Help and Howto

Royal Revolt 2 from Flare Games is one of the best raiding games on Windows Phone and Windows 8. Whereas most raiding games feature somewhat casual strategic attacks on opponents, Flare's take goes a different direction. Every raid is full of action, with the player directly running through other players' levels and attacking their troops and defenses head-on. I've been playing it daily for over a year, which speaks to its amazing addictiveness and fun factor.

Earlier this week we reported that Royal Revolt 2 had been updated to support Alliance Wars, an exciting new feature. Alliance Wars have finally gone live, and the Windows Central Alliance is right in the thick of things. Read on to learn how Alliance Wars work and find out how you can join our site's official alliance!

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There is no such as thing as too many backups. If you can make a backup of the backup, do it. Luckily, Windows makes it super easy to make an exact copy of your entire computer using the System Image Backup utility.

Never used it before? We'll explain what it does and how to use it.

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Creating a dual-boot system will let you safely test Windows 10 Technical Preview using the full power of your PC's hardware alongside Windows 8.1. In Windows 10, Microsoft is doing something differently as it's letting customers download and install versions of the operating system early on, so users get a sneak peek of what is to come. But also it helps Microsoft to get more feedbacks and design an operating system that people will actually like.

However, because the operating system remains an unfinished product, it has numbers of bugs, and there are many features that don't work. As such it's not recommended to use it as your primary operating system.

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We know Google doesn't develop apps for the Windows Phone platform, but Windows Phone developer community fills in quite well. While we don't have an official YouTube app for Windows Phone, we've got terrific third-party YouTube apps like MetroTube and myTube since quite a while.

But my latest crush is Tubecast because it offers the ability to cast the YouTube video onto your TV screen using a Chromecast. Watch our video to see it in action.

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Yesterday, Microsoft released a new update to the Windows 10 Preview for phone and you've probably realized that it is far from being finished. While you had fun checking out the Preview, you may want to go back to a more stable build. If you want to roll back to Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft has made it really simple. You'll need a computer, your phone, a USB cable, and the Windows Phone Recovery Tool.

Watch our step-by-step instructions on video.

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You have a lock screen password on your Windows Phone, right? It's the smart thing to do in case you misplace your phone. Another layer of security is the Wallet PIN. This one is a little different. It's not required, but it's a good way to prevent accidental or unauthorized purchases by children or anyone else who has access to your phone. We'll show you how to set it up in our how-to video.

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How to use Quick Access on Windows 10 Technical Preview

When you open File Explorer on Windows 10 Technical Preview, it opens to Quick Access by default. Think of Quick Access as a section where you can place shortcuts to your favorite folders. It also displays recently viewed files and frequently used folders by default. We'll show you how to use Quick Access and what checkboxes to uncheck if you're concerned about other people seeing your most frequently viewed folder. See it in action in our how-to video.

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We love Cortana on our Windows Phone, and we're going to love her on Windows PCs and tablets, too. If you are already running Windows 10 Technical Preview, then you can already try it out. In recent builds, a new option has shown up to help Cortana learn your voice. This makes it easier for her to initiate the 'Hey Cortana' function. Watch her in action in our hands-on video.

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There are several reasons to save your photos and video online. One reason could be you're running out of storage on your device. Another reason is having a backup in case your phone breaks. Whatever the reason may be, Windows Phone 8.1 can automatically save the photos and videos you take to OneDrive. Setting it up is fast and easy. Watch our how-to video.

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The second video in a series of "60 Second Productivity Hacks, Tips and Insights on How to Get more Out of Our Everyday Technology Tools and Platforms" just popped up on the official Microsoft Lumia youtube channel (in case you missed the first video related to using IFTTT to automatically backup Instagram photos to OneDrive, you can watch it here).

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How to uninstall apps on Windows 10

The Windows 10 Technical Preview is progressing along nicely. It's getting more user-friendly after every update and I've become comfortable using it on my main Windows device, the Surface Pro 3. As new users try out the new OS, some newbie questions might arise. An example would be how to uninstall apps on Windows 10? There are actually several ways to do it. Watch our how-to video to find out.

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One of my favorite features on Windows 10 Technical Preview is task view. By swiping from the left side of the screen, I can see all the open apps and quickly switch as needed. Windows 10 goes a step further with virtual desktops. This lets you group apps in multiple desktops. For example, you can place Outlook, Twitter, and the web browser in one desktop, while you have Netflix in another desktop. The organization is up to you. See how it works in our how-to video.

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How to send voice messages on the Xbox One

If you're on the Xbox One preview program, you are now able to send voice messages in the messages app. This feature should be able to everyone else very soon. You can quickly and easily record audio to send to your friends or others through the snapped messages app. It's really easy. Watch our how-to video to see it in action.

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The first video in a series of "60 Second Productivity Hacks, Tips and Insights on How to Get more Out of Our Everyday Technology Tools and Platforms" appeared today on the official Microsoft Lumia youtube channel.

The series of BrainCandy videos is being produced in partnership between Microsoft and CrowdCentric. Each week, BrainCandy will release a new Microsoft video featuring little-known tech tips, tricks and hacks to help digital professionals and consumers live better and work smarter.

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The latest build of Windows 10 Preview, 10041, lets you pin settings to the Start screen. It's quite simple, and it reminds us of a new feature on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2, which also lets you pin individual settings to the Start screen. Whenever you are in a settings page like System, Network, or Time & language, take a look at the top right corner. You should see a pin icon. Tapping it creates a shortcut on your Start Screen. Need visual aid? Watch our quick how-to video.

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In case you missed it, Microsoft has started allowing Xbox Music users to store personal music collection on OneDrive. You can add your MP3s to OneDrive and play them on your PC, phone, and Xbox. It's really simple. Upload your music files to the new "Music" folder in OneDrive and that music will magically appear in the Xbox Music apps for Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1, as well as on your Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Watch our how-to video for more details.

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Pebble is arguably one of the most important smartwatch brands available to consumers these days. Indeed, the private company has been very successful in raising money for its new Pebble Time device, suggesting that the company has some legs.

However, Pebble and Windows Phones are two things that do not match. We detailed the story of the failed attempt at bringing the Pebble app to Windows Phone before so today we want to talk about that 'demo' app for notifications.

We will also tell you where you can get it and how it works in our hands-on video.

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The Cortana team has been rolling out new Interests to Cortana's Notebook for a few weeks now. One of them is the Lifestyle category, with Fitness Tracker as the particular class. (The other new interest is Showtimes + Trailers).

Many of Cortana's characteristics and interests do not roll out to users all at once. Instead, Microsoft tends to push it out slowly, gauging feedback and usage. Lifestyle though is an interesting one: it appears that you can get the interest to show up by merely saving a favorite place as 'Gym'.

If you are unsure on how to save places as favorites, follow these steps to get the Lifestyle interest in Cortana

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Not in the US and want to alter the language on your Microsoft Band (that you likely ordered off of eBay)? Then good news as our favorite app Pimp My Band is now in version 1.8 after numerous smaller updates over the last few weeks.

Today's addition brings the ability to switch languages, including French, German, Italian or Spanish, as well as UK or US English variants.  The feature is found near the bottom, where 'Tweaks' was introduced a few weeks ago.

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How to take a screenshot on the Xbox One

The Xbox One finally has a feature many have been screaming for: the ability to take a screenshot. Here's how to take them and what you can do with them after.

Firstly you'll need to have downloaded the March system update. So, if you didn't get it yet, open up the Settings app, look under system and you should see a prompt for a system update to install.

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