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How to Find Fake Amazon Reviews

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It can be pretty frustrating to order a product that doesn’t live up to your expectiations, especially when the reviews say the product is great. Amazon especially is known for having a lot of fake reviews. Fortunately their are some easy ways to spot fake Amazon product reviews.

The easiest way to do this is to check http://www.fakespot.com.

First, just find the product on Amazon that you want to check. For example, I’ll use the second result that pops up on Amazon for “headphones” https://www.amazon.com/NUBWO-Headphones-Comfortable-Lightweight-Smartphones/dp/B01EXXZ4O6/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1483414616&sr=8-5&keywords=headphones Then go to Fakespot, and paste the URL into the search bar on the Home page (shown below).

Grade Given By Fakespot for Amazon Products

Then hit analyze. If the product has already been analyzed the results will pop up immediately. Otherwise you will have to wait a couple minutes while it’s analyzed. When the results pop up it will be pretty immediately obvious how good the reviews are. Fakespot uses computer algorithms to detect whether a review was written by a human, or created by a machine (almost always a fake review) and is usually incredibly accurate. For the product I selected (the headphones), Fakespot gives the reviews a D. This is a very poor grade, and suggests that the manufacturer or seller has gone out of their way to make the product look better than it is.

Fakespot suggests many fake reviews

With a D rating it is pretty likely you’ll want to find a different product, because usually if someone resorts to faking reviews like this, there is a better product out there. But, if you are not convinced and want to do some more research on that product, Fakespot supplies a bit more extended information on why it thinks the review is fake below.

Fakespot shows high keyword usage for certain terms

This shows that Fakespot thinks the reviews are almost half fake, and shows some of the common keywaords used. If a lot of reviews use the same keywords, they are likely computer generated and are easy to pick out. It also suggests that overall, very few reviews provide a quality description of the product.

Then farther below, there is in my opinion the most interesting information. Fakespot analyzes the individual reviewers to see if they have a patter of giving similar reviews, or have done a huge amount of reviews in a short time (indicative of being paid for reviews)

Amazon reviewers with fake reviews

Fakespot suggests that the reviewers are fake for this product based on their accounts and how they review products. It even shows you which accounts it suggests as unreliable, so you can check them out yourself.

How to find where short link leads without clicking on it (bit.ly goo.gl etc)

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Short links are used all over today. Anytime you see an address that is bit.ly or goo.gl or even youtu.be, the link has been shortened for various reasons. One can be so that it’s easier to copy, or that it can be easier to remember if you pick a “vanity” shortlink (like bit.ly/test), as well as a myriad of others. Unfortunately, short links can also be used for evil. Scammers will commonly try to hide where the link will take you by using short links, so someevilwebsite.com, would just look the same as any other bit.ly link. Also, it’s much harder for websites to spam filter, because while you could block links to someevilwebsite.com, it’s much harder to block short links that link you there.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to not only find out where the short link will take you, but also some useful statistics about it. First, we will take a short link (this is the one I show in the video, taken from the youtube description of a Pewdiepie video) https://bitly.com/AndroidBro

Just looking at the link, it’s impossible to know where it will link you too, but if you just add a plus to the link (https://bitly.com/AndroidBro+) then when you click on it, it will bring you to a page where you can view where it links to, as well as statistics for the link. You can see the web page for the link in the image below:

Find where short link goes without clicking

This works with just about any short linking system you’ll find on the internet, including the ones that are pay per click.

I definitely suggest using this to tell where you are being linked to, especially if you don’t know the person giving you the link (random email, random user comment, suspicious message on facebook), and then don’t go to the page if it seems different than what you were expecting.

How to boot into Safe Mode on Windows 10

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Getting to safe mode in Windows 10 is easy, but slightly different than previous versions of Windows. This is mostly due to how fast Windows 10 boots, so it’s too fast for the normal f8 or shift+f8 method of getting into safe mode. This is especially true with the new UEFI, and the incredible speed of solid state hard drives.

There are a few easy ways to do this, depending on if your operating system can boot or not. If you can get to the Windows desktop, you can set it to boot from safe mode easily there, otherwise you will have to use the advanced startup options in the boot repair, and if it is not booting to even this point (although then it likely won’t even be able to get to safe mode) you may have to use external boot media to force it to boot to safe mode.

