How to use themes in Windows 10 for a more personal desktop experience

Imagine a large white room with nothing more than a boring brown desk and a boring brown chair. That’s no fun, right? It’s sterile and seemingly siphons every creative drop from your soul. What you need is a work area that’s yours and feels comfortable just like home. We’ll show you how to use themes in Windows 10 so your PC’s virtual desktop isn’t boring and sterile.

You acquire Windows 10 themes in four ways: From the Microsoft Store, third-party websites, device manufacturers, and individuals who share their themes. Installing themes from the Microsoft Store is your safest bet while new desktops and laptops typically ship with a custom wallpaper (at the very least).

Our guide to using Windows 10 themes provides several ways to install, change, and even create custom themes. We also show you how to save custom themes as a file to share with friends and family. This guide is based on Windows 10 1809 (October 2018 Update) using Dark Mode.

From the desktop

This method takes the shortest route to theme management.

Windows 10 right-click personalize

1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and select Personalize in the resulting menu.

Windows 10 Themes panel

2. Select Themes.
3. Click on a theme currently installed on your PC. Window 10 will automatically load the theme.
4. Close the Settings app.

Related: How to enable dark mode in Windows 10, Office, and Microsoft Edge

Create a custom Windows 10 theme

Since we’re here, you’ll see an option to create a custom theme. Let’s start the process from the beginning if you want to create a custom theme later:

Windows 10 right-click personalize

1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and select Personalize in the resulting menu.

Windows 10 Use Custom Theme

2. Select Themes.
3. Click Use custom theme.

Windows 10 Custom Theme Choose Picture

4. Select Background to choose the images you want as wallpaper. For the Slideshow option, click the Browse button to use an image folder. Do the same for Picture mode only you will select a single image instead. The Solid color option provides 24 set swatches and an option click the “+” to create a custom color.

Windows 10 Custom Theme Choose Color

5. Select Color to change the interface color. Windows 10 provides 48 color swatches and an option to click the “+” to create a custom color. Here you can also choose where the accent color appears, toggle between Light and Dark app modes, and toggle transparency effects.

Windows 10 Custom Theme Choose Sound

6. Select Sounds to change the Windows 10 sound scheme.

Windows 10 custom Theme Choose Pointer

7. Select Mouse cursor to change the mouse cursor appearance.

Windows 10 Save Custom Theme

8. Click Save Theme.
9. Name your theme in the pop-up window.
10. Click the Save button.

Share a custom Windows 10 theme

Again, since we’re here, let’s go over how you can share a custom theme by creating a file friends and family can install:

Windows 10 Save Theme for Sharing

1. While remaining within the Themes section, click on your custom theme to make it active.
2. Right-click on your custom theme.
3. Select Save theme for sharing.

Windows 10 Name Custom Theme File

4. Select a location where you want to save the theme.
5. Enter a file name.
6. Click Save to create a .deskthemepack file.

Related: How to use notifications in Windows 10

Use the Settings app

Windows 10 access Settings

1.  Click Start and select the “gear” icon on the Start Menu. This opens the Settings app.

Windows 10 Settings Personalization

2. Select Personalization.

Windows 10 Apply a Theme

3. Select Themes.
4. On the right, scroll down to Apply a theme and click on a theme.
5. Windows 10 automatically applies the chosen theme. You can now close the Settings app.

Use the Control Panel

If your nostalgic soul just can’t let go of the old-school Control Panel, there’s a way to access the hidden Personalization panel we loved in Windows 7 and older:

Windows 10 Personalization Run Command

1. Type Win + R to open the Run command.
2. In the pop-up box, enter this command:

explorer shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921}

Windows 10 Control Panel Personalization

3. Select the theme you want to apply.
4. Close the window when done.

Related: How to split your screen in Windows 10

Use File Explorer

Use this method to install themes downloaded from third-party websites, or if you like taking the long, old-school scenic route. Here are two important locations where Windows 10 stores your themes:

  • Default themes – C:WindowsResourcesThemes
  • Manually installed themes – %LocalAppData%MicrosoftWindowsThemes

Windows 10 File Explorer icon

1. Click the folder icon on the taskbar to open File Explorer.

Windows 10 File Explorer Select Theme

2. Locate the destination where your downloaded theme resides, such as Downloads. If you want a default theme or one you manually installed, copy and paste one of the addresses listed above into File Explorer’s address field.
3. Double-click a *.theme file you want as the current theme. Windows 10 will open the Settings app Themes section as well.

Get a new theme

Windows 10 access Settings

1. Click Start and select the “gear” icon on the Start Menu. This opens the Settings app.

Windows 10 Settings Personalization

2. Select Personalization.

Windows 10 Get More Themes

3. Select Themes.
4. On the right, click Get more themes in the Store listed under Apply a theme.

Microsoft Store Windows Themes

5. In the Microsoft Store app, select a theme you want to install.

Windows Store Get Windows Theme

6. Click the Get (free) or Buy (paid) button.
7. Click Install if the process doesn’t begin automatically.

Microsoft Store Apply Windows Theme

8. Click Apply to use the theme.
9. Close the Microsoft Store app.

Related: How to change your screen resolution in Windows 10

Use a high contrast theme

If you need a theme that’s merely black and white like the old days of MS-DOS, you can find these in a different part of the Settings app.

Windows 10 access Settings

1. Click Start and select the “gear” icon on the Start Menu. This opens the Settings app.

Windows 10 Ease of Access

2. Select Ease of Access.

Windows 10 Use High Contrast

3. Select High contrast on the left.
4. Toggle on Turn on high contrast (off by default).

Windows 10 High Contrast Colors

5. On the Choose a theme drop-down menu, select one of the four pre-installed themes.
6. Customize the high contrast colors if needed.
7. Close the Settings app.

You can take the File Explorer route too by heading to C:WindowsResourcesEase of Access Themes and double-clicking on a *.theme file.

Finally, for Windows 10 power users, the operating system keeps track of the current theme at this location in the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionThemes

It’s listed as the CurrentTheme (REG_SZ) value.

That wraps up our guide on how to use themes in Windows 10. For additional tips and tricks, check out these guides:

How to get Android Q beta 3 on compatible non-Pixel phones

It’s great to see Android Q beta 3 with so many new features, but it’s also great to see the beta open up to non-Pixel phones. Here’s how to get Android Q beta 3 for compatible non-Pixel phones.

Asus Zenfone 5Z

Zen UI

According to Asus, known issues include SD cards with exFAT format not being supported and no beep when the volume up or down buttons are pressed.

  1. Turn off your Zenfone 5Z.
  2. Hold down the Power and Volume Up buttons until your phone reboots.
  3. Connect your Zenfone 5Z to your PC.
  4. Download and decompress the Android Q’s image file.
  5. Double-click on “update_image.bat,” which starts the flash image command
  6. When the flash finishes, hit the Enter key to restart your Zenfone 5Z.

Essential Phone

Before we start, make sure to download the factory image. Also, download the fastboot tool from the Android SDK Platform-Tools package and add it to your path so the flash scripts can find it.

Finally, turn on OEM Unlocking and USB Debugging from within Developer options. To get to developer options, tap the build number multiple times until you see the “You are now a developer!” pop-up message.

  1. Connect your Essential Phone to your PC.
  2. Use the ADB tool to run the command adb reboot bootloader
  3. Reboot your phone while holding the Volume Down button.
  4. Unlock your bootloader.
    1. Run the command fastboot flashing unlock
    2. Use the Volume Down button to go to the YES option and press the Power button to confirm
    3. While your Essential Phone is rebooting, press and hold the Volume Down button to return to Fastboot mode.
  5. Flash your factory image.
    1. Unzip the previously-downloaded factory image and go to where you unzipped the files.
    2. On Windows, run the command flashall.bat
    3. On Linux and MacOS X, run the command flashall.sh
  6. Relock your bootloader
    1. You don’t have to re-lock your bootloader, though doing so improves security.
    2. Run the command fastboot flashing lock
    3. Go back to Fastboot mode and run the command fastboot flashing lock_critical

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The twilight back of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Keep in mind that you must have released at least one app on the Google Play Store and use a Huawei Mate 20 Pro to qualify. Also, your Huawei ID must be registered with the same email address used for your Google Play Store developer account.

Finally, the beta is available from tomorrow, May 8 through June 30. After registration, the first version of Android Q beta 3 will be pushed out this Saturday, May 11. Following versions will be pushed out every Tuesday and Thursday.

You can go here to learn more about possible restrictions.

  1. Open this link on your Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
  2. Download and install the Beta app from the aforementioned link.
  3. Log in to the app with a Huawei ID registered with the Google Play Developer account’s email.
  4. Sign up for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro Developer project.

LG G8 ThinQ

LG G8 ThinQ Review display

Before installing Android Q beta 3, LG advises device owners to do a factory reset of their devices. Also, known issues include the camera with limited functionality, SD cards over 32GB not being recognized, Wi-Fi hotspot not working, voice calls over a Bluetooth headset not working, and some apps on the Google Play Store not working due to Q-OS compatibility issues.

Finally, you’ll have to use LG Beta Downloader every time there’s an update.

  1. Download and install LG Beta Downloader v1.0 or later (only works on Windows).
  2. Start LG Beta Downloader and follow the displayed instructions.

Nokia 8.1

The Nokia 8.1 screen.

Note that the beta only supports models TA-1119, TA-1121, and TA-1128 and associated 00WW images. Also, you must go here to sign up for a Nokia account and add the Nokia 8.1 to your account. From there, you can request Android Q beta 3 for your device.

Nokia is cagey on exact instructions, so make sure to have a compatible Nokia 8.1 device and follow the on-screen instructions.

OnePlus 6/6T

Even though the OnePlus 7 series also supports Android Q beta 3, the phones aren’t out yet. We’ll update this section with any new steps once the OnePlus 7 phones launch.

  1. Download the latest ROM upgrade zip package from the specified server, which you’ll find below.
    1. OnePlus 6
    2. OnePlus 6T
  2. Copy the Rollback package to the phone storage.
  3. Go to Settings -> System -> System Updates.
  4. Tap the top right icon, then tap Local upgrade.
  5. Tap on the corresponding installation upgrade, then tap Upgrade -> System upgrade completed to 100%.
  6. After the upgrade is complete, tap Restart.
  7. Your phone will reboot into recovery mode to format user data, then reboot again after updating.

Oppo Reno

Oppo Reno Hands On rear glass panel

Oppo hasn’t yet posted instructions on how to get Android Q beta 3 for the Oppo Reno. We’ll update this section once that changes.

Realme 3 Pro

Realme 3 Pro back of the phone

Realme hasn’t yet posted instructions on how to get Android Q beta 3 for the Realme 3 Pro. We’ll update this section once that changes.

Sony Xperia XZ3

Sony notes that only versions H8416, H9436, and H9493 of the Xperia XZ3 support Android Q beta 3. Also, Sony advises that device owners factory reset their devices before flashing the software.

  1. Go here to download the latest version of the Xperia Companion app on your PC.
  2. Start the Xperia Companion app.
  3. Hold down the Alt key on your keyboard and click on Software Repair on the homescreen.
  4. Tick the checkbox My device cannot be detected or started, then click Next.
  5. Wait for the initialization to complete, then follow the on-screen instructions.

Every subsequent software update for Android Q will be an OTA update. As such, you don’t have to use the Xperia Companion app unless you want to return to factory settings.

Tecno Spark 3 Pro

Press render of the Tecno Spark 3 Pro.

Tecno hasn’t yet posted instructions on how to get Android Q beta 3 for the Spark 3 Pro. We’ll update this section once that changes.

Vivo X27

Press render of the Vivo X27.

Vivo notes that the first version will be released this month, with the second version releasing in early July. Once Android Q is available to the public, Vivo will no longer release beta updates.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Vivo X27.
  2. Copy the firmware package to the root directory of the Vivo X27’s storage.
  3. Tap on the software package, then select Start Upgrade when prompted.

Vivo Nex S

Vivo Nex

As previously mentioned, there will be an update in early July. Vivo will end the beta program once Android Q is publicly available.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Vivo Nex S.
  2. Copy the firmware package to the root directory of the Vivo X27’s storage.
  3. Tap on the software package, then select Start Upgrade when prompted.

Vivo Nex A

As previously mentioned, there will be an update in early July. Vivo will end the beta program once Android Q is publicly available.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Vivo Nex A.
  2. Copy the firmware package to the root directory of the Vivo X27’s storage.
  3. Tap on the software package, then select Start Upgrade when prompted.

Xiaomi Mi 9

Xiaomi Mi 9 hero shot

Xiaomi notes that there are seven known issues with Android Q beta 3 for the Mi 9. You can read the known issues below.

  • Alarm does not ring when the device is switched off.
  • Device restarts after user selects wireless projection device in the Wireless display.
  • Settings app stops running after user deactivates shortcut to mute device.
  • Settings app stops running when Gesture is selected in Settings.
  • File app stops running after refresh.
  • Unable to switch screen color in Settings.
  • Unable to add a fingerprint.

Also, you must opt-in through the fastboot method that’s listed in the steps below.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Xiaomi Mi 9.
  2. Download the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool.
  3. Unlock your device.
  4. Turn off your Mi 9.
  5. Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons to enter Fastboot mode.
  6. Connect the Mi 9 to your PC.
  7. Double-click the downloaded firmware to decompress it.
  8. Open the file folder for the decompressed firmware and copy its path on the PC.
  9. Once the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool is installed, open MiFlash.exe and paste it into the address bar the firmware file folder path copied in the previous step.
  10. Click the first button (circled out in yellow) to refresh.
  11. Click the second button (circled out in red) to flash the firmware to your Mi 9.

If these steps don’t help you, you can download the Mi PC Suite. From there, put your Mi 9 in Fastboot mode, connect the phone to your PC, and select the firmware.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G logo

Xiaomi notes that there are seven known issues with Android Q beta 3 for the Mi Mix 3 5G. You can read the known issues below.

  • Alarm does not ring when the device is switched off.
  • Device restarts after user selects wireless projection device in the Wireless display.
  • Default print service stops after device connects to Wi-Fi to print photos from gallery.
  • Settings app stops running after user deactivates shortcut to mute device.
  • Settings app stops running after user selects “Gestures”.
  • File app stops running after refresh.
  • Unable to switch color in settings.
  • Settings app crashes after Automatic brightness is selected.

Also, you must opt-in through the fastboot method that’s listed in the steps below.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G.
  2. Download the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool.
  3. Unlock your device.
  4. Turn off your Mi Mix 3 5G.
  5. Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons to enter Fastboot mode.
  6. Connect the Mi Mix 3 5G to your PC.
  7. Double-click the downloaded firmware to decompress it.
  8. Open the file folder for the decompressed firmware and copy its path on the PC.
  9. Once the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool is installed, open MiFlash.exe and paste it into the address bar the firmware file folder path copied in the previous step.
  10. Click the first button (circled out in yellow) to refresh.
  11. Click the second button (circled out in red) to flash the firmware to your Mi Mix 3 5G.

If these steps don’t help you, you can download the Mi PC Suite. From there, put your Mi Mix 3 5G in Fastboot mode, connect the phone to your PC, and select the firmware.


And that’s it! Let us know in the comments if you have any of the devices listed here and plan to install Android Q beta 3.

The ultimate guide to replacing your smartphone battery

Is your smartphone battery running out in just a couple of hours? If you find yourself reaching for the charger multiple times a day, it might be time to replace your battery. Even with the days of removable batteries behind us, there are still are a lot of options. In this guide we will show you how and how much it costs to install a new battery on your phone.

If you’ve owned your smartphone for more than two years, you might have noticed its battery life is just not the same. The lifespan of a battery is typically defined by how many charge cycles it will last. A charge cycle is a period where a battery’s whole capacity is used, then it is charged back to full (companies like Apple define it as using 50 percent, then charging it back to full, then using 50 percent again). After 500 charge cycles, most lithium-ion batteries’ performance starts to degrade, regardless of how you use the device. It is one of the main reasons you should consider cell phone battery replacement on an aging device.

Common signs you need to replace your smartphone battery

google pixel 3 battery details

Of course, the most obvious sign you might need a cell phone battery replacement is drastically reduced battery life. If your phone barely makes it past the 10-hour mark, and you don’t do anything too intensive like streaming or playing games, consider replacement.

Random shut offs are also a common symptom. If your smartphone turns off at 30 percent or even 50 percent, the health of your battery has likely deteriorated significantly. Boot loops are also a common sign. If you have an older smartphone that restarts constantly after hitting a certain battery threshold, this is usually due to an aging lithium-ion battery.

The easiest way to recognize the source of the issue is to note when the problem occurs. If you have a newer device and it boot loops after an update or when closing apps, it is most likely a software issue.

accubattery

If your case is not that extreme, you still might want to check your battery’s health. We recommend using AccuBattery. It compares the design capacity of your battery to its estimated current capacity, showing you how much has been lost overtime. Just charge your phone after installing it and the app will do the rest.

AccuBattery also offers plenty of other features such as measuring charging speed, how much power apps use, how long your device will last on standby, and much more. If the capacity results are not great, it might be time for a battery replacement. The good news is you can do this even if you have a smartphone with a non-removable battery!

How to replace your smartphone battery

The days of easy to replace batteries are mostly over now.

Replacing your smartphone battery used to be as easy as turning off your phone, removing the old battery, and putting the new one in. If your smartphone still has a removable battery, that’s all you need to do.

Most current Android smartphones come with non-removable batteries, so the task has gotten more difficult. It’s by no means impossible, but it’s no small feat either.

If you want to go the DIY route, you will have to take your smartphone apart, detaching the screen and other parts before getting to the battery. Since most parts are glued together, you would also have to remove and then reapply adhesive. Do not attempt this if you do not have the right tools. The basic ones you need are a suction handle, flat opening tool, tweezers, heat gun to melt adhesive, and a screwdriver. Replacement adhesive is also a must.

