FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

Ads are an unfortunate necessity on the internet—they’re how sites like this one are able to operate. But if you find personalized ads a little too creepy, you can tell Google (one of the internet’s biggest ad networks) to stop showing you personalized ads.

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Smartphone cameras are getting better and better every year, and while no one would argue DSLRs are the best choice for serious photography, smartphones have made middle-of-the-road point-and-shoots all the more rare in people’s arsenals. But there are still a few areas in which point-and-shoot cameras are superior to the phone in your pocket.

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The new Force Touch trackpad on Apple’s MacBooks is similar to the 3D Touch display on the iPhone 6s and 7, allowing you to press down harder to perform a different task or bring up secondary options. Here are some cool things you can do with the MacBook’s Force Touch trackpad.

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Windows’ “Enhance Pointer Precision” setting helps with some mice, but hurts with others. If you find that it keeps enabling or disabling itself automatically, here are some potential fixes.

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Microsoft will end support for the Windows Essentials 2012 suite on January 10, 2017. If you use any of the suite’s component apps—Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, OneDrive, Family Safety, Mail, or Live Writer—here’s what you need to know.

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Microsoft’s new Universal Windows Platform applications use the .Appx or .AppxBundle file format. They’re normally installed from the Windows Store, but Windows 10 allows you to sideload Appx packages from anywhere.

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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard someone mention the social network/chat app Snapchat. Depending on how you measure things, it’s now more popular than Twitter and Pinterest, with only Facebook and Instagram having more users daily. The difference is that most of Snapchat’s users are millennials and teens, so it’s flown under the radar of a lot of older internet users.

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Netflix recently introduced a welcome feature: you can download Netflix movies and shows for later offline viewing. But is there a limit to how much content you can download?

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Microsoft transformed the Sticky Notes app in with Windows 10’s Anniversary Update. The new Sticky Notes app supports pen input and offers reminders and other “insights”, thanks to Cortana. It’s a convenient, lightweight alternative to OneNote for taking quick notes.

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Smartphone cameras have come far, but they’re still no competition for a DSLR. The biggest problem isn’t actually the sensor, though—it’s the lens.

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If you want to download an app not available in your country, connect to a company network on the road, or just stay safe on public Wi-Fi, you’ll need a VPN. Here’s how to connect to a VPN on your Android phone.

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I take a lot of self-portraits. My mother says I’m very pretty and that the world needs more pictures of me, and since I’m normally the one holding the camera, no one else is going to do it. Here are some tips for taking better portraits of yourself.

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Black colors may look washed out and gray if you connect your PC to its display via an HDMI cable, and it’s not your display’s fault. This is due to the way your graphics card is converting data to colors, and there’s an easy fix.

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So you’ve unpacked a shiny new iPad (or laptop, or camera, or other gadget) and it’s time to get rid of the old one. Why not make a few bucks in the process?

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It’s the holidays, which means new gadgets for everyone! Whether you’re rocking a new PC or trying to get a handle on what the Amazon Echo really does, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to set up all your new tech gifts (and, let’s be honest: your family’s).

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Crackling, popping, and other sound problems can occur for a variety of reasons. You may be able to fix the problem by adjusting your audio device settings, updating your sound driver, or pinning down another hardware device that’s interfering. Here are some things to try.

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When you’re buying a console game, you’ve got two options: you can buy it as a download through the PlayStation Store or Xbox Games Store depending on your platform, or as a physical disc from Amazon or a local retailer.

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If you’re troubleshooting your Mac, you’ve probably seen this advice before: reset your NVRAM. Some forum denizens talk about this as a cure-all solution to Mac instabilities, but what is NVRAM? And what problems can it actually solve?

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By default, Windows Remote Desktop will only work on your local network. To access Remote Desktop over the Internet, you’ll need to use a VPN or forward ports on your router.

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In the Creators Update, Windows 10’s Bash shell now allows you to run Windows binaries and standard Command Prompt commands, right from Bash. You can run both Linux and Windows programs from the same Bash shell, or even incorporate Windows commands into a Bash script.

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Amazon’s Kindle lineup has expanded: there are now four different models, with different features at different price points. That means deciding which one you want is more difficult than ever. Let’s look at what separates the four Kindles and how to work out which one is right for you.

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At this point, smartphones are prolific. We use them for calls, text messages, social networking, photos, quick searches, streaming music, watching videos…the list goes on. But each thing you do drains your battery life, and some apps will even continue to drain your battery in the background when you aren’t using them. A free app called Greenify can fix that.

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PPAs, or “Personal Package Archives”, offer software that isn’t available in Ubuntu’s software repositories. Some PPAs offer newer versions of software packages that hasn’t made it to Ubuntu’s repositories yet. Installing software from a PPA is easier than compiling the software from its source code, so it’s good to know how to do it.

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The tilt-shift effect is a weird optical illusion where a regular photo looks like a photo of a toy model. By creatively blurring different parts of the image, you trick people’s eyes into interpreting everything in it as really tiny.

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It’s that holiday time of year again, and that means it’s over the river and through the woods to…well, fix your family’s Wi-Fi and other tech problems.

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