Skip the Store-Bought Caramel Apples: It’s Easy to Make Them at Home

woman dipping an apply in a bowl of melted caramel
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Biting into a crisp, caramel-dipped apple is one of fall’s greatest pleasures. Learn how to make caramel apples following these easy steps.

RELATED: What’s the Difference Between Caramel Apples and Candy Apples?

There are many ways to make caramel apples right at home. To be clear, we’re talking about apples covered in buttery rich caramel that will cover your teeth with each bite—not the bright red and hard candy-coated apples that might send you to the dentist. For a rundown on the difference, check out this quick look at caramel and candy apples.

How to Make Caramel Apples

Making caramel apples is a fun fall tradition in many homes, but if you have yet to try it, we’ll walk you through the steps. From preparing your apples to choosing tasty Halloween toppings, we’ve got something yummy for you to try.

Making caramel apples isn’t a supply heavy task, but you do need a few things:

  • A candy thermometer: Depending on which recipe you choose, you may need a candy thermometer to ensure your caramel sauce is at the right temperature.
  • Lollipop or Popsicle sticks: You’ll need to pierce your apples after removing the stem to create a handle for this sweet treat. Sturdy skewers, chopsticks, or sticks from outside also do the trick. If you want your apples to look as professional as possible, you can always buy stout bamboo skewers made specifically for the task.

Supplies in hand, you’re ready to prep!

Prepare the Apples

Placing a skewer in an apple
Emilee Unterkoefler

Wash your apples thoroughly to remove all the wax from the skin and then dry your apples completely before dipping. Cortland, Empire, and Granny Smith apples are all popular for this yummy snack.

Remove the stems and use a Popsicle stick, lollipop stick, or skewer to pierce through the apple as a way to hold your delicious treat. You’ll want to pierce through the section of the apple where you just removed the stem.

Get the Cooling Station Ready

Generously buttering the parchment paper (apples in the background)
Emilee Unterkoefler

Place a piece of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. Using room temperature butter, generously grease your parchment paper. The butter will help keep the caramel apples from sticking after being placed on the parchment paper.

Set Up the Yummy Decoration Station

Separate bowls of decorative ingredients including sprinkles, candy corn, chocolate chips, and M&M's
Emilee Unterkoefler

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How to play MS-DOS games online

The Internet Archive is a website where you can find snapshots of old and abandoned websites, discontinued software, and outdated/old apps that no longer have a platform to run on. It’s basically Sakaar for the internet but there’s no Grand Master, or fighting. If you want to run Windows Movie Maker, or any other app from Windows Live Essentials, you can get them all from the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive has recently added about 2500 MS-DOS game titles to its database and, it’s also included an emulator that can run in your browser. You can use it to play MS-DOS games online. Here’s how.

All these games are available for free. You don’t have to worry about licenses or whether or not you’re breaking the law by playing the games online.

Play MS-DOS games online

Visit the Internet Archive’s library of MS-DOS games. There are a few search filters that you can use to narrow down the titles you see, and there’s a search bar at the top of the column on the left that you can use to search for a particular title.

Select a game title to play and you’ll be taken to its page. There isn’t much here except for a history of the game and what looks like an over-sized header image but, that’s the emulator. Resize your browser window so that it fits just right around it. You will see a ‘power’ button on the image. Click it, and the game will start.

When the game starts, you will see a welcome screen and the options on the welcome screen will differ based on the game you’ve selected to play. There isn’t going to be anything too complicated since these are MS-DOS games that ran on a very simple interface with basic hardware. At no point will you be forced to configure any controls.

There are loads of titles to choose from but you cannot take the games offline. You can switch over to full screen mode for a better playing experience. The games should run in any modern web browser though you might want to give Opera’s gaming browser a try if you don’t want to play in Chrome or Firefox.

It goes without saying that scores won’t be saved. You will see your current score but it’s highly unlikely that if you close the tab or window that you have the game open in, and come back to it later, your score will still be there. This is a simple emulation of the game and no list of worldwide top scores is maintained for the people who play it.

Read How to play MS-DOS games online by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Turn Off Indexing in Windows for Better Performance

If you turn off the Windows search index feature on your hard drives, you can get better performance on Windows 10. First let’s take a look at why you may want to do this. Afterwards, we’ll explain how to do it.

Sometimes, you may not want to disable Windows search indexing. It depends on what hardware you use. Below are some prime examples of when you should or shouldn’t disable it. 

Also, let’s just dispel a quick myth. Windows search indexing is still used in Windows 10 and it works in much the same way as older versions of Windows. With that in mind, here’s what we suggest:

  1. Good CPU and a standard hard drive = Keep indexing on
  2. Slow CPU and any hard drive = Turn indexing off
  3. Any CPU with an SSD = Turn indexing off

If you have a slow hard drive and a good CPU, it makes more sense to keep your search indexing on, but otherwise it’s best to turn it off. This is especially true for those with SSDs because they can read your files so quickly.

For those curious, search indexing doesn’t damage your computer in any way. With it turned on, all searches are indexed so that searches are faster – however, the search indexer uses CPU and RAM, so with it switched off, you will save those resources.

