What Data Does Android Back Up Automatically?

Much of the data on your Android phone or tablet is backed up by Google (or the individual apps you use) automatically, but what is being saved for you, and what do you need to save for yourself?

We’ll explain exactly what data is backed up automatically and what isn’t, so you can rest easy knowing your data is safe—or take steps to back up some application data on your own.

What Google Backs Up Automatically

Google has a service built into Android, aptly called Android Backup Service. By default, this service backs up most types of data you care about and associates it with the appropriate Google service, where you can also access it on the web. You can see your Sync settings by heading into Settings > Accounts > Google, then selecting your Gmail address.

  • Contacts,Email, Docs, and Calendars: Your Android contacts are synced with your Google contacts online (you can access these contacts from Gmail or on the dedicated Google Contacts page), your email is safely stored in your Gmail account, and calendar events are synced with Google Calendar.
  • Some System Settings: Android also synchronizes some system settings—for example, Android stores saved passphrases for Wi-Fi networks and retrieves them on each Android device you use. It also backs up display settings, like brightness and timeout length.
  • Chrome Browser Data: If you use the Chrome browser, your bookmarks synchronize with your Chrome sync account.
  • Hangouts Chat Logs: Hangouts chat logs are stored in your Gmail account, assuming you haven’t disabled chat logging in Gmail.
  • Apps and Other Purchased Content: Any apps you have purchased (or installed) are linked with your Google account. When you set up a new Android device (or enter your account after resetting your Android device to factory default settings), Android will offer to automatically download and install the apps you previously had installed. You can also view apps you have previously installed in the Play Store, so you won’t forget which apps you have used (or purchased). Other content you purchase from Google Play is also tied to your Google account.
  • Some Third-Party App Data: Third-party apps often, but not always, sync their data with web services. If you have an app containing data important to you, be sure to check whether it syncs data online before wiping or getting rid of your phone.
  • Smart Lock Password Data: If you use Chrome on your computers and have Smart Lock for Passwords enabled, then your saved passwords will not only sync across Chrome on mobile, but also to some apps. For example, if you have your Netflix password saved in Smart Lock for Passwords, it will automatically be available in the app on your Android devices.
  • Photos: If you use Google Photos, then you could also back your photos up to Google’s servers. Unlike most of the others on this list, this feature has to be enabled before it just happens—fortunately, we’ve got you covered on setting that up, too. There’s also a “Photos Backup” entry in the Backup & reset menu on Android Nougat.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should give you some idea of what’s backed up automatically. Google includes the most important things, so you don’t need to worry about losing your email, contacts, apps, saved Wi-Fi passphrases, or even most passwords.

What Google Doesn’t Back Up

Now that we’re covered what Google does automatically back up, let’s take a look at what they don’t:

  • SMS Messages: Android doesn’t back up your text messages by default. If having a copy of you text messages is important to you, follow our guide on backing up text messages to your Gmail account.
  • Google Authenticator Data: For security reasons, Google doesn’t synchronize your Google Authenticator codes online. If you wipe your Android device, you’ll lose your ability to perform two-factor authentication. You can still authenticate via SMS or a printed authentication code and then set up a new device with new Google Authenticator codes.
  • Custom Settings, Bluetooth Pairings, and Security Data: When you set up a new phone or factory reset yours, you’ll have to repair all of your Bluetooth accessories, set up specific settings (like which notifications to block, for example), and re-enter all of your security data, like lock screen passwords and fingerprints.

Make sure, before you reset or sell your phone, that you have any of these items backed up manually if you want them.

The Gray Area of Backups

Like with most things, there is a gray area here: things that can be backed up, but are also contingent on other variables—like developer integration in third-party apps, for example.

  • Game Progress: The Android Backup Service allows developers to back up their data and have it automatically restored in the future. However, you’ll find that some games may not take advantage of this feature. This feature is independent for each game, so do your research before you lose everything upon switching devices or performing a factory reset.
  • App Settings: Many other app settings aren’t backed up by default. Whether it’s preferences in an app you use or alarms you’ve created in the Clock app, they probably aren’t backed up online. Some third-party apps contain backup features that export the app’s data to a local file, which you must then keep track of manually (perhaps by uploading it to Google Drive). Again, this is going to be individual for each app.

