You can hide files on any operating system, but hidden files can be accessed by anyone with access to your PC or its storage. Encryption actually protects your files, preventing people from accessing them without your encryption key.

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If you’ve noticed hotspots in your digital photos, areas where a stuck pixel in the camera’s sensor has rendered very bright spots of color that don’t belong in the image, you’re not alone. It’s an incredibly common phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. Read on as we discuss what distinguishes stuck pixels from other sensor defects and problems, how to identify it, and how to fix it both in-camera and out.

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In 2005, Linus Torvalds said, “I don’t use GNOME, because in striving to be simple, it has long since reached the point where it simply doesn’t do what I need it to do.” GNOME’s developers have continued removing options.

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The update formerly known as Windows 8.1 Update 2 — now known as the August Update — was released on August 12. You probably didn’t even notice. It’s a small update that barely adds anything.

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For most people, Caps Lock is only an obstacle to avoid while typing. Having Caps Lock do nothing at all would be an improvement. You don’t have to pry Caps Lock off your keyboard — you can disable it.

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Ever wished you had recorded a call? Maybe you got bad customer service from a company over the phone and you want proof. Or, maybe you received training or help that you want to reference again in the future.

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It’s time to upgrade to an SSD if you’re still using a mechanical hard drive in your computer. An SSD is the single biggest upgrade you can give your computer, and prices have come down dramatically.

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The central processing unit (CPU) in your computer does the computational work — running programs, basically. But one single-core CPU can only perform one task at a time, which is where multiple CPUs, hyper-threading, and multi-core CPUs come into play.

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Microsoft’s Windows Store is a mess. It’s full of apps that exist only to scam people and take their money. Why doesn’t Microsoft care that their flagship app store is such a cesspool?

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A hidden file or folder is just a normal file or folder with a “hidden” option set. Operating systems hide these files by default, so you can use this trick to hide some files if you share a computer with someone else.

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Seems like every guide to securing your wireless network tells you to keep your SSID from broadcasting to make your network more secure, but is that really worthwhile? Let’s take a look at one of the silliest myths out there.

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Linux, Mac, and other Unix-like systems display “load average” numbers. These numbers tell you how busy your system’s CPU, disk, and other resources are. They’re not self-explanatory at first, but it’s easy to become familiar with them.

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If a program isn’t working right, just reinstalling it won’t necessarily fix it. You may need to reset the program to its default settings, and some programs don’t offer an easy way to do this.

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Computers don’t come with operating system installation CDs anymore. If your operating system won’t boot, you’ll need a bootable recovery drive to fix it. All operating systems allow you to create these.

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If you’ve had your laptop for a year or two, it may be full of dust. Dust clogs fans, vents, and heat sinks, preventing your PC from cooling down properly. You can remove a good amount of this dust, even if you can’t open your laptop.

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Airplane mode disables a device’s cellular radio, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth — the wireless transmission functions. But many airplanes now offer in-flight Wi-Fi, and cellular access may be coming to planes soon — so where does that leave airplane mode?

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The big cloud storage services — Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and others — all have the same problem. They can only synchronize folders inside your cloud storage folder. But there’s a way around this limitation: symbolic links.

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Use the drivers Windows provides and you won’t have to worry about bloatware. If you do have to install the drivers provided by your manufacturer, here’s how to avoid all the heavy control panels and startup applications they include.

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Linux applications store their settings in hidden folders inside each user account’s home folder. This makes application settings much easier to back up and restore than they are on Windows, where settings are scattered across the registry and system folders.

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Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to your computer, open iTunes, and you’ll see a large amount of space used by “Other” storage. iTunes won’t let you delete any of this “Other” data to free up space.

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Ubuntu provides four different software repositories, all of them official — Main, Restricted, Universe, and Multiverse. Main and Restricted are fully supported by Canonical, while Universe and Multiverse don’t receive the support you might expect.

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Has your Internet connection become slower than it should be? There may be a chance that you have some malware, spyware, or adware that is using your Internet connection in the background without your knowledge. Here’s how to see what’s going on under the hood.

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Your Windows system’s uptime is displayed in the Task Manager. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager or press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to open it.

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Your computer is probably running a 64-bit version of Windows. But take a look at the Task Manager and you’ll see most programs on your system are still 32-bit. Is this a problem?

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Windows domains are typically used on large networks — corporate networks, school networks, and government networks. They aren’t something you’ll encounter at home unless you have a laptop provided by your employer or school.

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