Computer Repair

Learn about what makes your computer work on the inside and how to fix it. More »

Windows Computer Tips

How to guides for Windows PCs. Tips and tricks to make your Windows computer easier to use. More »

Network Security

Learn how cyber criminals target your computer and ways to stay safe online. More »

Laptop and Mobile Computing

Computer answers about laptop computers and mobile computing. More »


How Much RAM is Really Needed for Your Gaming Computers

Not long ago, 4GB of RAM worked great for most daily tasks and gaming. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

Having too little RAM on a gaming computer, such as 4GB, can cause many of the games you wish to play now, not to run or not run well. For example, 8GB RAM is a required minimum listed for Andromeda. This amount of RAM is needed for most games played today. Even when a minimum requirement of only 4-6GB of RAM is stated, it is recommended to use 8GB to ensure smooth play due to background programs running.

With that said, it is easy to come by 8GB RAM. Much of the pre-built computers ship with an amount of 8GB RAM or more. Furthermore, building your own system, kits for 8GB are affordable.

Higher Amounts of RAM

Is 16GB RAM useful on your gaming computer? What about 32GB? Or, would it be a waste of money? How much is too much?

A robust gaming system should have 16GB RAM installed for it to be considered at a sweet spot. This amount should be plenty to multitask and run all of the today’s games smoothly. If you enjoy or use live streaming often, 16GB should be enough for this also. Streaming and running a game on one of your monitors, while playing music, chatting with others, and anything else you want to do on another monitor, is a list of tasks that would definitely benefit from some headroom with extra RAM.

What about 32GB?

However, what about going even higher with the amount of RAM? Is it too much to install 32GB? Overall, this answer would be yes. One reason only, is why 32GB would be needed for an average user, and that would be for future game readiness. That’s it!

When it comes to gaming specs only, 16GB RAM is more than enough, with many games able to run fine with just 8GB. Framerates basically showed no difference in gaming performance tests performed by TechSpot, when comparing 8GB and 16GB. Tests ran had the games running as well as 65 open tabs on Chrome and basically had identical framerates.

Generally speaking, your computing can be made more enjoyable with more RAM, and 32GB is not advised against. However, much of this RAM would be wasted when you want an improved framerate. Upgrading your graphics card makes a greater difference than upgrading from 8GB RAM to 32GB.

Of course, one answer is not enough for everyone. But, unless you are running many virtual machines at the same time as gaming with graphical settings high, going beyond 16GB is unnecessary. Happy Gaming!

For future reference, make sure to know what to expect when it comes to recognizing the signs of failing RAM in your system.


The Top Apps for Mac OS X


Are you new to the Mac world and are looking for the best way to make the most out of it? We have compiled a list of the most useful and essential apps for Mac to help you along the way!

Bartender 2

For Mac users that utilize many apps, Bartender 2 allows you to stay organized. This amazing app lets you organize different aspects of your Macs interface by letting users choose which apps show as well as the way they are arranged in the menu bar. Bartender 2 is available for $15.


By far, Alfred is the favorite for Mac application launchers. In addition to launching applications, Alfred is useful for many more things as well. Such as web searches executions, performing calculations, locating word definitions, and much more. Alfred app is available for free.

Google Chrome

The best web browser for Mac is Google Chrome. It is faster, has loads of extensions and plug-ins available, functional, and can sync everything among multiple devices. This includes bookmarks, recent searches, and open tabs. With the ability of instant search and customization, Chrome is the more favorable web browser compared to Safari or Firefox. Google Chrome is available for free.


Caffeine is a favorite among Mac users. This great little app allows helps keep your computer awake by stopping it from going into sleep mode, auto-dim, or starting your screensaver. Caffeine is great when you will not be touching the mouse or keyboard for a long period, such as when reading long web pages or documents. Caffeine is available for free.


Evernote is the best app for taking notes. This app is a great way to remain organized and is simple to use. Evernote syncs with almost all Web services and has many add-ons and browser extensions available. Evernote is available for free with upgrade options.

The Unarchiver

The Unarchiver is ideal for users that download all types of archived files. This great utility can open most but not all file formats including RAR (including v5), Zip, 7-zip, Gzip, Tar, and Bzip2. It also has the capability of opening older file formats as well including DiskDoubler, ARJ. LZH, and ARC, StuffIt. The Unarchiver is available for free.


Pocket is an excellent tool app that allows users to “pocket” or store videos, articles, as well as web pages to view later. This great app is also available to access the stored items while offline to let you view everywhere. With Pocket, you can easily share items you stored. Pocket is available for free.