Again, if there’s anything important you want to keep in one your apps, consult the app’s settings or documentation to figure out whether it backs up automatically or not. In some cases, you may have options to back up your data manually and bring it to your new device in the form of a file.

Full Phone Backups

Most people shouldn’t have to back up their Android phone or tablet manually—Android’s default backup features should be more than good enough. However, some people may want to back up data that Android doesn’t back up by default: game saves, app settings, or whatever else.


If you want to back up and restore your Android data manually, you have a couple options:

  • Titanium Backup: Titanium Backup is the granddaddy of backup apps. You can use the free version of Titanium Backup, but for everything the app has to offer (and features you’ll likely want), you’ll have to shell out $6.00 for the Pro version of the app. It’s also not for everyone, as it does require root access. For a closer look at what Titanium Backup can do (and how to use it), head here—note that this post is a little dated looking, but all the functionality is still the same.
  • Android’s Hidden Local Backup Feature: Android has a built-in backup and restore feature that doesn’t require root, but this feature is hidden. You have to perform a backup or restore by connecting your device to your computer and running a command.

In short, Android already backs up the most important things by default, but be sure to enable Photo Uploads so you have a backup copy of your pictures! Advanced users may want to use a local backup tool, but most people shouldn’t need to, as it’s not that difficult to start from scratch after performing a factory reset.

Make Wireless Keyboard

How to make a wireless keyboard? This question is a bit difficult. There are many applications available on the Android App Store, with the help of a lot of computer work from mobile phone. Such as creating a wireless computer mouse, accessing any computer remotely from a smartphone or using the cloud storage technology to share data. All work is done very easily with mobile. There is also a lot of apps and tricks for wireless keyboard, which can be used by mobile to make wireless keyboard.

How to make Mobile Wireless Keyboard ?

One of these is the Virtual Virtual Keyboard Keyboard. This is a Best Wireless Keyboard App which can be used to help Mobile Wireless Keyboard. But some of these Requirements and Conditions, which can be used only after completion.

Step 1. First of all, you must install Intel Remote Host Software Download in Computer. Because this software works as a keyboard receiver. If it is not installed in Computer then Keyboard never connect to computer.

Step 2. Install the Intel Remote Keyboard App in the Smartphone after installing the software. Mobile Wireless Keyboard can be made by this app.

Step 3. After doing both the work on the Intel Host Open on the computer, there will be a QR Code show here, open the Intel Remote Keyboard app in Mobile and scan the QR Code until the OK sign.

Step 4. After the Mobile and PC Connect, you are ready to use the Mobile Wireless keyboard. Now whatever you give input from the Mobile Keyboard, your PC will get it.

Mobile Wireless Keyboard is very easy to make. But Computer Keyboard Keys arrangement is a bit different.

What’s the Difference Between TCP and UDP?

You’ve probably seen references to TCP and UDP when setting up port-forwarding on a router or when configuring firewall software. These two protocols are used for different types of data.

TCP/IP is a suite of protocols used by devices to communicate over the Internet and most local networks. It is named after two of it’s original protocols—the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP). TCP provides apps a way to deliver (and receive) an ordered and error-checked stream of information packets over the network. The User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is used by apps to deliver a faster stream of information by doing away with error-checking. When configuring some network hardware or software, you may need to know the difference.

What They Have In Common

Both TCP and UDP are protocols used for sending bits of data—known as packets—over the Internet. Both protocols build on top of the IP protocol. In other words, whether you’re sending a packet via TCP or UDP, that packet is sent to an IP address. These packets are treated similarly, as they’re forwarded from your computer to intermediary routers and on to the destination.

TCP and UDP aren’t the only protocols that work on top of IP. However, they are the most widely used.

