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How to Fix a “Page Unresponsive” Error in Google Chrome

Google Chrome usually displays a “Page Unresponsive” error when a web page takes too long or fails to load correctly. In most cases, selecting Exit pages and refreshing the problematic page should help you get rid of the error for good. 

If not, try accessing the page on another browser such as Edge, Safari, or Firefox. If it shows up without running into any problems, you’re likely dealing with a Chrome-related issue that you must fix on your end. 

Below, you’ll find a list of troubleshooting tips and methods that you can work your way through to resolve persistent “Page Unresponsive” errors in Chrome.

Update Google Chrome

Google releases constant updates that introduce bug fixes and performance enhancements in Chrome. Although the browser updates itself automatically, it’s always a good idea to double-check. 

Start by opening the Chrome menu—select the 3-dots icon to the screen’s top-right. Then, point to Help and select About Google Chrome. That should force the browser to scan and install any pending updates. 

Restart PC or Mac

Restarting your PC or Mac typically helps resolve minor technical issues or other system-related anomalies that prevent Chrome—as well as other applications—from working properly. Do that now before moving on with the rest of the fixes.

Clear Cookies and Browser Cache

Outdated browsing data can end up causing all sorts of trouble while visiting websites. To rule that out as the reason behind the “Page Unresponsive” error, you must clear the Chrome cache. 

Note: It’s best to get rid of the cache and cookies for a problematic site first and follow by deleting the entire Chrome browser cache if that doesn’t help.

Clear Cache for a Specific Site

1. Go to Chrome’s Settings screen.

2. Select Privacy and security on the sidebar.

3. Select Site Settings.

4. Select View permissions and data stored across sites.

5. Pick the site from the list and select Clear data.

Clear Entire Chrome Browser Cache

1. Open a new Chrome tab.

2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Delete or Cmd+Shift+Delete to bring up Chrome’s Clear browsing data box.

3. Under the Basic tab, check the boxes next to Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files. Then, set the time range to All time and select Clear data.

Disable Third-party Cookies

Sometimes, web pages can take too long to load in Chrome due to third-party browser cookies . Disable them and check if that helps. 

To do that, open the Chrome menu and select Settings. Then, select Privacy and Security on the sidebar and pick the option labeled Cookies and other site data. On the screen that follows, select Block third-party cookies.

Note: Blocking third-party cookies in Chrome can break specific site functions. Re-enable them once you’ve finished visiting sites that end up with a “Page Unresponsive” error.

Disable Hardware Acceleration

Chrome uses hardware acceleration to speed things up. But rarely, that can also end up causing page rendering issues. Try disabling the functionality.

Go to Chrome’s Settings screen and select Advanced > System on the sidebar. Then, turn off the switch next to Use hardware acceleration when available and select Relaunch.

Update Graphics/Audio Drivers

If disabling hardware acceleration ended up fixing the “Page Unresponsive” error in Chrome on a PC, you should follow by updating the graphics and audio drivers. Use a driver updater tool to get the most recent driver updates automatically. Once you’ve done that, re-enable hardware acceleration in Chrome and check if the issue recurs.

Disable Extensions

Running lots of Chrome extensions at the same time can consume system resources, slow things down to a crawl, and result in “Page Unresponsive” errors. Some extensions can also create conflicts with site content and prevent pages from functioning correctly.

You can find out if that’s the reason behind the “Page Unresponsive” errors quite easily. Start by selecting the Extensions icon to the right side of the Chrome address bar. Then, select Manage Extensions and turn off all active extensions. 

If you don’t run into the “Page Unresponsive” error after that, re-enable the extensions one-by-one. That should help you identify any that uses too many system resources or cause other issues in Chrome. 

Remove Harmful Software

The “Page Unresponsive” error can also show up due to malicious extensions and browser hijackers. You can deal with that by taking Chrome’s built-in harmful software scanning tool out for a spin. It’s only included in the PC version of Chrome, however.

1. Open the Chrome menu and select Settings

2. Select Advanced > Reset and clean up on the sidebar. 

3. Select Clean up computer > Find to scan and remove harmful software.

Ideally, you should wrap up by scanning your computer with a dedicated malware removal tool. The free version of Malwarebytes is more than good enough for the job. It’s also available for both Windows and macOS.

Use a Content Blocker

Sometimes, sites with heavy page content can take a long time to load and break down in “Page Unresponsive” errors. Try adding a content blocking extension (which gets rid of ads and tracking scripts) to Chrome and check if that fixes the issue. uBlock Origin , AdGuard AdBlocker , and Adblock Plus are top picks.

Update Windows/macOS 

You must always keep the operating system on your PC or Mac up-to-date. That gives Chrome a stable platform to run on and minimizes possible conflicts with Windows or macOS.

Update Windows

Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security and select Download and install to apply the latest Windows updates.

Update macOS

Go to System Preferences > Software Update and select Update Now to install the latest macOS updates.

Create New Chrome Profile

If none of the fixes above helped, you’re likely dealing with a corrupt Chrome user profile. You can create a new one by renaming your current profile using File Explorer or Finder. But before you begin, make sure to sync your browsing data to a Google Account .

1. Exit Google Chrome.

2. Press Windows+R to open the Run box on the PC. If you use a Mac, open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder instead.

3. Copy and paste the relevant folder path below and press Enter:

PC — %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\

Mac — ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/

4. Rename the folder labeled Default to Default.old.

5. Reload Chrome. The browser should automatically generate a new profile. Sign in with your Google Account to start using it.

