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If you have ever upgraded your Windows installation without formatting, you have probably come across the Windows.old folder which houses all the files from your previous installation. Here’s how to use it to restore your files.

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Who doesn’t love animations? They make everything look so cool. But in some cases, animations are a distraction, and the same is true for Windows 8’s start screen (the “Modern UI”). Fortunately, there’s a very simple way to disable all those animations. Keep reading to find out how it’s done.

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You might be surprised to see us reviewing a Windows 8 book, especially considering we recently launched our own book, The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 8 – but since we don’t (yet) have a paperback version, we may as well give you another option.

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The Mail app included with Windows 8 only supports IMAP, Exchange, Hotmail/Outlook.com, and Gmail accounts. Mail offers POP3 as an option when setting up the account – but if you select POP3, you’ll be informed that Mail doesn’t support POP.

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When we first released our Geek Trivia app, it was sadly only available in the US store for Windows 8, but now you can get it no matter where you live. It’s completely free, so get your copy right now!

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The built-in People app in Windows 8 allows you to pull in your contact lists from a few different social networks. The problem comes when you start to get duplicate entries, here’s how to link contacts together without losing any information.

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If you’ve used Linux, you’re probably familiar with the virtual desktop feature. It provides a convenient way to organize programs and folders open on your desktop. You can switch among multiple desktops and have different programs and folders open on each one.

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Entering your full password on a touch screen device can really become a pain in the neck, luckily for us we can link a short 4 digit PIN to our user account and log in with that instead.

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Note: We write and schedule our articles far in advance. We certainly didn’t specifically mean to publish this post a day after yet another shooting. That said, video games don’t cause these incidents.

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Our first edition of WIG for December is filled with news link coverage on topics such as the Windows XP countdown clock has dropped to less than 500 days, software pirates have released a tool to crack Windows 8 apps, an online service is offering bank robbers for hire, and more.

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We’ve published a lot of articles about Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 and the programs in the suite. This article compiles many useful tips for Office, Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, and a few links to articles about the latest version, Office 2013.

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Windows 8’s default blue window border color isn’t the only option. Windows 8 automatically selects the appropriate color depending on your wallpaper – you can also select a different color or use a third-party tool to easily select other colors.

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The window borders on Windows 8’s desktop are fairly thick by default, but they don’t have to be – you can customize the side of the window borders with an easy-to-use application or a quick registry tweak.

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Image by kaneda99.

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Going to be a great day with everything working so ‘smoothly’, right?

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The Command Prompt window included with Windows is outdated. The command line itself isn’t outdated – the Command Prompt just lacks modern features like tabs, transparency, support for other shells, easy selection of text, and other modern Windows features.

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The hosts file in Windows contains mappings of IP addresses to host names, like an address book for your computer. Your PC uses IP addresses to find websites, so it needs to translate the host names into IP addresses to access websites.

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Geeks often describe programs as being “open source” or “free software.” If you’re wondering exactly what these terms mean and why they matter, read on. (No, “free software” doesn’t just mean that you can download it for free.)

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Windows 8 is strongly aimed at tablets, most of which allow use in both landscape and portrait orientations. Depending on your personal preference, you may wish to disable this auto-rotating behavior. Here’s how to do it.

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Usually, you boot your computer from its main hard drive, which contains your operating system (like Windows). But occasionally, you may need to boot from a CD, DVD, or USB drive–say, if you’re running a recovery program, or testing out a new operating system like Linux.

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One of the awesome things about the Windows Store is you are allowed to install any app you purchase on up to 5 Windows machines. This means that the PC you install the app on gets added to your Trusted PC list. Here’s how to clean up that list.

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Even if you’re eschewing Black Friday and all the shopping that goes with it, we’ve got a deal for you that’s too good to pass up: a free year of remote backup from CrashPlan.

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The average Windows 8 user can only download apps that Microsoft has approved from the Windows Store. Windows 8 offers two ways to sideload unapproved apps, which are intended for developers and businesses with internal apps.

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If you use iOS or Android devices, you’re familiar with the drag-and-drop method of creating folders. If you like that method of grouping files, you can get the same functionality on your Windows PC using a free utility, called Smart Folders.

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PowerShell 3 has a lot of new features, including some powerful new web-related features. They dramatically simplify automating the web, and today we are going to show you how you can extract every single link off a webpage, and optionally download the resource if you so wish.

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