I use OneNote every day. It’s great for organizing household to-do lists, and an easy way to take notes for work research. But it has this one default feature that used to drive me nuts, until I figured out how to turn it off.
The problem was that every time I copied and pasted a quote from a webpage, OneNote included a link to the source page.
That’s great when you’re not paying attention to what your source material is. Personally, I’d probably use the feature if it only pasted the same link once per page. But that’s not the case, so it had to go.
Quick actions are a new and very helpful addition that Microsoft added to the operating system in Windows 10. This feature lets you quickly adjust various options such as airplane mode, location settings, screen brightness, and battery saver.
Quick-actions tiles sit inside the Action Center at the very bottom of the panel, and at first glance their arrangement may not seem that customizable. But it is, and Microsoft made that customization even easier with the Anniversary Update.
Mozilla’s Test Pilot program for Firefox is an interesting way to try out experimental features that aren’t yet ready to be an official part of the browser. In recent weeks, Mozilla rolled out a new Test Pilot feature called “No More 404s” that’s very helpful for anyone doing research online.
If you’re not familiar with it, error code 404 is the dreaded result you get when you come across a webpage that’s been deleted or is missing. Mozilla’s solution with No More 404s is to immediately search the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine for a cached version of the page. This all happens automatically in the background so you don’t have to do any of the searching yourself.
Anyone who likes tinkering with Firefox’s various hidden features knows that the key to finding them is the browser’s 'about:' pages—for instance about:config orabout:preferences. When these and other URLs are typed into Firefox's address bar, it returns a page with information and settings options for that given feature.
A handy add-on called ViewAbout makes it much easier to keep track of all those various about: options and get to them really easily.
To get started, download and install ViewAbout from the Firefox add-ons catalog. Once that’s done, you’ll have to restart the browser.
This may be the age of streaming video, but we still like to keep an eye on the Plex Media Server and its various apps for people who prefer to have local copies of their content. Plex makes it easy to organize any (non-DRM) movies and TV shows saved to your hard drive, and stream them across your devices. Plex works even better when your files are named properly. That’s where a handy little utility called FileBot comes in.
FileBot is a very reliable utility that can figure out what content you have and automatically rename it for you to something that makes it easier for Plex to recognize.
Now don’t get me wrong, Plex does a great job on its own of figuring out what your poorly named files actually are, but it’s not perfect. Sometimes whole TV shows or movies won’t show up in Plex due to a poor naming scheme. FileBot helps fix that.
Few features in Windows have as colored a history as AutoPlay. In its early days, the setting was infamous for passing viruses from errant USB drives to PCs. In more recent versions of Windows, AutoPlay is off by default to prevent malicious files from automatically executing on a PC.
AutoPlay is handy because it tells Windows to automatically carry out a specific action when you plug in some kind of removable media such as an SD card, a USB drive, or an external CD player. AutoPlay can be set to automatically import photos or videos, play any media, open File Explorer, or do nothing at all.
Even in the age of Windows 10, the best practice for AutoPlay is to leave it off or to have it ask you what to do every time you insert a device. If that doesn’t work for you, the next most benign step you can take is to set AutoPlay to open File Explorer. That way you can still see what’s on the USB stick, which is probably an action you would’ve taken anyway.
Microsoft added a new tool to Windows 10 to make it easier to get up and running after a major update. If you recently installed the Anniversary Update then you’ve already experienced the problem this tool tries to solve. You log in after the update, excited to get going with your refreshed PC, but the update isn’t finished. Instead, you have to wait through a bunch of single-color screens that tell you things like, “We’re just getting things ready” and “Your files are right where you left them.”
Windows 10’s new feature does away with all that by allowing your PC to sign in and automatically complete the update. That way, after a major update you don’t have to log in and wait for the final stages to complete.