How To Backup Gmail Emails To Your Computer

Did you know that Google's free Gmail service does not guarantee safeguard of your email data. At any point can your data become corrupt or be lost. I have seen and read about cases where a Gmail user's emails disappeared right in front of their eyes.

Because Gmail is a free service there is no support and if your email data is gone it will stay gone. Unless... you have a backup.

Backing up Gmail emails should be a regular focus to ensure data recoverability in case of loss, corruption or malware infection.

Most Gmail users that have a Gmail account will eventually run in to the 15GB limit imposed. Others may already have reached this limit and will be faced with a message from Gmail " Gmail is out of space".  One you reach this limit your email no longer receive new messages.

A simple way to clear out space is to delete old messages but, this may not be an option for you. Lets look at another option, making a backup of the Gmail emails on to a computer.

The backup data includes email messages and attachments. To see what else is included follow the link to Gmail's article on exporting your data from Gmail.

How To Download Gmail Emails To A Computer

Head over to Google's download your data page.

Select the checkbox next to "Mail" then click the "next step" button.

Choose a destination to receive the download, in this case I chose "send download link via email"

Choose export size as 50GB then click "create export".

Now just wait until the export has been created and the link is emailed, then proceed to click the link to download the Gmail backup to your computer.

Remember to place the downloaded file in a safe place as anyone can now use this file to view your emails.

How To Download A Youtube Video To A Computer For Free

There might be a time that you would like to download a video from YouTube to view later while offline but unfortunately YouTube does not allow saving or downloading videos directly. In order to download a YouTube video we would either need to install software that can download the video or make use of an online service. This article covers downloading a YouTube video without using software or without paying anyone a fee.

How To Download Youtube Videos For Free Without Software

The simplest way to download a YouTube video is to go to the YouTube video that you prefer to download, then insert "SS" in the url before the YouTube part.


I want to download this YouTube video to my computer:

Insert SS after the www. bit but before the "youtube" bit like this:

Then hit enter.

Your web browser will automatically be redirected to ""

Now, click on the "Download MP4" button next to the video. Do not click any other button.

*You DO NOT need to install the helper extension.

The YouTube video will now download. If it doesn't and the video you chose to download plays instead, then click on the three dots to the right, then click on "download".

Is It Legal To Download Videos From YouTube?

Just incase you were wondering 🙂 No, it is not legal. YouTube terms of service state the following:

"Permissions and Restrictions
You may access and use the Service as made available to you, as long as you comply with this Agreement and applicable law. You may view or listen to Content for your personal, non-commercial use. You may also show YouTube videos through the embeddable YouTube player.

The following restrictions apply to your use of the Service. You are not allowed to:

access, reproduce, download, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, alter, modify or otherwise use any part of the Service or any Content except: (a) as expressly authorized by the Service; or (b) with prior written permission from YouTube and, if applicable, the respective rights holders;
circumvent, disable, fraudulently engage with, or otherwise interfere with any part of the Service (or attempt to do any of these things), including security-related features or features that (a) prevent or restrict the copying or other use of Content or (b) limit the use of the Service or Content."

Download YouTube Videos The Legit Way

YouTube doesn't allow downloading videos for free unless you have a YouTube Premium account, this allows the account holder to download videos for offline watching. This is the only legal way.







Flashback To 2000 – DIY WiFi Point To Point Link

Beginning of a fascination

Since early childhood I was fascinated by electronics, electrics and RF. I still remember getting my first CB (citizens band radio) when I was 12 back in 1988. It was amazing talking to someone on the other end via radio waves, I was intrigued by how it all worked and how to get better range.

Fast forward to 2000, I landed a job as an IT Co-Ordinator at a logistics company.  The logistics company had a very large warehouse filled with WiFi access points for the WiFi enabled hand scanners they used to scan boxes. The WiFi access points were 802.11b only with supported rates of 1Mb/s and 2Mb/s.

It was the coolest thing being able to send data wirelessly, I needed to learn more! I wanted to know how I can connect two buildings via this cool new technology. At that stage I knew a lot about RF in the lower frequencies, 27MHz to 433MHz but I had no knowledge of microwave frequencies.

I knew that if I wanted the signal to go further I needed directional antennas. I proceeded to build and test a "cantenna" out of a "Pringles" can. The results were way better than with the included standard omni directional rubber duckys. In the next few years I built and tested various Yagis, Flat panel, dish antennas and even a circular polarised helical antenna.

Come 2003 and I bought a set of Linksys WRT54G's and 24dbi grid antennas for a 14km point to point link to a friend for lan gaming. For the WRT's to communicate they had to connect in WDS mode (wireless distribution system). The standard Linksys firmware did not have this function and a custom firmware had to be loaded. The first firmware I tried was Sveasoft's Linksys firmware, I also later experimented with OpenWRT but finally stuck with DD-WRT.

I recall the 14km  link at that stage had a very good signal on 802.11B/G rates, -65dbm got us connected at 48Mb/s-54Mb/s link speed but we never saw great throughput. On average we were seeing 1Mb/s on large file FTP transfers. The WiFi link wasn't reliable either with a lot of time outs and disconnects. The problem was that none of the available firmware knew about long link distances. Later on this function was added and speeds improved to 2.6MB/s on large file FTP transfers.

Above: 14KM point to point WiFi link to a friend to be able to play Lan games.


Expanding WiFi Coverage Via Tower

Later on I got access to a local HAM radio amateur club repeater tower and added  a custom built base station using Mikrotik Router OS on a Pentium 4 computer with a bunch of Wistron Neweb CM9 802.11B/G cards. I even built my own sector antennas.

The tower with sector antenna's and multiple radios provided open network access for enthusiasts of the same interest. Later on this tower linked up to other towers which formed a large mesh network hosting hundreds of wifi clients.

The mesh network was amazing for playing games (less than 5ms latency) and sharing files over FTP. We even had an IRC (Internet Relay Chat).

It was a fun project, I got to meet likeminded individuals, made new friends and was learning so much about Wi-Fi and TCP.

How To Get BitLocker Recovery Key From Microsoft Account

If BitLocker drive encryption was used to encrypt the contents of a drive the drive will be unusable in another system until the BitLocker 48 Digit recovery key is supplied.

What is BitLocker?

BitLocker Drive Encryption is a Microsoft Windows data protection feature that encrypts hard drive contents, BitLocker integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned computers.

What is a BitLocker recovery key?

BitLocker recovery key is a unique 48-digit numerical password that can be used to unlock your system if BitLocker is otherwise unable to confirm for certain that the attempt to access the system drive is authorised.

Why is Windows asking for my BitLocker recovery key?

Windows will require a BitLocker recovery key when it detects a possible unauthorised attempt to access the data. A typical example is when a hard drive from one computer is moved to another computer, when trying to access the drive contents.

BitLocker provides extra security that is intended to keep your data safe and secure. This can also happen if you make changes in hardware, firmware, or software which BitLocker cannot distinguish from a possible attack. In these cases, BitLocker may require the extra security of the recovery key even if the user is an authorized owner of the device.

How can I find my BitLocker recovery key?

When activating the BitLocker feature you will be given options on where to save the BitLocker recovery key:

-Save to your Microsoft account

-Save to a file

-Print recovery key

As the Save to a file and print options are straight forward I want to focus on retrieving the BitLocker recovery Key from Microsoft.

Recover BitLocker Recovery Key From Microsoft

To retrieve your BitLocker 48 digit recovery key click on either of the following links:

After clicking on the link sign in to your Microsoft account and voila, your key should be there.


Fix Outlook Error “Your Mailbox Has Reached Its Maximum Size Limit”

Microsoft Outlook emails are stored in a single database file with an extension of .ost or .pst. Various Outlook versions have different .ost/.pst storage limits. When the .pst or .ost file reaches it's storage limit you will get an error "Your mailbox has reached its maximum size limit at which you cannot send or receive any more content. Empty your deleted items folder from Outlook or delete messages from your mailbox to create more space." This can be on.

What is an .OST or .PST file?

Outlook Data Files (.ost) are used when you have an Exchange account and want to work offline or use or use the default Cached Exchange Mode. This type of data file is also used for accounts that you set up with the Outlook Connector for (formerly Hotmail). Outlook Data Files (.ost) are always copies of items that are saved on a mail server and don’t need to be backed up like Outlook Data Files (.pst).

Outlook Data File (.pst)

An Outlook Data File (.pst) contains your messages and other Outlook items and is saved on your computer. When you use POP accounts, all of your email messages from your mail server and save them on your computer.

Note: In Outlook 2013 and earlier versions, IMAP accounts also used an Outlook Data File (.pst). In Outlook 2016 and Outlook for Microsoft 365, IMAP accounts use Offline Outlook Data Files (.ost).

Offline Outlook Data File (.ost)

Most other account types, such as IMAP accounts, Microsoft 365 accounts, Exchange accounts, and accounts use an Offline Outlook Data File (.ost) file to store a synchronized copy of your mailbox information on your local computer.

