8 Best Soundboards for Discord

Life should come with a soundtrack and sound effects. Who doesn’t want Darth Vader’s Imperial March to play every time they enter a room? Discord has been an excellent substitute for real-life lately, and we can live the sound effect dream using soundboards. Let’s look at the best soundboards for Discord.

What Are Soundboards for Discord?

If you haven’t used a soundboard before, they’re a simple concept. Imagine a board with a bunch of buttons on it. Each button plays a specific sound when pushed. There can be actual hardware tied into a sound system or, in our case, an app that does the job.

How to Use a Soundboard in Discord

Right now, there aren’t any plug-and-play soundboards for Discord. All require installing a virtual audio device. Think of it as an app that acts as a microphone for the soundboard to speak into and have the sound come out in Discord.  

VB-Cable is a donationware app for personal use. It’s available for Windows and Mac. If you like it, support them.

Be warned! Once VB-Cable is installed and set up, any sound on the computer or through the mic will come out in Discord.

  1. Download and install VB-Cable.
  2. In Discord, select the User Settings cog.
  1. In the window that opens, select Voice & Video on the left side. Then under Input Device, select CABLE Output (VB-Audio Virtual Cable).
  1. Open the Windows Start menu and start typing “sound.” Sound settings will be one of the matches. Select it.
  1. In the Sound window, scroll down to Input. Under Choose your input device, make sure a microphone is selected. Then select Device properties.
  1. In Device properties, select Additional device properties.
  1. In the Microphone Properties window, select the Listen tab. Put a checkmark next to Listen to this device. Under Playback through this device, select CABLE Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable).

Now any soundboard, or anything else on the device, can make sounds in Discord.

Best Soundboards for Discord

Here are the best soundboards for Discord—both free and paid. 

1. Resanance

OS: Windows
Audio File Types: .wav, .mp3, .flac, and .ogg
Price: Free with ads or $4 monthly, or $32 yearly with no ads

Every search result for the best soundboards for discord will have Resanance at the top of their list. 450,000 users can’t be wrong. Resanance is highly customizable to play sounds based on the hotkey we assign to them or buttons, stream music, pass through the mic, and do text to speech. There are separate device volume controls and sound searches too. 

The makers claim Resanance will work with any app that accepts sound input, yet we only tested it with Discord. There’s also a lively official Resanance server on Discord for additional support.

2. Clownfish Voice Changer

OS: Windows, Chrome OS
Audio File Types: .wav, .mp3, .ogg
Price: Free

Although not primarily a soundboard, Clownfish Voice Changer has a plugin to add a soundboard. So we can sound like an alien or a robot while chirping at friends in Discord and throw in sound effects. Does it get any cooler? There’s push-to-talk and text-to-speech with several voices, and it’s possible to stream audio from other Internet sources like YouTube. 

The app runs in the system tray, keeping the taskbar clean. Clownfish Voice Changer not only works in Discord, but in Steam, Skype, and most other apps with voice capabilities.

3. Podcast Soundboard

OS: Windows, MacOS, iOS
Audio File Types: .wav, .mp3
Price: Windows – $8, MacOS – $5, iOS – $3

Although the pricing per operating system type seems odd, Podcast Soundboard hits the ease-of-use sweet spot while providing impressive functionality. There’s no learning curve to get Podcast Soundboard running or using its advanced features. 

Features include color-coding buttons, per button sound adjustment, clip trimming, looping, multi-fire, adjustable fade out, and can be bound to MIDI sources. 

The user interface is handy for monitors and small screens like phones and tablets, making it a great podcasting tool.

4. Mixere

OS: Windows
Audio File Types: .wav, ,mp3, .ogg, .flac, .aiff, .mod
Price: Free

Easily the oldest recommendation on the list, Mixere deserves respect. Not because it’s 17 years old, which is like 80 in human years, but because it has the chops. It’s an audio mixer, and it’s got a steep learning curve. But once it’s dialed in, it will meet most needs. 

Clips can be looped, modified with vibrato and tremolo. You can schedule clips to repeat at intervals as well. One feature that most soundboards don’t have is the ability to play several tracks simultaneously. So no matter which soundboard you choose, still give Mixere a shot.

5. EXP Soundboard

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Audio File Types: .wav, .mp3
Price: Free

Maybe something like Resanance is a little too much. EXP Soundboard is a minimalist app that allows us to assign keys to sounds and allows the mic to pass through. You can save custom soundboards and reload them later, so you have multiple soundboards to work with. 

EXP Soundboard does require at least Java 7 installed to run.

6. JN Soundboard

OS: Windows
Audio File Types: .wav, ,mp3, .wma, .m4a, .ac3
Price: Free

If you think JN Soundboard looks like EXP Soundboard, you’re not wrong. But JN Soundboard has more features like greater file type diversity, looping mic sounds, push-to-talk, and text-to-speech. Sounds can also be limited to playing in specific windows too. 

The downside is that it’s only for Windows, where EXP Soundboard is for Mac and Linux too. That’s why EXP Soundboard ranks slightly higher for us.

7. Voicemod

OS: Windows
Audio File Types: .wav, .mp3
Price: Free trial, $35 lifetime license

With six voices changing daily in the free mode or 80 in the premium, Voicemod will add depth to roleplaying in Discord, or just plain fun to anything else. Each voice can be tweaked using reverb, intelligibility, and mixing. It does take Voicemod a while to load compared to other soundboards, though. 

The trial version is limited in creating new buttons, but there are several premade soundboards like EDM, Santa, Prankster, and background noises to play over the voice changer. Of course, getting the premium version unlocks all the bells and whistles, literally. 

8. Voxal Voice Changer

OS: Windows, Mac OS
Audio File Types: .voxal
Price: Free for home use, $30 for commercial license

Yes, Voxal Voice Changer isn’t a soundboard in any way. But look at how many voices there are! You can tweak the voices infinitely and create new ones. With a little effort, you could save recordings of your voices to use in other soundboards. 

Plus, it’s free for home use and runs on Windows and Mac. You can trigger the different voices with hotkeys, so that’s sort of like a soundboard. 

Which Soundboard Is Your Favorite?

We know there are other soundboards available. However, these are the ones that we installed, tested, and enjoyed the most. Do you have a favorite from the list? Or another soundboard you’d like to recommend? Let us know.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/software-reviews/8-best-soundboards-for-discord/

How to Switch Between Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Zoom reigns supreme despite virtual meeting apps from Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, and countless other companies. It was one of the first apps to provide breakout rooms, and that feature is still among the top reasons people continue to choose Zoom. Zoom keeps rolling out new breakout room features, like giving attendees the ability to switch between breakout rooms.

Like small group sessions during in-person meetings, breakout rooms on Zoom allow subsets of meeting attendees to meet in smaller groups of up to 50 people. Depending on how the meeting organizer configures the breakout rooms, attendees may rejoin the main meeting room or switch to a different breakout room. 

