How to check for screen stutter on your screen

Screen stutter, when it’s bad, is really obvious. You won’t need a tool to tell you that your screen is lagging or not refreshing at the correct rate. When it’s small and subtle though, it’s hard to detect but it can still cause problems. Out of the box, you can’t check whether or not your screen is stuttering but UFO test is an app that can detect screen stutter no matter how low it is.

Check screen stutter

Visit the UFO test app and it will start the test automatically. It will run the test on the current screen so if you have a multi-monitor setup, you should move your browser window to the screen that you want to run the stutter test on.

Screen stutter doesn’t happen on all screens. It may occur on just one screen while the other works perfectly fine. The stutter may not be the same on all your screens either. One might stutter more than the other.

If your screen is stuttering, the app will tell you so though the reason it cites for the stutter may not be correct.

As for understanding the results, screen stutter is basically when the frame rate or the refresh rate for your screen drops below the standard rate for your monitor. It’s something more common in games but even when there’s nothing ‘playing’ on your screen, it is still being refreshed.

The app will give you your screen’s refresh rate and it will tell you what the current rate is. The difference between the two, if there is one, indicates that there is stuttering on the current screen

Fixing stutter

If you’re running apps that are taking up too much of your RAM, it may be one reason why your screen is stuttering. Outside of games, users don’t notice or care much about small stuttering but if it’s become a problem or its causing other problems, make sure you aren’t overburdening your system.

Games will almost always be handled by the GPU but if the app in question that is causing stutter isn’t a game, it might just be using the on-board graphics card. To work around this, you can force an app to run with the GPU instead of the on-board graphics card.

As far as software solutions are concerned, the above two are the only ones at your disposal.

For hardware solutions, check if the connection to your monitor is damaged. If it’s an internal display i.e., that of your laptop, you might need to take it in for a check up. If it’s an external display, check the cable that connects your system to your monitor, and try using a different one to see if it helps.

Read How to check for screen stutter on your screen by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to remap mouse buttons on Windows 10

Remapping keyboard keys isn’t the easiest thing to do but there are a myriad of apps available that can make it easier. If nothing else, you can use AutoHotKey to remap keys. With a mouse, you normally have two buttons, and one scroll wheel that you can click with. All three perform essential functions so it’s not like you have a button to spare. That said, you can buy a mouse that has six (or more) buttons and you might need to customize what some of them do. Here’s how you can remap mouse buttons on Windows 10.

Remap mouse buttons

There’s no shortage of free apps that can remap mouse buttons however, if you’re using a mouse that has more than the usual number of buttons, it is possible that it comes with a special driver or app that lets you remap the buttons. If there’s no companion app that goes with your mouse, or it doesn’t support button remapping, or you’re just using an ordinary mouse, you can use X-Mouse Button Control to remap mouse buttons.

Out of the box, Windows 10 lets you switch the primary click button on a mouse but nothing else.

Download X-Mouse Button Control. It has both an installable version, and a portable version. Pick whichever you want to use and run the app.

By default, the app will list mouse buttons that you can modify. Your mouse may not have all these buttons but the app will list them anyway. Open the dropdown next to the button that you want to remap.

You should go through the entire list of items in the dropdown. It lists quite a few common actions that you might want one of the buttons on your mouse to execute. Select them and click Apply.

If the list of actions don’t have what you need the button to do, open the dropdown and select the ‘Simulated Keystrokes’ option. In the window that opens, enter the keyboard shortcut that you want to execute. You will need to follow the syntax given in the same window. It’s fairly easy to follow and tells you how to use modifier keys, and other buttons to enter a keyboard shortcut.

You should also look over the options in the ‘How to send the simulated key strokes’ dropdown and decide when the shortcut should be executed. Click Ok, and then Apply on the main app’s window.

X-Mouse Button Control supports multiple profiles so if you need to modify mouse buttons for certain apps, you can create a profile and use it only for that particular app.

Read How to remap mouse buttons on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix programs not launching from Windows Search on Windows 10

The Start menu isn’t the only thing that breaks on Windows 10. Windows search breaks more often and rarely is there a fix if re-indexing items doesn’t do the job. That said, sometimes even if Windows Search can find apps, it won’t let you open them. This is a bug, not a feature limitation. If you can find an app in Windows search, you can click to launch it, or use the Enter key to open it. To fix programs not launching from Windows Search, you need to make sure background apps are enabled.

Basic checks

Before you try this fix, simple as it is, run the following checks;

  1. Check that the file that you’re trying to ‘run’ to run the app is in fact the app’s EXE or a shortcut to it. It is possible that Windows Search is finding a different type of file and you’re not looking closely at the search results.
  2. Make sure the app isn’t corrupt. Look for it in the app’s list and try running it from there, or try running it from File Explorer.
  3. Try to run one stock app e.g., the Notepad by searching for it in Windows Search and launching it from there.
  4. Disable any apps that might be modifying the UI of Windows 10 in general, and the taskbar in particular and check if the problem still persists.

