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| March 2017
Welcome If your PC’s been behaving strangely lately, the chances are it’s not you, your computer or even Windows – it’s probably some kind of malware, junkware or simply a badly behaving app. So what can you do about it? Turn to our lead feature on page 11 and we’ll explain exactly how you can clean up your PC by clearing out all the detritus that’s slowing your PC down and, crucially, how to keep it junk-free and more secure going forwards. Your sanity will be restored!
Talking of sanity, on page 50 you’ll also discover how to take control of Windows Update – from choosing when to install the updates that Microsoft throws at you, to fixing things in the unlikely event they go wrong. On page 56, there’s another treat in store: an in-depth guide to building your dream PC. And that’s just the start… One more thing: go to visit www.windowsmag. co.uk and sign up for our newsletter. Enjoy!
Rob Mead-Green Editor
SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAG TODAY AND SAVE – TURN TO PAGE 22! We pride ourselves in being the only magazine on the shelves to show you exactly how to get the very best from the Windows operating system, whether you’re using Windows 10 or Windows 8.1. Also, don’t forget to take a look at how you can read the magazine on your laptop, smartphone or tablet.
Next issue On sale 14
Don’t miss our Next issue, when we will show you how to…
Take some simple steps to make your PC more secure Master the Taskbar Preview files with QuickLook Avoid malware in Google Chrome
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11 Clean up your PC
How to get rid of junk files and make your PC run faster and more smoothly
50 Master Windows Update
Don’t let your PC force updates upon you – we show you how to take back control
56 Build your dream machine
It’s easy and fun to create the perfect PC – our in-depth guide will show you how
6 Discover Why you should immerse yourself in the rewarding world of podcasts; the rise of blockchain; and cheap 3D prints 22 Subscriptions Save up to 46% on print and digital issues
37 Back issues Missed an issue? Don’t miss out – order now while stocks last!
70 Digital issues Get the world’s best Windows mag on your phone or tablet 90 Next month Find out what’s
coming up in the October 2018 issue
Explore The best PC tutorials Your guide Rob Mead-Green says…
“If you’re looking for better ways to use your home computer, then this is the place to start. We’ll show you all the tips and tricks the experts use and more!” 26 Start using FreeOffice 2018 29 Get started with Polarr – the amazing Photoshop alternative 32 Listen to podcasts on your PC
66 Get answers to your technical questions with help from our PC experts 4
| September 2018
34 Power up File Explorer with these easy-to-use tips and tricks 38 Make the most of OneDrive
44 Improve your grammar and spelling with Grammarly
41 Organise your holiday snaps with Windows’ Photos app
46 Easy record your PC’s screen 48 Make Windows start faster
subscription bundle offer Digital and print together with free USB charging hub! Find out more on page 22
How to remove junk files and get an instant performance boost – today!
Be the boss of your PC with our in-depth guide to managing OS updates
79 Our expert reviews 80 Asus ZenBook Flip S UX370 82 Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse 84 Fujifilm X-T100 camera 86 Audeara A-01 headphones 88 Best free PDF editors 2018
Follow us on… 56 Creating the perfect PC is easier than you think – we show you how
September 2018 |
NEW things to do
podcasts to go Download your favourite shows and youâ€™ll be able to listen in anywhere.
Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash
| September 2018
Discover Explore a world of podcasts
Lis ten at leis u re
Expand your horizons with the world of podcasts Listen to audio shows about the things that interest you – and learn something new while you’re at it Podcasts, the convenient digital equivalent of radio shows, aren’t new, but we’ve got to the point where they’ve now proven themselves. They are not going anywhere – and they’re only getting better, and more easy to access. Services like Spotify have gotten on board; if you’re a subscriber, you can browse through its selection by category and – once you’ve been listening for a while – receive customised recommendations from its engine. Spotify doesn’t carry every podcast, not by a long way, but the popular majority is there. You could also try Stitcher at stitcher.com – it’s a central hub for podcasts that, once you have created an account, allows you to stream them without downloading.
