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Headshot of MakeUseOf Writer, Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman

/ Joined 8 December, 2011

Chris Hoffman is a tech blogger and all-around technology addict living in Eugene, Oregon.

343 Articles
2002 Comments
4 Easy Ways to Use SSH In Windows

Windows

4 Easy Ways to Use SSH In Windows

SSH is the de facto solution for securely accessing remote terminals on Linux and other UNIX-like systems. If you have a remote SSH server you want to access, you’ll have to download an SSH client. Windows doesn’t include one, although Mac OS X, Linux, and even Google’s Chrome OS include built-in SSH clients. Sure, Windows does include a Telnet client, but Telnet is horrifically insecure and should never be used unless you’re directly connected to the remote system and it’s not exposed to the Internet.

15-07-2013
4 Easy Ways to Use SSH In Windows
9 Ways To Bookmark Your Favorite Folders In Windows

Windows

9 Ways To Bookmark Your Favorite Folders In Windows

The Windows file system can be complicated, with folders scattered all over the place and even buried deep under other, hidden folders. If you need quick access to a variety of folders scattered across your file system — or you just want easier access to one or two folders you frequently use — there are a variety of ways you can bookmark these folders and make them more easily accessible. Whether you’re using Windows 7 or Windows 8, these tips will give you quicker access to your most frequently used folders.

12-07-2013
9 Ways To Bookmark Your Favorite Folders In Windows
Surprise: Internet Explorer 11 Has Matured Into A Modern Browser

Windows

Surprise: Internet Explorer 11 Has Matured Into A Modern Browser

Remember Internet Explorer 6? Well, Internet Explorer isn’t horrible anymore. Whether you like IE or not, you can’t deny that it has improved dramatically and is now worthy of taking its place alongside other modern browsers — especially with the new Internet Explorer 11. Internet Explorer 11 is part of Windows 8.1, which is currently available as a Preview release and will launch officially later this year. Windows 7 users will eventually be able to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, too.

10-07-2013
Surprise: Internet Explorer 11 Has Matured Into A Modern Browser
How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 Preview & What To Expect

Windows

How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 Preview & What To Expect

Anyone using Windows 8 can now upgrade to a preview version of Windows 8.1 for free. This update refines Windows 8, giving keyboard and mouse users important interface improvements and making the Modern interface more powerful. Note that you can’t downgrade back to Windows 8 without completely reinstalling your operating system from Windows 8 installation media or a recovery drive. Windows 8.1 Preview is thus best confined to computers you can afford to experiment with and virtual machines.

08-07-2013
How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 Preview & What To Expect
Cracked Android Apps and Games: Read This Before Downloading

Android

Cracked Android Apps and Games: Read This Before Downloading

The statistics don’t lie: Most Android malware comes from outside Google Play. Downloading cracked apps — or any type of app — from a shady website or untrustworthy third-party app store is the way most Android devices become infected. Never mind the harm to app creators — downloading cracked Android apps and games is a great way to harm yourself.

05-07-2013
Cracked Android Apps and Games: Read This Before Downloading
3 Ways to Disable Windows 8 Gestures

Windows

3 Ways to Disable Windows 8 Gestures

Windows 8 is full of gestures and shortcuts. In addition to touch-screen gestures, there are swipe gestures you can perform with your laptop’s touchpad and mouse gestures that involve moving your cursor to the corners of the screen. However, there are ways to disable all of these gestures. This is particularly useful if these gestures get in your way while using your touchpad or mouse. You can even disable a Windows 8 device’s touch screen entirely — we don’t recommend it, but it’s something you can do if you want.

03-07-2013
3 Ways to Disable Windows 8 Gestures
2 Tools and Ways to Manage Your Windows Libraries

Windows

2 Tools and Ways to Manage Your Windows Libraries

Microsoft has made some aspects of managing Windows libraries rather difficult — what if you want to add removable drives or network shares to a library? What if you want to choose a custom icon for your libraries? To do these things, you’ll need a third-party tool for managing your Windows libraries. These tools are useful on Windows 7, but they can be even more useful on Windows 8, as Modern apps don’t have access to the file system and can only see files in the appropriate library.

28-06-2013
2 Tools and Ways to Manage Your Windows Libraries
6 Safest Ways to Backup & Restore Your Files in Windows 7 & 8

Windows

6 Safest Ways to Backup & Restore Your Files in Windows 7 & 8

By now, we’re sure you’ve read the advice over and over: Everyone needs to back up their files. But deciding to back up your files is only part of the process. There are so many different ways to back up your files, and it can be hard knowing where to start. We’ll cover all the best ways you can back up your files and help you find the method that’s right for you. The most important thing is having several copies of your files — either on an external drive or in the cloud somewhere.

