How to Take Screenshots on Windows

07 / 05 / 15


To take a fullscreen screenshot, press the "Print Screen" key. This will take a screenshot and copy the image to the clipboard. The image must then be pasted in order to be saved. The easiest way to do this is by pasting it into Microsoft Paint and then saving the file in paint.


To take a screenshot of a single window, select the window and press the "Print Screen" key while holding the "Alt" key. As with the previous method, you will need to paste the file to save it.


It is also possible to take a fullscreen screenshot and automatically save the screenshot. To do this, press the "Print Screen" key while holding the Windows key (the key with the Windows logo on it). The screenshot will be saved in a folder called "Screenshots" inside your Pictures folder.


If you feel that the above options are too limiting, or if your keyboard does not have a "Print Screen" key, you can also use the Snipping Tool. The Snipping Tool can be found in the Accessories folder in the Start Menu. Click the arrow by the "New" button to choose what kind of screenshot you would like to take. Then press "New" to take it. You can then edit and annotate the screenshot from within the Snipping Tool and save it to the destination of your choice.


How to Quickly Speed Up Your PC

07 / 26 / 14


When your computer starts, along with Windows, an additional set of programs known as "startup programs" will begin to run. Some of these programs can be actually useful and it may be desirable for them to start when the computer does. However, some of them might be useless (and possible malicious) and can cause your computer to slow down because they are running all of the time. Windows' built in System Configuration Utility can be used to fix this.


To open System Configuration, press Windows Key + R, type "msconfig", and press enter.


Now choose "Startup". If you are on Windows 7 or below, you will be presented with a list of startup programs. You may individually disable the ones that you do not wish to run or you may simply choose "Disable All". If you are on Windows 8, click the button that says "Open Task Manager". Here you can also disable startup programs. It is interesting to note that Windows 8 also calculates the startup impact created by each program.


In addition to these startup programs, there are also services that are continually running in the background and can also cause your computer to slow down. From the System Configuration utility mentioned earlier, choose "Services". Check the box that says "Hide all Microsoft services". Now you will see all of the services on your computer that are NOT part of Windows. Once again, you may individually disable the ones that you do not wish to run or you may simply choose "Disable All".


Now close System Configuration. When prompted if you want to restart, choose "Restart". Your computer should not only start up more quickly, but should also be slightly faster and more responsive while you are using it.

How to Defragment your Windows PC's Hard Drive

12 / 29 / 13


After a few years of using a PC many people notice that the computer has gotten significantly slower than when they originally purchased it. This can be due to many factors, although a common cause of this is that the files on the hard drive have become fragmented. This makes it more difficult for the computer to find the files it needs and consequently makes it slower. If you are using Windows 7 or 8, you do not need to worry because these versions of Windows defragment the hard drive automatically. If you are using a solid-state drive (SSD), fragmented files will not slow down your drive, so defragmentation is unnecessary.


To open the defragmentation utility, press Windows Key + R, type "dfrgui", and press enter.


You can now select your computer's main disk (usually the C drive) and click "Defragment" or "Optimize". Unfortunately, this is not a one time task and you will need to defragment your hard drive periodically to keep it running quickly.

How to Remove Crapware from your PC

08 / 20 / 13


Computers are truly amazing pieces of technology. It takes years of work along with a full staff of hardware and software engineers to design a new computer. Sadly, after all of this, computer manufacturers install useless software (known as bloatware or crapware) on new computers that make them slow and difficult to use.


The reason for this is because software developers pay computer manufacturers to have their software installed on new computers. They usually do this for purposes of advertisement or to get the user to buy their software. Crapware can significantly slow down a PC, adding up to a minute to boot time and sometimes causing the computer to overheat.


If you just purchased your PC and do not have any important files on it, you can remove everything from your computer and reinstall Windows. To do this, you will need a Windows install disk. You may also need to reinstall your computer's drivers when you are finished.


If you have had your PC for a while and do not want to lose your important files, you can remove only the crapware using a cleaning tool such as PC Decrapifier.


When you are through, you should see a significant increase in the performance of your PC, not to mention more disk space!

How to Control Your Computer Using Your Voice

06 / 13 / 13


Both Windows and Mac OS X come with built-in speech recognition tools that allow you to control your computer and type using only your voice.


In Windows:

1. Open Control Panel.

2. Navigate to Ease of Access > Speech Recognition.

3. Click start speech recognition.



In Mac OS X:


1. Open System Preferences.

2. Click on Speech or Speech and Dictation.

3. Switch Speakable Items to ON.


How to Create a Recovery Drive

06 / 02 / 13


Sometimes it is nice to have an emergency backup of your operating system in case something goes wrong with your computer. You can load the installer and advanced recovery tools onto a flash drive so that you can be prepared.


What you will need:

- A flash drive with at least 8GB of memory and no important contents

- A Windows install disk or Mac OS X from the Mac App Store

- A functional PC or Mac (Depending on the OS)


How to load Windows:

1. Insert your Windows install disk and your flash drive.

2. Open Computer in Windows Explorer.

3. Right click on your flash drive and click Format.

4. Under File System choose FAT32 (this is the default) and click Start.

5. After the format is complete, right click your disk and click Open.

6. Select the contents of your disk, right click, and click Copy.

7. Open your flash drive, right click, and click paste.


How to load Mac OS X:

1. Download Mac OS X from the Mac App Store and insert your flash drive.

2. Open Disk Utility. (It should be under Applications/Utilities)

3. Select your flash drive from the list and click Partition.

4. Under Volume Scheme, chose 1 Partition.

5. Click Options, select GUID Partition Table, and then click OK.

6. Click Apply.

7. In Finder, nigate to Applications and find the Install Mac OS X app.

8. Right click on the Install Mac OS X app and click on Show Package Contents.

9. Click on Contents and then Shared Support. You should find a file called InstallESD.dmg.

10. Open Disk Utility. (It should be under Applications/Utilities)

11. Drag InstallESD.dmg into the sidebar in Disk Utility.

12. Click on InstallESD.dmg in Disk Utility's sidebar and then click Restore.

13. Drag your flash drive in the Destination box and click Restore.


EDIT: In Mavericks, you must open InstallESD.dmg, and use the BaseSystem.dmg file located inside of it for steps 11-13. The file may be hidden, so you might need to enable hidden files to find it.


How to boot from the drive:


PC:

While your PC is booting up, press the key that corresponds with your motherboard's BIOS. This key will usually be displayed when your computer starts up. If you are not sure, try F2, F4, F8, F12, escape, and delete. If you are successful, you will see a list of bootable drives. Select your flash drive from this list.


Mac:

While your Mac is booting up, press and hold the option key. You will see a list of bootable drives. Select your flash drive from this list.

How to Disable Automatic Updating in Windows

06 / 01 / 13


Since Windows Vista, Windows Update is set by default to automatically download and install updates. As a result, Windows will automatically restart when it is ready to install updates. This can be quite a nuisance, but it is easily fixed.


1. Open Control Panel.

2. Click on System and Security and then Windows Update.

3. Click Change Settings.

4. Under Important Updates, choose "Download updates but let me choose whether to install them".