Wayne Williams

How to change Windows 10's taskbar color, but leave the Start menu and Action Center untouched

Colorful hands

Windows 10 offers a lot of personalization options. Go to Settings > Personalization and you can change the background, alter the color scheme, pick a different Lock screen background, and apply themes.

If you want Windows 10 to show a splash of color, go to the Colors section and toggle the 'Show color on Start, taskbar and Action Center' setting to On. There’s not an option to only change the taskbar’s color unfortunately, but it is possible to do this.

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Defeat ransomware with Avast's free decryptors

RansomwareDecryptorTools

Ransomware is probably the most malicious form of malware, and if you’ve been hit by it, the effects can be devastating.

You have two choices -- either pay the ransom in the hope your files will be released (not a given by any means), or try to find a way around the problem. If you have a backup of your personal files then you can simply wipe your system, and start over. If you don’t then, a ransomware decryption tool might save the day.

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How to stop Facebook eating through your mobile data allowance

If you have an unlimited mobile data plan -- or a very generous one at least -- then you don’t have to worry about apps going crazy, and gobbling up data when you’re out and about.

If, however, you’re on a more limited plan, you probably want to save data where you can. Facebook is one of the worst apps for consuming data rather unnecessarily, but you can rein it in.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14977 arrives on the Fast ring -- but it's for Mobile only

Windows-10 key

It’s been a while since we had a new Windows 10 Insider build -- Thanksgiving got in the way of Microsoft’s usual weekly schedule.

Today, the software giant releases Build 14977 to the fast ring, but it’s for Mobile only. The PC build has a blocking bug that results in broken apps on an upgrade, so we’ll have until next week for a new build for that platform.

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How to reliably disable Windows 10 updates

Happy PC user

Windows 10’s mandatory updates are designed to keep your system safe and always up to date. You do have limited control over the update process, but not as much as in Windows 7, for example.

You can stop updates in Windows 10, but it requires you to disable the Windows Update service in the Services manager, and most people won’t know how to do that. Thankfully there is an easier solution.

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WD introduces a range of affordable storage devices designed for Raspberry Pi

WD Labs Raspberry PiDrive Foundation

The Raspberry Pi has been an incredible success. Originally aimed at teaching kids to code, it has found an appreciative audience outside of the education system.

You can do lots with a Pi, but some projects require more storage than you might have on your SD/microSD card. WD has introduced a new series of storage devices designed specifically for use with the Raspberry Pi, which combine microSD card and USB drive functionality with operating system installation software.

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Windows 10 share picks up again, after two disastrous months

Windows relief

According to NetMarketShare’s desktop operating system usage share figures, in September Windows 10, on the back of no longer being free, went into reverse gear and managed to lose market share. It was only a drop of 0.46 percentage points, but even so.

October didn’t show much of an improvement for the new OS either. In that month it managed a minuscule rise of just 0.06 percentage points. Some good news for Microsoft in November then, as Windows 10 finally returns to actual growth.

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Free online test can tell if you're 'pre-disposed' to negative or bad behavior

minority report

In the 2002 movie Minority Report, a law enforcement squad called "Precrime" arrests future criminals before they commit their act. Imagine if businesses could predict the future behavior of potential employees before hiring (or not hiring) them? That’s what Veris Benchmarks’ products aim to achieve.

The company also offers Veris Prime, is a free online test that you can take for yourself, and which measures your personal trustworthiness and shows how your results compare to white collar criminals.

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Turn your Raspberry Pi into a 3D Christmas tree with this new board

Christmas Tree Pi 3D

If you need help to get into the festive spirit, and an Eggnog Latte from Starbucks isn’t quite cutting it, perhaps transforming a Raspberry Pi into an illuminated 3D Christmas tree will do the trick.

The Pi Hut has created a Christmas tree board kit that you simply assemble and plug into your Pi. Once done, sit back and feel the joys of the holiday season as they come rushing towards you. Ho, ho, and indeed ho.

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You can now play classic arcade games in Facebook Messenger -- Here's how

games-titles-2

You’ve been able to play basic games in Facebook Messenger for a while -- things like chess, soccer and basketball -- but from now you’ll be able to play classic arcade games too.

So, if in a middle of a chat with a friend you’re suddenly overcome with the need to challenge them to a game of Pac-Man, Galaga, Space Invaders, Puzzle Bobble, or Track & Field, you can.

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Plagued by Apple Calendar spam? Here's how to stop it

calendar spam thumb

Recently a lot of people have been complaining about spam calendar invitations in iOS, and it’s something I’ve experienced too -- particularly on Black Friday. "$19.99 Ray-ban&Oakley Black Friday In-Store & Online" said one unwelcome invitation.

While you can easily decline these invites, that’s not the greatest idea because -- just like responding to a spam email -- it has the side effect of telling a spammer that your account is active. Thankfully, there is an easy way to stop them.

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How to save Spotlight lock screen images to use as wallpaper in Windows 10

Windows spotlight image

Windows 10 has a lock screen mode called Windows Spotlight that pulls attractive images from the web on a daily basis. In most instances, you’ll only see these when you log on, or lock your PC.

If you see an image that you’d like to use as Windows wallpaper, you can’t simply right-click and save it, but there is a way to easily export Windows Spotlight images to a folder so you can use them as desktop backgrounds.

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Microsoft shares Windows 10 telemetry data with third parties [Updated]

Eye spy

It’s no secret that Windows 10 records all sorts of usage information, some of which it feeds back to Microsoft. To help with the smooth running of Windows 10, and to get an idea of how users interact with the operating system, Microsoft collects telemetry data, which includes information on the device Windows 10 is running on, a list of installed apps, crash dumps, and more.

Telemetry data recorded by Windows 10 is, in a nutshell, just technical information about the device the OS is on, and how Windows and any installed software is performing, but it can occasionally include personal information. If you’re worried about that, the news that Microsoft is sharing telemetry data with third parties might concern you.

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UK retailer Argos is selling the new Apple MacBook Pro (2016) for just £100!

Argos

Apple is planning some Black Friday offers, but if you’re looking to get a good deal on a new MacBook Pro (2016), you’re probably going to be very disappointed.

However, UK retailer Argos has the deal of the century on the new MacBook Pro with TouchBar -- it’s currently offering it for just £100 ($124) -- a significant saving over the recommended price of £1,449. And if that’s still a bit rich for you, there are credit options available.

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How to keep track of your Windows 10 update history

confusedpw

Unless you’ve taken steps to actively block Windows 10’s mandatory updates, the chances are the new OS is regularly installing updates without your knowledge, and you'll probably only discover a new one has happened if/when something goes wrong.

For the most part, updates are perfectly safe, introduce occasional new features, and keep your system protected from threats, without you needing to lift a finger. But if you’re the sort of person who likes to know exactly what’s going on with your computer, there are a couple of ways to keep track of the Windows 10 updates.

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