Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

Windows can’t normally read Mac-formatted drives, and will offer to erase them instead. But third-party tools fill the gap and provide access to drives formatted with Apple’s HFS+ file system on Windows. This also allows you to restore Time Machine backups on Windows.

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Supervised Mode is intended for organizations, but you can enable it on your own iPhone or iPad. Supervised Mode gets you a few extra features like hiding included apps, and always-on VPNs.

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Phones are private, full of personal data and messages. Guided Access allows you to share your iPhone with someone without being able to access that data–allowing them to look at photos, place a phone call, or play a game while your stuff stays hidden.

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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS introduced “Snap” packages, which are a great new way of installing apps. Snaps require different terminal commands–apt-get and dpkg will only allow you to install .deb packages the old way, not Snaps.

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Many iPhone and iPad games include banner ads that take up part of your screen. Accidentally tap the ad, and you’ll be ripped from the game and taken to another app, like the App Store or Safari. Enable iOS’ “Guided Access” and you won’t have this problem.

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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS includes a long-awaited feature: You can now move the Unity desktop’s launcher to the bottom of your screen. It isn’t locked to the left side of your screen anymore. However, this option requires a terminal command or tweaking tool, as it isn’t offered in Ubuntu’s normal System Settings window.

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Like many Bethesda games, modding is one of the big draws of games like Skyrim and Fallout 4 on the PC. Nexus Mod Manager is one of the best ways to install mods on your favorite games, and we’re here to show you how to use it.

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Your iPhone contacts will automatically come with you to a new phone–assuming that new phone is an iPhone, you’re backing up the contacts to iCloud, and you’re using the same iCloud account on both phones. But things get a bit more complicated if you want to do anything else.

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Believe it or not, Sony’s PlayStation 4 works with a mouse and keyboard. This makes it more convenient to type, use the web browser, and generally get around more quickly. Some games even support mouse and keyboard controls.

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People snicker about private browsing mode, but it isn’t just for pornography. In fact, it’s not even just for browsing privately–it has other uses. It’s named Incognito Mode in Chrome, Private Browsing in Firefox and Safari, and InPrivate Browsing in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer–but it’s essentially the same feature in all these browsers.

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Windows 10 Enterprise offers quite a few exclusive features that aren’t available in the Professional edition of Windows. You can get these features without reinstalling Windows, and without even having an Enterprise disc. In fact, you don’t even need your own Windows 10 Enterprise key to perform this upgrade.

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Your iPhones and iPads automatically back up to Apple’s iCloud. But Apple is awfully stingy with iCloud storage, only offering 5GB for free. If you want to avoid the monthly fee but keep backing up to iCloud instead of to iTunes, we have a few tricks for you.

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QuickTime for Windows has dangerous security vulnerabilities that let attackers take over your computer, but Apple won’t be updating it to fix them. It’s time to uninstall it.

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Windows 10 comes with a number of “optional” features that you can turn on or off through the Windows Features dialog. Many of these features are intended for business networks and servers, while some are useful to everyone. Here’s an explanation of what each feature is for, and how to turn them on or off.

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Your PlayStation 4 is constantly recording your gameplay in the background, just in case you want to save or share a clip. You can also quickly create screenshots with a single button-press.

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Windows 10 is designed to be an always-connected, always-up-to-date operating system. It’s the most data-hungry version of Windows yet, but you can restrain it from going all-out on your home network with a few tricks.

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With Windows 10’s Anniversary Update, Microsoft is making it possible for developers to convert traditional Windows desktop applications to Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications. But anyone can do this with any app–not just developers.

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Windows 10’s Anniversary Update offers a big new feature for developers: A full, Ubuntu-based Bash shell that can run Linux software directly on Windows. This is made possible by the new “Windows Subsystem for Linux” Microsoft is adding to Windows 10.

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The Professional version of Windows 10 asks you who owns your PC during its first-time setup process. It’s not completely clear what this setting does, though.

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The tar command on Linux is often used to create .tar.gz or .tgz archive files, also called “tarballs.” This command has a large number of options, but you just need to remember a few letters to quickly create archives with tar. The tar command can extract the resulting archives, too.

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Your PlayStation 4 offers parental controls that can limit access to games, Blu-ray movies, DVDs, and web browsing. Your restrictions are protected with a four-digit numerical PIN so they can’t be easily bypassed.

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Apple’s Podcasts app automatically downloads new episodes of podcasts you subscribe to, storing them on your device. That’s convenient, but it can strain all those 16GB iPhones and iPads.

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Sony’s PlayStation 4 can now stream games to Windows PCs and Macs with a feature called Remote Play. That means you can play your games right on your PC or laptop, without hogging the TV when your spouse or roommates want to use it.

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So you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network from way back when, but you can’t remember what the password is. Whether you’ve changed the default password or not, it’s simple to find it. You can look up any Wi-Fi network password if you’ve previously connected to that network from your computer or phone.

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Windows 10 includes “Work Access” options, which you’ll find under Accounts in the Settings app. These are intended for people who need to connect to an employer or school’s infrastructure with their own devices. Work Access provides you access to the organization’s resources and gives the organization some control over your device.

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