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In another article, we explained computer ports and what they’re used for. Other than that, what can we do with port information? Since all traffic in and out of the computer goes through ports, we can check on them to see what they’re doing. Maybe the port isn’t listening for traffic? Maybe something is using a port that shouldn’t be? 

We’re going to use the Windows command netstat to see our listening ports and PID (Process ID). We’re also going to see what we can do with that information.

Table of Contents

What Is Netstat?

The netstat command is a combination of the words ‘network’ and ‘statistics’. The netstat command works in all versions of Windows from Windows XP right up to Windows 10. It’s also used in other operating systems (OS) like Unix and Linux, but we’ll stick to Windows here.

Netstat can provide us with:

The name of the protocol the port is using (TCP or UDP).

The local IP address and name of the computer and the port number being used.

The IP address and port number to which we’re connecting.

The state of a TCP connection. For details on what these states are, read the Event Processing section of RFC 793.

Using Netstat To See Listening Ports & PID

Use the key combination Win Key + X. In the menu that opens, select Command Prompt.

View the results and take note of the addresses, port numbers, state, and PID. Let’s say we want to know what’s using port 63240. Note that its PID is 8552 and it’s connecting to the IP address 172.217.12.138 on port 443.

What’s Using That Port?

Open Task Manager. That’s most easily done by using the key combination Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

Scroll down to PID 8552 and see what process it is. In this case, it’s chúng tôi . But is it really? Sometimes viruses can make themselves look like legitimate processes.

In a web browser, go to chúng tôi Enter the IP address 172.217.12.138. As we can see, the IP address is registered to Google. So this chúng tôi is a legitimate one.

How To Get Port, PID, & Process Name In PowerShell

PowerShell is Microsoft’s newer way to use a command-line interface with Windows. We say newer, but it’s been around for several versions. You should learn PowerShell even if you’re a home user.

Open Notepad and enter the following code:

$processList = Get-Process

foreach ($result in $netstat) { $splitArray = $result -split ” ” $procID = $splitArray[$splitArray.length – 1] $splitArray[$splitArray.length – 1] = $procID + ” ” + $processName.processname $splitArray -join ” ” }

Save the file as get-NetstatProcessName.ps1. Make sure to note where it’s being saved. It’s important to change the Save as type: to All Files (*.*) or it will get saved as get-NetstatProcessName.ps1.txt and it won’t work for us.

Now we can see all the traditional netstat info plus the process name. No need to open Task Manager anymore.

Go Get Them

We’ve covered two ways to use the netstat command to see listening ports. It can be used either in the old Command Prompt or within a PowerShell script. With the information it can give us, we’ve looked at how it can help us figure out what our computer is doing. 

If you thought netstat is a great utility, take a look at some other Windows TCP/IP utilities like tracert, ipconfig, and nslookup. Or use Resource Monitor to get a better look into hidden website and Internet connections. There is a lot you can do to see exactly what your computer is doing.

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How To Disable Usb Ports In Windows 10

If your PC gets used by many different people – such as a shared computer at your workplace – then it can be a security risk if people can easily plug USB devices into it all the time. Whether the owner of a USB stick knows it or not, their device may contain unsafe files, and the more people that can casually use your USB ports, the less secure you are.

Disabling your computer’s USB drives can help keep your files safe, and the process is easier than you think. There are multiple methods you can choose from, so if one doesn’t work for you, you can always try another.

How to Disable/Enable a USB Drive Using the Registry

If you want to try to disable a USB drive using the registry, type “run” in the search box (though maybe first take a look at our guide on creating a backup of your registry). When it appears, type regedit, and the registry editor should appear. Navigate to the following directory in Registry Editor:

To (re)enable the USB storage, change the value data back to “3,” and the USB storage will be enabled again.

Use the Device Manager to Disable USB Ports Disable USB Storage by Using the Group Policy Editor

Now that your operating system is safe from unwanted USB devices, what’s next? You could learn our trick to schedule startup and shutdown in Windows 10. Also, learn how to overcome the bugbear of copy-paste not working on your PC.

Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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How To Use And Troubleshoot Voice Typing In Windows

Windows 11 comes equipped with a Voice Typing feature, enabling you to enter text on a PC just by speaking the words. This tool employs online speech recognition powered by Azure Speech services. As a result, you will require an Internet connection and a working microphone to start using this tool. The following tutorial explains how to enable Voice Typing in Windows 11 and what to do if it is not working.

What Is Voice Typing and Why Should You Use It?

An average person can type around 40 words per minute, but we can speak around 130 words per minute, making voice typing a huge time saver.

Voice Typing can minimize hand muscle stress if your typing sessions last for many hours daily.

