new laptop

Should You Upgrade or Replace Your Laptop?

By Marco Horn /  Tim Fisher

Deciding whether to upgrade or replace a laptop is a big decision, and it can be complicated to know when or even if you should. You need to consider if the labor is worth it — if it’s cheaper to replace or rebuild, and whether or not you actually need to do it.
The different components on a laptop are not as easy to replace as are the ones in a desktop computer, but it certainly is possible to upgrade a laptop if you have the patience and proper tools. That said, some of the suggestions below involve using external hardware to supplement for outdated, missing, or damaged internal components.

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How to Fix It When Attachments Are Not Showing in Outlook

By Marco Horn /  Brad Stephenson

Attachments are one of the most commonly used features in the Microsoft Outlook email app, but it can often be hard finding the attachment function, seeing attachments in Outlook emails that have been sent to you, or knowing when an Outlook attachment has been uploaded to a message correctly.
These kind of Outlook issues can affect small and large attachments and a variety of file types.
Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; Outlook for Office 365, and Office.com.

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What to Do When Your USB Ports Aren’t Working

By Marco Horn /  Jeremy Laukkonen

When your USB ports suddenly stops working, the problem can always be tracked down to either a hardware or software failure. Some of these problems are the same across both Windows and Mac, while others are unique to just one or the other.

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Cleaning printer

How to Clean a Printer and Scanner

By Marco Horn /  Jordan Baranowski

One of the best ways to keep printers and scanners working at optimal levels for longer is by giving them regular cleanings. If you notice streaky, blurry, smudged, or otherwise distorted images when printing documents or scanning images, here’s how to clean a printer or scanner yourself before opening up your wallet for a costly fix or replacement.

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3 ways to free up space on your smartphone

By Emile Greyling /  Kevin Downey

 

How did we live without our smartphones? 

Well, your everyday life wouldn't be nearly as nice without it. You're constantly taking photos and videos that you share with friends and family around the world on social media sites like Facebook and Whatsapp

You make phone calls,  You send thousands of text messages every year and, of course, there's so much more, like getting driving directions, finding out what time a store closes and checking your bank balance.

So, it's understandable that you cringe when you see a message pop up on your smartphone. The worst one is telling you that your battery is low, and you just arrived at a business meeting where you'll need it all day!

Yet, there's a close No. 2 when it comes to dreaded smartphone messages. That's "Your storage space is almost full."

Let's face it, you've deleted just about everything you can't live without, including photos and apps. Yet, you need more space, so you recklessly start deleting the big storage munchers, like Facebook, your bank account app, photos and videos.

 

Here are some of the best things to delete when you need space, and how to do it.

1. Delete apps

The way you delete an app is different depending on whether you're using an Android smartphone or iPhone, and which model you're using. However, the steps will most likely be similar to these.

 

 

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Should You Ever Disable a Windows Service?

If you have ever searched for ways to make your Windows computer faster, you’ve probably run across several that suggest turning off or disabling certain Windows services. Other websites say it’s dangerous and you should never mess with Windows services. So, who is correct?

 

Well, the argument can be broken down into whether or not you know what you are doing. If you don’t know what a Windows service even is, then you really should not disable any service before researching it's function. If you have some basic understanding of services and programs, then it’s OK to disable only non-Microsoft services.

As a general rule, we never disable any service that comes installed with Windows by default or that is from Microsoft. If you think a service is unnecessary and might be slowing down your computer, you should Google it and then try to uninstall the program or Windows feature that is creating the service in the first place.

 

However, when you disable non-Microsoft services, your chances of messing something up on your computer are greatly reduced. Most of these third-party services don’t necessarily need to be enabled. They are usually there to check for updates in the background or something similar.

 

Windows Services Location

 

First off, there are two ways to view all the services on your Windows PC. You can go to Start and type in services to open the desktop app or you can type in MSCONFIG to open the system configuration utility.

