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By Steven P.
Connect to your PC remotely with Chrome Remote Desktop from any device
by Steven Parker
Although Microsoft already has native support for Remote Desktop baked into Windows, their app forces the desktop on the client to resize all of the windows to "fit" on the device connecting to it, meaning when you come back to login on the desktop that you connected to remotely, all of the open apps will now be tiny windows on the screen, which is not great.
Fortunately, Google has a free Remote Desktop app that lets you connect to a PC from any supported Android or iOS device and even through the web browser. It does require you to have the Chrome browser installed because it is a web app extension.
Install the Chrome Remote Desktop Extension on the computer you want to connect to remotely Then go to https://remotedesktop.google.com/access/ to add the computer You will be prompted to give the computer a name and (at least) a six digit PIN Gallery: Setup Chrome Remote Desktop
Once you have completed the above steps you will need to install the client on the device you will use to connect to your desktop.
Install the Chrome Remote Desktop app on the device you will use to connect to the remote PC.
Install for Android devices | Install for iOS devices Once the app is installed, tap on the hamburger menu and ensure you are signed in to the same account that the remote desktop is signed into Chrome with, tap the account to switch to it A list of your remote PCs will appear Tap on the remote desktop you want to access and enter the PIN
When you connect, you will see the remote PC desktop in the orientation for your device, so portrait for a phone and tablet, you can switch to landscape view and pinch to zoom in or out to make it easier to control the remote PC. In addition, there is a top navigation bar that auto hides and lets you bring up a virtual keyboard, capture the mouse cursor as well as context menu options to send Ctrl-Alt-Del, resize the desktop to fit.
Gallery: Mobile device access
An added bonus is that this method to connect does not resize any opened windows on the PC, and it also does not lock your PC when a user is connected to it remotely, so anyone can watch along which also makes it perfect for remote assistance.
You can also opt to give someone a one-time access code to grant them access to provide Remote Assistance. However, this method only appears to be possible directly through the web browser at https://remotedesktop.google.com/support that lets you generate a code, or connect to a PC with a code.
Let us know what remote solution you use for your computers in the comments below!
By Namerah S
Turn on dark mode on Twitter for Android in three easy steps
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
About a year back, social media giant Twitter introduced a dark mode to its Android application. Prior to that, there was a similar theme available called 'low light' but that was not a full-fledged dark mode. The final change combined the two options under a united feature called 'Lights Out'.
Today's guide will show you how to find and toggle the 'Lights Out' feature in three simple steps. Under this combined feature, Android users can pick between the low light mode and the dark mode.
Step 1: Open the Twitter app on your Android smartphone. Once launched, locate the settings menu housed in the sidebar on the left.
Step 2: Look for the lone icon sitting at the bottom left corner of the screen. It's shaped like a light bulb and is easy to miss. Tap it when you spot it.
Step 3: Upon tapping the tiny bulb, voilà, the dark mode options will pop up on your screen.
You can choose between a pitch black theme called 'Lights out'...
...or a more vanilla version of the dark mode called 'Dim'.
And that's it, folks, it really is that easy and simple. With dark mode on, you will no longer be blinded by flashes of unwanted light in the middle of the night, marring your eyesight. You can sip your tea and catch up to the latest beef on Twitter without feeling like a vampire that has just seen the light of day. Happy browsing!
How to free up storage space in your Google account
by Rajesh Pandey
Google announced some major changes coming to its storage policy next year. The modifications are going to have a major impact as it would affect a large majority of existing Google/Gmail account holders. As a part of the change, Google is doing away with the free unlimited High quality photo backup option in Google Photos from June 2021. All new files and documents created in Google Sheets, Docs, Forms, and other Google services will also start counting against your 15GB storage quota from June next year.
These are some major changes from Google and if you heavily rely on various Google services and have been using Gmail and/or Google Photos for a long time, you are bound to hit that 15GB storage quota sooner than later. If you are worried about the upcoming storage policy from Google, you can prepare for it better by freeing up storage space in your Google or Gmail account by deleting junk files and emails. Read our guide below to know how you can easily free up storage space in your Google or Gmail account.
Get an overview of storage used
Before you get around to freeing up storage space in your Google account, it helps to first get an overview of how storage is being used in your account. It is possible that a large chunk of space in your Google account is being taken up by photos or by a few large files that you had uploaded to Google Drive a few years ago and completely forgotten about.
You can head over to this Google One page to get an overview of the storage used across various Google services including Drive, Photos, and family sharing.
Use Google Storage manager
Google itself offers a storage manager that one can use to free up storage space in their Google account. The storage manager provides users with an overview of the amount of space they can free up by deleting emails from Gmail, emptying Spam emails, and removing all the large files occupying space in Google Drive, and more.
Delete old emails manually
If you have been using Gmail for a long time, it is likely that you have accumulated a lot of junk and irrelevant emails with large attachments. Individually, these emails might not matter but add up years of emails and they can easily occupy a couple of gigabytes or more. It is best to delete such emails.
You can search for "has:attachment" in the Gmail search box to filter emails with attachments and then delete all old emails that you don't need. You can also filter large and heavy emails by using "larger:10mb" as a search term. You can change the '10' in the search term as per your requirements. This way you can quickly find heavy emails and delete them to free up space.
