FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

Plex Media Server’s remote access function is usually so smooth to set up that it’s practically magic. But if you’re having trouble accessing your movies from afar, we’re here to help.

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The Xbox One allows you to play a game and use an app–or just use two apps–at once. You just “Snap” an app to the right side of your screen. With Windows 10 apps debuting on the Xbox One this summer, Snap will only get more powerful and useful.

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Ever since Windows 10 came out, Windows 7 and 8 users have been bombarded with upgrade notifications, thanks to a little Windows icon in their system trays called GWX (“Get Windows 10”). Here is how to remove that icon and avoid the pushy notifications.

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Nexus OTA updates are a bit of an enigma—they come straight from Google, but they also depend on carrier approval before they can be sent to devices on certain networks. Getting the latest OTA update meant either waiting a few weeks, or manually flashing a full factory image, which can be a bit janky. Now, however, the process is more streamlined, so you can flash the latest update with one command, no waiting necessary.

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Ever wonder why some photos look correct in some programs, but appear sideways or upside down in others? That’s because there are two different ways a photo can be rotated, and not every program is on the same page.

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Sony encourages you to use “Rest Mode” on your PlayStation 4 instead of completely powering it off. Rest Mode is a bit like sleep mode on your PC–it goes into a low-power mode instead of turning off entirely, so you can get to your games faster when you wake it up. The only downside to using Rest Mode is that it uses more energy than turning your PS4 off–but how much more, and how much does it cost?

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Microsoft has finally released a “Convenience Rollup” for Windows 7 that combines updates from the past few years into one package (like a service pack). Microsoft doesn’t offer ISO images with these updates integrated, but you can create your own in a few simple steps.

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Macs support a variety of file systems. By default, they format disks with the Mac-only OS X Extended file system. But, if you plan on using an external drive with both Macs and PCs, you should format the disk with the exFAT file system instead.

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When you install Windows 7 on a new system, you traditionally have to go through a long process of downloading years of updates and constantly rebooting. Not anymore: Microsoft now offers a “Windows 7 SP1 Convenience Rollup” that essentially functions as Windows 7 Service Pack 2. With a single download, you can install the hundreds of updates at once. But there’s a catch.

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The Xbox One has integrated TV features and support for streaming media apps like Netflix and Hulu, but that isn’t where it ends. You can play video and music files you’ve ripped or downloaded by plugging in a USB drive or streaming them over your local network.

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If you’re running your own router alongside the modem/router combo your ISP gave you, there’s a good chance you’re inadvertently giving yourself a huge headache and a host of difficult-to-pin-down network problems. Let’s look at why these issues arise, how to detect them, and how to fix them.

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Parental controls allow you to restrict child accounts on an Xbox One. You can restrict access to games, media, and apps by age rating, filter the web, and control online privacy and chat features. This works similarly to the parental controls in Windows 10.

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Even if you use the Windows Command Prompt a lot, you might be surprised at the number of useful keyboard shortcuts it supports. You can use them to streamline everything from selecting and manipulating text to repeating commands you’ve already typed. And we’ve got the full list for you.

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Mental health doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Today, we’re taking a break from technology for some personal stories and useful guides in an effort to spread awareness about depression, anxiety, and other issues.

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While setting up your Xbox One, you’ll be asked whether you want to use “Instant On” mode or “Energy Saving” mode. You can also change this option at any time. We’ll show you how to calculate exactly how much Instant On mode costs in your area, so you can make an informed decision.

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When it comes to video playback, the cross-platform application VLC is a veritable Swiss Army knife. It’s been popular on Windows, Mac, and Linux for a long time, but now you can get that same great plays-anything-under-the-sun power on your Apple TV.

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Not all scanners are created equal. Even if you buy a top of the line model, it might not be the right tool for the job, and you’ll waste time, get inferior results, and curse the day you bought the wrong model.

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Microsoft’s Xbox One allows you to easily capture a screenshot or record the last thirty seconds of gameplay as a video. You can also use the Game DVR app for more fine-grained recording options. All video clips are saved in 720p resolution at 30 frames per second.

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Nova Launcher is an unofficial fan favorite for Android power users, and with good reason—it’s chock-full of nifty customization features to help users make Android look how they want. But it’s also full of useful time-saving features that can make your life easier. Here are five of our favorites.

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Before you sell your Xbox One or pass it on to someone else, you should perform a factory reset. This wipes all your personal data. Whoever gets the Xbox One will have to go through the first-time setup process once again, signing in with their own Microsoft account.

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It’s been more than a year since we drew attention to the crapware regularly foisted upon unsuspecting users by pretty much every big freeware site, including the venerable SourceForge. Since then, a few sites–including SourceForge themselves–have started cleaning up their act.

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Microsoft’s Xbox One allows you to remap the buttons on its controller. This feature was originally introduced with Microsoft’s high-end Xbox One Elite controller, but it now works with standard Xbox One controllers as well.

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If you’ve been using Windows for very long at all, you’ve probably heard of Microsoft’s .NET, probably because an application asked you to install it, or you noticed it in your list of installed programs. Unless you’re a developer, you don’t need a lot of knowledge to make use of it. You just need it to work. But, since we geeks like knowing things, join us as we explore just what .NET is and why so many applications need it.

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Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10’s free upgrade offer will expire on July 29, 2016. After that, you’ll have to pay $119 to upgrade on any computer that hasn’t already made the leap. But with a few simple steps, you can “reserve” that free copy now, so you can upgrade after July 29 without paying.

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The Office Upload Center is part of Microsoft Office. Install Office on your computer, and this tool will appear in your system tray. Sure, you can hide this icon, but should you? What exactly does it do, anyway?

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