FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

iTunes is hot mess. Bloated and ponderous, iTunes continues Apple’s ongoing trend of having lost its design mojo. But fear not: there are some pretty good iTunes alternatives for macOS Sierra.

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If your house ever gets broken into or—God forbid—catches on fire, you’ll want an inventory of all your stuff, so that your insurance company will fairly compensate you for the items that you lost. Here are some different ways you can create that inventory.

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TPM hardware provides a tamper-resistant way to store encryption keys on a computer. On Windows 10, 8, and 7, a TPM is normally required to enable and use encryption features like BitLocker. Here’s how to check whether your PC has a TPM chip, enable your TPM if it’s disabled, or add a TPM chip to a PC without one.

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When a new version of Android comes out for your phone, it doesn’t usually drop for everyone at once. Instead, it rolls out over time. However, you can easily check to see if it’s available on your device instead of simply waiting for a notification to show up.

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The NES Classic Edition is a new, official clone of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, and one of the best ways to play your favorite retro games. Unfortunately, it’s so popular that it’s nearly impossible to get your hands on one. Don’t pay $300 on eBay when you can use the modestly-priced Raspberry Pi to build your own—with even more games.

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If you want better control over how bright or dim your lights get, installing a dimmer switch is a great way to make that happen, especially if you want to adjust them regularly. Here’s how to replace a regular light switch with a dimmer switch.

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Linux allows you to create symbolic links, or symlinks, that point to another file or folder on your machine. The best way to do this is with the ln terminal command—though there are some graphical file managers that can create symbolic links too.

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Whether you want to document a family holiday or aspire to shoot for National Geographic, there are some simple things you can do to take better travel photos.

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How many times have you migrated to a new computer, or reinstalled Windows, and lost all the little settings in your Windows programs that you had finally tweaked perfectly?

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Windows 10’s Cortana virtual assistant allows you to set reminders with your voice, by typing them into the Cortana box on your taskbar, or from the Sticky Notes app. But these reminders will normally only pop up when you’re at your computer, making them easy to miss.

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Windows PCs have historically had worse touchpads than Macs. Microsoft is trying to fix this problem with “precision touchpads”, but not every PC manufacturer is on board. Some PCs ship with precision touchpads, but others include older, traditional technology instead.

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Windows 10 gained a new pen settings panel with the Anniversary Update. If your device has a pen or another type of stylus, you can customize exactly how it works and what its buttons do from the Settings window.

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If you’ve ever wondered how to record your computer screen and then turn it into an animated GIF, then wonder no more. Here’s everything you need to know about creating GIF screencasts on Windows and Mac.

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With that said, let’s look at how you can suffer through and take good pictures of your pets (or at least, try to).

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CyanogenMod is dead, killed by parent company Cyanogen. The community is attempting to pick up the pieces and create a new project, LineageOS, based on the code. But it’s a reminder that open source software isn’t all sunshine, rainbows, and stability: in fact, it can often be very messy.

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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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The Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows 10 allow you to defer updates so they are not downloaded for a while. You can use Local Group Policy to set a different deferral period than the default.

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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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