If you bought a new car that came with the seat tilted all the way back, the air conditioner going at full blast in the winter and the radio volume turned down to inaudible levels, you’d immediately make adjustments. Unfortunately, most PC users don’t change the default settings in their operating system or other popular software. Programmers know this and often configure the defaults to protect users, distract them with unnecessary bling or push a business agenda.
Fortunately, when you know what to change, you can take control of your computer. Here are the 12 dumbest default PC settings and how to change them.
Imagine if the Enter key on your keyboard doubled as an instant-wipe key that would erase your hard drive if you hit it under the wrong circumstances. The rocket scientists who developed all four major desktop browsers have made a similar choice by setting the Backspace key to double as a browser Back button when you aren't focused on a text field.
So, if you're writing something in a Web form and hit Backspace when the cursor isn't in the right box, the browser will return to the previous page, erasing your work. Fortunately, you can disable Backspace as Back button in Chrome with an extension called BackStop and in Firefox with the backspace_action setting. However, if you're using Internet Explorer or Safari, you'll just have to be extra careful.