Cover photo
Chris Hoffman
Worked at MakeUseOf
Lives in Eugene, OR
3,546 followers|808,924 views
Technology writer and all-around computer geek
I'm a tech-geek-turned-journalist making his living off the Internet. I'm currently a Staff Writer at How-To Geek.

For two years, I ran the World Beyond Windows columnist over at PCWorld. My work also appeared in print in PCWorld magazines.

In the past, I wrote for MakeUseOf for several years and  ran the MakeUseOf Newsletter for about two years. As if that wasn't enough, I've also contributed articles to Digital Trends and other websites.
Bragging rights
One of my articles was featured prominently on the front page of PCWorld's July 2013 print edition, while another appeared inside the last print edition of PC World ever. Goodbye, print media!
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Eugene, OR
Vancouver, BC - Winnipeg, Manitoba
Tech Writer
  • MakeUseOf
    Newsletter Editor, 2012 - 2014
  • PCWorld
    Columnist & Contributor, 2012 - 2016
  • How-To Geek
    Writer, 2011 - 2016
  • How-To Geek
    Staff Writer, 2016 - present
  • MakeUseOf
    Writer, 2011 - 2014
Basic Information
Looking for
Friends, Networking
August 9, 1986


Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
This week, Microsoft made Windows 10 a “recommended update” that will automatically download for many Windows 7 and 8.1 users. This is just Microsoft’s latest move in aggressively pushing Windows 10–here’s how we got to this point.
Cher Goerner's profile photoMary Ellen Napoli's profile photoLillian Li's profile photoA Dave's profile photo
A Dave
Hi what is it ??
Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
Yes, Android security concerns are real. But Android antivirus apps can't do much to help.
Yes, Android devices have serious security problems. There’s Android malware out there — mostly outside the Google Play Store. The biggest problem is that most Android devices don’t get security updates. Android antivirus apps aren’t a solution to these problems.
waqas yasin moon jee's profile photoShawn Sun's profile photo

Carefully read your blogs on,and i do like them!
I do also want one of my how-to IT article to be shown in front of many readers who has this issue,

would you post it on your blog or just simply add a link?
Also.if you got some requirements for this .plz let me know

Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
Yes, Windows PCs can now come with bloatware that comes back even after a clean install of Windows. Here's how it works:
Few people noticed at the time, but Microsoft added a new feature to Windows 8 that allows manufacturers to infect the UEFI firmware with crapware. Windows will continue installing and resurrecting this junk software even after you perform a clean-install.
Chris C.'s profile photoJason Perry's profile photosamson Kasirai's profile photoAugustine Oryema's profile photo
I got dell Inspiron 1545,I got persistence malware, I changed  new hard drive and clean installed window10, but it back.
I checked BIOS setting, I found anti theft Computrance agent by absolute software is activated, it got 3 setting, deactivate, disable, and activate, these button is blur,but it written at the bottom that you can't change the setting, I bought this laptop from dell new and not activated it.
I even instated Linux mint and emty space overwritten and it keep connecting through UDP and TCP I block with GUFW but it keep adding new ports, I now remove the new ports manually other wise it will set Firefox browser to blank. during installation, Linux refused to restart saying it got signal from unknown source, saying restarting, Modem Manager, Org.serviceManager1' service name. it coming from that anti theft. what Can I do Christ, I tried all the know antivirus but none detected it I got paid kasperskey, and malware even launched exe. from withing trusted application. the problem is , this malware copied any files and add exe. which make it difficult to detect. any help Chris.
Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
Everyone's talking about Windows 10 privacy issues. I decided to count up and explain all the ways it's checking back in with Microsoft.
Windows 10 phones home more than any other version of Windows before it. Along with Windows 10, Microsoft released a new privacy policy and services agreement containing 45 pages of legalese. If Google wrote these, Microsoft might say you were being “Scroogled.”
Yodi Collins's profile photo
Thanks for this.  It will be good for some users to see exactly how Microsoft is mining the data to compare methods employed by both Google and Facebook.
Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
Here's how to perform a clean install of Windows 10 and make sure it's activated. More complicated than it should be.
The Windows 10 upgrade process drags old files, settings, and programs from your previous Windows system to your new one. Microsoft allows you to get an entirely fresh system by performing a clean install, but the activation process can be a bit confusing.
Reza Paidar's profile photoAmeer Net's profile photoalabi babatunde's profile photoRonnie Brown's profile photo
Chris, just read your article, have a question. I have installed the free Win 10  upgrade from 8.1 and I've had issues with programs not loading on startup or very slow to open, especially Bitdefender. I'm considering the clean install, I have a Win 7 pro key could I use that to clean install to 10 pro? Windows 7 pro hasn't been installed on this computer. And secondly, I just purchased a Studio XPS 1640 that came with Win 10 pro activated. How can I have the activation put in to my name?
Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
Flash may be patched, but it's probably still full of nasty security holes. Everyone should enable click-to-play.
Most web browsers load Flash and other plug-in content as soon as you open a web page. Enable “click-to-play” plug-ins and your browser will load a placeholder image instead — click it to actually download and view the content.
David Poole's profile photoBarbara Anangwe's profile photosilver mount's profile photo
Was just reading your HTG  prior article on internet speed testing and all the speed test sites you list are flash based.  What gives?  I just went through a bunch of non flash speed test sites and got a wide range of results.  Here is a good topic for a future article for you.  Keep writing !!
Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is cleaning up its act and killing the online searches in Unity 7 -- unless you choose to enable them.
The Unity 8 desktop isn't ready yet, but all Ubuntu users will soon benefit from its more privacy-friendly approach.
Meilyn De Jesus's profile photoVladimir Nostromov's profile photoLeticia de la Cierva's profile photo
Hi Chris! I have a problem regarding one of your articles in your blog (link: - How to Install and Dual Boot Linux on a Mac). How can I contact you? Thanks for all your articles, they are great!
Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
Colored window title bars, activation fixes, and start menu ads: Here's what's new in the big Windows 10 update

It'll be done in early November.
The first big update to Windows 10, reportedly arriving at the start of November, fixes a lot of problems with Windows 10. Microsoft is streamlining activation, restoring colored window title bars, integrating Skype, and improving the Edge browser. But they’ve also added advertisements to the Start menu.
Wade Bittle's profile photoWilliam McGregor's profile photoHolly Louise's profile photoMichael Burton's profile photo
Chris you have DONE AMAZING WORK! Keep at it, Prof. Burton
Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
Should you unplug your chargers when you aren't using them to save electricity and money?

I tested just how much electricity they use and determined exactly how much money it'll cost you each year to keep them plugged in.
How much energy do your smartphone, laptop, and tablet chargers really use? Should you unplug them when you aren’t using them to save power and money? We measured exactly how much power a variety of common chargers use, and how much keeping them plugged in will cost your each year.
Shawn Sun's profile photoMichael Mossman's profile photoVonda Hartsock-Oneil's profile photomichael lowe's profile photo
+Vonda Hartsock-Oneil
Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
Here's what you need to know about Stagefright and how to protect your Android phone as best you can.
Android has a massive security bug in a component known as “Stagefright.” Just receiving a malicious MMS message could result in your phone being compromised. It’s surprising we haven’t seen a worm spreading from phone to phone like worms did in the early Windows XP days — all the ingredients are here.
Dudeman Brotherbub's profile photoGrandpa Jim Andreasen's profile photo
I installed the Microsoft media center 64 bit. Loaded a DVD and get picture OK but no sound! Any help would be appreciated.
Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
It saddened me to write this, but the Android ecosystem needs a kick in the rear.
Here’s a dirty secret: Most Android devices never receive security updates. Ninety-five percent of Android devices can now be compromised via an MMS message, and that’s just the most high-profile bug. Google has no way to apply security patches to these devices, and manufacturers and carriers just don’t care.
tamm srinivasan's profile photoKathryn Dougherty's profile photo
I have a really odd question about an android phone and the possibility of an app pulling pictures to add to a website (specifically plenty of fish). As they have renowned non-existent customer service and you seem well versed on this sort of thing, I was hoping you may be able to join me in a hangout...or shoot me an email, or something a little less public anyway where I could give you a brief rundown of what's going on and find out if that's something that even happens (in case it isn't obvious, I am not uber tech savvy. Please help!!! :)
Add a comment...

Chris Hoffman

Shared publicly  - 
Windows 10 is out, but I recommend waiting at least a few weeks before upgrading. Let's see how it goes and give Microsoft more bug-fixing time -- they desparately need it.
Windows 10 is finally out — kind of. Microsoft initially promised that everyone could take advantage of the free upgrade offer on July 29, but you may have to wait a while before Microsoft offers the upgrade to your PC.
Ulf Gitschthaler's profile photo
Since it seems to be rather chatty regarding user activity (, I'd rather wait for it a bit longer until an opt-out is built in. 
Add a comment...
Chris Hoffman's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Kubuntu 15.04 embraces KDE's Plasma 5 desktop

KDE's experimental Plasma 5 desktop is officially ready for the big time, and will become the default desktop environment in Kubuntu 15.04.

Definitely deleted: How to guarantee your data is truly gone before recy...

Hitting 'delete' is just the beginning. Depending on the type of storage and the sensitivity of the information, there are other things you

Transform a Windows tablet into a full-fledged Windows PC

With some accessories and handy-dandy software tweaks, a portable Windows tablet can become the heart of a potent PC workstation.

Condoleezza Rice, surveillance and torture fan, joins Dropbox board

You don't need Mike Judge to remind you how dumb the valley is. Buried on page 3 of a Businessweek story by Brad Stone and Ari Levy, via Sam

Is It Illegal To Root Your Android or Jailbreak Your iPhone?

Whether you're rooting an Android phones or jailbreaking an iPhone, you're removing the restrictions the manufacturer or cellular carrier pl

6 Tips for Getting More Gold, Cards, and Dust in Hearthstone

Hearthstone is an excellent, free-to-play digital collectible card game. Blizzard wants you to spend real money on it, but it's easy to play

UK's new national firewall: O2's "parental control" list blocks Slashdot...

The Great Firewall of Cameron is going live, with all British ISPs defaulting their customers to an "adult content filter" -- meaning that y

PSA: The Latest Google Play Services Update May Disable Android Device M...

There's a new Google Play Services app in town, and it includes all kinds of goodies for developers. But there's a nasty surprise waiting in

Schneier on Security: Surreptitiously Tampering with Computer Chips

Nicholas Weaver • September 16, 2013 1:48 PM. One bit of subtleness is the effect of the design decision by Intel to not to include the tRNG

Gabe Newell: Linux is the future of gaming, new hardware coming soon

Valve chief blasts PC market, promises big news is coming next week.

The NSA showed off its 'information dominance' from the bridge of the St...

According to the sources contacted by Foreign Policy for a recent profile, NSA head Keith Alexander is a "cowboy," a well-intentioned extrem

How to Free Up Storage Space On Your Google Account: The Ultimate Guide

Google accounts now use a shared pool of storage. Every account gets 15 GB of free space, which is shared across your Gmail, Google Drive, a

Why Email Can’t Be Protected From Government Surveillance

“If you knew what I know about email, you might not use it either,” said the owner of secure email service Lavabit as he recently shut it do

NSA Can Sift Through Some 75% Of All U.S. Internet Traffic

NSA surveillance programs can cover roughly 75% of all U.S. internet traffic, a WSJ examination shows.

How to Jailbreak Your Windows RT Device and Run Unapproved Desktop Software

Windows RT is the locked-down version of Windows 8 for ARM computers, as seen on Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet and a few other Windows RT de

GameSpy: Opinion: Games for Windows Live is Awful, Microsoft Doesn't Car...

Opinion: Games for Windows Live is Awful, Microsoft Doesn't Care, and Why it Won't Matter Soon - page 1 at GameSpy - Read all of GameSpy's g

IRS agents were told to hide cooperation with DEA intelligence gathering

Yesterday, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was thrust into the spotlight when Reuters published a story about its practice of recreatin

What Is PRISM? Everything You Need to Know

The National Security Agency in the US has access to whatever data you’re storing with US service providers like Google Microsoft, Yahoo, an

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in US history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intend

NSA Prism program: more details revealed in new slide – live updates

Google and Facebook issue strong denials of participation in Prism as Obama meets with Chinese counterpart