Don’t use just any tools lying around in your house — you can damage your phone.

(iFixit)Replacing a battery requires a bit more work than it once did.

Unfortunately, buying an official battery from an OEM is almost impossible, so we advise you stick to proven battery retailers with good ratings for repair kits and batteries, like iFixit. They also provide detailed battery replacement guides on their website.

If you already have the necessary tools and have found the appropriate tutorial for your smartphone model, it’s important to first have your battery below 25 percent. Charged lithium-ion batteries can catch fire or explode if accidentally punctured. If your battery is swollen when you open your device, you shouldn’t proceed with the replacement, especially if you are inexperienced. Take the phone to an authorized repair shop instead.

Even if that’s not the case, you have to be careful. Take the Samsung Galaxy S7 for example. Battery replacement can be quite difficult thanks to plenty of adhesive, all of which will need to be reapplied. You will also have to disconnect and reconnect the loudspeaker assembly. If you are not careful when doing so, you might need to take your phone apart once again to reconnect it. Other phones require you to disconnect even more parts. DIY battery replacements also usually void waterproofing.

So, if you feel like you don’t have the patience or skill, it’s best to take or mail your smartphone to an authorized service center. For most manufacturers battery replacement costs under $100 out of warranty, and the process takes around five to seven business days when you mail in your cell phone.

Here are links for popular Android manufacturers (and Apple) that will point you to the nearest authorized service center or give you instructions how to mail in your device for a battery replacement:

Google

Samsung

HTC

  • You will need to email or live chat with HTC support, who can then point you to authorized centers or assist you in mailing your phone. You can do so here.

LG

Motorola

Sony

Nokia

Apple

  • Walk in and make an appointment at any Apple Store
  • Mail in.

When is battery replacement not worth it?

If you’ve grown attached to your smartphone and just can’t stand current devices, it makes sense to try to prolong its lifespan, but whether replacing the battery is worth can depend. If you have an older flagship device you would like to continue using for a while, it can be a good investment. If you have a lower-end device, the price and hassle might outweigh the benefits. Most battery replacements at authorized service centers are relatively cheap, but so are new budget phones with updated specs and software.

The Moto G Play, for example, costs only $199. This is why the better and more convenient option for some is to simply buy a new smartphone, but at the end of the day it’s down to personal preference.

Cell phone battery replacement is not nearly as easy as it used to be, but hopefully now you know there’s hope for your expensive flagship even after years of use.

What is your opinion on smartphone batteries nowadays? Have you attempted a DIY battery replacement before? Share your experiences with us in the comment

Getting started with Samsung SmartThings

Your smart home journey can begin with something as simple as buying a few smart bulbs and changing the ambiance of a room, and go to a point where you can control everything in your house without physically interacting with anything. Choosing between hundreds of products and figuring out the right ecosystem can quickly get very confusing. Samsung hopes to alleviate that confusion by providing a singular point of control for all your smart home products with Samsung SmartThings. Here’s everything you need to know!


What is Samsung SmartThings?

Samsung SmartThings is actually a broad, all-encompassing brand name that covers both hardware and software. The biggest selling point of the SmartThings system is Samsung’s attempt to provide a single, unified point of control for all your smart home devices. It does so with not only its own devices, but by supporting an impressive number of third-party products that can all be managed with the SmartThings app. Samsung also makes it very easy to sort through and find the best smart devices for you.


Best Samsung SmartThings devices

Samsung has quite a few devices on offer that come under the SmartThings brand, but the biggest selling point of SmartThings is its compatibility with a slew of third-party products. Apart from ensuring that you won’t get locked into a single ecosystem, this wide compatibility also means that you won’t have a hard time trying to find devices that suit your needs. 

There are over 350 products currently listed as “Works with SmartThings.” These include everything from smart lights and switches, security cameras, doorbells, outlets, door locks, thermostats, and speakers, to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, water valve controls, vents, garage doors, irrigation systems, and so much more. There are way too many really good options to list them all, but here are some of our favorites.

Samsung SmartThings Hub and SmartThing Wi-Fi

samsung smartthings wi-fi hub

The Samsung SmartThings Hub is now in its third iteration, and serves as the foundation of the smart home system that you’re building. This is also the one device that is essential for you to build a Samsung SmartThings system. It connects wirelessly to all your smart home devices and lets you monitor and control them using a single app. The Hub needs an active internet connection to work.

Of course, if you don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of a separate hub and Wi-Fi router, Samsung has you covered with the aptly named Samsung SmartThings Wi-Fi. This is an AC1300 mesh Wi-Fi router that doubles as a hub. A single router provides coverage for a 1,500 sq. ft. area, but you can add more for larger homes.

The Samsung SmartThings Hub will set you back $67.99 while a single SmartThings Wi-Fi router is priced at $117.99. You can also pick up a three-pack of Wi-Fi routers for $249.94.

See also: The best smart hubs you can buy


Best Samsung SmartThings sensors

Samsung SmartThings multipurpose sensor

Samsung SmartThings multipurpose sensor

There are a few different types of Samsung SmartThings Sensors that Samsung has available to help you get started on your home automation journey.

The Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor is an all-in-one sensor that can detect vibration, orientation, tilt, temperature, and when something opens and closes. You can place it on doors, drawers, windows, cabinets, and more. The fact that it senses vibration allows the sensor to differentiate between when a door is being opened and if there is a knock on the door. You can set up alerts for all these activities, and anything else you can come up with.

The use of the Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor is self-explanatory. You can set it up to receive alerts if there is any unexpected movement in your house or in a particular room. Keep children out of off-limit areas, and of course, make sure that nothing untoward is happening when no one is supposed to be at home. You can also connect it to smart lights to have them turn on or off when there is any movement.


Philips Hue smart bulbs

philips hue wite bulbs

The Philips Hue is probably the best choice for anyone looking to get into the smart lighting game. A hub is required, but that’s what the Samsung SmartThings hub is for. The wide variety of lights that Philips has on offer can all be controlled by the SmartThings app. If you have a smart speaker, these bulbs can also be controlled using the Google Home and Amazon Echo devices.

When looking at buying options, you don’t need to get a starter kit, as the Hue Bridge won’t be required. A pack of four white bulbs will set you back $40.99, but if you’re looking to add some color to your life, a single premium smart bulb (with 16 million colors) is priced at $37.

Ecobee4 thermostat

ecobee4 thermostat

If you’re a fan of the Amazon Echo, you’ll be happy to learn the Ecobee4 has Alexa built in for easy integration into your smart home. More importantly, in this case, it is compatible with Samsung Smart Things. Included with the thermostat is a room sensor (and you can buy more) that lets you check and prioritize which rooms need heating or cooling. You can control everything with the SmartThings app even if you aren’t at home. The Ecobee4 thermostat is priced at $198.99.

Schlage Connect Doorlock

schlage smart doorlock

Better home security is one of the best reasons to invest in smart home products, and the Schlage Connect doorlock is a great place to start. You can lock or unlock the door remotely using a smartphone and the SmartThings app. You can also set who can or cannot use that door by providing access codes that can be entered via the touchscreen. The Schlage Connect doorlock is priced at $199.99.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

ring video doorbell pro

Along with a smart lock, another way to bolster your smart home security is with a video doorbell. Leading the way is the Ringe Video Doorbell Pro. It lets you see, hear, and talk to anyone who shows up at your door by using your smartphone, tablet, or even a smart TV. It supports up to 1080p video and provides crystal-clear video at night as well. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is priced at $249.

Arlo Pro 2 wireless security cameras

Netgear Arlo Pro

The final product that should help cover most of your home security needs is the Arlo Pro 2 camera. These wireless cameras are designed to work both inside and outside your house and feature night vision and two-way audio that will let you scare off intruders. You can watch live video streams remotely and also access up to three days of recordings. Two Arlo Pro 2 cameras are priced at $349.99, but you can take advantage of significant discounts with larger multi-camera bundles.

Amazon Echo

You may have noticed that a lot of the smart devices mentioned above offer voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant. While Google is doing a great job to catch up with Amazon, the number of Alexa-supported devices is incredible, and includes everything mentioned so far. It’s not the best speaker in the world in terms of sound, but it will get the job done. If you’re looking to get some type of voice control with your SmartThings system, getting the Amazon Echo is a great way to go about it. 


Getting started with Samsung SmartThings

The SmartThings app



Samsung introduced the SmartThings app last year, that consolidates over 40 of Samsung’s various smart home and smart device apps into one. Apart from controlling your SmartThings products, the new app also lets you manage other devices like Smart TVs, smart refrigerators, smart washers, and every other smart product that Samsung currently offers. 

The SmartThings app has improved a lot since it was first released and is a lot more capable now. If you’re new to the SmartThings world, I’d recommend getting acquainted with the new app from the start. However, if you’ve been using SmartThings for a while, you probably have everything set up with the SmartThings Classic app already. It’s completely okay to continue using the older app in this case. In fact, the Classic app still has a few features that haven’t made it over to the new app yet. 

