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Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

Android normally secures your device by demanding a PIN, pattern, or full password. Your phone isn’t useless if you forget the unlock code — you can bypass it and get back in.

about 13 hours ago - by  |  1 Reply

Google automatically added the Google Settings app to nearly all Android devices back in 2013. Since then, Google has added feature after feature to this app via Google Play Services updates.

about 2 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

There are plenty of downsides to jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad. You’ll be behind on iOS updates and forced to jailbreak each new version of iOS you want to use. More importantly, leaked security documents show jailbroken iPhones are more vulnerable to attack.

about 3 days ago - by  |  10 Replies

All modern operating systems — from smartphones and tablets to desktops and laptops — automatically send your local searches over the Internet and provide web results. But you can disable this, which is especially useful for protecting private searches.

about 4 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows 10 doesn’t include Microsoft Office, but it does include regular advertisements encouraging you to download it. If you don’t want to get Office on your Windows 10 PC, you can prevent those notifications from bothering you.

about 5 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Apple now supports Windows 10 in Boot Camp. If you have Windows 7 or 8.1 installed on a Mac, you can take advantage of the free upgrade offer and get Windows 10. Just ensure you’ve updated your Apple software first.

about 6 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

If you’re a Linux user, there’s a good chance you’ve installed Linux alongside an existing Windows 7 or 8.1 system in a dual-boot configuration. You can get the free Windows 10 upgrade without damaging your existing Linux system.

about 6 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Modern mobile operating systems — Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows 10 — all provide a unique advertising identifier to apps you use. Apps use this identifier to track your interests and provide personalized ads.

about 7 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

Windows 10 (and 8) include a new virtual memory file named swapfile.sys. It’s stored in your system drive, along with the pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys. But why does Windows need both a swap file and a page file?

about 8 days ago - by  |  4 Replies

What’s that song playing right now? At one point, your best bet was to hope your friend knew — or try to listen to the lyrics and search for them. Now, you can just have your phone, tablet, or PC listen to it. This is all built into modern operating systems.

about 9 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

The free Windows 10 license you receive is tied to your PC’s hardware. You’re still allowed to use Windows 10 on that same PC even after changing its hardware, but that may not be clear. Microsoft won’t give you a product key.

about 10 days ago - by  |  27 Replies

Few people noticed at the time, but Microsoft added a new feature to Windows 8 that allows manufacturers to infect the UEFI firmware with crapware. Windows will continue installing and resurrecting this junk software even after you perform a clean-install.

about 11 days ago - by  |  29 Replies

Windows 10 includes OneDrive, and Microsoft’s official party line is that you can’t disable it. That’s not true — there are several ways to disable OneDrive and remove it from File Explorer on Windows 10.

about 12 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Android phones and tablets can fill up quickly as you download apps, fill them with media files, and cache data for use offline. Lower-end devices may only include a few gigabytes of storage.

about 13 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Windows 10 uses the new Photos app as your default image viewer, but it still includes Windows Photo Viewer — kind of. Microsoft has hidden Windows Photo Viewer on new Windows 10 systems.

about 13 days ago - by  |  8 Replies

Windows 10’s All Apps list functions a bit differently than the All Programs list in Windows 7. You can’t just drag-and-drop shortcuts or right-click All Programs and select Explore anymore.

about 14 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Cortana is one of Windows 10’s most visible new features. Microsoft’s virtual assistant makes the leap from Windows Phone to the desktop, and there’s a lot you can do with it. It isn’t just a voice assistant either — you can also type commands and questions

about 15 days ago - by  |  10 Replies

Windows 10 includes a variety of universal apps, and there’s no easy way to hide them from the “All Apps” view in the new Start menu. You can uninstall them, but Microsoft doesn’t allow you to easily uninstall them in the usual way.

about 16 days ago - by  |  26 Replies

Windows 10 comes with the Microsoft Solitaire Collection, a solitaire game that requires you to watch 30-second-long full-screen video advertisements to keep playing. Ad-free solitaire costs $1.49 per month or $9.99 per year. That’s $20 per year if you want both ad-free solitaire and ad-free minesweeper. But there’s a better way.

about 17 days ago - by  |  15 Replies

Android has a massive security bug in a component known as “Stagefright.” Just receiving a malicious MMS message could result in your phone being compromised. It’s surprising we haven’t seen a worm spreading from phone to phone like worms did in the early Windows XP days — all the ingredients are here.

about 18 days ago - by  |  9 Replies

Windows 10 includes a new peer-to-peer download feature for updates and Windows Store apps. By default, Windows will automatically use your PC’s Internet connection to upload updates, hiding the option to disable this five clicks deep in the operating system.

about 19 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

Windows 10 won’t hassle you to install an antivirus like Windows 7 did. Since Windows 8, Windows now includes a built-in antivirus named Windows Defender. But is it really the best for protecting your PC — or even just good enough?

about 20 days ago - by  |  32 Replies

Windows 10 has been released to the wider world, but the “Windows Insider” program is continuing. Testers will get access to new Windows features before everyone else, just as Windows Insiders could use Windows 10 for months before the rest of the world got it.

about 20 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Windows 10 isn’t just an improved desktop environment. It includes many “universal apps,” which often replace existing desktop apps. Unlike on Windows 8, these apps can run in windows on the desktop so you may actually want to use them.

about 21 days ago - by  |  12 Replies

Android geeks still often root their devices, and you can usually do it yourself in just a few minutes with one of these easy tools. After you root your Android phone or tablet, you’ll have full access to the entire system.

about 23 days ago - by  |  21 Replies
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