The best free alternatives to Windows 10's default apps

Windows comes with a number of default apps, which are handy if you need a quick way to open a file but vexing if you'd rather use your preferred apps. For example, when Windows 8 came out, it had a bad habit of opening full-screen apps every time you wanted to view an image, listen to an MP3, watch a video, or read a PDF, and there wasn't a clear way to exit the app. You probably also want better... Read More »

Topics: windows , Windows Software

Tags: Guides , Windows 10 , Windows , Windows software

Send us your Windows 10 questions

Windows 10 will be released to retail on July 29, giving us just a week and a half until takeoff. It's a big deal for Microsoft, which hopes to get this OS on about 1 billion devices in the next few years, starting by making Windows 10 free to Windows 7 and 8.1 home users until July 29, 2016. Because of that, we expect wide adoption this time -- so covering the story correctly is a big deal... Read More »

Topics: windows , Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10

Should you get Windows 10?

Windows 10 is coming on July 29, and it's going to be free for most home users of Windows 7 and 8.1 until July 2016. But while a legitimately free copy of Windows is pretty enticing, upgrading isn't the best move for everyone. You may recall that Windows Vista had some compatibility woes, largely due to how other software detected the version of the operating system. Depending on the vintage of your PC and how you use it, upgrading your... Read More »

Topics: windows , Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10

Windows 10 in a nutshell

Tech media has been mining Windows 10 for stories since the operating system was announced in September 2014, and now we have enough material for a ten-part PBS documentary. If you want the full story, click here for the review of Windows 10. Otherwise, here's the short trailer for that documentary: seven things you need to know about Microsoft's most ambitious Windows yet.

1. Windows 10 is a free upgrade from Windows 7 and 8.1. Until July 29, 2016,... Read More »

Topics: windows , Windows Software

Tags: Guides , Windows 10

How to disable the Adobe Flash browser plug-in

Flash has been found to have multiple zero-day security flaws, which Adobe has been hurriedly patching. But Mozilla Firefox is currently blocking Flash in response, and Facebook's security chief is calling for an end to Flash altogether. If you really want to keep using Flash, update it immediately. But it might be a better idea to go into your desktop browser settings and shut down this media streaming tool, at least for now. Devices... Read More »

Topics: Browsers , Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions , Mac Software , Security

Tags: Security Center

First look: OS X El Capitan public beta

The waiting is the hardest part, and Apple knows it. Which may be why the company is making available a public beta of its next major update to OS X, named El Capitan, in anticipation of its final release this fall.

Apple first gave us a glimpse of El Capitan in June at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference and this month offered a prerelease version to the public, allowing users to check out the progress of the upcoming OS.... Read More »

Topics: mac , Windows Software , Mac Software , Apple

Tags: Apple , Mac , Mac OS X

A gamer's guide to online security

When you're trying to level up, you want to think about the game and not about protecting your personal information. So secure your account first and then go to war with a little peace of mind.

First, follow general online security best practices: keep your OS, browser, and antivirus software up-to-date. Second, protect your personal information. Trend Micro has a handy security checklist for gamers, including tips that are useful for any online account, like not sharing your passwords... Read More »

Topics: Security Software , Windows Software , Security And Spyware , Security , Video Games , Games

Tags: Security Center , Guides , games

Apple releases first public betas of OS X El Capitan and iOS 9

As promised at its developer conference last month, Apple today is opening the doors to prerelease versions of OS X El Capitan and iOS 9. Apple unveiled the upcoming revisions in June at its annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and said it would release public betas of both OSes this month.

Apple's goal with public betas is to give users a chance to preview what's coming and to submit feedback prior to the final releases expected this fall. Apple... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , iOS Software

Tags: iPhone , Apple , iOS , Mac , iPad , Mac OS X

Office 2016 for Mac levels the playing field

Microsoft today released Office 2016 for Mac, a significant -- and long-awaited -- update that should look familiar to those using Office for iOS and Windows. Office 2016 offers Mac users tools and services they've coveted in other editions of Office.

Microsoft's last major update to the Mac Office suite came in the fall of 2010. Much has happened around Office since then: Microsoft rolled out Office 365, a collection of software and services that takes Office apps to the cloud;... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Office Software , Mac Software , Office And Productivity

Tags: Microsoft , Office

How to make Google Drive more secure

If you have a Gmail account, you have 15GB of free cloud storage from Google. It's pretty handy, because it works across a variety of devices, and desktop users can create a special folder on their computer and drop files into it, and that folder syncs with your Drive account as fast as the file can be sent to the cloud. Of course, convenience isn't the only concern for cloud backup services, as we explained recently in our review roundup.... Read More »

Topics: Security Software , Windows Software , Mac Software , Security

Tags: Security Center , Guides