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Find and Remove Duplicate Files on Windows

September 25, 2021 0
Find and Remove Duplicate Files on Windows

 

Find and Delete Duplicate Files the Easy Way with Duplicate Cleaner Pro

If you’re really serious about finding and killing duplicate files, your best bet is Duplicate Cleaner Pro, which has an extremely simple interface with powerful features to delete duplicate files. This software isn’t free, but they do offer a free trial that you can use to test whether you like it. And of course, you don’t have to worry about crapware or spyware.

The Best Easy-to-Use Tool: Auslogics Duplicate File Finder

Many duplicate file finders are rather complex, and packed with many different options. Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is different from most, offering a simple interface that walks you through the process. It has other convenient features everyone should appreciate, such as a built-in preview pane that allows you to view images, listen to music files, and preview videos so you can see what files you’re deleting.

Some reviews knock Auslogics for bundling additional junkware with this application, but they’ve cleaned up their act somewhat since then. The installer did offer to install Auslogics Driver Updater when we installed the duplicate file finder, however. Be sure to uncheck any additional software offered during the installation process, as you don’t need a driver updater.

This application has sensible default settings offers a simple wizard that will walk you through the process. It will search non-system folders on all connected drives by default, but you can easily select which drives and folders you want to search in the sidebar. By default, it will search for images, audio files, video files, archives, and applications, but you can select only one type of file or have it look for all file types. You can easily tell it to search for files with a specific word or bit of text in their name if you’re looking for a specific file.

Once you’ve performed a search, you’ll see a list of duplicate files and you can easily view previews of them and other information. Or, to further narrow things down, you can click the “Filter” button and filter by date, size, or file type. Select the files you want to delete and click the “Delete Selected Files” button to send them to the Recycle Bin.

The Best Tool You May Already Have Installed: CCleaner

CCleaner is a popular tool, so there’s a good chance you already have it installed. CCleaner’s main feature is its junk file remover, which frees up space on your hard drive by removing unnecessary temporary files, but it also has quite a few other built-in tools, including a duplicate file finder.

Launch CCleaner and click Tools > Duplicate Finder to find this feature. It’s available on all versions of CCleaner, so you don’t need to pay for CCleaner Pro to use it.

CCleaner’s default settings are sensible, and will allow you to search for duplicate files on your C: drive while ignoring system files and hidden files. You could also choose to search a specific directory by clicking the “Add” button on the Include pane and selecting that folder. Be sure to select “Include files and subfolders” option while adding a new folder to ensure CCleaner searches any folders inside the folder you specify, too.

This tool’s interface for viewing duplicate files isn’t fancy, and doesn’t have all the same preview options Auslogics Duplicate File Finder does. However, it does allow you to easily select which files you want to delete and even save the list of duplicates to a text file.  but it’s a basic interface that allows you to select which files you want to delete and even save the list of duplicate files to a text file. You can right-click a file in the list and select “Open containing folder” if you want to view the file itself on your system.

The Best Tool With Advanced Filters: SearchMyFiles

SearchMyFiles is a more advanced application with more customizable filters. It can search for files created, modified, or accessed only between specific dates and times you specify, for example.

This tool is created by NirSoft, who also creates many other useful free tools that never contain bundled junkware. Like many other NirSoft applications, it’s a portable app.

Launch it and you’ll see a complex looking search dialog. You’ll want to select “Duplicates Search” in the Search Mode box at the top of the window and then choose folders to search by clicking the “Browse” button to the right of Base Folders. For example, you could select C:\ to search your entire C: drive for duplicates. Configure whatever other settings you like and click “Start Search” to search for duplicate files. You’ll see a list of duplicate files arranged into groups, and you can select which ones you want to remove.

Identify Objects with Your iPhone

September 25, 2021 0
Identify Objects with Your iPhone

 

If you haven’t taken a photo of the object yet, do that first. Then, open the “Photos” app on your iPhone.

Open the "Photos" app.

Select a photo that contains something you’d like to identify.

Select a photo.

If you see a little star on the “i” information icon, that means Photos has identified something in the photo. Tap the “i” icon.

