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This is Microsoft’s attempt to give Windows 8 and 8.1 the “always-on” state people get from iPads, Android tablets, and smartphones. A PC with Connected Standby can’t use other power-management states like Sleep and Hibernate.

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Windows software downloads are a mess. Many programs try to drag adware and other malicious junk onto your computer. Even safe programs we test sometimes turn to the dark side and start bundling junk later.

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There are plenty of third-party programs and other widgets that may help you keep information close at hand. Here’s a neat trick to keep short notes or other small pieces of information accessible from the taskbar without any extra software.

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Chrome is gradually becoming more of a platform, and some of the best features of Android are making their way to Windows. With voice search and Google Now support, Google beat Microsoft’s own Cortana service to Windows.

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Have you heard? Antivirus software is dead — at least according to Symantec, maker of Norton Antivirus. But they’re still making Norton Antivirus and want to sell it to you, so what does this statement even mean?

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Sometimes it’s the big changes in a new OS that really grind your gears and, other times, it’s something as simple as finding the background color to be an eyesore. Let’s take a look at how you can easily change the background/accent color in Windows 8.

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Browser extensions are pieces of code that run in your web browser. They can do malicious things like display ads, track your browsing, and capture your passwords and private data. A safe extension could automatically update and become malware.

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Windows 8.1 and 8 brought big changes to Windows. Even the process of logging in and setting up user accounts is extremely different, with new types of user accounts and login options.

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Web browsers are gaining more and more features websites can use, and with them come permission options. Your web browser has a variety of permissions you can apply to individual websites, restricting them in various ways.

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Remote desktop software allows you to access your computer from another room or halfway around the world. You can also share your desktop with someone temporarily — ideal for remote tech support.

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Portable applications allow you to move between computers, taking your applications and their settings with you on a USB stick. Portable VirtualBox allows you to create portable operating systems and run them on any PC.

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Some Windows tablets have as little as 32 GB of internal storage, and future ones may only have 16 GB! This is extremely cramped for a large Windows system, so you’ll want to make the most of the little space available to you.

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Most web browsers load Flash and other plug-in content as soon as you open a web page. Enable “click-to-play” plug-ins and your browser will load a placeholder image instead — click it to actually download and view the content.

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With so much concern about government surveillance, corporate espionage, and everyday identity theft, it may seem surprising that so few people use encrypted email messages. Try using encrypted email and you’ll find it to be difficult and complicated to use.

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Some Internet service providers have harsh restrictions on the amount of bandwidth you can use in a month, charging you extra if you go over your bandwidth cap. Other ISPs restrict traffic at certain hours — for example, offering unlimited bandwidth only at night.

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Are you a frequent user of PowerShell, but always find yourself wishing you had a great quick reference sheet available? Then you will definitely love this bit of news! Microsoft has released an updated set of PowerShell quick reference guides so that you always have the information you need within easy reach!

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If you use VirtualBox to run different operating systems on your computer, you may be wondering how to copy text from your host machine into the guest machine and vice versa. You may have thought that VirtualBox Guest Additions provides this feature, but it doesn’t.

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Most computers ship with a single operating system, but you can have multiple operating systems installed on a single PC. Having two operating systems installed — and choosing between them at boot time — is known as “dual-booting.”

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VirtualBox can boot virtual machines from USB flash drives, allowing you to boot a live Linux system or install an operating system from a bootable USB device. This option is well-hidden.

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OpenOffice.org was once the open-source office suite of choice, but it fractured into two separate projects — Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Never mind Oracle Open Office, which was actually a closed-source office suite and was discontinued.

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Yes, there are some situations where you’ll want to regularly change your passwords. But those will probably be the exception rather than the rule. Telling typical computer users they need to regularly change their passwords is a mistake.

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Putting your computer to sleep overnight to save energy and resume your work first thing in the morning is a handy trick, but what if your computer wakes itself up early like an energetic toddler? Read on as we help a fellow reader figure out what exactly is waking his PC up.

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iTunes uses an authorization system to ensure only a handful of computers can access your purchased music, videos, and other content at any given time. You should deauthorize iTunes before getting rid of a computer or reinstalling Windows.

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Running applications as a standard user without elevated privileges is good security practice, but what about those times where an application will only work if it is run as an administrator? Read on as we highlight how to easily and permanently set an application to run with administrative privileges.

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Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade to all Windows 8 users, but you normally can’t install Windows 8.1 with a Windows 8 product key. Luckily, you can get around this limitation if you really want a fresh install of Windows 8.1.

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