– that way they’ll be there as soon as you pop your headphones in. There are various apps for each mobile platform (try Downcast for iOS, or Podcast Addict if you have an Android device), and you can also download to Windows if that’s more your thing. Naturally, you could look at iTunes, which was the seed from which podcasts grew, as it’ll sync your downloaded episodes up with an iPhone or older iPod. There’s also the Grover Podcast app from the Microsoft Store, which looks fantastic and does a great job of handling multiple subscriptions – we show you how to get started on page 32. But what to listen to? That depends on you. Search by topic, try some podcasts out – there’s no obligation. If you’re really stuck, we’d recommend 99% Invisible (99percentinvisible.org), a fantastic look at hidden or unnoticed design, or No Such Thing As A Fish (qi.com/podcast), a comedic collection of strange facts from the minds behind the TV show QI.
Podcasts are only getting better and more easy to access
Subscribing to a podcast, and automatically downloading the latest episode to your phone or portable player is sort of the point of podcasts, though
MAKE IT CHEAP 3D printing for paper printing While it’s definitely small (there’s a clue in the name) the XYZPrinting da Vinci Nano is a pretty capable 3D printer that comes in under £200, making it cheaper than some inkjets. Like ink in paper-based printers, much of the cost comes from consumables – the Nano will only work with specific filaments, meaning you can’t use plastic from third parties, but if you would prefer to print an arm and a leg rather than paying that much, it might just be worth the hassle.
Kid-friendly As long as you keep your fingers away from the extruder, it’s a safe device.
Build it up The Nano’s print area may be small, but the results are surprisingly smart.
Colours galore The range of coloured filaments is wide and, at £29 each, not too pricey.
Notepad You’ve got to be kidding me! What, you already knew about Notepad? Yes, of course you did. But we’re not here to unveil Notepad as if it were some brand new revelation to Windows users, because it’s not – it’s as old as Windows itself. So what’s the point? Well, Notepad is both ancient and, remarkably, pretty much untouched since the Windows 3.1 days. It’s a bucket into which you can pour your plain text, or view other text files, and nothing more. At least, that was the case until Microsoft revealed that it’s finally sent the boys with the dusters around to give it a spruce up ready for the next major Windows update. Now that is exciting Don’t throw away that copy of Microsoft Word just yet. The new version adds some neat features, like text zooming (perfect if you’ve been struggling to see that tiny font) and – at long last – support for line endings made in other operating systems, which will improve compatibility with most text files. There’s also wraparound find and replace, and the ability to search Bing for a word by right-clicking it. That’s... underwhelming It’s not exciting, we agree, but Notepad isn’t meant to be a thrill ride. These features, and basic things like now being able to press [Ctrl] + [Backspace] to delete a word, will make it much more powerful while not making it more difficult to use. Microsoft is making similar adjustments to the cobweb-covered Command Line application, too. What if I don’t want to wait? You are so impatient. But there’s good news: many people have made basic text editors, some of which are far more powerful than Notepad will ever be. If you want something with a little more meat on its bones, try Notepad++ from notepad-plus-plus.org – it’s made for coding, but perfect for notes, too.
September 2018 |
Ev eryon e’s tal king about
The rise of Blockchain
Blockchain is everywhere – but what exactly is it, and why does it matter?
