Articles about Know Your PC

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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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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How to restart your graphics driver instantly with a key combination

Restart button keyboard key

Your PC suddenly locks up. Nothing responds. The screen turns black. It looks like disaster…

But no. There’s a beep from the speaker, your screen comes back to life, and a message explains that your display driver stopped responding, but had now recovered.

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How to rename Cortana in Windows 10 (you can call her 'Siri' if you like!)

Cortana head

One of Windows 10’s biggest new features is the inclusion of Microsoft’s personal assistant, Cortana. She can do all sorts of things for you, from searching the web, to setting reminders, and even looking up songs as they play.

You can summon Cortana at any time simply by saying "Hey, Cortana", but if you’d rather call her something different -- "Siri", perhaps, or "Darling", or "Ava" -- it’s possible to give her a name change. This is how.

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How to significantly improve Windows 10's wallpaper quality

windows wallpaper

You may be more than happy with your choice of Windows wallpaper, but what you may not know is it’s not as good as it could be.

I’m not saying the image itself isn’t great, but the problem is Windows 10 automatically compresses the picture to help system performance, and that reduces the overall wallpaper quality, quite considerably.

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How to fix a broken Windows 10 Start menu

Windows 10 fixed

If you’re having problems getting the Windows 10 Start menu to open, or it’s just not working as it should, you’re not alone. Quite a few people have encountered issues following upgrading to the new OS, or updating to a new build.

Rebooting might fix temporary problems, but if it doesn’t we have some more advanced solutions for you to try.

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How to install Windows Media Center on Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows Media Center

Microsoft dropped Windows Media Center from Windows 10, citing "decreased usage" as the reason it would no longer be available. In its place the software giant released a DVD Player, but this was expensive and incredibly basic.

If you miss Windows Media Center, and alternatives such as Kodi aren’t filling the gap for you, the good news is you can, with a little trickery, install Windows Media Center on Windows 10.

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How to enable the dark theme in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Dark Theme Settings

Windows 10 Anniversary Update is officially available now, and it is chock full of new features and improvements to get excited about. One of the most-awaited additions to the operating system is a rather comprehensive and attractive dark theme.

The dark theme that Microsoft has introduced in Windows 10 Anniversary Update transforms the look of the user interface. It impacts many visual elements, including the appearance of the Start menu, app bar and colors, and even apps. And here is how you can enable it.

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Fix Windows 10 Start menu problems with Microsoft's new troubleshooter tool

Windows 10 fixed

Windows 10 is a good operating system, but it can be a little buggy at times. Hopefully the forthcoming Anniversary Update will fix a lot of these issues, although it’s equally possible it may introduce more bugs along with the raft of new features.

If you’ve been having problems with the Start menu in Windows 10 the good news is Microsoft has released a new troubleshooting tool which can identify and fix many issues automatically.

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Microsoft's leaked Windows Refresh tool lets you start anew in Windows 10

Windows relief

Yesterday, something went horribly wrong with my PC leaving me with no option but to use the Windows 10 Reset option to wipe all my programs and start over. It was the first time I’d had to use it, and things went smoothly enough, even if it took forever to get everything setup again afterwards.

The ability to Reset Windows 10 -- re-installing the OS while keeping, or removing your personal files -- is a great idea (although admittedly not as good as being able to install Windows over the top of itself as you could with XP), and now Microsoft is spinning it off into a standalone tool.

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How to fully disable Windows 10 live tiles

Viewing live tiles

Windows 10’s Start menu offers live tiles that update every few seconds or so to display information like the latest news headlines and weather, and also a changing slideshow of photos.

Live tiles are viewed by many as a bit odd, because unless you switch to tablet mode, you only ever see them when you open the Start menu, and the menu has to stay open so you can watch the tiles update. Fortunately, if have no need for such things, this feature is easily disabled.

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How to hide your name and email address on the Windows 10 lock screen

Hiding

You may have noticed that the Windows 10 lock screen displays your real name and email address just above the password/PIN box.

This is obviously there to show you which Microsoft account you’re logging into, but it’s personal information you might not want visible to just anyone if you use your PC in a busy environment or public place (if you lock your device when in a coffee shop, for example). Fortunately, hiding these details is easy.

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How to build a low-cost classic video game emulation PC using the AMD AM1 platform

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What can you do with 25 watts? Well, let's take a moment to think about it. Today, you can get LED light bulbs that put out about the same amount of light as a 60W or 70W bulb. You can get a pair of speakers that put out twice as much sound as a 25W speaker could only years ago. 25 watts can do a lot of things these days. As technology advances, and power requirements continue to shrink, more and more can be done with less. With smaller and smaller manufacturing techniques, power efficiency will continue to increase. What took hundreds of watts to achieve years ago, can now be done with a fraction of the power.

Today I am writing this story to shed some light on a processor that is rated at 25W -- AMD's Athlon 5350 APU. It's a full quad core CPU and a GPU all in one. It amazes me to think that's even possible. Remember when AMD stuck the first GPU onto a CPU die when it introduced Llano? To think it was only a few years back and now we have the same thing, but using so much less power. It is quite remarkable.

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How to install and use extensions in Microsoft Edge on Windows 10

Extensions screen

Starting in Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14291, Microsoft has introduced a selection of extensions for its Edge browser.

While the software giant promises that popular add-ons like AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Amazon, LastPass, and Evernote are on their way, it’s launched the feature with three rather less-exciting offerings -- Mouse Gestures, Microsoft Translator and an early version of Reddit Enhancement Suite.

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