Mac apps allow users to take control of their computer experience. These apps along with many others available simplify several aspects of your Mac. Learn when it is time to replace your current Mac for an upgraded version.

Intelligent Reasons Why External Drives Are Still Needed

External hard drive can provide additional storage solutions.

External hard drives can provide additional storage solutions.

Why Do You Still Need That External Drive?

There has been an incredible increase of storage options available which are cloud-based. For subscribers of Office 365, they can store up to 1 TB with the use of Microsoft’s OneDrive. Google offers 100 GB of cloud-based storage for a time period of two years when you purchase Chromebook. This is just a few of the enormous list of options available for cloud-based storage.

You may be asking yourself; with these many options available to me, is there a reason why external drives are still needed? The answer to that question is definitely yes.

Intelligent Reasons for Having One

Backup of Data

The first most obvious reason is data backup. As most computer users know the importance of backing up their data. They understand the possibility of accidents. Computers fall, drinks spill, motherboards burn out from power surges, the list of mishaps is endless.

Sure, you can use cloud storage for data backup, however, there are a few downfalls to this option. First, you must consider costs as well as data caps. Additionally, the time needed to efficiently backup your data is consuming. During the several hours used to upload your data, due to the drainage of bandwidth, your usage on the computer will be limited.

Additional Security

One of the most significant reasons why an external hard drive is still needed with today’s technology is security. There is always the possibility of someone stealing your password: additionally, the company servers of the cloud storage you chose could become a victim of hacking. In either situation, your private data is put at risk to be stolen and used by criminals.

Access Offline and Ability to Travel

Another intelligent reason to use an external hard drive is offline access as well as portability. The majority of external hard drives today are extremely small, approximately the size of your wallet. Due to this small size, they are ideal to bring along with you while away from home. This comes in handy when internet service is unavailable for an extended period of time.


Almost all cloud-based servers have dealt with issues in the past where customers storage was unavailable for access. If this happens, how will you retrieve your data needed for work, school, or other important business? External hard drives do not pose this problem and are simple to use.


In most cases, the needed amount of storage space to backup data equals more than the amount in which cloud-based providers offer for free. This means you will incur monthly or yearly expenses to store your data. However, costs for an external hard drive is much lower and do not require an ongoing fee.

If you still feel cloud-based storage is right for you, consider the use of an external hard drive for a second backup to ensure the safety of your delicate data. 

Is There Malware on Your Mac? Different Ways It May Have Got Infected

Malware can be harmful, if not prevented.

Malware can be harmful, if not prevented.

Is Your Mac Infected?

If you’re a Mac owner, you probably already know it is more difficult for a Mac to become infected with malware than a Microsoft Windows PC. However, as more people begin to use Mac’s, it has become more common than ever for your Mac to be infected with a virus. Third-party software is the most common way a Mac becomes infected.

Some common ways for your Mac to become compromised include the following:

Java Browser Extension Enabled

One way for your Mac to become infected is by installing Java as well as its browser extension. With this extension, you are able to run Java written software from within your browser. Keep in mind, this is not the same a JavaScript.

The good news is, you likely will no longer use websites which rely on Java browser plugin with today’s modern technology. Many browsers have already dropped the use of Java plugins. To disable the use in Apple’s Safari browser head to Preferences > Security > Plug-in Settings and uncheck the relevant boxes. In many cases, it is totally safe to uninstall Java and its browser extension.

Pirated Software Download

Downloading pirated software is one of the easiest ways for your Mac or Windows PC to become infected. Due to Apple’s OS being considered quite safe, the majority of individuals do not have a virus scanner on their Mac. However, whenever you install the software you open your Mac up to third-parties. And by downloading pirated software, you have no way to know if it has been tampered with. Stay safe by buying software from legitimate sources or use free alternatives.

Unpatched Flash

Adobe’s Flash browser plugin has been the cause of numerous security issues. The good news is with modern technology such as HTML5 which performs the same job as Flash, it has been becoming more obsolete.

Google Chrome has a Flash version which is sandboxed, allowing it to run in a without harming your PC by keeping it contained in a secure environment. However, if you are a Safari user, you can have the browser ask when running websites with Flash by going to Preferences > Security >Plug-in Settings.

Keep in mind, even the most updated version of Flash can pose a risk to your Mac. The best way to protect yourself is by disabling Flash in Safari. Go to Preferences > Security >Plug-in Settings and uncheck Flash.

