FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

When a lithium ion battery fails, things can go south very quickly. If you open up your phone to find a battery swollen to twice its size, proper care and handling is critical for both your safety and the safety of others.

about 5 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Unlike a faster CPU or graphics card, more memory (aka RAM) won’t always speed up your games. If you already have enough RAM, adding more won’t make a difference. So how much RAM do you need for modern PC gaming, anyway?

about 5 months ago - by  |  8 Replies

Windows 10 allows you to quickly sign in with a numeric PIN instead of a longer password. if you have a keyboard with a number pad, you can use that number pad to enter the PIN–after you enable Num Lock. Here’s how to enable Num Lock at boot so you don’t have to press the key every time.

about 5 months ago - by  |  7 Replies

Windows 10 includes an Xbox app and other Xbox-related features. Many of these features are useful even if you’ve never owned an Xbox in your life, and one of these features is even useful for Windows 10 users who never play games.

about 6 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Just because the manufacturer decided your gadget needed a blinking LED as bright as a car headlamp doesn’t mean you have to tolerate it. Let’s take a look at how you can those brilliant LEDs so your bedroom doesn’t look like a night club.

about 6 months ago - by  |  23 Replies

Microsoft allows anyone to download Windows 10 for free and install it without a product key. It’ll keep working for the foreseeable future, with only a few small cosmetic restrictions. And you can even pay to upgrade to a licensed copy of Windows 10 after you install it.

about 6 months ago - by  |  38 Replies

The Hue Dimmer switch is a great way to add physical controls to your Hue lighting system but is, alas, a bit rudimentary. Thanks to a handy little app, however, you can teach the Dimmer Switch a bunch of new tricks–like set any scene with the click of a button.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Microsoft is clashing with the PC gaming community again, with everyone from PC gamers to the CEO of Epic criticizing Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform. Microsoft doesn’t have a lot of goodwill left in the PC gaming community, thanks especially to the disastrous “Games for Windows LIVE” service from a few years back…and they’re worried history will repeat itself.

about 6 months ago - by  |  7 Replies

Migrating your files, settings, and programs to a new PC can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re not completely organized. These tools and simple tips will help you get started.

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PC gamers have to set a myriad of graphics options to balance performance with graphics quality. If you don’t want to tweak them by hand, both NVIDIA and AMD provide tools that will do it for you.

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When you have more than one or two gadgets, the outlets near that kitchen counter can get very cluttered. If you want to clean things up, you can upgrade your outlets to support not just standard 120-volt power cords but 5v USB charging too.

about 6 months ago - by  |  19 Replies

Applications can use Windows 10’s location services to view your physical location. You’ll see a system tray icon that reads “Your location has recently been accessed” or “Your location is currently in use” when this happens, and it can get a little annoying.

about 6 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

If you have an Android phone or tablet with a small amount of storage, you probably keep uninstalling apps to make room for other ones. But there is a way to expand the storage of an Android device if it has an SD card slot.

about 6 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

AgileBits is trying to wean people off of this feature, but–unfortunately–it hasn’t provided any equivalent functionality. You can still gain web access to your 1Password vault by changing a few settings, and it will continue to function as long as you don’t migrate to the new database format.

about 6 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Need a file from an old Windows backup on your Mac? Macs can read Windows drives, but Time Machine won’t help you recover files from a Windows backup. You have to extract files from the backup manually, and it’ll take a bit of work.

about 6 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Much like Microsoft’s Xbox-to-PC streaming, Sony’s PlayStation 4 can stream games to a few of Sony’s Xperia smartphones and tablets. However, with a small tweak, you can stream your PlayStation 4 games to nearly any Android device.

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The Windows Store included with Windows 10 could be a one-stop place to find all the software you’re looking for. But it isn’t. Search for common desktop applications–even the Microsoft Office desktop apps–and you won’t just won’t find them.

about 6 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Newer Linksys routers have a File Server feature that allows you to plug in a USB drive and access its files from anywhere–ensuring you’ll never be too far away from your library of favorite movies, music, and pictures, no matter where you are in the world.

about 6 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Windows 10’s Fast Startup (called Fast Boot in Windows 8) works similarly to the hybrid sleep mode of previous versions of Windows. By saving the operating system state to a hibernation file, it can make your computer boot up even faster, saving valuable seconds every time you turn your machine on.

about 6 months ago - by  |  18 Replies

Keeping your password secret is a fundamental security practice, but there are times when you want to share a password with family members. Don’t just send those passwords in an email, though! Use these secure alternatives instead.

about 6 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Any purchase you make within an app–rather than in Google Play itself–is an in-app purchase. Google Play tracks these in-app purchases. Some are permanent and can be recovered on a new device, but others are used up after you buy them.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Manufacturers and carriers often load Android phones with their own apps. If you don’t use them, they just clutter your system, or–even worse–drain your battery in the background. Take control of your device and stop the bloatware.

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Have you ever wondered why some TV shows go to great lengths to obscure logos on laptops and other well-known products? The reasons are seemingly simple, but not necessarily clear cut.

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If you’ve bought a laptop within the past five years, it probably has a decent Wi-Fi card installed already. But if you’ve been experiencing a shoddy connection, spent too long waiting for Netflix to buffer, or missed that last fireball because of lag, then it might be time to consider adding on an external USB Wi-Fi adapter instead.

about 6 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

When you install a major Windows 10 update, you may reboot to find some of your programs missing. Yes, Windows 10 may remove your programs without asking you–but you can get them back pretty easily.

about 6 months ago - by  |  60 Replies