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Netflix Will Now Cancel Your Account Unless You Use It

If you pay for Netflix but don’t actually use the streaming service, you should probably cancel your subscription. After all, that’s several dollars leaving your account each month for nothing. Just like a gym membership for people who no longer work out.

However, even if you don’t cancel your own Netflix you may have it cancelled for you. This is because Netflix has announced it’s going to start cancelling inactive accounts automatically in order to stop people spending money on something they don’t use.

Netflix Cancels Inactive Accounts

In a post on the Netflix Media Center, Netflix announced that it’s going to automatically cancel the subscriptions of people not using their accounts. Inactive accounts represent “less than half of one percent” of its userbase, or “a few hundred thousand”.

Netflix considers an account inactive if it hasn’t been used for two years. Or, if you’re a newer subscriber, for one year since signing up. And anyone with an inactive account will be asked to confirm that they want to keep their membership.

“You know that sinking feeling when you realize you signed up for something but haven’t used it in ages? At Netflix, the last thing we want is people paying for something they’re not using…”

— Eddy Wu, Product Innovation at Netflix

This will be done by email and in-app notifications, which will begin appearing this week. If you see one you’ll need to confirm that you want to keep your Netflix subscription or Netflix will automatically cancel it. Saving you a few dollars each month.

Netflix insists that it’s easy for lapsed users who have their memberships cancelled to restart them again. And the company will be happy to have you back. If you rejoin within 10 months of cancelling, your profile and watchlist will still be as you left them.

How to Renew Your Love for Netflix

We’re big fans of Netflix here at MakeUseOf. So, the notion that you can’t find anything to watch on Netflix is beyond us. Still, maybe you’ve got better things to do than binge-watch endless TV. In which case, Netflix is doing you a massive favor here.

However, if the threat of Netflix cancelling your account makes you want to take a fresh look at the streaming service, check out our exhaustive guide to Netflix. It contains tips and tricks, tutorials and troubleshooting, and recommendations of what to watch.

Read the full article: Netflix Will Now Cancel Your Account Unless You Use It

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Civilization VI Is Now Free on the Epic Games Store

You can now get Civilization VI for free from the Epic Games Store. One week after Epic gave GTA V away for free, Civilization VI is available. However, as with all of the free games Epic gives away on the Games Store, it’s only available for a limited time.

Since launch, Epic has given away dozens of games on the Games Store. However, the quality of titles in recent weeks has taken an uplift. And while Civilization VI may not be the cultural phenomenon that GTA V is, it’s still well worth playing.

How to Get Civilization VI for Free

To get your copy of Civilization VI for free, head to the Civilization VI page on the Epic Games Store and sign into your account. If you haven’t got an account yet, you can sign up for one for free. Civilization VI is free until May 28, 2020.

Civilization VI is a turn-based strategy 4X game. The idea is to expand your empire across the map, advance your culture, and build a civilization that will be remembered. There’s also several multiplayer modes allowing you to go up against your friends.

Civilization VI was released on Windows in 2016, and has since been released on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. However, despite its age, Civilization VI has aged well. And it’s still receiving new content, with a season pass available for some extra money.

If you’re new to the Epic Games Store, please be aware that you may need to enable two-factor authentication on your account in order to download free games. However, as you should enable 2FA on all of your online accounts, this is a positive thing.

Is Civilization VI the Best Version?

As you may have guessed from the number in the title, Civilization VI is just the latest game in the Civilization series. And while some people may think it’s the best version, others prefer the older titles. So, here’s every version of Civilization, compared.

Read the full article: Civilization VI Is Now Free on the Epic Games Store

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You Can Now Set a Bedtime Reminder on YouTube

YouTube now lets you set a bedtime reminder. As you may have guessed, bedtime reminders remind you when it’s time to stop watching YouTube videos and go to bed. Which is perfect for those people who like to watch YouTube videos into the early hours.

How to Set a Bedtime Reminder on YouTube

As detailed on YouTube Help, you can set bedtime reminders on YouTube using a mobile device. This is the latest addition to YouTube’s suite of features designed to help you maintain your digital wellbeing. To set a bedtime reminder on Android or iOS:

  1. Open the YouTube app.
  2. Sign into YouTube.
  3. Open the Settings.
  4. Scroll down to “Remind me when it’s time for bed” and turn it on.
  5. Select a start and end time for your bedtime reminder.

You can also set a bedtime reminder by clicking on your profile picture followed by “Time watched”. This is also where you’ll find other tools to manage your YouTube time, including the option to autoplay videos and to disable sounds and vibrations.

