5 Ways to Boost PC Performance

Written by Janice
Writer


June 29 - (10 Min Read)

Do pardon my French, but does your PC need a kick in the ass? If yes, it’s safe to say that the new PC charm has worn off, and long gone are the days when you could soar through your workload without a hitch! Don’t fret! There are ways to improve PC performance, but first, you have to understand why such issues arise.

If you are not a techie person nor ever aspire to be one, you may skip the whole article and simply download Ellp. It will do all the PC maintenance for you and more than that – will help you boost your productivity and performance, too!

This is not a trial. It’s yours to keep!

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Why is your PC running slow?

Over time and use, your PC tends to slow down, mostly because it’s full to the brim with your downloaded applications and software, along with other files, such as photos and videos. Other contributing factors might be bad computer habits, such as disregarding standard scheduled maintenance, running multiple programs at once and putting your PC to sleep instead of shutting it down on a daily basis. Whoops! Guilty! I do these more often than I’d like to admit.

With that said, it all boils down to the fact that, with regular use your PC tends to build up unwanted files and fragments your hard drive, resulting in a slow PC, which in turn affects your productivity. All of these problems can be easily taken care of, either by yourself if you have the time and tech knowledge, or by an automation program if you value your time and peace. Either way, they need to be addressed, because if not such issues continue to pile up, with the ultimate result being that you’re presented with a ‘new clunker’ in your life – your PC.

Below, you can find top 5 tips that we have prepared for you to guide you on how to boost your PC performance with no drama and no money involved.

1. Boot your PC and manage startup programs

We tend to brush the first one off. Why? We want to get to work as soon as possible and therefore, if we simply put our PC to sleep, all we have to do is login and not wait for it to start up. Bad call! Starting your PC after a proper shutdown or restarting your PC, helps your computer to recalibrate after a day of work. After all, everyone needs a little shut-eye!

Having multiple programs opening up upon PC startup may hinder your PC startup time. Chances are that these programs continue to run in the background well after startup, using up your PC’s memory. Ellp can help you monitor which applications are slowing your PC at startup by simply activating the ‘When an application start slowing down my PC startup, alert me’ card. When activated, Ellp will pinpoint the applications slowing down your PC startup time. This way you can access the Task Manager, and just go straight to the applications that are delaying you from getting on with your work.

manage-startup-programs

2. Clear out unused programs and applications

Programs and applications tend to take up a lot of space. If they’re used on a regular basis then it’s all well and good, however, if you no longer make use of them, then you might want to consider getting rid of them.

A Pro Tip: Only remove programs and application you recognize, so as to avoid uninstalling any important programs you might need in the future.

Follow these steps to uninstall:

  • Access the Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Programs and Features

From the list provided, simply right-click on the program or application and select Uninstall. If it doesn’t allow you to uninstall, it means that the program or application is a default program or app.

PS. Some really important programs cannot be uninstalled as they are inbuilt and part of your PC’s factory settings.

This is not a trial. It’s yours to keep!

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3. Delete unwanted files

When was the last time you went through your files and cleared unneeded and unwanted files out? Most probably it’s been a while and it’s now taking its toll on PC performance. Keep in mind that the more files you accumulate, the slower and more cluttered your PC will become. Not only that, but these files also take up valuable space on your hard drive. Ellp can easily keep track of such files and your disk’s storage space by utilizing the following Ellp cards:

  • ‘When my downloads folder is filling up, clear out the old stuff’

When activated and time limit for how long old items can stay within the Downloads folder is set, Ellp will notify you whenever your Downloads folder is filling up and with your approval it will clear out the old stuff for you, allowing you to reclaim valuable space.

  • ‘When my Recycle Bin is filling up, keep it clean’

This is one of the folders that is usually packed with unwanted files, however, we never get around to clearing it. This card will do the trick, as once activated it will alert you every time your Recycle Bin is close to being overloaded with old stuff, so you can keep it clean.

  • ‘When my hard disk is getting full, free up space’

By making use of this card, Ellp will inform you whenever your hard drive is close to getting full, and will then free up space for you. Not to worry, Ellp will only delete any temporary and junk files that are no longer needed by you or your PC, so no important files will be deleted. Once such files have been cleared out, Ellp will then notify you with the amount of space regained.

manage -storage-space-cards

4. Defrag your Hard Disk

For some this might be a head spinner, but don’t worry – we’re here to help. Basically, it’s a way of reconfiguring all the empty spaces found on your drive, which affect the way your hard drive thinks. In the sense that, some programs and files might take longer to open up and therefore by rearranging how your drive structure, you improve your PC performance.

To defrag your drive you can do it yourself by following these steps:

  • Open File Explorer and right-click on the hard drive and select Properties. Under the Tools tab, you’ll see Optimize and defragment drive with the option to ‘Optimize’.

If you don’t feel comfortable to defrag your drive yourself you can seek the help of free defrag tools.

defrag disk

5. Do regular maintenance

One of the best ways to get the most out of your PC is to schedule regular maintenance. That is, making sure that you don’t put off software updates and that you update all programs and run security scans, to check for viruses, spyware and any other kind of malware. Performing such regular check, not only improves the functionality of your system but also help patch any security glitches.

It might seem a bit of a tedious and daunting task, because let’s face it, it takes a long time to go through and action all of the above. However, by performing such tasks, you can optimize and boost PC performance along the way.

But yet again, here at Ellp, we ask ourselves this simple question: Why to do it yourself if Ellp can do it for you?

This is not a trial. It’s yours to keep!

Free Download

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We wrote Boost PC Performance article to guide you on how to set up Ellp to extend your PC lifetime. We hope you find it useful. If you are curious how our users rate Ellp, here is the link to Ellp’s testimonials page for you!

If you like this article, please make sure you share it with friends. All it takes is one click and it helps us grow – and PC – live longer. Thank you! We appreciate each share.

Boost PC Startup Time with Ellp

PC startup card
Written by Janice
Writer


April 27 - (2 Mins Read)

If there’s one thing I dread, it’s a sluggish PC! Unfortunately, we’ve all experienced it at some point or another, turning on our PC and having to wait for ages before it even loads Windows and that’s not all because then we’d have to wait a couple more minutes to finally be able to start working. Bummer, right?!

There are many possible reasons why your PC may be running slow at startup, from temporary files, web browser data, security threats, and more. The list is neverending! However, there’s one thing that affects PC startup time more than the rest, and that’s large and bulky applications that keep running in the background which as a result cause slow bootup time.

So what can be done to remedy this? Don’t fret! Ellp can help with this. There’s one particular card that solely focuses on applications that slow down PC startup time. By simply activating the, ‘When an application starts slowing down my PC startup, alert me’ card, Ellp will let you know which applications are slowing it down. This way you can stop wasting time and just go straight to the applications that are delaying you from getting on with your work and close them, allowing you to get straight to the important stuff!

If you enjoyed reading this post and found it useful, feel free to share 🙂

Your 2017 Tech Resolutions

Written by Kristina
Customer Success


January 5 - (3 Min Read)

New year’s resolutions usually tend to revolve around self-improvement – diet, exercise and the like. But, how many of us actually stick to them? The reality is that only very few of us do! So why not try a different kind of new year’s resolution this year? Instead of just focusing on physical self-improvement and stressing about hitting the gym and counting the tires gained over the holidays, why not tend to your digital health as well?

Here are our top 5 recommendations for tech resolutions that will help you simplify your daily routine.

1. Backup Your Data
If you have important files on your device make sure, to back them up. Losing your data can be an absolute nightmare! To safeguard yourself, back everything up daily if not hourly, and always be prepared for the worst case scenario. Try setting up automated backups, using Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive, whereby all your data is synced for you hassle free! Alternatively, you can use external hard drives. If you’re totally committed to your precious files and memories like me, I suggest taking more than one measure for backing up.

