KeePass Tip: access the password history

KeePass is a powerful password manager for the desktop that is available for Windows officially and through forks for other operating systems as well.

I used to use online password managers like LastPass but switched to KeePass for a number of reasons, one being that I wanted to be in full control over my passwords. I simply did not want them to be stored on a remote server.

KeePass offers lots of features, some native, others can be added by installing plugins.  You may check all passwords against the Have I Been Pwned database for instance, or use a system-wide shortcut to fill out username and/or password automatically in other programs.

KeePass: password history

keepass password history

KeePass keeps a record of passwords that you add to its database. Just create a new entry and save the database afterward. What some users may not know is that KeePass is also keeping track of the password history.

It is easy enough to change a password, e.g. after a breach, when it expired, or when you want to improve password security by selecting a more secure password. If you checked your passwords against the breach database, you may have stumbled upon some that you may want to change because they were leaked and could potentially be decrypted.

You can look up older entries in KeePass, restore a previous dataset or delete old records. Could be useful if a password change did not go through somehow, or if you need to use passwords for old local accounts or archives.

Here is how you access the information:

  1. Open KeePass on your system.
  2. Select the entry by double-clicking it; this opens the Edit Entry menu.
  3. Go to the History tab.
  4. There you find listed all previous versions of that entry. Each is listed with date and time.

Buttons are provided to view that entry (useful to copy information, e.g. the password), to delete it, or to restore it. Note that restore adds the current entry to the history when you select the option so that no information is lost.

Now You: do you have other KeePass tips? Which password manager do you use?

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IntelTechnologyAccessService.exe taking up all the memory? Here is a fix

Recently, I noticed that a process called IntelTechnologyAccessService.exe was taking up all the memory that it could get on a PC running Windows 10; this resulted in programs like Firefox dropping tabs because there was not enough free memory available anymore.

I opened the Task Manager on the Windows 10 PC this happened on when I noticed the issue. You can do so with the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc. I switched to the Details tab and sorted the process listing by memory use.

IntelTechnologyAccessService.exe using high CPU and RAM

intel technology access service

There it was, IntelTechnologyAccessService.exe taking up about a quarter of available RAM (1829700 K) and 23 CPU.

A quick check on the Internet confirmed that I was not the only user who experienced the issue with the process. Users reported abnormally high CPU and memory usage by the process, and as a result crashes of applications and issues starting programs as early as 2015.

Last year, Bruce Dawson noted that the IntelTechnologyAccessService.exe leaked handles. While he did not notice high memory usage because of that, it highlights that the service had some issues previously already.

A quick analysis of the process revealed the following basic information:

  • Product Name: Intel(R) Technology Access
  • Filename: IntelTechnologyAccessService.exe
  • Location on drive: C:Program FilesIntel CorporationIntel(R) Technology Access or C:Program FilesIntelIntel(R) Online Connect Access

The process enables Intel Online Connect Access. Intel describes Online Connect as a “simple and secure” way of making “fingerprint touch payments”. It also includes a “built-in two factor authentication” system according to Intel.

There is little information to be found on the Internet regarding it. Whether that is by design is unclear.

Removing the process

intel management engine components

Note that you may remove functionality from your device if you remove certain Intel software from the PC. There is no reason in keeping the service if you don’t make use of it at all, especially if it gobbles up all the RAM and uses lots of CPU on the device.

I checked the list of installed software and found several Intel entries. The device in question has an Intel CPU, onboard Intel graphics, and motherboard.

After some trial and error removal of Intel software, I discovered that uninstalling Intel Management Engine Components did terminate the IntelTechnologyAccessService.exe process. It is puzzling that the software was installed months ago but that it caused issues just now.

Note: I suggest you create a System Restore point or

Here is how to remove it:

  1. If you use Windows 10, use Ctrl-I to open the Settings application. Go To Apps & Features, and search for Intel. Locate Intel Management Engine Components, select it, and hit the uninstall button that appears.
  2. If you use a previous version of Windows, use Ctrl-Pause to open the Control Panel. Select Control Panel Home > Programs and Features. Sort the listing alphabetically, right-click on the Intel entry, and select Uninstall.
  3. Follow the instructions to remove the component from the device.
    • Tip: you may also want to remove any other Intel software that has Intel Technology Access or similar in its name. In fact, any Intel program that is not critical, e.g. graphics driver, could be a candidate for the chopping block.

