How to Send Disappearing Messages in Instagram

For dispatching self-destructing texts, Instagram offers a feature called “Vanish Mode” on its messaging service. Any text or media you send in Vanish Mode is automatically wiped as soon as the recipient sees it. To access Vanish Mode, first, make sure you have the latest version of the Instagram app on your Android smartphone or iPhone.

Next, open the Instagram app on your phone and swipe in from the left edge of the screen (or tap the text bubble button at the top right) to view a list of your direct messages.

Visit your Instagram chats

Select the conversation that you’d like to use Vanish Mode for.

Perform a swipe up gesture above the text box to activate Vanish Mode. Once that’s successful, Instagram will update your chat background with a darker shade and throw in a few animations to let you know Vanish Mode is active.

Turn on Vanish Mode on Instagram

In Vanish Mode, you can continue to chat normally and send messages in all the usual formats, like direct stories, voice clips, and more.

Send disappearing messages on Instagram

The difference is that once you swipe up again to leave Vanish Mode and the other person reads whatever you have sent, Instagram will delete those messages.

Turn off Vanish Mode on Instagram

While the recipient is free to take a screenshot of your messages in Vanish Mode, Instagram will notify you if and when they do. Do note that Instagram retains your Vanish Mode media and texts for up to an hour after they have been deleted. This is in case the recipient files a report for abuse and harassment and Instagram needs the Vanish Mode data to take action.

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How to disable all removable storage access using Registry

Although it’s a common practice to use removable drives, there are times when you may want to restrict access to these types of devices. For instance, you may want to disable access to prevent users from connecting foreign devices, which may contain malware that can harm the computer or make it more difficult to install applications from unknown sources.

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that editing the Registry is risky, and it can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you don’t do it correctly. It’s recommended to make a full backup of your PC before proceeding.

To prevent access to all removable storage, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry.
  3. Browse the following path:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

    Quick tip: On Windows 10, you can now copy and paste the path in the Registry’s address bar to quickly jump to the key destination.

  4. Right-click the Windows (folder) key, select the New submenu, and choose the Key option.Removablestoragedevices registry key
  5. Name the key RemovableStorageDevices and press Enter.
  6. Right-click the newly created key, select the New submenu, and choose the DWORD (32-bit) Value option.
  7. Name the key Deny_All and press Enter.
  8. Double-click the newly created DWORD and set the value from 0 to 1.Removablestoragedevices deny all setting
  9. Click the OK button.
  10. Restart your computer.

After you complete the steps, users will no longer have access to available removable storage devices, nor will they be able to connect external storage drives. You can always undo the changes using the same instructions outlined above, but on step No. 4, make sure to right-click the RemovableStorageDevices key and select the Delete option. If you have other settings configured inside the key, don’t delete it. Instead, double-click the Deny_All DWORD and change the value from 1 to 0.

After undoing the changes using either method, you should regain access to storage devices immediately. However, if this is not the case, then reboot the device to refresh the changes.

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How to disable all removable storage access using Group Policy on Windows 10 Pro

On Windows 10 Pro (Enterprise or education), the easiest way to prevent users from accessing removable storage is using the Local Group Policy Editor.

To disable removable storage access on Windows 10 Pro, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for gpedit.msc and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Browse the following path:Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access
  4. On the right side, double-click the All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access policy.Removable Storage Access
  5. Select the Enabled option.All removable storage classes deny all access policy
  6. Click the Apply button.
  7. Click the OK button.
  8. Restart your computer.

Once you complete the steps, Windows 10 will deny access to removable storage classes, including USB flash drives, USB external hard drives, physical discs (such as CD and DVD), and other storage that falls into the removable class.

If you change your mind, you can always revert the changes using the same instructions, but on step No. 5, make sure to select the Not Configured option.

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How to set up a PS1 emulator on Xbox Series X|S

On an Xbox Series X|S, you can play four generations of Xbox games right out of the box. But what if I told you that there’s a way to expand that list even further? With an external hard drive or USB, and a couple of downloads, you can install Retroarch onto your Xbox and play tons of classic consoles, including the PlayStation.

How to install a PS1 emulator on your Xbox Series X|S

A few things before we get started: First, you won’t be violating your Xbox’s warranty at all by doing this, as you’ll be operating the emulator in Dev Mode, a space Microsoft created for developers to work in. Second, due to the gray legality of emulators, we won’t be able to link to any emulator or ROM downloads directly, and third, because they’re not running on native hardware, the games you’re emulating may be littered with glitches or may not run at all — your mileage may vary. With all of that out of the way, let’s get started.

The sign-up process

The first step to getting an emulator installed on your Xbox is to become an Xbox Developer. It’s much easier than you think.