.OST & .PST Limits

The various Microsoft Outlook versions come with specific data storage limits. Outlook 2010, 2013, and 2016 and newer have maximum limits of 50GB. Whereas, Outlook 2003 and 2007 have a maximum data storage limit of 20GB.

How To Fix Outlook Error "Your mailbox has reached its maximum size limit at which you cannot send or receive any more content. Empty your deleted items folder from Outlook or delete messages from your mailbox to create more space."

You have two options:

1)delete or archive email messages or

2)increase the size limit of the .ost/.pst file.
Option 1 is self explanatory, but what if you prefer option 2?

Adjust the .OST or .PST file size limit in Windows Registry

For this option we will have to create Windows registry entries.
Note: If you have are not familiar with editing the registry then this option is NOT for you. If you feel brave and what to go ahead then make a BACKUP of your registry first.

Before you start, make sure Outlook is closed.

Note: Check your version of Outlook and match it to the option below.

Click Start, click Run, type Regedit, and then click OK.

In the left pane, expand the following registry key based on your version of Outlook:

For Outlook 2016 or Newer - Including Microsoft 365


For Outlook 2013


For Outlook 2010


For Outlook 2007


For Outlook 2003


Right click Outlook, point to New, and then click Key.
Type PST, and then press ENTER. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).


Right click the new folder PST, point to New, and then click DWORD value. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

Type MaxLargeFileSize, and then press ENTER twice.

In the Edit DWORD Value window, choose Decimal and type the value in the Value data box, and then click OK.
Note 1GB=1*1024*1024*1024byte; 1MB=1*1024*1024byte; 1KB=1*1024byte, the example below is for a 100GB size limit with a 95GB warning limit.

Edit DWORD Value window

Repeat steps above to create another DWORD WarnLargeFileSize, and then close the registry.

The example above includes the option "MaxFileSize" - this is not needed.

Close Registry Editor

You can now open Microsoft Outlook. Your PST limit should now be greater and you should not get an error regarding a limit.



DKIM Validation – “Fail, message has been altered”

What is DKIM?

DKIM - or DomainKeys Identified Mail is an email authentication method. DKIM adds a digital signature to every outgoing message. This signature is examined by receiving mail servers to determine if the message was really sent from the sending domain.

Do I need DKIM?

DKIM help protect your domain from spoofing. DKIM also help to prevent your mail from being tagged as spam. DKIM is a MUST!

Implementing DKIM

It's always best to consult your email hosting company for documentation on how to implement DKIM properly.

DKIM is implemented by adding a TXT record to the domain's DNS zone file. Typically a DKIM entry consists of a "Host" entry and "TXT value"

DKIM Validation

It is very important to test DKIM once implemented. I use DKIM Validator

You can validate your DKIM by sending a test message to the randomly generated email address created on the DKIM validator website.

Once the test email has been sent, go to the DKIM validator website and click the "View Results" button.

Inspecting the "DKIM Information" section will show details about the encryption, public key, headers, public key DNS lookup and validation.

The important part to confirm if validation succeed is under the "Validating Signature" heading.

A successful entry should have " Result = Pass"

An unsuccessful entry could have "Result = Fail" "Details: Message has been altered"

DKIM Validation Fail - Message has been altered

If you get this error you can try the following:

  • Verify the DKIM entry is set up properly - check documentation for your specific host
  • Do a test from webmail, if validation succeeds then in points to the message being changed from email client in transit to the server
  • Get in touch with your hosting company technical support to verify DKIM has been implemented correctly
  • Check email server settings
  • Try a different email client - as weird as it seems I had this issue using Windows Mail, when I swapped over to Microsoft Outlook validation succeeded.

Windows Mail causing DKIM validation fail Message has been altered

A client approached me indicating that they have mail deliverability issues. Messages were not sent as DKIM has not been working. Upon sending a test to DKIM Validator I got "Result = Fail" "Details: Message has been altered"

The client was using Windows Mail for a mail application.

Even after checking, removing and re adding the DKIM record it made no difference. The hosting company tech support was not helpful as per them everything was set up and working the way it should on there end.

I tried setting up a new mail account on a different computer with Windows Mail but had the same issue "Result = Fail" "Details: Message has been altered". Sending test emails from webmail worked fine.

You guessed it, Windows Mail was the culprit, I installed Microsoft Outlook, added the account and Bingo, Validation result = PASS.