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.

When you’ve got a PC completely infected with viruses, sometimes it’s best to reboot into a rescue disc and run a full virus scan from there. Here’s how to use the BitDefender Rescue CD to clean an infected PC.

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It’s obvious that Windows 10 will come with some innovative features. However, Microsoft doesn’t expend much energy on the improvement of the OS’ media playback nor media center, which has been exemplified by the confirmation of the lack of Windows Media Player in Windows 10.

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You can sign a PDF document from your phone, tablet, or any other computer and email it off to someone. But some organizations still don’t accept documents via email — you may need to fax documents instead.

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I don’t know about you, but I really preferred having the My Computer icon right on the desktop. Seems like modern versions of windows don’t have it by default anymore. There are two different ways you can add the icon back.

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The whole world has gone crazy with Furious 7 as it raked in over 1.4 billion dollars since its premiere in movie theatre last month. Furious 7 has everything you need to become a fixture in your DVD library for everlasting remembrance. Not only that, you can also rip the DVD to your hard drive for better protection or transfer it to mobile devices for watching with abandon, of course, though, with the aid of a third party DVD ripping software.

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Are you one of those people that obsessively edits your start menu to keep it clean, tidy, and organized? Back in Windows XP, all you had to do was right-click on the start button to get to the folder, but Windows 7 changed it. And then Windows 8 made it really annoying. And then Windows 10 brought it all back to normal… sorta.

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Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Vista hide important files and folders from view to keep users from deleting or otherwise modifying files they shouldn’t, but a simple checkbox can change that behavior.

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If you are a fan of tweaking your system and disabling services, you might find that over time your Windows Services list becomes huge and unwieldy with a large number of services in the list that will never be enabled.

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For years, users have wondered why on earth Microsoft wouldn’t make the taskbar customizable and usable across multiple monitors. Luckily Windows 8 and 10 include a new feature that makes it much better. Here’s a quick look for those that haven’t already seen them.

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One of the more irritating problems with the Windows command prompt is that you can’t paste anything into the window using the keyboard easily—it requires using the mouse. Here’s how to fix that problem.

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The Windows 10 has got Windows lovers flat-out excited. Indeed, they should be. Look at these brand new features sported by Windows 10: multiple platforms, Cortana, Hololens, touch-friendly Universal Office… the list goes on. Judging from the review of its preview build, Windows 10 seems to have taken everything that made the OS so appealing and done away with all the Windows 8’s clunkiness, every defect, though, except for DVD playback capability.

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Verizon FIOS has a lot of great features, but their set-top boxes have one obnoxious flaw: Whenever you haven’t used them in a while, they load annoying widget ads that take forever to load and require exiting out of. Here’s how to disable them.

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So you are reading instructions on some article that tells you to reboot into Safe mode. You ask how you do that, and are told to use the F8 key when the computer boots up. But you just can’t seem to get the F8 key to work… so how do you boot into Safe mode?

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It’s really sad, but Oracle started bundling crapware like the Ask “app” even for Mac OS X users now. If you’re forced to use Java, luckily they do have an option to disable this, so the next time you need to update Java you won’t be presented with a crapware ad.

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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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If you’ve ever hooked up your laptop to a secondary monitor and then disconnected without remembering to move the windows back to the primary desktop, you’ve probably encounted this problem:

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You are no doubt reading this article because you are wondering what on earth this conhost.exe process is doing in Task Manager, and why it’s running on your shiny new Windows PC. We’ve got the answer for you.

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The internet went crazy today when somebody figured out that uTorrent was bundling a piece of crapware called EpicScale that uses your computer to mine for Bitcoins, and according to many reports, was silently installed. The even bigger problem is that it doesn’t uninstall clean, so we’re going to show you how to do that today.

about 2 years ago - by  |  11 Replies

If you just installed Windows 8 or Windows 10 on your laptop and the screen won’t stay at the brightness level you want, it’s probably because the adaptive brightness feature isn’t working right on your system. Here’s how to disable it.

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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.

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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.

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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 2 years ago - by  |  46 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.

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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.

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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 2 years ago - by  |  27 Replies