All items in the category "How-To"

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Apple Watch frozen? Here’s how to restart it

If your Apple Watch freezes, just force it. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

If your Apple Watch freezes, just force it. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Let’s face it: A time will come when your Apple Watch crashes or freezes. It’s gonna become unresponsive, but you’ll be ready thanks to this handy Apple Watch restart tip.

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Master your Apple Watch before it arrives

Do your homework now so you'll be a master of Apple Watch right out of the gate. Photo: Apple

Do your homework now so you’ll be a master of Apple Watch on Day 1. Photo: Apple

Once your Apple Watch arrives, you’re going to slap it on your wrist ASAP. But then what?

There’s a fairly steep learning curve for the Apple Watch, since Apple came up with innovations like Force Touch and the Digital Crown to make wrist computing more manageable. Luckily, there’s an easy way you can avoid being baffled by your shiny new Apple Watch — and it won’t take more than a half-hour of your precious time.

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Never miss an iPhone call or alert again

Keep your ringtone volume and media volume separate. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Keep your ringtone volume and media volume separate. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

There are two different channels for audio on your iOS device: there are ringers and alert sounds and there are media sounds, like from the Music app or various games on your iPhone.

The hardware volume buttons on the side of your iPhone are set to control both by default, but you can separate it out, making the hardware buttons only turn down the media sounds instead of both media and ringer sound.

Here’s our recipe on how to make sure you never miss a call because someone “accidentally” turned your volume all the way down.

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Take better selfies with your iPhone’s timer mode

Gather all your friends for a groupie with the timer on your iPhone. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Gather all your friends for a groupie with the timer on your iPhone. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

It can be tricky to get the best shot when taking a selfie or group shot with your iPhone. If you want a better angle than the length of your arm can provide (or your ridiculous selfie stick will telescope to), you might consider setting your iPhone on a ledge or tripod and using the built-in timer mode to get yourself and everyone else into position before the shutter goes off.

It’s not super-tricky, but you do need to know where to look. Here’s our recipe to enable timer mode on your iPhone.

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10 essential Finder tricks every Mac user should know

Photo: Yeray Hdez Guerra/FlickrCC

Master your Mac with these 10 Finder tips. Photo: Yeray Hdez Guerra/Flickr CC

In Mac OS X, you’ll spend much of your time in the Finder, the part of your operating system that manages files and such. While you might think you know all there is to know about it, the Finder is a complex and wonderful app — with its own special tricks to master.

Here are 10 essential Finder tips that will help you get the most out of your time working or playing on your Mac.

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How to create entirely separate photo libraries in Photos

Maybe you just want to have a library full of food pictures, you know? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Maybe you just want to have a library full of food pictures, you know? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

One of the cooler hidden features of Photos (and iPhoto before it) is the ability to create more than one photo library. You can make one for your home photos, work photos, photos from a different camera, or those racy photos you don’t want the kids tripping over.

It’s pretty simple, but not totally intuitive – there’s no menu item to select to create a new library.

Follow our recipe to create as many different libraries as you like for separate but equal Photos access.

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How to hack the new MacBook’s power chime onto the MacBook Air and Pro

Here's how to hack the new MacBook's power chime onto the Aiir and Pro. Photo: Apple

Here’s how to hack the new MacBook’s power chime onto the Air and Pro. Photo: Cult of Mac

You know how the iPhone and iPad plays a little chime when you plug it in? The new MacBook also does that. But sadly, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro remain completely silent when they connect to juice — which can make it hard to tell when you’ve accidentally knocked the MagSafe loose.

If you’ve got a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, though, it’s easy to hack in the new MacBook’s power-charging sound. Here’s how.

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Shield your iPhone fitness data from other apps’ prying eyes

Keep your activity data private. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Keep your activity data private. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

With the advent of Apple’s motion coprocessor chip (the M8 in recent iOS devices), any apps that you download and grant permission to can use this data to enhance their offerings.

This lets apps like RunKeeper, Carrot Fitness and others both gather fitness data from your iPhone as well as send it to the Health app.

This could raise privacy concerns for some, so being able to decide which apps we allow to access our fitness-tracking data — or whether the iPhone tracks these activities at all — can be a helpful.

Here’s our recipe for getting finer-grained control over your fitness-tracking data.

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Make iOS Calendar look the way you want

Press the button. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Press the button. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Oh, that pesky list view in your iOS Calendar app. It sure likes to go missing in various iOS updates, doesn’t it, like in iOS 7 when it just, sort of, disappeared.

It’s not totally gone now in iOS 8.3, but there is a new way to access it along with a new layout. There are also some funky ways to move around your Calendar app that may not be as intuitive as they should. These aren’t necessarily new to iOS 8.3, but it’s handy to know them, as well.

Here’s the recipe you’ll need to view your iOS Calendar the way you want on your iPhone and iPad.

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How to keep iOS gaming sessions from being interrupted

Stop getting interrupted when you're gaming. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

Stop getting interrupted when you’re gaming. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

I’ve been playing Vainglory quite a bit lately, and the one thing that really distracts me and actually impacts my gameplay (when on my iPad 3) is notifications. They can make the game stutter, which wreaks havok on my ability to gank an enemy Joule from the bushes with my Krul.

Seriously, it’s annoying.

I turned on Do Not Disturb last week to try and get rid of these badges that annoy, but it never worked: I still got notifications from Facebook, Messages and other appss. I did some digging to find out why.

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