If you don’t want to have the video you’re watching interrupted, select “Wait until I finish my video to show reminder” during setup. You can also snooze your reminder, which will start your video playing again until the reminder appears again after 10 minutes.

How to Make YouTube Fun to Use Again

Bedtime reminders are just the latest addition to YouTube’s suite of digital wellbeing tools. All of which help you manage your time better. We recommend you check out your Time Watched profile, which shows you how much time you’re wasting on YouTube.

This is a small but useful feature for YouTube users. Especially those who watch YouTube in bed. Bedtime reminders mean you’ll never again burn the candle at both ends. And if that sounds far too sensible, try these ways to make YouTube fun again.

Image Credit: Rego Korosi/Flickr

Read the full article: You Can Now Set a Bedtime Reminder on YouTube

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Instagram Launches Guides to Help You Stay Sane

Instagram has launched Guides, a new type of post that collects together other posts based around a theme. Instagram has launched Guides with a focus on wellness. This is due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which is affecting everyone in some way.

What Are Instagram Guides?

Instagram introduced Guides in a post on the Instagram Blog. The social network describes it as “a way to more easily discover recommendations, tips and other content from your favorite creators, public figures, organizations and publishers on Instagram”.

Guides are essentially collections of posts and videos based around a theme. And when viewed all together, they form a guide to a subject. Hence the name. You can just browse the collection, or click on a particular post or video to view it in full.

To view an Instagram Guide, you’ll need to visit the profile of one of the participating creators or organizations. Which includes AFSP, Heads Together, and Klicksafe. Then, just tap on the Guides icon, which looks like a book lying open.

At launch, all of the Guides are related to wellness. So, expect tips on looking after your wellbeing, maintaining connections with others, and managing anxiety. This is to help people keep their health in check while COVID-19 is still spreading around the globe.

There Are Alternatives to Instagram…

While Instagram has started with Guides related to wellness for obvious reasons, the feature could be expanded to include all sorts down the line. For example, we could produce a Guide to something tech-related on the MakeUseOf Instagram account.

Guides is the first new type of Instagram post since IGTV. And if you don’t know what that is, read our guide to IGTV and how it works. Or, if you’ve tried Instagram and found it isn’t for you, try one of these Instagram alternatives for smartphone photographers.

Read the full article: Instagram Launches Guides to Help You Stay Sane

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You Can Now Make Your Own Facebook Avatar

Facebook has launched Avatars in the US. This feature has been available in other parts of the world for several months, but if you’re American you can also now make your own Facebook Avatar. And in this short article, we explain how to do just that.

What Are Facebook Avatars?

Avatars are graphical representations of users, and an alternative to real-life photographs. Avatars have been a thing for as long as the internet existed, with people choosing an image they want to represent themselves online.

Facebook Avatars are the latest manifestation of this craze. And they are essentially a cartoon version of yourself you can use on Facebook. Once you have created your Facebook Avatar you can use one of the many Avatar stickers to comment on posts.

How to Make Your Facebook Avatar

To make your own Facebook Avatar, just do the following:

  1. Open the Facebook app on Android or iOS.
  2. Tap on the three horizontal lines in the corner of the screen.
  3. Scroll down to “See More” and tap on it.
  4. Tap on “Avatars” (if you can’t see it, you haven’t got access yet).
  5. Tap “Next” and then “Get Started”.
  6. Create your avatar by tapping on each section in turn.
  7. You can click back on any section at any time.
  8. When you’re happy with your choices, tap the check mark in the top-right.
  9. Tap “Next” and then “Done”.
  10. Tap the arrow sign in the top-right to show your Facebook Avatar off.

You can use your Facebook Avatar as your profile picture, share it to your feed, or use it when commenting on other people’s posts. To do that, tap the smiley face next to the GIF icon and then the avatar icon. You can then choose the perfect avatar sticker.

You can modify your Facebook Avatar at any time by tapping on the “Avatars” section in the menu. This time, Facebook will load up your existing avatar, so just click on the pencil icon to edit your avatar. You can also delete your avatar by clicking the trash icon.

Facebook Avatars Are the New Bitmoji

Facebook’s Avatars aren’t exactly an original idea. People were making Yahoo avatars over a decade ago, and then there’s Snap’s Bitmoji. So, once you have made your own Facebook Avatar, you should learn all about Bitmoji, and how to make your own.

