How to autoload your favorite programs in Windows 10

Bill Russell wants to know how to configure Windows 10 so that Chrome, and possibly some other programs, load automatically when he boots his PC.

I’ve already described how to disable particular autoloading programs, so they don’t open every time you boot. And while you can re-enable programs you’ve disabled within Task Manager’s Startup tab, there’s no way you can enable programs that aren’t listed there in the first place.

Fortunately, you don’t have to.

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7 steps for setting up a new Windows 10 PC

MTP is replacing an old laptop with a new one, and wants advice on setting it up.

First, here’s what not to do. Don’t clone your old hard drive to the new PC—or restore an image backup. That doesn’t work. Every Windows installation is configured for the computer it was installed onto, and the copy of Windows that came with your old PC is licensed only for that computer. And even if it did work (it won’t), you’ll lose the advantages of a new OS and a clean slate.

So here’s what you should do:

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Windows 10 picture password: Draw your own conclusions about its safety

Chilli Milli wants to set up a Windows 10 picture password.

A Windows 10 (and Windows 8) picture password is similar to an Android pattern lock. You prove your identity by moving your finger across the touch screen. Except, instead of swiping across a standard grid of points, you do it over a photo of your own choice. You might, for instance, swipe from your cat’s ear to your dog’s nose.

But are pictures as safe as passwords and PINs? When I last covered Windows 10 password options, I skipped picture passwords because they make me nervous.

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Restore a Windows 7 backup in Windows 10

Someone stole Bernard Nartey’s Windows 7 laptop. Now he needs to recover the data from his backup.

Aren’t you glad you have a backup? Without it, you would lose everything—instead of just the hardware.

I’m going to assume here that you used Windows 7’s built-in backup system, because that’s the default and the one you want for recovering data. (An image backup is for recovering Windows itself, which you don’t want to do on a new PC.) I’ll also assume that your new PC runs Windows 10.

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How to decide between laptop or desktop deployment

Michael Playford wants to “set up rules and criteria that would justify a team member being provided a laptop vs. a desktop. Most team members are requesting a laptop.”

Of course they are. Laptops are cool. They’re a status symbol. You can take them anywhere. Top executives all have laptops. Desktops, on the other hand, look clunky and old-fashioned. No one wants a desktop anymore.

But that doesn’t mean that laptops are the smartest choice for everyone in the company.

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5 common SMS text scams, and how to avoid them

Something felt wrong as Madeline Prager exchanged texts with a stranger about an ad she posted on Craigslist. “I ultimately didn’t give him the information he asked for, but would it have been safe [to do so]?”

You have to be careful with texts, especially if you can’t be sure who sent them. They could be scams intended to steal your money or your information. Be particularly suspicious if they won’t talk to you (Madeline’s potential buyer had a text-only phone), or if they try to provoke sympathy (he claimed to be in the army and about to deploy).

Full disclosure: Madeline Prager is my wife.

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3 ways to speed up Windows 10 without buying new hardware

Gabe Gerzevske asked how he could speed up Microsoft’s new operating system.

No one likes to click a weblink, open a program, or type a word…and then wait while their computer ponderously considers performing that task. If Windows is taking too much time to do its job, a few modest setting changes can help speed it up.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to]

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