Apple Security

The pattern of Mac infections shows the most common way to put your PC at risk is with third-party software. Apple has always been excellent with their security, but by using additional security software, you can add another layer of protection to your Mac.

Free Disk Space in Windows 10 with These Quick Easy Tips



Free Up Some Extra Disc Space on Windows 10

No matter what size hard drive we may have, it seems to fill up quickly. High-definition movies, high-resolution photos, songs, games tend to take up space faster than we might think, making you reach the limit of space on your hard drive before you know it. However, by utilizing some quick easy tips, you can reclaim some of that needs space.

1. Remove Older Versions of Microsoft Windows

When upgrading Microsoft Windows, data from the older version of Windows is saved automatically. By saving this data, users have the ability to return to the previous version is desired. However, this saved data uses up a ton of space on your hard drive. To delete these files, go to Settings > System > Storage then select your primary drive. You will notice several categories and how much space each one is using. Look for Temporary Files and select it. Next, put a check mark in the box Previous Versions of Windows then select Remove Files

2. Cleaning Update Cache

Copies are stored in the update cache of the installation files. If the time ever comes that an update needs to be reapplied, the OS will use these without the need of downloading them once again. But, these files take up a lot of space of your hard drive. To remove them, first, the Windows Update service must be stopped. Go to Services then select the top result by right-clicking on it to Run as administrator. Head down the list until you find Windows Update and right-click on it and select Stop.

Next, to delete these files the run box needs to be opened by pushing Windows Key + R. Now you want to type C:\Windows\SoftwareDistibution\ then select Enter. Everything within the download folder can be deleted. When finished be sure to re-enable Windows Update by heading back to Services.

3. Delivery Optimization Files Removal

With the introduction of Windows 10, a new update feature was added. This feature is called Delivery Optimization and allows your PC to take updates from nearby machines. This feature has received several complaints stating there is increased usage of memory and bandwidth, however, this is to allow for faster delivery of updates.

To remove these files, the feature needs to be disabled first. Without doing so, accumulation of these files will continue to occur. First, go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Advanced Options > Choose How Updates Are Delivered and ensure slider is in the OFF position.

Next, open Disk Clean-up. Go to Delivery Optimization File and put a check mark. Lastly, hit OK.

After using these tips for your Windows 10 PC, if you still lack hard drive space, it may be time for an upgraded hard drive. If you’re not yet to Windows 10, use these Windows 8 tips to your advantage.

Is Your RAM About to Fail? Signs & Symptoms That Give You Warning



If you are a person that takes proper care of your tech devices, the majority of them will last for many years. Of course, electronic components will need replacing as time goes on. One of the most replaced components is RAM or Random Access Memory. The good news is, many times when your RAM is about to fail, there are signs and symptoms to warn you.

Declining Performance

Declining performance is one of the most common signs of failing RAM. If your computer runs perfectly when you power it up but becomes slower the longer it is on, there could be a problem with the RAM. This problem is more noticeable when using apps which are more memory-intensive such as web browsers or complex video games.

Crashing Randomly

If you experience random crashes, it might be faulty RAM. When these crashes are random rather than consistent, it is more likely to be RAM instead of a program. However, if you consistently get the blue screen of death when opening a certain program, it is likely the app causing the problem, not the RAM.

Data Files Corrupted

Another sign of failing RAM is when files that were used or accessed frequently can no longer be opened or they are corrupted. If you are receiving more and more errors about these files, or the problem is worsening, it is more than likely failing RAM to blame. This is because the bad RAM causes the structure of your hard drive to degenerate. If left unfixed, this failing RAM will eventually make your computer unable to boot at all.

Unable to Load Video Card

You more than likely hear a loud beep each time while turning on your computer. This means, your media and video hardware for your computer have been recognized and booted correctly. However, when there is no beep, it is not loaded. Failing RAM could be the problem for this. In addition to no beep, you will see a warning message from the OS on your screen letting you know it is attempting to boot.

System RAM Incorrectly Displayed

To check the amount of RAM on a Windows system, go to the Start Menu and right-click. Next, go to Control Panel > System. You can see an overview of your machines statistics here, including the installed amount of RAM.

To check from a Mac, go to Apple > About This Mac and look to see if Overview tab is selected, if not check it.

If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms of failing RAM, keep in mind, there may be a different reason for the problem. Have an experienced professional assist you.

