Geeks in Phoenix

General Windows Geek Tips

The following is a complete list of our Windows Geek Tips (all versions)

Switching out of Windows S mode

Did you recently purchase a Windows computer only to discover that you could not install desktop programs? If so, it could be that your Windows computer came with S mode enabled. In this article, I will show you how to switch your Windows computer running in S mode to the Windows Home version.

How to setup Family Safety for Windows using Microsoft accounts

I don't know about you, but keeping my family safe on their Windows computers is priority number one. Sure, you can install anti-virus software and browser extensions, but what about the kids under 18? Here's how to set up Family Safety using Microsoft accounts.

Creative ways to repurpose your old Windows-based computer

Do you have an old Windows-based computer you no longer use? Maybe you got a new one and just do not know what to do with your old system. Here are a few creative ways to repurpose your old Windows-based computer.

Optimize your network connection for your Windows computer

Are you having problems with the network connection for your Windows computer? Does your Internet connection seem slow? If so, here are some tips on how to optimize the network connection in your Windows computer.

Locating and installing missing storage drivers for a clean Windows install

Have you ever encountered a situation where you are trying to install Windows on your computer, but the installation process does not find any available drives to install the operating system? This can be a frustrating experience, but there are several steps you can take to find a driver and complete the installation process. In this article, we will show you how to locate and install missing storage drivers when performing a clean install of Windows.

How to edit the programs that autostart in Windows

Do you have a program that automatically starts when you log in to Windows that you do not want to do that anymore? Or maybe you have too many programs starting when you log in to Windows? If so, here is how to edit the programs that autostart in Windows.

Play all of your favorite multimedia files and disks with VLC Media Player

Are you looking for a program to play optical disks (BD, DVD, CD) in Windows? Maybe you are feeling frustrated by having to have multiple media players to handle the various file formats you encounter? If so, you'll be happy to know there's a solution: VLC Media Player.

Troubleshooting graphics card issues in Windows

Are you having video problems when trying to play a game? Maybe your screen goes blank for a second or two? If so, here is how to troubleshoot the graphics card in your Windows-based computer.

Five free programs to keep your Windows computer running like new

As our lives have become increasingly digitized, our computers have become the central hub for all our information and activities. But with all that use comes clutter, which can slow down our machines and even put us at risk for security breaches. That's why it's essential to regularly clean up our computers. Fortunately, there are several free tools available to help you keep your Windows computer running like new.

Troubleshoot your computer and more for free with Sysinternals Suite from Microsoft

Are you looking for a program that tells you what apps are starting when you start up Windows? Or a presentation app for zooming and drawing on your screen? How about one you can use to find out what files, registry keys, etc., are currently open? These are a few of the free utilities included in the Sysinternals Suite by Mark Russinovich and from Microsoft.

How to keep your Windows computer running smoothly

If you're a Windows computer owner, you know that keeping your device running smoothly can sometimes be a challenge. However, with the proper maintenance habits and knowledge, you can easily avoid common mistakes that slow down your computer and extend its lifespan. Here is how to keep your Windows computer running smoothly.

How a computer technician deals with email

Even though I am a computer technician, I still have the same email problems as everybody else. But I have learned a few simple things to avoid spam, phishing, and unwanted email. So here is how I deal with email.

My favorite left hand Windows keyboard shortcuts

One of the most useful items I use daily is keyboard shortcuts. Especially shortcuts that I can perform with just my left hand, allowing me to keep my right hand on the mouse. You can use keyboard shortcuts to open frequently used files, folders, and programs like File Explorer. Windows has a ton of built-in keyboard shortcuts (see links at the bottom of this article), plus you can create your own custom keyboard shortcuts. Here are my favorite left-hand keyboard shortcuts.

How to enable the local administrator account in Windows without logging in

Having a Standard user account in Windows is great for security, as it prevents malicious software from installing. But what happens if you need to install software and do not have administrative privileges? Here is how to enable the local administrator account in Windows without logging in.