We’ll walk you through how to switch between breakout rooms in Zoom, whether you’re the meeting host or an attendee.

Zoom’s Self-Select Breakout Rooms

It’s been less than a year since Zoom released its self-select breakout room feature. Before then, the meeting host and co-host (if assigned) were the only people who could assign meeting participants to a breakout room. Since the update, the host can now enable the self-select breakout room option, allowing attendees to move in and out of different breakout rooms without any assistance from the host or co-host. 

Note that both the host and attendees must be running Zoom version 5.3.0 or above to take advantage of self-select breakout rooms. The release of this feature has paved the way for online meetings and conferences where participants can choose where they want to go. 

Imagine you’re attending a virtual work meeting where employees discuss various aspects of a product launch. There might be different breakout rooms dedicated to product design, sales, marketing, and customer support. If the self-select breakout room option is enabled, then you’d be able to move from room to room so you can participate in each discussion.

Enable Self-Select Breakout Rooms in Zoom as the Host

As usual, the host of the Zoom meeting has ultimate control. If you’re the meeting organizer, make sure you have enabled breakout rooms for your account before you schedule the meeting. To enable breakout rooms:

  1. Sign into your Zoom account at zoom.com.
  2. In the Admin menu on the left, select Account management > Account settings.
  3. In the In Meeting (Advanced) section, check the box for Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling.
  1. Next, from the top menu near your profile picture, select the Schedule a meeting link.

Now that you’ve enabled breakout rooms in general, you can schedule a meeting as you normally would. Once the meeting has started, you can enable the self-select breakout room feature. Here’s how:

  1. Select the Breakout Rooms button in the meeting toolbar. If you don’t see it, you may need to select the More (…) icon. 
  1. In the Create Breakout Rooms popup, select Let participants choose room.
  1. Select the Create button.

As the host, that’s all you have to do to allow your meeting participants to choose their own breakout rooms. They’ll see the option to pick a room once you open the breakout rooms.

How to Switch Between Breakout Rooms in Zoom as an Attendee

When you’re a participant in a Zoom meeting with self-select breakout rooms, you’re in control of which breakout room you join. Once the host has opened breakout rooms, a message saying Join a breakout room will appear above the Breakout Rooms button in the meeting toolbar.

Select the Breakout Rooms button, and from there you can choose which breakout room to join. A popup window will appear where you can select the Join link for the breakout room of your choice.

If you’re already in a breakout room and you’d like to join a different one, refer back to the Breakout Rooms button in the meeting toolbar. You’ll see a message above the button that says Choose a different breakout room.

Select the Breakout Rooms button, and you’ll be able to join a different room.

Nothing else has changed about being an attendee in a breakout room. You can still mute yourself, turn your camera off and on, and type in the chat panel if the host has enabled chat.

How to Switch Between Breakout Rooms in Zoom as the Host

Even before self-select breakout rooms were an option, meeting hosts could join breakout rooms and move between them to make sure everything’s going smoothly. That is still the case. As a host, once you open the breakout rooms, you can choose to join a specific breakout room via the breakout rooms panel. 

Launch the panel by selecting the Breakout Rooms button. Then choose a breakout room and select the Join link.

As the host, you can leave a breakout room through two methods.

  • If you want to switch to another breakout group, you can select the Breakout Rooms button again and select the Join link for a different breakout room. 
  • Alternatively, you can select the Leave Room button and then choose Leave Breakout Room to be placed back in the main meeting.

Be careful not to accidentally choose the options to Leave Meeting or End Meeting for All!

What about co-hosts, you ask? If you have designated a co-host, they will also have the ability to create and open, join, and switch between breakout rooms.

Become a Zoom Pro

It’s no secret one reason Zoom is popular is that it’s so easy to use. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything left to learn, though. Try expanding your Zoom skills by learning how to do more complicated things like create your own Zoom background or help someone figure out why no one in the meeting can hear them

Be careful, though—once word gets around that you’re a Zoom whiz, you’ll be fielding everyone’s questions.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-switch-between-breakout-rooms-in-zoom/

The 16 Best Sites to Find Free Audiobooks Online

Audiobooks are the perfect way to spend a long drive or to make boring chores pass by quickly, but so many of them cost an arm and a leg. Audiobooks average between $20 and $30 – much more than the cost of a paperback or a hardback book.

The good news is that there are sites where you can find free, legal audiobooks online to download and enjoy. Make sure any book you download for free is actually free and not pirated. After all, you don’t want to cut into a hardworking author’s income.

1. LibriVox

LibriVox is the main site of a non-profit initiative that aims to convert public domain books into free audiobooks. All of the books are read by volunteers and provided for free for anyone to listen to. 

LibriVox is home to thousands of classic novels and even audio versions of magazines. You can download the books or listen to them online, chapter-by-chapter.

2. OverDrive

OverDrive allows you to access a wide range of audiobooks, even recent best-sellers, through your library. All you need is a library card to your local library and you can sign in and listen to audiobooks through your phone or tablet.

3. MindWebs

MindWebs is a collection of more than 150 science-fiction and fantasy short stories, all available for free. They are presented as radio dramas, with titles from some of the all-time greats like Ursula K. Le Guin and H.G. Wells.

4. Project Gutenberg

Everyone knows Project Gutenberg for its collection of classic books, but it also provides a huge number of audiobooks. What makes it stand out is that you can have a computer read books to you, although fair warning: it’s not a great experience. The good news is there are options for humans to read the books, too.

5. Spotify

Believe it or not, Spotify is good for more than just music. Many of your favorite novels are available for free, read by some huge names – for example, you can listen to The Great Gatsby read by Sean Astin.

6. Audiobooks.com

Audiobooks.com is a subscription service, but you can sign up for a 30-day free trial and receive three audiobooks at no cost. One book is your choice, and the other two are selected by Audiobooks from their VIP selection. After the first 30 days, the subscription is $15 per month.

7. AllYouCanBooks.com

AllYouCanBooks.com is a bit like a buffet. Sure, it costs money – but you get the first 30 days free (and can cancel before you are charged) and consume as many audiobooks as you like during that time. With more than 40,000 books to choose from, that’s a whole lot of listening time.

8. Scribl

Scribl is an online marketplace, so you can buy quite a few different audiobooks on the site. On the other hand, you can also find roughly half of its library available for free. Unfortunately, you can’t sort by price, and the website itself is horrendously slow – but if you think of it like a treasure hunt, you can find interesting books for no cost.

9. Storynory

Storynory is the go-to spot for children’s audiobooks on the internet. With original stories, fairy tales, stories from classic authors, and even educational content, you can download stories through the iOS app, find content on YouTube, or listen straight from the website.

10. Sync

Sync is a summer reading marathon for teens, hosted each year by AudioFile Magazine. You can sign up and receive two themed audiobooks each week for the summer. It’s a great option for teens that want to find more age-appropriate titles. Just sign up on AudioFile Magazine’s website to take part.