Read the full article: You Can Now Make Your Own Facebook Avatar

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GTA V Is Now Free on the Epic Games Store

You can now get Grand Theft Auto V for free from the Epic Games Store. However, the offer is available for a limited time only, so you’ll have to be quick to grab a copy of the game. Still, even seven years after it was released, GTA V is well worth playing.

Since launching the Epic Games Store in 2018, Epic Games has given away dozens of games for free. However, none quite as big as GTA V, which is available to download for free until May 21st, 2020. And this is Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition, no less.

How to Get GTA V for Free

To grab a copy of GTA V for free, all you need is a Epic Games account, which is also completely free. Once you have set one up, sign in and head over to the Grand Theft Auto: Premium Edition page on the Epic Games Store, where it should be listed as Free.

Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition includes the Story mode, access to GTA Online, and “all existing gameplay upgrades and content including The Doomsday Heist, Gunrunning, Smuggler’s Run, Bikers.” You’ll also get the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack.

GTA V may be seven years old (having been released on consoles in 2013) but it’s still a fantastic game. The story will take you hours to complete, while Grand Theft Auto Online adds even more ways to make money, spend money, and generally cause chaos.

The chances are most people have already played GTA V by now. However, so many people tried to grab a free copy of the game on Thursday (May 14) that the Epic Games Store suffered an eight-hour outage. Thankfully, it’s now up and running once again.

Is the Epic Games Store Better Than Steam?

For years Steam was the only digital storefront for PC gamers. However, Epic Games Store is now a serious contender, and giving away GTA V will only help it compete. With that in mind, be sure to read our article pitting Steam vs. the Epic Games Store.

Read the full article: GTA V Is Now Free on the Epic Games Store

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Google Chrome’s Tab Groups Help You Organize Your Tabs

You can now group your Google Chrome tabs thanks to a feature called Tab Groups. Google Chrome Tab Groups let you organize your tabs, whether by topic, task, or progress. You can even use emojis as names for your Google Chrome Tab Groups.

As detailed in a post on The Keyword, Google has finally added a way to organize your tabs. Tab Groups lets you group your tabs together and label them with a name and color. You can also move and reorder your tabs and groupings as and when you see fit.

How to Group Your Tabs in Google Chrome

To group your tabs, all you need to do is right-click on a single tab and click “Add Tab to Group”. You can then move the tab to an existing group or create a new one. If you create a new group, you can assign a name and color to it.

How you group your tabs is up to you. The most obvious is by topic, such as projects or shopping sites. However, Google also suggests grouping tabs by urgency (ASAP, this week, and later), or emojis (a heart for inspiration, a book for articles to read, etc).

Whatever system you decide on, you can add, remove, or reorder your tabs as you see fit. Reordering is as simple as dragging-and-dropping. And when you close Chrome your Tab Groups will be saved, meaning they’ll still be there when you reopen Chrome.

Tab Groups will arrive with the next version of Google Chrome, which is due to start rolling out next week. However, if you want to try Tab Groups out sooner, you’ll need to download the latest version of Google Chrome Beta.

Your Google Chrome Questions, Answered

Tab Groups is the latest feature designed to make Google Chrome easier to use. Especially for the tab collectors who keep dozens open at one time. Tab minimalists will be fine without this, but there’s no obligation to organize your Chrome tabs into groups.

Google Chrome has lots to explore under the hood. So, once you’ve got used to using Tab Groups, be sure to check out the essential Google Chrome FAQ answering all of your questions, and the essential Chrome privacy settings to keep you safe.

Read the full article: Google Chrome’s Tab Groups Help You Organize Your Tabs

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You Can Now Delete Instagram Comments in Bulk

Instagram has introduced more new ways to fight back against online bullies. The headline feature lets you delete Instagram comments in bulk. However, you can also now pin positive comments, and control who can tag and mention you on Instagram.

Online bullying is a serious problem, especially on social media. This is especially true on the social media platforms popular with younger demographics. Such as Instagram. However, Instagram has been trying to combat online bullies over the years.

New Instagram Features to Combat Bullying

Alongside the fifth edition of its Community Standards Enforcement report, Instagram has announced a number of new features. As outlined on the Instagram Blog, these are all designed to help Instagram users fight back against online bullies.

The first new feature lets you manage unwanted interactions. While you could already delete individual comments, you can now delete up to 25 Instagram comments in bulk. You can also block or restrict multiple accounts behind negative comments.

bulk delete Instagram comments

On the flipside, you can also highlight positive comments. Pinned Comments, which are currently being tested, lets you pin a select number of comments to the top of a thread. The idea being that it lets you set the tone you want for your account.

