Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Many web services have inactivity time outs that will log you out after a while. I'll look at why, how, and why typing might not count as activity.
My wife has a Lenovo laptop with Cox as provider. As she finishes a long email, not typing too fast, the screen goes blank, with the comment she was disconnected losing the email message she was writing. How can the "writing" time be extended, before the disconnect note?
In general, the "writing time", as you call it, cannot be extended. That's set by the service you're using.
I'll explain why it exists, how it works, and why it's a good thing ... really.
And of course, I'll suggest a way to work around it.
What I believe you're seeing is called an "inactivity timeout". Whatever service you're using hasn't seen any activity on your part for some period of time, so they assume you've left the site or service or otherwise walked away.
So they log you out or disconnect you.
So that if, in fact, you did walk away and leave your computer someone else couldn't walk up and start using your email, or bank, or whatever service you had been using.
It's a security measure, pure and simple, meant to protect you from someone else accessing your account after you've left your computer.
It's a good thing - honest. It's actually very common to be called away from your computer and leave it without taking the time to close down or log out. If there's someone else around, you don't want them to be able to access your information.
So, after a while of not seeing you do anything, the service takes steps to prevent it.
Yes, you were. You were typing.
But ... the service doesn't know that.
When you're typing up your message that's all just happening on your local computer. It's not until you hit Save or Send or something similar that the information is actually sent to the service.
If all you're doing is typing up a message, the server isn't involved - it thinks you're doing nothing.
It thinks you're inactive. And as such that "inactivity timer" clock is running.
I can think of several ways to improve how this works - my bank, for example, doesn't just log me out, it pops a warning asking, in essence "are you still there?". If I don't respond to that in a few seconds then it knows I'm not and logs me out.
But many web-based services - typically email and forum software - work exactly as you describe. Type quickly or you're out.
The general purpose solution works like this - if you know that what you're about to type up is going to take some time:
Use a text editor of some sort - notepad, or maybe Word if you turn off all its auto-replace features - basically any program that you can run on your computer into which you can type text.
For safety's sake, click on "Save" in that program from time to time. That way even if the program crashes or your computer is unexpectedly turned off you still have that saved document to go back to. (This is also a great way to compose a message over the course of a day, rather than needing to do it all at once.)
When your message is done, select it all in your editing program, copy it to the clipboard, switch to your mail (or wherever you were having the issue), get to the point of where you would type in your message and paste it in from the clipboard instead.
Send or Post your message.
Delete or archive the document that you were "Save"ing above as you see fit.
I do this a lot. I frequently compose lengthier emails in my text editor, and only when I'm done do I copy it into my mail.
Another approach if you're experiencing this problem with email specifically is to use a desktop email program instead of web-based email. It's the web sites that enforce these kinds of time-outs. If you instead use a desktop email program to manage and send email, no such time out applies.
Though you'll want to hit "save" every so often anyway (typically this causes the message to be saved in a "draft" folder), just in case.
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