FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

If you built your own PC and bought speedy RAM, there’s a good chance that RAM isn’t actually running at its advertised timings. RAM will always run at slower speeds unless you manually tune its timings–or enable Intel’s XMP.

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One of the best places to have an Amazon Echo in your house is in the kitchen, since a lot of people spend a good chunk of time in that area eating breakfast, preparing dinner, doing dishes, and more. Here are some great ways to get the most out of your Amazon Echo while in the kitchen.

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Google’s Chrome web browser is now more widely used than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Edge combined. If you haven’t switched to Chrome yet, here’s why you might want to–and how to quickly switch over.

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It’s no secret that a lot of people use Google and its services for a wide array of things, and in the process, Google is able to collect a dizzying amount of information from and about us.

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Windows 10 won’t hassle you to install an antivirus like Windows 7 did. Since Windows 8, Windows now includes a built-in antivirus called Windows Defender (which used to be available separately as Microsoft Security Essentials). But is it really the best for protecting your PC–or even just good enough?

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If you want to experience true virtual reality, with the ability to move around as you play, the HTC Vive is as good as it gets right now. Here’s everything you need to know about setting it up so you can get started playing.

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By switching to Insider Preview builds of Windows 10, you’ll get the latest changes and features before other Windows users. However, you’ll also get new bugs. Here’s what running an Insider Preview is actually like.

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The Oculus Rift and Valve’s HTC Vive require some powerful PC gaming hardware. Not sure if your PC can handle it? Both Oculus and Valve provide tools that will quickly check if your PC is up to snuff.

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After upgrading to Windows 10, you have 30 days–about a month–to roll back to Windows 7 or 8.1 if you so desire. After that, Windows takes the option away from you. But there’s a way to extend this time limit at the cost of some disk space.

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There are a plethora of remote desktop solutions on the market, and it can be tricky to pick the right one for your needs. Don’t worry though, we’ve done the legwork for you, cataloging and comparing the most popular remote desktop solutions so you can easily pick the right one.

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Windows 7 and above are set to automatically enable TRIM on solid-state drives. You shouldn’t need to worry about enabling TRIM yourself. But, if you want to double-check that Windows has enabled TRIM, you can.

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Set up your Xbox One’s TV integration and you can do more than just watch TV on your Xbox: you can also stream that live TV from your Xbox to a Windows 10 PC, Windows phone, iPhone, iPad, or Android device over your home network.

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Animated GIFs can be a fun way to spice up reactions on social media, or get a point across in an article–but they can also be annoying, and take forever to load if you have a slow connection. If you’d rather not see them, here’s how to stop them from automatically animating.

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Microsoft has downplayed the Xbox One’s TV features since its launch, but the Xbox One still offers useful TV integration. It’s even been enhanced: You no longer need a cable or satellite subscription to watch TV. You can watch TV for free with an antenna.

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The Amazon Echo can do a lot of neat stuff, but its built-in features are just the tip of the iceberg. With third-party “Skills”, you can add further capabilities to the Echo, like adding events to your Google Calendar and even ordering pizza.

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On a Mac, you can take screenshots with a few quick keyboard shortcuts. But Mac OS X also includes more powerful screenshot tools, too. Here are some of the many ways you can get a screenshot on OS X.

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TeamViewer is a great free program, whether you want to access your computer from afar or help out friends and relatives with their computer. But its default settings are remarkably insecure, instead favoring ease of use. Here’s how to lock down TeamViewer so you can make use of its features without opening yourself up to attack.

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Your Xbox One’s Kinect should “just work” after you set it up, but occasionally you may experience problems with voice or people recognition. You can recalibrate and reset your Kinect to fix these and other problems.

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If you use the LibreOffice suite of programs, you’ll be happy to learn about Open365. Just as LibreOffice is the free, open source alternative to Microsoft Office, Open365 is the free counterpart to the cloud-based Office 365.

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Solid-state drives aren’t anywhere near as small and fragile as they used to be. You don’t need to worry about wear, and you don’t need to go out of your way to “optimize” them. Windows 7, 8, and 10 automatically do the work for you.

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Sony’s PlayStation 4 has voice commands, just like the Xbox One. They’re just not as heavily advertised. PS4 voice commands work with a standard headset, so you don’t need any special hardware–unlike the Xbox One, which requires a Kinect for voice control.

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Animated GIFs are everyone’s new favorite way of expressing themselves. They’ve become the moving equivalent of the emoticon, so it can be helpful to know how to create your own.

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Android N will bring a lot of new, innovative, and useful tools to Android, but if you don’t have a modern Nexus device, then it’s hard to say how long you’ll be waiting to get your hands on some of these new goodies. Fortunately, if you’re running a rooted device with the Xposed framework installed, getting many of N’s new features is only a quick download away.

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When you open a document created in an older version of Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint in a modern version of Office, you may see “Compatibility Mode” appear after the name of the document in the titlebar. This changes the way the document appears and prevents you from using some modern features.

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In this day and age, there’s no reason to shut down your computer, then sit through the boot-up process when you want to use it. Save yourself time by putting your computer to sleep or hibernating it instead.

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