  1. Turn on your Xbox Series X|S and navigate to the Microsoft Store from the Xbox Dashboard.
  2. Search for Xbox Dev Mode.
  3. Download the Xbox Dev Mode app.Xbox Dashboard Dev Mode Search
  4. Once downloaded, open up the app, and you’ll be brought to a screen that welcomes you to the development program.Xbox Dev Mode Welcome
  5. Continue until you hit the third tab that features a link and an activation code.
  6. Once here, switch over to your computer and head to the link provided.Dev Mode Activation Link
  7. This link will bring you to the Microsoft Partner Page. Sign in to your Microsoft account.
  8. Scroll down to Developer Programs, and click Get Started. This will bring you to a sign-up page.
  9. Click Sign Up and fill out the registration info.
  10. You’ll have to choose whether you want an Individual account or a Company account. Choose the individual account and pay the fee to activate Developer Mode.
  11. Now that you’re all signed up, type in the link provided on the Xbox again, and it will bring you to your Manage Xbox One Consoles screen.
  12. Press the plus button on the right hand of the screen, select Activation Code, and enter the activation code that appears on your Xbox.
    • The activation screen on the Xbox will time out if you take too long. If it does, just refresh the Xbox and webpage and enter the new code.Manage Xbox
  13.  Back on your Xbox, you’ll receive a confirmation that your Xbox is now activated for development.
  14. Select Switch and restart.Xbox Dev Mode Activated
  15. Upon restart, your Xbox will start in Dev Mode.Xbox Dev Mode Homescreen
  16. Go to Test accounts on the right and add your Xbox account.

Congratulations, you’re now a registered Xbox Developer with total access to the Xbox Dev Mode. This will be the place where you will run your emulator.

Installing Retroarch onto your Xbox Series X|S

The emulator of choice here is called Retroarch. We’ll need to upload a compatible version of Retroarch onto your Xbox Series X|S.

  1. Head over to the Retroarch website and download the Xbox One version of Retroarch, as well as the Microsoft Visual Package.
  2. Back on the Xbox Dev Mode home screen on your Xbox, you’ll see a Remote Access address in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Click on the Remote Access Settings.
  3. Make sure that Enable Xbox Device Portal is checked.
  4. Type the IP address into your web browser.
  5. That will lead you to your Xbox Device Portal.Xbox Device Portal
  6. Click the Add button under My games & apps.
  7. Upload the Retroarch file you just downloaded.
  8. Select Next.Xbox My Games Upload
  9. Upload the Microsoft Visual Package as the dependency file and select start. Now Retroarch will install onto your Xbox.
  10. Back on the Xbox Dev Mode screen, you should see Retroarch appear under the Games & apps section.
  11. Highlight Retroarch and press the View button on your Xbox Controller.
  12. Scroll down to View details, and change the App type from App to Game.
  13. Head back to the menu and select Restart Console for the changes to take effect.
  14. When the Xbox turns on, you’re ready to use Retroarch.

Running Retroarch

At this point, Retroarch is operational, but there are a few changes worth making to get things running as smooth as possible.

  1. Select Retroarch from your Games & apps and enter the program. You’ll notice that the menus look a little primitive, but we can fix that by scrolling down to the Online Updater and then Update Assets. It will take several minutes to update.
  2. Once that’s done, the screen will flash black for a moment, and then your menu will look a lot cleaner.Retroarch Online Updater
  3. While you’re on this screen, select Update Core Info FilesUpdate Controller Profiles, and Update Databases and let those update.Retroarch Update Assets
  4. Once that’s complete, head back to the Retroarch Main Menu.
  5. Move to the Settings Menu.
  6. Select Drivers.
  7. Scroll down to Video and change it from d3d11 to gl.Retroarch Video
  8. Once that’s done, head back to the Retroarch Main Menu.
  9. Scroll down to Configuration File.
  10. Select it and then Save Current Configuration.Retroarch Save
  11. Now quit and reboot Retroarch. The icons should be visible now, and everything should look as it should.Retroarch Main Menu

Before we finish, there are two quick QoL changes you should make to your emulator.

  1. Head to Settings and then Input.
  2. Scroll down to Hotkeys.
  3. Then go to Menu Toggle Gamepad Combo.
  4. You can choose anything you’d like here, but I like using Start + Select. This will allow you to open the Retroarch menu to save and load your game.Retroarch Hotkeys
  5. Go back to the Settings once more.
  6. Scroll to User Interface.
  7. Scroll down and make sure Pause Content When Menu Is Active and Pause Content When Not Active are off. This will eliminate any errors you may encounter while playing games that require you to switch disc.Retroarch Menu Toggle
  8. Head back to the Retroarch Main Menu.
  9. Scroll down to Configuration File.
  10. Hit Save Current Configuration.

You’re done! Retroarch is installed and ready to go.

Playing PS1 games on your Xbox Series X|S

Now that Xbox Dev Mode is activated, and Retroarch is fully installed, you’ll need to find some PS1 games. This involves downloading PlayStation bios and finding PlayStation ROMs. Once you find those, you’ll be able to get PlayStation games running.