How TCP Works

TCP is the most commonly used protocol on the Internet.

When you request a web page in your browser, your computer sends TCP packets to the web server’s address, asking it to send the web page back to you. The web server responds by sending a stream of TCP packets, which your web browser stitches together to form the web page. When you click a link, sign in, post a comment, or do anything else, your web browser sends TCP packets to the server and the server sends TCP packets back.

TCP is all about reliability—packets sent with TCP are tracked so no data is lost or corrupted in transit. This is why file downloads don’t become corrupted even if there are network hiccups. Of course, if the recipient is completely offline, your computer will give up and you’ll see an error message saying it can’t communicate with the remote host.

TCP achieves this in two ways. First, it orders packets by numbering them. Second, it error-checks by having the recipient send a response back to the sender saying that it has received the message. If the sender doesn’t get a correct response, it can resend the packets to ensure the recipient receives them correctly.

How UDP Works

The UDP protocol works similarly to TCP, but it throws out all the error-checking stuff. All the back-and-forth communication introduce latency, slowing things down.

When an app uses UDP, packets are just sent to the recipient. The sender doesn’t wait to make sure the recipient received the packet—it just continues sending the next packets. If the recipient misses a few UDP packets here and there, they are just lost—the sender won’t resend them. Losing all this overhead means the devices can communicate more quickly.

UDP is used when speed is desirable and error correction isn’t necessary. For example, UDP is frequently used for live broadcasts and online games.

For example, let’s say you’re watching a live video stream, which are often broadcast using UDP instead of TCP. The server just sends a constant stream of UDP packets to computers watching. If you lose your connection for a few seconds, the video may freeze or get jumpy for a moment and then skip to the current bit of the broadcast. If you experience minor packet-loss, the video or audio may be distorted for a moment as the video continues to play without the missing data.

This works similarly in online games. If you miss some UDP packets, player characters may appear to teleport across the map as you receive the newer UDP packets. There’s no point in requesting the old packets if you missed them, as the game is continuing without you. All that matters is what’s happening right now on the game server—not what happened a few seconds ago. Ditching TCP’s error correction helps speed up the game connection and reduce latency.

So What?

Whether an application uses TCP or UDP is up to its developer, and the choice depends on what an application needs. Most apps need the error-correction and robustness of TCP, but some applications need the speed and reduced overhead of UDP.

Unless you’re a network administrator or software developer, this shouldn’t doesn’t affect you too much. If you’re configuring your router or firewall software and you’re not sure whether an application uses TCP or UDP, you can generally select the “Both” option to have your router or firewall apply the same rule to both TCP and UDP traffic.

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Solving Phone Battery Draining Issue

Nowadays, we face most in our phone is battery problem. You’ll be surprised the battery you just finished charging suddenly showing you battery low as though it was sucked up. There are some apps in the phone which are called as battery killers because they use more battery to run in the background. Here, as below.

1.Games like Candy Crush and other high-end games like Mortal Combat. If you are a non-gamer, then we advise removing those unnecessary games from your phone.

2.Don’t use Security apps like 360 Security. Because they run in the background and always asks you for permissions for unnecessary installs.

3.Don’t turn on location or GPS in mobile until you use apps like Google Maps. If you are not using any of those apps, then there is no need to on GPS.

4.Tick for the Auto-Brightness option in your mobile.

5.Don’t access your phone while it is charging. This may cause the explosion.

6.Uninstall Facebook and Messenger from your mobile and re-install apps like Messenger lite which consume less space and data.

7.Set the permissions and uncheck if you don’t want to allow those apps to access contacts, location and so on.

8.Use power saving mode when your battery runs below 20%.

Clean Dirty Keyboard

Owing to periods of extended use, keyboards can become dirty. If a keyboard becomes dirty enough, its will affected the performance, including dead or stuck keys during typing. Here listed three ways to clear your dirty keyboard.

