Not to be outdone by other terrible PC manufacturers, HP has been quietly, remotely installing a telemetry service known as “HP Touchpoint Manager” on its PCs since at least November 15, 2017. It’s sending data back to HP, introducing security holes, and generally bogging PCs down.
The WMI Provider Host process is an important part of Windows, and often runs in the background. It allows other applications on your computer to request information about your system. This process shouldn’t normally use many system resources, but it may use a lot of CPU if another process on your system is behaving badly.
It’s iconic, but Microsoft wishes it wasn’t. In the 90s it was as core to the Windows experience as Paint and Solitaire, but these days it’s not seen very often.
It’s that holiday time of year again, and that means it’s over the river and through the woods to…well, fix your family’s Wi-Fi and other tech problems.
Windows normally animates windows whenever you minimize or maximize them. These animations can be disabled, if you like, making windows hide or appear immediately. This option is available on all modern versions of Windows, including Windows 7, 8, and 10.
Any browser can slow down and become cluttered over time as you install add-ons, build up history, and change settings. Firefox can “Refresh” your profile to quickly give you a clean slate while keeping your most important data. This would let you try the overhauled Firefox Quantum with a fresh profile, speed Firefox up if it’s become slow, or fix other browser problems.
Yes, Macs can get malware. Beyond traditional viruses, worms, and Trojans, there’s now a thriving ecosystem of adware and spyware programs that bombard you with ads and spy on your web browsing, just like on Windows.
So you’re using your laptop and, all of the sudden, it dies. There was no battery warning from Windows—in fact, you recently checked and Windows said you had 30% battery power left. What’s going on?
So you found something called trustd running on your Mac, and are now wondering if it can be…trusted. The good news is you have nothing to worry about: this is part of macOS.
Kodi is still one of the most powerful media center applications around, and it works on everything from powerful media PCs to small Raspberry Pis. But if you have multiple TVs in your house, wouldn’t it be nice if they all stayed in sync?
Look in the Task Manager on Windows 10 and you may see one or more “Broadcast DVR server” processes running. These processes have the file name bcastdvr.exe, and are part of the Windows 10 operating system.
The macOS Disk Utility, by default, will not show you an empty, unformatted drive. You might think this means it can’t be used to create partitions on new disks, which is frustrating, but you can solve this problem with one click.
If you poke around in your Task Manager, there’s a good chance you’ll see one or more “COM Surrogate” processes running on a Windows PC. These processes have the file name “dllhost.exe”, and are part of the Windows operating system. You’ll see them on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and even earlier versions of Windows.
You’re browsing Activity Monitor on your Mac when something catches your eye: powerd. What is that, and should you be worried?
Have you ever had your keyboard break down on you, or your computer simply refuses to accept its input? It’s especially frustrating if this happens while the computer is off, since you can’t input your password to get access to Windows. Thankfully, Microsoft has included a way to access your data (and hopefully fix your problem) using only a mouse or a touch screen.
Starting with Android Marshmallow, there’s a curious error that sometimes shows its face, but it can be hard to decipher what’s causing it. The “screen overlay detected” error won’t allow certain apps to launch, which makes it a real nuisance.
Tethering your phone’s internet connection, which allows users to share their phone’s data connection with other devices, is really useful if you’re out and about with no Wi-Fi, but some carriers block the feature from your phone. If you get an error message when you try to tether—something like “Account not set up for tethering”—here’s a fix.
Open the Task Manager on Windows 10 and you’ll see an “Application Frame Host” background process running. This process has the file name “ApplicationFrameHost.exe” and is part of the Windows 10 operating system.
So you saw something called “coreaudiod” while browsing Activity Monitor. What does that do, and could it be causing problems?
Your computer stores the time in a hardware clock on its motherboard. The clock keeps track of time, even when the computer is off. By default, Windows assumes the time is stored in local time, while Linux assumes the time is stored in UTC time and applies an offset. This leads to one of your operating systems showing the wrong time in a dual boot situation.
If you poke around in your Task Manager, you’ll likely see an process named “Spooler SubSystem App”, “Print Spooler”, or spoolsv.exe. This process is a normal part of Windows and handles printing. If this process consistently using a high amount of CPU resources on your system, there’s a problem.
Whether you no longer have the HomeKit accessory in question or simply need to remove a phantom entry in your HomeKit home, it’s simple to do so—if you know where to look. Let’s remove a HomeKit device now and guide you through the process.
Microsoft Office applications have a built-in Safe Mode feature. This helps when you can’t use Office normally. Perhaps Word crashes every time you open it, or maybe Excel crashes when you open a single file. You can start the application in Safe Mode and there’s a good chance it will work normally.
DirectX is part of the Windows operating system. So why does it seem like every PC game you install from Steam, Origin, or elsewhere installs its own copy of DirectX?
For the most part, the Plex Media Server experience is pretty flawless. You install the server software, you point your Plex clients at it, and start watching your movies. But sometimes, you’ll go to log into your server only to be mysteriously shut out. Let’s dig into some arcane settings and get you back to media nirvana.