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Firefox Using Too Much Memory? 7 Ways to Fix

There are many Windows and Mac users who spend most of their time staring at open tabs in their web browser. It’s the center point of activity, allowing you to respond to emails, play games, check social media, watch videos, and more. The possibilities are endless, but, unfortunately, your system resources are not. 

Browsers like Mozilla Firefox can and will use up available system memory the more you use them. This can cause your computer to slow down and stop responding, especially if you can’t figure out the cause. If Firefox is using too much memory during general usage, you’ll need to try these fixes to see if they resolve the problem.

Restart Firefox

All web browsers suffer from memory leak issues, including Firefox and Chrome . Memory leaks are usually caused when a browser, with multiple running tabs, is left running for a long period of time. After a while, the open tabs begin to eat up and claim most of the available system resources, leaving your PC struggling to respond.

If that happens, and you think Firefox is the cause, an easy solution is simply to restart Firefox. Closing Firefox may not fully end any running Firefox processes, however. If you’re running Windows, you’ll need to check that all running Firefox processes have closed in Windows Task Manager.

  1. To do this, right-click the taskbar and select the Task Manager option.
  1. In the Task Manager window, find any running Firefox processes. To end them, right-click the entry and select the End Task option. This will force Firefox to close.
  1. If you’re on Mac, you can force quit a running Firefox window by right-clicking the Firefox icon on the Dock and selecting Quit. If Firefox doesn’t close and stops responding entirely, repeat the process, selecting Force Quit instead.

Disable Firefox Extensions, Plugins, and Themes

Firefox is a customizable browser with various add-ons that can extend its functionality, from themes to extensions (similar to how Chrome extensions work). Unfortunately, adding too many add-ons can occasionally have a detrimental impact on your browser performance, especially if you’re running on a lower-powered PC.

If you’re wondering whether a Firefox theme, plugin, or extension is causing Firefox to use too much memory, you’ll need to disable them. Here’s how.

  1. To disable Firefox add-ons, open Firefox and select the hamburger menu icon in the top-right. From the menu, select the Add-ons option.
  1. In the Add-ons menu, you’ll see options for Extensions, Themes, and Plugins on the left. In Extensions, select the slider next to an enabled extension to disable it. To remove it, select the three-dots menu icon next to it, then select Remove from the menu.
  1. If you’re using a custom Firefox theme, switch back to the Default theme by selecting the Enable button in the Add-ons > Themes menu. As the default Firefox theme, it offers the least likelihood of causing unnecessary memory usage.
  1. If you’re worried that a Firefox plugin (such as a media playback plugin) is causing issues, select the three-dots menu icon next to a plugin in the Add-ons > Plugins menu. From the menu, select the Never Activate option to disable it.

Check For Firefox Updates

Each new Firefox release brings new features and bug fixes that can help to reduce the impact of known issues, including unnecessary memory usage. If Firefox is out of date, you might be missing a crucial bug fix.

  1. To check for new Firefox updates, select the hamburger menu icon in the top-right. From the menu, select the Preferences option.
  1. In the Preferences menu, scroll down to the Firefox Updates section. To check for new updates, select the Check for updates option. Firefox will check for updates and, if an update is available, it will update automatically or prompt you to install it, depending on your settings.

Use The about:memory Menu to Minimize Memory Usage

Modern browsers like Firefox are designed to try and minimize their memory footprint, even if it doesn’t always work. If Firefox is using too much memory, you can take advantage of a hidden settings menu called about:memory to force it to quickly reduce active memory usage.

  1. To do this, type about:memory in the address bar and press enter. 
  1. From the list of available options in the about:memory settings menu, select the Minimize memory usage option. If successful, a Memory minimization completed message will appear beneath the options. You can repeat this process at any point.

Switch to Firefox Safe Mode

Firefox Safe Mode is a special browser mode that helps you to identify and fix issues with the browser. If you suspect that a problem with a Firefox add-on or setting is causing unnecessary memory usage, switching to Safe Mode can help to diagnose the problem.

  1. To switch to Firefox Safe Mode, select the hamburger menu icon in the top-right. From the menu, select Help > Restart with add-ons disabled.
  1. Confirm you want to restart Firefox in Safe Mode by selecting the Restart option in the pop-up.
  1. Firefox will restart, giving you the option to open Safe Mode or reset Firefox entirely. Select Start in Safe Mode to launch Safe Mode.

The Firefox window will launch as normal, but with all extensions, themes, and plugins disabled. Use your browser as normal while monitoring system resource usage. If it isn’t using a huge amount of memory, this would indicate a problem with Firefox during normal usage, and you’ll have to investigate further.

Change Hardware Acceleration Settings

To maximise the power of your system resources, Firefox uses hardware acceleration to balance out the demands of various running tabs and services. This can cause an increased demand on your system resources which can cause other running apps to slow down or crash.

If that’s the case, you’ll need to change Firefox’s hardware acceleration settings and, if necessary, disable it entirely.

  1. To start, open the Firefox settings menu by selecting the hamburger menu icon > Preferences.
  1. Under the General > Performance section of the Preferences tab, uncheck the Use recommended performance settings option to view additional settings. From there, reduce the Content process limit value to limit the number of additional running Firefox processes and reduce memory usage in the process. Alternatively, disable hardware acceleration completely by unchecking the Use hardware acceleration when available option.

Reset Firefox to Default Settings

When all else fails, and you can’t diagnose a problem with Firefox’s settings, add-ons, or features, you may find that resetting it to default settings can help to resolve a problem where Firefox is using too much memory.

