The recent WannaCry ransomware attack demonstrates the importance of automatic security updates. No matter how careful you are, malware could exploit a security hole over the network and gain control of your system—unless you install security patches.
Windows won’t allow you to modify files that open programs have locked. if you try to delete a file and see a message that it’s open in another program, you’ll have to unlock the file (or close the program).
Your iPhone is packed with hidden touch gestures and shortcuts you could use, if only you knew about them. You might have discovered some of these already, but Apple is always adding more new gestures. Here are 10 of our favorites.
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.
The SmartScreen filter built into Windows automatically scans applications, files, downloads, and websites, blocking known-dangerous content and warning you before you run unknown applications. You can disable it, if you like.
Most Linux distributions configure the Bash prompt to look something like username@hostname:directory$ . But you can configure the Bash prompt to contain whatever you like, and even choose whatever colors you like.
Modern smartphones (and many digital cameras) embed GPS coordinates in each photo they take. Yes, those photos you’re taking have location data embedded in them—at least by default. You may want to hide this information when sharing sensitive photos online.
Airplane mode disables a device’s cellular radio, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth—all the wireless transmission functions. But many airplanes now offer in-flight Wi-Fi, and cellular access may be coming to planes soon—so where does that leave airplane mode?
Origin’s “Great Game Guarantee” applies to all games published by EA itself and a few third-party games. If you’re not happy with a game purchase, you can return it for a refund—just like on Steam. Origin began offering refunds before Steam did, but Steam’s refund policy does apply to a wider selection of games.
Passwords can be reset or bypassed on every operating system, so even if you’ve forgotten yours, there may be a way in. This also means that evildoers can likely get into your system if they have access to it—and it’s way easier than you think.
Every network-connected device—computers, smartphones, tablets, smart home gadgets, and more—has an IP address and a unique MAC address that identify it on your network. Here’s how to find that information on all the devices you might have lying around.
New computers use UEFI firmware instead of the traditional BIOS. Both are low-level software that starts when you boot your PC before booting your operating system, but UEFI is a more modern solution, supporting larger hard drives, faster boot times, more security features, and—conveniently—graphics and mouse cursors.
Wi-Fi is becoming more common in desktop computers, but not all desktop computers have it. Add Wi-Fi and you can connect to the Internet wirelessly and host Wi-Fi hotspots for your other devices.
Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions use the GRUB2 boot loader. If GRUB2 breaks—for example, if you install Windows after installing Ubuntu, or overwrite your MBR—you won’t be able to boot into Ubuntu.
The classic desktop versions of Solitaire and Minesweeper are gone in Windows 8 and 10. Instead, you’ll find shiny new versions with advertisements, Xbox integration, and optional subscription fees. But you can still play Solitaire and Minesweeper without ads, and without paying a cent.
Many HP laptops released in 2015 and 2016 have a major problem. The audio driver provided by Conexant has debugging code enabled, and it either logs all your keystrokes to a file or prints them to the system debug log, where malware could snoop on them without looking too suspicious. Here’s how to check if your PC is affected.
Many people swear by multiple monitors, whether they’re computer geeks or just people who need to be productive. Why use just one monitor when you can use two or more and see more at once?
An ISO file is a complete disc image of a CD or DVD bundled into a single file. You can mount an ISO file to make it available as a virtual CD or DVD, allowing you to convert physical discs to virtual ones.
Upgraded from an old version of Windows? You have a Windows.old folder on your computer, and it’s using up a huge amount of space. You can delete it, but it’s different from deleting a normal folder.
The SmartScreen filter built into Windows 8 and 10 blocks dangerous programs, files, and websites from running. It also warns you before you run an application it doesn’t recognize as safe.
Windows 10 includes OneDrive, but if you’d rather not see it, there are several ways to disable OneDrive and remove it from File Explorer on Windows 10.
Mirroring your PC’s display on your TV is actually pretty simple. There are several ways to get it done—both wired and wireless—and which you choose just depends on your situation.
The blue screen of death—or BSOD—is always an unwelcome sight. BSODs appear when Microsoft Windows encounters a critical error from which it can’t recover, usually the result of low-level software (or drivers) crashing or faulty hardware.
Spotlight search on iOS 10 now remembers your previous searches. If you tap the Spotlight search bar on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll see a list of searches you’ve performed. Here’s how to clear that list—or hide it entirely.
Virtual machines can use a large amount of disk space. If you want to regain some of that disk space, just deleting files inside the virtual machine won’t help. You’ll need to reclaim that disk space, shrinking the virtual hard disk and making it use less space on your Mac.