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How to cure Windows 10's worst headaches. After the Windows 8 disaster, upgrading to Windows 10 is almost palpably refreshing.

How to cure Windows 10's worst headaches

Microsoft’s new operating system brings back PC-focused features it should never have lost and adds some helpful new integrations with Microsoft services. It’s not perfect, though. Despite the many highlights of Windows 10—Cortana, virtual desktops, windowed Windows Store apps, the revamped Start menu, DirectX 12, among others—there are still some annoyances with the new operating system. Windows 10 can reset your default browser if you upgrade; updates are now mandatory; and behind the scenes, the new OS is a file-sharing machine.

Those are just a few of Windows 10’s notable headaches, but the good news is there are fixes for all these problems. Let’s dig in. Tame Windows 10’s forced updates Windows 10 home users are now pretty much required to accept and install updates at the time and choosing of Microsoft. Luckily, there are solutions for both. ▶ How to Find Your Windows or Office Product Key. Most pieces of commercial software come with some form of protection to deter unauthorized copying and installation.

▶ How to Find Your Windows or Office Product Key

Although software makers use different methods to achieve this goal, one common approach involves asking the user to type in a product key or serial number. 20 Excel Tips for Becoming a Spreadsheet Pro. Click To View Slideshow» Become the office spreadsheet guru in no time with these hacks and tricks.

20 Excel Tips for Becoming a Spreadsheet Pro

There are very, very few people on planet Earth who could ever say they've completely mastered every intricate little thing about Microsoft Excel. It's the world's premiere spreadsheet application, and has been the industry standard for over 20 years, replacing the once-venerable Lotus 1-2-3, the first killer app for PCs in the 1980s. Microsoft Excel's dominance as a spreadsheet has yet to be truly tested, certainly not by Corel's Quattro Pro (yes, still sold today!) , especially not by the open source tools from Apache or LibreOffice, nor even by Google's Sheets (the spreadsheet part of Google Drive). Essential add-ons for Google Sheets: Workflows, advanced find and replace, mail merge.

Managing and maintaining spreadsheets is one of the biggest productivity sinkholes in the workplace.

Essential add-ons for Google Sheets: Workflows, advanced find and replace, mail merge

Fortunately, if you’re using Google Sheets, there are many add-ons that expand on its capabilities so you can perform common tasks more efficiently and reclaim your time. Here are a few of the most essential. Workflows When you needed document approvals in ye olden days, you could just sprint around the office getting the sign-offs from your colleagues in real time. But in today’s asynchronous, virtual workplace the document approval process is tougher to manage. Wi-Fi triage: 5 common solutions to your wireless woes. Wi-Fi is the most wonderful home convenience—except for when it isn’t.

Wi-Fi triage: 5 common solutions to your wireless woes

Top 10 home Wi-Fi network errors (and how to fix them) Credit: Shutterstock The chances are pretty good that you have a wireless home network, or you've been asked by friends, family or co-workers to help install one in their home.

Top 10 home Wi-Fi network errors (and how to fix them)

While we’re sure that you’ve never made a mistake during these setups, advances in home networking equipment (new configurations, wireless standards, etc.) have also introduced some new complexities that could confuse non-IT customers who don’t live, eat and breathe this stuff every day. For most people, connecting to the home network is a set-and-forget scenario. This causes potential problems once something bad happens – like the freak thunderstorm that knocks out power, and you get the phone call asking for help again (our first tip – have the router connected to an uninterruptible power supply).

[ALSO: 8 classic IT hiring mistakes] #10 The mistake: Failing to determine a network’s needs before buying a router. #9 The mistake: Not recording older router settings before upgrading. Add a Wi-Fi hotspot to Windows 8 with Virtual Router Plus. Recently I spent a full week in a hotel, where I grudgingly paid for Wi-Fi so I could get some work done.

Add a Wi-Fi hotspot to Windows 8 with Virtual Router Plus

Unfortunately, it was a per-device purchase: Only my laptop could get online. If I wanted Internet access on my phone (which had a weak indoor signal) and tablet (Wi-Fi only), I'd have to pay again. And again. Hey, wait a minute, doesn't Windows let you set up a Wi-Fi hotspot to share its connection with other devices? It did, in Windows 7; it doesn't in Windows 8. Fortunately, I found Virtual Router Plus, a free utility that adds Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities to Windows 8. First, be really careful during setup.

On the first screen, choose Custom Installation, then uncheck the box below it. Windows Takes Too Long to Boot. Jmdraft complained to the Utilities forum that Windows boots too slowly and needs to be cleaned out.

Windows Takes Too Long to Boot

I'm guessing that your computer has too many autoloaders--programs that load automatically every time you boot. This is a common problem. Most PCs leave the factory with too many autoloaders, and gain more as you install new programs. Slowing the boot process is only one of the problems that autoloaders can cause. Learn which startup programs are safe to remove. The longer you run your computer, the more clutter it accumulates.