11. Hoopla Digital

Hoopla Digital is a section of Midwest Tape, an organization that provides media to public libraries in North America. As long as you have a library card, you can sign up for the service and gain access to free audiobooks from more than 1,500 libraries. If you don’t have a library card, you can sign up for one from within the app with just a few steps.

12. Learn Out Loud

Learn Out Loud is a database of educational resources. You can find audiobooks on a variety of topics from self-help to language learning. While not all of the content is available for free, enough of it is that you should check out what’s available to you. The books can be listened to online or downloaded for consumption later.

13. Lit2Go

Lit2Go is a collection of free books and writings. You can download the different content as either an audio file or as a PDF. Most of the books on Lit2Go are in the public domain, so you might see overlap between these titles and other public domain databases on this list. On the other hand, it’s a great way to hear stories like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

14. Open Culture

If many of the entries listed here compile free audiobooks from the public domain, Open Culture is a bit like a compiler of databases. It lists thousands of audiobooks, but when you find one you want to stream or download, you will be redirected to the original site that hosts it. However, its centralized collection of titles make it a great way to search for more obscure books you can’t find elsewhere.

15. Audible

Audible is another section of Amazon and one of the best sites to find and purchase audiobooks on the web. It’s an expensive service, clocking in at $15 per month. However, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial and receive one free book (two if you’re an Amazon Prime member) that you keep forever, even if you cancel your subscription.

16. ThoughtAudio

ThoughtAudio has a collection of educational and philosophical titles intended to expand your horizons and broaden your thinking. You can stream or download audio books from the site, but it’s worth noting it hasn’t been updated since September of 2020.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/cool-websites/the-16-best-sites-to-find-free-audiobooks-online/

The 4 Best Offline Messaging (No Internet) Apps for iPhone and Android (2021)

There are several situations and events where you’d find offline messaging useful—for instance, planning a camping trip with a group of friends to a remote location with no cellular coverage or internet connection? You all should have an offline messaging app installed on your devices before the trip. 

Do government authorities regularly shut down the internet in your country now and then? Offline messaging apps offer an alternative means of communication.

How Mesh Messaging Works

Before we list the best offline messaging apps, it’s important to explain “Mesh Messaging”—the technology behind offline messaging. Mesh messaging (also called “Off-the-Grid Messaging”) is a form of peer-to-peer or device-to-device networking that powers data transmission over a short range—typically between 50-100 meters—without an internet connection.

The technology uses your device’s Bluetooth or Wi-Fi as a transport medium to bounce messages across devices on the mesh network until it gets to the recipient. Mind you, messages sent via mesh messaging are often secured using end-to-end encryption. So, the content of your messages doesn’t get compromised or intercepted by a third party.

The more users on a mesh network, the better the quality of the offline messaging. Read this comprehensive explainer on how Mesh networking powers offline messaging to learn more.

Best Offline Messaging Apps

Offline messaging apps are available for Android and iOS devices. Go through the list, peruse the apps’ features, install your preferred offline messaging app, and convince people around you (coworkers, siblings, teammates, etc.) to do the same—i.e., install the same app on their devices.

1. Bridgefy (iOS, Android)

For Bridgefy, you’ll enjoy end-to-end encrypted messaging with other Bridgefy users within a 300 feet (or 100 meters) range. Simply download the app, create a nickname through which people will find you, grant it access to your device’s Bluetooth and location services, and start a conversation with a nearby user in the “Broadcast” or “Chats” section.

By the way, Bridgefy requires an internet connection to activate your device on the network. Therefore, you need to use Bridgefy with an internet connection at least once before sending or receiving offline messages. Note that only private chats are encrypted. Any nearby Bridgefy user can read broadcast messages.

You don’t have to have a user on your contact lists before initiating a conversation. The other party only needs to have Bridgefy properly set up and running on their device. Plus, they must be within the recommended offline communication range (300 feet/100 meters).

Bridgefy is also one of the few offline messaging apps that support cross-platform communication. That is, you can send offline messages from an Android device to an iOS device and vice versa. The app is available for free (on Android and iOS), but you’d have to put up with occasional pop-up ads during usage.

2. Bluetooth Chat (Android)

Bluetooth Chat is also easy to use and provides internet-free messaging at zero cost. The app creates a Bluetooth peer-to-peer network that allows connected devices to exchange texts and images. The transmission distance of this app depends on the Bluetooth range of the connected devices, which is typically around 100 meters.

Unlike other offline messaging apps that we tested, Bluetooth Chat works completely off-grid. You don’t need an internet connection to register your device on the network, nor do you need to provide personal or contact information like email address, phone number, etc. When you launch the app for the first time, you’ll need to set up your profile by providing a preferred display name, profile color, etc.

Afterward, grant the app access to your device’s storage and location when prompted. On the next page, tap Scan For Devices to check for nearby devices using the Bluetooth Chat app. The app will scan for nearby devices for 30 seconds before it times out.

If you don’t find a user, that could be because their device isn’t discoverable. Tapping the Make Discoverable button on the “Scan” page will make the device visible to nearby Bluetooth Chat users for 60 seconds.

Select the user you want to text and ask them to accept the pairing/connection invitation on their device. A chat window will appear on the app when both devices establish a connection.

A persistent banner will appear on the notification center when the app is paired with another user. Tap Stop to end the conversation and disconnect both devices.

To continue the conversation, click the plus (+) icon on the chat page, scan for the user, and select the device in the “Paired devices” section.

3. Signal Offline Messenger (Android)

Note: This app has no affiliation with the privacy-focused Signal Messenger. Instead, they’re two separate applications that serve different purposes. So, don’t get them mixed up. 

The Signal offline messaging app uses a Wi-Fi peer-to-peer connection (also called Wi-Fi Direct) to facilitate exchanging texts and multimedia files (photos, audio files, videos, etc.) without an internet connection. The optimum communication distance for Signal is 60 meters, but the connection range can go up to 100 meters.

Install Signal on your Android device, head to the “Available” section and the app will automatically connect to other nearby Signal users within a 60-100 meter radius. If a device or avatar is greyed out on the list, that means the app is unable to establish a connection with the user. Tell the user to ensure their device’s Wi-Fi is enabled and not connected to any other network.

Signal is on this list because it works. But because the developers make no mention of any security or encryption protocol, we’d assume a third party can infiltrate messages. Therefore, if you decide to proceed with Signal, avoid sending confidential information and files on the app.

4. Briar (Android)

What Briar lacks in design, it makes up for in functionality. It’s an open-source app that boasts features like disappearing messages, end-to-end encryption, content filtering, a blog section (for creating blog posts or reading RSS feeds articles), and many more. 

Briar lets you choose a profile picture, modify the app’s theme, and customize text notifications and alerts. There’s also a built-in “App Lock” that automatically locks the app after some minutes of inactivity.

