Reset a Network Router: How to Do It Fast and Easy

Network routers, whether they’re installed in homes or work places, tend to show a very strong personality at times. Much like fixing random problems on your computer with a simple restart, resetting a network router can fix various hanged processes or more serious problems that arise from long hours usage.

We’re talking about problems that pop up out of the blue — like a DNS error or one too many IP conflicts when a device tries to connect to the network and not serious problems that you encounter when setting up your network. A reset is also the way to go if you’ve forgotten the password to your router’s admin panel. And did you know some routers are smart enough that you can restart them automatically when you least use them? Let’s see how you reset a network router the right way.

Reset Router – Hard vs Soft

Routers are all different but resetting them is pretty straight forward. There are two different types of resets that you can do; a hard reset, and a soft reset.

A hard reset for a network router is like factory resetting it. You can use a hard reset to revert your router’s admin credentials back to its default ones. A hard reset will not change the firmware version of your router in anyway.

A soft reset is the type of reset you do to fix the random glitches that you’re experiencing on the network. This is the router equivalent of restarting your computer to fix a problem.

Find Reset & Power Buttons

Routers have a reset and a power button. The power button may not be present on all router models since there is no standardization for their design. Before you can do a hard or soft reset, you need to first locate the Reset button. This will be a physical button on your router either on one of its sides, or at the bottom.

If you bought your own router i.e. it wasn’t provided by your ISP, you can refer to its manual to find where the reset button is. The reset button may not be easy to reach on some routers i.e. it won’t be a simple button that you can press. It might reside inside the casing of the router with just a tiny hole to point you to it. If that’s the case, you need a tiny sharp object that you can press it with. Your phone’s SIM tray key is a good tool to use if it can fit through the hole.

Hard Reset Router

To hard reset your router, you need to press and hold the reset button on it. What’s important here is how long you press and hold it. Some routers require 10 seconds, others require 30, 60, or even 90 seconds. You can determine how long you need to hold down the reset button by trial and error, or by looking up the time for your router model.

When you do a hard reset, make sure that the router is On and disconnect it from broadband modem.

After you release the button, wait for as long as you held down the reset button, and the router will be reset.

Soft Reset Router

A soft reset can be done by turning the router off, and on again. You can use the power button to do so but if your router doesn’t have a power button, you can just switch the router off from the power outlet it’s connected to, and turn it on again.

You should also disconnect the connection cable going into your router and reconnect it again.

Alternatively, if your router has a Connect/Disconnect button, use it to disconnect it from your ISP’s service and connect it again.

One last way to do it

Another way you could do it is by connecting to the interface of your router (find the router’s address to access it). See the image above for an example. You can choose factory settings or you could load a profile that you previously saved – which is quite useful when you’re upgrading routers and just want to keep your settings.

Had any luck resetting your router?

Read Reset a Network Router: How to Do It Fast and Easy by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Assign An Audio Device To An App In Windows 10

You can connect multiple audio devices to a Windows PC. They can be wired devices like a set of speakers, or they can be wireless devices like a pair of Bluetooth headphones. By default, you can switch to any one of the connected audio devices on the fly from the system tray. You can also set a specific volume level for individual apps but what you can’t do is assign an audio device to an app.

If you want to make it so that a particular app like VLC player always plays audio through your built-in speakers, and another app like Groove always plays audio through your headphones, you’re going to need an app called Audio Router.

We’ve featured Audio Router before. The app lets you send output from one app to multiple audio devices.

Assign An Audio Device

Before you can assign an audio device to an app, you need to connect the different audio devices you have and make sure Windows sees them as separate devices. To check if Windows sees them as separate devices, click the sound icon in the system tray. Each device should appear separately e.g., your speakers should be a different device and your Bluetooth headphones should be a separate device.

If your sound audio device isn’t showing up, right-click the speaker icon in the system tray and select Sound. In the window that opens, make sure all audio devices that you want to use have been enabled.

Next, download and run Audio Router. Open the apps that you want to assign to an audio device and and make sure they’re playing sound, then switch to Audio Router.

Under the app you want to assign an audio device to, click the little arrow button and select Route from the menu.

This will open another smaller window that will let you select which device the app should play audio through. It’s a good idea to select the ‘Soft routing’ option in this window to avoid any complications. That’s all you need to do. Repeat for every app that you want to assign an audio device to.

Limitations

It seems this app doesn’t work with UWP apps. We tried it with Groove and the TV & Movies app in Windows 10 and got an error with both. For desktop apps, it works without any problems but you do need to keep the app open. There doesn’t seem to be an option for saving the preferences so you’re most likely going to have to set this up each time you have to route your audio to two different devices.

The good news is that come the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, there will be something similar to this built into the OS and you likely will not need to use Audio Router, and you’ll have an option to save audio output settings as well.

Read How To Assign An Audio Device To An App In Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Disable Timeline In Windows 10

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update has yet to arrive. The April 10, 2018 date has come and gone and Microsoft has decided to delay the release. There’s no new date just yet but users are still expecting the update to drop this month. The Spring Creators Update has a slew of great new features and Timeline is one of the most anticipated features of this update. It will let you pick up your work from where you left it off a few days ago and it’s integrated with multitasking. If you’re not a fan of the feature though, you can disable Timeline fairly easily.

Disable Timeline

To disable Timeline, open the Settings app and go to the Privacy group of settings. Here, click the Multitasking tab.

