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Lowell Heddings

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

We warned you at the beginning of the year that many of your browser extensions are spying on you, tracking what you are visiting, and even inserting ads into pages. These aren’t just no-name developers either: even Avast, one of the most trusted antivirus vendors was in on the game.

about 20 hours ago - by  |  16 Replies

If you don’t like the new transparent window effects in OS X Yosemite, you can easily disable them… or at least tone them down quite a bit.

about 6 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Recently an email has been making the rounds, scaring people like my mom by claiming that the flashlight app on their smartphone is stealing their information and sending it to China. This, of course, isn’t exactly true, and for the iPhone’s built-in flashlight, is patently false.

about 8 days ago - by  |  4 Replies

It’s always fun to find those little hidden tricks whenever a new operating system comes out. In this case, the same trick that worked back in the Windows 7 and Vista days also works in Windows 8 and 10, but it’s been improved.

about 8 days ago - by  |  6 Replies

Microsoft has changed the name of “My Computer” to “Computer” and then to “This PC,” and for those people that prefer it one way or another — or something completely different — you can easily rename it.

about 10 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Last year, Google announced plans to lock down Chrome so that extensions can’t be side-loaded by crapware installers. Sadly they’ve found a way to trick users into installing lousy extensions, although in this case these spyware and adware extensions do exist in the Chrome Web Store.

about 11 days ago - by  |  40 Replies

Windows 10 is a huge step forward into the future! Or wait, isn’t it a step back? Either way, it’s a technical preview that isn’t finished yet, which gives us a huge opportunity to help shape what the final version might look like.

about 16 days ago - by  |  58 Replies

Google recently launched a new tool in the fight against crapware and spyware, and it’s an excellent start to helping clean up a computer that has been infected with nonsense like the Ask Toolbar.

about 17 days ago - by  |  4 Replies

If you live in a really congested network area like an apartment complex, you might want to change your Wi-Fi channel to something different than the default to try and get a better signal. Here’s how to do that for Verizon FIOS.

about 18 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

If you want to make sure that a particular device is always available through your firewall, you can assign it to be a DMZ host in your Wi-Fi router. Here’s how to do it on Verizon FIOS.

about 19 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

The drop shadows on applications in the Windows 10 preview are really big and suspiciously similar to the ones in OS X, and if they aren’t your speed, you can easily remove them. We actually think they look good, but since somebody out there won’t like them, here is how to disable them.

about 20 days ago - by  |  4 Replies

Windows 10 finally gives us back the Start Menu, and it’s much more customizable than it ever has been before. Here is a quick rundown of all the different ways that you can customize it.

about 20 days ago - by  |  7 Replies

Anybody who has installed FIOS has the same problem… a hand-written card with an insane password to enter on every new device. And are those numbers or letters? Luckily it’s easy to fix.

about 20 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

While poking around Windows 10 we noticed that you can pin the Recycle Bin to the Start Menu… and then from there you can pin it to the Taskbar, something that people have been asking about for a long time. Sadly, it doesn’t quite work the way it should.

about 20 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

If you’ve ever tried to login to your Wi-Fi router, you know exactly why you might want to change the admin password. They never make the password even readable… is that an S or a 5? We can easily change the password though.

about 21 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

You would think that Microsoft would have learned from their Windows 8 mistakes of forcing terrible features down people’s throats, but it looks like they’ve integrated a positively awful Search button / panel into the Taskbar. Here’s how to hide it, although we haven’t figured out how to completely remove it yet.

about 22 days ago - by  |  33 Replies

Want to install Windows 10 on your own PC? We’ve got you covered with the instructions, although it’s just like installing any other version of Windows.

about 22 days ago - by  |  14 Replies

The Windows 10 Start Menu is really quite busy with all of those live tiles all over it. If that isn’t your thing, luckily you can remove them all really easily.

about 22 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

If you have Verizon FIOS, you have the same problem that everybody else has… the default network name is really boring and forgettable. Luckily you can easily change it.

about 22 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Today Microsoft officially announced the next version of Windows, which was expected to be called Windows 9, or maybe Windows One, or even maybe just Windows. But it’s Windows 10. Here are the highlights.

about 23 days ago - by  |  20 Replies

iOS8 adds a new quick contacts feature to the app switcher (you know, the view when you double-press the Home button) but not everybody is thrilled with it. If you want to hide your frequent contacts from this view, you can do it easily in the settings.

about 24 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

If you have ever wondered why your Mac seemed to slow down and then opened up Activity Monitor, there’s a good chance you might have seen the installd process sitting at the top of the CPU usage view. So what is it?

about 28 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

If you are writing a batch file and you don’t want to continue until somebody presses a key, you can do it really easy with the timeout command.

about 30 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

The System Information panel has always been a great way to get more information about your system, but in Windows 8 you will have a hard time figuring out how to open it. Here’s how to do it.

about 1 month ago - by  |  3 Replies

If you’ve configured Windows to automatically log you in rather than having to enter a password, you might find it annoying that you still need to enter a password when your PC comes out of sleep mode. Here’s the quick fix.

about 1 month ago - by  |  3 Replies
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