1.General Cleaning

a).Shut down the computer and detach the keyboard connector before any cleaning procedure. Do not remove or connect a keyboard while the computer is running.

b). For a quick cleaning, turn the keyboard upside down and use a can of compressed air to blow out any foreign matter.

c).Clean the sides of the keys with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

d).For a more thorough cleaning, remove all of the keys. Do this by gently prying up each key with a small screwdriver or a similar lever.

e).Clean the individual keys and place them back in the keyboard.

2.Alternate Method

a).Switch off the machine and disconnect the keyboard.

b).Turn the keyboard upside down and remove all the screws.

c).Lift the top half of the keyboard off and put the bottom half to one side. There may be some clips on the keyboard, also, check for screws hidden under labels.

d).Turn the top half around so that you can see the backs of the keys, squeeze the tabs on each key to remove it, the space-bar will have a metal rod, this may be a pain to refit, but is not impossible.

e).Fill a bowl with cold soapy water

f).Dump the keys into the bowl and scrub with a brush.

g).Remove the keys from the bowl and rinse them under running cold water

h). Remove the keys from the bowl and rinse them under running cold water

i). Once everything is dry, reassemble the keyboard.

j).Press both halves of the keyboard firmly together, if you miss the clips in the middle your keys won’t reach the circuits and won’t spring up.

k).Plug in your keyboard, switch on your PC.

  1. Accidental Spillage

a).Immediately disconnect the keyboard or turn off the computer.

b).Turn the keyboard upside down and shake.

c).Dry as much as possible with a cloth while the keyboard is still turned upside down.

d).Leave it upside down for as long as possible.

Use Earphones Properly

Earphones are not worn in the same style as headphones or earbuds. To enjoy the superior sound isolation of your earphones, it is very important to use earphones properly.

Methods for wearing the earphones

Step 1: Note the difference between the right (R) and left (L) earphones and insert earphone into each ear. Wrap the earphone cord over the top and down the back of the ear. Use the adjustment tube to secure the cables either behind your head or in front of earphone.

Step 2: Inserting the earphones. To insert the earphone, pull the ear upward and outward to straighten out the ear canal. If using foams sleeves, gently compress the foam with your fingers and insert the earphone into your ear.

Step 3: Creating your personal fit. The quality of the frequency response and sound isolation depends on how well the sleeves seal. If the earphone seems to be lacking in bass, check the tightness of the seal between the earphone and your ear, or try one of the other sleeve options. Each earphone comes with a selection of sleeve options. Sleeves options vary by earphone model. We recommend taking some time to experiment with your fit kit to find the sleeve and style of wear that works best for you.

Step 4: Connecting to a listening device. Sound isolating earphones are suited for any listening device that has a 3.5 mm stereo jack. Turn down the volume of your listening device. Connect the plug from your earphones into the device’s output jack.

Insert earphones into your ears using suggested fit techniques. Slowly raise the volume to a comfortable listening level.

Step 5: Keeping it clean. To ensure continuing superior sound from your sound isolating earphones, we recommend that you follow these simple tips: Avoid getting moisture in the nozzle, as this can adversely affect sound quality; Avoid striking or dropping the unit — extreme shock can damage the earphones; Whenever buildup is observed, clean the nozzles using the supplied wax removal tool.

Additional Earphone Care and Maintenance

Clean your sleeves regularly with a mild antiseptic or soapy water.

Always remove the sleeve from the earphone nozzle before cleaning.

Foam sleeves should be disposed of and replaced when they get dirty.

Wipe down the earphone housing and cable with an antiseptic routinely.

NOTE: Earphones are not immersible. Make sure flanges are completely dry before reattaching to earphone nozzles.

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Should I Leave My Laptop Plugged In All The Time?

Should you leave your laptop plugged in and charging when you’re not on-the-go? What’s best for the battery? It’s a tough question, and there are quite a few contradictory recommendations out there.

You Can’t Overcharge the Laptop’s Battery

It’s important to understand the basics of how the standard lithium ion (Li-ion) and Lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries in modern devices work. There are a lot of battery myths out there.

There’s no way to “overcharge” these batteries. When you get to 100% charge and leave your laptop plugged in, the charger will stop charging the battery. The laptop will just run directly off the power cable. After the battery discharges a bit, the charger will kick into gear again and top the battery off. There’s no risk of damaging the battery by charging it over its capacity.

All Batteries Wear Down Over Time (For a Few Reasons)

Your laptop battery will always wear down over time. The more charge cycles you put the battery through, the more it will wear down. Different batteries have different ratings, but you can often expect about 500 full charge cycles.

That doesn’t mean you should avoid discharging the battery. Storing the battery at a high charge level is bad for it. On the other hand, letting the battery run down to completely empty every single time you use it is also bad. There’s no way to just tell your laptop to leave the battery at about 50% full, which might be ideal. On top of that, high temperatures will also wear down the battery more quickly.

In other words, if you were going to leave your laptop battery in a closet somewhere, it would be best to leave it at about 50% charged capacity and make sure the closet was reasonably cool. That would prolong the battery’s life.

Remove the Battery to Avoid Heat, if You Can

Here’s one clear thing: Heat is bad. So, if your laptop has a removable battery, you may want to remove the battery from the laptop if you plan on leaving it plugged in for a long time. This will ensure the battery isn’t exposed to all that unnecessary heat.

This is most important when the laptop runs very hot—like a powerful gaming laptop running demanding PC games, for example. If your laptop runs fairly cool, you won’t see as much benefit from this.

Of course, many modern laptops don’t have removable batteries anymore, so this tip won’t apply in those cases.

But Should I Leave It Plugged In or Not?

Ultimately, it’s not clear which is worse for a battery. Leaving the battery at 100% capacity will decrease its lifespan, but running it through repeated discharge and recharge cycles will also decrease its lifespan. Basically, whatever you do, your battery will wear down and lose capacity. That’s just how batteries work. The real question is what makes it die more slowly.

Laptop manufacturers are all over the place on this. Apple used to advise against leaving MacBooks plugged in all the time, but their battery advice page no longer has this piece of advice on it. Some PC manufacturers say leaving a laptop plugged in all the time is fine, while others recommend against it with no apparent reason.

Apple used to advise charging and discharging the laptop’s battery at least once per month, but no longer does so. If you’re concerned about leaving your laptop plugged in all the time (even if it’s a PC laptop), you might want to put it through a charge cycle once per month just to be safe. Apple used to recommend this to “keep the battery juices flowing”. But whether this will help depends on the device and its battery technology, so there’s really no one-size-fits-all answer.

Occasional Discharge and Recharges Can Help “Calibrate” the Battery

Putting your laptop through an occasional full charge cycle can help calibrate the battery on many laptops. This ensures the laptop knows exactly how much charge it has left and can show you an accurate estimate. In other words, if your battery isn’t calibrated properly, Windows may think you have 20% battery left when it’s really 0%, and your laptop will shut down without giving you much warning.

By allowing the laptop’s battery to (almost) fully discharge and then recharge, the battery circuitry can learn how much power it has left. This isn’t necessary on all devices. In fact, Apple explicitly says it’s no longer necessary for modern MacBooks with built-in batteries.

This calibration process won’t improve the battery’s lifespan or make it hold more energy—it will only ensure the computer is giving you an accurate estimation. But this is one reason you wouldn’t to leave your laptop plugged in all the time. When you unplug it and use it on battery power, it might show you incorrect battery life estimates and die before you expect it to.

Your laptop’s battery isn’t going to last forever, and it will gradually have less capacity over time no matter what you do. All you can do is hope your laptop’s battery lasts until you can replace your laptop with a new one.

Of course, even if the capacity of your laptop’s battery declines, you’ll still be able to keep using it while plugged into a power outlet anyway.

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How Does Wireless Charging Work?

Wireless charging is set to become more popular with the adoption of Qi wireless charging in Apple’s iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. It’s also found on some Android phones, like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy S7.

Most wireless chargers use magnetic induction and magnetic resonance. They offer the promise of being able to place a device on a surface and have it charge automatically—no fiddling with cables required.

How Wireless Charging Works

Wireless charging isn’t truly wireless, of course. Your phone, smart watch, tablet, wireless headphones, or other device doesn’t need to be plugged into the charger with a wire, but the wireless charger itself still has to be plugged into a wall outlet to function. When the iPhone 5 was released without the wireless charging feature found in competing Android and Windows phones at the time, Apple’s Phil Schiller argued that “having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated”.

Five years later, Apple has changed its mind. With the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, Apple is including support for wireless charging using the Qi open standard. (It’s pronounced “chee” as it’s a Chinese word that refers to the “life energy” in living things.)

Wireless chargers typically use magnetic induction. The short explanation is that they use magnetism to transmit energy. First, you place the device–like a smartphone—on the wireless charger. The current coming from the wall power outlet moves through the wire in the wireless charger, creating a magnetic field. The magnetic field creates a current in the coil inside the device sitting on the wireless charger. This magnetic energy is converted to electrical energy, which is used to charge the battery. Devices must have the appropriate hardware in them to support wireless charging—a device without the necessary coil can’t charge wirelessly.

While the Qi standard was originally limited to magnetic induction, it now also supports magnetic resonance. This works similarly, but the device can be up to 45mm away from the wireless charger’s surface rather than touching it directly. This is less efficient than magnetic induction, but there are some advantages—for example, a wireless charger could be mounted under a table’s surface and you could place a device on the table to charge it. It also allows you to place multiple devices on a single charging pad, and have all of them charge at once.

When not actively charging, the Qi charger doesn’t consume the maximum amount of power. Instead, it uses a smaller amount of power and, when it detects a device is placed on the charger, it increases the energy output.

Competing Standards: Qi vs. Powermat vs. Rezence

Wireless charging is becoming more and more common, and even more standardized. And for once, Apple didn’t create its own wireless standard. Instead, it chose to support the existing Qi standard, which many other devices also support.

However, Qi isn’t the only standard around. The Qi standard, which is owned by the Wireless Power Consortium, is ahead, but it’s not alone. In second place is the Power Matters Alliance’s Powermat, or PMA, standard. It uses magnetic induction, like Qi. The two are incompatible, though. An iPhone can’t charge with a PMA wireless charger.

Some devices are compatible with both, however. Modern Samsung devices like the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy S7 actually support both the Qi and PMA standards, and can charge with either. Starbucks bet on PMA, but they may rethink things now that the iPhone only supports Qi. Apple is betting that airports, hotels, and other public locations will also choose to bet on Qi.

The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP)’s Rezence uses magnetic resonance instead, a feature Qi added later. This allows for greater freedom of positioning. You can have multiple devices on a single charger, move devices around, and even charge devices through an object like a book between the device and the charger. Rezence requires Bluetooth to communicate with the device.

As the second and third place companies here, the Power Matters Alliance and Alliance for Wireless Power have since rebranded themselves the AirFuel Alliance and are cooperating in an attempt to take on Qi.

How You Can Use Wireless Charging Today

All the technology aside, getting started with wireless charging is pretty simple. If you want to charge your smartphone wirelessly, you’ll need a smartphone that supports wireless charging and a compatible wireless charging mat to place your phone on. You can also purchase adapters to add wireless charging support to phones that don’t include it.

Popular smartphones that support wireless charging include:

  • l Apple iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X
  • l Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy Note 5
  • l Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S8 Active, S7, S7 Edge, S7 Active
  • l LG G6 (US and Canada versions only) and LG V30
  • l Motorola Moto Z, Moto Z Play, Moto Z2 Force, Moto Z2 Play (with wireless charging mod only)

Android manufacturers have increasingly been abandoning wireless charging in recent years. Only Samsung has kept it on its recent high-end phones. For example, Google does not offer wireless charging in its Pixel smartphone, although earlier Nexus phones included this feature. With Apple giving the Qi standard a vote of confidence, wireless charging could become more common on Android devices once again.

If your phone doesn’t support wireless charging, you can add support for wireless charging with a special phone case or wireless charging adapter that you stick on the back of your phone and plug into its power port.

Once you have a phone or adapter that supports wireless charging, pick up a wireless charger that’s compatible with it. For most phones, you’ll want a Qi charger. Any Qi certified wireless charger should work with any Qi certified device. You can find them online on websites like Amazon.com or in electronics stores. Plug the charging pad into the wall and place your phone (or other Qi-enabled device) on it to charge. As long as your device and the charger support the same standard, it will just work.

In the future, wireless chargers will hopefully be more common in public locations, allowing you to just place your smartphone on a table to charge it.

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10 Quick Ways to Speed Up a Slow PC Running Windows 7, 8, or 10

Windows PCs don’t have to slow down over time. Whether your PC has gradually become slower or it suddenly ground to a halt a few minutes ago, there could be quite a few reasons for that slowness.

As with all PC issues, don’t be afraid to give your computer a reboot if something’s not working properly. This can fix quite a few problems and is faster than attempting to manually troubleshoot and fix the problem yourself.

Find Resource-Hungry Programs

Your PC is running slow because something is using up those resources. If it’s suddenly running slower, a runaway process might be using 99% of your CPU resources, for example. Or, an application might be experiencing a memory leak and using a large amount of memory, causing your PC to swap to disk. Alternately, an application might be using the disk a lot, causing other applications to slow down when they need to load data from or save it to the disk.

To find out, open the Task Manager. You can right-click your taskbar and select the “Task Manager” option or press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to open it. On Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, the new Task Manager provides an upgraded interface that color-codes applications using a lot of resources. Click the “CPU,” “Memory,” and “Disk” headers to sort the list by the applications using the most resources. If any application is using too much resources, you might want to close it normally — if you can’t, select it here and click “End Task” to force it to close.

Close System Tray Programs

Many applications tend to run in the system tray, or notification area. These applications often launch at startup and stay running in the background but remain hidden behind the up arrow icon at the bottom-right corner of your screen. Click the up arrow icon near the system tray, right-click any applications you don’t need running in the background, and close them to free up resources.

Disable Startup Programs

Better yet, prevent those applications from launching at startup to save memory and CPU cycles, as well as speed up the login process.

On Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, there’s now a startup manager in the Task Manager you can use to manage your startup programs. Right-click the taskbar and select “Task Manager” or press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to launch it. Click over to the Startup tab and disable startup applications you don’t need. Windows will helpfully tell you which applications slow down your startup process the most.

Reduce Animations

Windows uses quite a few animations, and those animations can make your PC seem a bit slower. For example, Windows can minimize and maximize windows instantly if you disable the associated animations.

To disable animations, press Windows Key + X or right-click the Start button and select “System.” Click “Advanced System Settings” on the left and click the “Settings” button under Performance. Choose “Adjust for best performance” under Visual Effects to disable all the animations, or select “Custom” and disable the individual animations you don’t want to see. For example, uncheck “Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing” to disable the minimize and maximize animations.

Lighten Your Web Browser

There’s a good chance you use your web browser a lot, so your web browser may just be a bit slow. It’s a good idea to use as few browser extensions, or add-ons, as possible — those slow down your web browser and cause it to use more memory.

Go into your web browser’s Extensions or Add-ons manager and remove add-ons you don’t need. You should also consider enabling click-to-play plug-ins. Preventing Flash and other content from loading will prevent unimportant Flash content from using CPU time.

Scan for Malware and Adware

There’s also a chance your computer is slow because malicious software is slowing it down and running in the background. This may not be flat-out malware — it may be software that interferes with your web browsing to track it and add additional advertisements, for example.

To be extra safe, scan your computer with an antivirus program. You should also scan it with Malwarebytes, which catches a lot of “potentially unwanted programs” (PUPs) that most antivirus programs tend to ignore. These programs try to sneak onto your computer when you install other software, and you almost certainly don’t want them.