Reset Google Chrome

If you still keep running into frequent “Page Unresponsive” errors, it’s time to reset Google Chrome. That reverts all browser settings and allows you to start using Chrome in a new state. Again, make sure to sync your browsing data to a Google Account before you go ahead.

1. Open the Chrome menu and select Settings.

2. Select Advanced > Reset and clean up/Reset settings on the sidebar.

3. Select Restore settings to their defaults > Reset settings.

Fully Responsive Web Pages

Common fixes such as clearing the browser cache, turning off hardware acceleration, and disabling unnecessary extensions will almost always end up fixing the “Page Unresponsive” error in Chrome. Keep them in mind so that you know what to do the next time you run into it.


How to Fix a Thread Stuck in Device Driver BSOD in Windows 10

The “Thread stuck in device driver” BSOD ( Blue Screen of Death ) error in Windows 10 is caused whenever a specific driver gets stuck in an endless loop waiting for its hardware to go into an idle state.

This is usually related to the driver hardware itself. Why would driver software start doing this? There can be multiple reasons. A few common ones include a driver bug that was fixed in a recent update that you don’t have yet. It could be a Windows bug that, again, was fixed in an update you don’t have. 

Blue BSOD Error At Computer. Malware Attack

In a few cases, it could also be caused by a corrupt system file that’s causing issues with the device driver. 

The following troubleshooting tips will walk you through the most common fixes for the “thread stuck in device driver” BSOD error, and will end with the least common ones. 

How to “Fix Thread Stuck in Device Driver” BSOD Error

The best way to work through this guide is from top to bottom. The more common fixes that come first should resolve the issue earlier. Hopefully, you never have to make it to the end of this article!

Update Your Device Driver

The easiest way to update your specific device driver is by using Device Manager. If the error provided the device that’s having the issue, make a note of this before opening Device Manager. If not, you should be able to find the error inside the Device Manager itself.

  1. To open Device Manager, select the Start menu, type “device” and select Device Manager.
  1. If you know the device that’s having the issue, scroll down to that device. Otherwise scroll down the list and look for any devices with an exclamation mark icon, which indicates a device error. Once you find the device, right-click and select Update Driver Software.
  1. To get the latest driver, select Search automatically for updated driver software. This will make Device Manager look for the latest device driver via the internet. It will identify the latest version and compare it to the version you currently have installed.
  1. If the driver you have is already updated, you’ll see a status displaying this.
  1. If it doesn’t, it’ll automatically update your driver to the latest version. You’ll see a status that the driver has been updated when it’s finished.
  1. Restart your computer and confirm that the “Thread stuck in device driver” error is resolved.

Keep in mind that even if the Device Driver doesn’t find the latest version for your driver, there may still be a newer version out there. If you know which device is having the issue, visit the manufacturer website and check the latest version. Compare this to your current driver version.

To see the version of your device driver, open Device Manager, right click on the device and select Properties. Select the Driver tab to see what your current Driver Version is.

If the manufacturer has a later version than what you have installed, download and install the new device driver.

Note: If you recently updated your driver right before the error started, you may want to consider rolling back the driver to see if it resolves your issue.

Upgrade Standard System Drivers

If you didn’t see any drivers with an error, or updating the device you’re having an issue with didn’t resolve the problem, make sure your graphics or audio drivers are updated.

This is because most applications need to interface with both the graphics and audio cards in your PC. If those drivers are out of date, it could lead to device driver errors.

To update your graphics driver, open Device Driver again and expand Display adapters

Select Update driver and go through the same process as above to update the graphics driver.

Do the same thing for your audio drivers. Expand the Audio inputs and outputs section in Device Manager.

Right click the audio devices you use and select Update driver for each of them. 

Once you’ve updated your graphics and audio drivers, restart your computer and confirm that this has resolved the “Thread stuck in Device Driver” error.

Run a System File Checker (SFC) Scan

If you’ve gotten to this point and nothing fixed the error, start with some deeper troubleshooting.

The first thing to check is whether there are any corrupt system files that could be causing conflicts with the device driver. 

To do this:

  1. Select the Start menu, type “command prompt”, right click the Command Prompt app, and select Run as administrator.
  1. Type the command sfc /scannow and press Enter.

The scanning process can take some time. It’ll update the process as a percentage on the screen. 

If the SFC process finds any corrupt or missing system files, it’ll automatically repair the file by replacing it with the correct system file (from backup). 

Once the scan is finished, restart your computer to check if the error is gone.

Restore a Previous Version of Windows

If nothing has fixed the error at this point, the last resort may be to restore Windows 10 to a previous restore point.

You can restore individual files, or restore your entire system to a previous restore point .

If you haven’t made any previous restore points for Windows, then unfortunately you’ll have no choice to restore Windows 10 to its original factory settings .

While this isn’t the idea solution, hopefully you haven’t had to get this far in this article. If you did, then remember that you can always back up your important folders and files before restoring Windows. This way you don’t have to put any of your important information and data at risk.


6 Ways to Make Steam Downloads Faster

The feeling of buying a brand new game is great. But once you realize you’re going to have to have to wait, possibly hours, for it to download, that excitement can start to wane. You might start to wonder if there’s any possible way to make your Steam game download faster. And in fact, there are. 