For the guides below, we’ll be taking a closer look at the new SmartThings app first. Once you download the app from the Google Play Store, you will have to sign in with a Samsung account. If you have a Samsung smartphone, smart TV, or other smart devices from the company, you should have an account already. If not, all you need is an email address and a password to create one. 

Setting up the Samsung SmartThings Hub



  • Connect the Hub to the Wi-Fi router using the ethernet cable that is provided. If you get the new 3rd generation hub, you can also wirelessly connect to the router. This step won’t be necessary if you get the SmartThings Wi-Fi. 
  • Launch the app and tap on the large plus icon (Add device button) to get started. You will see a list of compatible Samsung devices and another section that houses third-party brands. 
  • In the Samsung section, tap on “Wi-Fi/Hub.” 
  • A list of hubs will pop up. Tap on your device type and follow the on-screen instructions. 

Adding a device



  • Plug in and turn on the smart devices that you want to connect to the SmartThings hub. 
  • Launch the app and tap on the large plus icon (Add device button). 
  • You can tap on the “Auto detect” button to let the app quickly find compatible devices. Keep in mind though that this doesn’t always work as expected. Until the app gets the required software improvements, the manual route may be the better way to go. 
  • On the devices page, find the brand of your product and tap on it. For example, to connect the Ring video doorbell, tap on “Ring,” then tap on “Doorbell,” and follow the on-screen instructions. 
  • Rinse and repeat for all the smart products you want to add. 

Setting up voice control

  • Amazon Alexa — Samsung SmartThings is fully compatible with Alexa and is the reason we recommend getting an Echo device for voice control. All you have to do is go to Alexa’s Skills store, search for SmartThings, and enable it. Then go to the Smart Home screen in the Alexa app and tap on Discover, which will show you all the devices that can be controlled using Alexa. 
  • Google Assistant — You can use the Google Assistant via your smartphone or Google Home. In the Google Home app, go to Home Control -> Devices, tap on the plus sign at the bottom right and tap on SmartThings. Log in to your Samsung account and tap on Authorize. 

Setting up Scenes and Automation



  • Launch the app and open the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines icon on the left side). Tap on the relevant section and follow the on-screen instructions. 
  • Scenes — Scenes lets you set up multiple devices to function together with a simple tap on your phone or a voice command. For instance, you can set up a scene where all the lights and your smart TV turn on in the living room. 
  • Automation — Automation takes the concept of scenes one step further. This lets you create “if this then that” scenarios. So, with a motion sensor on a bedroom door, you can have the lights turn on automatically in the room every time the door is open. You can set up conditions based on time, device status, user location, and more. 

Setting up SmartApps (SmartThings Classic app)



  • Launch the SmartThings Classic app. You will need to sign in with your Samsung account if you haven’t done so already. 
  • Navigation to the Automation tab to access Routines (the same as Automation in the new app) and SmartApps.  
  • SmartApps — Routines can be difficult and confusing to set up if you’re a beginner. This is where SmartApps prove to be a big help. These are common tasks that the smart devices are capable of that you can enable with a tap. A great example is “Ready for Rain,” that warns you if doors and windows are open in case there is poor weather on the way.
  • Assuming you have the right sensors, there are numerous SmartApps options created by SmartThings as well as third-party developers. Go to the SmartApps section, find the devices you have, and you’ll be able to find all the SmartApps that are available for it. 

Is Samsung SmartThings for me?

Unfortunately, SmartThings isn’t for everybody. Samsung has done a great job with trying to simplify the setup process so that everyone can do it. However, some amount of technical knowhow is recommended, especially when (not if) you have to troubleshoot problems. As great as the final result is – having multiple devices perform various functions at the touch of a button – setting everything up can be a long and tedious process. The SmartThings app isn’t perfect either, and there are quite a few bugs and glitches that need to be fixed. 

However, smart homes appear to be the next big thing, at least in the technology bubble that we live in. Samsung SmartThings certainly has a leg up in this space, courtesy of the incredible support that is available for third-party smart devices. If “smart everything” really is the future, SmartThings is offering up a great way to get there. 

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

How to use Samsung Pay on the Galaxy A70 in India

Samsung Pay Galaxy A70 home page.

Samsung’s flurry of budget-friendly smartphone launches in India continues with the release of the Samsung Galaxy A70. The latest addition to the ever-expanding Galaxy A family is all set to join the extremely competitive premium mid-range segment. However, the Galaxy A70 comes with a flagship-level feature that further separates it from its lower-tier siblings and the pack: Samsung Pay support.

Here’s everything you need to know about using Samsung Pay on the Samsung Galaxy A70!

Samsung Pay features in India

Samsung Pay allows you to pay at most retail stores in India by simply pointing your Samsung smartphone towards a payment terminal, instead of swiping a credit or debit card or sharing your payment information. The service also supports mobile wallets like Paytm and Mobikwik, and enables money transfers using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

Samsung Pay Galaxy A70 card identification

One of the reasons for Samsung Pay’s popularity is because it works with all regular swipe-based card machines that support NFC or MST (magnetic secure transmission). MST sends a magnetic signal from the smartphone to the payment terminal’s card reader to emulate swiping a physical card. Since there’s no hardware or software upgrade required to the payment terminal, Samsung Pay isn’t hindered by the lack of adoption of modern terminals.

Not to be outdone by the numerous e-payment options available in the country, you can also clear mobile, internet, electricity, water, landline, DTH, and other bills using the Samsung Pay app. Samsung is also looking to help you with your personal finance needs, with offers for credit cards and personal loans available, as well as the ability to check your credit score directly through the app.


How to set up Samsung Pay

  • As long as you have an eligible Samsung smartphone, like the Galaxy A70, you will see a Samsung Pay app icon on your home screen or in the app drawer. Tap on the icon to get started.
  • You will need a Samsung account to use the app. If you have one already, simply tap the Sign In button after the introductory video plays and enter your login information. If not, you can create an account on this page. Register with an email address (that will be your Samsung ID) and create a password.
  • You will next have to register a payment authentication method. You can use the in-display fingerprint scanner or set up a PIN. The fingerprint scanner is the first option that shows up, but you can skip it and choose to use a four-digit PIN number instead.
  • You can now begin adding the needed debit and credit card information. You can register up to 10 cards at a time.
  • On the screen that pops up after the authentication method page, tap on Add Card. You can use the in-app camera to auto read the card details or enter the information manually. Follow all the instructions on the screen to complete the card registration process.

Samsung Pay Galaxy A70 home page

How to make payments using Samsung Pay

  • Once you’re done adding your debit and credit card info in the Samsung Pay app, you are ready to start making payments.
  • To launch the Samsung Pay app, all it takes is a simple swipe up from any screen, whether in-app, on the home screen, and even the lock screen.
  • The app will show the cards you have saved. You can swipe left or right to switch between them.
  • Once you select the card, you can authenticate the payment using your fingerprint or by entering the four-digit PIN.
  • Place your phone next to the card machine and your payment should be complete. Keep in mind that you will have to place the phone to the side of a regular machine and above if it’s an NFC-enabled card reader.
  • If the cashier asks for the last four digits of your card number, share the number that appears below your actual card. It is helpfully marked “Last 4 digits for the cashier.”

So that’s everything you need to know about making payments using Samsung Pay on the Samsung Galaxy A70! It’s great to see Samsung finally bringing this incredibly useful feature to the mid-range market, and it will hopefully make its way to the slew of other budget-friendly smartphones that Samsung has introduced in India this year.

How to use the Mail app in Windows 10 to access Gmail, iCloud, and more

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using Microsoft’s default Mail app in Windows 10. It’s a native email client that supports Google, Yahoo, AOL, Apple iCloud, Microsoft Exchange, and other POP/IMAP email services. Given it’s baked into Windows 10, you can trust Microsoft will keep your messages secure and the app stable and reliable. We show you how to use the Windows 10 Mail app based on version 1809 (October 2018 update).

Add your first account

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Click the Start button.
2. Scroll down the Start Menu to locate and open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Welcome to Mail

3. On the Mail app’s welcome screen, select Add account.

Windows 10 Mail Add Account

4. Select a service on the following pop-up screen.

Windows 10 Mail Add Yahoo

5. Enter your credentials in the following Connecting to a service screen.
6. Click Done when complete.

Windows 10 Mail Pin to Taskbar

Note that if you continuously use the Mail app, you can pin it to the taskbar. This will prevent you from having to hunt down the app on the Start Menu each time you want to check email.

1. With the Mail app already open, right-click on its icon shown on the taskbar.
2. Select Pin to taskbar.

Windows 10 Mail Pin to Start

Another option is to pin a specific email account to Start. For instance, if you have multiple email accounts but use only one as your primary, such as Gmail, you can create a “shortcut” on the Start menu without pinning the Mail app:

1. With the Mail app already open, right-click on the account you want pinned to Start.
3. Select Pin to Start.

Add another account

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Manage accounts

3. In the rollout menu, select Manage accounts.

Windows 10 Mail Add 2nd Account

4. Select Add account.

Windows 10 Mail Choose 2nd Service

5. Select a service on the following pop-up screen.

Windows 10 Mail Enter Service Info

6. Enter your credentials in the following Add an account screen.
7. Click Sign in when complete.
8. Click Done if successful.

