FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

If you look on the back of your TV, you’ll likely see a few HDMI ports—but one of them may be labeled ARC, or something similar. This is no ordinary HDMI port. HDMI ARC can greatly simplify your audio cabling needs and setup if you know where to look for it and how to implement it.

about 20 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Selling your old phone should be a simple, straightforward process. And really, for the most part, it is—if you know all the proper steps. If you don’t, fret not—we’ve got you covered.

about 20 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows 10 S is “the soul of today’s Windows”, according to Microsoft. It’s a new version of Windows intended for school PCs, but available to everyone. It’s designed to be more simple and streamlined, so it only runs applications from the Windows Store—unless you spend another $50 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

about 21 days ago - by  |  31 Replies

For most of its long history, Microsoft Word has used a proprietary format for its saved files, DOC. Starting in 2007 with the updated version of Word (and Microsoft Office), the default save format was changed to DOCX. This wasn’t simply a belated 1990s “extreme” version of the format—that extra X stands for the Office Open XML standard. What’s the difference, and which one should you use?

about 21 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

You can easily set any image you like as your login screen background on Windows 10. This was complicated in the initial release of Windows 10, but Microsoft made it simple with the Anniversary Update.

about 21 days ago - by  |  27 Replies

Virtual machines are demanding beasts, providing virtual hardware and running multiple operating systems on your computer at once. As a result, they can sometimes be a little slow. Here are some tips to help you squeeze every last drop of performance out of your virtual machine, whether you’re using VirtualBox, VMware, Parallels, or something else.

about 21 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Windows 10 lets you use handwriting input in any application, and many applications include full support for inking. Windows automatically attempts to learn your unique handwriting style when you write with a pen, but you can also train it manually to improve the system’s handwriting recognition.

about 22 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

While you’re still waiting on your refrigerator or your microwave to be as smart as your phone, the car in your garage is already ahead of the curve. If you own a vehicle made after 1996, you can connect to it with a simple device called an OBD-II adapter and find out your fuel efficiency, diagnose check engine lights, and gather a ton of other useful data.

about 22 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

In the race to create ever slimmer HDTVs, there’s a seldom discussed sacrifice being made: sound quality. Your TV’s built-in speakers are probably terrible, but if you want to fix their anemic sound, adding a sound bar is an easy, inexpensive, and space-saving way to do so.

about 22 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Three of the biggest names in the smarthome hub world are SmartThings, Wink, and Insteon, all of which offer a consumer-friendly hub that allows users to connect all sorts of smarthome devices together and manage them in one place. But which one should you buy? Here are some things to know about the two hubs and which one might be best for you.

about 23 days ago - by  |  6 Replies

You probably replace something when it breaks down and no longer works (or repair it if the costs aren’t too high). However, that’s usually not a good strategy for large, expensive appliances in your home that you rely on every single day. Here’s what you should know about the lifespan of most appliances and when they should be replaced.

about 24 days ago - by  |  7 Replies

Windows 10 is designed for PCs with unlimited Internet connections, and it normally uses as much of your download and upload bandwidth as it wants without asking. Setting a connection as metered puts you back in control, and it’s essential on some types of connections.

about 25 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

Computer mice have been around in one form or another for the better part of 50 years (or longer, based on your definition of invention), and for most of that time they’ve been paired with mouse pads. But modern optical and laser mice can track on just about any surface, unless you’re somehow using your computer on a sand bed. So do those nerdy-looking pads even serve a purpose anymore?

about 26 days ago - by  |  9 Replies

Windows 10’s Game DVR feature can slow your gaming performance by recording video in the background. If you don’t care about recording your gameplay, disable Game DVR for performance reasons.

about 26 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

So you’ve been thinking about dabbling in that water for a while now. You’re wondering, “what’s life like on the other side?” Switching from iPhone to Android can be daunting, though, because you have so much more choice—how could you possibly choose from so many phones? We’re here to help.

about 26 days ago - by  |  28 Replies

Your providers—from your cable company to your trash company—are more than happy to raise your rates and gouge you for money. But unless you get in their face about it, they’ll never lower them. The key to saving a pile of money is strategic negotiation.

about 27 days ago - by  |  18 Replies

Extension cords are one of the most common household items, but there are many different kinds of extension cords built for different purposes. Here’s what you should know about extension cords and when they can and can’t be used.

about 28 days ago - by  |  9 Replies

There are plenty of reasons you might want to 3D print something, but few that justify owning one. You could print anything from a custom GPS mount for your bike to Dungeons & Dragons miniatures to wearable armor for your next Star Wars cosplay. Unless you’ll be printing a ton of stuff on the regular, though, none of them are worth the hundreds you’d need to spend for a 3D printer (or the thousands you’d spend on a really good one).

about 28 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

All web browsers remember a list of the web pages you’ve visited. You can delete this list at any time, clearing your browsing history and erasing the tracks stored on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Each browser has its own separate history, so you’ll need to clear the history in multiple places if you’ve used more than one browser.

about 28 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Building a modern desktop PC is surprisingly easy, thanks to modular parts and a lot of solid engineering. It’s often explained as “LEGO for adults.” But managing the air cooling system within a PC is considerably more complex.  We’re talking about physics, thermodynamics, all sorts of fun stuff. But there are a few basic principles you can apply to almost any build to get optimal airflow, and thus, optimal cooling.

about 28 days ago - by  |  7 Replies

Want to set a web page aside and come back to it in the future? If you use Microsoft Edge in Windows 10’s Creators Update, you don’t have to leave the tab open or bookmark it and remember to come back. You can tell Cortana to remind you about the address in the future and forget about it.

about 29 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Steam offers a generous refund system. You can refund any game you purchase through Steam, for any reason—whether it isn’t working properly on your PC or you just don’t find it fun.

about 29 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Windows includes a variety of “troubleshooters” designed to quickly diagnose and automatically solve various computer problems. Troubleshooters can’t fix everything, but they’re a great place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer.

about 29 days ago - by  |  7 Replies

All of a sudden, it seems all the mobile carriers are offering unlimited plans. So, how do they stack up?

about 29 days ago - by  |  34 Replies

All-in-one PCs are the domain of the novice, the hotel business nook, or the interior decorator who can’t stomach seeing a “real” PC in a pristine living room. With the exception of the iMac, they were seen as boring, underpowered boxes with laptop components stuffed behind a cheap screen. But that’s changing.

about 1 month ago - by  |  10 Replies