Computeractive 618

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

Have you upgraded to Windows 11 yet? I don’t blame you if you haven’t. With Windows 10 running so smoothly (the equal of Windows 7 for many – me included), upgrading requires considerable thought. It’s not as obvious a switch as from Vista to 7 (yes please!) or from 8 to10 (do it now!). What you need are detailed, informed reviews that scythe through Microsoft’s hype and tell you precisely what you need to know. I’ve read plenty online in the past few weeks, but they all seem to skip the important details that Nik Rawlinson highlights in this issue. His verdict: more positive than I was expecting, and less positive than Microsoft was hoping. Please tell me if it swayed your decision one way or the other. By the way, don’t…

2 min
backlash grows over changes to windows 11 taskbar

Windows 11 users are calling for Microsoft to tweak the taskbar to allow them to‘ungroup’ program icons, rather than always placing them together, as more people voice frustration about changes to the tool. A post on Windows 11’s Feedback Hub, which has received over 11,000 positive votes, complains that combining icons makes it harder to work quickly and efficiently. One frustrated user wrote: “Really hope this comes back. Windows 11 is far less productive given the number of apps and windows of the same apps run across multiple displays”. Windows 10 also groups program icons, but it’s seen as an annoyance by many users, and can be turned off. By default, it places together buttons that belong to the same program, in order to avoid filling up the taskbar. For example, multiple browser…

1 min
new power toys tool reveals where your cursor is

Microsoft has revealed a new PowerToys tool that helps you find where your mouse cursor is. The tool, yet to be named, darkens the screen except for the area around your cursor, isolating it in a brighter circle (see screenshot). It was demonstrated in a video ( on Twitter by Clint Rutkas, the lead developer of PowerToys. He said it would be helpful if you use multiple ultra-wide monitors that have a high resolution. He added that the tool finds your cursor more effectively than the current option in Windows. To use this, open Settings, then click Devices, followed by Mouse. Next, scroll down and click ‘Additional mouse settings’, then click the Pointer Options tab and tick the ‘Show location…’ box at the bottom. The new tool will probably be added first to the beta…

1 min
‘hey, siri–get me apple music for half price!’

Apple has announced a cheaper version of its Apple Music iPhone app that works only if you search for songs using its voice-activated assistant Siri. Called Apple Music Voice (, it costs £4.99 a month, half the price of the Individual plan. To use it, you have to say “Hey, Siri” before naming the track you want to play. Apple says it gives you access to 90 million songs, and tens of thousands of playlists. As examples, Apple says you could ask Siri to “play the dinner party playlist,” “play something chill,” or even “play more like this”. You can also ask it to play Apple Music Radio. You can subscribe to Apple Music Voice by saying “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial,” or by signing up through the Apple Music…

1 min
new laws needed to keep uk radio on smart speakers

Amazon, Apple and Google should be forced to keep British radio stations on their smart speakers, according to a new report commissioned by the Government. The Radio and Audio Review’ ( found that a third of adults now have a smart speaker such as an Amazon Echo (pictured), Apple HomePod or Google Home, and they play a “central role” in many lives. Research shows that 64 per cent of all audio listened to on a smart speaker is live radio, and yet there are no rules preventing manufacturers from removing or limiting access to UK radio stations. The report, which had input from commercial radio groups and the BBC among other interested bodies, said stations should be “protected” on smart speakers to make sure listeners can still access their favourite content in the…

1 min
in brief

TESCO OPENS FIRST STORE WITHOUT CHECKOUT Tesco has opened its first store without a checkout, letting customers pay automatically through its phone app (pictured). The branch, in High Holborn, London, has been fitted with cameras and weight sensors to establish which items a customer picks up. They are charged through the app when they leave the shop. Read more on Tesco’s site: 4K TV BOX COMING TO TALKTALK CUSTOMERS Talk Talk looks set to offer its 4.2 million customers a new 4K TV service, after teaming up with TV provider Netgem. The service, expected to launch next year, is likely to be a set-top box offering nearly 300 channels, and letting you record, pause and rewind programmes. Existing Netgem boxes let you watch-catch-up TV from services like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub.…