How to manually change the default location of user files in Windows

Are you having problems changing the location of your user files? Did you uninstall OneDrive, and now your personal folders are all screwed up. Here is how to manually change the default location of user files in Windows.

How to create a disaster recovery plan for your Windows computer

Getting the blue screen of death when starting your Windows can be scary, to say the least. And not being able to get it running again can be incredibly stressful. So here is how to create a disaster recovery plan for your Windows computer.

How to edit autofill passwords in Windows and your browser

Are you having problems with a username and password not working in your favorite browser? Or maybe the credentials for a network resource. Here is how to edit or remove autofill passwords in Windows and your favorite browser.

How to check the health of the drive in your Windows computer

Would it be nice if you knew when the drive in your computer was starting to fail? That way, you would have time to back it up and replace it. Well, there is, and here is how to check the health of your Windows-based computer drive.

My five favorite virus and malware removal tools

Having your computer get infected with a virus or malware can be an actual stressful situation. And finding software that can remove the infection can be even more stressful. So ...

Create, extract and edit archive files with 7-Zip

For decades now, we have been compressing files and folders to make them smaller to attach to an e-mail or archive. I have used many archiving programs over the years, but the ...

Easily create, edit, and burn CD, DVD, and BD disks with AnyBurn

Are you looking for a program that can create, edit and burn Compact Disk (CD), Digital Video Disc (DVD), and Blu-ray (BD) disks? One that has a simple to use interface but has ...

What file system should you use for your external drive?

With the three top operating systems, it is hard to know exactly what file system your operating system will work with. One file system may be fully compatible (read and ...

Synchronize folders and files on your Windows computer with Allway Sync

Are you looking for an easy way to synchronize your files to another computer on your network? Or maybe you want to sync to an external drive or the cloud. If so, then take a look ...

Create and edit text-based files with Notepad++

When it comes to editing text-based files, everyone has used Windows built-in text editor Notepad. But it is pretty basic and has very few features. If you are looking for a program that ...

My digital toolbox 4

Being a computer technician, I used all sorts of different software during my day. One day I might be removing viruses and malware, the next day, I might be replacing a failed hard drive. So the ...

Five things to look at to protect your computer when working from home

With more and more people working from home, keeping your personal computer safe and secure is important. There is always somebody out there that will want to get your information ...

How to remotely access your personal computers with TeamViewer

Do you have two personal computers and would like to remotely access one from the other? Looking for a really easy way to do it? You can do just that for free with the personal version of ...

How to get a free Windows 10 upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

Many people took advantage of the Get Windows 10 upgrade promotion, and some did not. If you are one of those people that did not get your version of Windows 7 / Windows 8.1 ...

Check your e-mail and more with Mozilla Thunderbird

Looking for an e-mail program that has a ton of features? One that has a calendar, task scheduler and can handle multiple e-mail addresses? Then look no further than Mozilla Thunderbird.

How to make your computer look and run like brand-new

For most people, there is nothing better than a brand-new computer. But of course, you cannot get a new computer every few months. But you can get that same feeling. Here is ...

What you can do with an ISO file

Have you ever downloaded an ISO file and did not know what to do with it? More and more software companies are now distributing their software using ISO files. Here is what you can ...

What is the Microsoft Garage?

Have you ever wondered where some of the ideas for Microsoft programs come from? You know, the apps that are on the cutting edge. There is good chance they started out in the ...

How to handle a tech scam

It happens to all of us. You get a pop-up on your computer screen or a phone call telling you that your computer is infected. More than likely it is bogus. So here is how to handle a ...

Understanding long folder and file names in Windows

Did you know that there is a limit to how long a file name can be? Did you know that the folder name is also include in that limit? And what about the path? Let's take a look at long folder ...

My four favorite free programs I always recommend

Being a computer repair technician, I get asked allot of questions. Quite a few of them are about what software do I recommend. And since I am frugal, I will usually suggest ones that are ...