You can also export old and important emails from your Gmail account using MailStore, a free email archiving software. Once exported, you can then delete all the old emails to free up storage space in your Google account.
Compress existing photos in Google Photos
If you have been backing up photos to Google Photos in original quality, it is recommended that you switch to 'High' quality mode. This will compress all your existing photos and ensure that they do not count against your 15GB storage quota.
However, this trick will only work until June 2021 though as after that, photos uploaded in High quality will also count against your Google account storage. Regardless, compressing images can free up storage for more pictures, letting the 15GB storage last longer.
To convert your existing photos to High quality, go to the Google Photos website on your PC, click on the cog/Settings icon on the top-right corner, and select the High quality option. You will automatically get a prompt asking if you would like to convert your existing original quality photos to high quality and the amount of storage space you would free up in the process. This will also ensure that all photos and videos you back up to Google Photos going forward are also compressed and stored in High quality.
Alternatively, you can use the Recover storage option to compress your existing photos and videos to high quality as well.
Empty Google Drive bin
If you use Google Drive to share and send files to your friends or family or to back up important files, you should go ahead and check its trash. I managed to free up over 20GB of space by simply emptying my Google Drive bin. Google itself has begun deleting items in the trash that are older than 30 days.
Stop using Backup & Sync
If you use Google's Backup & Sync to backup files on your PC to Google Drive, you should stop using it. Instead, you can use Dropbox for the same purpose. Alternatively, you can also create a separate Google account just to backup files on your PC. If you have a lot of large files on your PC, then this is the ideal solution as it ensures they don't take up space in your primary Google account.
Buy Google One storage
Ultimately, if all the above steps do not help in freeing up enough storage space in your Google account, your only option is to go ahead and buy additional storage for your account using Google One. The good thing is that the pricing is pretty reasonable, with Google charging $1.99/month for 100GB of additional storage. This should be enough for most users. And if you are a power user, Google recently slashed the pricing on its 10TB and higher Google One storage plans by over 50%.
Subscribing to a Google One storage plan entitles you to other benefits as well including priority access to Google support, discounts on hotels and flight bookings, free VPN service, and more. The additional storage you buy can also be used by your family members making it a very cost-effective solution.
How will the change in Google's storage policy impact you? Will you end up buying additional space for your Google account due to this change? Drop a comment and let us know!
By Namerah S
How to enable dark mode in Slack for Android and Windows users
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Taking mercy on its users' eyesight, business communication platform Slack decided to roll out a dark mode feature last year. Arriving first on the phone application, the vision friendly feature came to the desktop app a few months later. The latter not only has a base dark mode, but also a collection of different coloured themes to go with the normal and dark modes.
Today's guide will walk readers through the process of turning on the dark mode on Slack for two platforms: Android and Windows.
Step 1: Launch the Slack app on your Android smartphone. If you don't have it on your phone yet, you can download it from the Google Play Store here.
Step 2: Once the app has opened, locate the vertical sidebar on the left by tapping your company logo or by swiping right. This will open up a list of options where you need to tap on 'preferences'.
Step 3: After opening up your app preferences, you will find the dark mode toggle right there. Press on the setting to enable dark mode on the Slack app.
Step 1: Launch the Slack desktop app for Windows. If you don't have it, you can download it from here. Find and click on your company's logo on the top left corner of the app to toggle the settings menu.
Step 2: In the settings menu, select the preferences option. This will open up the desktop app's preference menu where you need to choose the themes option.
Step 3: Upon reaching this point, you will see several options under the themes option. This is where you must locate and click on the dark mode feature to enable it.
Bonus tip: If you want to further customize the colour palette of your Slack desktop app, you can scroll down to find a bunch of themes below the dark mode toggle button. There you will find several different themes that are each compatible and adapt to the dark mode as well as the light mode.
You can see one such example of the Slack theme in the images below. The first displays a certain yellow theme in the regular light mode whereas the second picture shows the same yellow theme in the dark mode.
With that, we conclude our tutorial for toggling the dark mode on Slack for the two platforms. If you have any questions about the instructions, feel free to ask in the comments below!
By Namerah S
How to toggle dark mode on Instagram on Android devices
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Introducing a dark theme in smartphone apps was a hot trend that caught on really fast. Not only does it make phone usage easier on the eyes, but it also consumes less battery on some devices. Currently, many popular apps, as well as the latest version of Android, all have this feature.
Today we will look at Facebook-owned social media platform Instagram, which received a dark theme update towards the end of 2019. For those who need a little help turning it on, we have written out an easy to follow guide to enable the dark mode on Instagram. Please keep in mind that these steps only apply to Android users.
Step 1: Launch the Instagram application on your Android device. If you don't have it, you can download it from the Google Play Store here.
Step 2: Once logged in, head over to your profile to access the app settings. You can locate it at the bottom right of the Instagram dashboard, as depicted in the image below.
Step 3: After opening up the settings menu for the Android application, find and press on the theme option. You can then proceed to enable the dark mode by selecting the said feature.
Once selected, the entire application will switch over to the dark theme permanently until you decide to revert it to the regular one. To go back to the lighter theme, you can follow the same directions and pick the light mode option in the final step.
And that's it! If you followed the three simple steps mentioned above, you should now be able to browse cat videos and internet memes in the middle of the night with minor discomfort to your eyes. Happy browsing!