Free Up Disk Space

If your hard drive is almost completely full, your computer may run noticeably slower. You want to leave your computer some room to work on your hard drive. Follow our guide to freeing up space on your Windows PC to free up room. You don’t need any third-party software — just running the Disk Cleanup tool included in Windows can help quite a bit.

Defragment Your Hard Disk

Defragmenting your hard disk actually shouldn’t be necessary on modern versions of Windows. It’ll automatically defragment mechanical hard drives in the background. Solid-state drives don’t really need traditional defragmentation, although modern versions of Windows will “optimize” them — and that’s fine.

You shouldn’t worry about defragmentation most of the time. However, if you do have a mechanical hard drive and you’ve just put a lot of files on the drive — for example, copying a huge database or gigabytes of PC game files — those files might be defragmented because Windows hasn’t gotten around to defragmenting them yet. In this situation, you might want to open the disk defragmenter tool and perform a scan to see if you need to run a manual defrag program.

Uninstall Programs You Don’t Use

Open the Control Panel, find the list of installed programs, and uninstall programs you don’t use and don’t need from your PC. This can help speed your PC up, as those programs might include background processes, autostart entries, system services, context menu entries, and other things that can slow down your PC. It’ll also save room on your hard drive and improve system security — for example, you definitely shouldn’t have Java installed if you’re not using it.

Reset Your PC / Reinstall Windows

If the other tips here didn’t fix your problem, the one timeless solution to fix Windows problems — aside from rebooting your PC, of course — is getting a fresh Windows installation.

On modern versions of Windows — that is, Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 — it’s easier to get a fresh Windows installation than ever. You don’t have to get Windows installation media and reinstall Windows. Instead, you can simply use the “Reset your PC” feature built into Windows to get a new, fresh Windows system. This is similar to reinstalling Windows and will wipe your installed programs and system settings while keeping your files.

If your PC is still using a mechanical hard drive, upgrading to a solid-state drive — or just ensuring your next PC has an SSD — will offer you a dramatic performance improvement, too. In an age where most people won’t notice faster CPUs and graphics processors, solid-state storage will offer the single biggest boost in overall system performance for most people.

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How to Enable Emergency SOS Services on Your iPhone

In iOS 11, Apple has introduced a new Emergency SOS feature to the iPhone. Let’s look at what it does.

To use Emergency SOS on an iPhone 7 or earlier, press the power button five times quickly. To use it on an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, press and hold both the power button and one of the volume buttons.

Emergency SOS does a couple of things. First, it locks your phone and disables Touch ID and Face ID. To unlock your phone again, you need to enter your password. We’ve talked about this feature before, and it’s a big deal, because under US law, the police can force you to unlock your phone with your fingerprint or face, but they can’t force you to enter your password. This, however, is just one aspect of Emergency SOS.

Emergency SOS also brings up a screen with three swipe bars: one to power off the iPhone, one to access your Medical ID, and one to call the local emergency services; in some areas such as China, you’ll be prompted to select which service you want, for example, whether you want to call the police or an ambulance. Swiping on any of them does exactly what you’d expect.

To configure Emergency SOS, go to Settings > Emergency SOS.

To have your iPhone start calling the emergency services as soon as you trigger Emergency SOS turn on Auto Call. This is on by default on the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X.

Now, as soon as you trigger Emergency SOS, your iPhone will display a three second countdown and play a loud noise. Once the countdown ends, the iPhone will dial emergency services. You can cancel the call before the countdown ends by tapping Stop and then End Call.

You can also turn the countdown sound off in the Settings menu.

Emergency SOS pulls your Emergency Contact details from your Medical ID in the Health app. To add an Emergency Contact, either head to the Health app yourself or tap Edit Emergency Contacts in Health.

Emergency SOS is a handy feature with a few uses. It makes it easy for you to call the emergency services without knowing the exact number from anyone’s iPhone. It also stops people forcing you to unlock your phone with Touch ID or Face ID.

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