So if your system does boot, the easiest way to set your pc to boot to safe mode is to go into the system configuration options. To get there, either search for System Configuration, or go to the start menu, choose All apps, scroll all the way to the bottom, open the Windows Administration Tools folder, and choose the System Configuration option.

Windows 10 boot configuration options

In the window that pops up, choose the boot tab at the top. As long as you aren’t doing any fancy dual booting or anything, it will look like the image below. If you do have more options, make sure you select your operating system before changing the boot options. In the window, just choose the Safe Boot option, and then if you need internet in safe mode, choose the network radio button at the bottom. The alternate shell and Active Directory repair options would be for more advanced users in specific situations.

Using internet in safe mode in Windows 10

Once you have done this and hit ok, it will ask you if you want to reboot immediately into safe mode, or just safe and reboot later, but at this point, after you restart the computer it will boot into safe mode instead of normal Windows 10.

Once, you are in safe mode and have completed what you needed safe mode for, simply go back into the system configuration with the same steps as before, and deselect the safe boot check box. Then the next time you boot, it will be into normal mode.

If your computer won’t boot, you can still set it to boot into safe mode, as long as you are getting startup repair on boot (this should happen if Windows 10 fails to boot more than once in a row). At the window shown below, just select See advanced repair options.

Startup Recovery Options Windows 10 repair

This will bring you to the next screen, asking you to choose an option. Here choose Troubleshoot.

Windows 10 booting troubleshoot options

Then at the next screen choose Advanced Options

WIndows 10 Advanced boot options

Finally, you have the option here for startup options (I have no idea why they make this so many steps)

Windows 10 choose how to boot

Here hit restart, and then on the next boot it will give you the option to boot into safe mode.

Finally, you can choose the option you want for safe mode. Just hit the function key for the start option you want (F1 for Enable Debugging, F2 for Boot Logging, F3 for Low Resolution Video, F4 for normal safe mode, F5 for safe mode with internet, F6 for Safe Mode command prompt, F7 to disable Driver Signature enforcement which can temporarily fix some Windows 10 driver problems, F8 to disable early malware detection, and F9 to disable automatic restart for Windows 10)

Press F5 for Windows 10 Safe Boot with Internet

If Windows 10 will not even boot to the startup repair, you will need to create boot media (A CD or USB flash drive with Windows 10 installed on it) that you can boot off of. I have a tutorial on how to do that here:

THen you can follow the same steps here for a non-bootable Windows 10 (after you boot off the external media, you will get the same options as the startup repair)

How to change sound output Windows 10 (HDMI, headphones, optical out)

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Changing the audio output on your computer can be pretty frustrating. Something that should be very simple, has very few options for anyone doing anything out of the ordinary (playing sound through headphones and speakers, automatically playing through headphones when plugged in, or setting audio to go out over AUX rather than HDMI).

There is one simple way to accomplish most of this in Windows 10, using sound settings in the control panel. The easiest way to access this is to right click the sound icon in the bottom right corner, and choosing playback devices.

Change Sound Output Windows 10

The playback devices window is a list of all the ways to play sound from your computer, including any AUX (headphone jack) ports, HDMI, SPDIF, DisplayPort, etc. Anything installed in your system that has drivers should show up. In the image from mine below, the first few are HDMI output (video and audio on the same cable), then my AUX port (generally known as a headphone port), and then the optical output (uses fiber optic cable).

List of Windows 10 Audio Devices

To set a certain device to output audio, just right click on it and set it as default. Whichever one has the green checkmark is the current default device, and will play sound for whatever media you play.

Set default audio device in Windows 10

If you specifically don’t want a certain device to play audio, you can also right click on it and disable it. To re-enable it, right click in the window in the white space, choose show disabled devices, and then right click on the one you disabled and choose enable.

If you need to do anything more advanced, unfortunately it can’t be solved with default settings in the operating system. I have another tutorial on using the program audio switcher that helps with this, and can allow you to output to multiple devices, or override default audio devices.

Find where Youtube video is Posted on the Internet

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This video will show you a useful way to find where Youtube videos are linked on the internet. For example you could find if your Youtube video is posted on a forum, or if someone has posted your video to Facebook.

