A collection of tutorials, tips, and tricks from the 9to5Google team helping you fix and get the most out of Android, Google Assistant, Chromebooks, Android TV, and more.

how-to Stories June 21

Google is set to officially launch the Stadia for Android TV/Google TV experience on Wednesday, but a trick has been discovered to get playing today.

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how-to Stories April 26

How to disable notifications for Twitter Spaces

Twitter has begun making its Clubhouse-like “Spaces” available to more people — here’s how to disable notifications for them.

how-to Stories February 8

Ahead of the launch of the Pixel 5, the Google Camera and Google Recorder apps, among others, became unable to be sideloaded due to verification errors. Thankfully, a solution — if, perhaps, a temporary one — has been discovered.

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how-to Stories February 2

How to export & download your game saves from Google Stadia

While Stadia allows you to play games on nearly every screen, some may wish to switch to a local gaming device, perhaps for improved graphics or to remove the potential for network issues. Here’s how you can export and download your game saves from your Stadia account to use on Steam or Epic Games on PC/Mac.

how-to Stories January 4

While Google’s Cast ecosystem is fairly open, allowing connections from both Android and iOS devices, Apple’s AirPlay isn’t nearly as easy. Here’s how to connect to AirPlay devices from an Android phone or tablet.

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how-to Stories November 5, 2020

Last month, Google announced that higher tier plans of Google One would be getting a VPN service for Android, iOS, and more. Google One’s VPN service has begun rolling out to Android devices in the United States; here’s a quick guide on how to use it.

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how-to Stories August 18, 2020

How to play Fortnite on a Chromebook

There’s no denying that Fortnite is one of the biggest titles in gaming today, and these days, many of the same folks who would want to play Fortnite already have a Chromebook, perhaps through school. Here’s the best way to play Fortnite on your Chromebook.

how-to Stories July 21, 2020

Google has been working hard to bring many G Suite apps together into one, using Gmail as the “home for work,” but not everyone is a fan of the change. Here’s how to disable the Google Meet tab in Gmail for Android and iOS.

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how-to Stories July 20, 2020

In the age of smartphones, screenshots have become an essential way to quickly share, as they allow others to see exactly what you’re seeing. That said, the way to take screenshots on your Chromebook or Chrome OS tablet isn’t exactly obvious, so here’s a quick how-to.

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how-to Stories May 14, 2020

How to redeem codes for Google Stadia games

From time to time, publishers will run a promotion that includes a code for a free game on Google Stadia — free DOOM 64 with early purchases of DOOM Eternal, for example. Here’s how to redeem codes on your Google Stadia account.

how-to Stories April 16, 2020

Google Stadia recently enjoyed a public launch, and if you’re anything like us on the 9to5Google team, you’ve probably added your coworkers as friends for the occasional after-work game session. But what if you maybe want to jump into Destiny 2 for a few minutes without showing everyone what you’re playing? It’s actually very easy to more or less appear offline on Google Stadia to hide your mid-day gaming sessions from your friends and/or co-workers.

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how-to Stories February 17, 2020

Arguably, the best feature of Android 10 is its dark mode toggle, allowing you to swap your phone and its apps over to a newer, darker theme. While not every app has a dark mode, Android 10 has a way to force apps to be dark. With a little help from a third-party app, DarQ, you can now change specific apps to use dark mode — and even schedule dark mode to be enabled — without needing root.

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how-to Stories February 10, 2020

Every month, Google releases a new Android security patch, resolving any and all security issues that have been uncovered in Android and their own Pixel phones. These updates — sometimes called an “OTA” as they’re supposed to arrive “over the air” — typically arrive on your phone automatically over time, but you can also manually install or “sideload” the update which has now become easier than ever, thanks to the Google Pixel Repair Tool.

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how-to Stories February 2, 2020

Super Bowl LIV takes place later today, Sunday, February 2. This year’s game sees the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami. Here’s how to watch Super Bowl LIV live at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT on Android, Chromecast, and other platforms.

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how-to Stories December 27, 2019

How to connect your Stadia Controller to a different WiFi network

So, you received a Nest Wifi as a gift or maybe picked a new router from a Black Friday sale, to help improve your connection to Google Stadia. Now you need to connect that controller (and all your other devices) to your new network. Here’s how to change the Stadia Controller’s WiFi settings to connect it to a new network.

how-to Stories September 3, 2019

Today’s the big day of the Android 10 launch on Google Pixel phones, and one of Google’s continued focuses has been on their Digital Wellbeing initiative. With Android 10, Digital Wellbeing is picking up two new capabilities, Focus Mode, which keeps you from using distracting apps, and Site Timers, which allow you to control how long you use certain sites, just like you can with apps. Here’s how you can use these features to better balance your life.

