Record PC Screen The Simple Way With VidShot Capturer For Windows

Screencasts are video recordings of the computer screen primarily meant to help us in creating video tutorials for assisting others or demonstrating some computer activity to them. They are superior to screenshots in situations where you are trying to explain a complex step-by-step guide to perform a difficult operation, and providing screenshots of each step is not enough. Video hosting websites such as YouTube have a large collection of such screecast-based guides that help you through performing various tasks on your computer. A problem with some of the free tools that allow you to create screencasts is that they overlay a watermark in one of the corners (or worse, in the very center) of the resulting video. Today, we are bringing you a simple and completely free screencast tool called VidShot Capturer that lets you create good quality screencasts without any limitations, and does not add a watermark to them. Read More

Quickly Switch Between Different Hosts Files Without Editing Original

The basic purpose of the hosts file in Windows and other operating systems is to associate host names with IP addresses. Whenever you type in a URL in your browser, the computer looks it up in the hosts file first and tries to find its IP address. If the IP address is not available in the host file, it will consult the ISP in order to call the website. Since the file is in plain text, you can easily edit it using any text editor, such as Notepad, in order to redirect TCP/IP traffic in special circumstances. It can be used to prevent access to different web servers including those where advertisements are hosted. In fact the ad blockers we use with our browsers also take advantage of the hosts file in order to stop ads from appearing on webpages. Also, web developers set up host files in order to test the performance of websites in development, for QA during production, etc. Today, we bring to you an open source tool for Windows called Hosts Switcher that lets you quickly switch between different hosts files without messing with the original one. Once a hosts file is added to the program, you can make it the default profile with just a single click. Read More

Edit Image File Timestamps And Add Date & Time To Their Names With EXIF Date Changer

Most users sort their files according to date and time information in order to easily differentiate between different versions without much hassle. Timestamps found in the properties of files contain information regarding when the file was created, when was it modified the last time and the most recent date and time it was accessed by someone. This allows you to quickly search a certain cluster of files that were created, modified, or accessed at a particular date, as well as group them together. By default, Windows only permit removing the metadata items one by one using the File Properties dialog, and you have to use third-party applications for updating file access, creation, and modification date and timestamp information in a batch. EXIF Date Changer is one such application for Windows that allows you to easily change the date and time stamp of images. You can adjust the time to a value of your choice, or increment the current date and time with a specified amount, down to a specific date, hour, minute and second. Read More

Bring Back Windows 7 Explorer Toolbar In Windows 8 With Ribbon Disabler

The latest installment of Windows from Microsoft comes with a lot of new features. The user opinion is divided, with some welcoming the new direction Windows is heading towards, while others complaining about deviating this much from what they have been using. To learn about the changes in the OS, check out our detailed review of all the new features introduced in Windows 8. Ever since the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 came out, people started getting an idea of the magnitude of changes they will have to face, such as the replacement of Start Menu with the Start Screen, and Explorer toolbar with the Ribbon UI. Developers are still coming up with tools that let users get back the feel of the previous versions by reintroducing the Windows 7 UI elements that are no longer present in Windows 8. Previously, we have covered several tools that bring back the Start Menu, and today we have a tool called Ribbon Disabler that disables the Ribbon UI and brings back the old Explorer toolbar. Read More

Secure-Erase Data From Multiple Drives At Once Using Active KillDisk

Deleting a file simply from the hard drive does not completely erase it. Instead, it is sent to the Recycle Bin and can be restored using its built-in Restore functionality. Even if you delete the files from the Recycle Bin, they are still not completely removed from the system. Permanent deletion simply removes the links to these files, allowing new data to be written over the data sectors where they resided. A file is truly removed only when new data overwrites its residues. Deleting personal or sensitive files and folders, even from the Recycle Bin is not enough, as anyone with the proper knowledge and tools, such as previously covered Recuva, can easily recover the deleted data.  In order to prevent private information from being compromised, it’s always advisable to use data shredding tools to securely erase data off the hard disk. Active@ KillDisk is an application for Windows that allows you to securely remove data from local hard drives, USB drives and other removable media storage. You can wipe multiple drives at a time using one of several shredding methods, including One Pass Zeroes, US Army, Peter Gutmann and User Defined. Read More

