FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

Email is a powerful tool that we all use, but it can also be exceedingly annoying to get notifications for every single message that hits your inbox. With Gmail, however, there are a variety of ways to keep things silent, yet still immediately know about the messages that are important to you.

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Adobe Photoshop is the professional image editor. It’s name is now a verb for image editing (which is something that Adobe absolutely hates). Photoshop though, isn’t the only editor in town. Over the last few years, new image editing apps have come along that are almost as good as Photoshop, for a fraction of the price. Let’s have a look at some of them.

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While once considered a novelty item by many tech enthusiasts, Chromebooks have broken out of the “just a browser” mold and become legitimate laptops. They’re full-featured, lightweight machines that can do everything most users need them to do. Best of all, they’re more secure and often more affordable than the competition.

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You’ve got a shiny new iPad, and an old one that’s about to start gathering dust. Don’t let it languish in a drawer—turn it into the ultimate kid’s tablet by cleaning it up, locking it down, and installing kid-friendly apps.

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Apple Mail, the email application included with macOS, has some confusing account setup screens. If emails you send appear to be coming from the wrong address—for example, emails you send from your personal address are being sent from your work address, or vice versa—you can tweak your email account settings to fix this problem.

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Windows HomeGroups are great for setting up quick and easy sharing on home and small business networks. Here’s what you need to know to use them.

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Google Play Music offers an unlimited music streaming subscription paired with YouTube Red, but it’s more than that. Even if the music you want to listen to isn’t available in Google’s streaming library, you can add it to your own personal Google Play Music library and listen from any device.

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Windows 10 sometimes uses encryption by default, and sometimes doesn’t—it’s complicated. Here’s how to check if your Windows 10 PC’s storage is encrypted and how to encrypt it if it isn’t. Encryption isn’t just about stopping the NSA—it’s about protecting your sensitive data in case you ever lose your PC, which is something everyone needs.

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If your Windows PC is throwing an error message at you before it even begins to load Windows, it’s possible that the boot sector on your system partition is damaged, corrupted, or has missing files. Here’s how to troubleshoot those problems.

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Making Flash click-to-play is a good idea, but browsers are going further. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge will all soon disable Flash by default, allowing you to enable it only on websites that need it.

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Apple offers 5 GB of free iCloud space to everyone, but you’ll run up against that storage limit sooner than you’d think. Device backups, photos, documents, iCloud email, and other bits of data all share that space.

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Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista all support symbolic links—also known as symlinks—that point to a file or folder on your system. You can create them using the Command Prompt or a third-party tool called Link Shell Extension.

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iTunes is hot mess. Bloated and ponderous, iTunes continues Apple’s ongoing trend of having lost its design mojo. But fear not: there are some pretty good iTunes alternatives for macOS Sierra.

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If your house ever gets broken into or—God forbid—catches on fire, you’ll want an inventory of all your stuff, so that your insurance company will fairly compensate you for the items that you lost. Here are some different ways you can create that inventory.

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TPM hardware provides a tamper-resistant way to store encryption keys on a computer. On Windows 10, 8, and 7, a TPM is normally required to enable and use encryption features like BitLocker. Here’s how to check whether your PC has a TPM chip, enable your TPM if it’s disabled, or add a TPM chip to a PC without one.

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When a new version of Android comes out for your phone, it doesn’t usually drop for everyone at once. Instead, it rolls out over time. However, you can easily check to see if it’s available on your device instead of simply waiting for a notification to show up.

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The NES Classic Edition is a new, official clone of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, and one of the best ways to play your favorite retro games. Unfortunately, it’s so popular that it’s nearly impossible to get your hands on one. Don’t pay $300 on eBay when you can use the modestly-priced Raspberry Pi to build your own—with even more games.

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If you want better control over how bright or dim your lights get, installing a dimmer switch is a great way to make that happen, especially if you want to adjust them regularly. Here’s how to replace a regular light switch with a dimmer switch.

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Linux allows you to create symbolic links, or symlinks, that point to another file or folder on your machine. The best way to do this is with the ln terminal command—though there are some graphical file managers that can create symbolic links too.

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Whether you want to document a family holiday or aspire to shoot for National Geographic, there are some simple things you can do to take better travel photos.

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How many times have you migrated to a new computer, or reinstalled Windows, and lost all the little settings in your Windows programs that you had finally tweaked perfectly?

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Windows 10’s Cortana virtual assistant allows you to set reminders with your voice, by typing them into the Cortana box on your taskbar, or from the Sticky Notes app. But these reminders will normally only pop up when you’re at your computer, making them easy to miss.

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It’s 2017, shouldn’t we stop worrying about disk space? Nope, not at all! A modern MacBook might have a solid-state drive with just 128 GB of space, which means you’ll be seeing the dreaded “Your startup disk is almost full” error sooner rather than later. It’s very important to keep your hard drive nice and clean.

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Windows PCs have historically had worse touchpads than Macs. Microsoft is trying to fix this problem with “precision touchpads”, but not every PC manufacturer is on board. Some PCs ship with precision touchpads, but others include older, traditional technology instead.

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Windows 10 gained a new pen settings panel with the Anniversary Update. If your device has a pen or another type of stylus, you can customize exactly how it works and what its buttons do from the Settings window.

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