Computeractive 620

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

Keeping your computer free of junk is one of those ‘painting the Forth Bridge’ tasks (though Wikipedia busts that myth: You never manage to completely wipe clutter from your PC. You merely leave space for more junk in future to accumulate. At least, that’s how it always seemed to me. But I followed Robert Irvine’s junk-blitzing masterclass in our Cover Feature and eradicated more useless files than ever before, none of which have returned. Yet. Robert’s challenge was to identify new types of junk likely to be pestering you now and throughout 2022. In doing so he covers both Windows 10 and 11, which will be our policy in future issues of Computeractive. Some of you have upgraded, but many haven’t (or can’t). We’ll make sure our advice is relevant for…

1 min
new windows 11 media player combines music & video

Microsoft has launched a new Media Player app that matches the design of Windows 11 and plays both your music and videos. The app is meant to replace the old Windows Media Player, which has barely changed in over 10 years, and the Groove Music app, which arrived as part of Windows 10 in 2015. If your music is stored in Groove Music, your library and playlists will move automatically to the new app. However, to use the new app you must currently be a Windows Insider in the Dev Channel ( Microsoft hasn’t said when it will be available to everyone. Writing online (, Senior Program Manager Dave Grochocki said the new Media Player “beautifully showcases your local music and video collections and compliments the new look and feel of Windows 11”. When you…

1 min
what we think

Microsoft is often guilty of offering nine similar tools when just one will do, so we applaud this move. Being able to play music and video in a single app makes life simple. We won’t miss Groove Music, which lacked many tools found in other audio players, nor the old Media Player. We’ll start testing the new app now, as well as other tools Microsoft launches for Windows 11. But we’ll also recommend third-party programs that add features Microsoft has left out – starting with the Cover Feature in our next issue.…

1 min
windows 10 to get just one annual update

Windows 10 will now receive one Feature update per year, bringing it in line with Windows 11. It has received two updates every year since launching in 2015. Microsoft confirmed the move in a blog post ( announcing the release of the November 2021 Update (version 21H2) for Windows 10. It added that the next Windows 10 Feature update will be released in the second half of 2022, and that it will “continue to support at least one version of Windows 10” until 14 October, 2025. Microsoft is staggering the release of the November 2021 Update so it’s available initially “to users with select devices running Windows 10, version 2004 or later”. To check if you can install it, open Settings (press Windows key+I), then click ‘Update & Security’, followed by Windows Update.…

1 min
broadband complaints fell as lockdown eased

Complaints to broadband, TV and phone companies fell sharply between April and June this year as lockdown restrictions began to ease. Ofcom’s latest quarterly figures ( show that complaints fell “to levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic”. This drop is probably due to the fact that fewer people were working from home than in the first three months of the year, and were therefore less dependent on fast broadband during work hours. The fall in complaints also coincided with schools reopening, so children could return to their classrooms rather than rely on video lessons. Ofcom said that complaints to Virgin Media fell “significantly” after the regulator raised concerns with the provider about its customer service in the previous quarter. However, the company still topped the number of complaints for TV services. TalkTalk received the…

1 min
bt to build ‘mole robots’ to avoid digging up roads

BT is building robots inspired by moles and worms to help lay broadband cables without having to dig up roads. The work is taking place at BT Labs, a new 5,000-square-foot robotics facility in Martlesham, near Ipswich. BT said researchers will team up with universities and robotics firms on major engineering projects in the UK and abroad. A major part of its research will be to develop “trenchless” techniques for laying cables, using tunnelling robots (pictured) to avoid the cost, time and disruption of digging up roads. BT said it’s “expected” the work will “play an important role” in the company’s drive to deliver full-fibre broadband to 25 million homes by December 2026. Other projects include clearing blocked ducts, and mending ducts that have collapsed. Robots are also being built that can climb…