Articles tagged: Featured

A computer monitor displaying a vibrant Windows 11 wallpaper. In the center of the screen, there's a large, translucent mushroom cloud symbolizing a major system reset or 'nuclear option'.

It Was My Time to Reformat and Reinstall

The steps I took, the software I installed, and a few things I discovered as I reinstalled Windows 11 on my main machine.

Windows 11 with a large "UNDO" key over it.

How Do I Go Back to Windows 10 From Windows 11?

Yes, you can still go back to Windows 10 from Windows 11. It just may not be easy.

A Google logo in a partially submerged sinking rowboat on the ocean. The scene shows a clear blue sky and calm sea. The rowboat is old and wooden, tilted to one side, taking in water, emphasizing the sense of sinking. The Google logo is prominently displayed on the side of the boat, colorful and contrasting with the natural oceanic background.

Why I’ve Stopped Using Google Search

Google search used to be the winner by far, but recent decreases in its trustworthiness and the improved offerings of other search engines make switching a pragmatic choice.

A scene showing a concerned individual at their computer, receiving a scam phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft, aiming to assist with non-existent computer errors.

I Got a Call from Microsoft and Allowed Them Access to My Computer. What Do I Do Now?

A very common scam has people supposedly from Microsoft, your ISP, or other authorities calling to help you with computer problems. Don’t fall for it.

Puzzle pieces of various digital file icons (documents, photos, videos) coming together to form a large cloud symbol, which represents the OneDrive cloud.

How Do I Download All OneDrive Files to My PC?

Downloading all your OneDrive files isn’t particularly difficult; it’s just not particularly obvious. I’ll show you two ways to do it.

A user in a modern, well-lit office environment. The user is viewing their computer screen, which displays an email with a phishing attempt; a large, transparent fish hook symbol overlays the email content, indicating danger. Beside the computer, on the desk, is a smartphone showing a notification for a two-factor authentication (2FA) request.

Beware the Middleman: How Your 2FA Could Be Compromised

Some forms of two factor authentication have vulnerabilities. Here’s how to avoid it.

Email around Microsoft.

How Do I Change the Email Address of My Microsoft Account?

You can associate multiple email addresses with your Microsoft account. Who knew?

The scene includes a computer screen displaying an email inbox with several spam email subjects visible, such as "Account Hacked!" and "Urgent: Security Alert." A large, bold, red 'X' is superimposed over these scam emails, symbolizing rejection or marking them as spam. In the foreground, a figure symbolizing a user (not specific in appearance) confidently presses the 'delete' or 'spam' button on the email client, ignoring the scam attempts.

Has a Hacker Really Hacked My Email Account?

An email claims your email account has been hacked, possibly even including a password you’ve used. Don’t be fooled; it’s a scam.

An investigator, characterized by a friendly and approachable design, using a magnifying glass to look closely at an email message on a computer screen. The scene is set in a dimly lit room, highlighting the focus on the screen, suggesting the importance of paying attention to detail. The investigator's expression is one of curiosity and determination, emphasizing the significance of scrutinizing every piece of information to uncover the truth behind the email message. This image should inspire viewers to be more diligent and thoughtful when examining their own emails.

Behind the Scam: Decoding the Secrets of Fraudulent Emails

Scam emails often have clues ranging from obvious to obscure. I’ll take a scam email and show you what I see.

Scam Alert message

Don’t Be Ashamed or Smug

If you’re embarrassed at having fallen for a scam, it’s tempting to want hide and not tell anyone. But it’s important to learn from the experience and share it. There’s no need to feel shame.

A close-up of hands using a smartphone or tablet, with the device's screen displaying a clear and bright passkey icon.

How Can Passkeys Possibly Be Safe?

Passkeys may feel confusing now, but they’re a doorway to a more secure, less frustrating, passwordless future.

A Roman warrior in full armor, holding a large shield in a defensive stance, is standing protectively over a USB security key placed on the ground. The sky is darkened by a dense flurry of incoming arrows, emphasizing the warrior's role as the protector of this modern digital key.

How to Protect Yourself From a Two-Factor Hack

Two-factor authentication isn’t perfect, but it’s much better than not using it at all. Here are the various risks and what you can do to protect yourself.

A cartoon duck stands in the middle of a vibrant, digitally illustrated scene, holding a USB cable. The left end of the USB cable is plugged into a fluffy, cartoonish cloud.

Is There a Way to Use OneDrive as a Dumb Hard Drive?

Yes, you can use OneDrive online without using OneDrive on your PC or going to OneDrive.com. I’ll show you how.

The scene includes a metaphorical depiction of the scam process, showing a digital landscape with a piggy bank standing on one side, looking full and healthy, connected by a series of digital pathways and strings to a shadowy figure on the other side, who holds a butcher knife made of binary code, symbolizing the scammer preparing to 'butcher' the victim's savings. The background is a mix of digital and real elements, such as a cityscape blending into a circuit board, representing the intersection of technology and everyday life where these scams take place. Include symbols like chat bubbles, hearts, and dollar signs floating between the piggy bank and the shadowy figure to represent the building of trust, emotional manipulation, and financial transactions involved in the scam. The overall atmosphere should be ominous yet subtle, highlighting the deceptive and hidden dangers of online scams.

What Is a Pig-Butchering Scam?

Pig-butchering is a nasty term for a particularly painful type of scam. Here’s how to protect yourself.

Whither Authy?

Dealing With the Demise of Authy Desktop

Authy’s desktop version is going away (darn it!). Here’s how I will replace it.

A cartoon-style image representing email transfer between two email providers. Between them, a smooth flow of cartoonish email envelopes, creating a visual path from one to the other. The envelopes should appear as if they are moving seamlessly, symbolizing an easy transfer process. The background is a digital, abstract representation of data transfer, with subtle lines and nodes connecting the two logos, further emphasizing the idea of seamless integration and transition of emails.

How Do I Move Emails From One Account to Another?

Moving email from one account to another just takes some configurating and drag-and-dropping.

Image in the style of a Renaissance painting, depicting a scene where a scholar from the Renaissance era is holding a magnifying glass, examining a collection of objects that symbolize modern technology - like a computer, cloud symbol, smart home device, and network cables. The objects should be creatively integrated to appear as if they belong in the Renaissance period, with a prominent question mark woven into the scene. The painting should have the rich color palette, detailed textures, and depth characteristic of Renaissance art

Why I Don’t Believe in Conspiracies

There are many conspiracy theories in the tech industry. I’m a hard one to convince, and you should be, too.

A realistic hand holding a smartphone displaying a map, with recognizable landmarks in the background..

The Surprising Ways Your Videos Can Expose Your Location

Something many people do every day may expose their location in ways they don’t know.

An animated style image showcasing a humorous and exaggerated scene: a desktop computer is securely placed on a more prominent and detailed automotive hoist, which is well-defined and realistic within the animated context. Below the hoist, a cartoonish technician, dressed in colorful mechanic's attire, is comically inspecting the computer from underneath. The garage setting is vibrant and lively, filled with oversized, cartoon-like tools and car parts. The technician, displaying a humorous expression, uses an oversized wrench or tool to interact with the computer, emphasizing the playful nature of the scene. The background includes other whimsical elements typical of an animated mechanic's workshop.

How to Keep Windows Running Smoothly With Routine Maintenance

Much like an automobile, it can be useful to periodically look under the hood, clean things up, and make sure that all is as it should be.

Working on updates

How Do I Fix Windows Update?

Windows Update can get confused or stuck. I’ll review ways to fix Windows Update, including what I refer to as the nuclear option.

A 16:9 photorealistic collage featuring various search bar queries in different styles and fonts, scattered across the image. In the center, there is a large, bold question mark that stands out against the background of search queries. The overall composition is dynamic and visually appealing, with a focus on the central question mark symbolizing curiosity and the quest for knowledge through internet searches.

I Gave AI My Search History and Here’s What It Told Me

I was listening to a podcast recently in which one of the hosts described giving ChatGPT the history of the questions he had asked it and then asking it to build a profile on him based on that. It was interesting, of course, but it got me to thinking… why not use internet searches as … Read more

Wiping Data

How to Securely Wipe the Windows System Drive

Reformatting the system drive takes a little more effort than other drives. Here are three ways to get it done.

The main feature is a large, central OneDrive icon with a striking red 'X' across it, symbolizing the goal of removal. Surrounding this icon are smaller images of frustrated users at their computers, overwhelmed by OneDrive notifications and pop-ups. Each user's face shows clear annoyance and confusion, representing the intrusiveness of OneDrive. The background includes a concise list of steps for uninstalling OneDrive, like 'Unlink account', 'Uninstall OneDrive app', and 'Organize files'. The design should be bold and straightforward, making it very clear that the tutorial is about removing OneDrive from a Windows computer, appealing to viewers who are looking for a solution to this specific issue.

How Do I Get Rid of OneDrive?

Some people just want it GONE. I’ll show you how to get rid of OneDrive.

"The app you’re trying to install isn’t a Microsoft-verified app"

How Do I Fix “The App You’re Trying to Install Isn’t a Microsoft-Verified App”?

“The app you’re trying to install isn’t a Microsoft-verified app” message is the result of a simple setting you can change.

Feature a whimsical, animated-style computer or laptop with a vibrant, exaggerated screen displaying fast internet symbols like a speedometer or lightning bolt. Include animated icons such as a Wi-Fi signal, Ethernet cable, a globe for DNS, and a creative version of the Windows 11 logo. The background should be lively and colorful, complementing the animated theme, making the image engaging and visually appealing.

8 Ways You Can Increase Internet Speed in Windows

Internet speed: we all want it. Here’s how to improve yours.

A photorealistic 16:9 image illustrating a scenario where a person of Caucasian descent is handing over a digital key to a family member of African descent. The scene is set against a background filled with subtle symbols and icons representing recovery options like emails and phone numbers, emphasizing the emergency access options for passkeys. This image conveys the idea of digital legacy and the importance of ensuring trusted individuals have access to digital assets in emergency situations, highlighting the role of passkeys in modern digital security.

Passkeys and Disaster Planning

Passkeys are new, convenient, and secure. I’ll review how they affect your disaster planning. (Not very much.)

In a popular animation style, depict a person transferring software from an old desktop computer to a new laptop. The old desktop is a Dell, cluttered with CDs and USB drives, symbolizing the software to be transferred. The new laptop is sleek, modern, and has a screen displaying a progress bar, indicating the ongoing transfer. The person, a young adult of Middle-Eastern descent, is intently focused, working on both computers simultaneously. The setting is a cozy home office, with tech gadgets and notes around, indicating a tech-savvy environment. The overall tone is vibrant and engaging

How Do I Transfer Purchased Software to My New Machine?

Transferring installed software to a new machine isn’t as easy as we might like. I’ll list the options.

Laptop with a speedometer on screen

10 Ways to Make Windows 10 and 11 Faster

Computers slow down for many reasons. I’ll review some of the steps you can take to speed yours up again.

Backup

How to Back Up Windows

Using free and included tools, here’s how to back up Windows and all your data in eight easy steps.

Photo of two modern smartphones side by side on a wooden table. The smartphone on the left displays a vivid lightning bolt icon on its screen, symbolizing fast charging. The smartphone on the right shows a detailed snail icon, representing slow charging. Both phones are connected to their respective chargers, with cables leading off the table.

Why Does My Phone Charge Slowly on Some Chargers?

Why do some chargers work faster or slower than others? We’ll take a look at some basic electrical concepts to understand what to look for in a charger.

How Do I Tell If an Email Address Is Fake?

It’s hard to determine whether an email address is fake.

Tech Support

Why Can’t I Talk to a Real Person?

There are many reasons you’re more likely to be directed to online and self-help resources than talk to a real person.

Over a million files scanned.

Why Are There So Many Files?

Your computer likely has many more files on it than you realize. That’s quite normal.

Remember Me!

How Websites Remember You: Diving into Cookies & More

Websites remember that you signed in previously both as a convenience and as a way to make using the site possible.

Safety Net

How Should I Keep Recovery Codes Secure?

Recovery codes protect you against account loss. The issue? Where to store them safely.

Nuclear explosion on a computer screen.

How to Avoid Losing Data No Matter What

Another day, another story of data loss. The frustrating thing is that it doesn’t have to happen.

There's more to ransomware than just encryption.

Should I Disconnect My Backup Drive When I’m Not Backing Up?

Some people disconnect their backup drive when not backing up because they fear ransomware. I explain why that’s a Really Bad Idea.

Spam filter

What Is and Is Not Spam

Understanding what is and is not spam is important to make sure you get what you want and improve spam filtering for everyone.

Where things are stored now in Outloook.com and OneDrive. (Image: askleo.com)

How Do I Free Space in Outlook.com Without Losing Emails?

To avoid running out of space in your Microsoft/Outlook.com account, you can archive email messages to your PC.

Moleskin notebook with notes.

No, Don’t Write Down Passwords

The world’s largest magazine dispensed some bad tech advice. Here’s why I so strongly disagree.

Google times three.

How Do I Use Two Google Accounts at the Same Time?

It’s possible to use more than one Google account at the same time, though it’s easy to lose track of which one you’re in.

Report Junk link in an email program.

What’s the Point of “Mark as Spam”?

Sometimes “Mark as spam” may seem futile, but it has a purpose.

USB port under a magnifying glass.

How to Fix Windows Not Recognizing USB Device

A checklist to resolve Windows not recognizing USB devices.

Midjourney generated "20 year service award"

What I’ve Learned Answering Questions for 20 Years

It was 20 years ago today I started having something to say.

Frustrated computer users. Perhaps he just lost his email account.

How Can I Avoid Losing My Business Email Account?

Losing your business email account can have dire repercussions. I’ll show you how to protect yourself.

Atlas Lugged

Why Can’t I Upload a Backup Image to the Cloud?

Uploading backup images sounds good until you do the math.

Locked Harddrive

Dealing With Proprietary Backup Formats

If your backup program writes to a proprietary format, you may not be able to access it decades from now. I’ll discuss how to prepare.

Delete Button

Can’t I Just Delete My Hacked Account?

Deleting an account you don’t have access to is kind of the same as deleting an account you don’t own.

Free Wi-Fi

Is Using a Shared Wi-fi Hotspot Safe?

Free accessible Wi-Fi is almost ubiquitous, and most systems are set up to use it safely. There are a few things to pay attention to in order to stay safe.

See Ya!

If I Leave a Service Like LastPass, Does My Data Remain Online?

When you leave a service, or if your information is stolen from that service, there may be steps you need to take.