  1. You’ll need to source a PS1 bios. You can create your own or find one online. Once you have it downloaded, rename it to scph5501.bin. This will allow it to read North American PS1 games. If you’re curious, scph5500 is for Japanese games, and scph5502 is the European version.
  2. Go back to your Xbox Device Portal using the IP address found on the Xbox Dev Mode home screen.
  3. On the Xbox Device Portal, select File Explorer on the screen’s left side, and then LocalAppData. Select Retroarch, then Local State, and then System.Xbox Device Portal File Explorer
  4. Find the PlayStation bios and upload the .bin file.
  5. Now that the bios is in place, you’ll need some games. You can search the internet for them or dump your own.
  6. Once you have your games, you’ll need to move them to an external drive.
    • I used a WD My Passport Portable External Hard Drive, but any high-speed external drive or USB thumb drive should work. Check out our choices for the best external hard drives for the Xbox Series X|S.
  7. Plug in your drive, and a menu should pop up and ask you if you want to format the drive or use Media Storage.
  8. Select Media Storage.
  9. Load up Retroarch.
  10. Scroll down to Load Content.
  11. Scroll down to the E:/ drive.Retroarch E Drive
  12. Find the PS1 game you want to play and load up the .cue file.
  13. Choose the Sony – Playstation (Beetle PSX HW) core.
  14. Your game should start up just like it did on the original PlayStation!
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How to install a Bluetooth adapter replacement on Windows 10

Do you need to install another Bluetooth adapter, but you cannot get rid of the old one? If so, in this guide, we’ll show you the steps to deal with this scenario to avoid problems on Windows 10. On Windows 10, before installing a new Bluetooth adapter, you must first disable the old adapter permanently to avoid conflicts and other problems.

Disable old Bluetooth adapter

To disable a defective Bluetooth adapter on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Expand the Bluetooth branch.
  4. Right-click the wireless adapter and select the Disable device option.Windows 10 disable broken Bluetooth
  5. Click the Yes button.

Once you complete the steps, the system will no longer interact with the device, preventing problems with the new adapter.

Install new Bluetooth adapter

To install the new Bluetooth adapter on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Connect the new Bluetooth adapter to a free USB port on the computer.
  2. Allow Windows 10 to detect and install the driver automatically.

After you complete the steps, it’s recommended to check the new short-range wireless radio is configured and working correctly.

Check new adapter

To determine whether the Bluetooth adapter was correctly recognized, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Devices.
  3. Click on Bluetooth & other devices.Windows 10 confirm Bluetooth adapter
  4. Confirm the Bluetooth toggle switch is available.

If the toggle switch is available, the device was correctly installed. Otherwise, if you only see an Add Bluetooth or other device button, there was a problem adding the short-range wireless radio adapter.

Install driver manually

On Windows 10, setting up a Bluetooth dongle should be a plug-and-play process. However, in some cases, you may be required to install the driver manually.

It’s always recommended to check your device manufacturer support website to download the latest drivers and use their installation instructions. However, most manufacturers also publish their drivers and make them available through Windows Update, making the setup process a lot easier.

To install a Bluetooth driver manually with Windows Update, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Windows Update.
  4. Click the Check for updates button (if applicable).
  5. Click the View optional updates option.Windows 10 optional updates option for drivers
  6. Click the Driver updates tab.
  7. Select the driver you want to update.Windows Update install drivers
  8. Click the Download and install button.

Once you complete the steps, you should be able to connect wireless devices to your computer without problems.

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How to Customize the Google TV Home Screen

The switch from Android TV to Google TV brought a massive change to the home screen experience. The focus is on recommendations and surfacing content from your streaming services. We’ll show you how to customize the home screen on devices like the Chromecast with Google TV.

There are three ways in which we can customize the Google TV home screen experience. First, you can rearrange the order of your apps and games to put the front and center of your favorite. Second, you can share which streaming services you pay for with Google. Lastly, we can turn off recommendations entirely.

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How to Control the Chromecast with Google TV with Your Phone

Chromecast dongles don’t require remotes, but that changed with the Chromecast with Google TV. This device features an interface that you navigate with the included remote. However, if you lost the remote, it can be controlled with a smartphone app.

If you don’t have the remote or would rather use your phone, there are a couple of options. First of all, as the name implies, the Chromecast with Google TV is a Chromecast device. You can “cast” videos and music to it from your phone or tablet. The Chromecast with Google TV is also an Android TV device at its core, which means it can be controlled by a “remote” app on your phone or tablet. These will allow you to navigate around the TV’s apps and menus.

Google itself has an official Android TV remote app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. This is a pretty good basic remote, but there’s a third-party app that’s even better. We’ll show you how to use both.

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Find storage space with the free WinDirStat tool

Today’s games gobble up storage like it’s going out of style: Call of Duty: Warzone gobbles up well north of 200GB by its lonesome after you’re done downloading all of its updates, while the fantastically beautiful Microsoft Flight Simulator demands well over 100GB out of the gate. Dedicating hundreds of gigs to just two games is enough to make any SSD beg for mercy. If you’re scrounging for storage space to fit these behemoths, WinDirStat can help.

WinDirStat is a free tool that scans your drive, then explains where all your storage is being consumed with some gorgeous data visualization, separating the culprits into different colored blocks to provide a quick, at-a-glance summary. Clicking on one of the blocks lets you dive deeper and truly see where your storage is tied up.

windirstat

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