How to set a default printer on Windows

When you install new printers on your Windows machine they might have the nasty habit of setting themselves as the new default printer. That may be fine if you intend to use that new printer a lot but can be a pain if you only use it once or twice.

To set another printer as default printer, follow these steps:

Open the Control Panel and go to Devices and Printers under Hardware and Sound. In the Printers and Faxes pane, right-click the printer you want to set as default and select the appropriate action:


Change window border size in Windows 8

With some help of the Windows registry you can now change the width of Windows explorer borders. This can be nice in terms of style but also really handy since it will become far more easier to grab borders to resize a window.


To change border width, point your cursor to the bottom left corner of the screen and right-click it to open a menu where you choose Run from. In the appearing prompt, enter regedit to get to the registry editor.

In the editor, browse to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics key in the left pane and left-click once. On the right pane, look for the BorderWidth and PaddedBorderWidth values set to -15 and -60. Change these to your likings: 0 will give you really small borders, while -200 will give you very thick ones. Don't meddle with too high numbers though, otherwise you will have a hard times changing the values back!

Change the languages Google searches results for

Usually Google restricts its results to the language you have set for the page itself, which is the one spoken in the country it locates you in by default.

You can easily change these settings by clicking on the cog wheel icon on the top right and going to Search Settings:

Next, click on Languages on the left pane and add any of the languages listed by checking the box next to them. If you want to use one language only, you need to change the language the page is displayed in - the same language will then be selected for the results.

Afterwards click on Save on the bottom right corner.

Rearrange button order and position of window menu buttons in Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu, other than most distributions as well as MS Windows, decided to move its window menu buttons to the left side of the top window panel. This brings along many accustomization problems for people who are used to rush their mouses to the top right instinctively.

If you want to, you can revert this change with the help of gconf-editor.

Open it by entering gconf into Dash or


into a terminal. Browse the left pane for /apps/metacity/general and look for the value of button_layout which should be close,minimize,maximize: . This value defines where the buttons are positioned and in which order - the commands stand for the appropriate button whereas the colon determines on which side they will be. You can also add a menu button by including menu.

To move the buttons to the right and adjust their order, a value like


would be appropriate. Don't forget to set the colon or metacity will crash as soon as you have entered and confirmed your value!

Change selection box color in Windows 8 and 7

The selection box that appears when you hold the left mouse-button and drag your mouse away is blue by default on all versions of Windows. However you can change this setting by using two registry values in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Open the registry by typing regedit into the Windows 7 menu search on Windows 7 or by right-clicking the bottom left corner on Windows 8 and opening a Run... prompt. Enter regedit into it.

- In the registry you will see a tree structure on the left pane - in it, browse for Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors and click it once.
- On the right pane, look for the value of HotTrackingColor. It is given in three values representing the ratios of red, green and blue that range from 0 to 255. Enter values that mix to the color you want to have (you can check the color values in a graphic editor).
- Do the same for he value of Hilight.

These two values also alter the color of hyperlinks and the color of highlighted text. After you set the values, close the registry and reboot your machine. Afterwards the selection box should have the color you chose.

The two different values each stand for a different part of the box - the first determines the color of the inner transparent space, the second determines the color of the non-transparent border. This means you can have different colors for each.

Revert cursor from block form to bar (Windows, Linux, Mac)

Windows as well as other platforms use two different forms to display a text-cursor. One, which is used most, is the bar-formed cursor which rests between two letters. The other has block form and rests on a letter, replacing it if new input is done and going one letter further. This is annoying if you activate it by accident.

You activate as well as deactivate it with the Ins key on usual keyboards. If you are using different hardware, look for a key combination equivalent to the Insert-key.

Set lightdm wallpaper that is independant of the user’s wallpaper (Ubuntu/Linux Mint)

Using lightdm, the wallpaper that is shown is usually the one used by the selected user. If you want to change this or just set a static wallpaper for your login screen, there are a few possibilities to do that.

1. Method

The first one is to make your wallpaper inaccessible to others, letting lightdm fall back to its default wallpaper. For this method, dconf-tools must be installed. If it isn't installed on your system yet, install it with

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

With these tools you can easily configure lightdm - however you cannot do so in the GUI since you must be logged in as lightdm user. Do so by entering following into a terminal:

sudo xhost +SI:localuser:lightdm
sudo su lightdm -s /bin/bash

Now you can edit any of lightdm's settings with the command line - you can use the dconf GUI as reference for the paths and variable names (the dconf path to the lightdm unity greeter configuration is com>canonical>unity greeter). Set the background picture with

gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter background '/usr/share/backgrounds/orsomewhereelse.png'

Replace the path I use with the one to the wallpaper of your choice - it must be closed in quotation marks. You can also change the background color to black (x000000) or some other neutral color.

What happens in the login screen now is that the dconf wallpaper blinks up for a second and is then replaced by your wallpaper. To counter that, you must make your wallpaper inaccessible to other users. To do that, log in to your account again and open a terminal. Change the ownership to you instead of root if you need to (wallpapers in /usr/share... usually don't belong to you for example). Replace my username (howtoforge)and my group (howtoforge) with yours:

sudo chown howtoforge:howtoforge /usr/share/backgrounds/orsomewhereelse.png

Now right-click the wallpaper and go to the Permissions tab in the Properties menu. Set the rights of Others to None. Lightdm won't be able to access your wallpaper any longer, so it falls back to the one you specified in dconf-tools.

2. Method

The other possibility is to run

id -u

to find out your user ID and afterwards run (replace [your id] with the ID the previous command spit out (without brackets) and the path I used with the one to the wallpaper you want lightdm to display):

dbus-send --system --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.Accounts /org/freedesktop/Accounts/User[your id] org.freedesktop.Accounts.User.SetBackgroundFile string:/path/to/wallpaper.jpg

This command has to be repeated every time you change your wallpaper and only replaces the wallpaper for one user. You can decide whether you like this method or the previous more.

Windows Powershell – “Running scripts is disabled on this system”

Powershell scripts can be run on any Windows system as long as they are run from the ISE by pushing the green play button but as soon as you want to run it from the cmd or the desktop file you'll get hit by an error:

script1.ps1 cannot be loaded because running scripts is disabled on this system. For more information, see about_Execution_Policies at

This error happens due to a security measure which won't let scripts be executed on your system without you having approved of it. You can do so by opening up a powershell with administrative rights (search for powershell in the main menu and select Run as administrator from the context menu) and entering:

set-executionpolicy remotesigned