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how-to Stories June 4, 2019

Almost every day here at 9to5Google, we try to uncover the latest developments happening in Google Chrome and Chrome OS. The frustrating thing is that it’s often weeks or months before the things we report on make it to our devices. If you’re brave enough to use less-than-stable software to try out these latest features, then Chrome OS’s Canary update channel is for you—here’s how to make the switch.

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how-to Stories May 17, 2019

Now that Android Q is in the hands of far more users, thanks to Google bringing Beta 3 to over a dozen non-Pixel devices, a lot of folks are just getting acquainted with the new features we’ve covered in the first two betas. Unfortunately, Google also made some of the experimental features, hidden behind “feature flags,” like native screen recording support, harder to access. So here’s how to enable screen recording in Android Q Beta 3.

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how-to Stories February 3, 2017

How to download, add, rearrange, and remove widgets on Google Pixel

Widgets have long been a hallmark feature for Android. When comparing the two major mobile platforms at face value, it has always been — at least until the most recent updates to iOS — easy to say that customizable widgets are one of the reasons you might want an Android phone over an iPhone. Well, widgets haven’t gone anywhere. They’re still around on Google’s new Pixel phone, and here’s how to manage them…

how-to Stories September 14, 2016

How to: Change how you receive app notifications on Honor 8

In designing the Honor 8, the company wanted to make sure that users would have control over as much of the functionality on the phone as possible. One such example of this is the device’s notifications. Honor 8 has a Settings section that allows the user to change which types of notifications they want to receive on an app-by-app basis, and this quick little guide will help you learn how to use it…

how-to Stories August 27, 2016

nougat 9to5

Google announced several days ago that Android 7.0 Nougat is coming over-the-air to several Nexus devices in the coming days and weeks, but if you’re a die-hard that likes to always have the latest from Google, you know that could mean a pretty decent wait depending on your device. Thankfully, you can install the over-the-air (OTA) update manually now by following our quick guide…

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how-to Stories August 23, 2016

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Google has now started the rollout the final build of Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus devices everywhere, and in most cases that means you’ll just be installing an over-the-air update on the phone itself with a few taps. But if for some reason you might want to start completely fresh and install one of the factory images that Google provides, we’re here to help you do that.

If you have the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, or Pixel C (or the General Mobile 4G Android One device), there’s a fresh build of Android 7.0 Nougat now — or soon — available for you to install. Be warned however, as this process might be a bit overwhelming if you’re not familiar with using a command line. If that doesn’t sway you, keep reading…

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how-to Stories May 12, 2016

instagram icons

If you’re unhappy with the new Instagram icon, you’re either naturally averse to change or you — perhaps more likely — think that the iOS-inspired glyph and gradient just doesn’t look too hot on your Android home screen. I’m in the latter camp, but no matter your reasoning, there’s always an anonymous internet user ready to solve your problems. In just a few quick steps, you can replace the new unicorn vomit-inspired Instagram icon with one of the above much tamer options…

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how-to Stories May 10, 2016

Amazon-Video-Direct

Amazon today announced Amazon Video Direct, a new service that will see it go head to head with YouTube as it allows independent content creators to upload content and get paid.

The service is similar to Amazon’s model with Kindle Direct Publishing for e-books, allowing independent content creators to upload their own content for consumption by users alongside Amazon’s other video content.

And creators will get to choose how they are paid, either from advertising and royalties based on the popularity of the content, or by making videos available to buy or rent through Amazon. Creators will also have the option of making the content available to all Amazon customers under the ad-supported model, or to collect royalties by making it available just to Prime subscribers or in a Prime video add-on subscription.

Amazon also has a fund for creators that will see it hand out a million dollars per month to the 100 top titles, a little bit of incentive for content creators:

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how-to Stories May 4, 2016

Android-split-screen-lead

Android N has been available in the form of a Developer Preview now for a few weeks and is already in to its second preview. Part of this upcoming major software update is the baked-in ability to have two apps side-by-side on the screen, otherwise known as split-screen multitasking. Here’s how you use it…

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how-to Stories May 3, 2016

piemessage-imessage-for-android

A new open source project called PieMessage enables cross-platform iMessage support, allowing Android users to communicate using Apple’s iPhone messaging platform.