On the Multitasking tab, look under the Activity History section. You will see an option called ‘Let Windows collect my activities from this PC’. It will be enabled. Disable it by unchecking this option and it will disable Timeline.

If the second option under this section i.e. ‘Let Windows sync my activities from this PC to the cloud’ is enabled, you should disable it as well or your activities will sync to other PCs that are connected to the same Microsoft account.

When you disable this option, Windows 10 will no longer keep track of your activity however, it does still have your activity from before you disabled Timeline. In order to purge it, you need to remove your Timeline history.

Scroll a little further down this same settings panel and you will see a section called ‘Clear activity history’. Click the Clear button under it, and confirm that you want to remove your activity. Once removed, there is no way to recover it so be absolutely sure you won’t need to go back and check what you were doing on a given day/date.

Activities Stored On Your PC

Your Timeline activities are stored on your PC unless you choose to sync them across devices. If you’re worried Microsoft is keeping a tab on what you’re doing through Timeline, that’s not the case. The sync option does send the information to Microsoft’s cloud servers so it can be synced to your other devices but it’s not necessarily pulling a Facebook Cambridge Analytica.

If you like the feature but want to keep your activities away from Microsoft, you can disable sync, and still allow Windows 10 to collect your activity and show it to you in Timeline.

Read How To Disable Timeline In Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Tweak Suggested Content And Ad Preferences In Snapchat

It’s not normal for a social media app to ask you what kinds of ads you want to see. Most just follow you around on the internet, keep a long, detailed record of everything you do, and wing it from there. Snapchat however does let you tweak ad preferences. To be clear, it does have a vague idea as to what ads to show you. This is likely based on who you follow, and perhaps on what you snap. Regardless, you can tweak ad preferences in Snapchat. Here’s how.

These ad settings were rolled out to users worldwide just last week so update the app before you tweak ad preferences in Snapchat.

Ad Preferences In Snapchat

Open Snapchat and tap the thumbnail at the top left next to search. This will take you to your Profile screen. Here, tap the cog wheel button at the top right.

Scroll down and tap ‘Manage’. On the Manage screen, there are two options you need to visit; Ad Preferences, and Lifestyle Categories.

Ad preferences let you choose what the ads you see are based on i.e. your audience or your activity. You can enable or disable either one, or both.

The Lifestyle Categories don’t deal with ads. They’re more to do with suggested content which is slightly different from an ad. You will find that at least one category is already enabled here. You can turn it off, or you can enable more categories that match your interests.

There’s no option that will let you disable ads in Snapchat but if you’re concerned about privacy after the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacle, you might want to stop the targeted ads at the very least.

There’s no way to block a certain ad on Snapchat which is kind of odd. Both Facebook and Twitter let you hide an ad and ask why you’r hiding it with reasons that include the ad showing up too often, or the ad not being relevant or of interest to you. Snapchat doesn’t do any of that but it seems it doesn’t try to guess what you like or dislike.

The lifestyle categories are pretty much at your disposal to enable and disable however you want. Snapchat is letting you choose which types of ads and what kind of suggested content you see so there’s probably less of a chance that you’ll see anything irrelevant. That said, they don’t exactly vet their ads very well so it is possible that an ad claiming to be about something you’re interested in is about something completely different.

Read How To Tweak Suggested Content And Ad Preferences In Snapchat by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Stop Windows 10 From Updating Drivers

Windows 10 tends to update drivers when it installs a major feature update. Sometimes, it will update them even when it’s installing a security update. This isn’t always a good thing because it often fails to find the right drivers for your system, installs generic drivers, or updates your drivers to a version that is problematic. If your drivers are often updated against your will after a Windows update, you can stop Windows 10 from updating drivers and prevent it from happening ever again.

We should warn you that if you decide to stop Windows 10 from updating drivers, it will be up to you to always check for and install new drivers for all your hardware components. You might be disabling the driver updates so that Windows 10 doesn’t force update your GPU drivers but this will also affect other drivers e.g., sound drivers.

Disable Driver Updates

Open File Explorer, paste the following in the location bar, and tap Enter.

Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Devices and Printers

This will open Control Panel’s Devices and Printers section. Expand the Devices section. Here you will see a list of all devices connected to your system, and your own system will appear as a device as well. It ought to have the same name as your PC and will be represented by a PC tower icon.

Right-click it and select ‘Device installation settings’ from the context menu.

A window will open asking if you want to automatically download manufacturers’ apps and custom icons for your device. It doesn’t say anything about drivers but the apps bit is basically that. Select the ‘No’ option, and click Save Changes. You will need administrative rights to save the change.

Drawbacks

As mentioned earlier, this is going to affect all your drivers. Running outdated drivers is never a good idea and you should avoid it at all costs. If you opt to use this fix, make sure you regularly check for driver updates.

An alternative to this solution is to download the driver for the one device that you don’t want to update e.g., a certain version of your GPU driver. Allow Windows 10 to update drivers when it does, and then roll back or install the one you have on disk. It’d tedious and naturally your workflow will be disrupted when Windows 10 upgrades the driver you don’t want it to but it’s either that or vigilance on your part regarding driver updates.

We should mention that sound and GPU aren’t the only drivers that have to be updated. Other drivers such as those for your LAN and WAN cards, USB controllers, and Bluetooth are also updated. Going about this manually will be take time so think carefully before you opt for this solution.

Read How To Stop Windows 10 From Updating Drivers by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter