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More Software How-To

  • How-Tos: Android: Wipe Device Clean, Restore Factory Settings

    Whether you just upgraded your Android smartphone to another device, your organization is finally replacing that old Android with something newer and shinier or you've decided to trade devices with a friend, it's a very smart idea to wipe any and all sensitive information from your smartphone before passing it off, not just to ensure that your personal data remains private, but to also make sure your device runs like new for its next owner.

  • How-Tos: Upgrading from XP to Windows 7

    A reader wrote to us asking how to install Windows 7 on an additional partition of his Windows XP PC, access all data from both operating systems, and then delete XP without losing anything. Unfortunately, as our Helproom Expert explains, it's not that simple.

  • How-Tos: Secrets of Lions Spotlight menu

    The handy Spotlight menu, at the far right of your menu bar, is even handier in Lion because it offers new ways to work with the list of search results. Click the magnifying glass icon or use the default Command-Spacebar shortcut to open the menu, and type in your search term. Then, use these tips to go from searching to doing.

  • How-Tos: Help! Windows Vista won't update

    A reader found they couldn't update their Windows Vista PC to SP2. Our Helproom Expert diagnosed the problem, and offered a solution.

  • How-Tos: How to lock apps on a BlackBerry

    Here is how you can lock specific apps on your BlackBerry for free and subsequently hand over your BlackBerry, safe in the knowledge that important emails and messages won't be read by the wrong people.

  • How-Tos: How to clone a PC's hard drive

    If you're about to upgrade your hard drive or your operating system, you should play it safe and clone your hard drive first. Here's how.

  • How-Tos: How to copy iPhone contacts to your PC

    Unlike other smartphones such as BlackBerry's and those that run Google Android, Apple's iPhone doesn't allow users to back-up their contacts to the SIM card.

  • How-Tos: How to master formatting and layout in Microsoft Word

    A well-structured document gives the impression of a professional author. We offer tips on how to show off your impeccable standards using Microsoft Word.

  • How-Tos: Arrange and sort files in Lion Finder

    Like its predecessors, Lion's Finder gives you four ways to view your files: icon view, list view, column view and Cover Flow view. But it also gives you some new ways to arrange files within those views: In addition to Arrange By, Lion adds Sort By and Clean Up By. Unfortunately, those arrangements aren't so straightforward.

  • How-Tos: Create a Keyboard Shortcut to Insert An E-Mail Address

    Reader Richard is tiring of typing his e-mail address. Every time he logs into a site, shares an article with someone, registers for an online forum, and so on, he has to type it in. So he wants a keyboard shortcut than can "paste my e-mail address into everything." And while he's at it, how about a second shortcut that will paste in his nickname/username?

  • How-Tos: Restore Snow Leopard's three-finger swipes in Lion

    Back in the glory days of Snow Leopard, three-finger trackpad swipes could help you navigate the Finder: A three-finger swipe left took you back one step in your Finder navigation; three fingers right brought you forward again. In Lion, of course, three-finger swipes perform a very different function—they navigate between spaces. (You can change that gesture to a four-finger swipe in the Trackpad pane of System Preferences; note also that if you enable three-finger drag, then Lion enables four-finger swiping automatically.) Hints reader rbrough discovered an intriguing way to restore Snow Leopard’s old behavior on an as-needed basis.

  • How-Tos: Jailbreaking 101:Tools for Hacking Your iDevice

    So you’re thinking of jailbreaking your iOS device are you? The process of hacking your iDevice is simpler than ever but with so many different hardware, firmware, and software combinations out there, choosing the right jailbreak tool for your configuration for you can be a bit daunting if it’s your first time. Here’s a guide to picking the right tool for you.

  • How-Tos: How to use a download code in iTunes

    If you don't know how to redeem your download code properly it could end up costing you a few quid.

  • How-Tos: Playing nice with GarageBand for iPad

    Apple touts its GarageBand for iPad application as a great way to play and record music without the need to learn scales or time signatures. Musical newbies aren’t the only ones interested in using the $5 app, however. GarageBand for iPad appeals to seasoned musicians, too. And those with significant investments in recording equipment may be wondering which, if any, of their existing gear will work with the portable version of GarageBand. I decided to grab my trusty iPad, my iPad camera connection kit, and powered USB hub and plug in whatever I had around to see what would work.

  • How-Tos: Learn to use gestures in Lion

    Lion’s support for gestures—tapping and swiping fingers on a Multi-Touch trackpad—isn’t entirely new. OS X has supported gestures in some form for several years. Even so, many of us still haven't adopted gestures as a way of interacting with our Macs. Maybe we don't have the right Multi-Touch hardware. Or maybe the mouse-plus-keyboard interface is burned so deeply into our muscle memory, we've seen no reason to switch.

  • How-Tos: Limit your kids' Internet access

    Reader Vance Makin is interested in setting limits around the house. He writes:

  • How-Tos: Back up your iTunes media files

    As time goes by, and our digital media collections grow, we need to ensure that we don’t lose the music and video files that we’ve spent our hard-earned dollars (or, in the case of ripping our own CDs and DVDs, considerable time) on. Music, videos, and audiobooks can add up until your iTunes library fills your hard disk and then some. In addition to storing the original files, you have to make sure you keep backups, because in many cases you can’t download such files again.

  • How-Tos: How to uninstall apps from a BlackBerry

    If you've got a BlackBerry smartphone, then you've probably already made use of one of its greatest features – the ability to install third-party software from BlackBerry App World, RIM's app store.

  • How-Tos: Tame Lion's Mail

    The Lion version of Apple Mail ( Macworld rated 4.5 out of 5 mice ) not only alters the email program's overall user interface but also changes numerous features behind the scenes. Some of these new or revised features behave in ways one might not expect, but with a few key pieces of information you'll be ready to use them to their full potential.

  • How-Tos: How to check your Android device for malware

    The amount of malware designed to infect mobile phones running Google's Android has surged, security researchers have revealed.


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