How to get to and use the Run dialog box in Windows

There may be a time when you need to run a program in Windows that does not have a shortcut to it. Usually it is a program that is not used that often. So here is how start a ...

Security and your computer

With the recent outbreak of data encrypting malware, keeping your computer secure is a major issue. There isn't just one thing that you can do to secure your computer, but multiple ...

Use the Microsoft Update Catalog to find and install Windows drivers and updates

Are you having problems finding Windows drivers for your older hardware? Or have you had an update to Windows recently fail to install and want to manually install it? Then the ...

Manage Mac disks inside of Windows with MacDrive

Even though we primarily work on Windows based computers, there are times when we need to access Mac formatted disks. And being able to do that from inside of Windows is ...

See what your drive contains with Space Sniffer

Got a video or music library and want to see how large it is? Maybe you downloaded a really big file and cannot remember where it is? If so, Space Sniffer may just be what you need.

How to quickly free up space on your hard drive

Are you getting a low disk space warning in Windows? Or maybe you have been prompted to delete a previous version of Windows to gain some disk space? If so, here's how to quickly ...

What is a Bit? What is a Byte?

You hear these all the time when you talk about computers: Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terabyte, 32-bit, 64-bit. For a novice computer user, these can be quite confusing. So, here's an ...

How to clean up an old joystick or game controller

Do you have an old PC joystick or game controller you haven't used in a long time? Did the buttons or the gamepad start to stick? Here's how to clean up old PC joysticks and ...

Download old software and play old video games at the Internet Archive

Have you ever wanted to play an old video game from your past? Maybe play Pitfall on the Atari 2600 or Super Donkey Kong on a Colecovision? You can all that and more at the ...

How to create ISO files from your software disks

So over the years you've been purchasing software on CD's / DVD's and now have quite the collection. So what do you do with all of the media you are no longer using? How about creating ...

How to use DOSBox to run old DOS games and programs

Sometimes it is fun to go back and play the DOS video games I grew up with. But it can be tough since Windows doesn't utilize DOS anymore. But you can still run your old DOS games ...

Manage your Windows computer with the Microsoft Management Console

The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) is a program that is used to create, save, and open collections of administrative tools, called Consoles. Consoles contain items such as snap-ins ...

Using special font characters in Windows with Character Map

Have you ever wanted to insert a letter or symbol into a Windows document that was not shown on your keyboard? Maybe a copyright, trademark or tolerance symbol? You can do just that ...

Create your own Windows font character with Private Character Editor

Do you have a company logo or a simple graphic that you would like to use often in a Windows program, like Microsoft Word or Excel? Maybe your line of work has special characters that you ...

Harden / Mitigate the security of your Windows programs with Microsoft EMET

Let's face it, some of the software we use on a daily basis has become subject to security vulnerabilities and exploits. Software manufacturers do their best to develop and test fixes / patches ...

Troubleshooting Windows Update problems

When it comes to repairing Windows based computers, there seems to be a couple of problems that I get allot of requests for help with. One of them is when a computer cannot get updates ...

How to clean up and reset Mozilla Firefox

When it comes to computer repair, the most common problem I find is browser corruption. Malicious web sites with infected flash ads are the most common way a browser can get corrupted.

How to clean up and reset Google Chrome

Internet browsers are prone to getting compromised. It can happen by opening an infected e-mail to viewing a malicious ad on a web page. But knowing how to get your browser back ...

How to clean up and reset the Internet Explorer

In repairing computers for a living, the one thing I find myself doing constantly is cleaning up and resetting web browsers. Removing adware, malware and viruses can really screw up ...

How to speed up the boot time of your computer

Does it seem like your computer takes forever to boot up? Waiting for your Windows based computer to boot can be quite frustrating. But there are a few things you can do. Here is how ...

