Want to take control of YouTube, stop Wi-Fi from dropping, and extend battery life for iPhone and iPad? Then read this column.

Take control of YouTube

Q. I'm tired of watching a YouTube video and having little messages popping up blocking the view. How can I get rid of those?

A. They're called annotations, and while some YouTube creators use them responsibly, most of the time they're just annoying. To turn them off for one video, click the gear icon in the bottom-right corner of the YouTube player and next to "Annotations" click "Off." Learn how to turn them off for every video, plus four other helpful YouTube tricks you'll want to try.

Stop Wi-Fi from dropping

Q. The Wi-Fi on my Android tablet keeps dropping out when the screen turns off. How do I keep it on?

A. By default, the Wi-Fi turns off to save battery life, but there is an override. Go to Settings>>Wi-Fi, then tap the three vertical dot icon in the upper-right corner and select "Advanced" or "Advanced Wi-Fi." Find the option "Keep Wi-Fi on when screen is off" and set it to "Only when plugged in" or "Always." Get the insider tips to solving four other common Android problems.

Extended battery life for iPhone and iPad

Q. I noticed I get better battery life on my iPhone with iOS 9, but it's still not enough some days. What else can I do?

A. iOS 9 includes a new Low Power Mode for times when you need more battery life. It shuts off background functions, animations and other battery-draining extras. Go to Settings>>Battery and turn "Low Power Mode" to On. Then tap Continue, and you should be able to run for a while longer. Learn about two more cool features of iOS 9 you might not realize Apple included.

Secrets of Windows Task Manager

Q. My computer is misbehaving and I'm using Task Manager a lot to try and track down the problem. Is there a faster way to open it than the usual steps?

A. Most people open Task Manager by hitting the keyboard shortcut CTRL + ALT + DEL and then using the mouse to click the "Task Manager" option. But the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + ESC opens Task Manager right away and saves you a few steps. Now that Task Manager is open, learn six secrets about it that make troubleshooting your computer much easier. See the Bonus Q&A for more ways to improve Windows.

Tech to buy with your tax refund

Q. I've got a decent tax refund coming and want to buy a cool gadget. What would you suggest?

A. A 3-D printer like the 3-D Desktop Printer for HICTOP could get you in on the ground floor of a huge upcoming industry, and it's just $364. For something more functional, you can get an add-on for the house like the $139 GogoGate 2 Garage Door Opener. You can open your garage or gate with your smartphone. Find out about other great tech buys you can get with your tax refund.

Bonus: Easily make Windows 10 better

Q. I finally upgraded to Windows 10 and it's OK, but are there tweaks I can make to improve it?

A. There are tons of settings you can tweak, but finding them is a pain. Fortunately, there are programs that do most of the heavy lifting for you. A lot of people are concerned about privacy in Windows 10, but a program like O&O ShutUp10 pulls the settings you need into one spot. Get two more programs that can fix Windows 10 annoyances and improve your experience.

 

On the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com. Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at News.Komando.com.