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There was a time when we had to worry about manually updating desktop applications. Adobe Flash and Reader were full of security holes and didn’t update themselves, for example — but those days are largely behind us.

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Windows 8.1 bought some of the more common folders to the top of the “This PC” window. Having used Windows since its inception, we find this looks odd and sought to fix it.

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The web is littered with traps for novice users when downloading software, from fake “Download” buttons that are actually advertisements to installers full of bundled toolbars and other junk software. Learning how to avoid the junk is an important skill.

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The Windows desktop is the sole platform without an app store-style software installation process. Smartphones, tablets, Macs, and Linux PCs all allow you to quickly install multiple programs — but this is more complicated on Windows.

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If you were one of the people worried that Windows 7 would be left behind with regard to Internet Explorer 11, then you will definitely feel better after today’s news. Microsoft has just released a developer preview of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 32 and 64 bit operating systems.

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We’ve shown you how to enabled Cloud Print on your mobile devices and even use third-party tools to add it to Windows. Read on as we show you how to add Cloud Print functionality as a Windows service and native printing from any of your Windows computers.

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Whether you want to merge collections of short stories into a DIY anthology, or you want to split a greatest-works volume you recently acquired into the author’s individual novels, you can follow along as we show you how to merge and split ebooks with ease.

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For many people, Windows seems to slow down over time. Quite a few people fix this by regularly reinstalling Windows. But do you really need to regularly reinstall Windows? And, if so, how regularly do you need to reinstall it?

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You delete a file in Windows, it gets dumped into the Recycle Bin, and later you fish it back out. What exactly happens during that whole process?

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You don’t really need a full Internet security suite. However, many people like having them — and they pay dearly with subscription fees. But you can assemble your own security suite for free.

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Whether you’re switching to a new PC, reinstalling Windows, or just ensuring you don’t lose hours of gameplay if your hard drive dies, you’ll want to make sure your save games are properly backed up.

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Have you ever downloaded a file only to find it has a strange .rar file extension? By the end of this article you will be able to view the file no matter if you are running Windows or Mac OSX.

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We previously reported that the system image backup feature was removed in Windows 8.1. This isn’t entirely true — while the graphical interface for creating system images was removed, you can still create system images with a PowerShell cmdlet.

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Windows has had support for themes, also known as visual styles, since Windows XP. By default, Windows will only load Microsoft-signed themes — but you can get around this fairly easily.

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If your main language is not English, you may have set your PC’s input setting to something else. On Windows 7, this was a per application setting, however that changed on Windows 8.

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By default, Windows 8′s Refresh or Reset your PC feature restores Windows to its initial state. However, you can also create custom recovery images containing your favorite programs and system settings.

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Windows 8.1 brings us Internet Explorer 11. To maximize screen real estate, they decided to hide your open tabs and address bar by default. Here is how to get them showing.

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Digitally signed drivers include an electronic fingerprint that indicates which company the driver was produced by as well as an indication as to whether the driver has been modified since the company released it. This increases security, as a signed driver that has been modified will no longer have an intact signature. Drivers are signed using code signing certificates.

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Parental controls can filter the web, blocking inadvertent access to inappropriate websites. There are a variety of ways to do this, from configuring network-wide parental controls on your router to using the parental controls built into Windows or third-party software.

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We recently looked at the many reasons you might want to use a third-party DNS server. You can change the DNS server for your entire network on your router or set it individually on a PC or other device.

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Windows 8.1 brings some great new features, from a Start button and boot-to-desktop option to SkyDrive integration and a much more robust Modern interface. However, Microsoft is removing some features that were present in Windows 8.

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Microsoft is restoring the Start button and adding a boot-to-desktop option in Windows 8.1, but they aren’t giving up on the Modern interface. The Modern interface has been dramatically updated, and it no longer feels quite as half-baked.

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SuperUser reader user31073 is curious whether he should really heed those short-password warnings:

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Apple offers a “Find My Mac” service to track a lost or stolen stolen Mac computer. However, Microsoft doesn’t provide an equivalent service for Windows PCs — not even for tablets running Windows 8.

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If you are a one man development team, you probably don’t really have the need for a full blown version control system, yet creating source code backups for each released version is undoubtedly important.

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