How to Rename Libraries, Computer, and Favorites in Windows 7 Explorer’s Navigation Pane

Over at the Tweaking with Vishal site, he’s posted a guide to using a registry hack to rename Computer, Network, Libraries, and the rest of the items in the Windows 7 Explorer navigation pane.
You can rename the Computer item anytime you want by right-clicking on the Computer icon and renaming it, but for the rest you’re going to need a registry hack instead.
The basic idea is that you need to browse down to these keys:

Favorites - HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}
Libraries - HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}
Homegroup - HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}
Network - HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}

Once you’re there, you have to change the permissions on the LocalizedString value to give yourself ownership, and then rename the value to whatever you want to rename the items to. It’s fairly simple, but as usual, you should be careful when making registry hacks.
How to Rename “Favorites”, “Libraries”, “Homegroup”, “Computer” and “Network” Items in Windows 7 Explorer’s Navigation Pane? [Tweaking with Vishal]

How to Make Your Smartphone, Computer, or Tablet Always Listen For Voice Commands

Always-listening voice commands are a big thing now. You don’t need an Xbox one or Amazon Echo for this — just make your phone, tablet, or computer always listen for voice commands.
These features don’t send everything you say to a central server. They just analyze the sound nearby until they notice you’ve said the activation phrase, and then they kick into action.


iPhone & iPad

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Google added this feature to Android first, but Apple has followed — well, tentatively. There’s no way to have Siri on your iPhone or iPad always listening for your voice — Apple’s devices just don’t have the low-power audio processing chip they need for this feature.
But you can have your iPhone and iPad always listen for voice commands when it’s plugged in and charging. To activate this feature, open the Settings app, tap General, and tap Siri. Activate the “Allow “Hey Siri”” option here.

When your iPhone or iPad is plugged in and charging, you can just say “Hey Siri” out loud to activate Siri. So, if you plug it in every night when you go to bed, you can say “Hey Siri” followed by “Set an alarm for 7 a.m.” to set an alarm for the next morning. You shouldn’t have to pause after saying “Hey Siri” — just keep talking normally.


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Android 5.0 Lollipop and 4.4 KitKat offer support for starting a voice command by just saying “OK Google” even when the screen is off, assuming your device has the hardware to support it. Even if you don’t have the special hardware, you can use “OK Google” from anywhere when your device’s screen is on or when it’s charging.
To enable this feature, open the “Google” app in your app drawer, tap the menu button at the top-left corner of the app, tap “Settings,” tap “Voice,” and tap “”OK Google” detection.”

By default, it’s often just enabled for “From the Google app,” which allows you to say “OK Google” and start a voice command from within the Google app. You can also select “From any screen” and “OK Google” will work in any app when your screen is on — or while charging it. You may also be able to choose “Always on,” depending on your device’s charger. Choose this option and you can start using voice commands even when your device’s screen is off. The options here allow you to control whether personal results are shown when your screen is locked.

Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS

These features haven’t really made their ways to desktop operating systems. Microsoft is working on Integrating Cortana into Windows 10, but it’s not available yet. Apple hasn’t integrated Siri into Mac OS X.
Google has integrated “OK Google” support into Google Chrome. By default, you can click the microphone icon on the new tab page or to start a voice search.
But you can also have Chrome listen for “OK Google” so you don’t have to click that icon. Visit the Settings page in Chrome and search for “OK Google” — or click “Advanced settings” and scroll down to the Privacy section. Enable the “Enable OK Google” check box.

You can now open the new tab page or Google’s homepage and just say “OK Google” out loud to start a voice search. It doesn’t actually listen all of the time.
Google’s experimenting with adding always-on “OK Google” search to Chromebooks so it’ll be available whenever your screen is on. Expect to see this feature in future versions of Chrome OS.

Yes, there are voice commands built into Windows and Mac OS X but they’re probably not the sort of commands you’re looking for. They’re designed for navigating your desktop and are convenient, but they’re not the kind of smart commands you’ll find on a modern mobile device. They may still be useful — feel free to give them a look.
RELATED ARTICLESHow to Get Started With Speech Recognition on Windows 7 or 8Use Voice Dictation To Speak To Your Mac

Expect to see voice commands become more and more common going forward. They’ll be integrated into Windows 10 and modern versions of Mac OS X. On mobile devices, they’ll be easier to activate — even when running on battery power.

How to Safely Share Your Smartphone, Computer, or Tablet With a Guest

All modern smartphone, tablet, and desktop operating systems offer secure ways to give a guest access to your computer. Lock them to a specific app or give them restricted access to your PC. Forget looking over their shoulder!
Just using a profile switcher like the one in Chrome isn’t the best way to do this, although it does at least give your guest their own browsing session — assuming they don’t switch back to yours with a few clicks.


iPhone and iPad

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Lock Down Your iPad or iPhone For Kids
The “Guided Access” feature on iOS allows you to temporarily restrict your iPhone or iPad to a single app. You can then hand it over to someone else and allow them to use it — for example, to allow a friend to place a phone call without letting them see other apps, or to allow a child to play a game without worrying about them tapping through your emails. You’ll need to enter a passcode (or use Touch ID) to leave Guided Access.
To enable Guided Access, head to the Settings app, tap General, and tap Accessibility. Scroll down and tap “Guided Access” under Learning.
To activate Guided Access, open an app and then press the Home button three times in a row. You’ll be able to enable Guided Access and set a passcode. To leave the app, you’ll need to press the Home button three times and enter the passcode. Hand your phone or tablet to someone and they’ll be locked to that specific app.


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Pin Screens in Android 5.0 for More Security and Privacy
Android 5.0 Lollipop offers a “screen pinning” feature that allows you to lock your phone or tablet to single app before handing it to someone else — just like Guided Access on iOS. To enable this feature, open the Settings app, tap the Security category, and tap Screen pinning under Advanced. Enable the Screen pinning option.
Next, navigate to the app you want to “pin.” Open the Activity overview — tap the square button at the bottom of the screen — and tap the Pin icon on the thumbnail. (If you don’t see it, scroll down.) To unpin the app, touch and hold the activity overview button — the square one. You’ll have to enter your device’s PIN code to exit the app if you chose this option, so guests will be locked to that specific app until you get your phone or tablet back.

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Use Android 5’s Restricted User Profiles for Basic Parental Controls
Android 5.0 Lollipop also offers a Guest user mode. As of Android 5, user accounts are available on both smartphones and tablets. To use it, open the notification drawer, tap the user icon, and select Guest. This gives the guest restricted access to your smartphone or tablet, without access to your personal data. The data in Guest user mode is stored only temporarily, so you’ll be able to choose whether you want to resume the previous guest session or start fresh every time you sign in.

RELATED ARTICLEShare Your Android Tablet (and Keep Your Privacy) with a Guest Account
This isn’t so easy on previous versions of Android — that is, Android 4.4 and lower. If you have an Android tablet running Android 4.2, 4.3, or 4.4, you can at least create your own Guest user account. Android phones are out of luck, unless the device’s manufacturer built some custom guest-mode software into them — and some have.


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Let Someone Else Use Your Computer Without Giving Them Access To All Your Stuff
Microsoft Windows has a Guest account, but it isn’t enabled by default. To use it, you’ll need to visit the Control Panel and enable the Guest account. After this, you can log out of your computer — or just select Switch User — and log in with the Guest account. The Guest account doesn’t need a password. Any changes you make to the computer while in guest mode will be wiped clean after you log out, so every guest user has a fresh slate. These accounts are restricted, so they can’t install software or dig through your personal files.
To enable it, open the Control Panel and navigate to User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts > Manage Another Account. Click the Guest account and enable it.

Mac OS X

Mac OS X also has a Guest account, and it works similarly — it gives a person restricted access to the computer so they can’t make changes or access your personal files.  When they log out, any changes they’ve made or files they’ve downloaded to the Guest account will be wiped away.
This feature is enabled by default, so you can just log out by clicking the Apple menu and selecting Log Out, and then log in with the Guest User account. To change these options, open the System Preferences window and select Users & Groups. You can choose whether the Guest account is enabled from here. You can also enable the “Fast User Switching” menu from here, which allows you to quickly switch between user accounts so you can quickly give a guest access to the guest account without logging out of your Mac first.


Linux desktops often have guest accounts that work in the same way. Select the Guest user to get a restricted session, and any changes made to that session will be wiped away after you log out. Look for the Guest user option on your Linux desktop’s login screen. If you can’t find it, check your Linux desktop’s Users or Login preferences window and look for an option to enable a Guest user.
For example, on Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, just click the Guest Session icon below the list of users on the computer.

Chrome OS

Chromebooks offer a guest user account, too. This works just like a typical Chrome OS user account, but it allows you to browse the web without logging in with a Google account first. Any files downloaded or settings changed in the Guest account will be wiped away after you log out. It’s a convenient way to have someone borrow your Chromebook without having them enter their password and having their stuff synced to your device.
To use this feature, just log out of your Chromebook and click the Browse as Guest option at the bottom of the login screen.

Sure, you don’t have to use these modes if you trust the guest. But, when you need to hand a smartphone, tablet, or phone to a kid, it’s the safest way. Even if you trust someone, you don’t have to worry about them looking at your personal stuff or messing with anything — even accidentally.
Image Credit: Max Stotsky on Flickr

How to Force-Quit an Application on Any Smartphone, Computer, or Tablet

Ctrl+Alt+Delete isn’t just necessary on Windows and other desktop operating systems. Applications can freeze or get stuck in bad states on modern iPhones, iPads, and Android devices too.
Every operating system has a way to forcibly end misbehaving applications. After you do, you can relaunch them and they should hopefully work properly.


iPhone and iPad

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To force-quit a running app on an iPhone or iPad, double-press the Home button to open the list of recently opened applications. Scroll to the left and right to find the app you want to close. Touch the app’s thumbnail and slide it upward and off the screen. The next time you open the app, it will restart from scratch.
This won’t help you save system resources. You don’t need to do this to close apps just because you’re no longer using them. But, if an app is frozen or otherwise stuck in a bad state, this is a way to force-close it and force it to restart from a clean state.


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The easiest way to force-quit apps on Android is from the recent app switcher, too. Tap the multitasking button to open the list of recently accessed apps. On some devices, you may need to long-press the Home button or perform a different action if there’s no recent apps button.
Touch one of the apps thumbnails or cards in the list and swipe it to the left or right, moving it off the screen. The app will be closed and will open from a clean state the next time you access it.
As with on iOS, this isn’t something you should do unless you really have a reason to. You should generally let Android manage processes on its own — it’s the same reason why you shouldn’t use an automatic task killer.


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Use the Task Manager to do this on Windows. You don’t have to use Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Task Manager — a quicker way is pressing Ctrl+Shift+Escape. Or, with the mouse, right-click your taskbar and select the Task Manager shortcut.
Windows 8 has a nicer looking Task Manager, but Windows 7’s works just fine, too. Locate the window or application you want to force-quit and click the ‘End task” button.
You can force-quit “Store apps” from the Task Manager on Windows 8. You can also place your finger on the top of the screen and move it down until the app becomes a thumbnail, Move the thumbnail to the bottom of the screen. When it switches from a thumbnail of the currently running application to the generic tile image of the current application, release it. Windows will close the Store app.

Mac OS X

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Force Applications and Processes to Quit on OS X
On Mac OS X, press Command+Option+Escape to open the Force Quit Applications dialog. You can also just click the Apple menu on your menu bar and select Force Quit. This tool will help you quit those apps.
You can also hold the Option key and right-click an app’s icon on the dock. and then click the Force Quit option.
If you need a more powerful tool that also lists background processes and allows you to kill them, open the Activity Monitor application.


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Kill a Desktop Application or Background Process on Linux
Linux has its own set of utilities for force-closing desktop applications and killing processes. Each desktop environment includes its own process-management tool — like the Activity Monitor tool on Ubuntu’s Unity and GNOME-based desktops. There’s also the xkill command, which allows you to click a window and immediately close it. And, because this is Linux, there are many other terminal commands for quickly managing those processes.

Chrome OS (and Chrome)

Chrome OS uses Chrome’s task manager. Click the menu button, point to More tools, and select Task Manager to open it — or just press Shift+Esc on a Chromebook. Select one of the processes and click End Process to end it.
This also lets you manage the different processes Chrome uses for web pages, apps, and extensions when you run Chrome on Windows, Mac, or Linux. If a web page or app is frozen, use Chrome’s own Task Manager to identify the misbehaving process and kill it.

There are more powerful options for this, too. Mac OS X and Linux have powerful terminal commands for managing processes, and Windows has PowerShell cmdlets for killing processes. On Android, third-party apps can manage processes, and you’ll also find buttons for forcing apps to close in Android’s list of apps on the Settings screen.
Image Credit: Jennifer 8. Lee on Flickr