The registration-free and ad-free model simplifies the onboarding journey and smoothens users’ experience. We didn’t have to create an account or provide any personal information (like email address) to use the app. After installing the app, all there is to do is to provide a username, set up your password, and you’re good to go.

The only downside is that Briar requires round-the-clock background access to deliver messages to your devices. While that helps the app perform optimally, constant background access will drain your device’s battery and reduce its lifespan over time.

Briar has two methods for adding contacts for offline communication. You can initiate or join a private conversation with a nearby contact by scanning a QR code. If the other party is far away, you can send them a “Briar link.”

No Internet, No Problem

Numerous apps claim to offer offline messaging services, but these four stood out for reasons ranging from functionality to security, wide connection range, usability, and more. 

On this list, only Bridgefy supports both iOS and Android operating systems, so it’s a top contender. The cross-platform support scores extra points and gives it an edge over rival apps. Save for the occasional pop-up ads, we’d score Bridgefy a 10/10 rating. Briar is another top contender. It sports the most sophisticated features, and it’s also easy to use. Usability-wise, however, Bluetooth Chat takes the cake.

Remember to grant your preferred offline messenger app the necessary permissions. You should also enable your device’s Bluetooth or Wi-Fi (or both, depending on the network protocol the app uses) while using offline messaging apps. Let us know if you have any questions.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/smartphones/4-best-offline-messaging-apps-for-iphone-and-android/

15 Ways to Free Up Disk Space in Windows 10

When you use Windows 10, the internal storage on your PC fills up gradually over time. That’s not a major problem on high capacity HDDs and SSDs. But you’ll run into space-related snags on drives that don’t offer much breathing room to start with.

You can rely on several methods to free up disk space in Windows 10. Some of them help you free up tens (if not hundreds) of gigabytes, while others net you only a few extra megabytes.

1. Free Up Recycle Bin

When you delete files on your computer, Windows 10 does not remove them outright. Instead, it stashes them away in the Recycle Bin. That allows you to restore deleted files if you change your mind later. But you end up trading disk space for convenience.

If you don’t plan on restoring any deleted files, you can choose to empty the Recycle Bin. To do that, right-click the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop and select Empty Recycle Bin. Alternatively, you can open the Recycle Bin and remove select files inside it.

It’s also possible to delete a file permanently without sending it to the Recycle Bin by pressing Shift + Delete after selecting it.

2. Clear the Downloads Folder

The Downloads folder on your Windows 10 PC is a hotspot for junk files and program installers that you’ll rarely ever re-use. 

Open File Explorer and select This PC > Downloads on the sidebar. Then, delete any files that you don’t want. You can also switch the folder to List view and filter files by Size to locate and remove items that use up space the most.

3. Delete Unwanted Apps

Getting rid of unwanted apps and programs from your computer is another quick way to cut down the amount of used storage on your Windows 10 computer.

To do that, open the Start menu and go to Settings > Apps > Apps & Features. Then, scroll through the list, pick the apps you don’t use anymore, and select Uninstall to delete them.

4. Use Files On-Demand in OneDrive

OneDrive comes built into Windows 10 and allows you to back up documents and photos to the cloud easily. It also supports Files On-Demand functionality, allowing you to download backed-up files to local storage only when needed.

To enable Files On-Demand in OneDrive, select the OneDrive icon on the taskbar and choose Help & Settings > Settings. On the Microsoft OneDrive dialog box that then shows up, switch to the Settings tab. Follow that by checking the box next to Save space and download files as you use them.

With Files On-Demand active, you can directly offload backed-up files and folders whenever you want by right-clicking and selecting Free up space. You’ll continue to see placeholder icons of the items. Attempting to access an offloaded file shall prompt OneDrive to download it locally.

5. Use Storage Pane in Settings

Windows 10’s Settings app comes with a Storage pane to help you identify data types that use up the most amount of storage on your PC. 

You can access it by going to Start > Settings > System > Storage. You’ll then see a list of categories such as Apps & Features, Temporary Files, Pictures, Music, etc., all of which you can dive into and remove space-consuming programs and files.

However, the most important of the lot is Temporary Files. Select it, and you’ll immediately come across a list of areas that hold temporary files, such as the Downloads folder, Recycle Bin, and Windows Update cache. Next, pick what you want to delete and select Remove files.

6. Run or Activate Storage Sense

The Storage pane above also comes with a feature called Storage Sense. Activate it, and you provide Windows 10 permissions to delete temporary files on your computer automatically. 

Go to Start > Settings > System > Storage > Configure Storage Sense or run it now to access your Storage Sense settings.

Then, turn on the switch under Storage Sense to activate the feature. Follow that by tweaking the settings to determine how you want Storage Sense to run on your computer. For example, you can specify when it should run (while low on disk space, for example), how often it should delete the contents inside your Recycle Bin and Downloads folder, and so on.

You can also choose to run Storage Sense manually whenever you want. Just scroll to the bottom of the screen and select Clean now.

7. Use Disk Cleanup

If you prefer a more compact view than the Storage screen in the Settings app, you can opt for the legacy Disk Cleanup utility instead. It offers similar functionality and allows you to delete loads of temporary files quickly. You can bring it up by searching for Disk Cleanup on the Start menu.

Follow by checking the boxes next to the data types you want to delete—e.g., Windows Update Cleanup, Temporary Internet Files, System error memory dump files, etc. Then, select OK

You can also select the Clean up system files option to view additional temporary file types.

8. Delete More Temporary Files

Windows 10 also contains large amounts of other temporary files that you can safely delete. For a complete step-by-step walkthrough, we recommend checking out this guide about removing temporary files in Windows 10. But here’s the process in brief.

Start by pressing Windows + R to open the Run box. Then, type %temp% and select OK

Follow by deleting all files and folders within the directory that shows up. Next, type temp into another Run box, select OK, and remove all files inside that directory as well. Finally, wrap up by restarting your computer.

9. Clear Browser Cache

When you surf the internet, your browser ends up caching data to make subsequent website visits faster. But if you’re crunched for storage, you can quickly free up roughly 500 megabytes to one gigabyte of storage by clearing the browser cache.

Google Chrome

Open the Chrome menu and select Settings > Privacy and security > Clear browsing data

On the Clear browsing data dialog that then shows up, set Time range to All time and check the box next to Cached images and files. Finally, select Clear data.

Mozilla Firefox

Open the Firefox menu and go to Options > Privacy and security > Clear Data (under the Cookies and Site Data section). Then, check the box next to Cached Web Content and select Clear.

Microsoft Edge

Open the Edge menu and select Settings. Then, switch to the Privacy, search, and services tab on the sidebar and select Choose what to clear under Clear browsing data

Next, set the Time range to All time, check the box next to Cached images and files, and select Clear data.