Best New Features of Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Around the time of Windows 10 one-year anniversary, Microsoft released a major update for the OS. Due to the timing of the update, it is being called ‘Windows 10 Anniversary Update’. This update includes some minor polishing to fix some hated annoyances, as well as adding some amazing new features.

Smart Cortana

Almost everyone knows Cortana on Windows 10 can be quite useful. Cortana allows users to set reminders, check your schedule, find and keep notes, receive answers to questions simply spoken, along with much more. Now, Cortana has become more intelligent. Cortana is now available on the lock screen. Also, the gap between your phone and PC is no longer an issue with the Anniversary Update. Notifications from your phone, such as missed calls or low battery can be mirrored to your PC. Other apps are also able to be mirrored to your PC thanks to Cortana new update feature.

Microsoft Edge Extensions

Microsoft’s Edge browser has extensions, finally! Some of these include Adblock Plus, OneNote Web Clipper, Translator for Microsoft Edge, Evernote Web Clipper, and LastPass: Free Password Manager.

In addition to extensions, Microsoft Edge also received the click-to-play Flash feature in which Chrome and Firefox users enjoy. Users can enjoy watching a piece of video now while junk plugins and ads are blocked.

There is now the ability to pin certain tabs with Edge, giving you more room in the tab bar. When restarting the browser, all pinned tabs come back. This includes when you choose to quit the browser by selecting “Close all tabs”.

Action Center Customization

The Windows 10 Action Center can now be customized for setting and notifications you need. Having your notifications organized in one location can be extremely helpful. There are Quick Action tiles already in place in the panel allowing users to quickly get to setting or activate many features such as Quiet Hours or Tablet Mode.

Users also have the option of customizing the Action Center by going to Settings > System > Notification > Actions. By clicking and dragging on the display of Quick Tiles located on the top of the window, users can rearrange tiles. Also, by selecting “Add or remove quick actions” they have the ability to disable tiles not needed.

Active Hours

Stop being angered by Microsoft’s updates interrupting you to apply them while you are actively working on your PC. Users can set up Active Hours, during which time automatic updates will never be applied, with Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The timeframe for Active Hours can be up to twelve hours. However, Windows still informs you of needed updates and you have the ability to update then instead of waiting for non-active hours.

With Windows 10 Anniversary Update and its many new features, Microsoft is beginning to finally make the OS bridge the gap across multiple devices. For additional questions answered about your Windows 10 software, check out other posts from IQ Computer Services.

How to Work Windows 10 Battery Saver


Battery saver is a great feature that was introduced with Windows 10. This feature adjusts hardware settings and limits background activity allowing you to conserve your computer’s battery. With the different settings, you can turn on Battery saver manually or you can set it to automatically turn on. Also, there are additional options that allow you to change settings of apps to “Always allowed in background”, “Managed by Windows”, or “Never allowed in background”. All these options work whether or not Battery saver is turned on.

Windows 10 Battery mode is, by default, turned off. However, you can set it to turn on automatically when battery life goes below a specific percentage, which is set by you. Battery saver can be turned on manually as well. Settings set for Battery saver is per user account not for all users.

Manual Setting for Battery Saver

Go to Settings and select System.

To turn Battery saver on select Battery. Next, there is a slider below Battery saver until next charge, turn this on.

To turn Battery saver off select Battery. Move the slider to the off position.

Select on or off for Lower screen brightness while in battery saver according to what you like. By default, this setting is turned on.

Keep in mind, during the time your computer is using AC power, settings for Battery saver will be grayed out.

Automatic Setting for Battery Saver

Go to Settings and select System.

To turn on automatic settings, select Battery and check the box Turn battery saver on automatically if my battery falls below. Next, the percentage level in which Battery saver will turn on needs to set. Set this according to your wants, but the default setting is at twenty percent.

To turn off automatic settings, select Battery and uncheck the box Turn battery saver on automatically if my battery falls below. 

App Battery Usage Management

Go to Settings and select System.

Select Battery and hit the link Battery usage by app located below Overview. Here you are able to set different options per app for battery usage management.

Under Time the options of six hours, twenty-four hours, and one week are available for you to sort your apps. After selecting a Time, select an app to choose one of the available option listed below its name.

Settings and their function:

Always allowed in the background: With this selected, the app runs continuously in background. Also when you have Battery saver turned on.

Managed by Windows: During time Battery saver is turned on, this app will not run in background. This option also turns apps off temporarily (until the apps are launched again) that are not pinned or you have not used for some time that has high battery drainage.

Never allowed in background: While battery saver is turned on, this app will not run in background.

Simply close setting when finished with any option.