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+.

Phone call scams are too common. But they’re easier to spot than you might think. If someone calls you and claims to be from the IRS, your bank, Microsoft, or any other company or government agency, it’s probably a scam. Companies and government agencies will almost never call you out of nowhere.

about 2 days ago - by  |  Comments (0)

Windows Hello, a new feature in Windows 10, allows you to sign into your computer with your fingerprint or facial recognition. It now allows you to sign into apps and websites via Microsoft Edge, too.

about 3 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Want to leave Twitter behind? You can permanently delete your account, erasing all your tweets, followers, favorites, and other data. It will vanish from Twitter almost immediately, and will be fully wiped from Twitter’s servers in 30 days.

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Modern robocalls aren’t just telemarketers trying to sell you something. They’re often scammers trying to trick you into parting with your money or identity information. So how do you stop them from coming in?

about 5 days ago - by  |  27 Replies

Product keys are becoming less and less common these days, but if you have a piece of software on your computer—and can’t find its product key—this simple program can help you extract it.

about 6 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

Mozilla Firefox uses a Firefox account to sync your passwords, bookmarks, and other browsing data between devices. If you’re leaving Firefox behind, you may want to delete your account to remove all your personal data from Firefox’s servers.

about 8 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Before you do anything, run a speed test to see how your internet is performing. Some connections are just too slow to play videos at high quality settings without buffering.

about 9 days ago - by  |  9 Replies

With Yahoo suffering massive data breaches and selling itself to Verizon, you may want to delete that old Yahoo account. If you still have important data in your account, you can download much of it before you delete it, too.

about 10 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Companies are making it harder and harder to actually get a human being who can help you solve a problem. Call them, and you’ll often end up in a phone tree, asked to enter number after number or speak your issue for an automated system.

about 10 days ago - by  |  9 Replies

Until recently, Windows 10 store games could only be played when connected to the internet. Microsoft has thankfully changed this, but as usual, they had to make things complicated: You can only have one “designated offline device” at a time.

about 11 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Feel like you forgot to log out of Gmail on your friend’s computer? Google makes it easy to see all the devices—laptop, phone, tablet, and otherwise—logged into your Google account. You can view both a list of IP addresses that have accessed it, and a list of devices that have actively used your account in the last 28 days.

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Much of the data on your Android phone or tablet is backed up by Google (or the individual apps you use) automatically, but what is being saved for you, and what do you need to save for yourself?

about 13 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

If you’ve tampered with your Chromebook—to install Windows on your Chromebook, for example—you may have replaced its BIOS with a third-party option. Here’s how to roll all your changes back and turn that Windows or Linux PC back into a Chromebook.

about 17 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

On modern versions of Windows, you’ll see a “ProgramData” folder on your system drive—usually the C:\ drive. This folder is hidden, so you’ll only see it if you show hidden files in File Explorer.

about 17 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Gamers are accusing NVIDIA’s new drivers of spying on you, collecting more data with new telemetry services. But NVIDIA isn’t spying on you—or, at least, NVIDIA isn’t gathering more data than it already was, and most of that data is required for it to work properly.

about 18 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Chromebooks don’t officially support Windows. You normally can’t even install Windows—Chromebooks ship with a special type of BIOS designed for Chrome OS. But there are ways to install Windows on many Chromebook models, if you’re willing to get your hands dirty.

about 18 days ago - by  |  11 Replies

Microsoft is now more aggressively pushing taskbar and action center ads for Microsoft Edge. These are just one of the many types of advertising in Windows 10. Here’s how to make Edge stop nagging you.

about 19 days ago - by  |  4 Replies

Windows 10, like Windows 8 before it, is integrated with Microsoft’s online services. Microsoft would prefer you sign into Windows with your Microsoft account, although you can still create a local account. Certain features are only available if you sign in with a Microsoft account, however.

about 20 days ago - by  |  6 Replies

Apple Maps doesn’t automatically detect your Home address. If you move, Apple Maps and its widget will keep telling you how long it will take to drive to your previous home address—until you give it your new one.

about 22 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Whether you saw a message saying a virus was detected, or your computer just seems slow and unreliable, you’ll want to scan for malware on your PC and remove any you find.

about 24 days ago - by  |  18 Replies

Modern PCs ship with a feature called “Secure Boot” enabled. This is a platform feature in UEFI, which replaces the traditional PC BIOS. If a PC manufacturer wants to place a “Windows 10” or “Windows 8” logo sticker to their PC, Microsoft requires they enable Secure Boot and follow some guidelines.

about 25 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Got a bunch of files you want to rename, but don’t want to go through them each one by one? Windows provides more ways to do this than you may realize.

about 25 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

USB drives should automatically appear in Windows Explorer when you connect them to your computer. Follow these troubleshooting steps if Windows doesn’t show a connected drive.

about 26 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

Chromebooks aren’t “just a browser”—they’re Linux laptops. You can easily install a full Linux desktop alongside alongside Chrome OS and instantly switch between the two with a hotkey, no rebooting necessary.

about 27 days ago - by  |  28 Replies

Android is very customizable–many of its features are just defaults, and can be swapped out for third-party alternatives without any rooting required. When it comes to iOS, well…not so much.

about 28 days ago - by  |  4 Replies
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