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

How To Teach Cortana Your Name In Windows 10

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Cortana in Windows 10 can learn your name; the first time you set Cortana up it will ask what name it should call you. Each time you activate the feature, you will hear it ask you by name, what it can help you with. Siri automatically picks up your name from when you name your iOS device but Cortana goes the extra mile and makes an attempt to know your name and pronounce it correctly . You can enter it when you enable the personal assistant but should you skip the step, or need to correct it, the name can easily be changed. Here's how. Read More

How To Enable Cortana & Turn On ‘Hey Cortana’ Feature In Windows 10

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Cortana is easily going to be one of our most extensively covered features of Windows 10. Cortana isn't enabled by default so if you never set it up, you essentially have just the normal Search feature that you can type queries into and search online or on your device. The disadvantage of not turning Cortana on is that you can't use the Notebook, Places, and Reminder features. Here's the super simple way of turning Cortana and the 'Hey Cortana' feature on. Read More

How To Remove Search Bar From Taskbar In Windows 10

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We've seen Windows 10 evolve with each updated build that has been released and a very prominent, much talked about feature that was introduced was the new search bar added next to the start button. It takes up space on the Taskbar which we usually reserve for our frequently used apps and it is somewhat redundant since you can still search your computer from the Start Menu. Fortunately, there are two very simple ways to disable the Search bar so that it doesn't appear on the Taskbar in Windows 10. Here's how. Read More

3 Things You Can Do With Cortana In Windows 10

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Personal assistance apps coming to the desktop was only a matter of time and the Windows 10 preview build released a few days ago gives us a look at how Cortana will work on your desktop. Integrated with the search feature that debuted with Window 10, it's more than just a way to push people to use Bing. We took it for a spin and here are three things you do with Cortana, and a guess at what else you will be able to do with it once the feature rolls out in the final version. Read More

35 Best iOS Apps Of The Year 2014

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With the first month of 2015 coming to a close, we're finishing our 'best of 2014' lists with the best saved for last. Here is our round-up of the very best iOS apps reviewed last year. We normally only review apps that are free but will occasionally make an exception for a particularly amazing paid app, and some of those apps have made it to our list. Enjoy! Read More

How To Stop And Play A Long Imgur GIF From The Start

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Following the launch of Project GIFV by Imgur, lots of great high quality GIFs have been shared on the website. And with support for larger files, not only is the quality better but they GIFs are longer. Long GIFs existed before GIFV and in the event you missed a part of it, you'd have to sit through the rest of it, before it looped back to the start. With GIFV, that isn't the case. In fact, you can pause a GIF, prevent it from looping, and go back to the start from any point. Here's how. Read More

Create To-Do Items From An Email And Add Them To Your Calendar [iOS]

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Reminder apps and To-do lists are an area where innovation is difficult. Just about every imaginable way of remembering to do things, or trying to be productive with lists and alarms has been developed. You can always improve on an existing concept but it is hard to think of something truly original. Google tried its hand at making email more manageable with its recent Inbox app. Something developed along those same lines is Handle, a free reminder app for iOS that can connect with your email account and create reminders from any email. In addition to email, the app can also connect with the Calendar app on your iOS device and let you create events from the email or add ones that aren't tied down to one. Read More