Modify accounts

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Manage accounts

3. In the rollout menu, select Manage accounts.
4. Select the account you want to modify.

There’s also a shorter way to change account settings. With the Mail app open, right-click on the email account you want to modify and select Account settings.

Windows 10 Change Mailbox Sync

5. Insert an optional custom name for the account.
6. Click the Change mailbox sync settings option.

This section provides control over how often the app checks for mail, when it downloads new content, and other synchronization options. You can also change your account password and server settings here.

Windows 10 Mail IMAP settings

7. While remaining on the sync settings screen, scroll down and click Advanced mailbox settings. Additional settings will appear:

  • Incoming mail server
  • Outgoing mail server
  • Contacts server
  • Calendar server

Click Done and then Save when complete.

A note on changing passwords

As of Version 1809, there is no way to manually change your email account password in Windows 10. For instance, if Google or Yahoo required you to update your account password, there is no direct method to change the same password in Microsoft’s Mail app. Instead, you have two options:

  1. Delete the account and re-add it to the Mail app.
  2. Wait for the Mail app to fail when checking your account. When this happens, you’ll see a yellow banner flashed across the app stating the account’s settings are out-of-date. Click the Fix account button and insert the new password on the following pop-up screen.

Delete an account

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Manage accounts

3. In the rollout menu, select Manage accounts.
4. Select the account you want to delete.

Windows 10 Mail delete account

5. In the pop-up window, select Delete account.

Related: How to stream the Xbox One to Windows 10

Snooze an account

If you need to temporarily disable automatic email retrieval on a specific account, you have two options.

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Manage accounts

3. In the rollout menu, select Manage accounts.
4. Select the account you want to snooze.

Windows 10 Change Mailbox Sync

5. In the pop-up window, select Change mailbox sync settings.

Windows 10 Mail download manually

6. On the Download new email drop-down menu, select Manually. This turns off automatic email retrieval but retains the emails you already downloaded in the Mail app.
7. A second option is to toggle off Email synchronization, but this de-lists the account and you won’t have access to the downloaded email. These emails aren’t deleted from your PC, just made unavailable.

General use

Windows 10 Create New Mail

1. To create a new message, highlight the source account and click New mail.
2. In the new message window, select Format for text-based options like italics, bold font, and more.
3. The Insert option allows you to add files, pictures, links, emoji, and tables.
4. The Draw option supports touch-based input, virtual pen widths, pen colors, and a drawing canvas.
5. The Options category allows you to set the email to High Priority, check your spellings, and more.
6. When complete, hit the Send button in the top-right corner.

Add a signature

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Signature

3. On the roll-out Settings panel, select Signature.

Windows 10 Create Signature

4. In the resulting window, select the source email account that will use the signature.
5. Make sure the Use an email signature slider is blue (on).
6. Enter your custom text in the what-you-see-is-what-you-get field.

Based on Windows 10 version 1809, you cannot use HTML script as a signature. Instead, you must build a signature from scratch. However, you can change the font face and size, insert links and images.

7. If you want to use the same signature across all email accounts, check the Apply to all accounts option.
8. Click the Save button.

Change notifications

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Notifications

3. On the roll-out Settings panel, select Notifications.

Windows 10 Mail notification settings

4. On the roll-out Notifications panel, select the account you want to modify.
5. Toggle on or off the Show notifications in the action center option.
6. Check or uncheck banners, sounds, and notifications for folders.

If you simply want to turn off notifications for a specific email account, right-click on the account in the Mail app’s Accounts menu and select Turn off notifications. Repeat this set to turn on notifications.

Related: How to update Windows 10 and resolve update issues

Enable / disable grouped conversations

“Conversation” is a grouping mechanism that crams all emails stemming from a specific subject into one long message thread. For instance, if you’re emailing and receiving responses from multiple people about a specific topic, everything is crammed together into one entry in your inbox. This tidies up your inbox so there’s less to navigate. Conversations are toggled on by default, but you can easily disable this feature and return to your cluttered old-school email ways.

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Message list

3. On the roll-out Settings panel, select Message list.
4. Select the email account you want to modify.

Windows 10 Mail Organization

5. Scroll down to Organization.
6. Select Individual messages to turn off grouped conversations or select Grouped by conversation to enable the feature.

Enable / disable Focused inbox (Outlook only)

Here’s another email filter you may find annoying. With Focused inbox, the Mail app splits your Outlook email into two tabs: Focused and Other. Emails deemed “important” fall under the Focused tab while everything gets dumped into the Other group. This filtering system doesn’t always work correctly despite its good intentions.

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Focused inbox

3. On the roll-out Settings panel, select Focused inbox.
4. Select the email account you want to modify.
5. Toggle on or off the Sort messages into Focused and Other option.

Enable / disable automatic replies (Outlook only)

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Auto replies

3. On the roll-out Settings panel, select Automatic replies.
4. Select a compatible account.

Windows 10 Mail Create Auto Reply

5. Toggle on/off the Send automatic replies setting.
6. If toggled on, you can set an automatic response delivered within your organization.
7. Click the Send replies outside of my organization to set a second message for everyone outside your organization.
8. Click the Send replies only to my contacts option if you don’t want strangers knowing you’re baking on a nude beach for the week.

Personalize the Mail app

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Personalization

3. On the roll-out Settings panel, select Personalization.
4. Change your accent color.
5. Switch between Light, Dark, and Windows mode.
6. Switch between Spacious, Medium, and Compact folder and message spacing.
7. Toggle on the Background feature and select an image to fill the entire app window background. Click Browse to search for a custom image.

Windows 10 Mail Expand Menu

8. To collapse the Accounts menu, click the three-line icon in the top-left corner. This is ideal when using the Mail app out in public. Click it again to expand the Accounts menu.

Modify the reading pane

Windows 10 Load Mail app

1. Open the Mail app.

Windows 10 Mail access settings

2. Click the gear-style icon at the bottom of the left panel to access Settings.

Windows 10 Mail Reading pane

3. On the roll-out Settings panel, select Reading pane.

Here you can do the following:

  • Enable or disable auto-opening the next email.
  • Determine when emails are marked as read.
  • Toggle on and off caret browsing. This has nothing to do with grazing for carrots. It’s a cool feature that lets you move the cursor with the arrow keys within an email and select text like a standard document.
  • Disable and enable automatic downloads of external images and style formats.

Related: How to do a System Restore on Windows 10

Access iCloud mail with 2-step security turned on

1. Log in to your Apple ID account.

Windows 10 Mail Add iCloud

2. Scroll down to the Security section and click the Edit button.
3. Under App-Specific Passwords, click Generate Password.

Windows 10 Mail Add iCloud Part 2

4. In a pop-up window, enter a label for the new password.
5. Click the Create button.
6. Copy the password as-is and click the Done button.
7. Open the Windows 10 Mail app and follow the steps to create a new iCloud account.
8. Instead of using your Apple ID password, use the new app-specific password.
9. Click the Save button.

Reset the Mail app

Windows 10 access Settings

1. Click the Start button.
2. On the Start Menu, click the gear-style icon to open the Settings app.

Windows 10 Settings Access Apps

3. Select Apps.

Windows 10 Edit Mail & Calendar

4. The Apps & features section loads by default. Scroll down and click the Mail and Calendar app.
5. Click the Advanced options link.

Windows 10 Reset Mail app

6. In the following window, scroll down to Reset and click the Reset button.
7. Click a second Reset button to confirm.

That concludes our guide on how to use the Mail app in Windows 10. For more Windows 10 fun, check out these guides:

How to change your screen resolution in Windows 10

You finally swapped out that crusty old monitor for a flat, widescreen display with a higher resolution. You fire up Windows 10 and everything on the new screen is big and ugly. That’s likely because your PC is still set at the lower resolution used by your previous display. In this article we’ll show you how to change your screen resolution in Windows 10.

Our guide covers setups with one or more displays. It also shows you how to pick specific resolutions with specific refresh rates and create a custom resolution on Nvidia-based systems. This guide is based on Windows 10 version 1809 (October 2018 Update).

How to change screen resolution in Windows 10: The short route

Windows 10 Display settings

1. Right-click on your desktop.
2. Select Display settings on the menu.

Windows 10 Display Resolution

3. Scroll down to Resolution.
4. Select the resolution you want in the expanded menu.

Windows 10 keep display changes

5. Select Keep changes if the resolution works as expected or Revert if the setting causes issues.

If the new resolution distorts the screen to the point where you can’t make any changes, Windows 10 will automatically revert to your original resolution after 15 seconds.

For the best experience, choose the resolution listed as Recommended.

How to change screen resolution in Windows 10: The long route

Windows 10 access Settings

1. Click the Start button and select the “gear” icon on the Start Menu. This opens the Settings app.

Windows 10 Access System

2. Select System.

Windows 10 Display Resolution

3. The Display category opens by default. Scroll down to Resolution.
4. Select the resolution you want in the expanded menu.