26-06-2013
6 Safest Ways to Backup & Restore Your Files in Windows 7 & 8
How To Restore, Refresh, or Reset Your Windows 8 Installation

Windows

How To Restore, Refresh, or Reset Your Windows 8 Installation

In addition to the standard System Restore feature, Windows 8 has features for “refreshing” and “resetting” your PC. Think of these as ways of quickly re-installing Windows — either keeping your personal files or deleting them from your hard drive. In addition to functioning as troubleshooting features, Refresh and Reset are similar to the “restore to factory defaults” option found on many simpler devices. We’ll explain how to use these features, but we’ll also explain what they do and when you’d want to use them.

24-06-2013
How To Restore, Refresh, or Reset Your Windows 8 Installation
10 Common PC Maintenance Errors That You Can Avoid

Windows

10 Common PC Maintenance Errors That You Can Avoid

PCs still require maintenance, as much as we wish they were magic boxes that did all the work for us. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when it comes to maintaining their PC. These mistakes could result in hardware damage, security breaches, data loss, and general system instability. We generally cover lists of things you should do, but knowing what not to do can be even more important. Here we cover some of the most common mistakes so you can avoid them and keep your PC running like new.

21-06-2013
10 Common PC Maintenance Errors That You Can Avoid
Every Windows 8 Shortcut – Gestures, Desktop, Command Line

Windows

Every Windows 8 Shortcut – Gestures, Desktop, Command Line

Windows 8 is all about shortcuts. People with touch-enabled PCs use touch gestures, users without touch devices must learn the mouse shortcuts, power users use keyboard shortcuts on the desktop and novel command-line shortcuts, and you can even use special swipe gestures on your laptop’s touchpad. Here we collected all the shortcuts you need to master Windows 8. If you’ve upgraded to Windows 8 or bought a new PC that came with Windows 8, you’ll find that a lot has changed.

19-06-2013
Every Windows 8 Shortcut – Gestures, Desktop, Command Line
How to Wipe Your Hard Disk Drive Leaving the OS Intact

Windows

How to Wipe Your Hard Disk Drive Leaving the OS Intact

So you want to get rid of your computer. To keep your data secure you will want to securely wipe the drive. This ensures that no one can recover the deleted files. However, you might not want to remove the entire operating system itself. Just re-installing your operating system or restoring from your recovery partition isn’t enough to guarantee that your files won’t be recoverable. When getting rid of a PC that has potentially sensitive data, you should wipe the drive to be sure your data can’t be recovered.

17-06-2013
How to Wipe Your Hard Disk Drive Leaving the OS Intact
5 Ways to Add Touch to a Windows 8 Computer

Windows

5 Ways to Add Touch to a Windows 8 Computer

Windows 8’s Start screen and “Modern” apps can feel awkward to use on a non-touch PC, but they really start to make sense when paired with a touch PC. If you’re not ready to go out and buy a new Windows 8 laptop with touch, tablet, convertible, or all-in-one PC, here are some ways you can add touch support to your existing system. There is a reason Microsoft is pushing hard to integrate touch support into all future PCs. None of these methods is as ideal as having a PC that comes with native touch support.

12-06-2013
5 Ways to Add Touch to a Windows 8 Computer
7 Ways to Ensure Your Loved Ones’ PC Will Never Need Fixing

Windows

7 Ways to Ensure Your Loved Ones’ PC Will Never Need Fixing

Are you tech support for your family or friends? Do you receive frantic calls because they’ve installed malware or somehow managed to break their computer and they need you to fix it? This can be extremely obnoxious — not to mention time-consuming. If you’re tech support, here are some tips to help you make your users’ computers more newbie-proof. Once you’ve got everything set up right, your users will hopefully leave you alone so you can get on with your life and have more precious free time.

10-06-2013
7 Ways to Ensure Your Loved Ones’ PC Will Never Need Fixing
Better Than a Notepad: The 3 Fastest Ways To Jot Down Notes on Android

Android

Better Than a Notepad: The 3 Fastest Ways To Jot Down Notes on Android

Whether you need to jot down ideas for your next project or items you want to pick up at the store, it’s always good to have something ready for taking notes. Many people carry around a pen and paper in addition to their smartphones — a pen and paper is just faster than many note-taking solutions. We’ll try to beat a physical notepad by looking at the fastest way to take notes on Android.

07-06-2013
Better Than a Notepad: The 3 Fastest Ways To Jot Down Notes on Android
How To Sync Your Windows 8 Settings Via The Cloud

Windows

How To Sync Your Windows 8 Settings Via The Cloud

Logging into your Windows 8 computers with a Microsoft account enables access to the Windows Store and other Modern apps, but it’s also used to sync Windows 8 settings with the Cloud. Your settings will be synced between all your Windows 8 computers and tablets, or backed up with your Microsoft account. Syncing is enabled by default. However, you can choose to disable sync entirely or sync only certain types of settings between your computers and tablets.