First, just find the video you are interested in. For example, in this post we will use the video “How to Remove a Hard Drive From a Laptop Computer” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf7C34MaMLs

Next, you just need to copy the last part of the video url, everything after the watch?v=. So for the example video, it would be Lf7C34MaMLs. This is basically the videos unique identifier. No other video will have this same combination of values.

Next, paste that into Google and run a search. So pasting Lf7C34MaMLs yields:

Finding Youtube Video On Forum Posts

As you can see, the first result is the Youtube page of the original video. This is to be expected, because it is how Youtube identifies the video. The next few results are spam/automatically created. The first real interesting result is the 6th video down, where someone posted the Youtube video in a forum. Also, on the next page of results, there is a link to where the Youtube video is posted on Reddit.

Finding if your Youtube video is linked or posted in a forum, or on someones web page, or reddit can be very important so that you can see how people are finding your videos. In the in your Channel there are some statistics for where external views are coming from, but they don’t show the exact page, so it can be hard to see the context for the views, so this method can give you a lot more information.

How to Test Your Internet Speed on Windows 10

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There are several ways to test your internet speed. It is important to use multiple methods, because the results can be different between them, sometimes by a lot.

Two of the methods shown here are very simple, the third is a bit more difficult, but gives a very good value for sustained download speed, so is something the first two won’t show.

The first and most simple method, is to test your speed at http://www.speedtest.net Simply load the web page, and hit test after it loads. The speed test will normally take a couple of minutes to run, but can take longer if your internet is unreliable or slow. The result from speedtest.net should look something like the image below:

Portland Maine Internet Speed Test

The three main values you see in the image are the ping, download speed, and upload speed.

A low ping is important (lower is better), because it is the amount of time it takes for data to be transmitted, so you can have a lot of bandwidth, but still be unable to play first person shooters well if the ping is too high, because the character will lag in the time it takes for the data to transmit. The max value you should have to be able to play first person shooter games online reliably would be less than 100 ms, but in some games it should even be lower, like under 50 milliseconds.

The download speed is the next most important for most people. This value indicates how fast you can download files, and is generally what your internet will be sold to you as. In the image, I have only 1.05 Mbps (Megabits per second), which is very slow. Generally for Netflix, you would want at least 3 Mbps per person using it, and with their newer 4K content coming out, you would want even more. And just for example, if I wanted to download a 1 Gigabyte file, then it would take about 2 hours. (1.05 Mbps / 8 = .13125 MegaBytes per second, 1000 Megabytes/.13125 = 7619 seconds = 2.11 hours)

The third value, upload speed, only matters to people in certain circumstances. FOr example, if you are using skype, the sending video will depend on your upload speed. Same for uploading videos to youtube, streaming surveillance cameras, uploading files to remote storage, or running a webserver.

Speedtest.net has been shown to not always be reliable, and there have been some things showing that your internet providers will try to cheat to make your internet look faster on speed test, such as giving you speed bursts that last just as long as the test, or setting up servers as close as possible.

Because of these shenanigans, Netflix came out with another speed testing service that only tests your download speed. To run the test, just head over to http://www.fast.com

The test should start automatically, and give you a screen like this when it’s finished:

Netflix Speed Test Fast.com

This number should be pretty close to the value from speedtest, but sometimes it can be very different. Basically this test works by communicating with Netflix’s servers, so it is showing you what your streaming speeds will be from the Netflix servers, so you know exactly what quality you will get. This test isn’t necessarily more or less reliable than speedtest.net, it’s just a good alternative to use to get a second opinion.

Lastly, is the most reliable way to find your download speed. The way to do this is download the Ubuntu operating system using P2P filesharing. This will saturate your internet connection over a long period of time, so you can see not only how fast it is, but if it is reliable or speeds up and slows down randomly.

First, go to http://www.ninite.com and choose the qbittorrent option, and then download and run the installer.

Downloading qbittorrent from Ninite

Then get the Ubuntu torrent file from Ubuntu’s website http://www.ubuntu.com/download/alternative-downloads Just choose the top left option shown in the image below.

