. This is done using this form:<path>

where <path> is a pointer to the directory you created in step 1. This can be added to the BEGINNING of the line, right after the quotes, so using the theoretical directory listed in step 1, it might look something like this

SRV_JAVA_OPTS=" -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -Dapp=CrashPlanService -DappBaseName=CrashPlan -Xms20m -Xmx512m -Dnetworkaddress.cache.ttl=300 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.negative.ttl=0"

5. Once you have that saved, restart CrashPlan on the Linux server for good measure, then it should work!

A couple tips if it still isn’t working:

– Make sure you have appropriate permissions on the directory you specified
– a few people had success changing the ownership to nobody:nobody  (chown nobody:nobody). I didn’t have to do this, but it might work for you

I hope this fix works for you!

Windows – recovering unsynced files from Sync Center / delete profile and lost files

I ran into an unfortunate situation: I had a user on a machine that I removed from the domain. The domain was set-up to sync files to the server via Sync Center. Unfortunately the computer was no longer in the domain.

I removed the computer from the domain, which was fine. However, when I went to copy the files from the old user profile, they were not there.

So, where do the files go when they are unsynced, not on the server, but not in the user’s “Documents” directory?

The answer is quite simple. They are in:


Once you get in that folder, you will find copies of any unsynced files, including files from a user that you may have removed and can no longer log-in as.

The only caveat is, you may have to grant yourself permission to see the folder and sub-folders. How to do this exactly is different in different versions of Windows, but generally speaking you need to:

1. Right-click “CSC” and click properties
2. Click the “Security” tab then “Advanced”
3. Click “Change” to change the owner
4. Assuming you are an Administrator on your computer, choose “Administrators” to make all Admins the Owner
5. Click “OK”, and if there is an option to “apply permissions to all subfolders” do this as well
6. Once you are the owner, you should be able to give yourself permissions to work with the files. Now, you can navigate into the CSC folder and find the appropriate user

iPhone – trying to connect Facebook to Instagram – Facebook Login Failed

I had repeated problems connecting Facebook to Instagram on my iPhone 5. I would click “OK” when it asks for permission, then it says: “Facebook Login Failed. Make sure you’ve allowed Instagram to use Facebook in iOS Settings -> Privacy -> Facebook.” The frustrating thing is, I DID already have it set to “Yes” in iOS settings, it still failed. 

Anyways, I found the solution on this forum post:

The short version of what to do is here:

1. Log in to Facebook on your computer
2. Search for Instagram (type “Instagram” into search)
3. Click the “App” Instagram (not the page)
4. You should see an option “Send to mobile”

On your iPhone you should now get a notification, and it should work!

Thanks to shookim for posting this solution on the Apple forum.