You’ll see another little icon on top of the photo, indicating what has been identified. You can tap that to open up search results.

You’ll now see some results from Siri.

Siri results.

That’s all there is to it! This doesn’t work for every single photo, it just depends on whether the Photos app identifies something in the photo or not. There’s no way to manually force it to scan a photo. Still, it’s handy when it works.

Copy Text From a Picture on iPhone

September 25, 2021 0
Copy Text From a Picture on iPhone

Smartphone cameras can do a lot more than just take photos and videos. You can take a photo with your iPhone and copy text from the real world. We’ll show you how this handy feature works.

iOS 15 introduced a couple of new features in the Photos app. “Visual Lookup” can identify objects, while “Live Text” can identify text. The text can then be copied, translated, or used for a search. (Note that this feature requires an iPhone XR, iPhone XS, or newer model of iPhone.)

First, you’ll need to take a photo of the object with text. Do that if you haven’t already. Then, open the “Photos” app on your iPhone.

Open the "Photos" app.

Select the photo that contains the text you’d like to identify.

Select a photo from the gallery.

If the Photos app detects text, you’ll see a little scanning icon in the bottom corner.

The identified text will be highlighted. You can now treat it like you would when highlighting text anywhere. Tap and hold to bring up the select tool.

Tap and hold the highlighted text.

This will bring up handles so you can drag to select more text. A floating toolbar will also appear with a number of options, including “Copy.”

"Copy" from the toolbar.

Once you’ve copied the text, it can be pasted anywhere just like you regularly would. That’s all there is to it! This is a nifty little feature to know about and it can save you some time when transferring text from the real world.

Copy and Paste Text from a Photo with Your Phone

September 25, 2021 0
Copy and Paste Text from a Photo with Your Phone

 Google Photos logo

First, you’ll need a photo on your device that contains text. This can be a photo of something in the real world or even a screenshot. Open Google Photos on your iPhoneiPad, or Android device and select the photo.

Select a photo.

Next, one of two things will happen. Google Photos may immediately detect text and a suggestion will say “Copy Text From Image.” Go ahead and tap that if you see it.

Select "Copy Text From Image."

If the text in the photo is not as obvious, you’ll have to initiate Google Lens yourself. Tap the “Lens” icon in the bottom toolbar.

Google Lens will scan the image and highlight any text it detects. You can now select that text just like you would anywhere else.

Select the highlighted text.

After you select the text you want, tap “Copy Text” from the bottom menu.

Tap "Copy Text."

That’s it! The selected text has now been copied to your clipboard! You can paste it anywhere you’d like, just as you would with normal text. This is a great time-saving tip for transferring text onto your phone. If you’re an iPhone owner and you don’t use Google Photos, Apple’s gallery app has a similar feature.

How to Restart a Windows 11 PC

September 25, 2021 0
How to Restart a Windows 11 PC

Use the Power Button in the Start Menu

Click the Start power button and select "Restart."

One of the quickest and most obvious ways to restart is by using the Start menu. To get started, click the “Start” button in your taskbar. When the Start menu opens, click the power button in the lower-right corner of the menu. In the menu that pops up, select “Restart.” Your PC will shut down and restart.

Right-Click the Start Menu

Right-click the Start menu, select "Shut Down or Sign-Out" and click "Restart."

You can also restart Windows 11 using the hidden power user menu. To access it, press Windows+x on your keyboard or right-click the “Start” button. When the menu appears, click “Shut down or sign out,” then select “Restart.” Your PC will restart immediately.

Press Alt+F4

Press Alt+F4, select "Restart," then click "OK."

Alternately, you can restart your machine with a special menu window that few people know about. First, close or minimize all windows. Click your desktop, then press Alt+F4 on your keyboard. In the “Shut Down Windows” window that appears, use the drop-down menu to select “Restart.” Then click “OK.”

Use the Command Line

At the command prompt, type "shutdown -r" and hit Enter.

There’s also a quick way to restart your PC if you have access to the Command Prompt or PowerShell. First, open Windows Terminal by searching “terminal” in Start, then clicking its app icon. At the command prompt, type “shutdown -r” and hit Enter. When you see a warning message, click “Close.” Your PC will shut down and restart in 60 seconds.