In the video below, we get a short look at the PieMessage app in action with a still unreleased prototype version of the app.

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how-to Stories April 3, 2016

How to get a free year of MLB.TV Premium if you’re a T-Mobile customer, a $109.99 value

T-Mobile may not traditionally have the MLB coverage that bigger providers like AT&T and Verizon possess, but no one can argue that it isn’t trying to do everything in its power to stand out in other ways. Between April 3rd and April 10th, T-Mobile customers can sign up for a free year of MLB.TV Premium service, a $109.99 value, that features live games for the entire 2016 MLB season.

how-to Stories March 23, 2016

Google Sheets and Slides Android apps get support for additional file formats

Google today updated the Sheets and Slides apps for Android with support for additional file formats.

how-to Stories December 18, 2015

wifi

If you’ve ever used public WiFi before, you’re probably familiar with one common problem that just about everyone runs into every once in a while. You’ve selected the theoretically open WiFi network that you want to join and your phone tells you that you’re successfully connected, but when you head to Chrome and try to load up a page, you get nothing. In the Android WiFi settings menu, you may see a message along the lines of “Connected. No internet”. I ran into this problem myself a few times just this week, but now I’ve found the solution…

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how-to Stories December 16, 2015

adoptable-storage-marshmallow-wp

Although Marshmallow doesn’t come with any major user interface changes, it does come with a bunch of useful under-the-hood features that made the platform a little more versatile and customizable. One of those changes includes the ability to use an external MicroSD card as internal storage. Adoptable storage gives users the potential to use a memory card as internal memory, which comes as a huge bonus to anyone without enough built-in storage. If you have an 8GB or 16GB phone, or you’re using a Samsung device (jokes, sort-of) with Marshmallow you can follow a simple process to adopt external storage and use it for installing apps, or storing app data…

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how-to Stories November 17, 2015

Here’s how to manually opt-in to the new Google+ UI on the web

The new Google+ interface is rolling out on the web today, and if you’re anything like me, you don’t have much patience for slow rollouts. I still hadn’t been prompted to click the “Let’s go” button and get the new layout, but luckily I stumbled on a way (via Sean S) to opt myself in without any wait time. Here’s how…

how-to Stories November 11, 2015

blackberry-priv-launcher

Everyone is curious to get a glimpse of what it’s like using the first Android-powered BlackBerry. Thankfully, by downloading BlackBerry’s launcher and other custom software, you can find out, without spending several hundred dollars on a phone…

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how-to Stories November 2, 2015

It’s certainly not the only connected-security camera, but following Google’s acquisition of popular security cam maker Dropcam last year, the company has just launched a second-generation product with new features. The new product was re-envisioned by Google’s Nest team— the people building smart home accessories like the Nest thermostat and fire alarm— and in the process dropped the Dropcam branding and gained a few notable enhancements.

But is the new Nest Cam worth an upgrade from your current Dropcam setup? And how does the product compare to the other connected home security-cam and all-in-one security devices on the market? We’ve been testing out Nest Cam since its release a few weeks back to find out. expand full story

how-to Stories October 5, 2015

android-marshmallow-update-1200-80

Google has now released the latest version of Android, dubbed Android Marshmallow, which the company first previewed earlier this year at Google I/O in San Francisco. And while Google will most certainly be rolling out the update (and subsequent updates) over-the-air with no work required on your part, many who aren’t as familiar with how to flash factory images might want to install the latest build manually.

That’s why we made this guide. If you have the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013) Nexus 9, or Nexus Player, there’s a build of Android 6.0 Marshmallow available right now for you to install on your device. Be warned however, that this process isn’t something that most regular users should attempt. If you do have a little bit of command line knowledge (or you think you want to take the time to learn), keep reading… expand full story

how-to Stories July 9, 2015

Screenshot_20150709-205436

It was back at Google I/O 2015 that the company released the first developer preview of the upcoming Android M, and now, right on cue, the company has released the second developer preview. Just like we did with the initial release of M, it’s time to dissect developer preview 2 and really figure out what kind of progress the Android engineers over in Mountain View have been making over the last few weeks. And based on our initial impression, it looks like a lot has changed — and for the better… expand full story

how-to Stories June 29, 2015

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watchface

Owners of Android Wear watches: Does your device, without your intention, regularly go to menu for choosing a watch face? Maybe you’re crossing your arms and you feel a buzz thinking it might be alerting you to a new text message only to see your watch on that darned menu again? I don’t have a real fix for you, but there’s something you might want to try that may alleviate your frustration.

