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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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These days, you can share files using all of the different cloud storage providers like Dropbox and OneDrive, but if all you want is a super easy way to share files with people, Jumpshare might be worth a look.

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Enclosing text in quotation marks is fairly standard practice on the command line, especially when dealing with files that have spaces in the names, but how do you know whether to use single or double quotes? Let’s take a look at the difference, and when you should use one vs the other.

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One of the best features of OneDrive in Windows 8.1 is that even if you have a terabyte of files up there in the cloud, it isn’t going to automatically try to download them to every device that you use. The files only download on-demand… but what if you want to make them download all at once?

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Recently we started a firestorm by telling the world how the Windows 8 app store was completely full of scam applications, and Microsoft has officially responded by removing 1500 applications and pledging to keep it clean.

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Today at work, I wanted to know how to create in Windows 7 a simple icon/shortcut to play a sound on the background, without having any media player opening (in my case, I wanted to play a rimshot sound whenever a colleague would say a relatively bad joke).

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If you want really quick access to launch a frequently used application without putting extra icons on your desktop, you can add that application to the context menu for the desktop with a simple registry hack. Here’s how to do it.

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