 

 

Go ahead and click on the Services tab and you’ll see a list of all services with checkmarks next to each one. If you uncheck the service, it will be disabled the next time you restart the computer.

 

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Use Deep Freeze to Restore Your PC on Boot

Ever wish you could undo all the changes your staff or kids have made to a PC? Or maybe you would like to install some software on your system to test it before purchasing, but you don’t know exactly what it will do?

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just restart the computer and all the changes made were simply wiped out? Luckily, there is a way to do this using a program called Deep Freeze by Faronics.

 

Now you would be right if you looked at that page and thought that this is a program that is used by big companies or institutions. However, those are not their only customers. They sell a standard edition of the program which is cost-effective considering the benefits.

 

We’ve spent a lot more on software and have normally been disappointed. That’s why nowadays we only use freeware or purchase subscription software like Adobe Creative Cloud. However, this is one program we can recommend purchasing because there simply isn’t a freeware that can do the same thing in such a convenient way.

 

deep-freeze

 

It’s worth noting that we have not been asked to write this review by Faronics. We decided to try it out on our test PC that we use for installing test software and it’s made life a lot easier.

 

Features and Benefits

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How to Enable Flash in Chrome for Specific Websites

If you’re a Chrome user, which you should be, you probably have noticed that Flash is blocked by default in the browser. Google does not like Flash because of the major security flaws inherent in Flash and therefore does everything in its power to force you not to use Flash.

 

The problem is there are still a lot of sites that use Flash. None of the major sites you visit every day like Facebook, Instagram, etc. use it, but a lot of smaller and older sites just haven’t bothered to switch to HTML 5. 

If you do a quick Google search for enabling Flash in Chrome, you’ll see a lot of articles telling you to download Flash from Adobe’s website and install it (which won’t work) or to open a Chrome tab and go to chrome://plugins (which also won’t work anymore). In the most recent version of Chrome (57), you can no longer manage plugins by going to that URL. Instead, you’ll just get a “This site can’t be reached” message.

 

 

Now it seems they only want you to enable it for the specific sites where it is needed. In this article, I’ll explain how to get Flash to work when you need it and how to keep it disabled otherwise.

 

Check Chrome Flash Settings

 

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Forcefully Clear the Print Queue in Windows

Most of us have run into the situation where you try to print something and nothing happens.

 

There are many reasons why a print job may not actually print, but one of the common causes is that the printer queue has a stuck print job.

 

This can happen for a number of reasons.

 

 

Let’s say you tried to print something a few hours back, but the printer was off. You ended up not needing the document and you forgot about it. Then you come back and try to print. The print job is added to the queue and if the previous job didn't get removed automatically, it will be waiting behind that print job that never got printed.

 

The most common fix is to double click on your printer and delete the print job, but sometimes it will refuse to delete. In this scenario, you have to clear the print queue manually.

 

Clear Print Queue in Windows

 

In order to get the printing services back up and running, follow these steps:

 

1. Go to Start, Control Panel and Administrative Tools. Double click on Services icon.

 

 

2. Scroll down to the Print Spooler service and right click on it and select Stop. In order to do this, you need to have Administrative privileges, or be logged in as Administrator.  It will notify you if you lack the necessary credentials.

 

 

3. Next you need to press the Windows button & R at the same time,

 

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How to Setup Dual Monitors in Windows

Setting up dual monitors used to be an expensive and complicated task, but thanks to cheap graphics cards and cheap Monitors, nowadays, pretty much any modern computer can support dual monitors.

 

In addition, the latest versions of Windows support a lot of features natively that you previously could only get using third-party dual monitor software.

 

For example, each monitor can have its own taskbar and Start button.

 

Also, each monitor can have a different background or you can use a single panoramic picture and have it span both desktops.

 

In this article, I’ll talk about the requirements for dual monitors in Windows and how you can configure all the settings in Windows once you have the monitors connected.

 

Dual Monitor Requirements

 

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