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how-to Stories June 14, 2015

A couple weeks back you may have seen a lot of news coverage about a Chrome extension that, when installed, replaces all instances of the word ‘millennials’ on the webpages you visit with ‘snake people’. The media seems to have this non-stop desire to write think piece after think piece about how snake peoples are a smartphone-obsessed, basement dwelling generation who expect everything on a silver spoon. If these posts are driving you crazy, Millennials to Snake People will ease the pain! There’s also an older one called ‘Cloud to Butt Plus’ which, while pretty self-explanatory, cuts straight to a kind of taboo topic that makes us uneasy and/or nervous, the feelings which are oftentimes best dealt with through laughter.

But maybe there’s some other word or phrase driving you mad that these extensions haven’t addressed. Thankfully, I’m here to help. And you don’t even need to have any web development experience, as I’ve already gone ahead done all the elbow work! When you’re finished you’ll be able to run this extension in the Chrome browser on your computer absolutely free, or for $5 you’ll be able to pay Google for the right to publish it to the Chrome Web Store where anyone can download it. So, here’s how to make a Chrome extension that replaces any word or phrase with the one of your choosing: expand full story

how-to Stories June 1, 2015

android m developer preview

Google finally introduced to the world the next version of Android, dubbed Android M for the moment, at its Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco. And while the currently-available version may be a developer preview (and those who are developers likely wouldn’t need this guide), many who aren’t as familiar with how to flash factory images might want to try the latest build of the mobile OS as well.

That’s why we made this guide. If you have the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, or Nexus Player (and possibly others in the future), there’s a build of Android M available for you to install prior to the update’s official unveiling later this year. Be warned however, as this is a very early build of the OS and is riddled with bugs, glitches, and overall performance jankiness. If that doesn’t sway you, though, keep reading… expand full story

how-to Stories May 20, 2015

Facebook Messenger’s free video calling now available worldwide

After adding support for a new cross-platform video chat service through its Facebook Messenger mobile apps, Facebook has now announced that the feature is rolling out to all worldwide.

The feature first launched back in April for users on iOS and Android in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the US and Uruguay. Today, Facebook said the feature is now rolled out globally “with the exception of a few countries” that it’s still working on:

Quick update on video calling in Messenger: we’re happy to share we’ve now rolled out the capability globally, with the exception of a few countries we’re still working on improving quality for.

You can check out the new Facebook Messenger video calling feature through the latest versions of the iOS and Android apps.

Gear_Live_Wine_Red_4

Android Wear 5.1.1 is now rolling out to smartwatches everywhere, but as is the case with Google’s over-the-air updates, it might be days before you actually see the latest version pop up on your device. Rollouts start slowly, but thankfully there’s a way around Google’s careful and incremental rollout: OTA download links. It takes a little know-how to capture one, but once they’re discovered, anyone can simply download them to their computer and sideload them via ADB.

The over-the-air download links are now starting to show up for the most recently-released Android Wear 5.1.1 update, and you can find them organized below… expand full story

how-to Stories May 1, 2015

Monosnap 2015-05-01 15-28-22

If you’re a developer, you’re probably very familiar with the ADB commands used to capture screenshots and screencast video footage from your Android device. If you’re an end-user, you’re probably very familiar with the key combinations used to grab screenshots, and have an app to make those screencasts. Whether you fall into one of these categories or somewhere in between, there’s now a better way to accomplish these tasks—using a brand new app called Android Tool…

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how-to Stories March 16, 2015

Reminder: Registration for Google I/O 2015 opens tomorrow (Update: Today!)

Update: Google I/O registration is now open.

Google I/O 2015 is right around the corner, scheduled to be taking place May 28th and 29th of this year at Moscone Center West. And in case you haven’t been following Google’s own countdown clock, we wanted to give you a bit of a heads up and remind you that registration for the event opens Tuesday. Just like last year, Google will be keeping registration open to the public for a couple days, and then will be holding a random lottery to see who gets to go…

You can head to the Google I/O 2015 registration page Tuesday at 9 AM PDT to register, and the cost will be the same as last year: $900 for a general attendee, and $300 for a student ticket. Before registration opens, make sure you have a Google account set up and ready to go, and it wouldn’t hurt to sign into Google Wallet to add the card that you plan to pay with. Head over to Google’s website to check out the event schedule.

how-to Stories February 4, 2015

How to watch the Grammy Awards live stream on your Android smartphone, tablet or computer

The 57th annual Grammy Awards are scheduled to take place this weekend on Sunday, February 8th, and CBS just sent over details on the only official live stream of the event accessible through your Android smartphone, tablet or Chromecast connected TV.