Windows 10 keep display changes

5. Select Keep changes if the resolution works as expected or Revert if the setting causes issues.

If the new resolution distorts the screen to the point where you can’t make any changes, Windows 10 will automatically revert to your original resolution after 15 seconds.

For the best experience, choose the resolution listed as Recommended.

Related: How to enable dark mode in windows 10, Office, and Microsoft Edge

How to change screen resolution in Windows 10 for multiple displays

Windows 10 multiple Displays

If you have two or more displays, you can change their individual resolutions.

1. Take the Short or Long Route listed above to access the Windows 10 Settings app Display section.

2. As shown above, you should see two or more rectangles with numbers. In our example, we have two monitors connected to a laptop. The “1” represents the primary laptop display. If you’re simply duplicating the Windows 10 desktop to external monitors, the resolution you set on Display 1 will be the same across all connected displays if they support that resolution.

If your desktop is in Extended mode, perform the following:

1. Click the rectangle associated with the screen you want to modify.

Windows 10 Display Resolution

2. Scroll down to Resolution and select the resolution you want in the expanded menu.

Windows 10 keep display changes

3. Select Keep changes if the resolution works as expected or Revert if the setting causes issues.

If the new resolution distorts the screen to the point where you can’t make any changes, Windows 10 will automatically revert to your original resolution after 15 seconds.

For the best experience, choose the resolution listed as Recommended.

Related: The best mini laptops you can buy in 2019

How to change refresh rates in Windows 10

If you only want to change the resolution without dealing with refresh rates, then your journey ends here. This section deals with selecting a specific resolution and a specific refresh rate, like 1,920 x 1,080 at 75Hz. It’s a good place for gamers to experiment with resolutions and refresh rates to get the best experience from their connected display(s).

Windows 10 Advanced Display Settings

1. Right-click on the desktop and select Display settings or take the Settings > Display route through the Settings app.
2. Scroll all the way down to the Advanced display settings link.

Windows 10 List All Modes

3. Under Choose display, select the display you want to modify in the drop-down menu.
4. Click the Display adapter properties for Display # (whatever you chose in Step 3) link.
5. In the pop-up window, click the List All Modes button.
6. Select a resolution and refresh rate in a second pop-up window.
7. Click OK.
8. Click Apply.

Windows 10 keep display changes

9. The resolution will change. In another pop-up window, select Keep changes if the switch worked as expected, or click Revert if the switch didn’t work properly. Windows 10 will automatically revert to your original setting at 15 seconds if you can’t see anything on your screen.

Related: How to split your screen in Windows 10

How to create a custom resolution (Nvidia)

Display manufacturers program a list into their displays containing stable resolution and refresh rate combinations that work correctly on their product. Windows 10 uses this list to present your resolution options in the Settings app. But there’s a chance your display can “unofficially” go higher than Windows 10’s recommended setting.

For instance, your PC’s graphics card may support a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution at 120Hz, but Windows 10 has you capped at 2,560 x 1,440 at 60Hz. This limit is based on the display manufacturer’s “safe” list but doesn’t mean you can’t go higher with a little experimentation. The drawback to pushing a higher resolution and refresh rate combo is that you could damage the display, so experiment at your own risk.

As noted, this guide is based on PCs that include a discrete graphics chip provided by Nvidia (GeForce).

Windows 10 Nvidia Control Panel

1. Right-click on the desktop and select the Nvidia Control Panel option on the resulting menu.

Nvidia Control Panel

2. On the left menu in the Nvidia Control Panel, select Change resolution. Note that you can take this route versus using the instructions provided in the Short. Long, and Hardcore routes provided above.
3. Select the display you want to customize.
4. Click the Customize button.

Nvidia Create Custom Resolution

5. In the pop-up window, check the Enable resolutions not exposed by the display option and then click OK.
6. If you still don’t see the resolution you want, click the Customize button again.
7. Click the Create Custom Resolution button.

Nvidia Test Custom Resolution

8. In the next window you’ll see options to set the horizontal pixels, vertical lines, refresh rate, color depth, and more. Again, this customization tool isn’t meant for the Average Joe and could damage your display. Here are a few notes:

Horizontal pixels: The number of pixels in a single line from left to right. We list sample numbers in bold:

  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD or 1080p)
  • 2560 x 1440 (Quad HD or 1440p)
  • 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD or 2160p)

Vertical lines: The number of vertical scan lines crammed into the screen from left to right. We list sample numbers in bold:

  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD or 1080p)
  • 2560 x 1440 (Quad HD or 1440p)
  • 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD or 2160p)

Refresh rate: How many times the display renders an image each second. If you have a graphics card that outputs 60 frames per second, you want the display set at 60Hz.

Scan type Progressive: Renders the entire picture at once. This reduces flickering.

Scan type Interlaced: Half the image appears followed by the second half 1/60th of a second later. This causes noticeable flickering.

Timing: By default, this is set to Automatic. You shouldn’t need to change these settings if your display is connected via DisplayPort or HDMI. This section addresses DVI ports and analog CRT-based monitors.

9. Click the Test button to see if your custom resolution works. The screen(s) will go black for a moment.

With the right number combination, you should see a pop-up box revealing a successful test. If you want to keep the new resolution, click the Yes button. If not, click the No button. If the test distorts your screen to the point you can’t see anything, Windows 10 will revert to your original working resolution in 15 seconds.

Nvidia Edit Custom Resolution

10. You should now see the new resolution in the Customize window. You can edit this setting by clicking the marker icon next to its name, delete it by clicking the red “X,” or activate it by checking the box. Click OK to close the Customize window.

Nvidia Set Custom Resolution

11. The custom resolution is now available through the Nvidia Control Panel and the Windows 10 Settings app. To set your display to the new resolution in the Nvidia Control Panel, click the setting and then the Apply button.


That concludes our guide on how to change your screen resolution in Windows 10. Here are a few more guides to help you navigate Windows 10:

How to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

If you’re trying to troubleshoot problems with your Windows 10 PC, one option is to enter Safe Mode. In Windows 10 Safe Mode you can safely uninstall troublesome programs, resolve driver issues, diagnose hardware conflicts, and more. But how to boot in Safe Mode is less obvious in Windows 10 than we’ve seen in older Windows releases. In this guide we’ll show you how to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode using version 1809 (October 2018 Update).

Use the Settings app

Windows 10 access Settings

1. Click the Start button and select the “gear” icon on the Start Menu to open the Settings app.

Windows 10 Update and security

2. Select Update & security.

Windows 10 Recovery restart now

3. Select Recovery.
4. Under Advanced startup, click the Restart now button.

Window 10 Choose an option troubleshoot

5. Your PC will restart. Once it reaches the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.

Widows 10 Troubleshoot Advanced options

6. Select Advanced options.

Windows 10 Advanced Options Startup settings

7. Select Startup Settings.

Windows 10 startup settings restart

8. Select Restart.

Windows 10 Safe Mode options

9. Once your PC restarts again, select 4 or press F4 on the list of options to enter Safe Mode. If you need access to the internet, select 5 or press F5. To use the Command Prompt with Safe Mode, select 6 or press F6.

Related: How to stream the Xbox One to Windows 10

From the Start Menu

Windows 10 restart PC

1. Press and hold the Shift key. Do not release!
2. Click the Start button.
3. Click the Power button icon on the Start Menu.
4. Select Restart.

Window 10 Choose an option troubleshoot

5. The PC will reboot to the Choose an option screen. Select Troubleshoot.

Widows 10 Troubleshoot Advanced options

6. Select Advanced options.

Windows 10 Advanced Options Startup settings

7. Select Startup Settings.

Windows 10 startup settings restart

8. Select Restart.

Windows 10 Safe Mode options

9. Once your PC restarts again, select 4 or press F4 on the list of options to enter Safe Mode. If you need access to the internet, select 5 or press F5. To use the Command Prompt with Safe Mode, select 6 or press F6.

Related: How to text with iMessages in Windows 10

From the sign-in screen

Windows 10 Sign-in screen power button

1. Press and hold the Shift key. Do not release!
2. Click the Power button icon located in the bottom-right corner.
3. Select Restart.

Window 10 Choose an option troubleshoot

4. Once your PC starts, select Troubleshoot on the Choose an option screen.

Widows 10 Troubleshoot Advanced options

5. Select Advanced options.

Windows 10 Advanced Options Startup settings

6. Select Startup Settings.

Windows 10 startup settings restart

7. Select Restart.

Windows 10 Safe Mode options

8. Once your PC restarts again, select 4 or press F4 on the list of options to enter Safe Mode. If you need access to the internet, select 5 or press F5. To use the Command Prompt with Safe Mode, select 6 or press F6.

Related: How to split your screen in windows 10

From the Recovery Environment

1. Turn off your PC. When it initially reboots, press and hold down the power button for 10 seconds when you immediately see the manufacturer’s logo or the Windows 10 logo. This turns off your PC.
2. Turn on your PC. When Windows 10 restarts, press and hold down the power button again for 10 seconds. This will turn off your PC.
3. Turn on your PC. Windows 10 should now enter the Recovery Environment. If not, follow step #2.
4. Select your account.

