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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+.

Windows 10 phones home more than any other version of Windows before it. Along with Windows 10, Microsoft released a new privacy policy and services agreement containing 45 pages of legalese. If Google wrote these, Microsoft might say you were being “Scroogled.”

about 24 days ago - by  |  15 Replies

Here’s a dirty secret: Most Android devices never receive security updates. Ninety-five percent of Android devices can now be compromised via an MMS message, and that’s just the most high-profile bug. Google has no way to apply security patches to these devices, and manufacturers and carriers just don’t care.

about 25 days ago - by  |  26 Replies

Windows 10 includes a package management tool built into PowerShell. In the final version, it’s named “PackageManagement”, but it’s still based on an open-source project named OneGet.

about 25 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows 10 includes some flashy new features like Task View virtual desktops, Cortana, the Edge browser, a Start menu, and apps that run in windows. Here are some of the other, more overlooked improvements.

about 26 days ago - by  |  13 Replies

Windows 10 allows you to change the lock screen background, but the login screen background always features the default Windows 10 background. Use these tweaks and you can set any image or color you want as the background.

about 27 days ago - by  |  25 Replies

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs all updates. This includes security updates, feature updates, and driver updates provided through Windows Update. If a driver or update causes problems, you can uninstall it and block Windows from downloading it again.

about 28 days ago - by  |  10 Replies

The Windows 10 upgrade process drags old files, settings, and programs from your previous Windows system to your new one. Microsoft allows you to get an entirely fresh system by performing a clean install, but the activation process can be a bit confusing.

about 29 days ago - by  |  80 Replies

Upgraded an old version of Windows to a new version of Windows? You have a Windows.old folder on your computer, and it’s wasting a huge amount of space. You can delete it — but not like you’d delete a normal folder.

about 29 days ago - by  |  4 Replies

Windows 10 is finally out — kind of. Microsoft initially promised that everyone could take advantage of the free upgrade offer on July 29, but you may have to wait a while before Microsoft offers the upgrade to your PC.

about 29 days ago - by  |  55 Replies

You can reinstall Windows from scratch using the product key that came with your PC, but you’ll have to find installation media yourself. Microsoft offers free Windows ISO files — if you know where to look.

about 29 days ago - by  |  32 Replies

Creating installation media for your operating system of choice used to be simple. Just download an ISO and burn it to CD or DVD. Now we’re using USB drives, and the process is a little different for each operating system.

about 29 days ago - by  |  10 Replies

You probably shouldn’t install Windows 10 on your primary PC. But, if you are going to, you should at least install it in a dual-boot configuration. You can then reboot to switch between your installed versions of Windows.

about 30 days ago - by  |  16 Replies

Google has added more and more parental control-style features to Android over the years. You can give a kid his or her own restricted user account, lock access to a specific app, or restrict what websites kids are allowed to use.

about 1 month ago - by  |  1 Reply

Anti-exploit programs provide an additional layer of security by blocking the techniques attackers use. These solutions can protect you against Flash exploits and browser vulnerabilities, even new ones that haven’t been seen before or patched yet.

about 1 month ago - by  |  10 Replies

The Cortana virtual assistant is one of Windows 10‘s headline features, but it’s only available in seven countries around the world at launch. “I’m afraid I’m not available to help in your region,” she’ll apologize.

about 1 month ago - by  |  2 Replies

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 1 month 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 1 month 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.

about 1 month ago - by  |  3 Replies

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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month ago - by  |  20 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 1 month 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 1 month ago - by  |  14 Replies