Articles about Know Your PC

How to manage notifications in Windows 10

Notifcations

The new Action Center keeps you informed about what’s going on in Windows 10, providing a single place for all of the notifications from Windows and installed apps, and also informing you about new emails, instant messages, Facebook updates, and much more.

Notifications flash up on screen and come from all sorts of places, and if you’re not careful, you can easily find yourself bombarded with alerts. Fortunately it’s easy to trim down which notifications you see.

Continue reading

How to customize the Windows 10 Start menu

Start menu

Hooray, Windows 10 has a Start menu. It may not be the Start menu you were hoping for (Windows 7 users I’m looking at you), but it’s there, and easily customized.

You can change the colors, transparency effect, and size and position of the tiles. If you don’t want the tiled interface you can turn this off, and just have a straightforward Windows 7-style menu. Here’s what you can do.

Continue reading

How to make Firefox or Chrome the default browser in Windows 10

Default web browser

Obviously Microsoft’s Edge browser is the new default choice in Windows 10, and it’s definitely worth giving it a try. I’ve found it to be speedy and surprisingly good. Persevere long enough and you might grow to like it as I have.

That said, if you prefer to use Chrome or Firefox, with all the add-ons and customizations in place, I really couldn’t blame you. Edge isn’t (yet) as flexible, and if you already use Google or Mozilla’s browser for syncing content between devices, then it makes sense to use the same browser in Windows 10. Here’s how to setup a rival browser as the default option.

Continue reading

How to change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge

edge logo

Microsoft’s new modern web browser comes with Bing as its default search engine. This will, of course, surprise absolutely no one. Some people will be more than happy with that choice, but others will prefer to switch to using something different. Like Google.

The process isn’t especially intuitive but it is very straightforward and won’t take more than a few seconds of your time. Here’s how to do it.

Continue reading

Automate login and bypass the lock screen in Windows 10

bypass login

Like Windows 8.x, Windows 10 has been designed with security in mind and requires you to log in before you can start using it. That’s fine, and sensible, but if you’re the only person using your PC, and you’re confident that no one will be able to use it without your permission, or break in to your home and steal it, you might want to skip this stage.

The process of doing so is the same as in Windows 8, and is very simple without the need for registry hacks or complicated trickery.

Continue reading

Kingston HyperX announces world's fastest 128GB DDR4 memory kit

DDR4fastesrt

As someone who grew up in the 80's and 90's, I was a huge fan of the sitcom "Home Improvement". If you aren't familiar, the premise was that the father / TV host, played by Tim Allen, would often hurt himself and cause damage in an attempt to get "more power". Yes, he was always trying to squeeze additional power from machines, much like computer enthusiasts and gamers do nowadays.

Unlike the sitcom, however, more power with computers does not have to result in injury, but it does often cause damage to one's wallet. Today, Kingston HyperX announces the world's fastest 128GB DDR4 Memory Kit. Not yet available to consumers, the RAM is insanely fast and will likely be very expensive when it hits the market.

Continue reading

X2 announces ISOLATIC 6020 -- a sexy and affordable full-tower ATX PC case

x2products_computer_cases_x2-6020w-cer-2u3_x2-6020w-cer-2u3_01427869042

When building a computer, there are areas where you should try to save money, and others where you shouldn't. A budget power supply? Probably a bad idea. Generic no-name RAM? Just say no. A case? Bingo. When looking to save money, the case, for the most part, will not affect performance or stability. You can find an inexpensive ugly or cheaply-made case with decent cooling.

Today, X2 announces a full-tower PC case that is not only affordable, but sexy as hell too. Seriously, the design is very futuristic, giving a premium look at a fairly budget price.

Continue reading

How to make Project Spartan the default browser in Windows 10

Projectspartan logo

The latest Windows 10 release, Build 10049, comes with Microsoft’s new browser, Project Spartan. The software giant describes the new app as being built for the modern web, with a design that’s "streamlined and puts the focus on the page, not the browser". My colleague Mark Wilson, has a different view, describing it as "fat, chunky, and devoid of style and features".

While you can launch Project Spartan directly from the Start menu, Internet Explorer remains the default web browser in the new build. You can easily change this behavior though.

Continue reading

How to create a bootable Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 USB flash drive

man hand usb flash laptop drive business suit

If you want to install Windows from scratch, you have two choices -- you can install the OS from a CD/DVD or from a USB flash drive. The latter is the better option, especially as optical drives are becoming something of a rarity these days.

The process of creating a bootable USB flash drive for Windows 7, 8.1 or 10, is quick and easy. Here’s how to do it.

Continue reading

You can now download Windows 7 ISOs directly from Microsoft -- here's how

Windows 7-Start-Button

Can’t find your Windows 7 disc but need it to do a fresh install or run a copy of Windows in a virtualized environment? The obvious solution is to download a copy of the operating system in ISO format.

Oddly though, Microsoft has avoided offering Windows 7 ISOs for download -- the only solution previously was to grab a copy from Digital River, Microsoft’s official content delivery partner for Windows 7. That’s all changed now though, as a new Microsoft Software Recovery center lets you download Windows 7 directly from the software giant itself.

Continue reading

How to breathe new life into an old PC [Beginner’s guide]

Old-PC

With today’s rapid pace of technological change and consumer-centric culture it’s easy to throw out your laptop or PC as soon as a shinier, flashier model comes along. The problem is: there’s always a faster, more up-to-date version waiting just around the corner.

However, you can save the environment, and your bank balance, from taking any extra strain by following these tips to get some extra life out of an older computer.

Continue reading

Get Cortana working in Windows 10 in the UK, and other non-US countries

cortana

One of the biggest new features in the latest build of Windows 10 is Cortana. Microsoft is bringing its virtual assistant to the desktop, and if you install Build 9926 you can see what she’s capable of right now. Well, you can if you’re in the US at least.

If you live outside of America, in the UK for example, if you summon Cortana you’ll be told she’s "not available to help in your region", which is a bit rubbish. Fortunately, there are ways around this silly restriction.

Continue reading

Unlock Windows 10's hidden secrets

old start

Microsoft released Build 9926 of the Windows 10 Technical Preview on Friday, and so far we’re liking what we see. There are a few issues with it, naturally, but it’s definitely a giant leap in the right direction (for the most part anyway).

There are several hidden features available, but not activated, in this new build, which are well worth exploring and so we’ve put together this handy guide explaining how to get them all working.

Continue reading

How to install Windows 10 Insider Preview on Oracle VirtualBox

techpreview

Microsoft has just released the Technical Preview of Windows 10. It’s a very early build, so you wouldn’t be advised to run it as your main operating system, and while you could set it to dual boot, running it in a virtualized environment is probably a better idea.

The process is very simple -- all you need is a copy of Oracle VM VirtualBox and the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO.

Continue reading

Free up space in Windows 10 with the new Disk Cleanup System Compression feature

disk cleanup

Windows 10 Technical Preview is very much an early work in progress. Microsoft is releasing new builds on a fairly regular basis (although the next one isn’t expected until the New Year), and implementing changes based on user feedback. Personally I’m liking what I’m seeing so far.

Although Microsoft discusses the major new features and changes in each build, there’s still some hidden functionality that you may not be aware of. Case in point is the little known System Compression option tucked away in Disk Cleanup.

Continue reading

© 1998-2015 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.