Voice Typing can help you achieve better accuracy, as your documents will not have spelling errors if you pronounce words correctly.

There is no restriction on where you can use Voice Typing in Windows. You can deploy the tool wherever you have a text box/window on your PC’s screen or inside a website/app.

How to Activate Voice Typing in Windows

Follow these steps to activate Voice Typing on your PC.

Open a word processor such as Microsoft Word or a text box on your PC.

Press Windows + H on your keyboard to open the Voice Typing tool.

Voice Typing also offers various commands to edit text quickly and boost productivity. They are compatible with all Voice Typing languages. For example, you can say “Pause Voice Typing” or “Pause Voice Mode” to terminate a Voice Typing session or say “comma” to add a comma to your dictation. Visit Microsoft’s website to see the complete list of commands.

How to Change Voice Typing Language

By default, Windows allows you to start dictating in English. However, you can easily switch to another language. Voice Typing supports up to 46 languages, including French, Spanish, Romanian, and Bulgarian.

Find the language you want to add to Voice Typing and follow the on-screen instructions to install it.

Once your chosen language is installed, you can easily switch Voice Typing languages by pressing Windows + Spacebar.

How to Fix Voice Typing Not Working

Use the troubleshooting methods below if Voice Typing fails to start or is misbehaving in any way.

1. Make Sure You’re Using the Correct Language

If you’ve selected an incorrect language, Voice Typing will not be able to identify your words. Therefore, you must select the correct language using the steps below.

Choose the language you want to use from the “Speech language” section. Also check the “Recognize non-native accents for this language” option if your chosen language is not your native language.

Alternatively, you can use the Windows + Spacebar shortcut to switch languages.

2. Check Whether Your Microphone Is Enabled

Voice Typing will not work if your Microphone is disabled, so you’ll need to turn it on.

Scroll down the right pane until you reach the “App permissions” section and select the “Microphone” tab.

Toggle on “Microphone access.” You may also want to enable the “Let apps access your microphone” option.

3. Troubleshoot Built-in Recording

Windows 11 has built-in troubleshooters for almost all hardware and software issues. Running its dedicated Recording troubleshooter can find and fix any issues preventing the Voice Typing feature from working. Even if it doesn’t fix the problem right away, the troubleshooter offers more details about the problem, which could lead to a solution.

Press the “Other troubleshooters” option.

You will see various options to troubleshoot on the right. Scroll down and choose “Recording Audio.”

Study the report to see whether there is an issue in recording audio and change settings accordingly.

4. Update Microphone Driver

A faulty microphone driver could cause Voice Typing to stop working. Therefore, you should check whether your microphone driver needs to be updated.

Press Windows + R to open the Run utility, then type “devmgmt.msc” to launch Device Manager.

Choose the “Search automatically for drivers” option.

If Windows cannot find a driver, you’ll have to download it from the manufacturer’s website on your computer first, then select the “Browse my computer for drivers” option and follow the on-screen instructions.

5. Update Your PC

A bug could cause an issue with Voice Typing. Updating your PC may fix the issue.

Frequently Asked Questions Why am I getting the 0x80049dd3 error code?

0x80049dd3 is a speech-to-text error code. You may encounter this error when using Voice Typing. Following the troubleshooting steps mentioned above will likely fix this error.

Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels. All screenshots by Sandeep Babu.

Sandeep Babu

Sandeep Babu is a tech writer. He loves writing on Windows, cybersecurity, privacy, and internet. Earlier, he was working as a publisher of QuickScream

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How To Install And Use Python In Windows 11

If we go by definition, a programming language is a language that allows us to communicate with a computer system. The first step that one takes after starting a coding journey is learning a programming language.

There are many languages available, like C, C++, Java, etc., that you can learn, but for this guide, we’ll talk about Python. Let us look at why Python should be your first language as a beginner and how you can install and use it on your Windows 11 PC.

Why Should You Prefer Python Over Other Languages?

Due to many reasons, developers and learners around the globe prefer Python over any other programming language. Here are some of them:

Syntax Simplicity:  Python is known for its simple and easy-to-understand syntax. Also, in Python, you write code for any complex problem in fewer lines when compared to any other language. Lesser lines of code also increase the overall code’s efficiency and make the code less prone to errors.

Rich Library and Framework Ecosystem: Python boasts a vast library ecosystem with thousands of source libraries and frameworks. You can use these libraries with a wide range of domains like website development, data analytics, machine learning, scientific computing, etc. Python’s library has pre-coded features and functions that are ready to use with any Python project. Thus, using libraries can also save you time and effort.