ou’ve probably seen the perplexing TV adverts, and you’ve almost certainly heard the term ‘blockchain’. It’s likely, though, that its meaning escapes you – and you wouldn’t be alone. We think it’s not being made clear because, frankly, it’s a bit dull. Blockchain refers to what is essentially a decentralised, public, and secure ledger of transactions. This means that every single entry within it can be tracked in perpetuity, giving rise to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Etherium – moving these funds is, essentially, just a case of transferring ownership of a secure token. Mark the ‘payment’ on the appropriate blockchain – associating that token with the private key of its new owner – and you’re done. wider applications Blockchain’s fundamental properties – its security and trackability – have made it attractive to more than just the cryptocurrency market. It’s valuable to marketers, who can use it to track delivery of promotional material; it’s
useful in the energy market, for accurately determining and reporting back the power used by individual devices. It’s even a powerful way to safely store information, since each transaction can have additional things tagged on to it. A recent Chinese effort to sidestep censorship saw an article on government corruption attached to a small Etherium transaction. While the original article was quashed by the country’s Great Firewall, the text of the original remains on the currency’s blockchain and should, in theory, stay there forever. While it’s entirely possible to dig through different blockchains (try blockchain.com/en/ explorer) the inner workings are fairly baffling to mere mortals. You don’t really need to know the precise ins and outs – it’s enough to know that blockchain technology will change business the world over. It could make things cheaper, it’ll certainly let you know precisely where your parcels are, and it’ll lead to more control of your personal information. It’s only a matter of time before it’s used everywhere.
Download this… Wox www.wox.one When you’ve been using Windows for a while, hitting the [Win] key to bring up Cortana and search for what you need becomes like second nature – but Cortana has a problem: she’s horribly biased. If you want to dig something up on the web, she’ll force you to use Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. And if you want to open a web page, she’ll use Edge. No exceptions. If you’d prefer to use Google as your default search engine, or a browser other than Edge, Wox can help. It doesn’t make Cortana drop her obsession with Microsoft products – try EdgeDeflector at https://bit.ly/2K06SbA for that – but it’s an attractive alternative to use instead. Wox is great at quickly searching through your files to find the things you want. You can pick your browser of choice. And you can customise Wox to activate on any key combination that suits you.
Find it Looking for an alternative to Cortana? Give the brilliant – and free – Wox a go.
Follow us on… www.twitter.com/windowsmag
uiz The 60-Secondm Q e sta rts no w! Pe ns at th e rea d y, yo u r ti
From which country does the .TV domain name originate?
LG’s webOS TV system originated on which unlikely device?
A MSN TV B AOL TV C Compuserve TV
A Palm Pre B Nintendo 64 C Lenovo Thinkpad
Which computer was developed to accompany 1982’s The Computer Programme? A Sinclair ZX Spectrum B Oric Atmos C BBC Micro
What does the TV channel Ginx cover?
A eSports B Driver updates C Virus news
Answers 1A, 2C, 3A, 4C, 5A, 6A
A 2% B 5% C 10%
A Tuvalu B Turkey C Tanzania
What percentage of that country’s governmental income comes from leasing that particular domain?
What name did the mid-’90s service WebTV later go by?
| September 2018
NEXT ISSUE ON SALE Friday
Discover Facts & figures
£3.8 BILLION Estimated size of the growing spaceflight market, according to the UK Space Agency. The Agency has already announced plans to build the UK’s first spaceport on the A’Mhoine Peninsula in Sutherland, Scotland. The spaceport will be used for satellite launches and is expected to be completed in the early 2020s.
Rob Mead-Green reveals a host of fascinating digital facts
70 MILlion Number of accounts suspended by Twitter in June and July as part of a crackdown on “potentially spammy or automated accounts”. Twitter is taking action, in part, because of growing criticism over the way social media platforms deal with abusive users and the threats to democracy posed by disinformation campaigns.
98% Error rate reported by the Metropolitan Police’s automated facial recognition (AFR) technology, which is currently undergoing trials in London and elsewhere in the UK. Criticised as being “almost entirely inaccurate”, AFR is being used to scan faces in crowds at festivals, football matches and gigs using mobile CCTV.
128TB Amount of storage that could one day be available on SD flash memory cards, thanks to new specs set out by the SD Association, a huge increase over the 2TB maximum that’s available now – in theory, anyway. The new SD Ultra Capacity (SDUC) spec also offers a much faster data transfer rate of 985MB per second.
Cost of Sirin Labs’ Finney, a dual-screen smartphone which uses its second display to show cryptocurrency transactions. The Finney is equipped with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. It also includes a ‘cold storage wallet’, which supports major cryptocurrencies.