10. Find Large Files With WinDirStat

WinDirStat is a free and open-source app that allows you to locate large files and folders on your computer in visual format. After installing and opening the program, pick the storage drive or partition you want to scan. You should then see a list of directories that occupy the most storage, including in percentage form relative to drive size.

Once WinDirStat finishes scanning the drive, you should also see many colored blocks denoting files (by format) on the chosen drive. The larger the size, the more space they consume. You can right-click an item and select Explorer Here to view (and delete) it in File Explorer.

11. Delete Hibernation File

Windows 10’s Hibernate mode allows you to restore files and programs even after you’ve powered down your computer. But the file that facilitates the functionality by saving the state of the programs and operating system can hog up a lot of disk space. So if you don’t mind skipping out on using Hibernate, you can choose to disable it and reclaim the storage.

To do that, right-click the Start button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin). Then, run the command below:

powercfg -h off

Follow that by opening File Explorer. Then, select File > Change folder and search options

On the Folder Options dialog box that then shows up, switch to the View tab and select Show hidden files, folder, and drives. Finally, open the Windows 10 installation drive—Local Disk (C:)—and delete the file labeled hiberfil.sys

For complete step-by-step instructions, check out this guide to disabling Hibernation in Windows 10.

12. Delete Old User Accounts

If your computer has multiple Windows 10 user accounts, you might want to delete any that don’t serve a purpose anymore. Just note that you’ll permanently lose all data related to the accounts you remove.

Start by opening the Start menu on your computer. Then, go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users, select an account from the Other users section, and select Remove.

13. Disable System Restore

System Restore is a handy backup function that helps you restore your computer to an earlier state should something go wrong. But it also uses a hefty chunk of storage. So if you’re still running low on storage, you can choose to delete all but the last System Restore point. 

To do that, open the Disk Cleanup utility, select Clean up system files, switch to the More Options tab, and select Clean up > Delete.

If you don’t mind disabling System Restore completely, open the Run box, type sysdm.cpl, and select OK. On the System Properties dialog box that shows up, select Configure under Protection Settings and select the radio button next to Disable system protection.

14. Reduce the Size of Windows 10

You can tone down the size of Windows 10 itself to free up disk space by activating a feature called CompactOS. It compresses the operating system slightly and is well worth activating on computers with very little storage space remaining.

Start by right-clicking the Start button. Then, select Windows PowerShell (Admin) and run the following command:

Compact.exe /CompactOS:query

If you see that CompactOS isn’t already active on your system, run the following command to activate it:

Compact.exe /CompactOS:always

15. Disable Reserved Storage

Windows 10 uses a feature called Reserved Storage to ensure it has sufficient space to download and install future operating system updates. But that also translates to multiple gigabytes of lost storage. So, you can choose to disable Reserved Storage with a tweak to the system registry should you want.

Start by pressing Windows + R to open the Run box. Then, type regedit and select OK. On the Registry Editor window that shows up subsequently, type the following path into the address bar and press Enter:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ReserveManager

Follow that by double-clicking the ShippedWithReserves key. Then, select Value Data to 0, select OK, and exit the Registry Editor. You must restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Lots of Space Freed Up

The pointers above should’ve definitely helped you free up disk space in Windows 10. Taking the time to set up Storage Sense alone is a great way to stop yourself from going on manual cleaning sessions regularly. But whenever you want more storage, working your way through the list again can help you reclaim large amounts of used-up space on your PC.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/15-ways-to-free-up-disk-space-in-windows-10/

What are Steam Friend Codes and How to Use Them

With thousands of games (both free and paid) on offer, Steam remains a must-have platform for PC gamers. Not only does it have a vast number of games to choose from, but it allows you to stream your games to other devices, broadcast your gameplay online, share your games with others, and more.

You can also add friends to your Steam friends list, allowing you to chat and play with them in your favorite games. You can easily add new friends using your Steam friend code, a unique code that you can share with others to add your account to friends’ lists quickly. To help you use Steam friend codes, here’s what you’ll need to know.

What Are Steam Friend Codes?

To quickly (but securely) invite new friends to your Steam friends list, you can share your Steam friend code. This is made up of a random string of numbers, individual to your user profile, that allows other Steam users to add you to their friends’ list without knowing your username.

There are other ways to add your friends on Steam, however. You can use a quick invite link (generated in your Steam account settings) to invite users more quickly or, if you’re having trouble, you can also search for users directly.

However, your Steam friend code is quick and easy to share and use. As a number, you can easily send it to other users over text message or by saying it verbally over a Discord or Teamspeak voice chat. This makes it a simpler method for adding new friends than typing out more complicated usernames.

You can add a Steam friend code to your account using the Steam client or the Steam website. If you want to share your Steam friend code, you’ll need to visit your account settings area (in the client or online) to view it first.

How to Find Your Steam Friend Code in the Steam Client

If you’re looking to find your Steam friend code to share, you’ll need to sign in to your Steam account in the desktop client (on Windows or Mac) or using the website. Each Steam friend code is specific to each user account, and only the account holder can view it.

  1. To locate your Steam friend code in the Steam client, open the desktop client on your PC or Mac and sign in. Once you’ve signed in, select the Friends & Chat icon in the bottom-right corner.
  1. In the pop-up Friends window, you’ll see a list of your current friends. To view your Steam friend code, select the Add a friend button.
  1. The Add a friend page will load in the Steam client, with your Steam friend code visible at the top as a random string of numbers. To copy the code, select the Copy button.

Once you’ve copied your Steam code, you can then share it with any friends you wish to add.

How to Find Your Steam Friend Code Online

If you don’t have the Steam client installed, or you’re away from your PC, you can quickly find your Steam friend code using the Steam website.

  1. To start, visit the Steam website and sign in by selecting the login button in the top-right.
  1. Once you’ve signed in, hover over your username in the Steam menu list at the top, then select Friends from the drop-down menu.
  1. In the Friends menu, select the Add a friend button.
  1. The Add a friend page will appear, with your Steam friend code listed at the top. Select Copy to copy the code to your keyboard.

How to Add a Friend Using a Steam Friend Code

If you’re trying to add friends to your Steam account using their Steam friend code, you’ll need to do so using the Steam client or website. 

Using the Steam Client

  1. To add a Steam friend code, open the desktop client on your PC or Mac. Select Friends & Chat in the bottom-right corner.
  1. In the Friends pop-up menu, select the Add a friend button.
  1. In the Add a friend section, type or paste your friend’s Steam friend code into the box provided. A preview of the friend will appear underneath—select the Send Invite button to send a friend request.

Using the Steam Website

  1. If you’re using the Steam website, first open the Steam website in your browser and sign in. Once you’ve signed in, hover over your username in the Steam menu at the top, then select Friends from the drop-down menu.
  1. On the Friends page, select the Add a Friend button.
  1. The Add a friend page will allow you to add your new Steam friend quickly. In the Add a friend section, type your friend’s Steam friend code into the Enter a Friend Code box to preview their account details. When you’re ready, select the Send Invite button to send a request.