05-06-2013
How To Sync Your Windows 8 Settings Via The Cloud
Has Windows 8 Failed in the Market, or Only in Your Mind?

Windows

Has Windows 8 Failed in the Market, or Only in Your Mind?

Is Windows 8 a failure? People who dislike Windows 8 generally say it is. But has Windows 8 really failed in the marketplace, or do we just think Windows 8 has failed? One thing’s for sure: Windows 8 definitely hasn’t succeeded in the short term. However, Microsoft is playing the long game with Windows 8 — they’re laying the groundwork for future success. Whether they’ll succeed is unclear, but Windows 8 hasn’t failed yet — it’s preparing for the battle to come.

03-06-2013
Has Windows 8 Failed in the Market, or Only in Your Mind?
How To Do Your Research Before You Download Free Software

Internet

How To Do Your Research Before You Download Free Software

Before downloading a free program, you should be sure it’s trustworthy. Determining whether a download is safe is a basic skill, but one everyone needs — particularly on Windows. Use these tips to ensure you download only trustworthy and safe free software, not bad software that will infect your computer with adware, spyware, or maybe even something worse.

27-05-2013
How To Do Your Research Before You Download Free Software
Avoid Window Overload: 5 Great Tools To Manage Multiple Windows

Windows

Avoid Window Overload: 5 Great Tools To Manage Multiple Windows

Using the Windows desktop involves managing windows. Some people may use full-screen windows, but power users know that the key to being productive is having multiple windows visible at a time, whether you’re using multiple monitors or the side-by-side Aero Snap feature in Windows. Sadly, the Windows desktop still lacks many useful window-management features. However, you can get many great new Windows desktop features by installing third-party utilities.

24-05-2013
Avoid Window Overload: 5 Great Tools To Manage Multiple Windows
Upgrading to Windows 8? Get Settled In Faster with these Tips

Windows

Upgrading to Windows 8? Get Settled In Faster with these Tips

If it’s about time you purchase a new computer, that computer is probably going to come with Windows 8. Microsoft hasn’t included a tutorial with Windows 8 — aside from the cryptic “move your mouse into any corner” line — so you’ll need to do a bit of research to get up to speed with the latest version of Windows. Most users agree the key to getting along with Windows 8 is ignoring as much of the new interface as possible. Start with finding the desktop.

22-05-2013
Upgrading to Windows 8? Get Settled In Faster with these Tips
8 Features Missing in Windows 8 and How to Get Them Back

Windows

8 Features Missing in Windows 8 and How to Get Them Back

Microsoft removed a variety of features from Windows 8. Many of them aren’t great losses to most people, but they are if you depended on them. Luckily, Windows 8 isn’t yet a locked-down mobile operating system, no matter how hard Microsoft is trying to make it into one. Most important features can be restored with high-quality alternatives, but replacements for other features are nowhere near as polished as Microsoft has removed the necessary theming code.

20-05-2013
8 Features Missing in Windows 8 and How to Get Them Back
6 Useful Tools For Getting More Out Of Steam Games

Gaming

6 Useful Tools For Getting More Out Of Steam Games

Steam is packed with a variety of useful features you may not be aware of, but third-party developers have made utilities and websites that add even more features to Steam. From moving installed games to other hard drives without re-downloading them to managing your game backlog and seeing just how much money your Steam library is worth, these tools add a variety of missing features. Steam has gradually added features you once needed third-party programs for.

17-05-2013
6 Useful Tools For Getting More Out Of Steam Games
The Clean Droid: How To Bulk Uninstall Android Apps You Don’t Use

Android

The Clean Droid: How To Bulk Uninstall Android Apps You Don’t Use

If you’re like me, there’s a good chance you install lots of Android apps to try them out. From the latest popular mobile games to new and potentially useful utilities, these apps build up over time. They eventually begin to clutter your app drawer with icons you never tap and fill your storage with app data you’ll never use. Luckily, there’s a fast way to uninstall multiple apps at once.

15-05-2013
The Clean Droid: How To Bulk Uninstall Android Apps You Don’t Use
Is the Microsoft Fix It Service Really Any Good? [MakeUseOf Tests]

Windows

Is the Microsoft Fix It Service Really Any Good? [MakeUseOf Tests]

Have computer problems? Microsoft’s Fix It service attempts to fix them for you. If you’ve browsed Microsoft’s help pages, you’ve probably seen a variety of “Fix It” programs you can run to quickly fix a problem without walking through a complicated troubleshooting process. We’ve covered the Fix It Center in the past, but now we’re really going to put Microsoft’s Fix It service to the test.

10-05-2013
Is the Microsoft Fix It Service Really Any Good? [MakeUseOf Tests]
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