Discover New & Top Rated Apps On Windows 8 Store With Great Windows Apps

The Windows Store is a relatively new addition to the list of official app markets for platforms. For Android, we have the Google Play Store, while iOS users have the iTunes App Store. The number of apps in each of these stores is in hundreds of thousands and it is not humanly possible to go through all of them. If you know the name of the app, you can use the search function, but when you don’t know the app name and just want to look for some good apps, app discovery engines with categorization can come handy. Great Windows Apps lets you easily view the new releases and top rated apps in the Windows Store. In addition, you can view top-rated developers and check out all their work. Read More

How To View & Change Default Install Location Of Windows 8 Store Apps

On Windows 8, x86 apps are installed in the same way as they were in the previous versions of Windows. During each setup, you can choose the directory where you want the application to be installed. However, Windows Store apps (Modern UI apps) are downloaded and installed automatically. Neither does the Store provide you with the option to choose where they go nor does it indicate the location where they are downloaded to by default. In this post, we will show you how to view the default install location of Windows Store apps and how to change it in Windows 8. Read More

Make Foreground Window Transparent To Access Background Windows With Peek Through

Here at AddictiveTips. we often come across small tools that don't appear to offer much at first glance but can add a major productivity boost when it comes to our daily computer use. Yesterday, I covered Mouse Hunter, a tool for Windows that lets you scroll windows that are not in focus. Today, we have another tiny utility called Peek Through that can prove to be very useful in certain situations. As the name implies, Peek Through lets you view the content of windows that are not in the foreground, by making the foreground window transparent. In addition, Peek Through also lets you click the background elements through the transparent window, if you choose! Keep reading to learn more about Peek Through and its features. Read More

Scroll Inside Inactive Windows With Mouse Wheel Using Mouse Hunter

People with large monitors or a multi-monitor setup normally have a lot of windows open on their desktop. In order to view information from different sources, we need to switch between different windows and scroll up and down through the information visible on them. If you are a Mac user, you can scroll the inactive windows without first bringing them into focus. Windows on the other hand, does not have this feature. If you want to scroll up, down, left or right, you have to first select the window and bring it to the front. This causes your currently focused window to get out of focus, which you might not want. That's where Mouse Hunter comes to the rescue. It is a third-party tool that simply allows you to scroll the content of even those windows that are not in focus. Instead of clicking a window to bring it to focus, you just have to move your mouse pointer over it and viola! Moreover, it lets you scroll the windows horizontally using the same scroll button. Keep reading to find out more about Mouse Hunter. Read More

Securely Embed Sensitive Information And Files In Images With Steg

Sending out sensitive data on unsecured networks carries a considerable amount of risk. Anyone with malicious intentions and the proper knowledge can easily hack into your network and intercept the messages. If confidential documents containing financial information, passwords, or other important data get into the wrong hands, there can be a major security problem. In order to keep yourself safe, you can encrypt your data with a key and send the key to the intended recipient. However, some advanced hackers can even break some high level encryption if they locate the file. Another method to send your data in a safe way is by using a Steganography technique that involves infusing your data inside an image without changing the image itself. Steg is one such tool that performs the job flawlessly. This way, even if your file is intercepted by anyone, it will be a normal image file in the eyes of others, and there will be no visual indication of the encoded data. Keep reading to find out how to embed your sensitive data into an image using Steg. Read More

SoftPerfect WiFi Guard Protects Your Network Against WiFi Thieves

WiFi allows us the freedom to move about while using the internet on our portable devices, without worrying about the Internet connection being disconnected within the range. Though it does't come without a price. On one hand, WiFi gives us great mobility, but on the other hand, there's the problem of people stealing your WiFi data by free-riding over your network. You can avert this by setting a password on your connection; however, if someone manages to guess or hack your password, they can still log in. Since you cannot strictly define the perimeters of WiFi signals, if stationed near a Window or an external wall of your house, it becomes very easy for people to catch its signals. This can increase your internet bills and effect its performance for you, if they are using huge amounts of bandwidth. SoftPerfect WiFi Guard is an application for Windows that scans your network and displays a list of all the connected computers. It pings all devices connected to the network and shows everything that returns a ping. Moreover, if an unknown device connects to the network, you are immediately alerted through a notification on your screen. Read More

