Stop Shortcuts Being Added To Your Home Screen When You Install An App

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On Android, the app drawer is where all apps go and the home screen is reserved for your frequently used apps. There's no limit to how many pages you can have on your home screen or even how many app shortcuts you can add to it. If you wanted you could have every single app appear on your home screen. Likewise, if you wanted you could have only your favorite apps on the home screen and keep the number of pages limited and your device well organized. Whenever you install a new app, Google Play store automatically adds a shortcut for the app to your home screen. You can remove it later if you don't want it there but if you rarely add new apps to your home screen, it's probably more convenient to not have them all added automatically after an install. Here's how you can disable shortcuts being added automatically. Read More

How To Name App Groups In Windows 10 Start Menu

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App tiles were a great addition in Windows 8, they were live and always updating with the latest news or notifications. In Windows 8 you could easily group several tiles together for a cleaner more organized Start screen. Good times. Windows 10 has a fresh take on the Start menu but it retains many of the Start Screen features such as grouping and resizing the live tiles. The new addition in Windows 10's Start Menu is that you can name your app groups. The group title bar serves as a great way to drag and rearrange an entire set of apps. Read More

Copy Text Faster By Selecting A Collapsed Heading In MS Office 2013

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A few days ago we covered a little tip on how to get text to collapse and expand on click in MS Word 2013. The trick to it is pretty simple and I originally thought it was useful when viewing a really long document. That isn't something small in terms of convenience especially if you've got a long document with lots and lots of sections in it but it turns out that a collapsed heading is really useful in another common scenario; copying and pasting text. Here's why. Read More

Customize Quick Action Buttons In Windows 10 Notification Center

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Windows 10 Notifications Center consolidates notifications from apps and presents a single place where you can interact with them. It also has a really useful Quick Actions section at the bottom with four main actions; tablet mode, display, connect, and All Settings. If you click the Expand option, you can get quick access to four more actions; airplane mode, VPN, location, and WiFi. All good if those are the four you want to have fast access to and you are satisfied with keeping the other four as secondary options. But if you want to customize the order of the quick actions buttons, it's easily done. Here's how. Read More

Customize, And Show/Hide Icons From The System Tray In Windows 10

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Windows 10 is a huge improvement on Windows 8/8.1 but that doesn't mean there won't be any growing pains as you get used to this new operating system. Quite a few things have been moved around, some things are where they used to be in Windows 7 but it's just harder to find them. The system tray for example used to have a customize option that opened the relevant Control Panel setting screen that would allow you to select whether an icon should appear in the tray and in which cases it should be visible. That useful little customize option is no longer there. Here's how you can select which icons appear in the system tray in Windows 10. Read More

Get Text To Expand/Collapse On Click In MS Word 2013

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A good four years ago we wrote about hiding text in MS Word 2010 and the brief discussion on the post put forward a new question; users wanted to insert expandable/collapsible text in the word processor. Back in the 2010 version there was no easy way to accomplish this and for something that should be relatively simple, you would have had to resort to using Macros. In the end, they may not have done the trick in a very refined way. Such was the hasstle of it that we never found a viable and simple solution to it. Fortunately in Office 2013, the feature has been added and is very easy to use, if you know where to look for it. In this post, we're going to show you how to get text to expand/collapse and how to make it look a little refined as well. Read More

Set iPhone Screen Brightness Far Lower Than What Apple Allows [No Jailbreak]

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Have you ever picked up your phone in the middle of the night to check the time or  if see you have a new message/email, only to be blinded by the screen's brightness? It happens to the best of us. The pain aside, the light from your display might even wake someone you're sharing a bed with while you're busy bringing up the control center to reduce the brightness. There's a simple little way to reduce the screen's brightness to one far lower than what you can set from the brightness slider in Control Center and Settings. It's actually built right into iOS and takes a little setting. Here's how you can enable it and activate it with a little shortcut. Read More

Enable A Native Mute Button For Chrome Tabs

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A few months back, a Chrome update added a speaker icon that would appear on all tabs that were playing audio. The new addition is great since a lot of sites run ads that are in fact videos, with sound. The ads are sometimes hidden very well at the bottom of the page and you would end up searching forever without that helpful indicator to guide you. It makes life pretty easy but it's more than just a useful badge added to your tab; it actually has a function, albeit an experimental one. The speaker icon can work as a mute button if you enable a flag on Chrome. Here's how. Read More

How To Disable Login Screen In Windows 10

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Your Windows PC, if you're running Windows 8 or Windows 10, is tied to your Live account. When you login to your system you have to enter the same password that could open your Hotmail/outlook email account, log you into Skype, and even buy apps from the Windows App Store. Unfortunately, that's also the only thing preventing access to your PC. If you aren't too bothered about securing your computer with a password, and are just plain annoyed with having to login in repeatedly, there is a simple way to disable it so that you can just dive right in and start using your PC. Here's how. Read More

Check Username Availability On Any Social Network

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I've seen some of the most creative usernames on Reddit, a site that is principally meant to be used anonymously, unless you're already a celebrity and doing an AMA. Creating a username on Reddit isn't too hard and you can play around with just about anything until you get something that is available. The same can't be said for other social networks where if you decide to use a crazy name, people are more likely to be wary of you then to appreciate it. Words like pizza, apple sauce, and banana can't exactly be used to make new friends. Usernames are turning into a sort of depleting resource and you often have to sit through several sign up attempts or struggle for up to thirty minutes until you find a username that is available when you sign up to one of the more popular services. Meet NameChk, a simple web app that lets you check username availability on dozens of social networks from one place. Read More

