Windows 7

Clean out junk files in Windows 7, 8.1, and 10

Just like your fridge, a computer's storage space needs to be cleaned out every once in a while to keep things running smoothly. "Temporary" files can get left behind permanently, and big updates to Windows may create many gigabytes of backup files that you never end up using. However, many junk file cleaning apps go too far, such as deleting your web browser cache, which will refill itself anyway over time and whose files help you load... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Guides , Windows 10 , Windows 7 , Windows 8 , Files , optimize

3 Windows tools for snipping, pasting, and previewing

Even people who consider themselves Windows experts might be surprised by the number of tools built into the operating system. These utilities often go unnoticed, but they can save you time, improve your work flow, and maybe even make you look like a wizard. Let's look at the three big hitters.

Cut and paste without formatting annoyances

You know about Ctrl-V to paste text, but do you know about Ctrl-Shift-V?

If you frequently paste text from the Web into an email or... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows software , Windows 7 , utilities , utility

Stop or roll back a Windows 10 upgrade

Update (May 24, 2016): On July 29, 2016, Microsoft will stop offering free upgrades to Windows 10. The company's attempts to get Windows 7 and 8.1 users onboard have become increasingly, shall we say, enthusiastic. When you are confronted with the pop-up window telling you that Microsoft has taken the liberty of scheduling an upgrade, it's disappointingly difficult to figure out how to block the process. Can you spot it in the image below?

Give up? It's the word... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Guides , Windows 10 , Windows 7 , Windows 8 , updates

Windows tech support: Keyboard and mouse

Computers are complex, so inevitably you encounter glitches, error messages, and mechanical failures. Sometimes the problem isn't even the PC itself; it's the devices that you're plugging into it. A seemingly simple thing like a keyboard or a mouse can refuse to play nicely with your Windows machine, making you want to curl up like a trackball. Try our troubleshooting tricks to get your input devices to input. (And if you can't get your Windows device to turn on at... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Guides , Windows 10 , Windows 7 , Windows 8

Windows 7 mainstream support ends

On January 13, Microsoft officially ends mainstream support for Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

What end of mainstream support means

For corporate users, it's business as usual.

For home users, free online and phone support are disappearing. Microsoft stopped distributing new licenses to manufacturers and vendors in October 2014, so don't expect to see many more new PCs preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, or Ultimate.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 now enters its extended support phase. Microsoft will continue to... Read More »

Tags: security , Microsoft , Windows software , Windows 7

Windows XP security

Though Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April, the popular OS refuses to die. Roughly 25 percent of desktop users are clinging to the OS, meaning XP still has four times as many users as Windows 8 or 8.1, according to NetMarketShare. Recently, independent security lab AV-Test investigated whether the outdated XP can be adequately protected.

Is Windows XP still safe?

The answer is a resounding yes. AV-Test found that the majority of security vendors have been able to defend... Read More »

Tags: Windows , security , Microsoft , Windows software , Windows 7 , Windows 8 , XP

5 tips for running Windows XP relatively safely

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, an OS still used by approximately 15 percent (as of May 2015) of Windows customers. That means many PC users must upgrade to a more secure, supported version of Windows or risk their un-updated, unpatched version of Windows XP catching a virus or other Internet bug. As a rule of thumb, we recommend upgrading your OS and then updating it often to protect your system. If you're switching to a new OS, read how to migrate easily from Windows XP.... Read More »

Topics: Security Software

Tags: security , Windows software , Windows 7 , utility

IE10 almost ready for Windows 7

The first Internet Explorer 10 Release Preview for Windows 7 has arrived, gifting many of its improvements to the older OS as Microsoft prepares to keep IE current beyond the gates of Windows 8.

"There's a long alphabet soup of new abilities that we've built into Internet Explorer 10" for Windows 7, Ryan Gavin, Microsoft's general manager for IE, said during an interview last week at CNET's San Francisco office. In addition to porting over the new IE10... Read More »

Tags: Microsoft , Windows software , Windows 7 , IE

BlueStacks marries Android to Windows

If you're struggling to decide between Android or Windows, BlueStacks has a solution for you: choose both. The unique piece of software ties a matrimonial knot between a full version of Android and your Windows machine, allowing you to jump at will between the two operating systems. The marriage is so smooth, in fact, you can create Android app shortcuts on your Windows desktop.

In a conversation today at CNET's San Francisco offices, BlueStacks Senior Vice President Apu Kumar said... Read More »

Tags: Android , Windows software , Windows 7