All of the methods outlined here can help you get much faster download speeds for your Steam games, allowing you to begin your game much more quickly. Try these tips out and see just how much time is cut off from your next Steam download. 

Close Other Programs

If you have some other programs opened while trying to complete your Steam download, these can actually greatly hinder your download speed. Especially if certain programs are also connected to the internet and using data, you should look into closing them.

To do this, open your task manager by either going to Start and searching for it. Or, you can press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task manager from the menu. You can now see which programs you have open besides Steam. 

If you click More details, you can see which programs are running in the background. You can also see which programs are using your network connection by looking at the Network column. If another app is using a large percentage of it, you can close it by right-clicking the program and selecting End task

Strengthen Your Internet Connection

Sometimes, your issue might just be that your internet connection isn’t too great. There are some things you can do, though, to boost your connection and possibly increase download speeds. 

First, you’ll want to try connecting via ethernet cable if you can. This will significantly increase the speed of the internet to your computer. You can also try simply moving closer to your Wi-Fi router and see if that makes a difference, as signals can sometimes become weaker in certain areas of a house. Especially far away from the router. 

Set Priority for Steam

Another easy fix you can do to make Steam download faster is to set priority for Steam downloads in Task Manager. This will tell your computer you want Steam to have a high priority when it comes to its network connection. To do this, first open Task Manager, either search for it in the Windows start menu or press Ctrl + Alt + Del.

Find the Steam Client Service and right-click on it, then select Go to details

Now, right-click on SteamService.exe and select Set priority > High. This should give more connectivity priority to Steam and help with your downloads.

Change the Download Region

Steam will automatically select the region you connect to servers from, and if it incorrectly selects your area, you may be trying to download from a server much further away from you. To check your download region, in Steam go to Steam > Settings > Downloads

In this window, look at the Download Region section. Make sure the region is closest to where you’re actually located, as this will ensure the fastest download speeds. Another change we can make here is just below, where it reads Limit bandwidth to. Check this off to choose No limit, which will allow Steam to use the full extent of bandwidth needed to download your game. 

Disconnect Other Devices From Your Internet Connection

A big part of why your download might be going so slow is having other devices connected to your network that are using data. This could be things like your phone, tablets, or gaming consoles. If you want the fastest download speeds , it’s best to turn off these devices or disconnect them from your network so that nothing interferes with the connection to your PC.

Even if you may not be actively using these devices, if they are on or in sleep mode they still could be running programs in the background that are using your network. This is why turning them off or disconnecting them completely will help to avoid this and make your Steam download speeds much faster. 

Disable Antivirus Software

Antivirus software or firewalls have the potential to cause slower download speeds with Steam. This is because these softwares interact with disk and network operations, which could cause issues or even false alerts. Some firewalls may also prevent Steam from connecting to its servers, again causing problems for you. 

If you use a certain firewall or antivirus program, you’ll have to go into these programs and either disable them or set exceptions for Steam and your Steam games. If you’re using just Windows security, here’s how you can disable it. 

Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security

Then go to Windows Security > Virus & threat protection. Under Virus & threat protection settings, go to Manage settings. Here, find Real-time protection and set this to Off using the toggle switch. 

To allow Steam through the Windows Defender firewall, go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Firewall & Network protection

In this window, select Allow an app through firewall. In the pop up window you can scroll through the list to see what apps are allowed by seeing if they are checked off. If you want to change this, click Change settings

If you don’t see Steam in the list already, you can select Allow another app and search for it on your computer. Make sure you also allow your Steam games . 

Download Your Steam Games Faster

Even if you just follow a few of these tips, you should notice a marked difference in your download speeds through Steam. Although it’s hard to control how powerful your actual internet connection is, using these methods you can make the most of what you can control. Then, you should be able to get to playing your favorite games again in no time. 


Windows 10 Calculator Not Working? 10 Fixes to Try

Most PC users take Windows 10’s native Calculator app for granted, and why not; it’s just a couple of clicks away and always tends to show up in a snap. But despite how reliable it may appear to be, the Windows Calculator isn’t immune from issues. On rare occasions, it can freeze, crash, or fail to open altogether.

Bugs, glitches, and corrupted system files are key reasons that prevent the Windows Calculator from working correctly. 

If your Windows 10 Calculator app is not working, the troubleshooting tips and fixes below should help you get it functioning as usual.

1. Run Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter

The Windows Calculator is a Microsoft Store app. So, you should begin by taking the built-in Windows Store Apps troubleshooter out for a spin. That will hopefully end up resolving any problems with the Calculator app quickly.

1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.

2. Select Update & Security.

3. Switch to the Troubleshoot tab and select Additional troubleshooters.

4. Scroll down to the Find and fix other problems section and select Windows Store Apps. Then, select Run the troubleshooter.

5. Follow the on-screen instructions to fix any issues that the Windows Store Apps troubleshooter detects.

2. Update Calculator App

Microsoft releases periodic updates in the form of bug fixes and performance enhancements for the Windows Calculator. If you’ve disabled automatic updates in the Microsoft Store it could lead to the Windows 10 calculator not working. Check for a new Calculator update and install it manually.

1. Open the Microsoft Store. 

2. Select the icon with 3-dots from the screen’s top-right and select Downloads and updates.

3. Select the Update icon next to Windows Calculator to install any pending updates.

After the update, check if the Calculator app works without issues.

3. Restart Computer

Rebooting Windows 10 flushes out obsolete or redundant data and resolves system-related conflicts that stop apps from running normally. Do that before moving on with the rest of the fixes. 

4. Reset Calculator

Windows 10 allows you to reset the Calculator by removing cached files and reverting the app to its defaults. In most cases, that should fix crashes, freezes, or other issues for good.

1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.

2. Select Apps.

3. Select Windows Calculator. Then, select Advanced Options.

4. Select Terminate to shut down all Calculator-related processes. 

5. Select Reset.

6. Select Reset again to confirm.

5. Re-register Calculator

Re-registering a problematic instance of the Windows Calculator can help make it work correctly. You can do that conveniently by using the Command Prompt console in Windows 10.

1. Press Windows+S to open Windows Search. Then, type cmd and select Open.

2. Copy and paste the following command into the Command Prompt console:

PowerShell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Command “& {$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage *WindowsCalculator*).InstallLocation + ‘\AppxManifest.xml’ ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest}”

3. Press Enter to re-register the Windows Calculator.

4. Exit the Command Prompt console.

5. Reboot your computer.

If that didn’t fix the Windows Calculator, try re-registering all Microsoft Store apps on your computer.

1. Right-click Start and select Windows PowerShell.

2. Copy and paste the following command into Windows PowerShell:

Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

3. Press Enter to re-register all Microsoft Store apps.

Once Windows PowerShell finishes the procedure, exit it and restart Windows 10.

6. Reinstall Calculator

If you still keep running into issues with the Windows Calculator, it’s time to re-install the app manually.

1. Right-click the Start button and select Apps & Features.

2. Select Calculator.

3. Select Uninstall to remove the Windows Calculator.

4. Open the Microsoft Store.

5. Search for Windows Calculator and choose Install.

7. Update Windows

Newer versions of Windows 10 typically offer native and third-party apps the most stable environment to run on. If you haven’t updated your computer in a while, try doing that now.

1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.

2. Select Update & Security.

3. Select Check for updates and choose Download and install to apply any pending Windows 10 updates.

8. Run SFC Scan

If corrupted system files are the reason why the Windows Calculator fails to work on your computer, an SFC (System File Checker) scan should help sort that out.

1. Press Windows+S to open Windows Search. Then, type cmd and select Run as administrator.

2. Type sfc /scannow into the elevated Command Prompt console and press Enter.

3. Wait for the SFC scan to complete and try using the Calculator app after that.

9. Run DISM Scan

If running an SFC scan didn’t help, you should go the extra step and perform a DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scan instead. The procedure can take up to an hour to complete, so make sure to have enough time before going through the steps that follow.

1. Open an elevated Command Prompt console.

2. Type the following command and press Enter:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

3. Once DISM finishes scanning your computer, continue running the following commands:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

10. Reset Windows 10

Is the Windows 10 Calculator still not working on your computer? If so, consider resetting Windows 10 to factory settings. That should revert all system-related settings to their defaults and fix any underlying issues causing the Calculator app to malfunction. 

A Windows 10 factory reset is an extreme measure, so you must create a backup of your computer before proceeding. Once you’ve done that, go through the following steps to initiate the reset procedure.

1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.

2. Select Update & Security and switch to the Recovery tab.

3. Select Get started.

For a complete walkthrough, check this guide about resetting Windows 10 to factory settings .

You’ve Fixed the Calculator App

In many instances, resetting, re-registering, or re-installing the Windows Calculator is all it takes to make the app work correctly. 

However, if none of the fixes above helped, consider using another calculator app, at least until Microsoft patches any issues with the Calculator app. You can find lots of third-party alternatives in the Microsoft Store alone.


Oculus Quest Vs PSVR: Which Is Better?

In 2016, VR finally lived up to its promise with the release of the Oculus Rift . While the Rift (and the computer you needed to power it) were still stupendously expensive, both the technology and pricing fell within reach of enthusiasts. 

Roll on to 2021 and now most mid-range computers can handle VR without issue. VR headsets themselves are now many times cheaper than before as well. For a long time, the Sony PlayStation VR was the most affordable way to experience premium VR games, but things have changed. The mainstream darling is the Oculus Quest 2 , but which one is better for you to buy?

Cost of Ownership

One of the main reasons people are comparing the Oculus Quest vs PSVR is because of their similar cost. Both the Oculus Quest 2 and PSVR should set you back around $299.  There is another model of Quest 2 headset that costs more than this, but the only difference is a larger internal storage capacity,

The problem is that the headset price by itself doesn’t tell the whole story. The most important fact to consider here is that the Quest 2 is a completely standalone system. Once you spend your $299, you have everything you need to start playing, apart from the cost of software titles of course.

The PSVR requires a PS4 or PS5 console to work. If you already own a compatible console, then you’ve already spent the money and it doesn’t have to be added to the total cost of ownership. If you don’t own a PS4, PS4 Pro or PS5 you need to consider that cost in addition to PSVR. That makes the PSVR far more expensive than a Quest 2.

Software Library

One of the strongest points in favor of the PSVR is its library of exclusive games. If you want to experience Resident Evil 7, Wipeout, Gran Turismo Sport, Ace Combat 7 or Iron Man in VR there’s only one headset in town – PSVR.

That being said, the Oculus Quest is well-known for having a carefully-curated library of quality exclusive games and experiences. It comes down to personal preferences and which titles appeal to you most. It’s also worth noting that the Quest headsets have access to the full PC VR catalogue as well, assuming you have the computer to drive them. We’ll discuss how that works below.

Versatility

The Oculus Quest is one of the most versatile VR headsets you can buy. Out of the box, it’s a complete standalone system you can use anywhere. It can play curated Quest titles, selected Oculus Go and Gear VR titles, and a wealth of non-Oculus approved apps and games through SideQuest .

If you own a powerful gaming PC, you can connect the Quest to your computer using a USB cable and use it to play Oculus Rift and SteamVR titles such as Half Life Alyx using a feature known as Oculus Link . This means you can invest in a Quest 2 today and should you get a gaming PC down the line, your VR horizons will expand.

The PSVR, on the other hand, is limited to PS4 PSVR titles. While hacks to use it with a PC are available, it loses its full depth-tracking capabilities. In other words, the headset can track the rotation of your head, but it can’t tell where your head is positioned in 3D space. This drastically limits what the headset can do. 

Technology

There’s really no gentle way to put this, but the PSVR system uses very obsolete technology. Sony made some very smart choices by repurposing existing PlayStation hardware for PSVR, which helps keep the costs down. However, that means it really offers a very old-school experience compared to the Oculus Quest.

The PSVR makes use of the PlayStation Move controllers for motion control. These devices were originally designed for the PlayStation 3, with relatively basic motion sensors and camera tracking using the PS4 camera.

That same camera is also responsible for external tracking of the headset itself. The modern standard for headsets such as the Quest is so-called “inside-out” tracking. Here, cameras onboard the headset calculate your head’s position based on how the room appears to move relative to your headset. This is much more elegant and allows for room-scale experiences without any accessories.

The display resolution, audio and haptic controllers for the Quest are several generations more advanced than the PSVR, making it hard to recommend that anyone opt for the older system at current prices.

Ergonomics

The PSVR pioneered the halo-strap headband design which has since been copied by various other VR headset brands. Sadly, the Oculus Quest 2 is not one of them. While the Quest 2 does offer a better level of comfort than the Quest 1 , neither headset is as comfortable to wear as the PSVR.

The PSVR also makes it easy to flip up the headset to quickly dip into the real world, look around and chat to other people. The Quest has a nifty pass-through mode that quickly lets you see through the onboard cameras, but it’s not quite as convenient.

Most VR play sessions are relatively short. The Quest 2 only offers about 2.5 hours of play at a time, but if you want to have long sessions of VR play the PSVR is the better choice. This is perfect if you want to lose track of time doing laps in Gran Turismo Sport VR.

Privacy and Platform Considerations

While the Quest 2 seems the better choice compared to the PSVR in virtually every category, there is one area of significant concern. FaceBook, which owns Oculus, has decided that a FaceBook account is mandatory for all Quest 2 owners. Without it you can’t use the device. You may not mind this requirement if you’re already a FaceBook user, but for many potential buyers that’s a serious issue. 

With PSVR, on the other hand, you are not required to be a PlayStation Network subscriber. You’re not even required to have an internet connection. Strictly-speaking, you can simply hook up the PSVR, pop in a game disc and play your games in complete privacy.

Oculus Quest Vs PSVR: The Final Verdict

It should come as no surprise that we think the Oculus Quest 2 is the better choice compared to the PSVR. However, that’s not really the PSVR’s fault. After all, it was an amazing product at the time of its launch and the most affordable premium VR solution for years.

While the PSVR actually works with the PS5 using a free camera adapter , Sony is undoubtedly working on a modernized successor. While we don’t know much about the PSVR2, we have no doubt that it will feature modern VR technology and give the Oculus Quest a run for its money.

If you want to get into VR right now, we recommend the Oculus Quest 2. If you have your heart set on console-based VR, we recommend waiting for the PSVR2 (slated for 2022 at the earliest) unless you really want to play a specific PSVR-exclusive title.


How to Fix a “vcruntime140.Dll Is Missing” Error on Windows 10

If you’re seeing a missing DLL error on your Windows PC, it’s usually a sign that something has gone wrong. It could be that your software is corrupted and needs reinstalling, or it could point to deeper issues with your PC, such as corrupt system files or a stubborn malware infection .

Another major cause, however, are missing or corrupted software libraries that allow programs to run on Windows. A “vcruntime140.dll is missing” error, for instance, points to a missing or corrupted Microsoft Visual C++ runtime installation. If you want to fix this issue, here’s what you’ll need to do.

Repairing or Removing a Microsoft Visual C++ Installation

The vcruntime140.dll file is part of the Microsoft Visual C++ software runtime library. Provided by Microsoft, this library is used as part of the process of compiling software (created in C++ using Visual Studio) to run on Windows PCs. If the file is missing, the “vcruntime140.dll is missing” error will appear.

To fix this issue, the first thing you should attempt is to repair the Visual C++ installation on your PC. If that doesn’t work, you should remove it entirely by following these steps, then proceed to the next section to reinstall it.

  1. To repair a Visual C++ installation, you’ll need to open the Settings menu. To do this, right-click the Windows Start menu and select the Settings option.
  1. In the Settings menu, select Apps > Apps & features. On the left, you’ll see a list of installed apps. Scroll through the list or use the search bar until you find the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015-2019 Redistributable option listed. If it’s missing, proceed to the next section.
  1. If the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015-2019 Redistributable option is listed, however, select it, then select the Modify option.
  1. In the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015-2019 Redistributable window that opens, select the Repair option.
  1.  Allow the process to complete, then restart your PC. If you still see a “vcruntime140.dll is missing” error, you’ll need to remove the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime entirely and reinstall it. To do this, select Uninstall > Uninstall in the Settings > Apps > Apps & features menu.
  1. In the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015-2019 Redistributable window that opens, select the Uninstall option and allow the process to complete. Once it’s finished, restart your PC and continue to the next section. 

Installing or Reinstalling a Microsoft Visual C++ Installation

Without the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library installed, software that relies on it won’t work, so you’ll need to install it. You’ll also need to do this if you’ve removed a corrupted installation previously.

  1. First, head to the Visual Studio website to download the latest version of the software runtime library. Scroll down towards the bottom of the page, then select the Other Tools, Frameworks, and Redistributables category to view the available options. From there, select the correct CPU architecture for your PC (eg. x64 for 64-bit PCs, x86 for 32-bit PCs, or ARM64 for ARM-based devices), then select the Download button.
  1. Run the installer file (eg. VC_redist.x64.exe) once the download is complete. In the installer window, accept the license terms by selecting the checkbox provided, then select the Install button to proceed.
  1. Allow the installer a few moments to complete. If it installs without any issues, select the Close button to close the window, then restart your PC.

This should, for most users, resolve the “vcruntime140.dll is missing” error on Windows 10 PCs. However, if the software you’re running requires an older version of the Visual C++ runtime (before 2015), you’ll need to download and install the older version instead.

You may also be able to fix the issue by removing and reinstalling software that has an older version of the Visual C++ runtime installer included. This is common in larger software bundles, such as games, that require multiple runtime libraries to work correctly.

By reinstalling software that’s coupled with an older Visual C++ runtime installer, the specific version of that library required to run the software should automatically reinstall itself and resolve any lingering issues.

Running Windows Update

The Microsoft Visual C++ runtime receives security updates through Windows Update, just like other major Windows services. If you’re having trouble with a “vcruntime140.dll is missing” error, it might be worth checking for any recent updates using the Windows Update service.

While this is unlikely to fix a broken installation, installing new updates could repair your installation automatically. You can check for new system updates in the Settings menu.

  1. To access this, right-click the Start menu, then select the Settings option.
  1. In the Settings menu, select the Update & Security option, then select Windows Update in the next menu.
  1. Select the Check for Updates option to search for new updates. If there are updates pending, select the Restart now option instead.

Windows will check for updates and install any that are currently pending. Once installed, you’ll need to restart your PC to ensure that they’ve been correctly applied. You should then check your software to see if the missing runtime issue is resolved.

Downloading DLL Files Online

If very specific error messages like “vcruntime140.dll is missing” start to appear, you might be tempted to source the file online to fix it. Various DLL download sites exist, allowing you to quickly download the missing file to resolve the issue.

We would recommend avoiding sites like these, however. DLL files are crucial elements of the Windows operating system that allow software to interact with more restricted Windows components. Unless you absolutely trust the source, it’s usually a better idea to remove and reinstall the entire Visual C++ runtime library instead.

This should resolve the issue for most users, but if you’re still having issues, you could source the file from another PC in your network as a last resort.

Keeping Windows 10 Maintained

The steps above should help you to fix a “vcruntime140.dll is missing” error on your Windows 10 PC. In most cases, repairing the installation or reinstalling the Visual C++ redistributable should fix the issue, but you may also need to look at removing and reinstalling any affected software .

A missing DLL file is usually a sign of a PC that’s having some issues, which is why it’s important to keep up with regular PC maintenance. You can do this by keeping Windows updated to ensure you have the latest bug fixes, as well as running regular malware scans to remove malware that could leave your PC at risk.


How to Fix AirDrop Not Working From iPhone to Mac

Does your Mac have trouble receiving images or documents sent over AirDrop from an iPhone ? Several reasons, such as connectivity issues associated with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, can prevent AirDrop from functioning correctly.

Work your way through the following list of troubleshooting methods and you should be able to fix problems with AirDrop not working from iPhone to Mac.

Check for Mac Compatibility

An iPhone can only AirDrop to a Mac introduced in 2012 or later (the 2012 Mac Pro is an exception). Additionally, your Mac should run at least OS X 10.10 Yosemite. 

Open the Apple menu and select About This Mac to check your Mac’s model and operating system version.

Enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (Mac and iPhone)

You must enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both the Mac and the iPhone for AirDrop to run without issues. You don’t have to connect the devices to a Wi-Fi network, however.

Enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on Mac

Open the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi status menus via the Mac’s menu bar or Control Center. Then, turn on both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on iPhone

Open the iPhone’s Control Center by swiping down from the top-right of the screen. If you use an iPhone with Touch ID, swipe up from the bottom of the screen instead. Then, turn on both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Bring Mac and iPhone Closer

Both the Mac and the iPhone should be at least 30 feet close to each other. If not, files can fail during transfer, even if the iPhone detects your Mac.

Disable Personal Hotspot on iPhone

If the iPhone has an active Personal Hotspot, try disabling it. Open the Control Center on your iPhone, long-press the Cellular icon, and set Personal Hotspot to Not Discoverable.

Open Finder Window on Mac

Sometimes, AirDrop will fail to kick into gear on your Mac unless you open an AirDrop window. To do that, simply bring up Finder and select AirDrop on the sidebar. Then, resend the files from the iPhone.

Disable Do Not Disturb on Mac

Do you have Do Not Disturb turned on in your Mac? Not only does that block AirDrop notifications from working, but it can also cause issues with discoverability.

Open the Mac’s Control Center and disable Do Not Disturb. If you use macOS Catalina or earlier, you must open the Notification Center instead to switch it off.

Set AirDrop to Everyone on Mac

By default, the receiving permission in AirDrop is set to Contacts Only. If you’re trying to send a file to your Mac from an iPhone that you own, that should not cause issues. 

However, if you want to receive a file from someone else’s iPhone, it’s best to change that to Everyone even if you have the person listed within the Contacts app. To do that, open an AirDrop window. Then, set Allow me to be discovered by: to Everyone.

If that worked, remember to set it back to Contacts Only to avoid being bombarded by AirDrop requests later on.

Turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Off/On (Mac and iPhone)

Try disabling and re-enabling Bluetooth on both the Mac and iPhone. That often takes care of minor technical glitches that prevent AirDrop from sending or receiving files.

Disable and Enable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth on Mac

Open the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi status menus on the Mac’s menu bar or Control Center. Then, disable both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Wait for a few seconds and re-enable both options.

Disable and Enable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth on iPhone

Open the Settings app on the iPhone. Then, select Wi-Fi and turn off the switch next to Wi-Fi. Go back to the previous screen, select Bluetooth, and turn off the switch next to Bluetooth. Wait for a few seconds and re-enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Restart Mac and iPhone

If you still keep running into issues with AirDrop not working from iPhone to Mac, try restarting both devices. That’s another way to get rid of any software-related snags that cause problems with AirDrop.

Reset Network Settings on iPhone

If possible, perform a network settings reset on the iPhone. That should resolve any issues caused by corrupt Bluetooth or Wi-Fi settings preventing the device from sending files to your Mac.

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Select General.

3. Select Reset.

4. Select Reset Network Settings.

5. Select Reset Network Settings again to confirm.

Delete Bluetooth/Wi-Fi PLIST Files and Mac

You can also attempt the equivalent of a network settings reset on the Mac by deleting the Property List (PLIST) files related to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Your Mac should automatically recreate the files after you restart it.

Delete Bluetooth PLIST Files

1. Open Finder. Then, select Go > Go to Folder.

2. Type the following path and select Go:

/Library/Preferences/

3. Control-click the following file and select Move to Trash.

  • com.apple.Bluetooth.plist

Delete Wi-Fi PLIST Files

1. Open Finder. Then, select Go > Go to Folder.

2. Type the following path and select Go:

/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/

3. Control-click the following files and select Move to Trash.

  • com.apple.airport.preferences.plist
  • com.apple.network.identification.plist
  • com.apple.network.eapolclient.configuration.plist
  • com.apple.wifi.message-tracer.plist
  • NetworkInterfaces.plist
  • preferences.plist

Allow All Incoming Connections (Mac)

If you have the Mac’s firewall turned on, it may end up blocking all incoming connections. Make sure that isn’t the case.

1. Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences.

2. Select Security & Privacy.

3. Select the Firewall tab.

4. Select Click the lock to make changes and enter your administrator password.

5. Select Firewall Options.

6. Uncheck the box next to Block All Incoming Connections and select OK.

Update Mac/iPhone

You may also want to update your Mac and iPhone. The latest updates typically come with fixes for known bugs and issues, so install them if you haven’t in a while.

Update Mac

Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Then, choose Software Update. If you see any pending updates, select Update Now.

Update iPhone

Open the Settings app, and then go to General > Software Update. If you see any pending updates, tap Download and Install to apply them.

Reset NVRAM (Mac)

Resetting the NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) on your Mac is another way to fix persistent connectivity-related issues. 

Start by turning off your Mac. Then, turn it back on and immediately press Option+Command+P+R until you hear the startup chime for the second time. If you use a Mac with a T2 Security Chip, you must hold them down until the Apple logo shows up and disappears twice.

After booting into your Mac, you must re-configure settings such as the time zone, volume sound, and keyboard preferences. For a complete walkthrough, here’s how to reset the NVRAM on a Mac .

Success: Sent and Received From iPhone to Mac

Troubleshooting issues with AirDrop not working on the Mac and iPhone can be rather tricky since you usually can’t isolate the problem to a single device. Despite that, something as simple as opening an AirDrop window, turning off/on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, or changing AirDrop permissions to Everyone should almost always get things working again.


Outlook App Not Syncing? 13 Fixes to Try

Usually, setting up and using Outlook on both Android and iOS is a seamless affair. But sometimes, Microsoft’s email client can put a dent in your day by failing to sync emails, contacts, and calendar events locally or between other devices. 

Many factors such as bugs and glitches, incorrect configurations, conflicting device settings, and so on, can prevent Outlook from syncing correctly. 

If you keep experiencing sync issues with Outlook’s mobile apps, the following troubleshooting methods that follow should help you fix them.

Important: Fixes involving the Settings app in Android may not appear the same on your device. If you have trouble locating specific options, try searching for them instead.

1. Force-quit and Re-open App

Force-quitting and reopening the Outlook app is a quick way to fix the odd issue with the Outlook app not syncing. Just bring up the App Switcher on your Android or iOS device and swipe away the Outlook app card. Then, relaunch Outlook. In most cases, that should help get things moving again.

2. Reset Email Account

If you continue to have sync issues in Outlook’s Android or iOS apps, it’s a good idea to reset the email account in question.

1. Open Outlook and switch to the Mail tab.

2. Tap your profile portrait to the screen’s top-left to bring up the Outlook sidebar.

3. Tap the Settings icon.

4. Pick the email account under the Email Accounts section.

5. Select Restart Account.

6. Select OK to confirm.

The Outlook app will quit automatically. Reopen it, and it should attempt to update your data. If you still encounter any issues, go ahead with the rest of the fixes.

3. Unhide Calendars

If you don’t see specific calendar events in Outlook, make sure you’ve selected the relevant calendars.

1. Switch to the Calendars tab in Outlook.

2. Bring up the Outlook sidebar from the screen’s top-left.

3. Select the calendars that you want the app to display.

If you don’t see any calendars, you may have added your email account using the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) . In that case, try setting it up without using IMAP. You can find out how to remove and re-add accounts in Outlook further below.

4. Check Sync Settings

Outlook allows you to sync your contacts and calendars with the native Contacts and Calendar apps on your Android device. On iOS, you can save your contacts locally to the Contacts app. If that does not happen, check Outlook’s sync settings.

1. Open Outlook and switch to the Mail tab.

2. Bring up the Outlook sidebar.

3. Tap Settings.

4. Pick the email account under the Email Accounts section.

5. Turn on the switches next to the Sync contacts and Sync calendars options. On Outlook for iOS, turn on the Save Contacts option.

Note: Outlook for iOS will only save contacts locally. It will not upload any contacts from the Contacts app.

5. Provide Permissions

Outlook may not sync/save your contacts or calendars locally unless you provide the app with the required system permissions despite configuring the app.

Provide Permissions on Android

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap Apps & notifications.

3. Select Permissions.

4. Select Contacts.

5. Turn on the switch next to Outlook.

6. Go back to the previous screen and select Calendar.

7. Turn on the switch next to Outlook.

Provide Permissions on iOS

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Scroll down and select Outlook.

3. Turn on the switch next to Contacts.

6. Clear Outlook Cache (Android Only)

On Android, if your Outlook app is not syncing you can try clearing the Outlook cache. That should get rid of any redundant data preventing the app from functioning normally.

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap Apps & notifications.

3. Select Apps.

4. Scroll down the list and select Outlook.

5. Select Storage.

6. Tap Clear Cache.

7. Update Outlook App

You must update the Outlook app on your Android or iOS device regularly. That should patch out any known issues preventing your email, calendars, or contacts from syncing.

Update Outlook on Android 

1. Open the Google Play Store.

2. Bring up the Google Play menu and tap the My apps & games option.

3. Select the Update option next to Outlook.

Update Outlook on iOS

1. Long-press the App Store icon on the Home screen and select Updates

2. Swipe down the Account screen to scan for new updates.

3. Select Update next to Outlook.

8. Restart Android or iOS Device

If you continue to have issues syncing your email, calendars, or contacts, try restarting your Android or iPhone before moving on with the rest of the fixes. 

9. Disable Power Saving Mode

Power-saving features on Android devices may interfere with Outlook and prevent it from updating or syncing data correctly. Disable them and check if that helps. The same goes for Low Power Mode on the iPhone .

Disable Power Saving Mode on Android

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Select Battery.

3. Disable Power saving mode or any equivalent setting on your device.

You must also check for and disable any battery optimization settings that apply to Outlook. You can usually find them listed on the same screen.

Disable Low Power Mode on iPhone

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Select Battery.

3. Turn off the switch next to Low Power Mode.

10. Enable Background App Refresh

On iOS, you must make sure that you’ve enabled Background App Refresh for Outlook. If not, the app may fail to update your emails, contacts, or calendars properly while running in the background.

Go to Settings > Outlook and turn on the switch next to Background App Refresh, if disabled.

11. Remove/Re-add Email Account

If the Outlook app is still not syncing, it’s a good idea to remove and re-add any problematic email accounts. 

1. Open Outlook and switch to the Mail tab.

2. Bring up the Outlook sidebar.

3. Tap the Settings icon.

4. Pick the email account under the Email Accounts section.

5. Select Delete Account.

6. Select Delete to confirm.

7. Tap Add Mail Account to add your email account from scratch. If you want to access your contacts or calendar, avoid setting it up using IMAP.

12. Reinstall Outlook App

If removing and re-adding your email account (or accounts) didn’t help, try reinstalling Outlook. 

Start by deleting the Outlook app from your Android or iPhone. Then, reboot your Android or iOS device, reinstall them via the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store , and set everything up from scratch.

13. Reset Network Settings

You can patch out broken or corrupt network configurations from interfering with Outlook by resetting the network settings on your Android or iOS device.

Reset Network Settings on Android

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Select System

3. Select Reset.

4. Tap Network settings reset.

5. Tap Network Settings Reset to confirm.

Reset Network Settings on iOS

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Select General

3. Select Reset.
4. Network Settings Reset.

5. Tap Reset Network Settings to confirm.

After the network settings reset, use cellular data or Wi-Fi (you must add Wi-Fi networks from scratch) and check if Outlook syncs your data properly.

Outlook App Not Syncing

Hopefully, the troubleshooting tips above worked, and you’re back to using Outlook without issues on your Android or iOS device. To minimize the chances of problems messing things up in the future, make it a point to keep the email client up-to-date. You should also install the latest system software updates whenever possible.


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 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.