Versatility: Python is a highly versatile language that supports multiple programming standards like procedural, object-oriented, and functional programming. Its flexibility allows you to choose the best suitable approach for your project and adapt as needed. Because of its versatility, Python is one of the best choices for building complex applications or integrating with existing projects.

Development: The speed of development with Python is rapidly fast when compared with other programming languages. Fewer lines of code, simplicity in the syntax, and the rich ecosystem for libraries and frameworks are the reasons behind Python’s rapid fast development speed. The fast speed is beneficial for startups, research projects, and time-limited projects.

Community Support: Python’s community is known for its helpfulness and its extensive documentation. You can find a wealth of resources, tutorials, and forums that can assist any developer, from experienced to novice.

Cross-Platform Compatibility: With cross-platform support, you can design the code for one OS in Python and run it on all the other supported platforms without any significant modifications.

Career Opportunities: Last and one of the most important things is the demand for language in the job market. Python gives you a wide range of career opportunities in areas like web development, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc. 

The above points make Python a compelling choice over other programming languages. Doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced dev; with the powerful and enjoyable programming experience that Python offers, you can achieve your goals more efficiently and effectively.

How to Install Python in Windows 11

Before installing Pything on your Windows 11 PC, here are some prerequisites that you should ensure that your computer has:

CPU with a clock speed of 1GHz or more

2GB or more available RAM

At least 32GB of free disk space

Internet connection

An IDE to write, run or debug Python code

Once you have all the things ready, let’s start the process. The first thing to do is download the Windows 11 installer for Python on your system. Follow these steps, to download the latest version of the Python installer on your computer:

1. Head to Python’s official download page.

The size of the file will be around 25MB. If you want to download an older version of Python, scroll down, and you can see the list of all the versions along with the current status( beta, stable, bug fixing, etc.). Once the download completes, locate the file in the File Manager app and follow these steps:

Now, wait for the installation to finish as it can take a minute or two, depending upon the specs of your computer, but once it’s done, it’s time to check if Python is correctly installed on your PC or not.

To do that, open the Command Prompt app on your computer, type the following command, and if you get an output like the one shown in the image below, Python is installed on your system with the correct settings.

python --version

How to Use Python in Windows 11

Here are three ways in which you can run Python codes on your Windows 11 computer:

Using Command Prompt

Follow the given steps to run your Python Code using the Command Prompt app.

1. Launch the CMD app, type Python, and press the enter key.

Using Python IDLE

If you’re not someone who enjoys using a command line interface, you may not like running codes in the Command Prompt app. Therefore, the next way to write and run a Python program is using the Python IDLE, that was installed on the system along with Python. Here’s how you can write and run codes on the Python IDLE:

1. Launch the IDLE app on your computer.

3. After writing the program, press the enter button on your keyboard, and you can see the output in the next line.

Using an IDE

Command Prompt app and Python IDLE are good for beginners, but once you start project development in Python, using an IDE will be a more beneficial option. An IDE or Integrated Development Environment will provide you with more features like auto-code completion, lining, debugging, profiling, etc., along with a better overall app user interface.

If you need help with the installation and setup of an IDE, check our guides on installation IDEs like VS Code, NetBeans, IntelliJ, and Eclipse. For this guide, we’ll demonstrate how you can run your Python code in the Visual Studio Code IDE.

1. Launch VS Code on your Windows 11 PC.

3. Name the file with anything you want, but don’t forget to add the Python extension (.py) at the end of the name.

5. After creating the file, write the code in the given section.

7. After running the code, you can see the output in the Terminal below.

Develop Projects Using Python on Your Windows 11 PC

Installing and using Python on Windows 11 is a straightforward process that may open a world of possibilities for you. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can install and set up Python with the correct settings, along with verifying the installation and start writing and running Python code on your Windows 11 PC.

Moreover, whether you choose an IDE or a command line interface, Python offers immense flexibility and a rich ecosystem of libraries to support your coding journey.

How To Unlock “In Use” Files In Windows

Let’s say you want to edit a file. You may want to give it a different name, move it somewhere else, or delete it altogether. There’s a problem, however; when you go to edit the file, Windows will tell you that another process has “locked” the file. As such, you’re not allowed to edit it. What’s going on?

Windows will naturally stop you from editing a file that’s already opened somewhere else. This is to protect it from being edited while another process is currently using it. For instance, if you open a Word document in Microsoft Word, Windows won’t allow you to delete the document while it’s open. Given how Microsoft Word is currently using the document, editing the file outside of Word may cause strange things to occur!

So let’s say there’s a file on your computer you want to edit, but Windows won’t let you. What do you do now?

What Does “Locked” Mean?

