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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.

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 11 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 shows you the answer, with some surprising results.

about 1 year 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 1 year ago - by  |  16 Replies

If you live in an apartment complex you’ve probably noticed more than just the passive-aggressive network IDs that your neighbors use—very likely you’ve had problems with your wireless connections dropping out, or just not being as fast as you’d like. Here’s a quick fix.

about 1 year ago - by  |  Comments (43)

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 1 year 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 1 year 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.

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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.

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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 1 year 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:

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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.

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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 2 years ago - by  |  67 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 2 years 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.

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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.

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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 2 years 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.

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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.

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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?

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Most people don’t realize this, but Amazon allows you to get a refund for a Kindle book that you purchased, but wish you hadn’t. Instead of wasting time leaving a nasty review, why don’t you just get your money back?

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If you managed to get infected with the absolutely terrible Ask Toolbar on your computer, don’t be ashamed – it could happen to anybody. Especially considering that is bundled with the equally awful Java runtime. Those people should be ashamed of themselves.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (29)

Everything is going high-tech these days, including your wallet. Why, you ask? What you might not realize is that new credit cards have RFID chips built into them – so this new wallet blocks RFID signals to prevent anybody from accessing your data.

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Google Chrome has a very useful feature that most people probably don’t know about – You can quickly set per-site permissions and disable plugins, Javascript, images, and more with only a single click.

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We’ve put together a quick poll that you can answer, but you are more than welcome (and encouraged) to also leave an answer in the Other slot, or even as an anonymous comment to this article. (Note that comments might not show up on the site right away, but rest assured that we’ll see them).

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There’s some 81 million unique IP addresses that expose UPnP functionality from the internet, and more than 6900 different devices are potentially vulnerable, at least, to being hacked from the outside. This means, theoretically, that your router could end up being hacked to forward ports from the outside world, which leaves you open to more hacking.

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