Head below for all the details on how to watch official streams for the event on your computer and all of your mobile devices.

Android Smartphones/Tablets: CBS mobile app

CBS has broadcasting of the event locked down this year, and so for mobile users the only official live stream available of the actual awards show will be the CBS app (US only).

It will require a CBS All Access subscription, however, and is also only available in 14 major markets, including: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. It’s clear CBS is trying to push its All Access service, which offers next day access to TV shows, live TV in some markets, and on-demand content, but you can watch using a free trial and cancel before it expires… 

Normally $6 month, you can take advantage of a free week trial of CBS All Access to watch the show.

The live stream kicks off at 8p.m. – 11:30p.m. live ET/ delayed PT.

The official GRAMMYs and CBS apps will have a live stream of the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony and red carpet festivities starting at noon PT/3 p.m. ET, and the app will offer a second screen experience of sorts for those viewing the awards on TV at home.

Stream the 2015 GRAMMYs LIVE with CBS All Access on February 8th at 8/7c! Get ready to tune in to the GRAMMYs live stream now by starting your free CBS All Access trial.

Online/Chromecast: CBS.com

Again, CBS will be the only source of a live stream online through its CBS All Access service. The good news is you can grab a free week trial of CBS All Access, which will give you access on mobile devices as well. This will probably also be your best bet for streaming to the big screen via the Chromecast extension.

Like on mobile devices, GRAMMY.com and CBS will have a live stream of the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony and red carpet festivities starting at noon PT/3 p.m. ET online, and also offer a second screen experience of sorts for those viewing the awards on TV at home. The main event takes place 8 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. live ET/ delayed PT.

how-to Stories January 20, 2015

How to watch NBC’s Super Bowl XLIX live stream on desktop & tablets, Verizon’s stream to smartphones

NBCUniversal announced today that it will offer a free live stream of Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1 to all desktop and tablet users to promote its TV Everywhere service. For smartphones, Verizon has exclusive rights to stream the event to users through its own mobile app. 

how-to Stories December 19, 2014

Android 5.0.2 factory image pops up for the Nexus 7 (2012), here’s how to install it

It doesn’t look like the 2012 model of the Nexus 7 is ever going to get updated to 5.0.1, as today Google has updated its factory image download page with a previously unseen build of Android—version 5.0.2. Not much is known yet in regards to what the update packs, or whether or not all devices will be getting it at some point, but it’s likely this is just an additional build (LRX22G) Google is pushing to fix some bugs specific to the Nexus 7.

In this case, the update is for the “nakasi” Wi-Fi model of the Nexus 7 (2012). To get your hands on the update, head over to Google’s factory image download page. And if you’re not quite sure what to do with that factory image, we have a convenient guide written up just for you—although it’s best for those who aren’t as experienced to just wait for the OTA as it will surely be dropping relatively soon.

 

how-to Stories December 16, 2014

How to set up Google Now to listen for ‘OK Google’ hotword from everywhere

Google Search is a powerful tool that you’ll find on almost any Android device. Its ability to start listening to your voice after you say the hotwords “OK Google” makes it convenient to use and fun to show off. Most people assume the hotword detection only works when you’re in the Google Search app or if you’re using the Google Now Launcher, but when using a device that’s on Android 4.3 or higher, you can set up Google Now to listen for the hotwords from any screen–even when the display is off on some devices…

how-to Stories December 15, 2014

Google Now Nest

It was only a matter of time following Google’s acquisition of home automation company Nest earlier this year that users would begin receiving the best of both worlds. One of the first marriages of each company’s products and services is Google Now integration with Nest, allowing for users to control the smart thermostat using voice commands. expand full story

how-to Stories December 13, 2014

How to unlock the bootloader of a Sony Xperia device

Sony has uploaded a video to its developers channel that demonstrates how to unlock the bootloader of a Sony Xperia device, allowing for custom ROMs to be installed. Sony warns that you may void your device’s warranty and cautions about certain other risks that may occur.

The process involves generating an unlock code for your device through Sony by entering a unique IMEI number associated with the device. Then, you must install the Android SDK and all drivers and connect to Fastboot. Sony has a list of supported devices on its website.

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