0-60 time of Pininfarina’s PFO electric hypercar, which is due to go on sale in 2020. The $2 million car has a top speed of 250mph and a 310-mile range between recharges. Its batteries promise to be super-quick, too, reaching 80 percent capacity in just 10-15 minutes.
September 2018 |
The hottest new Windows hardware on the horizon
Microsoft Surface Go Price £379.99-£509.99 www.microsoft.com The Microsoft Surface is a brilliant example of a portable Windows tablet “done right”, but its premium price tag has limited its appeal. That is until now. Unveiled in July, the Surface Go is not only the smallest and lightest Surface Microsoft has ever made, but it’s also the most affordable with prices starting at £379.99 for the Wi-Fi-only base model, which comes with a 10-inch touchscreen PixelSense display, seventh-generation Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU, 64GB of eMMC storage and 4GB of RAM. A higher spec version is also available with a 128GB SSD and 8GB of RAM for £509.99. An LTE model is due later this year. To make the Surface Go even more versatile you can team it with a Surface Pen (£99.99), Surface Go Type Cover (£99.99) and Surface Mobile Mouse (£29.99). The only catch is the Go’s operating system: it runs Windows 10 S – although you can easily upgrade it to Windows 10 Home, if you wish.
| September 2018
Windows 10 Clean up your PC
YOUR PC Get rid of malware, junkware and keep your system speedy and infection free! By Nick Peers and Graham Barlow
he problem with PCs isn’t usually to do with Windows or the PC itself, instead it’s often down to a malicious program infecting it, or a program behaving badly and putting files all over the place that slow things down. There are also programs that specialise in taking over your PC – insisting that they run and getting in the way all the time. And what’s worse, these programs often have the habit of circumventing your security settings and getting on to your PC once you are connected to the Internet. The good news is that you can detox a PC from these sorts of apps very easily, and shore up your security settings to stop them getting a foothold again. So if you suspect that a rogue program is causing problems on your PC, the
solution to your woes lies in the following pages. In this feature we’re going to show you how to first check your PC for malware, then start to remove it. Once your system is clean we’ll look at how you can keep it that way, and even tune it up so it goes a little faster than before. Finally, we’ll take a look at your Internet and security settings to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to prevent future attacks. Throughout this feature we’ll use third-party apps. A lot of these can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store (just search for their name), but we’ll often quote the web address so you can download them directly from their publishers. So, we’ll begin our adventure into the world of malware by checking your PC for any nasty programs. Turn the page and let’s get started!
September 2018 |
Check for malware
Make sure your PC is free of ransomware and other infections, and if it’s not, discover how to deal with them
tep one of the decluttering process is to make sure your PC is infection-free. Start by opening your anti-virus tool to search for malware infections such as worms, Trojans, rootkits and spyware. Make sure its definitions are up to date, then allow it to perform a full scan. If infections are found, follow the instructions to either quarantine or attempt removal of the malware – you’ll almost certainly be prompted to reboot when you’re done, in which case run a full scan again to verify the infection has gone. Some infections can be stubborn – if after two or three attempts the infection is still present, reboot into Safe Mode. Those running Windows 7 should press [F8] when the computer starts to boot; Windows 8.1 and 10 users need to navigate to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery, then click ‘Restart now’. Under ‘Advanced start-up’, navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Start-up Settings. Click Restart and press  to select ‘Enable Safe Mode with Networking’. Once in Safe Mode, try updating and running the scan again – most, but not all, malware should be sufficiently crippled in Safe Mode to allow its complete removal. If the infection is still there, or you’re locked out of Safe Mode, the step-by-step guide on the opposite page reveals further tools and tips to try.