Download Ubuntu Torrent

Open the torrent file once it’s downloaded, and it will open in qbittorrent. Give it a few minutes to get up to speed while keeping an eye on it, and you will be able to see your internet speed, as is highlighted in the image below. Just make sure to multiply that number by 8 to get you internet speed, because it is shown in bytes rather than bits.

http://i1.wp.com/www.allhow2s.com/wp-content/uploads/ubuntu-internet-download-speed.png?w=520

It’s important to download something that has a lot of uploaders for this test, so that is why we use the Ubuntu download.

When you are finished with the test, just right click on the file in qbittorent, and choose remove, then check the also delete files checkbox so the download won’t take up space on your computer.

How to Color a Hand Drawn Picture in Photoshop

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This is an easy way to scan or take a photo of line art, adjust the picture, and color it. Once the image has been scanned or photographed, the first step is to open the image in Photoshop. Sometimes if the drawing is taken from a sketchbook, the image with be darker than you would like. One way to make the image clearer is to adjust the levels.

Import The Scanned Image into Photoshop

To the right-bottom of the Photoshop window there is a layer menu. Highlight the layer with your original image, and click on the level adjustment button. This creates a new layer and brings up a new window. In this window, you can change the white and black levels to make the picture more clear. I like to drag the white adjuster (the drag key on the right side) and bring it to over to where the white levels drop off. I then drag the black drag key (to the right) and pull it in to where the black level picks up. The black adjustment isn’t usually as drastic, so you just have to adjust it until you have something you want to work with. The gray drag key located in between the white and black drag keys can also be adjusted until you get a result you like.

Adjust the Black and White Levels of the Image in Photoshop

When you have an image that brings out the black lines the way you want, the next step is to make that layer Multiply. In essence, the Multiply adjustment makes any white in the layer transparent, while keeping the black intact. The more white, the more transparent – this is why adjusting the levels to make the lines more clear is important; it makes the colors you will be putting on more clear.

Make the Image Multilayer in Photoshop

Make sure you have selected the original layer with the line art, and go up to the drop menu that should say Normal on it. Click on it to open the menu and select the Multiply option.

Multiply the Layers of the Image in Photoshop

With the layer in Multiply mode, you can go ahead and create a new layer that will be for your colors. Make sure this new layer is below the line art layer. If it isn’t, simply drag and drop the layer until it is below it. As you can see with the big pink paint line, the lines are visible while the color comes through.

Create a New Layer for Colors

You can choose to color the image entirely in one layer, or use several layers. The hierarchy of layers will apply when coloring, so if you want a color below another color – like the blue to show up over the red – just make sure the blue layer is listed before the red one in the layers menu.

Use layers of colors to finish the image

All the layers below the original line art will show through, so you can add as many layers as you like.

Hand Drawn Captain America Colored in Photoshop

How to Take a Screenshot in a Video Game on Windows

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This will show you how to create a screenshot of any video game or full screen application you are running. You can use the included Windows screenshot function for this, but Windows 7 doesn’t have a setting to automatically save screenshots. In Windows 7, you would have to open paint and paste the screenshot in and then save it. Windows 8 can automatically save screenshots, but the settings for it aren’t optimal.

The best solution is to use a free program called Greenshot. It works well, is small, completely free, and has lots of settings. It can be downloaded from here:

Just go to the website and click the download link shown in the picture. (Other download links may show up that are advertisements, make sure to select the one shown in the picture).

Download Greenshot

After it’s downloaded, click on it to start the installation. Select your preferred language at the first window, and then hit “OK”. Then hit “Next >” at the Welcome screen. Accept the license terms and then hit “Next >”. Hit “Next >” at the next screen as well. If you want to change the installation folder, do so, but I would just leave it and hit “Next >”.

The next screen has some settings that you may wish to turn on. By default many are unchecked, so if you want to automatically save screenshots to dropbox, or automatically upload screenshots to photobucket, make sure to click those check boxes. The default installation includes the most common ones, so if you don’t need any of the extra ones just hit “Next >”.

At the next screen just hit “Next >”.

It will now ask you if you want to have it start on startup. If you will be using it for screenshots on full screen games, I would recommend leaving this on so that you don’t have to remember to run it before you start your game.