Windows 10 automatic repair advanced options

5. After Windows 10 performs a diagnosis, select Advanced options on the Automatic Repair screen.

Window 10 Choose an option troubleshoot

6. Select Troubleshoot.

Widows 10 Troubleshoot Advanced options

7. Select Advanced options.

Windows 10 Advanced Options Startup settings

8. Select Startup Settings.

Windows 10 startup settings restart

9. Select Restart.

Windows 10 Safe Mode options

10. Once your PC restarts, select 4 or press F4 on the list of options to enter Safe Mode. If you need access to the internet, select 5 or press F5. To use the Command Prompt with Safe Mode, select 6 or press F6.

Use the System Configuration tool

Windows 10 launch Msconfig

1. In Cortana’s search field on the taskbar, type msconfig.
2. Select the System Configuration desktop app in the results.

Windows 10 system config safe boot

3. Once the tool loads, select the Boot tab.
4. Check the Safe boot box.
5. Check Minimal.
6. Click OK.

Windows 10 system config restart

7. Click Restart if you want to restart now. Click Exit without restart if you need to safe your work first.
8. The PC will restart and immediately enter Safe Mode.

Use installation media

1. Insert your CD, DVD, Blu-ray, or USB drive containing Windows 10.
2. Turn on your PC.
3. Press any key to boot from the installation media.

Windows 10 install prompt

4. In the initial setup window, select your preferred language, time and currency format, keyboard region, and then click the Next button.

Windows 10 repair your computer

5. Click the Repair your computer link in the next window.

Window 10 Choose an option troubleshoot

6. On the following Choose an option panel, select Troubleshoot.

Windows 10 Adv options command prompt

7. Select Command Prompt on the following Advanced Options screen.

Windows 10 Safeboot minimal

8. Type the command bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal and press Enter.
9. A message stating The operation completed successfully should appear. Close the Command Prompt window.
10. Select Continue on the Choose an option window.
11. Your PC will now enter Windows 10 Safe Mode each time you start it..

Windows 10 Safeboot delete value

12. To put Windows 10 back into its normal boot mode, repeat the previous steps but enter the following command in the Command Prompt: bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot

Use recovery media

1. Insert your CD, DVD, Blu-ray or USB drive you created as a recovery device.
2. Turn on your PC.
3. Press any key to boot from the recovery media.

Windows 10 choose keyboard layout

4. Choose a keyboard layout when prompted.

Windows 10 choose troubleshoot

5. On the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.

Windows 10 choose advanced options

6. Select Advanced options.
7. Select Command Prompt.

Windows 10 Safeboot minimal

8. Type the command bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal and press Enter.
9. A message stating The operation completed successfully should appear. Close the Command Prompt window.
10. Select Continue on the Choose an option window.
11. Your PC will now enter Windows 10 Safe Mode each time you start it.

Windows 10 Safeboot delete value

12. To put Windows 10 back into its normal boot mode, repeat the previous steps but enter the following command in the Command Prompt: bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot

Use the F8 key

Windows 10 Type Run Command

1. In Cortana’s search field on the taskbar, type Run.
2. Select the Run desktop app in the results.

Windows 10 run Command Prompt

3. In the text entry box next to Open, type cmd.
4. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER simultaneously. Do not click the OK button.
5. Select Yes on the following User Account Control pop-up.

Windows 10 enable F8 boot option

6. In Command Prompt, type the following: bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy
7. Close the Command Prompt and reboot the PC.
8. Before the Windows 10 logo appears, press the F8 key.
9. On the following list, select one of the three Safe Mode options. This “legacy” screen will have white text on a black background.
10. If you want to remove the F8 key function, use this command: bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard

The Startup Settings screen should revert back to white text on a blue background.


That wraps up our guide on how to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10. For additional tips and tricks, take a look at these Windows 10 guides:

Learn C# for Android part 2 – Classes and loops (also: rabbits!)

Learn C# Coding

In part one of this Android tutorial series on learning C#, we looked at the absolute basics of C# programming. We covered methods (groups of code that perform specific tasks), some basic syntax (such as the need for semi colons), variables (containers that store data), and “if statements” for flow control (branching code that’s dependent on the values of variables). We also saw how to pass variables like strings as arguments between methods.

You should go back and take a look at that if you haven’t read it already.

At this point, you should be able to make some basic console apps, like quizzes, apps that store data, or calculators.

Learn C# for Android

In part two, we’re going to get a little more ambitious, covering some more basics — like loops — and exploring how to create and interact with classes. That means we’ll be able to start taking a stab at Android development and see how to bridge that gap. Continue reading if you want to truly learn C#!

Understanding classes and object oriented programming

Briefly in part one, we explained the basics of Object Oriented Programming, which revolves around languages using “classes” to describe “objects.” An object is a piece of data, which can represent many things. It could be a literal object in a game world like a spring, or it could be something more abstract, like a manager that handles the player’s score.

A single class can create multiple objects. So you might write one “enemy” class, but be able to generate an entire level full of bad guys. This is one of the big benefits of using object oriented programming. Otherwise, the only way to handle the behavior of a multitude of enemies would be to use lots of individual methods, each one containing instructions for how the bad guy should behave in different circumstances.

C# coding programming

If this is still a bit tricky to get your head around, all you really need to know is that objects have properties and behaviors. This is just like real objects. For instance, a rabbit has properties like size, color, and name; and it has behaviors, like jumping, sitting, and eating. Essentially, properties are variables and behaviors are methods.

The program we built in the last lesson is an example of a class too. The “object” we’re describing here is some kind of password control system. The property it has is the string UserName, and the behavior it has is NewMethod (checking the name of the user and greeting them).

Programming Learn C#

If that’s still a bit confusing, the only way to get our heads around is create a new class or two ourselves!

Creating a new class

If you’re going to learn C#, you need to know how to make new classes. Fortunately, this is very easy. Just click the Project menu item and then select “+Add Class.”

C# add class

Choose “C#” and call it “Rabbit.” We’re going to use this class to create conceptual rabbits. You’ll see what I mean in a moment.

If you check in your Solution Explorer on the right, you’ll see that a new file called Rabbit.cs has been created right beneath Program.cs. Well done — that’s one of the most crucial things to know if you want to learn C# for Android!

The new Rabbit.cs file has some of that same “boilerplate” code as before. It still belongs to the same namespace, and it has a class with the same name as the file.

namespace ConsoleApp2 {     class Rabbit     {     } }

Now we’re going to give our rabbit some properties with what we call a “constructor.”

Rabbit class C#

A constructor is a method in a class that initializes the object, allowing us to define its properties when we first create it. In this case, here’s what we’re going to say:

namespace ConsoleApp2 {     class Rabbit     {         public string RabbitName;         public string RabbitColor;         public int RabbitAge;         public int RabbitWeight;         public Rabbit(String name, String color, int age, int weight)         {             RabbitName = name;             RabbitColor = color;             RabbitAge = age;             RabbitWeight = weight;         }     } }

This allows us to create a new rabbit from a different class, and define its properties as we do:

Rabbit Rabbit1 = new Rabbit(“Jeff”, “brown”, 1, 1);

Now I realize in retrospect weight should probably have been a float or a double to allow for decimals, but you get the idea. We’re going to round our rabbit to the nearest whole number.

You’ll see as you write your rabbit out, you’ll be prompted to pass the correct arguments. In this way, your class has become a part of the code almost.

Believe it or not, this code has created a rabbit! You can’t see your rabbit because we don’t have any graphics, but it is there.

And to prove it, you can now use this line:

Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName);

This will then tell you the name of the rabbit you just created!

Learn C# Rabbit Weight

We can likewise increase the weight of our Rabbit, like so:

Rabbit1.RabbitWeight++; Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit1.RabbitWeight + "kg");

Note here that adding “++” on the end of something will incrementally increase its value by one (You could also write “RabbitWeight = RabbitWeight + 1”).

Because our class can make as many rabbits as we like, we can create lots of different rabbits, each with their own properties.

Adding behaviors

We might then also choose to give our rabbit some kind of behavior. In this case, let’s let them eat.

C# objects classes learn

To do this, we would create a public method called “Eat,” and this would make an eating sound, while also incrementally increasing the weight of the rabbit:

public void Eat()         {             Console.WriteLine(RabbitName + ": Nibble nibble!");             RabbitWeight++;         }

Remember,”public” means accessible from outside the class, and “void” means the method doesn’t return any data.

Then, from inside Program.cs, we will be able to call this method and this will make the rabbit of our choice eat and get bigger:

Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit1.RabbitWeight + "kg"); Rabbit1.Eat(); Rabbit1.Eat(); Rabbit1.Eat(); Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit1.RabbitWeight + "kg");

That will cause Jeff to eat three times, then we’ll hear it and be able to see he has gotten bigger! If we had another rabbit on the scene, they could eat as well!

Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit1.RabbitWeight + "kg"); Console.WriteLine(Rabbit2.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit2.RabbitWeight + "kg"); Rabbit1.Eat(); Rabbit1.Eat(); Rabbit2.Eat(); Rabbit2.Eat(); Rabbit1.Eat(); Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit1.RabbitWeight + "kg"); Console.WriteLine(Rabbit2.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit2.RabbitWeight + "kg");

At it like rabbits

This isn’t a particularly elegant way to handle lots of objects, as we need to write out the commands for each rabbit manually and can’t dynamically increase the number of rabbits as far as we want. We don’t just want to learn C# — we want to learn how to write clean C# code!

Objects collections learn C#

This is why we might use a list. A list is a collection; variable itself that basically contains references to other variables. In this case, we might make a list of Rabbits, and the good news is that this is very easy to understand:

List<Rabbit> RabbitList = new List<Rabbit>(); RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("Jeff", "brown", 1, 1)); RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("Sam", "white", 1, 2));

This creates the new rabbit as before, but simultaneously adds the rabbit to the list. Equally, we could say this:

Rabbit Rabbit3 = new Rabbit("Jonny", "orange", 1, 1); RabbitList.Add(Rabbit3);

Either way, an object has been created and added to the list.

We can also conveniently and elegantly return information from our rabbits list this way:

foreach (var Rabbit in RabbitList)             {                 Console.WriteLine(Rabbit.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit.RabbitWeight + "kg");             }

As you might be able to figure out, “foreach” means you repeat a step once for every item in the list. You can also retrieve information from your list like this:

RabbitList[1].Eat();

Here “1” is the index, meaning you are referring to the information stored at position one. As it happens, that’s actually the second rabbit you added though: because lists in programming always start at 0.

Fibonacci

In case you hadn’t yet guessed, we’re now going to use all this information to create a Fibonacci sequence. After all, If you’re learning C# for Android, you should to be able to actually do something interesting with all that theory!

learn C# development

In the Fibonacci sequence, rabbits are shut in a room and left to breed. They can reproduce after one month, at which point they are sexually mature (I cannot confirm if this is correct Rabbit biology). If each rabbit couple can produce once per month from then on, producing two offspring, here’s what the sequence looks like:

1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34

Magically, each number in the sequence is the value of the previous two numbers added together. According to science, this is kind of a big deal.

The cool thing is, we can replicate that.

First, we need to introduce a new concept: the loop. This simply repeats the same code over and over again until a condition is met. The “for” loop lets us do this by creating a variable, setting the conditions we want to meet, and then operating on it — all defined inside brackets:

for (int months = 0; months < 100; months++)             { //Do something             }

So we are creating an integer called months, and looping until it’s equal to 100. Then we increase the number of months by one.

Want to see how this can become a Fibonacci sequence? Behold:

namespace ConsoleApp2 {     class Program     {            static void Main(string[] args)         {             List<Rabbit> RabbitList = new List<Rabbit>();             RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("Jeff", "brown", 0, 1));             RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("Sam", "white", 0, 1));                        for (int months = 0; months < 10; months++)             {                 int firstRabbit = 0;                 int timesToReproduce = 0;                 foreach (var Rabbit in RabbitList)                 {                     Console.Write("R");                     if (Rabbit.RabbitAge > 0)                     {                         if (firstRabbit == 0)                         {                             firstRabbit = 1;                         } else                         {                             firstRabbit = 0;                             timesToReproduce++;                         }                     }                     Rabbit.RabbitAge++;                 }                 for (int i = 0; i < timesToReproduce; i++)                 {                     RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("NewBabyRabbit", "brown", 0, 1));                     RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("NewBabyRabbit", "brown", 0, 1));                     Console.Write("r");                     Console.Write("r");                 }                   Console.WriteLine("  --- There are " + RabbitList.Count / 2 + " pairs of rabbits!");                   Console.WriteLine("");             }             Console.WriteLine("All done!");             Console.ReadKey();         }     } } 

Okay, that was harder than I thought!

I’m not going to go through all of this, but using what you’ve already learned, you should be able to reverse engineer it.

There are definitely more elegant ways of doing this — I’m no mathematician. However, I think it’s a fairly fun exercise, and once you can do it, you’re ready for the big time.

I’d love to see any other approaches, by the way!

Where do we go from here? How to learn C# for Android

With all that knowledge under your belt, you’re ready to start on bigger things. In particular, you’re ready to take a stab at Android programming with C# in Xamarin or Unity.

Learn C# for Android

This is different because you’ll be using classes provided by Google, Microsoft, and Unity. When you write something like “RigidBody2D.velocity” what you’re doing is accessing a property from a class called RigidBody2D. This works just the same, the only difference is you can’t see RigidBody2D because you didn’t build it yourself.

With this C# under your belt, you should be ready to jump into either of these options and have a big head start when it comes to understanding what’s going on:

In an upcoming lesson, we’ll also look at how you can take a U-turn and use this to build Windows apps instead!

PUBG Mobile: How to change your name and appearance (Updated)

PUBG Mobile name change and appearance change explanation
Keen gamers are diving into PUBG Mobile on Android, as one of the most popular Battle Royale-style games makes an excellent cross-over from PC to mobile.

The game is great, but it’s not perfect. Take my experience with setting up my PUBG Mobile account, name, and appearance. No sooner had I signed up and logged in via Facebook, my gaming account name became my Facebook name: TristanRayner. Ouch.

Editor’s Pick

Who plays games with their real name? Nobody, that’s who. And what was I thinking when I didn’t customize my appearance?

If you’re like me, you’ll want to know how to change your name in PUBG Mobile, along with your appearance. Here’s how.

How to reset your appearance

The good news is that you can reset your appearance quite easily. Tencent Games knows that you’ll want to change up your look as you play to keep things fresh. The catch is that you have to first earn as much as 3,000BP – one of the in-game currencies or loot – to be able to do it.

If you have the money, just follow these instructions:

PUBG Mobile change appearance 2019

  1. Open the app to the home screen (main menu).
  2. Select Inventory from the menu at the bottom.
  3. Tap the ‘Reset Appearance’ arrows that appear right next to your character.
  4. Make the changes you’d like to your character, then tap OK.
  5. Tap Purchase to confirm that you wish to spend the BP to make the change. The exact amount depends on the changes you desire.

PUBG Mobile change appearance cost

How to change your name

Back to my original problem: how do you change your name in PUBG Mobile, once you’ve set it?

For the longest time, you couldn’t. There was no method built into the game to change your name after you set it.

Fortunately, after a series of updates, they added a method to change your name once per day: Rename Cards! Here’s how they work:

  1. Open the app to the home screen (main menu).
  2. Select Inventory from the menu at the bottom.
  3. Tap the crate icon on the right-hand side.
  4. Tap the Rename Card (if you have any) and tap Use.
  5. Enter your new name and tap OK. You can only change your name once per day.

PUBG Mobile change name ID Card

How to get Rename Cards

So how exactly do you get Rename Cards? Well, you probably already have some! They are available as rewards when you level up, and some were given as free rewards when the feature was first implemented.

For those of you who aren’t so lucky, you’ll have to shell out 180UC to buy a single Rename Card in the store. That’s about 5 bucks, depending on where you are in the world. You can also earn a small amount of UC by moving up the ranks of the Royale Pass each season.

How to get more BP to pay for an appearance change

At the moment you can’t buy BP in the app, only earn it. Buying BP isn’t yet a ‘feature’ in the game, with the monetization around the in-game currency used for unlocking creates, which is similar to just about every free-to-play game that’s out there at the moment. The current purchasing options are a little strange.

In the meantime, if you need BP, there are lots of ways to do this in the game.

The biggest one we’ve found so far is linking your account to Facebook, which grants you 2000BP. Given the privacy concerns with Facebook right now, you might have some hesitations on hitting that one, but it’s up to you.

There are also many other small tasks to keep you busy that will unlock BP. For example, a feedback survey was offered via the mailbox to complete for 188BP. That’s an easy one.

More PUBG Mobile resources:

For most of the others, you’ll have to keep playing regularly. There are daily and weekly missions to complete which help you unlock crates, which have BP on offer. These can be as simple as playing a game for the day, all the way to managing to finish in the top 10. Some are easy, some will require a little more work and effort.

By playing the game you’ll unlock more crates, and get more loot and BP. There are also Events, which are often more time-based and quite generous. You can get 200BP just by playing three games in a squad, or logging in each day for a week. Several Royale Pass rewards are also flat amounts of BP or BP Cards, which double the amount of BP gained for one hour.

For top-tier players, there’s also a ranking system that lasts across a season, with skill tiers and unique cosmetic rewards for your rank. Seasons currently last about two months, and there’s plenty of time to make your way through the ranks.

There are numerous online sites that talk about hacks and cheats to get BP – we’d suggest that this will likely lead to losing your account in the end. Remember when everyone who wall-hacked Fortnite was banned? Good times.

Up next: Tencent Gaming Buddy: The best way to play PUBG Mobile on PC