Widen your scan
Even if your main anti-virus tool comes up clean, don’t assume you’re out of the woods. Let’s perform some additional scans with other tools to make sure. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (www. malwarebytes.com) is our favourite security app for delivering a second opinion – it searches for a wider range of threats than most anti-malware tools,
The premium version of Malwarebytes offers real-time protection.
including potentially unwanted programs that may come with spyware or other privacy issues. You’ll need to download and install the free version, but once in place you can update it and run a full scan as with your main security tool – it’ll even run in Safe Mode. If you want to go further, use the Emsisoft Emergency Kit – as featured in the step-by-step guide – to perform scans using two separate anti-virus engines. Other portable tools worth adding to your security toolkit include ClamWin Portable (install this through https://portableapps.com/) and VIPRE
“Most, if not all, malware should be sufficiently crippled in Safe Mode to allow complete removal” Rescue Disk (see the step-by-step guide). Both may find and remove more stubborn infections. If you’re convinced you’ve been attacked by a rootkit, then open Malwarebytes and go to Settings > Protection to flick the ‘Scan for rootkits’ option to On.
Recover from ransomware
Tweaking.com’s Windows Repair tool can quickly undo damage left behind by malware.
encrypted data and so on), which may give you access to your data later if the criminals are caught and the private keys used to scramble your files are released. Next, perform scans with all the anti-malware tools at your disposal to dispatch the underlying infection. Only when it’s removed should you visit https://noransom.kaspersky.com/ to see if your infection is covered by one of the six free ransomware decryption tools on offer. Other vendors worth checking out include AVG (www.avg.com/en-gb/ ransomware-decryption-tools). If you find yourself locked out of your PC by
If you encounter ransomware, don’t panic. This is doubly true if you have a backup somewhere – whatever else happens, you can wipe your PC’s storage drive and reinstall Windows and live with a small loss of data. In cases where you’re locked out from your data, make a note of any demands (Bitcoin wallet address, file list of
| September 2018
ransomware, try Trend Micro’s free Ransomware Screen Unlocker Tool (http://bit.ly/trendransomware), which can be run in Safe Mode or prepared on another PC if you can’t even get that far. After you’ve cleaned your PC, you may find certain functions haven’t been restored. Broken network connections can often be fixed with the help of NetAdapter Repair All In One (https:// sourceforge.net/projects/netadapter/). If Safe Mode still won’t work, or you’re locked out of key parts of your system, then run the Windows Repair Tool (www.tweaking.com). Not only does it give your PC the once-over, it’ll reset Registry and file permissions, and perform other much-needed repairs.
Windows 10 Clean up your PC Recover from stubborn infections
Zap nasty malware
Prepare the scanner
Create bootable disc
If you can restart your PC in Safe Mode – see the main body text opposite to find out how – with networking, then go to www.vipre.com/support/rescue/ to download a free tool that specialises in removing stubborn malware. If you can’t get online in Safe Mode, download it on a clean PC and transfer it across.
Launch the tool on your clean PC, and select the Emergency Kit Scanner. Click ‘Yes’ when prompted to download the latest updates. Once that’s done, close the tool, and then plug the drive into your infected PC. Launch the scanner tool again – you should see that it’s now up to date.
If all else fails, create a Kaspersky Rescue Disk – download the ISO from https://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/rescuedisk to a clean PC. Either right-click the ISO and choose ‘Burn image’ or use a tool, such as Rufus (https://rufus.akeo.ie/), to create bootable media stored on a USB flash drive.
Scan with two engines
Scan and remove
Boot and scan
If you can boot your PC, but can’t get into Safe Mode and have limited access to your system, download and install the portable Emsisoft Emergency Kit (www.emsisoft.com/en/ software/eek/) on to a USB flash drive on a clean PC. Be warned, it’s 311MB, so make sure the drive has enough free space.
For basic malware infections, click Malware Scan. If you suspect that your PC has been infected by a rootkit, click Custom Scan and tick ‘Use direct disk access’ before clicking Next. You can also perform a custom scan to root out potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) if you so wish.
Restart your PC from your boot media – if your PC has a UEFI and it doesn’t work, you’ll need to go into your UEFI settings to make sure that Compatibility Mode is enabled to support the rescue disk. Once loaded, let Kaspersky Rescue Disk scan and remove any infections, then reboot your machine.
September 2018 |
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