You can now hit install, it should only take a minute or so. After this the greenshot website will pop up, so you can check out their faq their if there’s anything else you want to know about the software that I don’t cover later in this tutorial.

After it’s installed, you should notice a new green icon in your system tray as shown in the picture below.

Greenshot Icon in the system tray

At this point, Greenshot is ready to use, but some of the settings can be optimized to suit your situation better, and I will go through those now.

Just right click on the Greenshot icon and choose the “Preferences” option.

Choose the Greenshot Preferences Option

In the window that pops up, the first tab is the “General” settings tab. This allows you to change the hotkeys for the different type of screenshots, so you can set any keypresses to save a screenshot. These can be changed by just clicking in the box next to the option you want to change, and then pressing the keys that you want to trigger that type of screenshot. This is shown in the picture below.

Change Screenshot Hoteky Windows

In the “Capture” tab, you can change some important settings. The first option chooses whether you want the mousepointer present in your screenshot. If you’re taking game screenshots you’ll probably want to turn this off. The next option is for a camera sound. If you want an audio confirmation that it took a screenshot, you can turn this on sso it makes a sound every time Greenshot takes a screenshot. The notifications option makes it so that a window will pop up at the bottom right of your screen when a screenshot it taken. The other one you may be interested is the “Milliseconds to wait before capture”. This can make it so that your screenshot won’t trigger for a certain time, so if you want to take a screenshot in the middle of something, you can set this so you can pause, start the screenshot, and then go back into the game.

Change Greenshot Capture Settings

The “Output” tab sets where you want your screenshots automatically saved to. By default it’s to the Windows desktop, but I would change it to a better location, such as a “Greenshots” folder in your pictures folder. You can do this by clicking the … on the right, and then navigating to the folder where you want to store the screenshots. You can also change the automatic filename pattern here. By default it just saves it with a name that is made up of the current time and date. It would take to long to fully explain the process here, but you can change this for your own uses, and you can click the question mark for more information on this. You can also change the image format here. .png should be find for most uses, but if you need a different file type you can change it here.

One more important setting on this page is the quality setting. Basically the better the quality, the larger the file size, and the lower the quality the lower the file size. So if you want the clearest images possible, turn this up to 100%, but if you want small files (such as ones that will only be a small picture on a website) move the slider down to a lower quality.

Greenshot Quality Settings

The last important tab is the “Destination” tab. This sets what happens when you take a screenshot. By default it will pop up with a list after you take a screenshot, but if you want it to automatically save a screenshot to a folder or to imgur, you can change this. If you deselect the “Select destination dynamically” option at the top, then you can choose the options you want, and you can select more than one. Just remember that if you choose the “Save directly (using preferred file output settings)” option, it will save to the folder you set as the destination, with the automatic filename set on the “Output” tab.

Make Greenshot automatically Save Screenshots

After you have set all of these settings, you can easily take screenshots in and out of games. Just make sure greenshot is running, and then hit the buttons that you set to take a screenshot. It will then take a screenshot, and either pop up with a menu asking you what to do with the screenshot, or automatically do what you selected in the destination tab.

How to Create a Free Online Bitcoin Wallet

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This video will show you how to create a free online bitcoin wallet, where you can send, receive and store bitcoins in.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Treat this the same as a bank account, but even then much more securely than that. If a hacker gained access to your account, or you gave out your password, your bitcoins could be stolen, and there is ABSOLUTELY nothing you can do in that event. There are no charge backs, and no one will reimburse you. Authorities would not even be able to track down the person who stole them. So be careful!

With that said, these bitcoin wallets are very secure, and can be accessed from your internet browser, or from an app on your phone (blockchain app). The site uses a very cool authentication system that means that even they don’t have access to your bitcoins, only the person with the password does.

Just please read up on the security information of the wallet before you store a large amount of bitcoins there, as I don’t take any responsibility for any coins you might lose. I have used this wallet for a while with no issues.

The site to go to is blockchain.info. Then click the wallet option at the top right.

Then, choose the create wallet option at the top left.

Here you can enter an email if you choose (I would recommend entering one, but if you want to remain completely anonymous then you can).

Then, enter a password that is at least 10 characters long, has an uppercase letter, and a number.

