FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

At some point or another, you might lose your phone. It’s always good to know what to do when that happens, but there’s another side to that story: what if you’re the person who finds a lost phone? You’d be surprised at how many people don’t know what to do when they find someone else’s phone—and really, there isn’t a single “right” answer. But there are a few things to keep in mind to make it easier for that person to get their phone back.

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I saw the “Family Hub” fridge at CES 2016, and was assured by a Samsung representative that it wasn’t a joke. It is a serious product you can now buy in stores, but it probably shouldn’t be.

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By default, Windows will automatically put your PC to sleep after several minutes of inactivity, or when you close the lid. It will hibernate your computer a certain number of minutes later, but if you’d rather it hibernate more often, the settings are a bit tricky to find.

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When you first install the Ubuntu Bash shell on Windows 10, you’ll be asked to create a username and password for the Bash environment. Bash will automatically sign into that user account whenever you launch the shell, but you can change it–and its password.

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There are a lot of changes in Windows 10’s File Explorer compared to Windows 7’s Windows Explorer. If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 and you don’t like the changes, we’ll show you how you can get the look and feel of Windows 7’s Windows Explorer back.

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Windows 10’s “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows” environment contains a few different components. The first time you run the bash.exe program, it will download and install an entire Ubuntu user space environment. You can access these files in File Explorer or other Windows programs, if you know where to look.

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Can you transfer your Windows license between PCs? It depends–the answer isn’t so cut and dried.

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Microsoft Office allows you to add more functionality through add-ins. Many modern add-ins also work with Office for iPad, Office Online, and Office for Mac–not just traditional desktop versions of Office for Windows.

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Windows 10’s new Ubuntu-based Bash shell doesn’t function like a normal program. To uninstall it or reset its state to get a fresh Linux environment, you’ll need to use a few special commands.

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Android’s “Do Not Disturb” seems like a simple, self-explanatory setting. But when Google dramatically overhauled Android’s phone silencing with Do Not Disturb in Lollipop, then re-designed it again in Marshmallow, things got a little confusing. But it’s all good—we’re here to make sense of it for you.

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Google is known for throwing Easter Eggs—hidden games, tricks, and other fun things—into its products. At one point or another, I’m sure you’ve seen some of these little things, whether it’s the Android version icons or one of the many hidden games in Chrome. Today, we’re going to talk about some of our favorites from Chrome, Android, and Google Search on the web.

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Imagine you go on your dream European vacation and all your things are stolen after your hotel room is burgled or your car is broken into. Clothes and toothbrushes are easy to replace, but your devices are a potential treasure trove for thieves to exploit.

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Various tests–like this one at PCWorld–show Windows 10’s Movies & TV app offering more than double the battery life of VLC and other video players. This is because Movies & TV uses hardware acceleration, though, and VLC can too–you just have to enable it first. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy the advanced features of your favorite video player without the battery hit.

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Microsoft’s Xbox One includes a 500GB hard drive, but games are getting larger and larger. Halo: The Master Chief Collection takes up more than 62GB alone, even if you have the game on a physical disc. Here’s how to free up space so you have room for more games.

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Now is arguably the best time in the history of the platform for Android users—the OS is getting better, updates are getting (slightly) quicker, and there are several excellent handsetS to choose from. If you’re not into the whole “manufacturer skin” that most are offering these days, however, it can be slightly less exciting to buy a non-Nexus phone. But giving your phone a “stock Android” look and feel isn’t as hard as you think.

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When you have multiple applications that do the same thing—like browsers, for example—Android will ask you which one you want to use every time, at least until you set one as the default with the “always” action. In the earlier days of the app picker, you’d have to clear defaults for each one before applying another, but things have changed.

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Is your computer unstable? There may be a problem with its RAM. To check, you can either use a hidden system tool included with Windows or download and boot a more advanced tool.

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Macs automatically go into a low power sleep mode when you leave them idle for several minutes, or when you close your laptop’s lid. Some Macs also support “standby mode”, which is basically the same as hibernate on a Windows PC. Here’s how to configure when your Mac hibernates.

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Boot up or restart your Mac and it’ll make the traditional “startup chime” sound”. This lets you know the Mac is starting up properly, but it isn’t appropriate if you’re booting up your Mac in a quiet location like a library, or if someone is sleeping nearby.

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Android Wear has been around for a couple of years now, and it’s honestly one of those things that you don’t know how much you’ll use it until you actually have it. There are some really good, useful tools available for Wear that will make your life simpler, but we want to highlight a handful of apps that will also help you live a bit healthier.

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NVIDIA’s ShadowPlay offers easy gameplay recording, live streaming, and even an FPS counter overlay. It can automatically record gameplay in the background–just on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One–or only record gameplay when you tell it to.

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Android has come a long way in terms of battery life over the last few years, and the built-in tools for monitoring battery usage have gotten significantly more useful. Still, sometimes the stock options just aren’t enough. Thankfully, there are ways to easily gauge your battery usage, remaining time, and even hunt down apps that are stealing your precious juice.

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Chromebooks can now download and install Android apps from Google Play, and it works pretty well. But not every Android app is available in Google Play. Some apps are available from outside Google Play as APK files, and you can install them on your Chromebook with a bit of extra work.

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The Performance Monitor is one of many useful tools buried deep in Windows. It can generate a System Diagnostics Report with information about problems and suggestions of how to fix them. If your computer isn’t performing well or is experiencing another problem, this quick report might be able to help.

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Microsoft’s Xbox One has limited support for some types of physical keyboards, but not mice. Connect a keyboard and you can use it to type text more conveniently than using the on-screen keyboard with your controller.

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