Learn which startup programs are safe to remove

This takes the form of programs you no longer need, bloatware you never wanted in the first place, and/or adware you didn't intend to install. The result: slow booting, slow operation, slow everything. To improve the situation, you can uninstall unwanted, unneeded programs. ▶ How to spot and avoid installing potentially unwanted programs. 30 Google Drive Tips You Can't Afford to Miss - Seek Out a Collaborator. Click To View Slideshow» Google's online office suite and storage service has come a long way, becoming the tool of choice for many.

30 Google Drive Tips You Can't Afford to Miss - Seek Out a Collaborator

Here's a list of tips and tricks to squeeze the best out of Drive. Raise your hand if you remember Writely. A four-person company called Upstartle launched the online-only word processor in August 2005, taking advantage of a then-new browser technology called AJAX. It allowed users to instantly save and retrieve content generated in the browser but stored on the server. At the time, a product like Writely was unique (the software didn't come on a CD), but still considered a gamble. Fast forward eight years. ▶ When your laptop's touchpad stops working.

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Computer stuff. How to stop autoplay videos. Norm Arlt asked "How do I stop the How-To video from automatically starting in my browser when I click on an article? " I sympathize. We all deal with this annoyance. In fact, I'm willing to bet that everyone reading this article who hasn't already solved this problem knows exactly what I'm talking about. Most of these videos run on Shockwave Flash, so I'm going to concentrate on that technology. The trick isn't to block Flash entirely, but to make it work only with your permission. How you do this varies with each browser. [Have a tech question? Chrome Click the menu icon on the upper-right corner and select Settings.Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Show advanced settings link.Scroll down further until you find the Privacy section.

From then on, a Flash window will appear as a gray box with a jigsaw piece icon in the center. Firefox If you click Allow, you'll get options to Allow Now or Allow and Remember. Internet Explorer. Start the year off right with a clean PC. Unsavory detritus lurks in the vents and crevices of your computer hardware: Hair, dust, cigarette smoke, and pet dander can accumulate in your PC and also in your peripherals, even down between the keys of your keyboard. Some of it’s just gross. However, buildup on fans and other key components can increase the heat stress on your machine, potentially making it unstable and shortening the life of individual parts.

How to Build a Cheap Super Computer. How to Build a Cheap Super Computer Here’s how to build a cheap super computer using Raspberry Pi’s – When you think about building your own rig, you probably think of setting up a crazy ass gaming computer or creating a computer on a budget to get the best possible components for the least amount of money.

You’re almost certainly not considering putting together a supercomputer. Maybe you should. making a cluster large enough to be classed as a super computer using Raspberry Pi’s (RPi) can be done for less than $1,000. Windows 8.1 surprises: 25 hidden features and little extras. Sometimes, it's the little things that make a big difference, and that's definitely the case with Windows 8.1. Even after covering the update's best new features, its five most compelling improvements, and its most intriguing secrets, there's still plenty to discover. And the operating system doesn't actively point you to some of the cooler things it has on tap. No more! Discover a universe of hidden extras that range from the mundane to the mind-blowing.

Take a screen capture (print your screen) - Windows Help. Microsoft Security Response Center. How To Take a Screenshot in Windows 8 (or 8.1) - Tutorial - LAPTOP. Windows 8 adds a much easier way to take screenshots. Instead of having to use the Print Screen button and then paste into Paint (or a similar application), you can now automatically save a screenshot to the Pictures folder as a png with just the touch of a couple of buttons. Here’s how. 1.

Set up the screen as whatever you want to take a screenshot of. 2. 3. David Cogen is a Founder/CEO of TheUnlockr.com, the popular site for wireless how tos, reviews, and news. Recommended by. Best Cloud Storage For The Price: Google Drive vs. Dropbox vs. iCloud vs. One Drive - Business Insider. How to use cloud storage's hidden, helpful power tool: Robust file version histories. By Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test. Top 8 Websites to learn coding online. Top 10 Tech Tips For Saving Time. 5 insanely powerful tools you won't believe can fit on a flash drive. 20 free PC programs to ease daily tasks. How to build the ultimate PC security suite for free. 4 Ways to Take Screenshots in Windows 8. 10 essential WordPress plug-ins. Clean up your Wordpress plugins to avoid SoakSoak and other malware threats. Important Android Codes ~ EE Figures.

Best Hidden Android Secret Codes. Dropbox users, try these: Hands-on with the free Mailbox and Carousel apps. Free IT Security and Technology MiniCourses. Top free PC programs everyone should have. Down For Everyone Or Just Me -> Check if your website is down or up? PicMonkey: Free Online Photo Editing.

Online diagramming application. PDFescape - Free PDF Editor & Free PDF Form Filler. Quick and Easy LED LCD Laptop Screen Replacement. HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR COMPUTER IS INFECTED AND ITS PRECAUTION. Remove shortcut Virus from your Pendrive or Computer. The Best Fifty Web Sites You Don't Know About. Does your computer have malware? Here are the telltale signs. How to build the ultimate PC security suite for free. Run any Android app on your Chromebook with this hack. How to Install Linux on a Chromebook and Unlock Its Full Potential. 12 powerful websites that can replace your desktop software.