Update and Restart in Windows Update

Click "Restart Now."

If you have updates available and need to restart to install them, open Settings by pressing Windows+i, then select “Windows Update” in the sidebar. In “Windows Update” settings, click “Check for Updates,” and if there are any available, you can install them and restart your PC by clicking “Restart Now.” Your PC will automatically install the updates and restart.

Use Ctrl+Alt+Delete or the Login Screen

And finally, there’s also an easy way to restart from either the Ctrl+Alt+Delete menu (that appears when you press that key combination) or the login screen. On either screen, click the power icon in the lower-right corner, then select “Restart” in the small menu that pops up. Windows 11 will restart your PC, and you’ll be back in business in no time. Good luck!

6 Ways to Improve Battery Life on Windows Laptops

September 25, 2021 0
6 Ways to Improve Battery Life on Windows Laptops

 

Battery Saver Mode

The easiest way to make use of Windows 10’s built-in power-saving options is to use Battery Saver mode. It lowers system resources and increases battery life.

This mode automatically activates when your laptop’s battery reaches a low level (usually under 20 percent), although you can customize this setting if you need to.

To check which battery mode your PC is in, click the battery icon in the notifications area of the task bar. A window displays the current battery life percentage, and a slider you can use to switch to another power mode.

To enable Battery Saver mode, drag the slider all the way to the left.

If you want to change when this mode automatically activates, right-click the Start menu, and then click “Settings.” From here, click “System,” and then “Battery.” Click and move the slider to change the automatic “Battery Saver” activation point from 20 percent.

Move the slider to change the automatic "Battery Saver" activation point.

Reduce Screen Brightness

On a high setting, the screen brightness level can drain your laptop’s battery. If you reduce the screen brightness, you can lower your laptop’s power usage significantly.

There are a few ways to reduce screen brightness. With the exception of the keyboard keys, the easiest way to reduce screen brightness is to use the Windows Action Center.

To open it, click the Notification icon in the bottom-right of the task bar. The Action Center menu appears, and you see a brightness slider at the bottom; click and move it to the left to reduce the screen’s brightness.

Click and move the Brightness slider to the left to reduce screen brightness.

You can also go to Settings > System > Display to change the brightness settings.

Use Hibernation Instead of Sleep Mode

When you close your laptop’s lid or leave it unattended for a while, it enters Sleep mode. This low-power mode lets you resume your system quickly, but it continues to use the battery. Over time, your battery will drain completely.

You can use Hibernation mode as an alternative. It saves a snapshot of the current Windows session to the hard drive so you can turn off your laptop. It’s slower than sleep mode, but it will save your battery usage for a longer period.

To quickly change from Sleep to Hibernation mode, press Start+R on your keyboard, and then type “powercfg.cpl” to open the Windows Power Options menu. In the sidebar, click “Choose What the Power Buttons Do.”

Click “Change Settings That Are Currently Unavailable” at the top, if it appears. Click each drop-down menu, and change “Sleep” to “Hibernate.”

The Windows 10 Advanced Power Settings menu.

To remove the option to put your PC into sleep mode completely, uncheck the box next to “Sleep” in the “Shut-Down Settings” section. When you’re finished, click “Save Changes.”

Find and Disable Battery Draining Apps

Not all software is created equal, and you might find that some programs are too greedy and demanding on your battery. Some might be too heavy on system resources or remain active in the background for long periods.

Windows 10 logs the CPU usage of all installed software and, from that, judges how much battery each app uses. You can check this list in the Windows Settings menu.

To do so, right-click the Start menu, click “Settings,” and then click System > Battery. Under the current battery percentage, click “See Which Apps Are Affecting Your Battery Life.”

Click "See Which Apps Are Affecting Your Battery Life."

Windows lists the most power-hungry apps. It defaults to a 24-hour list, but you can switch this to show power usage over six hours or a week.

A list of apps in the "See Which Apps Are Affecting Your Battery Life" window.

This is a useful way to see if any of your software is using an unnecessary amount of power. You can then disable or uninstall it.

You can also prevent software from running in the background. Mail apps, for instance, might regularly sync with mail servers in the background and use Wi-Fi (and battery power) in the process.

To prevent this, click any of the software entries in the app usage list. Uncheck the “Let Windows Decide When This App Can Run in the Background” and “Reduce the Work the App Can Do When It’s in The Background” boxes that appear.

Uncheck the "Let Windows Decide When This App Can Run In The Background" and "Reduce The Work The App Can Do When It's In The Background" boxes.

Disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

When you’re on the move, power-hungry features that use your computer can strip hours from its battery life. Unless you absolutely need them, cut back on and disable internal functions, like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, to save your battery.

Bluetooth is a feature you can definitely disable until you need it, and you can do so quickly in the Windows Action Center if power is running low.

To quickly disable or enable Bluetooth, tap the Notifications icon in the bottom-right corner of the task bar, and then tap the Bluetooth tile. If you don’t see the quick tile, you might have to click the “Expand” button.

Click the Bluetooth tile to enable or disable it.

If you want to disable Wi-Fi, click the network symbol in the Windows Action Center. In the network menu that appears, click the “Wi-Fi” tile to disable it.

Click the "Wi-Fi" tile to enable or disable it.

If you know you’ll be using your laptop on battery power for a long time, or if the battery’s nearly depleted, restrict power-hungry features, like any Bluetooth and Wi-Fi adapters. These measures will allow you to use your laptop longer.

Use the Windows 10 Power Troubleshooter

If the battery life on your laptop is poor, and you can’t determine the cause, the Windows 10 Power Troubleshooter might identify the problem. You can use this for other issues, too.

To get started, right-click the Start button, and then click “Settings.” From here, click Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Power, and then click “Run the Troubleshooter” to activate the tool.

Click "Run the Troubleshooter."

Windows will search the current settings for potential issues that could be impacting battery life. It will change any mismatched settings automatically to fix any detected issues.

The Windows 10 Troubleshooting tool, showing completed changes to the power settings.

The troubleshooting tool isn’t perfect, but it should resolve any high-impact settings that could drain your laptop’s battery over the long-term.

If the battery life of your laptop isn’t meeting your expectations, try to give it some regular TLC. Charge it often, and try to keep the battery level above 50 percent whenever you can. If you regularly drain your laptop’s battery to zero percent, it can cause it to wear out more quickly.

Turn On Battery Saver on Windows 11

September 25, 2021 0
Turn On Battery Saver on Windows 11

 

Turn on Battery Saver Using Quick Settings

The fastest way to enable Battery Saver is through the Quick Settings menu. To open it, click the hidden “Quick Settings” button in your taskbar—it’s located where you see the Wi-Fi, Speaker, and Battery indicator icons. Or you can press Windows+a on your keyboard.

When Quick Settings opens, click “Battery Saver.”

Click the Quick Settings button in the taskbar, then select "Battery Saver."

(If you don’t see “Battery Saver” in Quick Settings, click the pencil icon at the bottom of the menu, choose “Add,” then select “Battery Saver” in the list that appears.)

After clicking, Battery Saver will be enabled instantly. When you’re ready to turn it off, open Quick Settings again and click the “Battery Saver” button until it is no longer highlit.

Turn On Battery Saver in the Settings App

You can also enable (and configure) Battery Saver in the Windows 11 Settings app. To do so, first open Windows Settings by pressing Windows+i on your keyboard. Or you can search for “Settings” in the Start menu and click its icon when it appears in the results.

When Settings opens, click “System” in the sidebar, then select “Power & Battery.”

Click "System" in the sidebar, then select "Power & Battery."

In Power & Battery settings, scroll down to the “Battery” section. Click the “Turn On Now” button located beside the “Battery Saver” option.

Click "Turn on now."

Battery Saver will turn on instantly. To turn it off again, click the “Turn Off Now” button beside the “Battery Saver” label.

While you’re on this screen, you can also choose the percentage at which Battery Saver will enable itself using the “Turn battery saver on automatically at” drop-down menu. That menu also includes an “Always” option for permanently keeping Battery Saver on and a “Never” option to disable it completely.

