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Windows users see advertisements for all sorts of system tools and optimization utilities. It’s easy for companies to tell you that you absolutely have to run these tools, but you don’t need most of the junk on offer.

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Outlook 2013 introduces the in-line reply feature, which allows you to reply to an email directly in the Reading pane, instead of opening a separate window. However, if you prefer to use the separate message editing window, there is an easy way to access it.

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These days, it seems like every Windows user has heard about CCleaner. It’s widely recommended, online and offline. But what exactly does CCleaner do, should you use it — and how often?

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Windows is all about backwards compatibility, allowing people — especially businesses — to keep using their important applications on new versions of Windows. But there are limits. The older a program is, the more likely it will break.

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If you prefer to write your emails in Word, there is a way to send them directly to your recipients from within Word. This feature is not obviously available in Word 2013, but rather must be added to the Ribbon or Quick Access Toolbar.

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On a PC, you can still play old games — which isn’t true for consoles. You may even find yourself actively buying these old games as they show up on great sales on Steam and elsewhere.

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When moving to a new Windows system, either after getting a new computer or reinstalling Windows, you may be tempted to copy a program’s folder to your new system just like you’d copy your files. But this normally won’t work.

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Windows normally installs itself to a single partition on your hard drive. However, you can split your hard drive into several different partitions and store your data files separately from your system files.

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Install a new hard drive and all Windows will do is give you an empty drive letter. If you have a small solid-state drive and a larger mechanical hard drive — or just two large drives — these tips will help you put that additional drive to use.

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The option to delete a file association is conspicuously absent from file associations user interface in Windows 7, so how can you delete file associations you no longer want? Read on as we explore how to remove a default file association.

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Out of the box, Office 2013 is designed to integrate seamlessly with the cloud – just as long as it’s Microsoft’s SkyDrive service.

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Most people don’t spend much time customizing their taskbar, even though it’s something every Windows user uses every day. It seems almost set in stone — but it isn’t. The Windows taskbar is actually very customizable.

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Progress on Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 continues to move forward and this week Microsoft has made a new release preview available for those interested in trying it out.

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Have you ever wondered how much time is added to the boot process by your anti-virus solution? This handy chart from the folks over at Soluto shows you the answer, with some surprising results.

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No matter how well you treat your laptop’s battery, it will eventually die. If you’re lucky, it will be time to replace your laptop by the time its battery dies. If you’re not, you’ll need to replace the battery.

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Drag a tab off the tab bar in Google Chrome and it turns into a brand new window. Is there any way to replicate that trick with multiple tabs to easily break a grouping of tabs off into a new Chrome window?

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Windows has a built-in firewall that blocks inbound connections. If a program wants to act as a server, Windows will prompt you. Some geeks don’t like the built-in firewall because it doesn’t offer the same prompts for outgoing connections.

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Windows XP won’t be officially supported for much longer. Sure, you could keep using it — it won’t just stop working one day. It will just become more insecure over time as Microsoft and everyone else stops supporting it.

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Malware, adware, and pushy software installers all love changing your browser settings, giving you new home pages, default search engines, and obnoxious toolbars. It’s easy to forget to uncheck these options while installing software.

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To actually erase files from a magnetic hard drive, you would have to overwrite the file with useless data. Some tools attempt to make this easier, offering to “securely delete” a file by deleting it and overwriting its sectors with junk.

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If you’re like most Windows users, you probably just uninstall programs by launching their uninstallers from the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel. But if you’re a geek, there’s a chance you’ve dabbled with a third-party uninstaller.

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Windows 8 awkwardly forces the Start menu programs list into a flat “All Apps” list. Many programs haven’t been properly updated for this new reality and fill your All Apps list with useless shortcuts to help files, websites, and uninstallers.

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Microsoft Office documents containing built-in macros can be dangerous. Macros are essentially bits of computer code, and historically they’ve been vehicles for malware. Luckily, modern versions of Office contain security features that will protect you from macros.

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Cloud storage services are constantly vying for attention, and the inclusion of SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 is indicative of the importance Microsoft places on it. But not everyone is so enamored with the service and would rather that it wasn’t so hard-baked into the OS. Using Group Policy Editor or the Registry Editor, it can be disabled.

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Want to reset your web browser to its default settings? You can’t necessarily just uninstall it — your personal files will stay on your computer. And if your browser is Internet Explorer, it can’t be uninstalled at all.

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