Creating panoramic images with Image Composite Editor 2

One of the things I like to do when I go on vacation is taking panoramic photos. Since my camera doesn't actually take panoramic photos, I have to use software to stitch images together. One of the best image stitchers I have found yet is ...

Eliminate spam from your inbox with MailWasher Pro 7.5

When it comes to communication, e-mail is by far the fastest and easiest way to exchange thoughts and ideas. But it can also be one of the fastest ways to spread viruses / malware too. But you can protect yourself and your ...

My digital toolbox

Every computer repair technician has a digital toolbox, more than likely several. They are either on a CD / DVD or USB drive and contain programs that we use on a regular basis. Here are a few of the programs that I have in my digital ...

How to safely remove external drives

External storage devices like flash drives or hard drives are so convenient for carrying data between computers. Just plug and play, as they say. But did you know it's not the same for when you unplug your drives? Here's how to safely ...

Inside the Windows 10 Technical Preview

Coming on the heels of the Windows 8.1 Update, Microsoft recently released the Windows 10 Technical Preview. With this new version of Windows, Microsoft is combining elements from Windows 7 and Windows 8 / 8.1 to ...

How to upgrade your computers hard disk drive to a solid state drive

Most computers (laptop & desktop) nowadays come with a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) as standard equipment with a Solid State Drive (SSD) as an option. Each drive type has its pros and cons: HDD's are cheaper and have more storage, ...

Clean up your Internet browser with AdwCleaner

I've been doing virus / malware removal for a while now and have seen allot of different types of infections. The latest trend is to target your Internet browser. Whether it is Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox, it can get ...

How to spot a piece of spam e-mail

E-mail has really changed the way we communicate over the last couple decades. The days of pen and paper letter writing are gone. But e-mail does have a negative side: the unwanted e-mail know as Spam. Billions of pieces ...

How to use layered security to protect your computer

It seems whenever I tell someone that I repair computers for a living, I almost always get asked the question "What do you recommend for anti-virus software?". I tell them that I use a layered approach to security, not relying on just one ...

3 things you can do to restore network connectivity

One of the most frequent issues I get doing computer repair is loss of internet connectivity. Yes, a good portion of can be attributed to viruses / malware. But there are times when something, plain and simple, goes wrong. A couple of ...

Creating stunning documents, spreadsheets and slide-shows with OpenOffice 4

With the cost of Microsoft Office going up, not to mention the subscription / non-subscription thing, it's nice to know there are alternatives out there. One of the best office alternatives has to be OpenOffice. And it just so happens that ...

How to fix a computer that cannot wake up from sleep or standby mode

Doing computer repair, I fix a wide range of problems. One problem that I am seeing more and more often are systems that go into sleep / standby mode and cannot come out of it. The cause varies from computer to computer, but the ...

Remove malware, viruses and spyware with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Virus removal can be a tricky thing, so a good anti-virus program is a must. And remember that you can only have one anti-virus program installed at a time because they will conflict with each other and degrade system ...

Recover deleted files on your Windows computer with Recuva

As a computer repair technician, I do a fair share of data recovery. One of the most asked questions is "How can I recover a file that I accidentally deleted?". For simple recovery of deleted files on a Windows based computer, I always ...

How to securely erase all of the data from your Windows based computer

Do you have an old Windows based computer you would like to get rid of but want to make sure that all of your data is securely erased? Or maybe you would like to wipe all of the data from your hard drive and perform a clean ...

Perform advanced disk defragmentation with Defraggler from Piriform

Have you ever opened a filling cabinet just to find the folders just scattered around? The files are all over the place and you cannot find what you're looking for. The same thing can happen to the folders / files on your Windows based ...

Packt Publishing Technical & IT Book and eBook Store reaches 1000 titles

As a IT consultant, I'm always looking for great sources for the latest technical information. I need ebooks that are easy to use, focused on topic and have a practical application. And it just so happens that one of my favorite sources ...

