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 That said, some of the suggestions below involve using external hardware to supplement for outdated, missing, or damaged internal components.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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Important Questions to Ask a Computer Repair Service

By Marco Horn /  Tim Fisher

Before you drop your computer off at a local computer repair service or call them for in-home or in business service, there are several very important questions you should ask.


How Much Do You Charge per Hour?

Asking the cost of a service seems like a question you’d be unlikely to forget but I am always amazed by stories of customers in absolute shock at the hourly rate for a particular computer repair service — after the fact.

Rates vary, and so do charging schemes (some computer repair services are billed per service, don’t wait until it’s time to pay the bill to find out how much per hour you’ll be paying.

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3 critical steps to secure online banking

By Emile Greyling /  Gabriella DiDio

 

People often joke about having "bankers' hours," but really, aside from bankers, who works a standard 9-to-5 anymore? With the hours most of us work, it seems we can never make it into a branch in time, or we discover a banking need on a Sunday and are out of luck.

Now, thanks to online banking, we are able to have more flexibility over transactions. Online banking makes viewing your transactions, paying your bills and managing your finances a breeze.

 

But it's important not to get too comfortable with how easy it is, to the point that you're risking your security. There is no security guard standing watch over your online transactions. Online banking could expose you to hackers and malware that are looking for windows of opportunity to seize your sensitive information. So you need to be your own security guard!

You can use these three tips to protect your accounts…

 

 

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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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Backup your files free with Google Backup & Sync

 

 

Google's Backup and Sync tool has been available for a while now and can make backing up a file, folder or even a system very easy.

It comes in the form of a easy to download app that works on Windows and Apples alike.

This can be downloaded from the Google website.

Link to download https://www.google.com/drive/download/backup-and-sync/

 

 

 

 

Here's how to set it up:

1) Download the Backup and Sync tool.

Getting the tool for Drive is super easy. Download the program from the Drive homepage, or the link provided above.
After download completes run the downloaded file it will install the tool automatically.

 

 

 

 

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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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