  1. To do this, open Firefox and select the hamburger menu icon > Help > Troubleshooting Information
  1. In the Troubleshooting Information menu, select the Refresh Firefox option in the top-right corner.
  1. Firefox will warn you that this will erase any browser settings, add-ons, and customization. It won’t, however, remove your bookmarks and browsing history. To confirm, select the Refresh Firefox option to begin the process.
  1. Once the reset process is complete, Firefox will restart. You’ll see a Success message, allowing you to restore previous tabs and windows. Confirm your choice, then select Let’s go to resume using Firefox.

Using Firefox Effectively

If Firefox is using too much memory, the fixes above should help to resolve the problem in most cases. If they don’t, you may need to consider alternative solutions, such as switching to another browser or upgrading your hardware . A slow browser could point to other issues that might require diagnostic tools to help identify and fix.

Once Firefox is working properly, you can take advantage of its many privacy-focused features. For instance, you can make Firefox safer to use with extra security settings, use Firefox Monitor to alert you to any privacy breaches , or you can use Firefox Private Network to stay anonymous online.


How to Add Desktop Clocks to Windows 10

Time matters now more than ever. More people are working from home . But that can make syncing up with your co-workers a little challenging. “I’m on Atlantic time and they’re on Central time, so is their 8 o’clock my 10 o’clock? What happens with Daylight Savings Time?” 

No need to Google that anymore. We’re going to show you how to add more desktop clocks to Windows 10 and some tips and tricks with clocks and time.

Add Desktop Clocks for Windows Clock

Built into Windows is the ability to add 2 more clocks to the clock in your system tray . It’s easy to do!

  1. Right-click on the clock in the system tray.
  1. Select Adjust date/time.
  1. In the Date & time window, scroll down and select Add clocks for different time zones.
  1. When the Date and Time window opens, select the Additional Clocks tab.
  1. Put a check-mark in the Show this clock box.
  2. Use the drop-down box to Select time zone: for the city you want to track.
  1. Enter display name and choose something that will stand out, like Chicago Office. Continue on to add a third clock if you’d like. When done, select the OK button.

Now you can see all three time zones by hovering over the system clock or selecting it.

Add a World Clock to Windows 10

Two time zones aren’t enough? You’re a go-getter. You need the Microsoft Alarms & Clock app and here’s how to use it.

  1. Windows 10 ships with the Alarms & Clock app already installed. If you don’t have it, Download Windows Alarms & Clock from the Microsoft Store and install it. It’s free!
  1. Open Alarms & Clocks and select the Clock tab.

Notice the shaded area above the green line. This represents the night, which helps visualize the time of day for different locations.

  1. To add time zone details, select the plus sign icon in the bottom-right corner. A search bar opens. Start typing the name of the city for which we need the time zone. It will narrow the selection down. Select the one that matches. You can add as many as you like. 

To remove a clock, select the multiple-select icon in the bottom right corner.

Check the clocks to remove and select the garbage can icon. Those clocks are gone.

  1. To convert a local time to the other time zones, select the multi-clock icon in the bottom-right corner.

A time slider appears. The number in the middle of the slider is your local time. Slide the bar left or right to a different hour and watch the time on the other clocks change in sync.

Add a Clock Screensaver to Windows 10

Turn your monitor into a great big clock when you’re not using it. It’s easy and stylish to do. There are many cool screensavers available. Fliqlo is one we recommend. Why? Many clock screensavers are Flash-based and Flash is end-of-life software now. But the new Fliqlo screensaver clock doesn’t use Flash . Plus, it’s free. We’re sure you’ve seen it before.

Fliqlo is available for Windows and Mac, but dual-screen support is only available on the Mac version. 

Add an Android Widget Style Clock to Windows

If you like widgets for your phone , you’ll like widgets in your Windows . Microsoft had widgets built-in prior to Windows 10 called Desktop Gadgets . Microsoft removed them because of security concerns. So other developers swooped in. 

We like Sense Desktop , an app from the Microsoft Store . It can show the time, temperature, and weather forecast in one convenient widget. Plus, there are about a dozen themes, so you will find one you like. It’s not free, but is 99 cents too much?

Get the Most Accurate Time in Windows 10

You need to be on time every day, and so does your computer for it to work best. For example, if you’re getting certificate errors in your web browser , having the wrong time on your computer could be the cause. You can make the clock synchronize with a time server. 

Time servers are computers whose sole job is to keep perfect time and share it with the world. They keep perfect time by being synchronized to an atomic clock. Atomic clocks are expensive, so governments and large companies maintain most of them. 

Fortunately, Windows 10 defaults to Microsoft’s time server. But you can connect to other time servers. You’ll need Administrator rights to do this.

  1. Open Control Panel and select Clock and Region.
  1. In the new window, select Set the time and date.
  1. In the Date and Time window, go to the Internet Time tab, then select Change settings…. You’ll need Administrator rights to do this.
  1. The Microsoft and NIST time servers are in the drop-down box. Select the one you want and select OK to set it. NIST is the National Institute of Science and Technology in the US. 

You can also type in another time server address if you’d like. Once it’s entered, select OK to set it.

It’s About Time

If time is money, then with all your new clocks you should make it rain! Do you have a favorite desktop clock tip or trick? A cool time screensaver or widget? Let us know in the comments.


How to Add Footnotes in Word

Have you heard the one about the author who said if he practiced yoga long enough he’d be able to pick up a pencil with his toes? He said, “Then I’ll be able to write footnotes.” (Sorry.)

Seriously, though, there are lots of reasons you might want to add footnotes to a Word document. In academia, footnotes are frequently used to cite sources. In other kinds of writing, footnotes are a way to add information without detracting or distracting from the main text. Even popular fiction authors like Terry Pratchett and Junot Díaz put footnotes to good use in their novels. 

Microsoft Word has had built-in support for footnotes for decades. Below we’ll walk you through how to add footnotes in your Word document, and we’ll add a couple tips and tricks to try. These instructions should work on any modern version of Word.

