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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.

Ever since switching to OS X there has been one tiny annoyance bugging me, and it really is a small one: My SSH sessions will hang whenever my VPN times out, and then I have to close out of the Terminal to get it to disconnect, because SSH takes forever to time out for some reason.

about 4 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

If you are using Windows 8.x for any amount of time, you will quickly get to the point where your Start Screen becomes a giant mess of nonsense tiles. Want to reset them to default? It’s easy!

about 4 months ago - by  |  9 Replies

Over the years, readers have written in asking how to download Windows and make a bootable install disk, and we’ve always had to tell them that there isn’t a great way to do that. Microsoft has finally fixed this problem in Windows 8.x, and here is how to do it.

about 4 months ago - by  |  10 Replies

Windows 8.1 has the new Start Screen, but what if you don’t want to bother with it, and prefer seeing the list of applications installed on your computer instead? Thankfully, you can easily change this setting in the Taskbar Properties.

about 4 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Windows 8.1 adds many improvements to the Windows 8 experience, both for classic PC users and users with hybrid devices or tablets. These 10 features will be appreciated by users with touch screens in Windows 8.1, so if you have a tablet or a hybrid device with Windows 8, here’s what’s exciting about Windows 8.1.

about 4 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Taking ownership of system files or folders in Windows is not a simple task. Whether you use the GUI or the command line, it takes far too many steps. This method works in Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1, and it maybe works in XP, though you won’t need it there.

about 5 months ago - by  |  Comments (327)

I’ve previously written about a way to enable or disable UAC from the command line. This is an easier method that you can use to do the same thing from the GUI interface in either Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or Vista. To recap my earlier article, UAC is ANNOYING.

about 5 months ago - by  |  Comments (244)

Have you ever wondered how much time is added to the boot process by your anti-virus solution? This handy chart from the folks over at Soluto shows you the answer, with some surprising results.

about 7 months ago - by  |  31 Replies

Deleting the cache is definitely something you’ll want to do if you are worried about your privacy. Just keep in mind that deleting the cache will only sorta delete those files — unless you overwrite the free space, you aren’t really deleting anything permanently. All you have to do is run a few utilities, and those deleted files are most likely going to be recovered.

about 9 months ago - by  |  16 Replies

Over the years, we’ve created many Registry hacks to customize and tweak your Windows computer. Today we’re going to give you the keys to making your own registry hack files that you can use on any computer.

about 10 months ago - by  |  11 Replies

When it comes to hidden gems in Windows, nothing beats the Reliability monitor tool, hidden behind a link inside of another tool that you don’t use either. Why Microsoft doesn’t shine more light on this really useful troubleshooting tool, we’ll never know.

about 10 months ago - by  |  20 Replies

Windows users have been able to minimize every window on their desktop ever since keyboards with the Win key started showing up — just tap WIN + M on your keyboard, and every window is minimized. For Mac OS X, it’s not quite as simple.

about 10 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

After switching to OS X when I got a new MacBook Air, one of the first things I needed to duplicate was my extremely customized AutoHotkey setup — the most important of which is using the J and K keys to navigate throughout tabbed windows easily. Yeah, I’m a Vim user.

about 10 months ago - by  |  7 Replies

Microsoft released a preview of their update to Windows 8 today, and we’ve got all the details, starting with how to get your hands on it.

about 10 months ago - by  |  60 Replies

This guide explains how to configure a Windows Server 2008 machine to push out a static Ubuntu image that can be picked up by diskless terminals, so that you can have any number of machines running a fully-functional instance of Ubuntu without having a hard drive, as long as they are capable of PXE booting.

about 12 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Changing this in XP was extremely simple, but in Windows 7, Windows 8, or Vista it’s buried behind a few more menus. Here are three routes you can take to open up System Properties:

about 12 months ago - by  |  Comments (126)

Windows 7, 8, 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.

about 1 year ago - by  |  Comments (105)

Are you one of those people that loves to see the screensaver come on when you get up from your computer? Here’s an easy way to make the screensaver show up as soon as you lock your PC.

about 1 year ago - by  |  66 Replies

The All Apps view in Windows 8 is quite useful, considering many of the applications a geek might want to use won’t be pinned to the Start Screen – but it is a pain to get there. We set out to find a better solution.

about 1 year ago - by  |  6 Replies

We are switching to Discourse, the new discussion platform that is built for the modern age. But it’s more than just a forum switch. Join us for a look back at discussion on How-To Geek.

about 1 year ago - by  |  42 Replies

Most of you probably never even think about the Windows build number — after all, it’s not something you see very often, and it doesn’t matter. But it does hold an interesting secret since Windows Vista.

about 1 year ago - by  |  Comments (10)

Here’s a fun little tip for you: did you know that you can run commands from the address bar in Windows Explorer? It’s true — any app that you could run on the command line can be run from the address bar, including opening a new command prompt.

about 1 year ago - by  |  Comments (0)

It was only a matter of time before somebody figured out how to use Metro / Modern apps in a regular desktop window, and naturally it was Stardock who came up with the solution. It’ll cost you a couple of bucks, but you can use the trial mode for free.

about 1 year ago - by  |  Comments (9)

Internet Explorer 10, the same version that comes with Windows 8, is now available for Windows 7 users as well. Even if you aren’t an Internet Explorer user, you should still think about upgrading IE to the latest version for security reasons.

about 1 year ago - by  |  Comments (9)

If you want to squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, you might consider disabling some of the built-in Windows services. But which ones should you disable? And which ones can you safely disable?

about 1 year ago - by  |  Comments (16)