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Use F8 in Microsoft Word to select text quickly

Most Microsoft Word users use the mouse when it comes to text selection, probably. It is easy enough to make fine-grained text selections or quick selections using the mouse only.

A double-click on any word selects it right away, and a triple-click selects an entire paragraph instead. Another option that Word users have is to use the keyboard to select text.

Just hold down the Shift-key on the keyboard and use the arrow keys to start selecting text. You may also use Ctrl-A to select all at once.

Extend Mode in Word

f8 microsoft word copy

What many users of Microsoft Word don’t know is that it is also possible to use the F8 key on the keyboard for text selection.

The F8 key is mapped to what Microsoft’s Office team calls Extend Mode.

The entire process works similarly to using mouse clicks to select text. Double-tap on the F8-key on the keyboard to select a word, triple-tap on the F8-key to select a sentence, activate the F8-key four times to select the paragraph, and a fifth time to select the entire document.

  • F8: enter Extend Mode
  • 2x F8: highlight word
  • 3x F8: highlight sentence
  • 4x F8: highlight paragraph
  • 5x F8: highlight entire document
  • Esc: exit Extend Mode
  • Adding Shift: reverses the operation

One difference to using the mouse to highlight text in Microsoft Word is that Word remembers how many times you tapped on F8. It is no longer necessary to perform the operation in a limited period for it to register with the program.

You can tap three times first, and five seconds later once more to select an entire paragraph.

Other Extend Mode features

Extend Mode supports additional text related shortcuts that you may find useful. Take the following example:

  • With the cursor positioned somewhere in a document, press F8 to enter Extend Mode.
  • Now press another character or multiple characters quickly to extend the text selection to the first matching instance.

Another option that you have is to combine Extend Mode with mouse clicks. Enter Extend Mode and click anywhere to highlight anything between the initial cursor position and the mouse selection.

Last but not least, use Ctrl-Shift-F8 and mouse or keyboard to select text blocks.

Remember the press the Esc-key to exit Extend Mode once you are done.

Now You: Which Office applications do you use?

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Why is quitting Skype so difficult on Windows 10?

Skype is still a popular application, especially on Windows 10 and in business environments. While I cannot say that Microsoft does its best to improve Skype and increase the application’s popularity, it seems fairly common that one or the other version of Skype is installed on Windows PCs.

I noticed Skype running on a Windows 10 Professional PC that I use occasionally only. The Skype icon was displayed in the System Tray area indicating that Skype was running.

no close skype menu

A right-click on the icon displayed several options but no option to quit Skype. Skype listed two options — to open Skype or the Skype Settings — and informed me that there were not any unread conversations.

With no option to exit Skype from the System Tray area, I decided to open Skype to find the quit option there.

skype no close

First thing I tried was to click on the close icon in the titlebar. This minimized Skype but did not terminate the process.

No close or exit option was displayed anywhere. I checked the menu — no luck — and the profile icon — nothing either; in short: Microsoft’s Skype team created a software program that you cannot close anymore after it opens automatically or you launch it; at least not in an easy to understand way.

There are two options, however, to close Skype on Windows 10 after it has been opened on the system.

The first kills the Skype processes in the Windows Task Manager; far from ideal, but better than not being able to close Skype at all.

The other solution is actually integrated in Skype, but it is not super comfortable either. What you have to do is sign-out of Skype.

You can do so with a click on the profile icon in the Skype software and there on the Sign out link. Signing out keeps Skype open and if you don’t investigate further, you could come to the conclusion that it does not change anything in regards to closing Skype.

If you right-click on the Skype icon in the system tray now, however, you will notice that it has a quit Skype option. That option is only available for signed out users, apparently.

quit skype

Just select Quit Skype from the menu to terminate the program for good. Downside to the method is that you need to sign in to Skype again if you need to use it; not a problem for users who use it once or twice a year, but a problem for users who use it regularly.

Closing Words

It is rather interesting that Microsoft’s Skype team changes the century old function of the close button. While Microsoft is not the first company to do that, it should have added an option to close Skype to the application as it is a much requested feature by users of the communication software.

I don’t know why Microsoft decided to remove all exit options, at least the visible or natural ones, from Skype. What is your take on that?

Now You: Do you use Skype?

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