When you sign into Windows 8 or 10 using your Microsoft account (and other Microsoft devices, like an Xbox), those devices become associated with your account. If you want to remove an old device you’ve gotten rid of, you’ll have to pay a visit to Microsoft’s account web site.
The dictation button on the iOS keyboard is in just about the worst place you can imagine. On the iPhone in particular, it’s hard to hit the spacebar without accidentally starting up dictation. If you don’t use dictation, you can remove the microphone button by disabling dictation entirely.
Though it’s had its share of flaky behavior since being introduced in Windows 8, the Windows Store has gotten more reliable over time. It still has the occasional problems, though. One of the more irritating issues is when an app update (or install) gets stuck. Here’s how to fix that.
Windows features a ridiculous number of ways to shut down. You’ll find options on the Start menu, Administrative Tools menu, and the Login and Lock screens. You can also shut Windows down using keyboard shortcuts (Alt+F4 at the desktop) and even the command line. Here’s how to disable them all for specific users.
Jump lists contain commands and recent files you see when you right-click an icon on the Windows Start menu or task bar. If you’d like to clear your recent items from a jump list, you can. The trick is finding the right file to delete.
The Command Prompt and the Run program are pretty powerful tools in the Windows world. If you’d rather specific users on a computer not have access to them, it’s not too hard to do.
For users of Windows Pro or Enterprise editions (and the Ultimate editions of Windows Vista and 7), the Local Group Policy Editor offers quick access to a number of powerful features you can use to control your PC. If you want to apply policy settings to specific users instead of the whole computer, though, you have to do a little extra setup before you get started.
Like most social networks, LinkedIn loves to send you emails. While they can be a handy way to keep up with important things, for the most part these emails are just a way to get you to check in with the site more often. And if you leave the settings at their default, you’ll get a lot emails from them. Here’s how to stop them.
Microsoft Word and Outlook have long featured the ability to view “readability” statistics for what you’re writing, so you know how simple or complex you’re writing is. This can help ensure your writing is readable enough for your intended audience.
By default, Windows 10 shows background pictures on your lock screen that have been curated specifically for this use–but it’s not immediately clear where they’re stored. Windows replaces these images regularly, but if you want to use them as regular wallpapers, the last several are usually in that cache and are not too hard to save if you grab them in time.
Whenever you save a new file in Windows 10, the Save As window defaults to whichever of your user folders–Documents, Music, Pictures, and so on–is appropriate to the file type. If you’d rather not save files on the C: drive, though, Windows lets you create those folders on another hard drive to act as your default save location.
By default, Windows features a button with shutdown options on the login screen. It can be handy, but if you’d prefer not to have it there, it’s easy enough to remove.
Chrome’s spellcheck feature is handy, and works just like you’d expect: it underlines misspelled words, which you can right-click to see suggested spellings. You can even add a word to the dictionary. But what do you do when you accidentally add a misspelled word? We’ve got the answer.
By default, your Dropbox folder is stored in your Users folder at C:\Users\<username> (or your Home folder in OS X and Linux). If you want to move it somewhere else, though, the process is quite simple.
While the ability to actually vote online is still just a dream, most states in the U.S. do at least offer you the ability to register online. Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of where (and how) to get it done.
As in other email apps, conversation view in Windows Mail groups all messages with the same topic into a single display. It’s handy for keeping track of long email threads with lots of contributors, but it’s not for everyone. Fortunately, it’s easy to turn off in Windows Mail.
By default, pop-up notifications in Windows 10 only stick around for about 5 seconds before they are sent off to the Action Center. If you’d like those notifications to stay on the screen a little longer, it’s an easy change to make. You just have to know where to look for it.
Windows Defender is a malware and virus scanner built into Windows 10. It does a reasonably good job at those tasks, but you can beef it up a bit by having it scan for Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs), too–like browser toolbars, adware, and other crapware.
Booting into Safe Mode has long been a staple when troubleshooting Windows computers. Safe Mode starts Windows with only a limited set of files and drivers so you can figure out what’s wrong with your PC. But for some reason, Windows 8 and 10 make Safe Mode hard to get to. Here’s a fix for that.
Since Windows Vista, Windows has allowed you to change the volume for individual apps using its Volume Mixer. This can be useful if you have apps that always seem to play too loud or soft compared to everything else.
By default, when you open File Explorer in Windows and start typing, it will scroll down to folders that begin with the letters you key in. This can be handy, but if you prefer you can change this behavior so that typing brings you up to the search box instead.
When you take a screenshots in Windows 10 with the Windows+PrtScn shortcut, it automatically saves those pictures by naming them “Screenshot (1),” “Screenshot (2),” and so on. Even if you delete screenshots, that counter just keeps going up. You can use a quick Registry hack to reset that counter whenever you want.
Autocorrect is kind of a love/hate thing no matter what platform you use it on. In Windows 10, it works much the same as on other platforms, automatically replacing misspelled words if they are in the dictionary and applying a red underline if the word isn’t found at all.
Windows 10’s Fast Startup (called Fast Boot in Windows 8) works similarly to the hybrid sleep mode of previous versions of Windows. By saving the operating system state to a hibernation file, it can make your computer boot up even faster, saving valuable seconds every time you turn your machine on.
In Windows, icons for shortcuts have little arrows to remind you that what you’re looking at is a shortcut. Even though the arrows are smaller than in some previous versions of Windows, they aren’t terribly attractive. Fortunately, they’re pretty easy to remove.