2. Password Manager
In today’s day and age, there are passwords for absolutely everything. Good thing they’re there don’t get me wrong! They safeguard my personal information, not to mention they give hackers a super hard time. Although I can’t but help to have this love-hate relationship with them. Don’t you?! I can’t remember the majority of my passwords to save my life. So if you’re finding it hard to remember your passwords like me, I suggest you consider using a password manager, which can store all your passwords for you in one place. All you need to do is just remember one master password and you’re in!

3. Sort out Your Photos
If you’re snap-happy like me, then your photo library must be full to the brim! After all the events during the festivities, I’m sure you’re already loaded with more snaps. Well, I sure am! I tend to organize all my albums by creating folders for each year, within each of these folders I split the album further into 4 separate folders for each season. This way I’ll always find it easy to find the photo I’m looking for. Start out by making a plan that works for you and decide where you want to store everything. Once your plan is set, the easier it will be to sort them.

4. Organize your Inbox and Unsubscribe from Junk Mail
One of the biggest issues for me is getting my inbox to zero, and keeping it that way! If like me you’re bombarded with tons of emails each day, then you’ll need to re-strategize ASAP! I suggest sorting your inbox into folders and sub-folders and get rid of any unwanted clutter. TIP: Why not start with unsubscribing from all the junk mail? Try unsubscribing from 5 lists daily, believe me, it makes a huge difference and your inbox would look so much cleaner!

5. Maintain Your Devices
Give your device some TLC! Just like us, devices also need attention. Constant use of your device will undoubtedly take a toll on its performance. Good thing for us, there are a number of things that can be done to extend your device’s lifetime. If it starts acting up and feels sluggish, freeing up some storage space will go a long way. You might also want to check out the condition of your batteries, as these are the first to go. If your device battery is taking it’s last few breaths then it’s time to start thinking of replacing it. Also, make sure your screen is always well protected. We’ve all been guilty of butter fingers! Device maintenance is paramount and should be done on a regular basis or it will eventually die on you!

Hope you found these recommendations useful. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our readers. We’ll keep filling our blog with more helpful and insightful articles. If you’d like us to cover a particular topic, get in touch. We’ll be happy to write about it!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Wishing you health and happiness 🙂

Yours Truly,
K

How to Avoid Messing Up Your PC

Written by Kristina
Customer Success


December 1 - (4 Min Read)

We’ve all experienced our fair share of computer issues, from PC slow down, a jam-packed hard drive, lurking viruses and Trojans… these are just some of the many PC hurdles you will come across. Dealing with these problems can be pretty frustrating, costly and time-consuming, to say the least! Luckily, there are solutions to combat such stresses. First, we need to understand the root of the problem, which is us! Not many of us realize that a lot of the time, we’re the source of such outcomes. Without knowing we find plenty of ways to contribute towards messing up our PC. From overloading them with tons of applications, software, videos, and pictures, to pressing the wrong key combinations which may change important PC settings, not to mention leaving traces of confidential information behind which can easily be accessed by hackers and identity thieves. I’m not here to judge, it happens to the best of us 🙂 But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Here are 5 successful ways to help you combat common PC issues:

1. Backup your data
Losing data can be an absolute nightmare! It’s very important to backup your data as you never know what might happen to your PC. Your documents, audio files, videos and precious photo moments are irreplaceable. Backup daily, if not hourly (especially for those of you who are constantly working on projects). With today’s technological advancements you can simply back everything up on the cloud, such as Google Drive and Dropbox. If you’re old-school and prefer something more tangible you can opt for traditional backup methods such as external drives. Word of advice, be wary, as external drives can also die on you! Always prepare for the worst case scenario. By using online and external storage space, you’ll be able to relieve some space from your probably very loaded hard drive.

2. Update your antivirus software
Not updating your antivirus software? Bad move! I know antivirus software can be a pain at times, as it tends to get in the way, but you can’t afford to go without one. This can spare you the huge ordeal of having to deal with viruses, malware and Trojans. Remember, protection is key to a healthy PC!

