FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

It’s ideal to have a dedicated machine for your BitTorrent client, so you can seed 24/7. But it’s energy intensive to leave a full rig powered up and online that often. Enter the Raspberry Pi.

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Symbolic links, also known as symlinks, are special files that point to files or directories in other locations on your system. You can think of them like advanced aliases and here’s how to use them in MacOS.

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If you’ve been trained on Microsoft Word since you started using a computer, maybe you’ve never looked at those other writing options in Windows. Notepad and WordPad are both developed by Microsoft itself, and included in every copy of Windows. Don’t dismiss them out of hand—while neither are as powerful as paid software in the same niches, they might just do for you.

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Websites can store small files called “cookies” on your computer to remember your preferences and login state. Cookies can also be used to track you across websites to better target ads. But think twice before you just disable them.

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HTTPS, the lock icon in the address bar, an encrypted website connection—it’s known as many things. While it was once reserved primarily for passwords and other sensitive data, the entire web is gradually leaving HTTP behind and switching to HTTPS.

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The latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge only support the Flash plugin. You’ll need to find an alternative browser if you want to use Java, Silverlight, or any other ActiveX or NPAPI-based plugin.

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If you hear a distinct “clicking” or tapping coming from your PC, it’s probably worth investigating. Let’s take a look at some problems that can cause your PC to make a clicking noise.

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There’s more than one Xbox One. You can already buy the Xbox One S, a redesigned Xbox One with a few upgrades. Microsoft is also working on a major upgrade scheduled for late 2017 called “Project Scorpio”.

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Emoji are a graphical shorthand for emotional states, jokes, and nuances of language, so it’s particularly problematic when your friend sees a different emoji than the one you sent. Here’s why your messages might not be coming through like you intended.

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Bash is the default command-line shell on most Linux distributions, from Ubuntu and Debian to Red Hat and Fedora. Bash is also the default shell included with macOS, and you can install a Linux-based bash environment on Windows 10.

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The packaging that all of your fancy toys came in is no longer just packaging—it’s a part of the product, and many argue that keeping boxes and other packaging can help you sell the item in the future. But is it absolutely necessary to keep all of your tech product boxes?

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Hey Microsoft, could you please stop breaking my PC? The latest WPD driver update released on March 8, 2017 is just the latest in a long string of bad updates. If Windows 10 is going to force these updates on my system, the least Microsoft could do is test them properly first.

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Amazon can notify you about purchases, shipments, and delivery delays by email, text message, or push notifications from the Amazon app. It’s even possible to enable all three types of notifications, and you’ll be bombarded with duplicate notifications whenever you order something.

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Web Proxy Auto-Discovery (WPAD) gives organizations a way to automatically configure a proxy server on your system. Windows enables this setting by default. Here’s why that’s a problem.

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If you’re using a desktop PC, you might have heard odd noises coming from your speakers or headphones at times. It may sound like a buzzing or whining when doing basic tasks, sometimes escalating with more intense use like games or streaming movies. To solve the problem, you’ll need to figure out what’s causing it.

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Perhaps you’ve read that F.lux, which reduces eye strain and helps you sleep, is being “Sherlocked” later this month. What does that mean?

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The Amazon Tap is $50 cheaper than the full-size Echo, and thanks to a recent update, you can use it in hands-free mode just like its more expensive counterpart. It’s even portable, so you can take it with you. So at this point, there’s very little reason to buy the full-size Echo, when the Tap is cheaper and more useful.

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If you’re frustrated by the recommendation bubble Netflix seems to have you trapped in, we’ve got some tried and true tips to help you break out and get more from your Netflix subscription.

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The Windows Command Prompt has a built-in history feature, allowing you to quickly view commands you’ve run in the current session. Even better, the Command Prompt offers quite a few keyboard shortcuts and other tricks for working with your command history.

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Windows 10’s handwriting keyboard allows you to enter text into any application with a pen or other stylus. It even works on old desktop applications.

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Whether you’re formatting an internal drive, external drive, or removable drive, Windows gives you the choice of using three different file systems: NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT. The Format dialog in Windows doesn’t explain the difference, so we will.

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The biggest advantage DSLRs have over smartphones and compact cameras is swappable lenses that suit what you’re trying to shoot. Whether you want a lens that can blur the background for great portraits or something that lets you zoom in close to the action, there will be one available.

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Cortana in Windows 10 gives you a handy search box that’s always at your fingertips. Unfortunately, it forces you to use Microsoft Edge and Bing. Here’s how to make Cortana search using Google and your preferred web browser.

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Macs have a lot of advantages. Maybe you like the simplicity of macOS, the sexy industrial design, or work in a creative field where they’re pretty much a requirement. But if you’re also a gamer, you may be wondering: can they handle the games you want to play as well as Windows?

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Windows 10 includes several different types of backup and recovery tools. And we’re going to take a look at all of them.

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