You can also toggle whether Battery Saver dims the screen using the “Lower screen brightness when using battery saver” switch. In general, keeping your screen brightness turned down will make a big impact in extending your PC’s battery life. Good luck!

How to Use Google Sites

September 25, 2021 0
How to Use Google Sites

 Google Sites Logo on a blue background

Navigating Google Sites

Like other Google applications such as Drive, Docs, and Sheets, you have a simple main screen. At the top you have templates and at the bottom you have your files.

Using a template gives you a jumpstart for creating your site. Select one at the top or click “Template Gallery” to see the entire collection. You can also start with the Blank site option.

Google Sites main screen

Once you choose a template or the blank option, the site-building screen will appear, and it should look familiar to you. It’s structured the same basic way as other Google applications.

Google Sites page building screen

On the top left, click the icon to return to the main Google Sites page or the text to name your file.

Top left of a Google Sites page

On the top right, you have several icons. Starting on the left, you’ll see Undo, Redo, Preview, Copy a Link, Share, Settings, More, Publish, and your profile icon.

Top right of a Google Sites page

On the right side of the screen are the tools you’ll use to create your website. You have three tabs for Insert, Pages, and Themes.

  • Insert: Add page elements like a text box, image, table of contents, calendar, file, and more.
  • Pages: Manage the pages for your website. You can add a page or subpage, duplicate a page, view the page properties, or hide a page from the navigation.
  • Themes: Whether or not you start with a template, you can change the theme of your site anytime. Choose a theme to change the appearance, fonts, and colors.

Insert, Pages, and Themes tabs

Building a Page on Google Sites

At the top of your page, you have spots for your website name, the page title, and an image.

  • Click the “Enter Site Name” text to name your website and click “Add Logo” if you have one to use.
  • Click the “Your Page Title” text box to title the page.
  • Click the header image and choose “Change Image” and “Header Type” to change these.

Edit the page header

For most of your page building, you’ll use the Insert tab on the right. You can create a page in minutes using these features:

  • A selection of layouts
  • Text boxes
  • Images
  • Embed options
  • Collapsible text
  • Table of contents
  • Image carousel
  • Buttons
  • Dividers
  • Placeholders
  • Charts

Page elements

Plus, you can insert items from other Google applications including YouTube, Maps, Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms.

If you want to arrange text with media like images, you can pick one of the six layouts to help you position your items. Simply click a layout, and it’ll pop onto your page with placeholders.

Use a page Layout

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If you prefer to arrange your items yourself, click any item at the top or bottom of the Insert tab to place it on your page.

Insert a page element

Configuring Page Elements

After you place items on your page, you’ll be able to configure them. For instance, if you click to insert a button, you’ll immediately give it a name and include a link.

Insert a button

Or if you add a Google Calendar, you’ll pick the calendar to display and then choose to show things like the title, navigation buttons, and calendar view by clicking the gear icon in the toolbar.

Insert and configure a Google Calendar

When you insert page elements, whether using a layout or freeform, they reside in sections. Sections are outlined in blue when you select an item inside. Then on the left of the section, you have additional options.

Use the drag handle to move the section up or down. Or use the toolbar to choose a section background, duplicate the section, or delete it.

Move or configure a page section

Adjusting the Settings

As you know, there’s more to creating a website than just building the pages. You can adjust the navigation, add a custom domain, or use an announcement banner. Click the gear icon on the top right to open the settings.

Use the options on the left to choose the navigation position and color, add brand images, use an info icon and anchor links, set up a custom domain, connect your Google Analytics ID, and create an announcement banner.

Adjust the site settings

Publishing Your Site

When you’re ready to push your site out, whether to the masses or to a select group, click “Publish” on the top right.

If you did not set up a domain in the settings above, you can do so here by clicking “Manage” under Custom Domain. Otherwise, your web address will begin with http://sites.google.com/view/ with your website name after the slash.

To adjust who can view your site, click “Manage” next to Anyone. To keep your site away from search engines, check the box at the bottom. Hit “Publish” and you’re set!

Publish a website

While there’s much more to learn about the features and settings available in Google Sites, this introduction should get you off to a good start! And if you’re interested in additional options, take a look at these other website builders.