How to Insert a Footnote Into a Word Document

  1. Open your Word document and position the flashing cursor at the point where you want to insert a footnote.
  1. Next, on the References tab on the toolbar ribbon, select Insert Footnote.
  1. Word will add a superscript footnote number in the main text and a footnote section to the bottom of the page where the actual footnotes will go. Footnotes will be numbered sequentially throughout the document.
  1. Type your footnote in the footnote section at the bottom of the page. Bang, it’s that easy.

Repeat the steps above to add multiple footnotes to your document. Footnotes will always appear at the bottom of the page they’re used on. Anyone old enough to have used a typewriter might remember how hard it was to predict how much space to leave at the bottom of the page to fit footnotes. Luckily, Word figures all that out for you and automatically adjusts.

If you add a new footnote to the middle of your document before one or more existing footnotes, Word will renumber your footnotes accordingly. 

Viewing Footnotes in the Main Document Text

Once you’ve added a footnote in Word, you can hover your mouse over the superscript footnote reference number within the main document text to quickly view a popup of that footnote, making it easy to read the footnote without scrolling to the bottom of the page.

To find the next or previous footnote within the main document text, select the Next Footnote button on the References tab of the ribbon. 

If you select the dropdown arrow to the right of the Next Footnote button, you’ll see the Previous Footnote button.

Formatting and Customizing Footnotes in Microsoft Word

To customize the format and other aspects of footnotes, select References and the popout arrow in the Footnotes section of the toolbar.

The Footnote and Endnote options panel will display. This is where you can make the following customizations:

  • Location. Choose to display footnotes at the bottom of the page or below the text. In other words, do you want the footnote section to snap to the bottom of the page? If so, choose Bottom of page. If, on the other hand, you want the footnotes section to appear directly below the document text, choose Below text.
  • This is also where you can convert footnotes to endnotes and vice versa. Endnotes can be set to appear at the end of the document or the end of the section.
  • Footnote layout. If you want your footnotes to display in multiple columns, this is where you choose how many columns you want.
  • Format. Who said footnotes have to be numbered? In this section, you can change the number format to a variety of other options, including a custom mark or symbol.
  • You can also choose between continuous numbering and restarting numbering in each section or page.
  • At the bottom of the Footnote and Endnote panel, you can direct Word to apply the changes you just made to the whole document or to the section you’re in (if you have created sections).

When you’re finished adjusting these options, select the Apply button.

Selecting and Formatting All Footnotes

A good way to format footnotes in Word is to select them all and apply a style to them. Better yet, adjust Microsoft’s built-in style for Footnotes. Here’s how.

  1. Click into the footnote section of any page in your document.
  2. Press ctrl+a to select all the footnotes in the document—not just the footnotes on that page.
  3. Select Home on the toolbar ribbon and the popout arrow in the Styles section.
  1. Footnote text is a style that’s hidden by default. To find and edit it, select the Style inspector icon.
  1. The Style Inspector panel will appear.
  1. In the dropdown under Paragraph formatting (click inside the field to activate the dropdown), choose Modify.
  1. In the Modify Style popup that appears, adjust the formatting of your footnotes however you want.
  1. Select OK, and the style of all your footnotes will be updated to match.

Customizing the Footnote Separator

If you’re using a desktop version of Word, then you can customize the line that separates the footnote section of each page containing footnotes.

  1. Select View on the toolbar and then press the Draft button.
  1. Select References on the toolbar and then Show Notes
  2. In the Footnotes dropdown beneath your main document, select Footnote Separator.
  1. Now you can edit or delete the footnote separator line. You could change the line’s thickness (just adjust the font size) or enter different text to use instead of a line. 
  2. Return to View>Print Layout to view how your document will look when it’s printed.

Get the Most You Can Out of Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has been around for so long that even people who have been using it for decades don’t know all its secrets. Expand your Word expertise by learning how to create a mail merge , finding the best add-ins , or adding new fonts .


How to Allocate More RAM to Specific Apps in Windows

RAM, or random access memory, is used to allow programs to boot more quickly and carry out tasks in a fraction of the time it would take if the program had to load from your hard drive. RAM is vital to performance in any program that needs to access a tremendous amount of data.

For example, a word processing program won’t rely heavily on RAM due to the low performance requirements. A detailed Excel spreadsheet or Photoshop, however, needs as much RAM as you can spare it. So do games. In many cases, you need to allocate extra RAM to gaming, especially if you’re using a lot of mods.

This is true in titles like Minecraft, as do games like Shadow of Mordor which needs a whopping 8.3 GB of VRAM. The good news is that you can allocate more RAM to specific apps to help improve their performance.

What is RAM?

RAM is an acronym for random access memory, and it is one of the most important parts of your computer. RAM is necessary for programs to run. Without it, you will be unable to run most applications, and those that you can run will perform at a seriously reduced level. 

Think of RAM as short-term memory for your computer. It allows your system to access data far more quickly than it can through even the SSD. If you have multiple applications running at the same time, you will need more RAM than if you are only using a few at a time.

In modern computers, RAM is typically found in multiples of 4. Motherboards often use something called dual-channel memory, which means you want RAM of the same type –either sticks of 4, sticks of 8, or sticks of 16. There is no upper limit to the amount of RAM you can have except what your motherboard can support, although there is a limit to how much you can reasonably ever use. 

Allow Windows 10 to Allocate More RAM

The easiest way to improve performance across the board is to allow Windows to use as much RAM as necessary to ensure performance . Find the This PC application and right-click the icon, then select Properties. Select Advanced system settings > Settings. Under the Visual Effects tab, there are four options. Select the Adjust for best performance option. 

After you do this, click Apply. The changes will take effect after you restart your PC. This setting allows Windows to allocate RAM as needed to ensure programs run as smoothly as possible.

Prioritize RAM Usage

Another way you can ensure specific programs have more than enough RAM, particularly if you are running multiple applications at once, is to prioritize RAM usage within the Task Manager . Open Task Manager and right-click the application you want to prioritize, then select Go to details.

This opens the Details tab of the Task Manager. Right-click the process and choose Set priority. From here, you can designate what priority the program receives: Realtime, High, Above Normal, Normal, Below Normal, or Low. 

Designate RAM Usage Within Specific Programs

Another option–and arguably the best choice–is to allocate more RAM within the settings of a given program. This holds especially true in games like Minecraft that are often played with mods. Many modpacks will not run correctly without more than the default amount of RAM.

Bear in mind that the exact process for doing this varies from program to program. Even among Minecraft, the process for allocating RAM depends on the launcher you use. As a brief example, you can select the Installations tab in the default launcher and click New > More Options and change the text under JVM Argument from Xmx2G to XmX2n, where n is the amount of RAM you want to use. 

If you are looking for a more in-depth explanation, here is another article than can help.  

Each game and program will have a different method for allocating more RAM, if it is even possible. Many applications are coded to use a specific amount of RAM based on your operating system, regardless of how much you have available. For example, Microsoft Excel on 32-bit operating systems is restricted to 2GB of RAM.

Risks of Using Too Much RAM

For the most part, RAM is harmless. You aren’t likely to cause catastrophic damage to your system because you use too much RAM on an application–the worst that happens is that a program will crash or background programs might behave in odd ways. 

However, there are times when it can cause more serious damage. Anyone that has ever worked in coding has experienced a stack overflow error–a problem that happens when the call stack memory is exceeded. This error results in a crash. A similar type of problem often happens when a program throws the “Not Responding” error message within Windows.

This happens when it exceeds its allotted amount of RAM and can no longer operate properly. Waiting for the memory to clear can sometimes resolve the problem, but the go-to method is to force quit a program by using the Task Manager. 


How to Change Password in Linux

Without a secure password , your data is vulnerable. Easy to guess or previously leaked passwords make a hacker’s job easy—after all, it isn’t hard to breach a user account if “password123” is your password. That’s why it’s important to change your password regularly, even on a more secure operating system like Linux.

Thankfully, it’s an easy process to change your password in Linux. You can change your password (or other user’s passwords) from the terminal locally or remotely, or set expiration dates to force other users to change it themselves when they next sign in. Here’s what you’ll need to do to change a user password in any Linux distribution.

Why You Should Change Your Linux Password Regularly

While a Linux-based operating system offers greater security than a typical Windows installation, that doesn’t mean it’s infallible to hackers. One of the easiest ways for someone to breach your PC is through lax security, with easy-to-crack passwords at the top of the list.

Unfortunately, you should also expect that time is against you. Many of us use the same passwords for multiple accounts. If your email password is compromised , for instance, and you use the same password to sign into your Linux PC, then you’re putting your PC (and all of your saved data) at risk.

That’s why it’s important to consider changing all your passwords in Linux on a regular basis, including your account passwords on Linux. A good password consists of a number of letters (both upper and lower case), numbers, and special characters. It also requires the password to be of suitable length (at least 8 characters, if not more).

If you’re struggling to come up with a password you can remember, you can use a password manager to help you generate and remember it. You won’t be able to use this to fill out the login screen, but if you’re using a password manager like KeePass , you can quickly recall the password using the mobile app.

However, it’s probably best (and easiest) to create a password that you can remember. Dictionary words are off the menu for this one, but where possible, you should attempt to create a memorable password that no-one else could possibly know using the steps we’ve outlined above.

How to Change Your Password in Linux

While you should be able to change passwords using your distro’s desktop environment, those steps will vary significantly. If you’re using a headless version of Linux (without a GUI), you won’t be able to use a GUI to change your password at all. 

That’s why the best and fastest way to change your password in Linux is to use the terminal, regardless of the Linux distribution you’re using. 

  1. Open a new terminal window or make a remote SSH connection to your Linux PC or server. If you’re connecting remotely, you’ll need to type in your existing password to authenticate if you haven’t already.
  1. Once you’ve signed in (either remotely or locally), type passwd to begin the process of changing your password. The passwd command is common to almost all Unix-based operating systems, including Linux and macOS.
  1. To change your Linux password using passwd, type in your existing password first, then confirm your new password by entering it twice, selecting Enter to move to each new line. You won’t be able to see your input, so if you make a mistake during the typing process, select the Enter key on your keyboard at any point. This will cause passwd to fail, as it won’t be able to match the new passwords or authenticate using the previous one.
  1. If the process is successful, passwd will return a success message in the terminal. If it isn’t (for example, if you mistyped your password), you’ll need to repeat the process.

Changing Other User Account Passwords in Linux

If you have superuser or root access on your Linux PC or server (for instance, if you’re a system administrator), you can change the passwords of other local users. You may want to do this if someone has forgotten their password, for instance.

  1. To do this, open a terminal window locally or connect remotely using SSH. Once the terminal or connection is open, type su or sudo su to switch to the root user account. You’ll need to provide the correct root user password to be able to do this.
  1. Once you’ve switched to root using sudo su or su, you can begin to change another user’s password. To do this, type passwd user, replacing user with the username of the account you wish to change. If you’re unsure what the username is, type cat /etc/passwd instead. The first word in each line (for example, ubuntu) is a username on your PC.
  1. You’ll need to type in the new password twice, selecting the Enter key after each line.
  1. If you type the passwords correctly, passwd will return a success message. If you type the passwords incorrectly (eg. if the new passwords don’t match), you’ll need to repeat these steps to successfully change it.

How to Change the Root Password in Linux using Sudo

To help protect your system, many Linux distributions restrict normal user accounts by hiding certain access behind the root (superuser) account. When you elevate your terminal using commands like sudo su or su to grant root access, you’ll need to type the correct root password.

  1. To change the root password, you’ll need to open a terminal window or connect remotely using SSH. In the terminal, type sudo su or su to switch to the superuser account, then select the Enter key on your keyboard.
  1. With root access, type passwd and select the Enter key. You’ll need to provide a new password twice, selecting Enter after each line.
  1. If the command is successful, passwd will output a success message in the terminal. If it fails, you’ll need to repeat these steps to complete the process.

Setting a Password Expiry Date in Linux

By setting a built-in expiry date for passwords on your Linux PC, you don’t need to worry about manually running the passwd command on a regular basis. When the password expires, your PC will instruct you to change your password automatically.

  1. To set a password expiry date in Linux, open a terminal window or connect remotely using SSH. In the terminal, type chage -M 100 user and select the Enter key, replacing 100 with the number of days before the next expiration and user with your username. If you want to set expiration dates for other user accounts, type sudo chage -M 100 user instead, replacing the placeholder details with your own.
  1. With the details set, you can check the expiration date by typing chage -l user and selecting Enter, replacing user with the username you wish to check. 

Securing a Linux System

Linux is well known as one of the most secure operating systems available, but without a secure password in place, you’re leaving your PC vulnerable to attack. There are other ways you can secure your system further, such as maintaining a secure local network and scanning your files for viruses that could infect other PCs.

You could also think about using a secure web browser to stay safe online, especially if you consider using a VPN to mask your IP address. Making efforts to protect your online privacy and security won’t stop hacking attempts, but it will add another layer of defense against it.


How to Delete a File or Directory in Linux

If you have root access on your Linux PC, you have the power to delete any file or directory you like. This can be dangerous, however, with tools like rm allowing users to carelessly erase crucial system files by accident. That’s why, if you’re trying to delete files or directories in Linux , you need to take some precautions.

There are a few ways you can remove directories or files on Linux, using either your Linux distribution’s file manager or an open terminal (as long as you have the right permissions ). If you want to know how to delete a file or directory in Linux, here’s what you’ll need to do.

Using a File Manager to Remove Files or Directories in Linux

If you’re a Linux beginner , you might be wary about using the terminal to delete files or folders in Linux. After all, there’s no turning back once you set a command like rm off to start deleting files. Rather than risk this, you can use the file manager packaged with your Linux distribution to delete files or folders instead. 

While Linux file managers do vary in design, they should work in much the same way. This guide explores how to do this using Ubuntu’s file manager, but the steps are likely to be similar for the file manager included in other distributions.

  1. To start, open the file manager on your Linux distro. This shouldn’t be too hard to find, with the user icon likely in the shape of a document folder. On Ubuntu, this app is named Files.
  1. In your distro’s file manager, navigate to the directory containing the files or subfolders you wish to delete. First, select the files or folders you wish to delete. Once they’re selected, right-click on them and select Move to Trash, Move to Bin, or Delete, depending on your distribution and locale. You can also select the Delete key on your keyboard to achieve the same effect.
  1. Most distributions operate a trash system that allows you to “store” files before they’re deleted, giving you the chance to restore them. This is typically found on the desktop, as an entry in your file manager, or as an app you can launch in your software menu. To complete the deletion process, enter the trash folder, then select the Empty or Erase option. These options may vary, depending on your distribution.
  1. Alternatively, select your item (or items), then right-click and select Delete from Trash to completely remove them instead.

How to Remove Files or Directories in Linux Using the rm Command

Removing files or folders using your distribution’s file manager app works fine, but there are some limitations. For instance, if you’re not the owner of the file, you’ll need to open your file manager with root access using the terminal to delete it. You also can’t use an app like this on a headless (terminal-only) Linux installation.

That’s where the rm command comes in. This Unix command dates back to 1971 and remains the fastest way to delete files or directories on Linux. Be warned, however—the rm command has great power, especially if you’re running it with sudo or as the root user directly, so you’ll need to take care using it.

  1. To remove a single file using rm, open a new terminal window (or remote SSH connection) and type rm file, replacing file with the correct file name. If you’re not in the same directory, you’ll need to use cd to move to it first, or use the full file path (eg. rm /path/to/file) instead.
  1. To remove multiple files, type rm file1 file2, replacing file1 and file2 with the correct file name and file path. You can add additional files to this command to remove more than two.
  1. If you want to remove an empty directory on Linux, type rm -d directory, replacing directory with the correct directory name and path. If the directory isn’t empty and has sub-folders or files, type rm -r directory, replacing directory with the correct name and path. 
  1. You can also remove multiple directories at once by typing rm -r directory1, directory2, etc.
  1. If you want to remove all files or directories that match a partial file or directory name, you can use wildcards, such as an asterisk (*). To do this, type rm fil* or rm -r dir*, replacing the placeholders fil or dir with your own file names and directory paths.
  1. If the file or directory is protected, you may need to force its deletion. To do this, type rm -rf path, replacing the placeholder path with the correct directory or file path. This command carries extreme risk, so make sure the path you’re using is correct before you proceed.
  1. If you’re worried about using the rm -rf command, you can force rm to ask for confirmation before each file or directory is erased. To do this, use rm -i path, replacing path with your own file name or directory path. For directories, use rm -ir path instead. For each entry, select the Y key on your keyboard, then select Enter to confirm.

If you want to learn more about the possible rm options and arguments, type man shred in the terminal to view the full manual.

Completely Erasing Files Using the shred Command

While commands like rm and unlink are great for deleting files in Linux, they do leave traces. You (or somebody else) could use these traces to recover files from a hard drive or portable storage that you’ve previously deleted. This might not be ideal, especially if you don’t want the files to be retrieved.

To get around this problem, you can overwrite files first using the shred command. This makes sure that all data within the file is overwritten repeatedly before it’s deleted, ensuring no traces of the file are left and preventing it from being retrieved. You may want to use this command to erase sensitive documents, for instance.

  1. To do this, open a terminal window or make a connection remotely using SSH and type shred file, replacing file with your own file name and path. If you don’t want to provide the path to the file, use cd to travel to the directory containing the file or sub-directory you wish to remove first.
  1. The shred command has additional parameters that you can pass to ensure your file is safely deleted. For instance, shred -f will force the deletion of write-protected files, while shred -u will ensure the file is completely removed once shredded, ensuring it no longer appears in your file manager or using the ls command.
  1. If you want to overwrite the file more than the standard 3 times, use shred -n 0, replacing 0 with an alternative numerical value. If you want to hide the shred effect, use shred -z to force it to use a final run that overwrites the file with zeros.
  1. The shred command doesn’t typically output any results to the terminal. If you want to see more detail about what it’s doing as it runs, use shred -v instead.

As with rm, you can learn more by typing man shred in the terminal before using the command.

Protecting Your Files on Linux Systems

When you remove a directory or file in Linux, you’re freeing up space on your hard drive for the files that truly matter, whether it’s important documents or irreplaceable photos. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using Linux Mint or any other major distribution , as the steps above should work for almost any Linux distro you choose to use.

If you’re worried about data loss, there are some steps you can take to protect your files. While Linux systems are typically more secure, a Linux antivirus can help you to keep your files safe from malware that could spread across your local network. You may want to consider automating a file backup using local or cloud storage, too.


How to Disable Touch Screen in Windows 10

Laptops with touch screen capabilities such as Microsoft Surface and other devices are pretty common these days. However, not everybody finds the touch feature necessary or useful for their day-to-day tasks.

On a Windows device, the touch screen function is usually enabled out of the box so that you can use your finger to navigate the laptop’s operating system.

If the screen is cracked , you find the feature too distracting, or you just don’t use the touch-enabled display on your laptop, you can easily turn it off and continue with your work.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to disable the touch screen in Windows 10.

How to Turn Off the Touch Screen (Windows 10)

While the touch screen function is quite useful for users with tablets like the Surface Pro , it may not always work as advertised. On certain occasions, you may want to turn it off to boost your laptop’s battery life when you’re on the go or troubleshoot something.

Whatever your reason, you can disable the touch screen with a few steps using Device Manager, Command Prompt, Windows PowerShell in Windows 10 or by editing the Windows registry.

Use Device Manager to Turn Off the Touch Screen (Windows 10) 

Windows Device Manager is a centralized utility in Windows 10 that offers an organized view of all the hardware installed in your PC . As an extension of the Microsoft Management Console, Device Manager manages devices like sound cards, hard disk drives, USB devices , keyboards and more.

You can use Device Manager to manage, update and roll back drivers , change hardware configuration options, identify hardware device conflicts, and enable or disable hardware.

Device Manager isn’t listed among your regular programs, but you can access it in different ways so as to disable your laptop’s touch screen.

  1. To get started, right-click Start and select Device Manager or type Device Manager in the search box and select it from the search results.

Note: Depending on your version of Windows, you can open Device Manager using the Control Panel. To do this, select the Control Panel from the apps screen or Start menu and then select Hardware and Sound.

Under Devices and Printers, select Device Manager to open it.

  1. Select the Human Interface Devices section to expand it.
  1. Next, select the HID-compliant touchscreen.
  1. Select Action tab and then select Disable device. A popup will appear notifying you that disabling the touch screen will hinder it from working. Confirm the action to disable the touch screen. 

The touch screen is now disabled and you can tap on the display to test it out. 

To re-enable touch screen, go back to the Device Manager and right-click on the HID-compliant touch screen option. Select the Enable device option and confirm your choice.

Note: In the event that touch screen isn’t working after enabling it, restart your laptop and see if it works again.

How to Disable the Touch Screen Using Command Prompt

You can also disable the touch screen in Windows 10 using Command Prompt.

Command Prompt , sometimes referred to as CMD prompt, cmd.exe or command shell is a command line interpreter in Windows 10 that executes any commands you key into it. The commands use scripts and batch files to automate tasks , troubleshoot or solve certain Windows issues, and perform advanced administrative tasks.

If your mouse isn’t working or your laptop isn’t working properly, you can use Command Prompt to disable the touch screen in a Windows 10 PC.

  1. To do this, enter CMD in the search box and select Run as administrator in the Command Prompt search results.
  1. Enter the command: devmgmt.msc and press Enter.

The Device Manager screen will open, and you can disable the touch screen using the same steps in the Device Manager method.

Use Windows PowerShell to Disable the Touch Screen 

Windows PowerShell is a cross-platform command-line shell and scripting language introduced in Windows 8, which offers a simple way to automate tasks and access system and management tools.

  1. To turn off the touch screen using Windows PowerShell, right-click Start and select Windows PowerShell (Admin). Alternatively, you can use the WIN+X keyboard shortcut to quickly open PowerShell if your mouse isn’t working.
  1. Next, enter the command: Get-PnpDevice | Where-Object {$_.FriendlyName -like ‘*touch screen*’} | Disable-PnpDevice -Confirm:$false

The touch screen will be disabled and you can test it out to confirm.

Turn Off the Touch Screen Using Windows Registry

Another way to turn off the touchscreen on your PC is via the Windows Registry using these steps.

A Word of Caution About Editing the Windows Registry: If you’ve never edited the Windows Registry before, find an expert to do it for you because one wrong entry can render your computer unusable or unbootable. If you’re comfortable with this method, backup the registry first and then follow these steps: 

  1. Select Start > Run and enter regedit in the Run dialog box.
  1. Go to the registry key: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Wisp\Touch

Image: 14-how-to-disable-touch-screen-in-windows-10-registry-key

  1. Right-click to create a new DWORD 32-bit entry in the right-hand pane and label it TouchGate.
  1. Double-click on the new DWORD you’ve created and then change the entry value to 0 and then restart your PC.

