Google Photos goes it alone

Google's photo storage and editing tools are making the jump from the Google+ sidebar to their own app. Called Google Photos, the new app is part of Google's effort to sharpen the focus of its social network by uncoupling nonessential services.

For many users, the moves are welcome. At times it has seemed overbearing of Google to put the Google+ social layer over its consumer products, such as making you sign in to Google+ to upload or comment on YouTube... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Digital Photography , Android Software , iOS Software

Windows 10: more of your questions answered

Windows 10 is now available as a free upgrade to millions of people, and dozens of you have sent us questions about it. We tackled a few last week and have six more answers this week to your recent questions about installation, browser compatibility, Control Panel, and more.

Installation woes

"I tried to install Window 10 Technical Preview. I tried a solid state drive and two different hard drives. The program could not find a partition to install... Read More »

Topics: windows , Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10

Mac backup basics

Folks with good Mac backup plans can be smug. Give them a chance, and they'll tell you about the virtues of backing up your OS X data. About the terror of losing treasured photos. And about how there are two kinds of people: those who back up their Macs and those who eventually wish they had.

Get past the self-satisfied pronouncements, however, and these people are sharing hard-earned advice. Hard drives and storage devices fail. Software updates go wrong. Files... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software

Tags: Mac , backup

How to really delete a file in Windows

On modern PCs, a file doesn't actually go away when you hit the Delete key. The bits on your storage drive that represent that file simply get flipped to a hidden state, and they're tagged to be written over by other bits later. This requires less time and processing power than scrubbing every deleted file off your hard drive. Gradually, bits from other files overlap the old file and eliminate it. This process could take seconds or weeks, depending on... Read More »

Topics: windows , Security Software , Windows Software , Security , Utilities

Tags: Security Center , Guides , Windows , security , Files

Windows 10: your questions answered

Try as we might, we can't anticipate every question about Windows 10, which. So we asked you, and you have delivered. We've answered as many as we can, though some things we just don't know yet. Keep sending your questions, and we'll post more answers. Our review of the operating system may also provide some answers.

Recording TV with Windows Media Center

"I have an HDHomeRun digital cable TV tuner. How will I be able to use... Read More »

Topics: windows , Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10

‚ÄčLocation Services 101

Many of your apps work -- or work better -- because of Location Services: maps, navigation, search, weather, ride services, photo geotagging, social media check-ins, and so on. However, you may also find Location Services invasive: burning up battery life, targeting you with local ads, or letting apps track you when you don't need or want them to. Uber, for example, has gotten flak for accessing users' location even when they're not using the app (it also wants... Read More »

Topics: Security Software , Windows Software , Security , Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: Security Center , Guides

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