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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.

OS X users like to make fun of Windows users as the only ones that have a malware problem. But that’s simply not true anymore, and the problem has increased dramatically in the last few months. Join us as we expose the truth about what’s really going on, and hopefully warn people about the impending doom.

about 6 days ago - by  |  35 Replies

We’ve been doing a lot of research into crapware and malware lately, and one of the most troubling things we found was that Google was serving up search results for open source software… with crapware-bundling ads at the top. Now it appears they’ve ended this policy and are pointing to the real download at the top.

about 8 days ago - by  |  22 Replies

It’s a scary time to be a Windows user. Lenovo was bundling HTTPS-hijacking Superfish adware, Comodo ships with an even worse security hole called PrivDog, and dozens of other apps like LavaSoft are doing the same. It’s really bad, but if you want your encrypted web sessions to be hijacked just head to CNET Downloads or any freeware site, because they are all bundling HTTPS-breaking adware now.

about 9 days ago - by  |  45 Replies

The latest trend in the awful Windows ecosystem is pretty ridiculous — scammers have a fake version of the reputable AdwCleaner tool, which is a real tool for Windows experts. And this one pretends your computer is infected and tries to make you pay them to remove it.

about 20 days ago - by  |  11 Replies

The news that Anthem got hacked and 80 million people’s identities were stolen wasn’t very surprising — everybody is getting hacked these days. Last week, TurboTax had to temporarily shut down nationwide because of identity theft fraud. So how can you protect yourself from criminals opening accounts in your name?

about 23 days ago - by  |  9 Replies

If you upgraded your Surface Pro tablet to the Windows 10 preview and everything broke, or you just need to completely reinstall the thing, today we’re going to show you how to reload Windows with a recovery USB.

about 28 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

We’ve been complaining for a long time that there’s no safe place to download freeware where the downloads are free of bundled add-ons that usually redirect your browser to something other than what you chose. And even Microsoft is bundling extra installers into their own download site to redirect your browser to Bing if you don’t uncheck the box.

about 28 days ago - by  |  27 Replies

If you’ve had an iPhone for a while, you might have seen a popup message that tells you there is a Carrier Settings Update and asking if you’d like to update them now. If you’re the type that doesn’t click things until you know what they are (good for you!), then you are in the right place.

about 30 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

You might be asking yourself why we’d write an article about how to switch to Google as your default search engine on the iPhone or iPad when it’s already the default. The answer is simple: rumors are that Apple might switch the iOS default search engine to Yahoo or Bing at some point in the future.

about 1 month ago - by  |  2 Replies

One of the most talked about features in the latest version of Windows 10 was the Cortana personal assistant that is integrated directly into the taskbar. But what if you don’t want to waste all that taskbar space?

about 1 month ago - by  |  12 Replies

We were testing out our theory that all freeware download sites are awful when we got infected with the ShopperPro adware, which just completely takes over your entire browser window with obnoxious ads, redirects Amazon links to some shady site, and is awful. Here’s how to remove it.

about 1 month ago - by  |  5 Replies

Microsoft officially announced Windows 10’s features today, and it includes things like the Cortana digital assistant, Xbox integration, a completely new browser that isn’t Internet Explorer, and yes, holograms. But should you care? We’d argue that even without the gimmicks, Windows 10 is an amazing upgrade for all. And it’s a free upgrade from Windows 7 and 8.

about 1 month ago - by  |  61 Replies

When we wrote about what happens when you install the top ten apps from CNET Downloads, about half of the comments were from people saying, “Well you should download from a trusted source.” The only problem is that there isn’t a freeware download site that is free of crapware or adware. And here’s the result of our investigation to prove it.

about 1 month ago - by  |  102 Replies

We were testing out some freeware download sites to prove our assertion that all download sites are pushing bundled crapware (and yes, they are) when we ran across a truly terrible piece of malware called BoBrowser which replaces Chrome with a lookalike that is chock full of adware.

about 1 month ago - by  |  1 Reply

We were setting up a new Minecraft server at HTG headquarters to play the awesome Captive Minecraft survival mode game (which uses vanilla Minecraft, no mods required), when we realized we didn’t have an article about how to find your saved games folder.

about 1 month ago - by  |  7 Replies

After switching to OS X, there was one big annoyance that kept happening over and over — every time I plug anything into my MacBook and it happens to have a DCIM folder on the file system, iPhoto will immediately launch and start scanning.

about 2 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

While researching for our article about what happens when you install crapware from a really lousy download site, we noticed that some of the crapware and spyware will actually try to install a proxy server to spy on you. So how do you know if your PC is using a proxy?

about 2 months ago - by  |  7 Replies

We installed the top 10 apps from Download.com, and you’ll never believe what happened! Well… I guess maybe you might have a good guess. Awful things. Awful things are what happens. Join us for the fun!

about 2 months ago - by  |  97 Replies

Most of the How-To Geek team is at CES 2015, and we’re doing a group photo “live blog” of sorts, which just means that we’ll be posting pictures of everything we’re looking at in Vegas, as we’re looking at it (assuming we have a decent Internet connection).

about 2 months ago - by  |  Comments (0)

Any time you make a change to the Windows Registry, any responsible article will probably tell you to backup the registry first. But how do you do that? It’s not quite as simple as you might think.

about 2 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Verizon FIOS is great — the speeds are incredible, and the price is… well, kinda expensive. The real problem is that the terrible router they give you needs to be rebooted all the time, which is a royal pain considering it’s down in the basement. Plus, I don’t want to get off the couch.

about 2 months ago - by  |  23 Replies

The Mission Control virtual desktops feature built into OS X is really nice, but the one annoyance is that moving windows to a different Space is a little tedious. You can right-click on the icon in the dock, but that’s hardly a solution. Here’s how to do it the easy way.

about 2 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

We’ve long railed against registry cleaners and system tuners as useless products that waste your money, but how do you go about cleaning up after uninstalling shady freeware? Answer: You don’t. You avoid installing nonsense on your PC to begin with by testing everything in a virtual machine first. Snapshots just make it easier.

about 2 months ago - by  |  14 Replies

OS X makes dealing with startup items really easy — you just head into the preferences and add or remove things from the list. But if you’re a recent convert to Mac, you might not know how to do it. But now you will.

about 2 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

If you’re planning on doing a reinstall of Windows but can’t find your product key, you’re in luck because it’s stored in the Windows Registry… it’s just not easy to find, and it’s impossible to read without some help. Luckily, we’re here to help.

about 2 months ago - by  |  29 Replies
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