How to Accept Steam Friend Code Requests

When you request a new friendship with a Steam user using their Steam friend code, the request will need to be approved by that user before you become friends. Similarly, when another user tries to add you, you’ll need to accept their request first.

  1. If you want to accept a Steam friend code request, follow the steps above to reach the Add a Friend menu in the Steam client or website. From the side menu, select the Pending Invites option.
  1. A list of your pending Steam invites will appear here. To accept a new Steam friend request, select Accept. To deny the request, select Reject instead. If you want to block any future friend requests from that user, select Block to block them.

Enjoying Steam Gameplay with Friends

Once you’ve added your friends using a Steam friend code, you can begin to use Steam how it was intended—for epic gameplay between friends. You can speed up your Steam downloads if things are running a little slow, however. If you run into problems, you may need to run Steam as an admin user to bypass the issue.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/gaming/what-are-steam-friend-codes-and-how-to-use-them/

The 5 Best Cash Advance Apps for iPhone and Android

Times are hard worldwide, and sometimes you just need a slight financial boost to get you over the finish line. This is why a payday cash advance app can be a lifesaver under the right circumstances. We took a look at the apps that are on offer today and shortlisted a few standout cash advance apps. 

Dave (iOS and Android)

Billing itself as “banking for humans,” Dave wants you to think of it as your financial friend. All users of the app get a $100 cash advance facility, and if you set up a direct deposit with Dave, that facility goes up to $200.

The app lets you get your paycheck up to two days earlier than it would usually arrive. Although it costs $1 a month in fees to use the app, you’ll save much more than that in accidental overdraft fees. Dave keeps track of whether you use an overdraft and lets you make use of its facilities to prevent unnecessary overdraft fees.

Dave seems like a great deal, but we are a little concerned that the app makes money partly from users’ goodwill through tips, which is perhaps not the most sustainable model.

Pros:

  • No limit to cash advance requests, as long as you cleared the last one.
  • Intelligent budget management to help you make your bills.
  • Cash advances are fee- and interest-free.
  • The monthly app fee is only $1

Cons:

  • Dave makes money from user tips; it’s unclear how sustainable this is.

Brigit (iOS and Android)

Brigit is another smart cash advance app that uses algorithms to predict when you’re going to run out of money. Then it automatically puts up to $250 in your account. Of course, that’s assuming you’re paying the $9.99 membership fee. Free users just get the warning, but not the safety net.

Compared to apps like Dave, the fee does seem rather steep. However, considering how expensive accidental overdraft fees can be, it’s still not much money in the greater scheme of things.

Brigit is also more lenient on repayments than most. It’s possible to delay repayment of your advance, depending on your profile.

The budget helper and side-job features can also help you manage your money better and make more of it if you need to. In general, this is a well-designed service with no severe downsides.

Pros:

  • Solid $250 cash advance offer.
  • Open to those with bad or no credit score.
  • Automatic overdraft protection.
  • Includes $1 million in identity theft protection for subscribers.
  • Repayment extensions are possible.

Cons:

  • $9.99 monthly fee to access cash advance and insurance.

Empower (Android and iOS)

Empower is a typical cash advance app that offers more or less the same amount of money and a similar set of features to something like Brigit. It doesn’t set itself apart from the apps it’s competing against, but we shouldn’t hold that up as a negative point.

Empower claims to have the best budgeting tools compared to other cash advance apps, but that’s hard to prove objectively. We’ve also seen several complaints from users related to login issues or app bugs. So perhaps Empower’s software needs to spend a little more time in the oven. Still, it’s worth adding to the list of options if you don’t get approved by one of the other providers, and it seems these minor issues affect only a minority of users.

Pros:

  • $250 advance limit.
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster.
  • Intelligent Autosave moves extra money into a separate account.

Cons:

  • $8 monthly fee to access all features after a 14-day trial.
  • Some technical app complaints from user reviews.

Go2Bank (Android and iOS)

Go2Bank is a lot more than just a cash advance application. The only actual “cash advance” you get is the $200 overdraft protection, but that effectively comes down to the same thing.

Instead, Go2Bank aims to offer a comprehensive banking service, which is why you’re encouraged to set up direct deposit with the app and switch your finances over for all sorts of transactions. It’s a good banking solution for users who can’t find a place with mainstream formal banking.

Pros:

  • $200 overdraft protection.
  • No fees for direct deposit users.
  • Free withdrawals at approved ATMs using your Go2Bank card.
  • High (1%) APR on savings.
  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days early.

Cons:

  • $5 fee without direct deposit.
  • 3% fee if you withdraw from out-of-network ATMs.

Earnin (Android and iOS)

EarnIn offers an interesting twist on how most cash advance applications work. It uses GPS tracking and information about where and for how long you work to figure out a fair advance amount. 

This is what allows EarnIn to offer a maximum advance of $500. However, we suspect that only a minority of users will get that much. 

Pros

  • Borrow up to $500 at up to $100 per day.
  • Intelligent tracking for responsible lending.
  • Savings incentivized via prize draws.

Cons:

  • Like Dave, tips are a part of how Earnin stays afloat.

The app also offers prizes to get more people to save, with every $10 you save giving you an entry towards winning cash. The total prize pool, according to EarnIn, is 10 million dollars.

Help When You Need It Most

Everyone can get into a situation where just having some cash for a few days can prevent hardship. Getting a cash advance before we had these cash advance apps was a nerve-wracking process, usually involving lining up with a group of other hopefuls and filling in a heap of paperwork just to get a few hundred dollars. With apps like these, the whole process becomes clean, fast, and easy.

If you need more help managing your finances, why not read The Best Budgeting and Expense Tracking Apps?

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/software-reviews/the-5-best-cash-advance-apps-for-iphone-and-android/

How to Add, Manage, and Delete Roles in Discord

When you start your first Discord server, one of the first things you may want to do is to create roles within it that you can assign to your server users. Roles in Discord are positions that provide certain abilities within the group. For example, someone with an Admin role might have the ability to ban users, change names, or moderate the chat

Doing this is a very easy process, and as the owner of a server you can change the roles within it whenever you want. Here’s how to add, manage, and delete roles in your own Discord server. 

How to Add Roles in Discord

Once you create your server, you’ll be taken to the general text chat channel. From here, you’ll be able to fully customize your server, including adding roles. Follow these steps in order to add some. 

  1. Next to the name of your server, there is an icon of a down arrow. Click this to open up a dropdown and select Server Settings
  1. On the sidebar, select Roles
  1. On this page there is a large button in the center that reads Create Role. Select this. 
  1. You’ll now be on the role creation page. In the first tab you’ll be able to edit the role’s display within your server, such as the name of the role and the assigned color. 
  1. On the Permissions tab, you can then assign permissions to the role. These are actions that the user is allowed to do on this server. 
  1. On the Manage Members tab, you can then add members of your server to this role. 
  1. Once you’re done creating your role, select the green Save Changes button. 