If the above checks all pass, move on to the fix for your problem.

Fix programs not launching from Windows Search

Open the Settings app and go to the Privacy group of settings. Scroll through the list of tabs on the left, and select the Background apps tab. At the very top of this tab, you’ll see a ‘Let apps run in the background’ switch. Turn it on. You don’t need to enable any of your apps to run in the background. Turning this option on should do the trick.

Next, if you’re using Cortana, you need to sign out of it. To sign out of Cortana, click Cortana on the taskbar and click the hamburger icon at the top left. In the panel that opens, click the Sign out option under your name/email.

For good measure, restart your system and when you boot back to your desktop, check if both the changes you’ve made have stuck or if they’ve reverted back to their old state. If they’re still in the same state you put them in, you should be able to run apps from Windows search.

Once Windows Search is working as it should, you can sign into Cortana again.

If the changes won’t save after a reboot, you likely have other problems with your system that require more scrutiny to fix.

Read How to fix programs not launching from Windows Search on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to prevent accidental drag & drop with touchpad on Windows 10

Drag & drop is a great way to copy or move files. Imagine having to use the Ctrl+C and Ctrl+X and the Ctrl+V shortcuts each time you need to copy or move something. Using the context menu options to do this is even more time consuming. You can drag & drop items by clicking and dragging with the mouse keys but also by double-tapping and dragging on the touchpad.

The thing is, with precision touchpads, and their ability to support multi-touch gestures, drag & drop tends to suffer because the touchpad is a bit too sensitive. You can try fiddling with the touchpad sensitivity but if that doesn’t work, you can prevent accidental drag & drop by disabling drag selection on the touchpad.

Disable drag selection on touchpad

Drag selection is a setting that you can enable or disable without turning any other feature off. If you disable drag selection, you’ll find you won’t accidentally drag & drop items when you don’t mean to.

Open the Settings app and go to the Devices group of settings. Select the Touchpad tab, and uncheck the ‘Tap twice and drag to multi-select” option.

After you disable this option, you will have to use the mouse button that come with the touchpad to select items, or you can single tap on an item to select it. Drag & drop will still work once you’ve selected the item.

The tap twice and drag option is basically what causes the items to be accidentally selected in the first place. The touchpad is bit too sensitive so when you’re moving your fingers across it, it tends to recognize it as a double-tap and drag. As mentioned before, you can try changing the sensitivity of the touchpad but there are only four different settings that you can try and if you set the sensitivity to the lowest it will allow, the other gestures may not be recognized as well as they were before. Still, it’s worth a try if you don’t want to disable double tap to select.

If you still can’t find the right balance for your touchpad’s sensitivity, you can try using different drivers. The Windows 10 generic drivers are normally what are installed but you can opt to use the Synaptics drivers. They support precision touchpads too but may offer you better control over its sensitivity and its various gestures. There is also a small possibility that you lose some gestures that Windows 10 supports so you might sacrifice something along the way.

You can also use a mouse with the touchpad if you want to.

Read How to prevent accidental drag & drop with touchpad on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to back up Photoshop document presets

If you often create documents in Photoshop where the canvas is a certain size, it’s a good idea to save that size as a preset. A document preset in Photoshop can be used to quickly open a new file that has a few predefined basic features e.g., the canvas size, the resolution, the color mode, etc. Creating them can be time consuming so it’s a good idea to back up Photoshop document presets just in case. You can use the backup to quickly add the same presets to a different system, or just restore it on your system if you do a fresh install.

Create document presets

Creating document presets is pretty easy and we’ve detailed the process here. If you’ve already added presets, make sure they appear in the Saved tab in the create new document window. If they do, you can back them up.

Back up document presets

The document presets can be backed up on both macOS and Windows 10. The process involves backing up one file but you need to know where the file is saved. If you’re not running the latest version of Photoshop, you may not find the file in the locations given below but look around for a folder called Adobe Photoshop Settings and it should be there.

Windows 10

Open File Explorer and paste the following in the location bar;

%APPDATA%\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2018\Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 Settings\

In the folder that opens, look for a file called New Doc Sizes.json. This is the file that you need to back up. If you want, you can open it in Notepad, or any other text editor, and edit the presets directly.

macOS

On macOS, you need to go to the following location. Be sure to replace the YourUser part with your own user name.

YourUser/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS4/Presets

In this location, look for the New Doc Sizes.json file. Back it up and again, you can open it and edit the presets directly.

Importing document presets

Importing the file is pretty easy. You need to have Photoshop installed of course so that the directory the file goes in to is already there. Make sure the app itself is not running. Open the correct directory for your OS and paste the file there.

Open Photoshop and the Create Document window should feature all the presets that the file originally had. It might be a good idea to check the Saved tab to see if they appear in it or not. If they only appear in the Recent tab, you might need to save them again though it’s rare that you would need to.

Read How to back up Photoshop document presets by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter