Computeractive 613

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
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor

I remember getting my first 2GB USB stick and wondering what I could possibly fill it with. This was in the days before smartphones that recorded everything you did, creating large files in the process. Yes, I had some photos and hundreds of documents, but they were measured in mere kilobytes. That left a lot of empty space. As usual, I had underestimated the speed with which technology advances and prices fall. Within a month of getting my first smartphone I had recorded enough video to fill several 2GB sticks, and was already looking to buy 8GB replacements. These days, anything less than 64GB is widely seen as insufficient. In our Cover Feature Nik Rawlinson explains how you can make the most of these mighty sticks (64GB and up). I suspect many…

1 min
windows 11’s new snipping tool & mail revealed

Microsoft has unveiled how the Snipping Tool, Mail, Calendar and Calculator tools will look in Windows 11, and revealed new features you’ll be able to use. Writing on its blog (, Microsoft said the new Snipping Tool will be a revamp of the Windows 10 version, and is launched by pressing Windows key+Shift+S. This is the same shortcut that currently opens the ‘Snip & Sketch’ tool in Windows 10. Snip & Sketch will not be part of Windows 11. The shortcut brings up a menu with the options Rectangular Snip, Freeform Snip, Windows Snip and Fullscreen Snip (left to right in screenshot 1 above). Microsoft claims these options will make capturing screenshots “super easy”. It also has tools for editing your screenshots, including annotations and cropping. The main tweaks to the Mail and…

1 min
what we think

You don’t have to take as many screenshots as us (there were 118 in Issue 612) to appreciate that Windows badly needed a fresh tool for the job. The new-look Snipping Tool seems to be just that. Taking the keyboard shortcut from ‘Snip & Sketch’ is a great idea, while the four ‘Snip’ options keep things simple. It’s also welcome that there’ll be just one screenshot tool. Too often Microsoft has confused users by offering several tools that do similar things. We’ll let you know what else is announced before launch.…

1 min
windows 11 ‘to delay chromebooks’

Manufacturers are beginning to prioritise Windows 11 laptops above Chromebooks, industry analysts have said. Market research firm IDC said production of Chromebooks will fall because manufacturers make higher profits on Windows machines, which tend to be much more expensive. IDC claims the global shortage of processors will make the move away from Chromebooks faster than it otherwise would’ve been. With fewer chips available, manufacturers will have to be far choosier about the machines they make. Some industry bosses now expect the shortage to continue until 2023, as supplies remain hit by fresh waves of Covid-19 in Taiwan and Malaysia, home to some of the world’s biggest processor plants. Lenovo, the world’s biggest computer manufacturer, said last autumn that it could have increased production by 30 to 40 per cent had it not been for…

1 min
microsoft defender now blocks unwanted software by default

Microsoft has updated Defender so it now blocks unwanted software by default. This option was introduced in the Windows 10 May 2020 Feature update (version 2004), but until now you’ve had to turn it on for it to work. Once activated, it will prevent what Microsoft calls “potentially unwanted applications” (PUAs) from being installed on your computer. These aren’t classified as malware, but as “software that can cause your device to run slowly, display unexpected ads, or at worst, install other software which may be more harmful or annoying”. The description covers many of the tools we expose in our ‘Named & Shamed’ section (page 21). They can include software that gathers your data without permission, antivirus programs that use false positives to exaggerate the risk you face, and tools that don’t…

1 min
send private items on whatsapp that can be seen just once

WhatsApp now lets you send photos and videos that disappear from the chat after they’ve been opened by the recipient, making it safer to send sensitive information such as passwords. The new ‘View Once’ feature means sent items won’t be saved to the recipient’s Photos or Gallery folder, so can never be seen again, nor forwarded to anyone else. If not opened within 14 days, the sent items will be removed from the chat. However, recipients are able to take a screenshot or screen recording of the content before it disappears, and you won’t be notified if this happens. They’re also able to take a photo or video of the information with a camera. As a result, WhatsApp warns users to send sensitive information only to “trusted individuals”. After the item has been…