To enable touch screen, go back to the registry key, and change the TouchGate value to 1, or delete the TouchGate entry altogether.

Turn Touch Off in a Few Quick Steps

We hope this guide helped you disable the touch screen on your Windows 10 device. Check out other Windows 10 unnecessary services you can disable safely , and our guides on how to turn off indexing to save CPU and RAM resources or how to disable Cortana to protect your privacy and personal data. 


How to Display Steam’s Built-In FPS Counter

If there’s one thing PC gamers all seem to agree on, it’s that knowing your FPS ( frames per second ) matters. It’s how enthusiasts measure the performance of their hardware and optimization, and it can actually give you a leg up on the competition in competitive shooters. 

There are a lot of options for displaying frames per second, but many are so intensive that they can actually decrease your system’s performance. The good news is that Steam has a built-in FPS counter that you can display whenever you play Steam games . Here’s how to set that up and see it.

How to Display Steam’s Built-In FPS Counter

Accessing Steam’s built-in FPS counter is simple. When you aren’t in a game, go to Steam > Settings and select In-Game from the left-hand menu. In the middle of the screen is a list of options. Choose In-game FPS counter and click the drop-down box.

By default, it’s set to “Off.” You can choose one of four positions for the counter to appear: top-left, top-right, bottom-left, bottom-right. After you choose the position, click Okay and launch a game. Your frame rate should appear when you do. 

Another option is available to you. Beneath the drop-down box, click High Contrast Color. This will make the number easily visible no matter the background color in a game. If you don’t enable this feature, the number will display as white and be difficult to see against the sky or clouds.

Ideal Target Framerate

The human eye can translate roughly 30 frames per second, but it can distinguish differences in rates beyond that. When it comes to gaming, anything lower than 30 frames is considered sub-par. Below 24 frames per second, the image will no longer look cohesive, but will instead appear stuttery and jilted.

30 frames per second is considered the bare minimum you should aim for. This is a perfectly acceptable number for single player games, although higher counts can make it more cinematic.

When you play multiplayer, 60 frames per second is the lowest you should go. That many frames will give you a smoother experience and is considered the “target” for performance on most gaming machines.

However, the highest-end machines can hit 300 frames per second and higher on certain games. The more frames generated per second, the smoother the animations on screen. Tests have shown that high framerates translate to better aiming in shooters, too–perfect for doing better in those competitive games. 

How to Handle Lower Frame Rates

If you enable the built-in Steam FPS counter and see rates lower than 30 on your favorite games, there are a few different culprits that might be responsible. Identifying and eliminating or upgrading these possibilities will improve your performance. 

The first thing to look at are the recommended and minimum specs of a game. Make sure your computer has the proper components to at least meet the minimum recommendations. If not, you will see sub-par performance. If you don’t meet the recommendations, your best option is to upgrade the components of your computer .

In many cases, frame rate is affected by the quality of your graphics card . If you’re using an older GPU, you’ll want to upgrade to a newer, more modern option. A good, budget-friendly choice is the GTX 1650. If you want to aim for top-of-the-line, such as the new RTX 3000 series, good luck–supply has been limited, which has driven the cost of these cards significantly higher. 

If you upgrade your GPU, you might also have to upgrade your motherboard and power supply to account for the greater power draw, so keep that in mind. Outside of the GPU, you should also consider whether your CPU needs an upgrade.

The final possibility for why your frame rates are lower than expected is optimization. Some people experience lower frames due to the game, no matter how powerful their system is. Take Microsoft Flight Simulator, for instance: It’s intensive on all computers, and very few (if any) gamers are getting perfect frame rates.

Alternative Frame Counters

If you don’t want to use Steam’s FPS counter (or you need to count the frames per second of a game that isn’t on Steam), there are alternative options. 

FRAPS

FRAPS is perhaps the most popular FPS counter available today. It’s been around for a long time and is broadly compatible with Windows. FRAPS is completely free to download and use, and has a huge number of customization options.

You can choose which corner of the screen to display the counter in, choose the frequency with which the counter is updated, and much more. This is one of the best options for keeping track of your frame rate. 

GeForce Experience

If you use an Nvidia graphics card, you can take advantage of the GeForce Experience software to display your frames per second–but note that it isn’t available to people with AMD graphics cards.

GeForce Experience is more than just a frame counter, though. It gives you full access to your graphics card’s settings and allows you to customize the card to fit your needs and desired performance. 

FPS Monitor

FPS Monitor is another free option for tracking your frames, but the utility doesn’t stop there. FPS Monitor can display a host of other information related to your system performance, including RAM and CPU usage, HDD speed, and more.

You can also customize the overlay to change the way it appears on-screen. This can be particularly useful when tweaking your computer’s performance, as FPS Monitor alerts you if hardware is approaching a critical point. 

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or a performance enthusiast, understanding how FPS counters can be used to optimize your computer and improve your gaming experience is important. Use one of these counters to see how your computer actually performs during your favorite games. 


How to Do a Conference Call on PC or Mobile

As remote work continues to increase in many parts of the world, virtual conferencing has become a necessity. A host of video conferencing systems is available, which makes it easier to host your own conference calls than ever before.

If you’re wondering how to do a conference call, there are dozens of conference call apps that make it easy to set up and hop on a call. However, it can be daunting trying to find the right one because most of them offer similar features.

How to Do a Conference Call Using a Conference Call App

Whether you own a small business, you’re working from home or just want to stay in touch with family and friends , we’ll help you choose the right conference call app to stay connected.  

1. Zoom

Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing app that gained popularity when the global pandemic rendered physical meetings impossible. The app is not only user-friendly and reliable but offers a wide range of tools and features that let you host constructive meetings.

If you want to host a conference call, turn to our guide on how to set up and use Zoom . However, if you received an invitation to join a Zoom meeting, you can join by clicking on the link, entering the Zoom ID and password provided by the meeting host, or dial into a Zoom meeting with your phone number .

Zoom offers plans and services suitable for different budgets, and the best part is that there’s no limit to the number of video feeds you can have on at the same time.  

Other valuable features you’ll find in Zoom include meeting recording , group messaging, breakout rooms , whiteboard and screen sharing, active speaker views, and integration with Outlook and Chrome.

You can also raise your hand to ask a question without interrupting the rest of the participants, and designate someone else as host if you need to leave the call.

The app is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices so you can start or join a meeting from your smartphone or desktop . If you’re on ChromeOS, turn to our guide on how to use Zoom on Chromebook .

2. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is not only a conference calling app but also a group collaboration software designed for teams to work together remotely. The app offers lots of features and collaboration tools including chat, video calls, as well as access to Office programs such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

With Teams, you can share your screen , create surveys and polls, work on a digital whiteboard, share files, and host meetings from a desktop or mobile app.

If you’re wondering whether to go with Microsoft Teams or Zoom to do a conference call, it’ll depend on whether you’re using the free or paid plans. With Teams, the free plan only lets you host one-on-one video calls so you can’t host a conference call with multiple participants.

Zoom, on the other hand, allows you to host a conference call with multiple attendees using its free version.

One of the unique features you’ll find with Teams is the Together Mode, which allows you to meet other participants in a virtual space of your choosing whether it’s an office or coffee shop. See our guide on the best Microsoft Teams tips and tricks to help you be more productive using the app. 

3. Skype

Skype is among the earliest apps to offer video chat and VoIP services since 2003. The app offers free Skype-to-Skype calls, free video conferencing for up to 50 participants, and other features such as SMS texting, HD video and audio and landline phone calls.

You can also share your screen, upload files, use real-time translation in Skype as you would with Zoom, and record Skype calls on your Windows, Mac, iPhone or Android device .

To set up a conference call on Skype, you can create a free meeting link online or set one up using the Skype app on your desktop or mobile device.

If you’re using the Skype app, launch it on your computer or mobile device, and select the Group icon above your contacts list. In the empty window, select and drag the contacts you want to be in the conference call and then initiate the call by selecting the Call group button.

4. GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is an excellent conference calling app for small business owners as it allows you to host large meetings depending on the service plan you subscribe to.

The service is chock-full of high-quality conference calling features including messaging, recording, screen sharing, transcriptions, meeting locks, and drawing tools .

You can use GoToMeeting on a web browser, desktop or mobile device, and host instant meetings or schedule a meeting for later. The main drawback is that there’s no free plan but a 14-day trial is available for you to try it out at no cost.

A chat feature is included that lets participants communicate with each other without interrupting the speaker, and HD video stream for crystal-clear pictures during meetings.

To do a conference call using GoToMeeting, sign into your account and then select the Schedule button under Schedule a Meeting on the My Meetings page. In the new browser window, select a date and time for the call, choose whether it’s a one-time or recurring meeting, your audio options, and then set permissions and passwords.

Once the meeting settings are in place, invite your attendees and then start the conference call. During the meeting, you can access other options and list of attendees from the control panel, collaborate and share the call recordings with participants.

5. Google Meet

Google Meet and Zoom are almost similar in terms of features and set up, but Google Meet is a free conference call app for all Google account users.

The app works on desktop and mobile devices, and you can access it from Gmail itself or create an instant conference call from the Google Meet front page or app on your mobile device.

During a meeting, you can make a presentation , raise your hand, conduct polls, use breakout rooms, use a whiteboard, change your background, send chat messages, and even use captions.

Check out our in-depth guide on Google Meet and how it works for detailed steps on how to set it up.

Enhance Your Group Call Experience

Gone are the days when you needed a phone, SIM card and enough airtime to set up a conference call. Today, all you need is strong WiFi , a laptop or mobile device and a good conference calling app.

With these five conference call apps you get better connectivity with family or colleagues across the world, more flexibility to work from anywhere, and you can run meetings at the drop of a hat. If you want a more immersive way to meet with colleagues, check out the best services to hold meetings in virtual reality .

What’s your favorite conference calling service? Tell us about it in the comments.


How to download YouTube music?

YouTube is one of the most popular video-sharing websites where you can find lots of videos worldwide. You can find movie trailers, TV shows, music videos, and more. YouTube is also a good source for video editors who need to download a video clip on their videos. However, YouTube always has audio as you stream them. Some editors only need a video that doesn’t have audio to lessen its file size when downloading. By doing that, you need a powerful screen recorder to download YouTube video without audio. Keep on reading below to see them.

Another way to download video without audio from YouTube is by using an online tool. With that, we recommend using YTSave, which is an online tool that can convert and download YouTube MP3, MP4, or 3GP format. Since it is an online tool, you can save hard disk space instead of installing other software and there’s no need to sign up making it more convenient to use. This YouTube downloader without sound allows you to download in 480p and 720p, so rest assured that you will get an HD quality of videos. Learn below how easy this online tool works.

Step 1 Paste the YouTube Link

On your web browser, go to its official website to access its main interface. Here, paste the link to the YouTube video that you want to download. Then, click the “Download” beside it and let the tool analyze the link.

Step 2 Choose the Video Quality

After clicking the “download” button, you can select your preferred download option by clicking the dropdown menu. Since we need to download YouTube video without sound, choose the quality under the “Videos (No Sound)” options. After that, the site will redirect you to another page displaying the video.

Step 3 Start to Download

Next, click the vertical ellipsis (⋮) at the bottom right corner of the video. Then click the “Download” button to start the downloading process. Once done, you can play the downloaded video on your computer.