USB-AV Offers You Complete Malware Security For USB Flash Drives

In the course of a day, many of us attach several USB flash drives to our computers. Even though almost every computer has an antivirus solution installed on it nowadays, there is still a chance that attaching a random USB drive containing a virus that the antivirus is not be able to detect yet will result in an infected computer. Also, some of us who practice safe downloading habits and choose not to keep a full antivirus software running in the background are also subject to catching viruses from USB flash drivers of our friends that we may connect to the computer for transferring some files. Many of these viruses don’t even require you to access the drive, and can spread through the system as soon as the auto run feature kicks in. USB-AV is an application for Windows that allows you to keep a check on all the connected USB drives and scan them for malware as soon as you plug them in. Read More

WndSizer Helps You Resize A Window To Your Required Dimensions

Consider yourself in a situation where you are taking screenshots of a resizable desktop window and the publication where they are to be posted has strict dimension requirements such as a blog post, a book, a presentation, a website etc. If you are taking the screenshot of a non-resizable window, there’s not much you can do other than scaling down the whole image or just taking the screenshot of a certain portion but in case of a resizable window, taking that perfect screenshot can be a bit tricky, as you don't really have a visual cue on how much to resize before taking the screenshot. Instead of going through the hassle of resizing the Window again and again, and repeatedly taking screenshots till you get the perfect size, what if you had a tool that helped you resize the Window to the right dimensions? WndSizer is a simple, but very useful tool for Windows that acts as a scale for anything on your computer, coming especially handy in resizing windows to the required size. It’s a translucent window that can be resized both vertically and horizontally and dragged anywhere on the screen freely, while displaying its current size in the center. Read More

Get Breaking News Of Your Favorite Sports With Official ESPN App For Windows 8

All around the year, sports fans are kept engaged with their sports, leagues and clubs such as NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAB etc. Each one of these has their own loyal fan following and attracts a considerable number of people. The more fortunate fans get the opportunity to witness the action live in the stadiums; however, those who miss the live action can get their fill either by watching the replays, or just checking out the scores and reading about the exciting moments in the game. You can turn on your television and wait for the news regarding your favorite sports to be broadcasted, or just log on to the internet and search for whatever you need. ESPN is a name every sports fan is sure to recognize. Its extensive coverage of all sports in different forms including television, podcasts, and website content make it one of the most popular sources for everything sports. Today, ESPN has released its Windows 8 app that lets users browse through all the information available on the ESPN website in a Modern UI interface. You can read the leading articles, view latest scores, watch videos and photos related to different sports events, listen to podcasts and much more. The app also syncs with your myESPN account to offer you a completely personalized experience and allows you to share your favorite sports highlights with your friends. Read More

Gallery HD: Modern UI Image Viewer For Windows 8

Taking pictures of the important moments in your life is a great way to preserve those memories forever. With pictures, you can share the fun and happiness with your loved ones who weren't lucky enough to be there with you at the occasion. For showing your picture albums to others or viewing them yourself, a good image viewer is quite indispensable. If you are using Windows 7, the default Windows Picture Viewer qualifies as a basic image viewing tool and there are a lot of third party utilities available like Picasa, FastStone Image Viewer, XnView, Windows Live Photo Gallery etc. that providing you with several extended options. However, if you have already upgraded to Windows 8, there haven't been many Modern UI apps available for viewing your images. Gallery HD aims to change that. It is an app for Windows 8 that provides you with a user friendly interface to view the images stored on your computer. The application shows the images stored in different folders, allows you to select your favorites ones, and display the pictures in a slideshow. Whenever needed, you can view the metadata information of each image without leaving the app. Keep reading to find out more. Read More

