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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.

Reader Jeevus wrote in asking how to remove the “Troubleshoot Compatibility” item from the Windows context menu whenever you right-click on an application—naturally, we were happy to explain how to do it, and share with the rest of you.

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We’ve always been huge fans of the VistaSwitcher alternative to the regular Alt-Tab in Windows, and there’s a new update that fixes the compatibility issue with IE9, along with a couple of other bugs.

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If you upgraded to the latest iOS release on your iPad, only to figure out that the screen orientation lock doesn’t work anymore, here’s how to lock the screen using the new, annoying method.

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Normally when you don’t get an inbound email message that you were expecting, you’re supposed to check your Spam or Junk Email folder—in the new Facebook “Email” (Messages) system, it’s not quite as obvious how to check that folder. So here’s how.

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At some point between my two hour Angry Birds marathon today, I happened to be installing some updates when I noticed something interesting—you can pause an application update or install. Here’s how it works.

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If you’ve switched over from Microsoft Office to Google Docs, you’ve probably noticed there’s just one problem: creating a new document takes far too many steps. Here’s how to create new documents with single click—or even a shortcut key.

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I’ve never really been a desktop gadgets and widgets type of person, but I often put an inspirational quote on my desktop wallpaper. Today we’ll show you how to do this using Rainmeter, no matter what wallpaper you switch to.

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Ever wondered what the boot screen for Windows 2.0 looked like? Somebody on deviantART put together an image that shows every single Windows boot screen ever, so you don’t have to wonder anymore.

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Whatever you do, don’t leave your iPhone or iPod sitting in a hot car—heat kills batteries faster than any other factor, and your device that used to keep a charge for hours will eventually barely hold a charge, and you’ll have to pay Apple to get it replaced. The same thing holds true for any really hot environment: try and store your device in a cool place.

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Anytime somebody has hard drive errors, I always recommend that they run chkdsk—what geek wouldn’t? Here’s a full guide to using the Check Disk feature built into every version of Windows.

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Have you ever tried to login to your Verizon FIOS router, only to find out that you’ve got no idea what the password is? Here’s how to reset the password to the factory defaults and get access to your router again.

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Facebook just announced their new email system today, which will unify your messaging, etc, etc. It’s interesting, but how do you get an invite?

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Protecting your computer with an antivirus solution is par for the course when you’re dealing with a Windows PC, but unfortunately it slows you down at the same time. Here’s how to improve your performance, at least a little bit.

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After using my new Macbook Air for the last week, it’s almost painful to switch back to my PC laptop—using two finger scrolling has become second nature. Here’s how to get the same feature on (most) Windows laptops.

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It was exactly 20 years ago today that Tim Berners-Lee published the formal proposal to create the “WorldWideWeb”, probably for the sole purpose of one day allowing people to put moronic captions on pictures of cats.

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Has it ever annoyed you to have to open lots of separate windows for Device Manager, Services, Event Viewer, and other system administration tools? Here’s how to pull them all together into your own custom admin panel.

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In today’s edition of Stupid Geek Tricks (where we show off little-known tricks to impress your non-geek friends), we’ll learn how to hide data in a text file that can’t be seen by anybody else unless they know the name of the secret compartment.

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If you’ve got loads of icons cluttering up your desktop, you might want a quick way to turn them off without using the context menu, here’s a quick and easy way to make a shortcut key to turn them on or off.

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File this one under nerdy DIY: Somebody over at the Instructables site has figured out how to convert an NES controller into a plug-and-play USB controller that works on Windows or Linux.

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Every geek wants to pretend that they are a dangerous hacker with the ability to take down any PC, and after you read this article, you can do show off your skills with nothing more than Notepad.

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One of the most frustrating things about troubleshooting random blue screen errors is that the computer reboots before you have a chance to write down the error messages so you can Google them later. Here’s how to fix that.

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Let’s face it: Windows can be seriously annoying sometimes, but thankfully there’s also usually a workaround or third-party utility that fixes the issue. We’ve rounded up the ten things that annoy us most, along with how to fix them.

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We’re huge fans of the VistaSwitcher alternative for Alt+Tab, but unfortunately a recent bug has made it almost unusable for many of us, with lots of blank windows showing up in the list. Here’s how to fix it with a quick settings change.

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Everybody loves a good Easter egg, and here’s a couple of oddities we found in the Windows calculator that we thought we’d share. How many of them did you already know about?

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We’re big fans of hidden registry hacks around here, so when our friend Justin showed how to put a real, working Libraries icon on the desktop, we figured it would make a perfect article for for a few extra geek points.

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