Turn Off Windows Search Indexing Selectively

You have the option to turn off indexing for specific folders, so if you regularly search areas on your PC, it may be worth keeping indexing on for those, and disabling it elsewhere. 

We’ll start with this option because it’s a great middle ground for saving PC resources and fast search speed. To do this, Open the Start menu and type Indexing. Click on Indexing Options.

Once in the Indexing Options page, you’ll see a list that shows all included and excluded locations for indexing. This will include your Start Menu, Internet Explorer History, and most importantly, the Users folder and everything inside it. This means everything like your documents, downloads, pictures, and videos folders. 

These folders could contain a lot of files you rarely look at. If that’s the case, you should choose to turn off indexing. Click Modify, then on the new page, scroll down to the ticked Users folder and untick it. After, click OK. Take note that there may be multiple Users folders, so make sure you find the one that is ticked. 

You can take it further by clicking the drop down arrow on the Users folder and unticking individual folders. This could be useful, for example, if you visit my documents a lot, but rarely touch the other folders.

If you keep adding files to each folder, the indexing will continue, wasting more resources, so it’s best to switch this off for folders you rarely enter to save system resources.

Turn Off Outlook Search Indexing

By default, Microsoft Outlook doesn’t appear in the search indexing page. We need to go through Microsoft Outlook instead. So, open Outlook, then click File – Options

In the Options page, click the Search tab on the left and then click on the blue highlighted Indexing Options… button. Next, you’ll see a similar menu to before, but you’ll now see Microsoft Outlook in the list.

To turn off Outlook search indexing, first click Microsoft Outlook in the list to highlight it. Next, click Modify and then click the tick box in the new window to untick it. Finally, click OK.

Turn Off Windows Search Indexing For Specific Drives

If you want to turn off Windows search indexing for specific drives, you can do so with a different process. It’s recommended to turn off search indexing for drives you rarely touch, for example, backup drives. 

To do it, first open the Start menu and type PC and click on This PC when it appears in the search results. 

Next, right click a drive and click Properties.

On the General tab, click to uncheck Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties at the bottom. After, click Apply.

You will be given the option to choose all files or just the drive itself. Make sure to select Apply changes to Drive X:\, subfolders and files. After, click OK.

The next step will take some time. Your PC will now apply this new attribute to every file on that drive. Thankfully, you can let it run in the background and it shouldn’t have a huge impact on your performance, unless you’re applying it to the drive you are using Windows on. 

If any Access Denied messages appear, just click Ignore All – these are system files or other files that are currently being used.

Completely Disable Indexing

If you want to disable search indexing on Windows 10 completely, you must use another method. The methods above can stop search indexing for specific files and folders, but the search index service is still running. 

This option is only recommended if Windows search is not working, or your CPU is really slow and running into performance issues. Follow the steps below to disable Windows search.

You can start by pressing Windows Key + R, typing services.msc and clicking OK.

Look for Windows Search in the list of services. To find it easier, click the Name button twice to organize alphabetically from Z-A. Double click Windows Search when you find it.

In the new tab that opens, click Stop to stop the Windows Search indexing service, and then click the Startup type dropdown box. In the list that appears, select Disabled. After, click Apply

You can now restart your PC and Windows Search indexing will be disabled entirely.

If you notice any problems with search performance, you can consider turning it back on again.

How to add a message on the lock screen on macOS

A message on the lock screen can be an effective way to remind yourself to do something. If it helps, you can also use it as place for a motivational quote though perhaps the desktop is a more suitable place for it. Regardless why you do it, here’s how you can add a message on the lock screen on macOS.

We’re going to do this with a built-in macOS screensaver. The screensaver appears when you want it to, regardless if your screen is locked or not but, once you lock your screen, the display will turn off at some point. If you don’t want the screensaver and your message to be visible all the time, you can let it disappear when you screen goes to sleep. If you do want the screen awake at all times, use this trick to prevent sleep on the lock screen.

Message on lock screen

Open the System Preferences app, and go to the Desktop & Screen Saver preference. Select the Screen Saver tab. In the column on the left, go through the list of available screensavers and select the one named ‘Message’.

The stock message is set to your Mac’s name. There’s a ‘Screen Saver Options’ button in the pane on the right. Click it, and then enter the message you want to display. The Apple logo is going to stick around. You cannot get rid of it. Once you’ve set the message, click the Preview button to see what it looks like.

It’s a good idea to review the screensaver settings on macOS as well. You can set when the screensaver starts from this very same preference pane. Open the ‘Start after’ dropdown under the column on the left and set when the screensaver should start. You should also go to the Energy Saver preference and change when the display should turn off. You can set it to Never though we don’t really recommend that unless you’re displaying something incredibly important on your screen. Set it so that it doesn’t turn off at the same time the screensaver turns on.

The screensaver appears after a short, user-defined period of inactivity so make sure your screen doesn’t turn off before it. The screen’s sleep interval when it’s unlocked is different from the screen sleep interval when it’s locked. We’ve mentioned above what to do to keep the screen awake on the lock screen. Use a combination of sleep settings, the screensaver, and the method mentioned above to display a message on the lock screen on macOS.

Want to show a message on the lock screen on Windows 10? We’ve got you covered.

Read How to add a message on the lock screen on macOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter