Computeractive is the UK’s best-selling computer magazine and your friendly guide to PCs, gadgets and the web! It includes regular news updates, project ideas, help and advice on popular reader queries, articles on anti-virus software, features on consumer rights, and a whole lot more to help you get the very best out of your computer. Get PC advice in plain English today – get Computeractive!

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
$3.58(Incl. tax)
$54.02(Incl. tax)
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor

Spam seemed to get a lot worse in 2021. I reckon I spent 20 minutes every day dealing with nuisance calls, scam texts and dodgy emails. That was 121 hours wasted when I could’ve been doing something more productive, like attempting to cancel the direct debit to my defunct energy company (10 emails, 14 phone calls and counting). My New Year’s resolution, therefore, is to change my name to Engelbert Flimflam, move to 67 Collywobble Crescent, and ask the web to give me a new face. We explain how to do all three plus much more in our Cover Feature, which is a lot less daunting – and sinister – than it sounds. Faking your identity is not pretending to be someone else. It’s pretending to be someone who doesn’t exist (and…

2 min
switching from edge to be made easier in windows 11

Microsoft will soon make it easier to change your default browser in Windows 11, allowing you to use Chrome, Firefox and others rather than sticking with Edge. Currently, if you don’t want to use Edge, you have to go through the lengthy process of setting your preferred browser as the default for each different file and link type you want it to open, including HTML, PDF and HTTPS. In contrast, Windows 10 lets you set a new default browser in a few clicks: open Settings (Windows key+I), click Apps, select ‘Default apps’ on the left then choose your browser from the ‘Web browser’ list. Some browsers, including Brave and Firefox, have already released new versions that let you change your default without clicking lots of settings (see Issue 621, page 53). But criticism of…

1 min
support ends for windows 10 2004

Microsoft has now ended support for the May 2020 Feature Update for Windows 10 (version 2004), and is encouraging anyone running it to update their system to a more recent edition. To see if you have an update pending, open Settings (Windows key+I), click ‘Update & Security’, then Windows Update on the left. Now click the ‘Check for updates’ button. The company supports Feature updates for 18 months after release, as confirmed on its Lifecycle page: The November 2020 Update (20H2) will be the next version to lose support, on 10 May.…

1 min
euro 2020 scores big in google’s 2021 searches

Football dominated Google searches in the UK during 2021 as England reached the final of Euro 2020 – their first tournament final since winning the World Cup in 1966. ‘Euros’ was Google’s top trending search term for the year, which means it had the biggest increase compared with 2020. It was followed by ‘Premier League’ and ‘Christian Eriksen’, who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark against Finland in the tournament. Only one term in the top 10 (see box below left) relates directly to the Covid-19 pandemic (‘Covid vaccine’), though ‘Matt Hancock’ appears in sixth place. The Conservative MP for West Suffolk resigned as Health Secretary in June after revelations that he had broken Covid rules by having an affair. Three of the top searches were for people who died during…

1 min
scams must be covered in online safety bill, say mps

Websites should be forced to treat online fraud as seriously as terrorism and prevent scams from appearing, a group of MPs and peers has said. It’s one of the recommendations made by the parliamentary committee scrutinising the landmark Online Safety Bill, which the Government hopes to make law in 2022. The committee said scams such as fake financial adverts should be classed as ‘priority illegal content’, meaning sites would be required to stop them appearing in the first place. It also recommended that porn websites must demonstrate what they’re doing to stop under-18s accessing their content. Damian Collins, chairman of the joint committee issuing the report, said that “for too long, big tech has got away with being the land of the lawless”. He added: “A lack of regulation online has left too many people…

1 min
in brief

GOOGLE CLOSES TOOLBAR AFTER 21 YEARS Google has closed its internet toolbar, which was one of its oldest surviving tools. It launched in 2000 for Internet Explorer as a way to search the web without having to open Google’s home page, but became obsolete when browsers began to let you search by typing in the URL address bar. Google confirmed its closure at AUSSIE WINS EXCEL WORLD CUP 2021 Australian Andrew Ngai has been crowned the world’s top Excel expert after winning the 2021 Financial Modeling World Cup. He won $10,000 (about £7,500) after beating seven other finalists who had to solve increasingly complicated problems using spreadsheets. All the spreadsheet calculations were recorded online, and are available to watch on YouTube:…