3. Create strong passwords
Everyone gets a bit paranoid at the thought of having their device and online accounts hacked. This is why rocking solid passwords should be at the top of your list. Yes, it’s passwords, PLURAL, as you should have more than one password for your devices and online accounts. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, like I do… no worries, you can simply use a password manager, which remembers all the passwords for you. If you’re not sure whether your passwords are strong enough, take a look at our previous blog on ‘How to Rock Passwords’.

4. Update your software
Putting off those software updates, are we?! Not a great call at all, especially since your PC’s operating system heavily relies on those updates. Besides improving the functionality of your system, such software updates also help to patch up any security glitches. So if you choose not to update your software, your PC may be at risk and vulnerable to hackers.

5. Ask for help when you need it
Let’s face it, we know a lot, but we don’t know it all. If you’re not sure about something ask first, as you may aggravate the situation more. Take it from someone who has experienced this, if you’re not sure about something, seek help from an IT support specialist. Don’t be afraid to ask for help 🙂

Stay plugged-in for more insightful articles. Tech topics such as storage, Internet, performance, social media, privacy, security, devices, multimedia, applications, power and more, are at the heart of our discussions. Stay on top of your device experience and get the latest how-to articles and top insights from our Ellpers.

Hasta!

Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Written by Kristina
Customer Success


October 27 - (8 Min Read)

Life hacks are all the hype these days! This comes as no surprise since many of us are constantly on the lookout for new and improved ways to simplify our lives. From speeding up efficiency, to increasing productivity, and desperately trying to minimize monotonous and annoying tasks we’re all searching for ‘click of a button’ solutions. Wouldn’t it be so much simpler to just take the shortcut, and go high speed into productivity mode? Constantly reaching for the mouse each time we want to apply a command can be annoying at times, especially when you’re too busy and trying to focus on the task at hand. This is where keyboard shortcuts come in handy. Not only are they faster to hit, they’re less time-consuming, and more precise.

Here’s a list of 10 must-absolutely-know shortcuts for Windows, that will help you speed up your PC activities:

  1. Command Prompt. What’s this?!
  2. Taking a Screenshot
  3. Open Settings Swiftly
  4. Cycle through items in the Taskbar
  5. Optimize Window Management with Task View
  6. Open and Close the Virtual Desktop
  7. Switch from one Virtual Desktop to the next
  8. Snap Assist
  9. Restore a Closed Browser Window
  10. Bookmark a Webpage
  1. Command Prompt. What’s this?!

Command prompt is a command line interpreter used to carry out entered commands. In some cases, such shortcuts need to be activated. To do this you’d need to open a command prompt by running a cmd.exe. Simply go to the Windows Start menu and in the search box type in ‘cmd.exe’ and run it, right-click and select ‘Properties’ from the drop-down menu. Once inside the Properties box, select the ‘Options’ tab and from the selection, tick ‘Enable new Ctrl key shortcuts’.

Here’s a bunch of the most popular and extensively used keyboard shortcuts that will help you with copying and pasting.

  • Ctrl + C – copies the selected text
  • Ctrl + V – pastes text at the cursor
  • Ctrl + A – selects all text and images on the clipboard
  • Ctrl + X – removes or ‘cuts’ the text so that you can paste it elsewhere
  • Ctrl + Z – undoes your last action

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  1. Taking a Screenshot

Instead of stuffing your PC with tons of files and documents, why not take a screenshot? This is a lot less time-consuming, it’s also perfect if you’re trying to save disk space.

To take a screenshot, simply press: Windows key + Prt Scr

All screenshots will be automatically saved on your PC. These can be found here: File Explorer\This PC\Documents\Pictures\Screenshots

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  1. Open Settings Swiftly

Want quick access to your settings? Simply press: Windows key + I on your keyboard. This will give you easy access to settings and tools for managing your PC.

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  1. Cycle through items in the Taskbar

Press: Windows key + T or Windows key + Shift + T

This keyboard shortcut allows you to move visual focus from the taskbar. By pressing ‘T’ again while still holding down the Windows key, you’ll be able to cycle through items in the taskbar. Enjoy pedaling away!

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  1. Optimize Window Management with Task View

Task View is a new feature for Windows, which opens and expands all your open windows so that you can view them all simultaneously.

Use these keys:

  • Windows key + Tab – Once you press and release both keys they will open the new task view interface, which will stay open even after keys are released.

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  • Alt + Tab – This is not a new shortcut for Windows, what it does is it gives you the possibility to cycle through open windows. By clicking on the Tab key, you can keep on flipping through windows.
  1. Open and Close the Virtual Desktop

Like the Task view, the Virtual Desktop feature is also new to Windows and both go hand in hand as they are integrated with one another. This feature allows you to create multiple desktops, which are able to hold their own set of application windows.

Use these keys:

  • Windows key + Ctrl + D – to create a new virtual desktop and switch to it
  • Windows key + Ctrl + F4 – to close current virtual desktop

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  1. Switch from one Virtual Desktop to the next

To do this, simply press and hold: Windows key + Ctrl + Left/ Right Arrows, to switch from one virtual desktop to another.

  1. Snap Assist

This feature was first introduced back in Windows 7 and has now been further enhanced and improved with the Windows 10 version. This window snapping feature helps you to speed up processes rapidly. Allowing you to snap windows from left to right, or from top to bottom by just pushing two buttons .

Press:

  • Windows key + Left Arrow – to snap window to the left
  • Windows key + Right Arrow – to snap window to the right
  • Windows key + Up Arrow – to snap window to the top of the screen
  • Windows key + Bottom Arrow –  to snap window to the bottom of the screen

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  1. Restore a Closed Browser Window

How many times have you accidentally closed a browser tab? I do it all the time 😕 But fret not! By pressing Ctrl + Shift + T, you’ll be able to reverse your action and reopen your last closed browser tab. Good save, right?

  1. Bookmark a Webpage

Do you like what you’re reading, would like to save this webpage for future reference? Simply hit, Ctrl + D, in your preferred search engine, be it Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, and a dialog box will pop up, which will prompt you to bookmark the page, edit the name of the bookmark, and even select the folder where you want to save it.

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We hope this blog post was as enlightening for you as it was for us, especially if you’re tight with time and would love to ease your daily routine with a few simple tricks! Stay plugged-in for more insightful blog posts.

Topics such as space, Internet, performance, privacy, security, devices, multimedia, applications, power and more, are at the heart of our discussions. Stay on top of your device experience and get the latest how-to articles and top insights from our Ellpers.

Questions you should ask before buying a new PC

Written by Kristina
Customer Success


October 20 - (5 Min Read)

Is your computer or laptop bogged down? Are you considering buying a new one? Before you do, we’re here to Ellp you figure it out!

We realize that purchasing a new laptop or computer can seem like a daunting task, a headache at times, and a tad confusing. Why?! Well, as I’m sure you’ll agree, the choice is plentiful, there are so many models to choose from, they come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention lots of colors too! There are so many options to consider – the sky’s the limit.

Here’s a few pointers you should take into consideration before taking the leap.

Part 1: Figure out what you want

1. Usability

First things first – you have to consider what the purchase is for and what kind of tasks you’ll be doing. Is it for home use, gaming or work? Keep in mind that different users have different needs. If you’re looking to use your device to simply surf the net and for the usual day-to-day stuff, then it might be best to invest in a dual-core computer or laptop. On the other hand, if you intend to use it for work purposes, video editing or gaming, then you might want to look at higher-end devices that have a quad-core chip, meaning that it would have four physical central processing units.

2. Style, Size and Weight

  • Style

As mentioned the variety of models to choose from are endless… this is why you have to do some thinking beforehand. Will you be stationed in one place or roaming around? If you’ll be working from one location then you might want to opt for a desktop. However, if you’re always on the go, then a laptop would be more ideal since you can carry it around with you.

  • Size

Laptop and PC screen sizes differ. You can choose from a wide range of options. If you’re after a good display you may prefer a larger laptop or a PC with a bigger screen, if you need portability, something on a smaller scale would be more appropriate.

  • Weight

This applies mainly to laptops. If you’re constantly carrying it around with you, ideally you opt for something that is more lightweight.

3. Operating System

The operating system depends on the kind of laptop or desktop you opt for. If you’re going for home use, the most popular and user-friendly operating system would be a Windows Starter or Home Premium version such as Windows 10. If you however, require something more high-tech, with enhanced features for heavy editing or gaming, then you may want to consider buying a Windows Professional edition or OS X which runs on Apple Mac or Macbook.

4. Processor

This is one of the most important components of your device, as it determines what kind of performance you can expect to experience. If it’s for home use you can opt for a dual-core processor. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re going to be using it for professional tasks a quad-core would be more ideal.

5. RAM and Hard Drive

These are both forms of computer storage, and are measured in gigabytes. The speed of your device, is very dependent on the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) you have. While the RAM is used for temporary storage, the hard drive or hard disk, is used for permanent storage, this is where all your precious files are stored. Today having the right amount of disk space is vital for the efficient management of daily tasks, however, that doesn’t mean that you need to go overboard buying tons of extra storage space.

So how much RAM does your PC or laptop really need? The recommended RAM storage space is between 8GB to 16GB. If you’re a basic user then 8GB should be enough, however, it might be a good idea to ramp it up to 16GB if you intend on doing a lot of graphic design work. If you’ll be using your laptop for gaming then you might also consider buying an elite gaming laptop with 32GB of RAM. Like laptops, 8GB of RAM is a good place to start for a desktop but if you’re a hardcore gamer or use your device for editing then an upgrade to 16GB is recommended. Serious workstation users might even want to upgrade to 32GB. With regards to the hard drive, it is suggested that you leave at least 10% free to avoid fragmentation.

6. Peripherals

These are the so-called ‘extras’, such as printers, scanners, mouse, etc which can significantly affect the price of purchasing a new computer or laptop. Let’s say you’re buying a laptop, you can easily avoid buying a mouse as it comes with an installed trackpad and therefore a mouse would be an extra cost. Think about this before you purchase!

Part 2: Do your research

1. Where to buy your device?

If you want a brand new product with a warranty, then you’ll want to look at retail sites or shops that are authorized sellers. If, on the other hand, you don’t mind second-hand items then you might consider looking at sites such as eBay.

2. Price

Always take into consideration your budget first! It’s useless looking at fancy features and other peripherals if your pockets are only half full. Take a good look at different sites and sellers to get an idea of the price range. Keep an eye out for offers, you might find yourself a good deal!

3. Warranty

Warranties are important! Make sure to check the specifics before purchasing. Usually, all computers and laptops come with a standard one-year warranty, however, if you feel like you need additional coverage you can pay extra for an extended warranty.

Our last tip is, don’t be afraid to ask questions whilst browsing the stores. After all, you’ll be paying good money for the device you’ll eventually purchase. Shop around and choose wisely!

Topics such as space, Internet, performance, privacy, security, devices, multimedia, applications, power and more, are at the heart of our discussions. Stay on top of your device experience and get the latest how-to articles and top insights from our Ellpers.

10 Killer Tech Hacks

Written by Kristina
Customer Success


October 12 - (6 Min Read)

The lives we lead today, are hectic to say the least! We’re always on the go, getting 101 things done, crossing out check lists, rushing around – I’m already getting dizzy just thinking about how busy life gets! To add on to being busy in the real world, we have become even busier in the virtual world. Using technology in our day-to-day lives has added more steps, tasks and activities to our daily routine.

Living in a technological world can be complex! With that being said, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to simplify things, and start working smarter with our tech. But how? A good place to start is by getting to know your device and learning what more is has to offer you.

We’ve scoured through the darkest corners of the web in search of the ultimate tech hacks that will certainly help you make better use of your device, not to mention your time too!

Here’s our top 10 tech hacks hand picked just for you:

1. Charge Faster

Desperate to see your device come back to life much faster?! Charge at a more rapid pace by either putting your phone in flight mode, or by switching off all the power consuming features which drain the life out of your device like; WiFi, Bluetooth, location services and the like.

2. Enable Virtual Desktops

What’s this? Virtual desktops basically show you all the open windows on your desktop in a more organized manner, and in just one window. This way you won’t need to stay browsing through multiple windows to access something specific. To enable Virtual Desktops on Windows® simply press ‘Win+Tab’ buttons to get the Aero (Aerial) view. To create numerous categorized windows just click  ‘+New Desktop’. Now you can enjoy quick and organized navigation!

3. Locate your lost device

This is one of my fav ones! To locate your device, simply enable the ‘Find my Device’ in Windows® and Voilà you can locate your lost device. It’s important to note that if you’ve already lost your device, there’s usually no way to enable this remotely. This must be something you set up beforehand…i.e as soon as possible!

4. Take lots of Screenshots and snippets!

Instead of saving whole files and docs, jotting things down on stickies, and leaving lots of notes all over the place, you can take clippings and snippets of the bits that matter to you! This way you’ll always have what you need in ‘one’ central place.This will also help you save plenty of time! To take full screenshots on your PC simply hit the ‘Prt Scr’ button located on your keyboard. If you would like to take a selective screenshot of part/s of your screen, you can use a Snipping program.

5. Pin Tabs

Are you always unintentionally closing your daily tabs? Don’t worry…I did too! But now I pin them. Here’s how; if you’re using Internet Explorer, drag the tab from the browser to the taskbar, or if you’re using Google Chrome, simply right-click the tab you want to pin and select ‘Pin Tab’.

Now for some more intense hacks…

6. Open a Temporary Notepad

Need to scribble down something quickly but have nowhere to write it? No worries, we’ve got you sorted! Simply type in or paste this data:text/html,,into the address bar of your preferred search engine. Isn’t that neat?! Tip: Remember to bookmark it for future use.

7. View Masked Passwords

At website login pages, you can view masked passwords by simply replacing the password input type with the word ‘text’. After you type in your password, right-click and from the drop down menu select ‘Inspect Element’ and then change the ‘password’ input to ‘text’. You’ll be able to see your password in text immediately.

8. Get rid of those Annoying Newsletters

Don’t feel like looking for newsletters one by one, no problem! Just go into your email, be it Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc…head to your inbox and in the search box, type in ‘Unsubscribe’. A list of all the emails you can unsubscribe from will appear, now you can go ahead with unsubscribing and clearing out all that junk mail more efficiently. You’re welcome 😉

9. Google Hangouts Easter Eggs

Bored of the standard chat options? Want to spice up your chat windows? Google’s got a treat for you! Google Hangouts has hidden tricks that you probably didn’t know about…until now! Just open Hangouts and type in one of the following;  LMAO!!, /ponystream, /ponies, /shydino, woot!!, Happy Birthday!, /bikeshed, /pitchforks, or Happy New Year! and start enjoying these fun hidden treats (A.K.A Easter eggs). It’s not about chocolate I’m afraid – but it sure is fun!

10. Activate GodMode

This hidden tweak offers you easy access to a number of customization features on Windows. The best part is that it’s free and so easy to install. All you have to do is:

  • Right-click on your desktop to create a new folder and rename the folder with the following string ‘GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}’.
  • Hit enter and the icon will resemble that of the Control Panel
  • Open the folder and Bingo! – you’ll have easy access to a wide range of features.

There you have it – 10 tech hacks to ease your day-to-day device tasks. Stress less, and enjoy making more time for the things that matter!

Topics such as space, Internet, performance, privacy, security, devices, multimedia, applications, power and more, are at the heart of our discussions. Stay on top of your device experience and get the latest how-to articles and top insights from our Ellpers.

5 Signs your Device is Dying on You

Written by Kristina
Customer Success


September 29 - (3.5 Min Read)

Our electronic devices have become a fundamental and indispensable part of our everyday lives. So much so, that we even personify and attribute them with human traits and characteristics. Just like any other gadget, devices also come with a shelf life and are equally prone to damage and rundown. Unlike us humans, who speak out when we’re in pain, or like our cars which start emitting smoke or making loud clanking noises to alert us that something’s wrong, devices on the other hand, don’t speak up or make any sudden noises. So it’s not always so easy to tell when your device is troubled or nearing its end. However, with a little bit of Ellp and guidance you may be able to identify the warning signs.

Now, we’re all guilty of stuffing our devices full to the brim, with loads of personal documents, applications, audio files, images and videos. Imagine losing that data! That would be an absolute nightmare! More often than not, such casualties usually happen when you least expect them to, with little or no warning at all. Am I right? And suddenly things start hitting the fan! All your precious files  are gone, vanished into thin air – poof!

Lucky for us, our devices do give out some warning signs of their gradual failure. Here are a few tell-tale signs:

1. Battery runs down quickly

This symptom is more of a warning for your device’s battery, rather than your actual device. However, a device with no battery, be it a laptop, tablet or smartphone, is of no use. Batteries deteriorate overtime as they complete what are called ‘charge cycles’, meaning that the older the device is, the more cycles it has done.

Solution: Simple – change your device’s battery. This might be a bit costly, but it will prolong your device’s battery life. You can also refer to our previous blog post, here, for tips on how to extend and improve battery life.

2. Frozen Pixels and Dodgy Display

The screen of any device is of primary importance. It’s the part that you can’t stay without. If you suddenly start experiencing random flickers and weird lines on the screen, this could be a sign of screen failure. Repeated appearances of frozen pixels are a clear indication that your display is past its prime time and needs fixing ASAP.

Solution: Take your device to a repair shop and leave it to the professionals to fix or replace it for you. Or, you can apply slight pressure to the area affected on your device. Although this method is a bit futile it might actually help, but beware as this  might worsen the situation, so be careful!

3. Overheating

If your device is heating up excessively, then it’s a strong hint that your device is not working properly, especially if it’s heating up without any ongoing operation from your behalf. Especially within one hour of switching it on. Such excessive overheating can cause your device to slow down, subsequently even causing early failure of numerous system components effected before their time, which in turn can diminish your device’s lifespan.

Solution: Ideally you don’t leave your device lying around in extreme ambient temperatures such as direct sunlight or in extremely cold weather. Also, it is highly recommended to get your device checked out immediately so as to avoid damaging your device even further.

4. Crashing Apps and Operating System

New updates can prove to be quite unpredictable. As operating systems are updated, older devices tend to start slowing down due to lack of compatibility. Sadly, this also applies to apps. As apps are constantly being updated, older software stops working properly. As a result you’ll end up missing out on the latest features, and will likely start experiencing regular app crashing.

Solution: Avoid downloading and updating your device with any new apps or operating system upgrades that are not compatible with your device. Also, if the app crashes and OS rebooting notifications continue to pop up, ideally you backup your device and opt for a complete system format.

5. Unresponsive Buttons & Keyboard

This is the normal wear and tear, which is to be expected! Such issues however, can still interfere with your work and  your daily device activities. It can be quite frustrating having a missing or faulty key, or unresponsive button.

Tablets and Smartphones

Solution: If it’s the volume buttons that have stopped working, you can easily access these through the settings on your device. However, if it’s the home or power button, you can check about having these re-calibrated, however, for most it’s a clear indication that you might want to consider replacing your device.

Laptop/ Desktop keyboard

Solution: If one key comes off, it’s only a matter of time before the others follow! It’s suggested that you start looking for replacement keys or otherwise out with the old, and in with the new  🙂

We hope this blog post was informative for you, especially if you’re currently experiencing such issues! Stay plugged-in for more insightful blog posts.

Topics such as space, internet, performance, privacy, security, devices, multimedia, applications, power and more, are at the heart of our discussions. Stay on top of your device experience and get the latest how-to articles and top insights from our Ellpers.