WINDOWS ARTICLES / EVERYTHING ABOUT MICROSOFT WINDOWS

If you’ve ever scrolled through your list of installed programs in Windows, wondering why there are so many versions of the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable on there, you’re not alone. Join us as we take a look at what these things are and why there are so many installed on your PC.

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The icons for your files and programs are stored in a cache, so that Windows can display them quickly instead of having to load them from source files every time. If you’ve ever noticed that Windows Explorer loads icons slowly, especially when you first start your computer or open a folder with lots of files, increasing the size of the icon cache might help. Here’s how to do it with a simple Registry hack.

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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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If you’re a fan of hibernating your computer, you’ve likely noticed that neither Windows 8 or Windows 10 offer hibernate as a default power menu option. Don’t worry, it’s really simple to bring the hibernate option back.

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Your Chrome profile stores your browser settings, bookmarks, extensions, apps, and saved passwords. Your profile is stored in a separate folder on your computer, so if anything goes wrong with Chrome, your information is saved.

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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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Your Firefox profile stores your settings and personal information, such as your home page, bookmarks, extensions (add-ons), toolbars, and saved passwords. All this information is stored in a profile folder that keeps your data separate from the Firefox program, so if anything goes wrong with Firefox, your information is preserved.

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Even in these times of fast internet connections, huge hard drives, and loads of free cloud storage, file size sometimes matters. You might have a limit to the size of files you can send or receive via email, or you might be running low on thumb drive space. Whatever the reason, if you have Office documents that include images, you might be able to significantly reduce the size of those files.

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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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The Action Center in Windows 10 shows and logs various types of notifications, while also providing one-click access to different features with the Quick Action Buttons. If you don’t use the Quick Action Buttons, though, you can easily hide them using a registry hack.

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The whole point of a home theater PC is being able to kick back and watch anything from your couch–but Netflix has never worked truly well on home theater PCs. This app changes that.

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The ability to have multiple desktops was missing for a long time in Windows, until Windows 10 finally added it. We’ve covered how to use virtual desktops in Windows 10, but there’s at least one missing feature that we’ll show you how to add.

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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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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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Microsoft Office files are still very common, but if you’re more of a Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides user, you can still edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files in Google Drive–if you know how.

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If you delete a lot of emails when sifting through your Outlook inbox, you might have turned on the option to automatically empty the deleted items folder when exiting Outlook. That’s handy, but you most likely have to confirm the deletion of the emails every time.

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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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When you click Send on an email, it is typically sent immediately. But what if you want to send it at a later time? Outlook allows you delay the sending of a single message or all email messages.

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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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Most optical disc drives require you to press a button on the front of the drive to open it. This button can be hard to find or get to on some machines. However, you can use a keyboard shortcut to open your optical drive.

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