FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

When Microsoft began detailing new features of its upcoming Windows 10 operating system, one of those features it talked about is DirectX 12. Gamers will immediately know what this is but they may not perhaps realize just how important an update it will be.

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Digital photos are great, but sometimes you just want a printed photo you can hang somewhere or just hold in your hand. Print photos straight from your iPhone’s camera roll, whether you have your own photo printer or not.

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Two years ago Pebble injected the idea of the smartwatch into the public consciousness; now they’re back with a totally updated model. Does the new Pebble have what it takes to compete in the smartwatch market it helped build?

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Many modern wireless routers are already dual-band, and now router companies are launching tri-band routers. But will they actually speed up your Wi-Fi?

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Don’t like Windows 10? As long as you’ve upgraded within the last month, you can uninstall Windows 10 and downgrade your PC back to its original Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 operating system. You can always upgrade to Windows 10 again later.

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Some flights offer Wi-FI, and some flights don’t. Some airplanes include dedicated power outlets for every seat, while others only offer them in certain seats. But you can check before you get on the plane — or even before you book tickets.

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Windows 10 has built-in real-time antivirus, just as Windows 8 did. It automatically runs in the background, ensuring all Windows users have a baseline level of antivirus protection. Windows 10 won’t complain at you to install an antivirus, as Windows 7 did.

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From PCs to Windows to smartphones, the technology we use every day is surrounded by myths that never seem to go away. These myths are so believable because they all have a grain of truth to them — maybe they even were true in the past.

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You may have misplaced a Wi-Fi password, but your laptop probably remembers it if you’ve connected in the past. If not, you can always grab the password from your router itself or reset the Wi-Fi passphrase and set a new one.

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LED lights are brighter, longer lasting, and radically more efficient than traditional bulbs but there’s one thing they aren’t: cheaper. Fortunately rebates abound and you can pass the cost of your LED lighting upgrade onto someone else. Read on as we show you how.

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Smartphones have only been mainstream for less than a decade, but myths have still built up over time. Some of these myths have been around for years and just won’t go away.

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Windows 10 offers a startup application manager that practically any Windows user can use. It’s integrated into the operating system and simple to understand — it even shows which programs are slowing down startup the most.

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The Cortana digital assistant does all the silly things we’ve come to expect and mock in our digital assistants. Ask her about Clippy and her circle morphs into the maligned paperclip, ask for a joke and she’ll give you one. But Cortana is more than the parlor tricks — spend a little time customizing the setup and you’ve got a highly useful digital assistant. And she’s coming to your computer in Windows 10.

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Adding wireless headphones to your HDTV set is a great way to watch TV as just the volume you want without disturbing everyone else in the process. Read on as we show you how to outfit your HDTV set with wireless Bluetooth headphones.

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Windows 10 includes a built-in tool for recording videos of PC games. You can upload gameplay footage to YouTube or any other video-sharing site — or just keep the clip on your own PC and share it with your friends.

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Windows 10’s File Explorer has a new “Quick Access” view. Whenever you open a file browser window, you’ll see a list of “frequent folders” and recent files. This list of folders also replaces the old favorite folders list.

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Microsoft offers two different versions of Office for Windows 10. Traditional desktop apps are available for keyboard-and-mouse, and universal apps are available for touch. But it’s not that simple.

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Many home routers offer a “Guest Mode.” This isolates your guests onto a separate Wi-Fi network, and you don’t have to give them your normal Wi-FI passphrase. But Guest Mode is often insecure.

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We love building our own computers but it takes quite a bit of time. If you love to build but find you don’t have the time, a custom-built PC still gives you control over your components, while leaving the actual assembly up to someone else.

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 seems like a big change. The version number alone is a big leap from Windows 7, and most of the default apps are new-style “universal apps,” not traditional desktop apps.

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Wi-Fi Sense is a feature built into Windows 10. You may see a pop-up saying “Wi-Fi Sense needs permission to use your Facebook account.” It also works with Outlook.com and Skype contacts.

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We’ve all been there: the characters on screen are talking and it’s way too quiet so you crank up the volume only to be blasted by a loud explosion two seconds later. Why is the dialogue so quiet and what can you do to fix it? Read on as we show you how to tame wild swings in TV audio output.

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Backups are critical. But, if you’re just performing regular backups to a nearby external hard drive or USB drive, you’re missing an important part of your backup strategy. You need your files stored in separate physical locations.

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Computers are like anything else. Myths and urban legends have built up over time, passed from person to person. Some myths once had a grain of truth, but are no longer true thanks to technological progress.

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The common wisdom is that Macs are more expensive than Windows PCs. This is true, if you compare a $250 Windows laptop to a MacBook that starts at $899. But, given comparable hardware, Macs aren’t necessarily more expensive than PCs.

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