Justin Pot

Justin Pot is a staff writer for How-To Geek, and a technology enthusiast who lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.

Modern operating systems offer weather information out-of-the-box. There’s Windows 10’s weather app, and the Notification Center on macOS. But Ubuntu doesn’t come with anything like this.

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Apple put a touch screen on the MacBook Pro, but doesn’t offer some way of launching or switching apps from it. Seriously, Apple? It seems like an oversight, but happily a couple of developers have stepped up to offer this feature.

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Not sure you love the touch bar? Maybe you mostly just don’t love what’s on it. No worries: that’s easy to change.

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Have you ever used Unroll.me, the web service that helps you unsubscribe from newsletters in bulk? If so, your emails have been scanned by that company and sold to third parties including Uber. There’s a chance they’re scanning your emails right now.

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There are two kinds of Mac users: those who use Spotlight constantly, and those who ignore it.

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You’re meeting a friend downtown in a new city, and he asks you where you are. Be honest: you have no clue. Luckily, Google Maps can help you both out.

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If the receipt for a flight or hotel is sent to your Gmail account, an appointment is automatically added to Google Calendar. Some people find this useful; some people find it annoying; some people find it downright creepy. If you’re more in the second or third camp than the first, good news: you can disable this feature entirely.

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OneNote is simple at first glance: it’s a place to write notes and maybe clip articles from the web for future refernce. It’s an organizational tool, and a good one. But unlike other Office products, Microsoft offers OneNote for free and is constantly adding new updates.

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It’s bad enough that your kid never goes to sleep, but now your Mac is doing the same thing! Sure, it may not be crying, but your Mac just sits there, awake, without giving you any indication as to why. What’s going on?

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This isn’t to say that macOS is an insecure operating system: it isn’t. But macOS is, like Windows and Linux, vulnerable to user error. On some level, ensuring your Mac is free from malware is up to you.

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When DVR users want to catch up on their favorite shows, they head to the recordings section, and everything is in one place. Cord cutters don’t have that luxury: some shows are on Hulu, others are on Amazon, and many are offered only on the website for a particular TV channel.

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Wish your Mac’s login screen worked differently? Maybe you don’t want to see a list of users, or maybe you wish you could change your keyboard format before typing your password. There’s no “Login Screen” panel in System Preferences, but these settings to exist—they’re just a little hidden.

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You want to find specific information from a given website, but it doesn’t offer search. Or maybe its internal search feature is just plain awful. What can you do?

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Oh, the Finder. It’s been Apple’s default file browser on the Mac since it was called Macintosh, and users have been complaining about it ever since. We can’t fix the Finder for you: no one can but Apple. We’re betting that doesn’t happen any time soon.

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Is it time to sell or give away your old Mac? Or do you just want a fresh start to clean up your machine? Here’s how to securely delete all of your files, then install a fresh version of macOS.

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Listen: I know you love your Google Chrome. You’ve got your massive collection of extensions, your favorite pinned tabs, and there’s even that colorful theme you added sometime in 2013. You’re comfy in Chrome. I get it.

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Someone sent you an iCalendar file, but you’re a Google Calendar user. Can you even use this?

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The web can be an ugly place. Sites with useful information can also be cluttered with sidebars, advertisements, and popups asking you to subscribe to a newsletter.

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Tired of your kids or roommate posting dumb things to your Facebook account every time you leave the room? All you have to do lock your Mac to keep them out.

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You’ve set up parental controls in Netflix, and worked to make YouTube kid-friendly, and your kids already love it. But there are several other channels you can add featuring only kid-friendly content, from Sesame Street to Pokemon to GI Joe—all for free.

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If you’re trying to figure out what’s taking up space on your Mac, you might stumble upon some large files inside a folder called lost+found—particularly, a large one with “iNode” in the name. Is there any way to find out what those files are, and whether they’re safe to delete?

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You see it every time you log into your Mac: your profile picture. If you’re like most people, you picked it way back when you set up your laptop, but how do you change it now?

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If you’re like me, the Applications folder on your Mac is overflowing with apps, most of which you rarely use but still like to keep around. If scrolling through everything to find what you’re looking for is overwhelming, a simple trick lets you sort these applications by categories—like Productivity, Music, Education, and more.

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Thinking of giving an old hard drive to a friend, or taking it to be recycled? Be careful. When you delete a file on a mechanical drive, it’s not really gone—at least, not physically. Your file system marks the spot taken up by the file as “free space,” which is why you can sometimes recover deleted files.

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Windows users can click the clock on the taskbar to see a calendar, which is perfect if you need to know what day of the week June 17th is. Macs don’t offer this feature, at least not out-of-the-box. But there are programs that can add one.

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