Whether you’re letting go of a computer or disposing of a USB drive, it’s a good idea to wipe that drive if there was ever sensitive, unencrypted data on it. This will prevent someone from using deleted-file-recovery tools to recover sensitive data from that drive.
All modern computers, smartphones, and tablets can now easily print web pages and other documents to PDF files without any extra software. Microsoft added this to Windows 10, and Apple added it to iOS 9.
Windows 10’s first big update in November 2015 added a device-tracking feature. You can now enable GPS tracking and remotely locate a lost Windows 10 tablet or laptop just like you’d track a smartphone, tablet, or MacBook.
Nine years after starting How-To Geek, we’ve served up 1 Billion pageviews to our readers. Here’s the (brief) story of how we did it, and how we’re going to take things to the next level. Spoiler: We’ve hired an awesome new editor-in-chief.
Windows 10’s big November update added the ability to install apps from the Store onto an SD card, a USB drive, or another type of external or internal drive. This will be extremely useful on tablets and other devices with a small amount of storage. Just plug in an SD card and you can install apps to it.
Most new PCs come with Windows 10 Home, but you can pay for an upgrade from within Windows 10 to upgrade from Home to Pro. If you upgraded from the Professional editions of Windows 7 or 8.1, you already have Windows 10 Professional.
With recent acts of terrorism in Paris and Lebanon, news media and government have been using the word “encryption” as if it’s somehow to blame. Nonsense. Encryption is easy to understand, and if you’re not using it, you should be.
Windows 10 sometimes uses encryption by default, and sometimes it doesn’t — it’s complicated. Here’s how to check if your Windows 10 PC’s storage is encrypted and how to encrypt it if it isn’t. Encryption isn’t just about stopping the NSA — it’s about protecting your sensitive data in case you ever lose your PC.
By default, the Files app on Chrome OS provides access to your Google Drive storage online and the Downloads folder, which is your Chromebook’s local storage. But Google’s made it possible to extend the Files app with more cloud storage services and remote file servers, including Windows file shares.
Whether you have a laptop with an integrated camera or a webcam that plug in via USB, you can use the applications included modern operating systems to easily take photos and record videos. With Windows 10, this is now built into Windows and no longer requires third-party applications.
Some utilities have a “secure delete” option that promises to securely erase a file from your hard drive, removing all traces of it. Older versions of Mac OS X have a “Secure Empty Trash” option that tries to do something similar. Apple removed this feature recently because it just doesn’t work reliably on modern drives.
Wi-Fi calling allows your smartphone to place and receive phone calls, as well as send and receive SMS messages over Wi-Fi instead of the cellular network. Your phone will seamlessly hand off to the cellular network when you move out of Wi-FI range.
Google doesn’t provide an easy way to see the storage, RAM, CPU, and other specifications of your Chromebook. But it’s possible to dig all this information up, just as you could on a traditional computer operating system.
The newest version of Apple TV has a lot of cool advanced features. Chief among these is Siri integration, which we’re betting a lot of people still don’t know how to use. Here then are 17 things you can do with Siri on it.
Valve’s Steam Controller isn’t just designed for new games. Unlike other controllers, it’s designed to be backwards-compatible with as many games as possible — even ones designed for keyboard and mouse controls. To make the controller work with a game, you may need to tweak is controller profile.
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are the first iPhones to feature “3D touch“. 3D Touch allows the iPhone to detect how hard you’re pressing, and you can press harder on the screen in some places to do different things.
Smartphones still don’t have Internet connections everywhere — and, even if they did, there are times you’ll want to save a copy of a web page. Modern iPhones and Android phones allow you to save copies of web pages so you can refer to them later.
Many Internet service providers offer combined modem/router units, but a modem isn’t the same thing as a router. Understanding exactly what a modem is is important so you can buy your own modem and stop paying $8-$15 a month to rent one from your Internet service provider.
Apple’s iMovie application comes free with new iPhones and iPads. It allows you to make home videos, combining multiple clips, inserting photos, adding transitions, applying a soundtrack, and using other effects.
iPhones and iPads offer a built-in way to cut clips out of videos and trim them without installing any third-party apps. This is useful when you want to upload or share a video — but not the entire video.
Your router’s web-based setup page allows you to change various settings — like your Wi-Fi network’s name and password — and view information. You’ll need your router’s IP address to access it.
Steam Machines with Valve’s Steam OS automatically boot to Steam’s Big Picture Mode, allowing you to use a controller to launch games and do everything else. If you have a Windows gaming PC plugged into your TV, you can also make it boot directly to Big Picture Mode.
Google’s Chromecast works well for streaming videos from YouTube, Netflix, and other online services. But there isn’t an obvious way to stream local video files from your computer to your TV via the Chromecast.
Apple Watch includes plenty of Siri integration, and while it’s not as extensive as what you can do with Siri on the iPhone, it’s still plenty useful as it currently stands.
Many cellular carriers offer “microcell” devices — T-Mobile is calling them “CellSpot” devices, but they’re the same thing. These function as small cellular towers, but they use your home Internet connection and anyone can connect to them.