Sync data between your PC and smartphone with CompanionLink

Like allot of people, I use Microsoft Outlook as a PIM (Personal Information Manager). And being in the computer repair industry, I need to keep all of my personal data (contacts, calendar, etc.) synchronized and up to date on both ...

Using the Microsoft Web Platform to create web apps and websites

When it comes to a complete set of website development tools, nobody does it better that Microsoft. From web server (IIS), database server (SQL), framework (.NET) and development tools (Visual Studio), Microsoft has quite ...

Convert your videos to different formats easily with WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

As some of you know, I like working with videos (especially the YouTube Geek Tips). But each video source (screen capture, smartphone, camcorder, etc.) has it's own format and converting them to other formats can be hard. But that ...

Store, access and share your files on the cloud for free with Google Drive

Being in the computer repair business, I find myself going between my workstation, netbook and smartphone quite often. I need to be able to view / edit files on all of my devices and have the changes synchronize back. I'm ...

Clean up and optimize your computer for free with CCleaner

Do you want to clean up and optimize your computer but just don't know where to start? Maybe you want clean out all of the temporary Internet files for security purposes. Or clean up all of the temporary files from other applications to free ...

Create stunning graphics and edit images for free with GIMP

Do you need to touch up some photos? Maybe create some cool looking graphics? Or convert some images to different formats? You can do all of this and more for free with GIMP.

Play movies, read a book or listen to music from the cloud with Google Play

Last year Google introduced the Android Market for Android apps and later Google Music for streaming music. Recently Google added a couple of more products to their catalog and combined them with the Android Market and ...

Try Windows 8 for free with Windows 8 Consumer Preview

You would think that doing computer repair for a living, the last thing I would want to do is try out a beta operating system. But I have to admit that I love playing around with new operating systems (been doing it since Windows ....

Optimize your website for free with the Search Engine Optimization Toolkit from Microsoft

If you have been following our blog, I have written about creating websites for free with the Microsoft Web Platform or Microsoft WebMatrix. And with creating a website, you need to think about search engine optimization ...

Troubleshoot your computer and more for free with Sysinternals Suite from Microsoft

Have you ever wanted to see what programs start up when your computer boots? Or maybe defrag your pagefile? Or how about finding out what files, registry keys, etc. are currently open? You can do all this and more for free ...

Streaming music from the cloud for free with Google Music

Google recently introduced a new music service into their catalog of products called Google Music. With Google Music you can store all of your music to your account on Google's servers and stream it back to your favorite ...

Run another OS on top of your existing OS for free with Oracle VirtualBox

Have ever wanted or needed to run a different operating system then what you currently have installed on your computer? Maybe you want to run an old Windows 95 game or maybe try out Linux and just don't have another ...

Try Windows 8 for free with Windows 8 Developer Preview

By now, you have probability started hearing the buzz about Windows 8. Maybe it's the new interface, Metro, which brings touch screen ease of use and the simple tile look of the Windows 7 phone to the desktop. Or maybe it's the ...

Run Android OS on your netbook, laptop or personal computer with Android-x86

With all of the talk nowadays about moving from personal computers to smartphones and tablets, I was wondering if I could have the best of both worlds. I wanted to know is if I could run a version of the Android OS on my ...

Disable Windows hibernation and free up disk space

If you're a hard core computer user like me, you have your system running 24/7. No screen saver or power saver options (I just turn off the monitors when not in use). I need to be able to walk into my office and have it ready ...

Creating web apps and websites for free with Microsoft Web Platform

Have you ever wondered how to create a blog, content management system (CMS) or e-commerce website? You can do just that and more with Microsoft Web Platform. You can create your own web app using ...

Take your office to the cloud with Microsoft Office Web Apps

Microsoft recently introduced Office Web Apps, a cloud based version of their popular productivity suite. Office Web Apps is part of Windows Live and includes versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. You can ...

My favorite left hand Windows keyboard shortcuts

One of the most useful items I use on a daily basis are keyboard shortcuts. Especially shortcuts that I can perform with just my left hand, allowing me to keep my right hand on the mouse. You can use keyboard shortcuts to ...