Reboot From One Windows Installation Directly Into A Secondary One

Even after the final release of Windows 8, a lot of people, including myself, are still reluctant to upgrade to the latest operating system and leave Windows 7 behind. However, one should not form an opinion about anything without actually experiencing it first hand. In order to get a feel of Windows 8 (and because this line of work requires it), I installed Windows 8 as a secondary operating system on my computer. So, whenever it is required, I can now use Windows 8 without having to completely ditch my primary operating system. Since my work requires me to constantly switch between the two operating systems, I have to restart the computer a lot during the day. The biggest annoyance in this regard is that in order to boot into the required operating system, I am forced to sit and wait in front of the computer screen until the boot menu appears. Today, I came across a simple tool called Reboot-To that allows users to reboot directly into a specified operating system without having to wait for the Windows boot menu. You can select the operating system you want to reboot into while you're logged into one, and use the time the computer takes to restart to stretch your legs or get a cup of coffee. Read More

Set Windows 8 Start Screen Background To Change After Specific Time

The Windows 8 Start Screen has been the topic of discussion for a long time now. The Start Screen is the main workspace for the users of Windows 8. Instead of downloading and installing the applications in desktop mode, the Windows Store will contain all the apps that you can get on your Windows 8 device, just like the Android and iOS platforms. Since the Start Screen is the main interface that you will be looking at whenever Windows starts or whenever you exit an app, customizing it to your own taste seems like a good idea. The default Windows options for the Start Screen lets you change the background color and apply themes; however, a much-needed option i.e. the ability to set a custom wallpaper is still missing from PC Settings. Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer is a tool for Windows 8 (and 8.1) that lets you change the Start Screen background to any image of your choice (update: unlike the built-in options in Windows 8.1, it also lets you choose GIF images), choose the number of app rows to show, and tweak the opacity settings for Start Screen and app tiles. Moreover, you can choose a large number of images and set the background to change after a specified time interval. Read More

Hide System Tray Icons, App Windows Or Any Part Of The Taskbar

The taskbar works like a control center for Windows that allows you manage all the running applications, launch new ones through pinned shortcuts, access the Start Menu and view the system tray items such as running services, time clock etc. The default taskbar options in Windows 7 allow you to change the Taskbar appearance, including the grouping and size of icons, the Notification area, and use of Aero Peek. Moreover, there are options to customize the Start Menu and choose the toolbars that you want to be available on the taskbar. Today, we have a tool for you called Taskbar Hide, which provides users with a lot of taskbar related options, such as hiding or closing program windows, hiding system tray icons, modifying the order of running applications on taskbar, setting application windows to stay on top, hiding a part of the taskbar, etc. The program lets you deal with the application and system tray icons individually to control the taskbar’s appearance. All the options can be accessed through the main interface, as well as using hotkeys. Read More

Swap Names Of Files And Folders From Right-Click Context Menu

Sometimes, when you want to rename a file to something else, a message pops up telling you that the desired name is already taken by another file in the same location. In this situation, what you would normally do would be changing the name of the first file to something else, then renaming the required one with the title of choice. Instead of going through that hassle every time you come across such a situation, you can use a small tool called Swap’em. It is a portable tool that can be used to quickly and easily swap the names of two files or folders either by using the file context menu or by dropping items onto the application’s interface. Apart from swapping names of two files, it allows you to do the same for a file and folder combination. Read More

StartW8 Is A Simple & Elegant Start Menu Replacement For Windows 8

Ever since the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 came out, we have seen a lot of developers release Start Screen replacement utilities. Some of them just change the outlook of the Start Screen, while others completely bypass the Start Screen and install the Windows 7-style Start Menu in the taskbar. The main problem people are having with Windows 8 is the huge shift in user experience that has been forced upon them by Microsoft. If you have been using Windows for quite a while, it is sure to take a lot of time to get used to the new interface. Till you are comfortable with everything that is Windows 8, you can keep trying your hand at Start Screen replacement applications. Enter StartW8, another free application that replaces the Start Screen with a Windows 7-like Start Menu that does a good job matching the new UI. It lets you launch the menu with the Windows key and sets the OS to sign in directly to the desktop, bypassing the Start Screen entirely. Read More