Last but not least, you can now choose who can tag and mention you. Instagram is rolling out a new set of controls that allow you to manage who can tag or mention you. You can limit the option to no one, allow people who follow you, or allow everyone.

How to Hide Your Social Media Profiles

These are all solid ways to help people fight back against online bullies. And giving people the tools they need to combat the problem is all anyone is asking. For many years, Instagram lagged behind its rivals in this, but it’s now leading the way.

While most social media platforms offer ways to combat bullying, things can get out of hand. In which case, you may need to take extra measures to prevent yourself from being harassed. If so, here’s how to hide your social media profiles from bullies.

Read the full article: You Can Now Delete Instagram Comments in Bulk

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Transfer Your Music From Google Play Music to YouTube Music

Google Play Music isn’t long for this world, with Google planning to kill the service at sometime in 2020. However, all is not lost, as Google has a ready-made replacement in YouTube Music. And now you can transfer your music from one to the other.

YouTube Music Is Replacing Google Play Music

While Google is one of the most innovative tech companies in existence, the company has a habit of killing its products and services. And so it has come to pass for Google Play Music, which is set to be shuttered in 2020 to make way for YouTube Music.

However, with the end now in sight, Google is actively encouraging you to transfer your music from Google Play Music to YouTube Music. And, as detailed in a post on the Official YouTube Blog, it has launched a quick and simple way to do so.

How to Transfer Your Music From Google Play Music to YouTube Music

You can transfer your artists, albums, songs, playlists, uploads, purchased music, and recommendations across from Google Play Music to YouTube Music. You can also transfer your podcasts to Google Podcasts by visiting this webpage.

To transfer your music from Google Play Music to YouTube Music, either visit music.youtube.com/transfer or follow the instructions below:

  1. Download the YouTube Music app for Android or iOS.
  2. Open the Settings menu and click Transfer from Google Play Music.
  3. You’ll see a list of everything you’re going to transfer.
  4. If you agree to the terms of service, click Transfer to start the process.
  5. When it’s complete, you’ll get a notification and an email letting you know.

If you can’t yet see the option to transfer your music from Google Play Music to YouTube Music, be patient, as Google is rolling this out gradually over the next few weeks.

Other Music Streaming Services Do Exist

Once you have made the switch from Google Play Music to YouTube Music, you have a number of options open to you. You can listen for free using the ad-supported version, or pay the standard $9.99/month to upgrade to YouTube Music Premium.

As keen as Google is to get everyone using YouTube Music, it’s far from the only streaming music service. So, with that in mind, here’s how to pick the best music streaming service for you, and how to move to a new music streaming service.

Read the full article: Transfer Your Music From Google Play Music to YouTube Music

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You Can Now Start a Spotify Group Session With Friends

Spotify has officially launched a new feature called Group Session. A Spotify Group Session lets you listen to music with friends, with everyone able to control what’s being played. Thus preventing one person from controlling all of the song choices.

As good as Spotify is, its usefulness has been limited when listening to music with friends. Like at a party, for example. One person is in charge, choosing what to play and when to play it. However, Group Session means that’s no longer a problem.

How to Start a Spotify Group Session

A Group Session lets multiple people listen to music on Spotify together, with everyone involved in the session able to control what’s being played and when. And to start a Spotify Group Session, all you need to do is share your unique Spotify code:

  1. Open Spotify and play a song.
  2. Tap the Devices Available icon in the bottom-left.
  3. Look for your code under “Start a Group Session”.

To scan someone else’s Spotify code:

  1. Open Spotify and tap the Search button.
  2. Tap the Camera icon in the top-right.
  3. Point your phone at a Spotify code.

Once either you have scanned someone else’s code or someone else has scanned your code, you’ll be connected together in a Group Session. Which means you can all now play, pause, and skip tracks, and add more tracks to the joint play queue.

Group Session has actually been in testing for some time, but is now being rolled out as a beta. Group Session is only available to Spotify Premium users, but that includes Family and Student users. If you can’t start a Group Session, try updating Spotify.

Download: Spotify on Android | iOS

Other Ways to Listen to Music With Friends

Group Session is a great new feature for music lovers who live in the same house. However, the COVID-19 crisis means you may want to cast your net a little wider. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to listen to music with friends far away.

Read the full article: You Can Now Start a Spotify Group Session With Friends