Chromebooks include only a small amount of internal storage. However, they support external storage devices like USB flash drives, external hard drives, and microSD cards. Use an external storage device to expand your Chromebook’s storage or transfer files between Chromebooks and other computers, including Windows PCs and Macs.
Macs don’t need third-party utilities like TrueCrypt to create a secure, encrypted container for your sensitive files. You can create an encrypted disk image using the built-in Disk Utility.
Solid Internet connections aren’t available everywhere. If you want to watch streaming movies and TV shows on an airplane, on the subway, or somewhere out in the wilderness away from cellular towers, you can download them ahead of time.
Windows 10 includes an underlying “Windows Subsystem for Linux” to run Linux applications, but it’s only accessible via the Bash shell. However, there is a way to run Linux applications without first launching a Bash window.
Get ready for another format war! The next big thing in TV is HDR. But “HDR” isn’t just one simple feature–there are two different, incompatible HDR standards. That means not all HDR videos and games will work with every TV.
Install Windows 10’s Ubuntu-based Bash shell and you’ll have a complete Ubuntu environment that lets you install and run the same applications you could run on an Ubuntu-based Linux system. Just like on Ubuntu, though, you’ll need the apt-get command to install and update software.
Windows 10’s Bash shell doesn’t officially support graphical Linux desktop applications. Microsoft says this feature is designed only for developers who want to run Linux terminal utilities. But the underlying “Windows Subsystem for Linux” is more powerful than Microsoft lets on.
By default, Windows will automatically put your PC to sleep after several minutes of inactivity, or when you close the lid. It will hibernate your computer a certain number of minutes later, but if you’d rather it hibernate more often, the settings are a bit tricky to find.
When you first install the Ubuntu Bash shell on Windows 10, you’ll be asked to create a username and password for the Bash environment. Bash will automatically sign into that user account whenever you launch the shell, but you can change it–and its password.
Windows 10’s “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows” environment contains a few different components. The first time you run the bash.exe program, it will download and install an entire Ubuntu user space environment. You can access these files in File Explorer or other Windows programs, if you know where to look.
Microsoft Office allows you to add more functionality through add-ins. Many modern add-ins also work with Office for iPad, Office Online, and Office for Mac–not just traditional desktop versions of Office for Windows.
Windows 10’s new Ubuntu-based Bash shell doesn’t function like a normal program. To uninstall it or reset its state to get a fresh Linux environment, you’ll need to use a few special commands.
Various tests–like this one at PCWorld–show Windows 10’s Movies & TV app offering more than double the battery life of VLC and other video players. This is because Movies & TV uses hardware acceleration, though, and VLC can too–you just have to enable it first. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy the advanced features of your favorite video player without the battery hit.
Microsoft’s Xbox One includes a 500GB hard drive, but games are getting larger and larger. Halo: The Master Chief Collection takes up more than 62GB alone, even if you have the game on a physical disc. Here’s how to free up space so you have room for more games.
Macs automatically go into a low power sleep mode when you leave them idle for several minutes, or when you close your laptop’s lid. Some Macs also support “standby mode”, which is basically the same as hibernate on a Windows PC. Here’s how to configure when your Mac hibernates.
Boot up or restart your Mac and it’ll make the traditional “startup chime” sound”. This lets you know the Mac is starting up properly, but it isn’t appropriate if you’re booting up your Mac in a quiet location like a library, or if someone is sleeping nearby.
NVIDIA’s ShadowPlay offers easy gameplay recording, live streaming, and even an FPS counter overlay. It can automatically record gameplay in the background–just on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One–or only record gameplay when you tell it to.
Chromebooks can now download and install Android apps from Google Play, and it works pretty well. But not every Android app is available in Google Play. Some apps are available from outside Google Play as APK files, and you can install them on your Chromebook with a bit of extra work.
The Performance Monitor is one of many useful tools buried deep in Windows. It can generate a System Diagnostics Report with information about problems and suggestions of how to fix them. If your computer isn’t performing well or is experiencing another problem, this quick report might be able to help.
Microsoft’s Xbox One has limited support for some types of physical keyboards, but not mice. Connect a keyboard and you can use it to type text more conveniently than using the on-screen keyboard with your controller.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 includes a 500GB hard drive, but games are getting bigger and bigger–Grand Theft Auto V alone requires 50GB of space on the hard drive, even if you have the disc. Here’s how to free up space–and upgrade your PS4’s storage capacity so you can fit more games.
Robot vacuums sound great. They do the vacuuming for you, saving time and hassle. And they’ve come down in price, too–you can get a decent Roomba for a little over $300. But while plenty of people seem happy with their Roombas, I decided to return mine. Vacuuming still isn’t fun, but a solid cordless vacuum is more useful to me than a gimmicky robot.