What Is The Difference Between An HDD And An SSD?

If you're looking to build a PC, or perhaps ready to upgrade your laptop to a newer, faster, more powerful model, you will likely have to familiarize yourself with the major components that collectively contribute to its power. The components depend on your needs which may involve games, running heavy software, or watching movies and looking at cat pictures. If you were to start looking at pats of laptop models now, you will come across something somewhat new; SSD drives. For years now, laptops and desktop PCs have used HDD i.e. Hard Disk Drives but the changing market now has models that come with an SSD i.e. a Solid State Drive. If you're wondering what the difference between the two is, this post breaks it down for you. Read More

Enable Compression Tool In VLC Player To Fix Movies With Loud Action And Quiet Dialogue Sounds

Interstellar is an excellent movie that I got to see in a theater with surround sound. I'd recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat even though I still have my doubts about what Matthew Mcconaughey was saying at times and I'm partially deaf from the loud sound track. This is, unfortunately, a thing with some movies. Literally every sound from a car stopping suddenly to the phone ringing, is super loud but when the actors talk, it sounds as though the movie were filmed in a library during working hours. It's annoying and most people who watch movies on their computers will resort to increasing and decreasing the volume to spare their ears. If you use VLC player though, it has a compression tool that you can enable and it will fix the problem altogether. Here's how it works. Read More

How To Edit System Environment Variables For A User In Windows 10

Windows 10 comes with a new Settings app and it's kind of confusing for anyone switching to Windows 10 from Windows 7. Perhaps even Windows 8 users will struggle with it because Windows has always had the control panel. The control panel was one place where you could manage your computer's settings but with the Settings app, there are now two places where you can do that. What makes it more difficult to adjust to is the fact that some things can only be changed from the Control Panel but have to be accessed from the Settings app. If you're looking for a way to edit environment variables for a particular user, you might feel a little lost trying to find the setting. Here's a brief look at how you can set edit environment variables in Windows 10. Read More

How To Set A Custom Date Format In Windows

There are two widely used date formats in the world; one that puts the day first, followed by the month, and then the year. The second puts the month first, followed by the day, and then the year. These formats are a regional thing so when you install Windows, it automatically sets the date format to the popular/default one for your region. If, for any reason you feel the default date format, whether it's the long date or the short one, should be different you can easily change it. Here's how you can change the default date format in Windows and set a custom one. Read More

Use The Mono Audio Channel For Better Sound When Using One Earbud

Music helps us concentrate on work but with you can't always have your earbuds in when you're working. It annoys anyone who needs to talk to you. Simply getting your attention while you work and listen to music turns into a chore for people and it impedes work. The safe way to go about it is to perhaps only listen to music through on earbud. Listening to music with just one earbud doesn't make for a great experience but it doesn't have to be that way. Simply switch to the Mono audio channel and you will have an infinitely better listening experience through just one earbud. Here's how to switch to the Mono channel on iOS, Android, and Windows. Read More

Enable An On-Screen Grid To Arrange Windows More Easily

Aero Snap is a very popular Windows feature that lets users easily arrange their windows on the screen. With Windows 8, the feature was improved on so that you could snap three windows the full vertical length of your screen. WindowGrid is a free Windows app that takes snapping windows to a whole new level. It adds a grid to your screen when you're rearranging a window and lets you snap the window into any arrangement with the aid of the grid. The grid is customizable so that you can use it effectively on both a small and large screen. Read More

How To Set WiFi Connection Order In Windows 10

Most offices have more than one WiFi connection available. Multiple connections serve either as a backup in case one of them fails, or they are meant to distribute the load from many users across multiple connections. That said, Windows 10 doesn't consider which of the available WiFi connections has stronger range before connecting to one. Instead, it gives priority to connections based on which one was added first, and which one was added later. That is the default behavior and it can be problematic especially if you often have to manually change which WiFi connection your computer is connected. Here's how you can change the priority of a WiFi connection in Windows 10. Read More

Create A VLC Shortcut That Plays All Audio Files In A Selected Folder

VLC player is incredibly popular. So popular that I don't really need to give it much of an introduction. A lot of people substitute their default media players with VLC players and it's equally popular on both Windows and OS X. What makes VLC so great is how powerful it is and how you can always find a plug-in to use with it that will make it better. That said, if you're a Windows user who hasn't set VLC player as the default media player but would like to use it to play all media files in a particular folder there isn't a simple way to do it through the UI. Here's a little tweak you apply to a VLC player desktop shortcut that will allow have it play all media files in a pre-selected folder. Read More

Allow Other Users To Run Certain Programs With Admin Rights

RunAs Tool 3
A few days ago we showed you how to run the task manager as an administrator or a different user. The process  required that you would need the admin password to do so. In an almost polar opposite scenario, we're looking at what you should do if you want to give users the ability to run certain programs with Admin rights, but without giving them the administrator password. The simplest way comes in the form of a little utility called RunAsTool. It's free and you can use it to grant other users permission to run programs with elevated persmission. Here's how it works. Read More

You Need To Stop KB 3035583 From Installing Again

Starting June 2015, Microsoft aggressively began to push Windows 10 to its existing users. The push came in the form of an app called Get Windows 10. It installed with an update and appeared in the system try. It could check your system (hardware and apps) for compatibility with Windows 10 and allowed you to reserve a copy of the new operating system. The update did something else though; it also downloaded files to install Windows 10, regardless if you reserved a copy for it or not. Users suddenly found their main Windows drive short on 6GB with nothing to account for the used space. It turned out to be KB 3035583 and one other update that were responsible for the used space; it was downloading Windows files to a folder called $WINDOWS.~BT. To recover lost space, the folder had to be deleted and the updates responsible for the files had to be hidden so that they didn't install again. Unfortunately, the update is back and very likely to install itself again unless you hide it. Here's how to hide the update and why it's back. Read More

Park Images In A Temporary Holder To Copy Them Easily [Windows]

Copying files is something we do regularly and it's incredibly easy. You can use keyboard shortcuts to select files, or you can use the mouse to select and drag & drop them to a new destination. That said copying files while incredibly easy can become tedious if  the files you want to copy to a single location all reside in different folders. For images, it's all the more annoying because they will have generic system generated names instead of user specified ones. You will have to spend more time identifying the correct image before you can copy them. ImgPark is a free Windows utility that provides you a virtual holder for images that you copy to your clipboard. Once you've copied them all, you can paste them to a single folder with just a few clicks. The utility works with JPG and Bitmap images. For some reason, PNG files are not supported. Read More

How To Run Windows Task Manager As The Admin Or Any Another User

It isn't uncommon for computers, particularly those managed in an office network to be managed by a user with admin privileges while the other users log in as normal users with some limitations imposed. Some users themselves prefer to keep their routine account separate from the admin account so that they have something to fall back on in case something goes wrong with the first one. One of the many things you can do from an admin account, or if you have admin rights on a system is quit troublesome processes which refuse to quit from an account with low-level privileges via the Task Manager. If you've ever needed to run Task Manager as an admin user on your current account, here's a simple way of doing just that. Read More

How To Control Text Selection By Character, Word, And Paragraph [Windows]

triple click select
Selecting text is easy. We do it everyday not just on our computers but also on our phones. There is no skill involved, and no training required to learn this skill. You click, hold, and drag until you've highlighted the text you need to copy and then use the right shortcut to copy (or cut) it. You might have noticed that sometimes when you're copying text, it runs ahead of the character you want to limit it to and sometimes, it just snails by when you want it to select text faster. Turns out, there is a small trick to selecting text making it so you can select it one character, one word, or one paragraph at a time. Here's how it works. Read More

How To Disable The Dropbox Collaboration Badge In Documents

Dropbox became popular as the service that could guarantee your files would always be with you. It negated the need to transfer files using thumb drives, or resorting to email just to get them from one system to another. As the service has evolved, it has became more than just a file syncing solution and has turned into a very effective collaboration tool that allows you to share files, invite users to collaborate on files in a shared folder, and even leave comments on them. A recent update to the Dropbox desktop app has made its collaboration feature even easier to access. The feature is called the Dropbox badge and when you open a document that's synced to your Dropbox account, the badge pops up with options to leave a comment, share the document, or view file history. It pops up indiscriminately but if you would like to disable it, or control when it appears, here's how. Read More

How To Add A Folder To The All Apps List In Windows 10

Windows 10 got rid of the Start Screen that Windows 8 imposed on users. No one really liked it and the confusion between desktop and Modern UI was frustrating. Even veteran Windows users struggled to make sense of it. The Start Screen is gone but Microsoft didn't abandon the idea of having a large, all screen consuming list of installed apps appear on your screen. It just changed how they executed the concept. For all intents and purposes, the All Apps list is what the Start Screen and its list of all apps has been reduced to and you're free to resize it however you like. That said, the All Apps list comes with two limitations; you can only have 500 items in it, and there is no simple way to add folders to it. If you want to add a folder to the list, it's possible and here's how. Read More

Assign Permanent Drive Letters To A Removable USB Drive In Windows

Windows assigns drive letters by progressing through the alphabets. Apart from letters A and B, drives are named C, D, etc. You have no doubt seen that the letters for the partitioned drives on your system do not change. If you have a DVD drive, it's letter doesn't change either but the same doesn't hold true for USB drives. Windows assigns the drive letter to a USB drive dynamically so that a drive that was labeled F drive might later be labeled G if another drive(s) is connected. Normally this isn't a problem unless you need the USB drive to always be assigned specific letter to keep certain paths functional. Here's how you can assign a permanent drive letter to a USB drive in Windows. Read More

Adjust Your PC Volume By Scrolling The Mouse Wheel [Windows]

Most keyboards, if not all of them, have dedicated keys for managing the volume and brightness on your system. For anyone who doesn't have these keys, you can use controls in Windows to manage volume and brightness. If you're looking for an even easier way to manage volume, one which involves no clicks and is super convenient, meet WheelsOfVolume. It's a free Windows app that lets you increase or decrease the system volume by scrolling the mouse wheel over an active area. Read More

Remove Libraries, Network, And Favorites From Windows Explorer Navigation Pane

The libraries and other locations in the Windows Explorer navigation pane can collapse and expand to give you a cleaner and easier to manage navigation pane. They are there to make accessing your favorite folders, network locations, and libraries easy. That said, not everyone finds them useful, or they can do with some of the options, and without others. Meet Windows Explorer Navigation Pane Configuration; it's a simple command line utility that lets you remove any one of the elements in the Windows Explorer navigation pane with a single command. You can just as easily bring them back. The utility has only one drawback and that is that it effects all user accounts on your system. Read More

Directly Connect To A Steam Game Server With A Desktop Shortcut

tf2-view server info
Steam is one of the most popular gaming platforms out there. The game selection available is pretty good and the user base of players is massive. If you're an avid gamer, it's likely you've set aside a special time every day, or every week to play your favorite game(s). To launch a game on Steam, you can either launch it from it's own desktop shortcut, or you can launch Steam and then run your game. A lot of the games are played online with other players and in order to play, you have to connect to a server. Imagine, if you could launch a game and connect to a preferred server all with one desktop shortcut. It's possible and incredibly easy to set up. Here's how. Read More

How To Natively Mount And Burn ISO Images In Windows 10

Windows 10 ISO mount
File Explorer in Windows 8 was revamped and the new look made its way to Windows 10. File Explorer got a new name; Windows Explorer and it bid farewell to the controls bar just below the address bar. The new UI features three basic ribbons that mimic the grouped controls you see in MS Office apps. The ribbon tabs have more or less the same controls you could access either from the control bar or the menus but some controls appear only when a specific type of file is selected. In Windows 7, regardless of what type of file you selected, you could always see a 'Burn' option at the top that allowed you to burn the file to a disc. With Windows 10, the option has not only migrated to a different tab, it's also only available for certain file types. It gives the impression that you can no longer burn or mount disc files in Windows 10 when in fact, you can. Here's how. Read More