After this, hit continue. It should then pop up with a page with a pneumonic device that can be used for password recovery. WRITE THIS DOWN OR PRINT IT OUT! It is your only option in the case of a lost/forgotten password.

After this hit continue, and then just type in your password to log into your wallet. Here you can do all the things you would do with any other bitcoin wallet, such as receive and send coins.

You can also set up two factor authentication in the settings here, so that it requires a second password for more protection.

Your bitcoin address that you can receive bitcoins on will be on the front page of your wallet in the form of a long string of letters and numbers, as well as a QR code (that can be scanned by a phone). This is the address you can paste into a site such as http://www.bitvisitor.com/?ref=1H4v3X6Yf4SjUndU4r18ybvzzFfdwfoVk8 which will then send you bitcoins. This is also the bitcoin address you would input to a mining pool to receive the bitcoins you have mined.

You can also send bitcoins from this wallet. All you have to do is copy and paste the address you want to send bitcoins to in the send address box. (For instance my address is 1H4v3X6Yf4SjUndU4r18ybvzzFfdwfoVk8 so you could copy and paste that in to send me bitcoins.

Keep in mind that there is a “Miner’s fee” for sending bitcoins. This fee supports the bitcoin network and keep it operating well. Currently the fee is .0001 bitcoins (about 10 cents) per transaction.

If you have any issues just leave a comment below and I will get back to you!

How to Turn Off Windows Updates on Windows 7

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Windows Updates are useful, and do help protect your computer from bugs and viruses/malware. But they can also be incredibly annoying, by shutting down your computer when you don’t want it to, or installing updates that break some functionality on your computer. In this will I will describe how to turn off Windows Automatic Updates in Windows 7, but I would still HIGHLY recommend installing them when you have some time, because you can leave your computer very vulnerable without some of the security updates.

Step 1: Open the Windows Control Panel

Open the Windows 7 Start Menu and Click Control Panel

The Windows control panel can be opened just by clicking the start menu, and then clicking the control panel option on the right. After a few seconds the window for the control panel will pop up.

Step 2: Change the View to Large Icons

Change the Control Panel to Large Icons

For some reason Windows defaults the control panel to this crappy view where it is hard to find what you are looking for. To make it much easier, choose the dropdown box at the top right that says “View by: “, and choose the option for “Large Icons”.

Step 3: Choose the “Windows Update” option

Choose the Windows Update Option in the Control Panel

The Windows Update option will be at the very bottom of the list (it is sorted alphabetically). Just double click it to open the Windows Update settings.

Step 4: Select “Change settings” on the left

Choose the Change Settings Option on the Left

On the left you will see several options, choose the one for “Change settings”. This will open a Window that allows you to change all of the Windows Update settings so youcan make it less annoying.

Step 5: Choose the best options for you

Choose the best Windows Update Setting for you

Under the Important Updates dropdown, you will see several options that will make it so Windows Updates is more set up for you.

The normal “Install Updates Automatically (recommended)” option will download updates whenever they become available, and then will supposedly install them at the time selected below. In my personal experience, it never works that way, and will shut down my computer to install updates at the worst times.

The next option, “Download updates but let me choose whether to install them” is much better, because it will still check for updates and download them, but it won’t shut down your computer and install Windows Updates unless you tell it to.

The “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them” option is great if you have very low bandwidth caps on your internet. This makes it so it won’t download updates while you’re connected to your cell phone internet, or another internet service where you need to save your data, you can just wait till you’re on your home internet to download them. Also, the computer won’t install them until you tell it to, so no more random shutdowns where you lose work.

The last option “Never check for updates (not recommended)” is great if you have some software that the updates keep breaking, or if you just really don’t care about security and just want Windows Update to leave you alone. This will turn off Windows Update completely. Unfortunately, with this option a window will be constantly popping up in the bottom right hand corner to tell you that your Windows Updates are off. I would still definitely recommend installing the updates when you have some time, but at least this option makes the Windows Updates leave you alone for the most part.

The other two options on this page aren’t a big deal. If you want to deselect the box that says “Give me recommended updates the same way I get important updates” go ahead. The updates it installs with this option aren’t security related, and just fix small bugs with Windows software.