Windows 8

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

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 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 Recently, independent security lab AV-Test investigated whether the outdated XP can be adequately protected.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

Windows 8.1 is finally here!

On Thursday, the long-awaited update for Windows 8 was finally released into the wild. Windows 8.1 brings a slew of new features, upgrades, and overall improvements to the operating system and every app that comes with it.

If you've been using the Preview version of 8.1, many of these features should already seem familiar: swiping up from the base brings up the All Apps drawer, desktop backgrounds can move in parallax effect, and of course, the obligatory "Start" button is... Read More »

Tags: Windows , Microsoft , Windows software , Windows 8 , operating system

Take Windows 8.1 for a spin with the new Preview build

On Wednesday, Microsoft released their highly-anticipated preview build of Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 promises numerous improvements to search, the Windows app store, cloud storage, and enhanced personalization features. In particular, Windows 8.1 also promises a potential "revival" of the oft-missed Start button.

Microsoft has also released an in-depth preview guide for users to showcase some of their major changes to the flagship OS.

We'll be taking 8.1 for a preview spin, but the preview update is free to download.... Read More »

Tags: Microsoft , Windows software , Windows 8

Stardock releases WindowBlinds 8, exclusively on Download.com

On Wednesday Stardock announced an update to their Windows style and theme customization app, WindowBlinds. This update brings it to version 8 and comes with a handful of new changes, including a much more intuitive user interface, updated skin styles, and an improved preview window to see your adjustments before applying a new skin. WindowBlinds also comes with SkinStudio, a built-in tool that lets you customize specific parts of the Windows interface.

WindowBlinds is available at Download.com. Follow the link... Read More »

Tags: Windows software , Windows 8

Diving into <s>Metro</s> Windows Store app data

Software publisher Soluto made a PR splash last month when it issued its first PC purchasing guide, concluding that a Macbook was the best laptop for running Windows ... mostly because running Windows on Mac requires a clean install of the OS, unlike most default Windows laptops, which include varying amounts of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) software.

Soluto is back today with a new "Monthly Insights" report that looks at Windows Store app usage. Windows Store apps are commonly... Read More »

Tags: Windows software , Windows 8

The Top Essential Hotkeys for Windows 8

Whether you're new to Windows 8 or a seasoned veteran, it's always good to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Let's face it: without a touch screen, Windows 8 can get a tad tedious to use. Here are the most essential Windows 8 shortcuts for accessing and working with the Charms menu, and system-wide. You can thank us later.

Useful keys to access Charms in a touchless world

Windows Key + C: Opens Charms Bar Windows Key + I: Access the settings... Read More »

Tags: Microsoft , Windows software , Windows 8