Be more productive in your office for free with OpenOffice 3

A client recently asked me if I knew of any alternative to Microsoft Office. As a firm believer in open source software, I told him about OpenOffice.org 3 from Oracle. It is a complete office software suite with a word processor, ...

My five favorite Windows tips for maintaining your computer

In this article, I share my five favorite tips for maintaining your Windows based computer.

Simple security with Microsoft Security Essentials

In this article, I am going to spotlight Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). This is not Microsoft's first venture into the ant-virus market, but it is probably the best. Having used the some of the more well know anti-virus software ...

Edit digital images and photos with Paint.NET

I have recently been looking for a digital photo editor that is comparable to Adobe Photoshop and can read RAW format photos from my Nikon D40. But it also needs to able be to run on the Intel Atom processor in my Acer ...

CodePlex - Open Source Project Community hosted by Microsoft

In this article, I would like to tell you about CodePlex, an Open Source Project Community hosted by Microsoft. Open-source software is computer software that is available in source code form for which the source code and ...

Edit more types of text files with Textpad

In this article, I would like to share with you a handy application for text editing called TextPad. If you have ever used Notepad, you will love TextPad.

Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows

One of applications you can integrate into Windows Explorer is Image Resizer. With a right click on a picture, you can quickly resize a photo without ...

RAW Image Viewers for Windows

I am into digital photography and like to organize and work with digital RAW image files in Windows Explorer (much as you can with JPEG images). But Windows does not have support for this format built-in. Well, I am glad to say I have found ...

Use Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome/Safari all in one browser with Lunascape

I recently came across one of the best web browsers I have ever seen, Lunascape. What sets this browser apart from the rest is that is can use any of the three browser engines available, Trident (Internet Explorer), Gecko ...

Using Remote Desktop Connection on a Netbook (Video)

In this article, I would like to show you how to use Remote Desktop Connection. With Remote Desktop Connection, you can have access to a ...

Monitor your computer's performance, programs and processes with Task Manager in Windows (Video)

Task Manager provides information about programs and processes running on your computer. It also displays the most commonly used performance measures ...

Free Internet Security Software

Here is a list of free Internet Security programs I recommend for those who are on a budget. Keep in mind that free software often comes with ...

Virus removal: guidelines for Windows

The following is a general guideline to detecting and removing a virus from your computer. As always, have a good working backup before attempting any of these procedures.

Track free space on your computer with SpaceMonger

One of the software tools I use quite often client systems is SpaceMonger. SpaceMonger is a tool for keeping track of the free space on your computer.

Windows logo key keyboard shortcuts

Windows logo key keyboard shortcuts (based on Windows 7)

General keyboard shortcuts

Windows General keyboard shortcuts

Natural keyboard shortcuts

Windows Natural (Windows logo key) keyboard shortcuts

Dialog box keyboard shortcuts

Windows Dialog box keyboard shortcuts

Accessibility keyboard shortcuts

Windows Accessibility keyboard shortcuts

Windows explorer keyboard shortcuts

Windows explorer keyboard shortcuts

Free computer diagnostics

Repairing a PC can sometimes be expensive, and that is why we offer free basic in-shop diagnostics. Give one of our professional and experienced technicians a call at (602) 795-1111, and let's see what we can do for you.

Check out our reviews

Geeks In Phoenix LLC, BBB Business Review

Customer service is #1

Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. We aim to give the highest quality of service from computer repair, virus removal, and data recovery.

Bring your computer to us and save

Repairing a computer can be time-consuming. That is why we base our in-shop service on the time we work on your computer, not the time it takes for your computer to work! From running memory checking software to scanning for viruses, these are processes that can take some time.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (602) 795-1111  and talk with one of our Geeks. Or you can send us a message from our contact page , and one of our Geeks will get back to you as soon as possible. Or you can stop by and see us. Here are our hours and location.

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