How To

Shuffling through the World Wide Web to find what you need can be a daunting process. Whether it's from your Windows Phone or Windows 8 computer. Luckily, thanks to search engines like Microsoft’s Bing – you can find what you need and quickly. The problem is that if you are used to typing in simple queries like “How can I obtain Rich’s awesome accent?” you are still faced with hundreds of thousands of search results.

Today, we are going to stop the horror and make you the master of Bing by teaching you “advanced operator references” – think of what we are about to teach you as a secret language to master Microsoft’s search engine. Today, you master Bing search – tomorrow, you take over the world.

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While the release of Windows Vista was plagued with burden and its legacy was remembered as such, one excellent feature to rise out of the wreckage has served its way through Windows 7 up to current day Windows 8 operating systems. The feature that we are referring to is, of course, Microsoft’s BitLocker Drive Encryption – full disk encryption at the click of a button.

WARNING: Disk Encryption is a delicate process, please be sure to backup your data before beginning. WPCentral, Mobile Nations, Smartphone Experts are not responsible for any data loss caused by a failure to read instructions carefully or ignoring our recommendation to backup ALL of your data before beginning. Please be sure to read the entire article before beginning your encryption journey. If you have doubts about anything, please ask in the comments below before proceeding.

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There will be a time in life when you need to block someone, be it a cold sales contact or someone who may be harassing you. Unfortunately, Windows Phone 8 doesn't currently have a built-in blocking feature to prevent numbers from sending messages to your smartphone, nor can the operating system halt calls in their tracks. But Microsoft did make tools for manufacturers to enable this feature, should they want to make it for their customers.

This is where Nokia came in with its 'call + SMS filter', which launched on Windows Phone 8 last year for Lumia devices (Samsung has it in their ATIV line of Windows Phones too).

We'll quickly walk you through how to set everything up, just in case you've yet to fire up the filter settings area for the first time.

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All of us here at Windows Phone Central use Bing for our day-to-day searches, and we are positive that most of our readers do also. For those of you who have installed the Google Search app onto your Windows Phone or Windows 8 machine, we will try not to judge you. Despite your choice of search engine, we reached out to the community to find out what your favorite Bing features are, and presented them in our beautiful typeface below.

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Spring is quickly approaching and with the warm weather, everyone will start finding their way outdoors and our Windows Phone cameras will become more active. We’ll be shooting pics of flowers, the kids running around the back yard, little league ball games, vacation spots and other warm weather hot spots.

These photos are important to you and should something happen to your Windows Phone, you would want them backed up, right? Well, for those new to Windows Phone (and those who have forgotten) there is an easy way to back up your photos.

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Using YouTube in Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 8 can be a bit of a pain. The mobile website is barebones and doesn’t work as well as it should. And as you know, YouTube has yet to release a competent native app for Windows Phone users. Their loss since we’re getting by fine with stellar apps like Metrotube and myTube.

However, every now and then you end up on YouTube in the browser. Maybe you clicked a link in a tweet or someone sent a link in an email. You’re now about to watch a YouTube video with poor playback controls and no option for 720p video. Or are you? Probably not if you’re a fan of Metrotube. You can now open YouTube links in Metrotube with minimal effort. Details on how below.

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The Windows Phone Store has nearly every major music platform available, with the obvious exception of official iTunes or Google Play apps. You’ll find Xbox Music, Beats Music, Songza, Spotify, and more available to you as a Windows Phone (and probable Windows 8) user.

However odds are a lot of you are rocking out to Xbox Music on Windows Phone. It is of course the native music application available and built-in to Windows Phone 8. If you’re a power user you probably know the ins and outs of how Xbox Music works on both Windows Phone and Windows 8. If you’re not a power user, then this article is for you. Here’s how to create and manage playlists with Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

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The Xbox One controller is one of the finest control pads ever designed. The same goes for the Titanfall Limited Edition Controller we just reviewed. But one flaw compared to Xbox 360 controllers is that Xbox One controllers don’t work on computers and tablets. Blame Microsoft, who have yet to release a PC driver even though it would take virtually no effort to do so.

Luckily, a hobbyist developer named Lucas Assis has developed a temporary Xbox One controller driver for Windows 7 and 8. It doesn't work on Windows RT, so this won't help regular Surface users. His solution requires the use of several companion programs (bundled with the driver) and a few quarts of elbow grease, but it does actually work. Until now, you’d have to endure a somewhat painful tutorial video in order to guide you through the process. Lucky for you guys, I’ve gone through that already so that we can bring you this easy-to-understand written guide!