How To Save A Map Offline In Windows 10

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Windows 10 comes with a brand new Maps app and as you may have guessed it, it's powered by Bing maps. The new app and the addition of this feature is great considering that it's going to run on tablets and Bing maps isn't that bad, right? It doesn't cover as many places in as much detail as Google Maps does but if you live in Europe, Canada, USA, the Middle East, Australia, or the parts of Asia that are big on tourism, you will find the app is adequate enough. It has a really great feature that lets you save maps offline so that you can access them even if you aren't connected to the internet. This isn't some pitiful little feature that will let you save a small section of a map. Instead, you can download an entire country's map and pursue it whenever you want. Here's how. Read More

Get Custom Templates To Appear On The Start Screen In MS Office 2013

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Microsoft provides a fairly large library of templates that users can download for free, for each of its productivity apps. Office also comes packed with a few templates and themes, and if you're looking for something exceptionally original, you can create your own templates or download, even buy them, online. In Office 2013, Microsoft added a start screen that shows popular templates or custom templates each time you launched the app. It makes  it easier to open templates instead of a blank presentation. There is just one little catch; if you download say a PowerPoint template, it doesn't show up on the start screen. Instead you have to browse to where it's downloaded every time you want to open it. This pretty much defeats the purpose of the start screen. The work around is pretty simple though so here's how you can get any template you've downloaded for an Office app to show up on its start screen. This works for templates for all Office 2013 apps. Read More

How To Remove/Disable Web Search From Windows 10

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Microsoft has been improving Bing search for quite a while. I almost sometimes consider giving it a second try. Likewise, it's been improving Internet Explorer to match the performance of other more popular browsers. Windows 10 will come with a nice new version of Internet Explorer and for those familiar with the new Search feature, Bing will be the one and only search provider that you can use to search the web from the Search bar. The Search bar in Windows 10 combines local search and web search. Where it's annoying enough that you can't use something other than Bing, it's also annoying that you can't easily opt out of web search and web results and have it run local search only. We say there is no easy way to opt out of it so that means there is a way to opt out. Here's how. Read More

68 Best Android Apps Of The Year 2014

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This is easily one of the longest lists in our annual app round-up for 2014. We definitely saw a lot of great apps this past year but in review one thing that stands out is that 2014 was a year when lots of big names in both iOS and desktop apps came to the Android platform. It's a mark of just how popular the platform is and how very resilient it's growth has been. There are some great new apps and widgets in the list.  If Android Lollipop hasn't rolled out for your device just yet, you might find an app that brings some features from the OS to your device without the upgrade. Enjoy! Read More

How To Always Open Start Menu In Full Screen In Windows 10

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The Start Menu is back in Windows 10. It was sorely missed in both Windows 8 and 8.1 and because you love Windows, a Microsoft product, the company decided to listen to your outrage and bring this iconic feature back. The Start menu isn't the same as it was in Windows 7. It's evolved in just the right way with live tiles,  the Modern UI is still intact, the shut down button is back, and lots more. One of the newer additions to the Start menu is the ability to maximize it and use it in that maximized state so that it functions somewhat like the Modern UI start screen we all didn't like. Some of you might prefer to always have the Start Menu open in a maximized state and here's how you can do just that. Read More

Where Is The Charms Bar In Windows 10?

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Windows 8 was heavily criticized for removing the start button. So loud was the dissension that Microsoft had to yield to it and the start button made a come back in Windows 8.1. Windows 10 brings back the Start Menu though with a very modern look so it seems things will be returning to a new normal with the next version, right? Nope. Once you're done exploring the new Start Menu in Windows 10 you might start wondering where the Charms bar (introduced in Windows 8 and much loved) is. The very short answer to that question is that it's gone but not missing. Here's what has happened to it. Read More

Everything You Need To Know About Windows 10 Notification Center

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As apps continue to grow more pro-active in how they communicate with users, the need to consolidate notifications sent by these apps is becoming more and more pressing. Smartphones have long had a unified notification system that allows users to review all notifications sent by apps and something similar is slowly making its way to the desktop. OS X has a notification center to match the feature of the same name on iOS, the Chrome browser has also streamlined notifications with its fairly new notification center, and Windows 10 likewise has followed suit. Notifications weren't absent from Windows even as far back as Windows XP, they just looked really different. The new Windows 10 Notification center combines notifications and the charms bar into one very easy to use panel. Here's what it can do. Read More

Create GIFs From Videos And Add Text With The New Imgur GIF Creator

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We all take our GIFs very seriously but no one takes them as seriously as Imgur. The service started out as a great way to share images on Reddit where the GIF format is very popular. Imgur has been hard at work trying to improve the GIF format. Last year it announced the GIFV format that made it easier to upload and view larger, longer, and better quality GIFs but today it's done something absolutely wonderful; it's incorporated a video to GIF maker that even lets you add text to your GIF. If your GIF is large, it will convert it to GIFV format and it will automatically be uploaded to Imgur, ready for sharing. Read More

How To Add Places To Cortana In Windows 10

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Cortana is the new assistant that Micorsoft is packaging with Windows 10. You can activate Cortana with a voice command, 'Hey Cortana', and among the many things you can do with it, you can also set a reminder. The reminders can be set so that they alert you at a specific time or place. Setting up a time-based reminder is easy enough but before you can set a place reminder with Cortana, you need to first add a place to it. Here's how. Read More