After this, the role will be added to your server. When you go to the main channel in your server, you should see the role and the members you’ve added to the role just below it. 

How to Manage Roles in Discord

Once you’ve created a role, you always have the option to edit it whenever you want or need to. This may be necessary if more members join, if you ever want to change role names, or to change permissions. 

Here’s how to manage the roles you have created. 

  1. When you open the Roles page in the Server Settings, you will see a list of every role you’ve already created. 
  1. Besides each created role, you’ll see how many members are assigned to it. You can click on this number to be taken to the Manage Members tab in the role editor. There, you can see the names of members, as well as add or remove members from the role. You should also know that members can have multiple roles within a server.  
  1. Back on the main Roles page, you can also click on the pencil icon when you hover over a role to be brought to the role editor. 
  1. Once you’ve finished editing your Discord roles, remember to click the green Save Changes button. 

You’ll also notice that there is a default role that’s automatically been created– the @everyone role. This is one that applies to everyone who is part of the server. To edit this role, you can go to the role editor for any of your current roles, and then on the sidebar select the @everyone role. 

There’s no limit to how many times you can change the options of each role, so don’t worry about making your role perfect right away. In fact, you’ll probably need to edit roles often at first as you get a feel for how they operate and how permissions work. 

How to Delete Roles in Discord

In this role creation and editing process, if you find that you no longer need or want a role in your server, you can also delete them. Be careful with this, though, as there’s no way you can get a deleted Discord role back other than making an entirely new one. 

Here’s how to delete a Discord server role. 

  1. Go to Server Settings > Roles.
  1. In the list of all created roles, find the one you want to delete. Select the ellipses icon on the right end side, and then select Delete
  1. There will be a pop up to confirm whether or not you want to delete the role and warning you that a role deletion cannot be undone. If you still want to delete the role, select Okay
  1. The role should be removed from the list and no longer available on the server. 

Once you delete a role, everyone who was initially assigned that role will no longer have it assigned to them, but will still be part of the @everyone role. 

If you delete a role that has been granted a lot of permissions, such as an admin role, if you are the owner of the server you will still have full admin capabilities. However, anyone else you have designated as an admin will lose their permissions if the role is deleted. So, keep this in mind when getting rid of roles. 

Adding, Managing, and Deleting Roles in Discord

Making a Discord server can be a great experience. It lets you bring together friends or people who share common interests. Creating Discord roles adds another layer to your Discord server to make things safer with moderators, or fun and interesting by adding unique roles that members can attain. 

Since you always have the ability to edit and delete roles as well, it makes the whole process much smoother and takes a lot of headache out of trying to create your very own Discord server environment. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-add-manage-and-delete-roles-in-discord/

Why the Garmin Instinct Solar Is the Best Hiking Smartwatch

If you’re an avid hiker or spend any time exploring the wilderness off-the-grid, at one point or another you may find yourself in the market for a new smartwatch.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a smartwatch that is GPS enabled, and has the ability to track not only your fitness stats but also your location every time you’re exploring the trails? If so, the Garmin Instinct Solar may be the perfect smartwatch for you.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at one of the top-ranked GPS smartwatches on the market. Garmin Instinct Solar gets nearly 5-star reviews from customers on every online marketplace where it’s sold. You’ll learn in this article why it deserves that ranking.

Garmin Instinct Solar: What You Get

When you unbox the Garmin Instinct Solar, you’ll get the watch, a USB charging cable, a quick-start guide, and an instruction manual.

It should be stated up front that this isn’t your typical smartwatch. Don’t expect flashy screens or the ability to add all of the apps you want from an online store. However, what you do get is one of the most rugged, long-lasting GPS watches that has everything you need to track your location anywhere on earth as well as monitor important health metrics.

Key features of the Garmin Instinct Solar:

  • The case is made of fiber-reinforced polymer
  • Scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • High contrast display for easy outdoor viewing
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery uses solar charging to extend battery life

According to Garmin, this watch was built to U.S. military standard 810 thermal, shock, and water resistance ratings. This is especially important if you plan to take the watch hiking, camping, or hunting where the odds of extreme use conditions are much more likely.

Garmin Instinct Solar: Health Sensors

If you flip the watch over and look at the back, you’ll see a series of sensors in the middle of the backing, next to the charging port.

These sensors monitor important bio-metrics that help the Garmin Instinct Solar calculate your stress levels and provide accurate feedback about your body’s response to activities like working out at the gym or climbing a mountain. And all that biofeedback is provided in real-time on different built-in apps.

  • See your real-time heart rate so you can maintain a healthy rate while exercising
  • Keep a log and see a charted history of your heart rate throughout the day
  • The Pulse Ox2 sensor tells how well your body is absorbing oxygen, which can help the watch gauge your sleep quality or how well you’re acclimating to the altitude

The Garmin Instinct Solar uses various heart rate and oxygen level algorithms to gauge your current stress and energy levels. It provides feedback on this in the form of a stress tracking app, and a “body battery” app that’ll tell you whether you may need to rest and recharge your energy levels.

Garmin Instinct Solar Displays and Apps

It may seem like a major drawback that the Garmin Instinct Solar doesn’t have some online store where there are developers regularly releasing new apps. However, the library of apps already offered on the Garmin Instinct Solar is so extensive that it covers nearly all of the activities and functions any hiker, kayaker, runner, and nearly any other outdoor enthusiast or athlete may need.

To see if these apps and this watch are right for you, let’s dive into the apps and features you’ll find on the Garmin Instinct Solar smartwatch.

Garmin Instinct Solar Main Displays

Each display on the Garmin Instinct Solar may at first appear a bit dated. Think 1990s digital watch, but with extra digital graphics and icons tossed in.

The main watch display is basically the time, the date, sunrise and sunset, and battery life. You can alter the watch face slightly by scrolling through watch face designs and choosing one. Mostly the differences are what data you want to be displayed on the main face.

Pressing the down button (lower button on the left side of the case), you can scroll through other displays. These are your default apps and include:

  • Your pulse Ox2 level and current heart rate
  • A log of your heart rate over the last four hours with the max and min for the day at the top
  • A summary “My Day” page showing all health stats like steps, floor climbed, minutes of vigorous activity, and more
  • A display dedicated to total steps for the day as well as your most recent workout
  • Current precipitation at your location, as well as the current temperature and the day’s high and low temps
  • A compass display showing your direction in degrees, as well as a visual compass around the rim of the display

Navigational Features 

To see activities that are available to be tracked on the watch, you’ll just need to tap the GPS button (the upper button on the right side of the case). This takes you to a list of activities you track using the watch. To quickly track your basic progress during a hike using GPS, just scroll down (using the down button – lower left side of the case) and select (with the GPS button) Track Me.