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When Microsoft released the Xbox One back in November of 2013, the console came without the ability to play multimedia from an external device, such as a flash drive. It seemed that the ultimate entertainment console would not be able to play any of your personal content and instead you would be locked to approve multimedia apps on the platform, but that is not the case.

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Lost your Windows Phone? Here’s how to find it

Losing your phone can be really annoying. Fortunately, Windows Phone has a free service called Find My Phone that can help you recover your phone. It even goes a step further by giving you options to lock or erase your phone from any computer.

Head past the break to watch our how-to video.

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There might be a situation in which you might have to reinstall apps you’ve already purchased from the Windows Phone Store. Perhaps, you just upgraded to another Window Phone device or you have accidentally deleted an app. You do not have to pay for them again. We’ll show you three ways to reinstall apps or games you've bought without paying for them again.

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Light paintings are made with moving light sources in front of a camera to create an image. You need long exposure so the camera can capture the flow of moving lights. Nokia’s latest video shows how an expert light painter does it, using the Nokia Lumia 1020 with Nokia Camera. They also share tips on how you can do it, too. Head past the break to watch the video.

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So you are new to Windows Phone, loaded a ton of apps and games on to your phone and now face a hard reset that will wipe out everything. Or even better, you bought a new Windows Phone. The good news is that all the apps and games you’ve purchased won’t have to be re-purchased, as those licenses are linked to your Microsoft Account. The better news is that you can backup your app listings to make re-installing things a lot easier.

While many of the seasoned Windows Phone users already know this, we have a few discussions going on in the Windows Phone Central Forums asking about re-installing apps and games after a hard reset. WPCentral reader WaseemAkram poses that very question in this forums discussion and several readers quickly stepped up to offer reassurances that he would not have to re-purchase all his apps and games.

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We check out a lot of phones here at WPCentral, so we frequently switch where our SIM cards go. Many devices nowadays like the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1020 have SIM card trays that require pins to open. It can be frustrating when we lose them. Good luck asking around for one. Chances are, they aren’t carrying it.

We have one quick tip that will make it hard to lose your SIM card tray pin. Put it in your key ring!

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With all the neglect we’ve seen the Xbox Windows Phone versions of multiplatform games receive, Electronic Arts’ treatment of The Sims FreePlay is nothing short of amazing. Since debuting in September of last year, FreePlay has been updated four times already. These updates contain more than simple bug fixes. They tweak the gameplay and add new content and quests to the game. Each time FreePlay receives a major update on iOS and Android, a Windows Phone update follows closely behind.

The latest Sims FreePlay to arrive adds two huge new quests: “Adulthood” and “Seniors.” By completing these quests, players can advance their teenage Sims to adulthood and even grow regular Sims into wrinkly old elderly Sims. More details and quest walkthroughs after the break!

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If you have the Nokia Lumia 1520 from AT&T and plan to travel overseas, you’re probably interested in unlocking the device so you can use local a SIM. This will save you money on roaming fees or international rates. AT&T makes it very easy to unlock your device by providing an online form, but you must meet several requirements.

We have just unlocked our AT&T Nokia Lumia 1520. Read on to find out how.

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We were hopeful that the replacement shells we found earlier would add Qi wireless charging to our AT&T variant of the Nokia Lumia 1520, but that didn’t work. Fortunately, there is another method found by WPCentral forum member, SonarTech. It is a bit complicated and requires some soldering skills.

Head past the break if you feel brave enough to tackle this challenge.

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The keyboard on Windows Phone works really well. We can type really fast on it, but maybe it’s because we’ve been using Windows Phone devices for a while now. Whether you’re already a pro at typing away several emails or just getting familiar with a new Windows Phone device, there are definitely some tips and tricks that will make you type faster. We’ve gathered 7 keyboard tips that will help new users or those who may have not had the time to experiment.

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17 tips to extend battery life on Windows Phone 8

We love our smartphones, but one issue that might come up is battery life. If you’re a heavy user, you want to find ways to be able to use the phone as long as you can before needing to recharge. We have included 17 tips to extend your Windows Phone 8 battery life, but many of these tips involve turning off services and features. You decide which services you’re willing to let go to save juice. You don’t need to follow all of them, but following some will help extend the battery life on your Windows Phone 8 device.

Head past the break to read our tips with screenshots and video.

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