To clear things up; when we talk about a “locked” file in this article, we mean a file that is currently in use in another process. This then creates a “locked” file which you can’t edit outside of the process  currently using the file. This isn’t about files with a password lock on them or folders that deny you access due to insufficient security rights; these are different ways files can be “locked!”

If You Know the Process Locking the File Close the App Locking the File

If you’re lucky, Windows will let you know what app has locked the file. For instance, the above image shows a document locked in WPS Writer. If Windows tells you the process’ name, then it’s a simple case of finding the process in question and shutting it down. The solution in the above example is to find the WPS Writer window with this document open and shut it down. This then releases the lock on the file.

If You Don’t Know the Process

Unfortunately, sometimes Windows will claim the file is locked, but it won’t tell you what, exactly, is locking the file. This is especially infuriating, as there’s no obvious way to fix the issue. How can you shut down the process if Windows won’t tell you which one is the culprit? Thankfully, we don’t have to give up hope just yet; there’s still a few more tricks we can try.

Restart the PC

As a simple solution, restarting the PC also restarts all the processes on your computer. This means any process that’s currently hogging your file will be restarted and will hopefully relinquish its grip on your file. It’s not a fantastic solution as it does involve shutting everything down just to unlock a single file. As a quick and easy solution, however, restarting the PC will work the majority of the time.

Use LockHunter

If restarting your PC sounds like a hassle, don’t give up hope just yet! There are third-party tools you can use to unlock your files instead of having to restart every time. An easy-to-use solution is LockHunter which helps identify what is locking your files and unlocks them for you to edit.

LockHunter will then pop up and inform you of the process locking the file. You can then unlock the file if you’d like, but LockHunter also natively supports deleting and renaming the file through the app for an easier time.

Taking Back Control

When you want to edit or delete a file, it’s annoying to discover it’s currently being used by a process. Simply closing the process works most of the time, but when things get a little trickier, restarting the PC or using a third-party app can help.

Have you ever been plagued with locked files? Let us know below!

Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.

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Selecting Social Media Listening Tools

Ideya’s new report shows the why, what and how of selecting social listening tools

Investment in social media monitoring (SMM) requires careful consideration since it is a long-term and potentially costly commitment. Understanding of the key SMM concepts, benefits and possible applications is of utmost importance. In order to realize the long-term value of SMM, SMM needs to become part of the business strategy and well-integrated with the business processes.

Only by having a clear understanding of how SMM supports your business, you can transition from experimental, tactical to a more strategic use of SMM.

There are many social media monitoring and management tools on the market and making an educated choice about which SMM tools can best address company’s needs and justify social media investment, has become a challenging task for organizations as social media technology business has branched out into a diverse set of technologies, data types and countless vendors confusing buyers.

This August 2013 comparison of social media monitoring tools by Ideya Ltd shows that there are at least 250 tools now available. Of these 199 are paid, with the remainder free or using a combined model.

New tools and services are emerging continually, while already established SMM companies are frequently improving their products by introducing new features and coverage to accommodate their clients’ needs.

Each tool offers specific set of functionalities and differs in focus, coverage and approach, with some focusing more on engagement, publishing and workflow management, while other offering strong analytics and reporting functions.

The 70 pages long report extract below has good detail on how to approach selecting tools, a listing of all tools and detailed profile of 11 tools (out of 250 profiles available in the full report).

How do social listening tools help in marketing campaigns?

SMM tool metrics and measurements are designed to evaluate company activities and inform an overall social media strategy. The metrics may involve statistics about the share, reach, impact and speed of conversations about the company. These parameters can be used to assess the company image and perceptions before and after campaign and measure campaign effectiveness, and identify trends that lead to new marketing and product tactics.

Ideya says that social media monitoring tools typically assist organizations in:

1. Acquiring real-time social marketing insights to inform social media marketing and communication plans

3. Developing social content strategies to promote products and services and engage with current and potential customers across social media channels in real time,

5. Making better decisions about campaigns and brand extensions with a clear understanding of the key factors influencing brand’s health – monitoring how key metrics across SM channels change before and after company’s campaigns, detecting drops or spikes in buzz or sentiments and drill down to examine the causes,

6. Supporting rapid social marketing engagement, and

7. Developing performance metrics.

Ideya’s SMM Tools report also examines other SMM tool applications such as Marketing, PR, Event Management, Search Engine Marketing, Market Research, Advertising, Investor Relations, Social Media Marketing, Business Development, Sales and Lead Generation, Product R&D and Innovation Management, Operations, Customer Services, Legal and Human Resources.

Requirements for social listening tools

So that’s the ‘why’ of social media listening tools, but how do you decide? Issues to consider when selecting social media tools are summarised in this chart.

Finally, here is the introduction to the report, we hope you find this alert useful.

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