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 can turn your PC into a wireless hotspot, allowing it to share its wired or wireless Internet connection with other wireless devices. But how you set it up that depends on what version of Windows you’re running. Here’s how it all works.

about 3 months ago - by  |  17 Replies

So you’ve purchased a monitor that offers a 120Hz or 144Hz refresh rate and plugged it in–great! But don’t stop there. Your monitor may not actually run at its advertised refresh rate until you change some settings and sort out your hardware.

about 3 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Microsoft regularly releases new firmware updates for its Xbox One controllers, and these updates fix various bugs. But, if you’re using an Xbox One controller with a PC, you won’t be automatically prompted to upgrade your controller’s firmware.

about 3 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Some people say they have “a smartphone with 64 GB of memory”, but they don’t. Those people might have smartphones with 64 GB of disk space, or storage, but that’s different than memory. It’s time to clear up this tech term misconception.

about 4 months ago - by  |  22 Replies

PowerShell is now open source, and available for Linux and Mac. You can download official packages from Microsoft for the 64-bit versions of Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 14.04, CentOS 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, and Mac OS X 10.11.

about 4 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Windows 10’s Anniversary Update just broke millions of webcams. Microsoft supposedly has a fix coming in September, but there’s a registry hack you can use to fix the problem and get your webcam working properly today.

about 4 months ago - by  |  10 Replies

Your iPhone allows you to call up to five people at once, making it easy to set up a quick conference call. The other people don’t need anything special–just any old cellular or landline telephone.

about 4 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Microsoft is now testing new “notification messages” in Windows 10’s File Explorer. These messages offer information about new Windows features. They’re first appearing in build 14901, the first Insider Preview build of Windows 10 released after the Anniversary Update.

about 4 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

The phrase “scanning documents” used to mean spending a silly amount of time in front of a bulky machine, waiting for it to take a physical piece of paper and make it digital. But this is the mobile age, where nearly anything can be done with a phone. And scanning text-searchable documents is stupid easy with little more than your phone’s camera.

about 4 months ago - by  |  14 Replies

Open a drive’s properties window, and you’ll see an option to “compress this drive to save disk space” on Windows. But how much disk space will you save, and what’s the catch?

about 4 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

The Disk Cleanup tool included with Windows can quickly erase various system files and free up disk space. But some things–like “Windows ESD Installation Files” on Windows 10–probably shouldn’t be removed.

about 4 months ago - by  |  9 Replies

Windows 10’s Anniversary Update improves on Windows 10’s stylus support with a new “Windows Ink Workspace” feature. It’s designed to make using a digital pen faster and easier with a Windows 10 tablet or convertible device.

about 4 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

The “Reset Your PC” feature in Windows 10 restores your PC to its factory default settings…including all that bloatware your PC manufacturer included. But a new feature in Windows 10’s Anniversary update makes it easier to get a clean Windows system.

about 4 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Windows 10’s Task Manager displays your PC’s “Last BIOS time” on its Startup tab. Here’s what that number means–and how to decrease it so your PC boots faster.

about 4 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Internet Explorer is on the way out. Even Microsoft is recommending people avoid it in favor of their new browser, Edge. If you require Internet Explorer for an old website, though, you can secure it against attack with optional features like Enhanced Protected Mode.

about 4 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

With Windows 10’s Anniversary Update, Microsoft now offers a dark theme–known as “dark mode”. This option was previously hidden and could only be enabled with a registry hack. Now, it’s a simple toggle.

about 4 months ago - by  |  13 Replies

Windows 10 can find your device’s location in a variety of ways, often by examining nearby Wi-Fi networks. But this doesn’t always work well, especially on desktop PCs. That’s why Windows 10 offers a way to set a “default location” that is reported to apps if it can’t get a solid read on your location.

about 4 months ago - by  |  2 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. Activating that license is easier than ever in Windows 10’s Anniversary Update.

about 4 months ago - by  |  32 Replies

With Windows 10’s Anniversary Update, you can now reset an app’s data without actually uninstalling and reinstalling the app. This can fix problems when an app has gotten into a bad state, or just quickly restore an app to its default settings.

about 4 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Microsoft has long offered a “Windows Defender Offline” tool you can use to perform malware scans from outside of Windows. With Windows 10’s Anniversary Update, this tool is included with Windows, and even easier to launch. Here’s how to use it, no matter which version of Windows you’re on.

about 4 months ago - by  |  15 Replies

Windows 10 has always included the Windows Defender antivirus, but many Windows users didn’t notice it was even there. To make it more obvious, Windows 10’s Anniversary Update adds a Windows Defender icon to the notification area on your taskbar.

about 4 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender, a built-in antivirus tool to help protect your PC from malware. With the Anniversary Update, Windows Defender can keep protecting your PC by providing a second layer of protection, even if you install another antivirus.

about 4 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows 10’s Anniversary Update brings a “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows” environment to Windows 10. But don’t be deceived: This is more than just a Bash shell. It’s a full compatibility layer for running Linux applications on Windows.

about 4 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Microsoft Edge finally supports browser extensions thanks to Windows 10’s Anniversary Update. Edge extensions are now available in the Windows Store, although only a few are initially available.

about 4 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs updates, but a new feature in Windows 10’s Anniversary Update gives you more control over when this happens. Set “active hours” when you generally use your PC, and Windows won’t restart your computer during those hours.

about 4 months ago - by  |  3 Replies