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+.

The mobile web doesn’t need Flash. iPads, iPhones, and modern Android devices don’t support Flash, and web developers offer HTML5 videos to serve those devices. But desktop browsers won’t always get these by default, even if you uninstall Flash.

about 11 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Yes, Macs can get malware. Beyond traditional viruses, worms, and Trojans, there’s now a thriving ecosystem of adware and spyware programs that bombard you with ads and spy on your web browsing, just like on Windows.

about 11 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Everyone wants to replace the password with something better. Well, we already have smartphones — and some of us even have smartwatches. These tools can log you into your computer with a smartphone or smartwatch.

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Your Windows 10 system may have a “Defer upgrades” option for Windows Update. This option delays feature upgrades for several months while allowing security updates through.

about 11 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Windows Update has seen a lot of changes on Windows 10. The biggest is a more aggressive approach to getting everyone up-to-date, but Windows 10 will also use BitTorrent-style peer-to-peer downloads for updates.

about 11 months ago - by  |  53 Replies

How much bandwidth and data are the devices on your network using? Bandwidth hogs can slow down your entire network, and per-device data usage is important if your Internet service provider imposes a bandwidth cap.

about 11 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Microsoft’s new Edge browser uses Bing as its default search engine, but there’s a good chance you prefer Google or another search engine. Edge can use any search engine that supports OpenSearch as its default.

about 12 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Windows 10 uses white window title bars by default. This is a big change from Windows 8, which allowed you to pick any color you wanted. But you can give those title bars some color with this quick trick.

about 12 months ago - by  |  29 Replies

Computers crash and freeze. Your Windows PC may have automatically rebooted itself, too — if so, it probably experienced a blue screen of death when you weren’t looking. The first step in troubleshooting is finding more specific error details.

about 12 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Windows 10’s new default theme is very bright, with lots of white — from window backgrounds to white title bars. Microsoft built a dark, black theme into Windows 10, but it’s hidden.

about 12 months ago - by  |  14 Replies

The System File Checker tool built into Windows can scan your Windows system files for corruption or any other changes. If a file has been modified, it will automatically replace that file with the correct version.

about 12 months ago - by  |  9 Replies

However you’re getting Windows 10 — either with the free upgrade offer or on a new PC — you’re probably getting Windows 10 Home. You can pay to upgrade that Windows 10 Home system to Windows 10 Professional — but should you?

about 12 months ago - by  |  33 Replies

Plug your iPhone or iPad into a USB port and you may be asked whether you want to “Trust This Computer.” You may even see this message when you plug your iPhone or iPad into a USB charger.

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Windows 10 includes Microsoft Edge, which replaces Internet Explorer as the default browser. Edge’s interface has been rewritten from scratch, and it sheds Internet Explorer’s old interface and all that clutter.

about 12 months ago - by  |  12 Replies

Adobe’s Flash plug-in has a big target painted on it. A recent leak shows there’s another Flash Player 0-day that allows attackers to compromise your computer, and that it’s been for sale for the last four years.

about 12 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Macs only enable TRIM for the Apple-provided solid-state drives they come with. If you upgrade your Mac with an aftermarket SSD, your Mac won’t use TRIM with it. This reduces the drive’s performance.

about 12 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows 10’s “This PC” view doesn’t just show hard drives, removable storage devices, and network locations. Unlike the traditional “My Computer” list, it also contains several folders — but you can hide them and make This PC look more like Windows 7’s Computer view.

about 12 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Nintendo’s New 3DS XL promises 3.5 to 7 hours of battery life, which is quite a large range. These tips will help you get as much battery life as possible out of your 3DS, whether you’re gaming or it’s just sitting in your pocket.

about 12 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Most web browsers load Flash and other plug-in content as soon as you open a web page. Enable “click-to-play” plug-ins and your browser will load a placeholder image instead — click it to actually download and view the content.

about 12 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Skype doesn’t offer an obvious way to use multiple accounts at the same time. You don’t have to log out and log back in — you can sign into as many Skype accounts as you want via the web, Windows, Mac, or Linux Skype applications.

about 12 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Browser plug-ins are on their way out. Microsoft Edge doesn’t support ActiveX plug-ins, although it does have built-in Flash support. Google Chrome has also discontinued support for the NPAPI plug-in format used by Java, Silverlight, Unity, and other plug-ins.

about 12 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

It’s 2016, shouldn’t we stop worrying about disk space? Nope, not at all! A modern MacBook might have a solid-state drive with just 64 GB of space. You’ll want as much space for your important data as you can get.

about 12 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Whether you’ll be away from home while travelling or just during the workday, you may want to keep an eye on it. Solutions like Nest’s Nest Cam (formerly Dropcam) try to make this easy, but there’s more than one way to do this.

about 12 months ago - by  |  25 Replies

Why type out text messages at your smartphone when you’re at a laptop or desktop PC with a full-size keyboards? These tricks allow you to send text messages directly from your PC.

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 message hasn’t always been clear. They’ve declared the Windows 10 upgrade will be free for the first year and that going forward they’ll be pushing “Windows 10 as a service.

about 12 months ago - by  |  43 Replies