SEARCH

FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

A bad sector on a hard drive is simply a tiny cluster of storage space — a¬† sector — of the hard drive that appears to be defective. The sector won’t respond to read or write requests.

about 1 year ago - by  |  8 Replies

Now that Skype has been merged with Windows Live Messenger, it’s more popular than ever. There’s no way to use Skype with a third-party client, but Skype does offer hidden features that can make it more powerful.

about 1 year ago - by  |  9 Replies

Browser extensions are useful, but they can increase your browser’s memory consumption, make it take longer to open, and slow it down in general. But how do you measure the impact a browser extension has on your system?

about 1 year ago - by  |  8 Replies

Chromebooks don’t normally run Windows software — that’s the best and worst thing about them. You don’t need antivirus or other Windows desktop junk, but you can’t install Skype, full Microsoft Office, or other Windows desktop applications.

about 1 year ago - by  |  9 Replies

Programs that automatically start with Windows can slow down your computer’s boot time, making you wait to get a useful desktop while icon after icon loads into your system tray. Fortunately, it’s possible to prevent these programs from automatically starting.

about 1 year ago - by  |  18 Replies

Two-factor authentication secures your accounts with an additional authentication method, often a time-limited code generated by a mobile app. But what happens if you lose or reset your phone and can’t generate the codes?

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows Defender on Windows 8) was once on top. Over the years, it’s slid in the test results, but Microsoft argued the tests weren’t meaningful. Now, Microsoft is advising Windows users to use a third-party antivirus instead.

about 1 year ago - by  |  101 Replies

There’s a good chance you already use the VLC media player. But VLC isn’t just a media player — it’s a complete Swiss Army Knife for digital videos and music, filled with useful and fun features you haven’t found yet.

about 1 year ago - by  |  15 Replies

Android is open source, so developers can take its code, add features, and build their own operating system images for Android phones and tablets. Many Android geeks install such custom ROMs — but why?

about 1 year ago - by  |  10 Replies

Uh-oh, your computer isn’t booting anymore. Maybe it’s a problem with Windows, or maybe the computer’s hardware is fried. If you have important files trapped inside your malfunctioning computer, this guide will help you recover them.

about 1 year ago - by  |  12 Replies

Anyone who logs serious time at their computer desk knows the toll the keyboard and mouse can take on your wrists, shoulders, and even back. Today we take a look at the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop, a highly ergonomic keyboard and mouse combo that purports to realign your posture and chase away the carpal tunnel.

about 1 year ago - by  |  14 Replies

Most cell phones sold in North America¬† — especially on contract — are “locked” to a particular cellular carrier. They can only be used on that carrier’s network, so you can’t switch to another carrier without “unlocking” it first.

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

Netbooks are terrible, as most people now agree. They seemed like a good idea at the time, offering a cheap laptop experience in a small package. But they were ultimately too slow, too small, and too poorly built.

about 1 year ago - by  |  31 Replies

Windows 8 may be lighter than Windows Vista, but it’s nowhere near as lightweight as these free Linux distributions. If you have an old Windows XP PC or a netbook, you can revive it with a lightweight Linux system.

about 1 year ago - by  |  31 Replies

Windows is complicated and needs many different system utilities and security tools to run well — or does it? We recently covered the many types of system tools you don’t need. Here are the few utilities you actually do need.

about 1 year ago - by  |  36 Replies

Windows users see advertisements for all sorts of system tools and optimization utilities. It’s easy for companies to tell you that you absolutely have to run these tools, but you don’t need most of the junk on offer.

about 1 year ago - by  |  21 Replies

These days, it seems like every Windows user has heard about CCleaner. It’s widely recommended, online and offline. But what exactly does CCleaner do, should you use it — and how often?

about 1 year ago - by  |  12 Replies

Computers normally run an operating system installed on their hard drives, whether it’s Windows, OS X, or Linux. But they can also boot from removable media devices, allowing you to boot a Linux desktop from a USB drive or CD.

about 1 year ago - by  |  13 Replies

Windows is all about backwards compatibility, allowing people — especially businesses — to keep using their important applications on new versions of Windows. But there are limits. The older a program is, the more likely it will break.

about 1 year ago - by  |  8 Replies

Portable scanners aren’t exactly brand-new technology, so what makes the Doxie Go portable scanner special? Read on as we take one for a test drive, show you how to set it up in the process, and highlight exactly why the Doxie Go will keep your inbox and file cabinets empty.

about 1 year ago - by  |  5 Replies

On a PC, you can still play old games — which isn’t true for consoles. You may even find yourself actively buying these old games as they show up on great sales on Steam and elsewhere.

about 1 year ago - by  |  11 Replies

When moving to a new Windows system, either after getting a new computer or reinstalling Windows, you may be tempted to copy a program’s folder to your new system just like you’d copy your files. But this normally won’t work.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Official replacement batteries can be expensive. Whether you’re looking at a laptop or smartphone battery, you may be tempted to take the cheap route and buy an aftermarket battery. But this decision could blow up in your face — literally.

about 1 year ago - by  |  20 Replies

Windows normally installs itself to a single partition on your hard drive. However, you can split your hard drive into several different partitions and store your data files separately from your system files.

about 1 year ago - by  |  14 Replies

Install a new hard drive and all Windows will do is give you an empty drive letter. If you have a small solid-state drive and a larger mechanical hard drive — or just two large drives — these tips will help you put that additional drive to use.

about 1 year ago - by  |  4 Replies