The quick Navigate feature will bring up a display showing how long you’ve been hiking, the distance you’ve traveled so far, and your current heart rate.

All three of these pieces of information are critical to know during a hike, especially if you’re hiking for fitness. Every time the watch tracks your hike it also logs all of the sensor information for you, and a map of your location and progress.

You can access that log by pressing the GPS button to see Activities again, selecting Navigate, and selecting Activities.

This will show you each activity logged and saved including the total activity time and total mileage. Just scroll to that activity and select it to see all of the activity details.

This will include:

  • Distance
  • Time elapsed
  • Speed traveled
  • Calories burned
  • Average and max heart rates
  • Total altitude ascended and descended during the hike

Location tracking is an area where Garmin excels better than any other smartwatch on the market. Garmin lets you access multiple global navigation satellite systems including GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. This watch will track in areas where GPS alone may fail.

This watch also includes a “Trackback Routing” feature that helps you return back to where you started by showing you how to backtrack along the same route you took to arrive where you are. So long as your watch has battery life in it, you’ll never get lost wearing it.

Other Activities Garmin Instinct Solar Can Track

You aren’t limited to hiking with this smartwatch. There’s a long list of activity apps included that you can add at any time. To see activities to track just select the GPS button and start scrolling with the Up and Down buttons on the left middle and bottom of the watch case.

Preloaded activity apps include:

  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Rowing
  • Strength Training
  • Much more.

If you get to the end of the list and don’t see the activity that you’re interested in, you’ll see a final Add screen you can select with the GPS button to add more activities to your list.

Other Features

In addition to all of the features listed above, you’ll also have access to email, text, and alert notifications all on your wrist, so long as the watch is paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth. You can also access your calendar events and details that you’ve stored on your smartphone.

Finally, you can pair your watch with any inReach satellite communication devices to send or receive satellite messages, get weather alerts, or send an emergency message out.

The Garmin Instinct Solar isn’t a smartwatch with the latest bells and whistles or flashy apps that let you browse social media from your wrist. But what it is intended for, it does exceedingly well. That is navigational and activity tracking for all of your outdoor activities. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you won’t be disappointed owning the Garmin Instinct Solar.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/gadgets/why-the-garmin-instinct-solar-is-the-best-hiking-smartwatch/

Cozy Games to Play on the Nintendo Switch

While fast-paced action and adventure games can always be great fun, sometimes you may just want to slow down and play something more casual and peaceful. On the Nintendo Switch, there are plenty of games like these, especially on the Nintendo eShop where there are many indie games available. 

If you’re having trouble finding relaxing, cozy games that aren’t just Animal Crossing, below is a list of some of the best and most popular of these types of games. They span a few different genres, but they all have that same comforting feel for when you want to relax and enjoy some great games.

1. Little Dragons Cafe

If you’ve been a fan of Harvest Moon game, the same creator made Little Dragons Cafe. In the game, you play as twin siblings, running a cafe and caring for a dragon, even as you try to save your mother, who has fallen into a coma. 

The game consists of exploring to collect resources for recipes and cooking these recipes in your cafe. Over time, your dragon will grow and will be able to help you in exploring and finding more resources. It’s very slow-paced and uncomplicated, with a cute art style and charming characters. 

2. Stardew Valley

As one of the most popular farming simulators out there, a list of cozy games just wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Stardew Valley. The game starts as you move into the town, setting up your new farm. Then, you can explore the surrounding area, talk to others who live in the town, and grow relationships with them as you complete quests. 

If you enjoy games where you do a lot of repetitive tasks and some exploration and crafting elements, Stardew Valley is a great choice that you can easily spend hours upon hours playing. There are many aspects of the game, so there’s always something to do. But you can go at your own pace without any pressure. 

3. Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town

Harvest Moon is one of the OG farming simulation games, which set the standard for much of what came after. One of the best installments in the series, Friends of Mineral Town, was eventually remade as Story of Seasons for the Switch

In the game, you come to live in Mineral Town to tend to a farm. Here you meet and build relationships with others who live there. It is extremely relaxing to play as you don’t have pressure on you to do anything. You can play the game how you want and pursue the many different routes of the game. 

4. Calico

In this adorable game, you’re tasked with rebuilding the town’s cat cafe, decorating it, and filling it with cats. The focus of the game is on customizing your cafe with lots of cute furniture and decor. It goes at a relaxing pace, with no stress involved, as you are free to explore the community around the cafe and meet animals and other characters. 

Along with a cute, pastel-colored art style, this game is sure to keep you at ease while you enjoy and explore the fictional world. 

5. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion

This game is just as absurd as the title sounds but equally as adorable and engaging to play. The protagonist of the game is a turnip who gets evicted from his house due to his inability to pay taxes. So, as you do, he goes on a quest to raise funds to pay Mayor Onion. 

The game is an RPG with puzzle elements and cute pixel graphics with a calming earthy color palette. The game has great, hilarious dialog and an overall unique concept that will keep you entertained as you follow this heinous turnip through his adventure. 

6. Cozy Grove

Well, this game has cozy in its name, so enough said. You play as a camper, or “Spirit Scout,” on a haunted island, and your goal is to explore the island and help the ghosts who are stuck there. To do this, you take on quests from the spirits and explore the island to find items for them. 

As you complete each quest, you illuminate more and more of the island, bringing it back to life. The game is very straightforward, so if you like games where you complete tasks and have clear goals, you will enjoy Cozy Grove. 

7. New Pokemon Snap

The original Pokemon Snap, which came out for the Nintendo 64 long ago, became a classic and one of the most popular Pokemon spin-off games. Recently, Nintendo released a complete reboot of this game, with new areas, characters, and Pokemon to snap photos of.

You play as a photographer enlisted by Professor Mirror to explore the Lental region to help him with his Pokemon research. You go through each area, take interesting Pokemon photos, and gain experience to move through the game. 

Going through the areas, you’ll find that you discover new things each time, so the game rarely gets stale. It’s a great, relaxing game to play for Pokemon fans or those who just want a new peaceful game.

8. Yonder

Yonder is an open-world adventure game where you explore an island consisting of eight biomes. However, a mysterious power known as Murk has taken the island over. Now, your task is to find the Sprites across the island to restore the land. 

You can explore the world within Yonder, known as Gemea, meet other characters, craft, and farm. It’s a huge game in scope with lots to do, but at the same time, very calming and fun to play as you can choose what you want to spend your time doing. 

Cozy Games For the Switch

Spending some time playing peaceful and low-pressure games can be a great break from some of the more stressful games out there. Whether you want to lift your mood or simply want to have some relaxing downtime, these games above are all perfect for this. 

If you have any favorite cozy games you like to play, let us know in the comments.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/gaming/cozy-games-to-play-on-the-nintendo-switch/