In this article we provide detailed instructions on how to install the Microsoft Authenticator on your iPhone.Read More
By pressing certain key combinations, you can do things that normally need a mouse, trackpad, or other input device.Read More
Apple showed off a slate of new computers with better screens, faster processors and higher price tags on Tuesday, including an iPad Pro that the company is trying to position as a primary work computer.Read More
Apple includes several ways to see and control the screen of another Mac over a network connection. Perhaps the easiest approach for those who don’t want to knock around in system settings is to use the Messages chat app. Both Macs involved in the remote assistance operation need Apple ID accounts and must be logged into the Messages app.
If you are the one providing the technical assistance, open Messages, select the name of the person you plan to help — or send a new message to start the conversation — and click the Details button in the upper-right corner of the window. Click the Screen Share icon, which looks like two overlapping rectangles, and select “Ask to share screen.” (If you’re the one needing the help, you can also reach out via a Messages buddy and use the “Invite to Share My Screen” option.)
The person on the other end of the sharing request needs to accept your offer. A box pops up to ask that person to let you observe or take command of the screen. Once the person chooses “Control my screen” and clicks Accept, you should be able to take over that Mac with your own cursor and keyboard to provide remote technical support; the app also opens up an audio call between you and the other person so you can talk while you help. When you are finished, the recipient can close the session.
If the Messages app is not an option, Apple’s support site has detailed instructions for setting up the Mac for sharing in System Preferences and using alternative screen-sharing methods or iCloud’s Back to My Mac feature (until Back to My Mac is discontinued in the next version of the operating system). If you are remotely trying to configure settings on someone else’s Mac and you both have iOS devices, Apple’s FaceTimevideo chat app can be helpful for visual cues walking someone through setup steps; Microsoft Skype users can also share screens for visual reference.
Like Windows users, if you don’t care for the built-in tools, you can also use free third-party programs like TeamViewer to give and get remote assistance. Edovia’s $30 Screens 4 is another remote-control app and has a free trial version available.
Before you start, make a list of your computer’s current components — like its hard drive type and capacity, the amount of memory installed and other system details — so you know what you’re starting with and to ensure any upgraded parts will be compatible. Your machine’s manual or system information box should have the configuration. You should also fully back up the data on your hard drive before tinkering around under the hood.
Adding random-access memory (RAM) should give the computer the ability to run more programs at once, browse the web faster and play games more smoothly. Before you buy, check with the manufacturer so you know the type and amount of RAM to install in your specific model. RAM makers like Corsair, Crucial and Kingston also have “memory finder” tools on their sites that help you match the right modules with your motherboard; prices vary by type and amount of memory.
If your computer uses a traditional hard drive, swapping it out for a solid-state drive is another way to increase the speed, as solid state drives have no moving parts and can read and write data faster. Solid-state drives are also not as expensive as they used to be — Wirecutter, a product review site owned by The Times, favors the Crucial MX500 and the Samsung 860 Evo, both 500-gigabyte drives for less than $130.
However, changing the computer’s hard drive also involves backing up all your data from the old drive and copying it onto the new one after reinstalling systems and applications. The iFixit site has a general guide to the hard-drive upgrade process, but it’s also a job a qualified computer repair shop can easily handle. If your computer can accommodate it, adding a larger or additional hard drive can also expand your system’s storage if things are getting tight.
Upgrading the computer’s main processor is often expensive and can require a new motherboard. But some systems make it easier, like those from AMD, which has an instructional video and a guide on its support site. If you like to play video games, upgrading the computer’s graphics card is another option for more speed and fluid display, as long as your model supports it.
Once you know what you want to do (and plan to do it yourself), buying the parts online usually saves money. You can find computer parts on specialty sites like Newegg or in more general stores like Amazon and Office Depot. For Mac users, Other World Computing has a handy My Upgrades page that lets you enter your model number, shows you all the components of the computer than can be upgraded, and sells you the parts right there.
Apple includes a few tools with macOS to help manage unnecessary files on your computer.
On the Storage screen, you should see a graphic showing your drive’s available space. Click the Manage button on the right side of the box to get started. The resulting storage-management screen offers four ways to clear off old files: Store in iCloud, Optimize Storage, Empty Trash Automatically and Reduce Clutter.
As one might expect, the Store in iCloud option punts documents, photosand Messages off your Mac’s drive and into your iCloud online storage locker. While this does free up room on the computer, you may have to buy more iCloud storage space from Apple if you fill up your five gigabytes that come free with an iCloud account.
Enabling the Optimize Storage feature dumps iTunes videos you have already watched, but you can download them again later. The setting also changes the Mail program’s behavior regarding file attachments to retrieve only recent files — or only those that came with messages you have opened.
The Empty Trash Automatically setting permanently deletes files that have been living in the Mac’s trash for longer than 30 days. (In macOS Sierra and later, the system also automatically dumps duplicate Safari downloads, cache files, logs and other unneeded files.)
Using the Reduce Clutter feature is another way to find big files hogging drive space and remove them. To see what the Mac considers “clutter,” click the Review Files button and go through the lists of files deemed large, old or unnecessary. Click the X next to each file to delete it.
If you are running a version of the operating system older than macOS Sierra, you can manually wade through your drive tossing old files or get a third-party cleaning app to sweep up for you. The Macworld site has a detailed list of cleaning tips that explains how to find and trash old Mail downloads, cache files and disk images.
If you’d rather have software do the job, a combination of MacPaw’s CleanMyMac 3 and Gemini 2 (for system cleaning and duplicate-file removal) is an option; free trials of the programs are available. Disk Cleanup Pro and Dr. Cleaner are among the free utilities in the Mac App Store, and others can be found online. As with all maintenance programs, however, read the reviews before you download and back up your Mac before using software intended to automatically delete files on your computer — just in case.
The iCloud service — used to store files on remote servers and keep data in sync among Macs, Windows computers and iOS devices — is integrated into Apple’s operating systems. However, iCloud includes only five gigabytes of free storage before Apple charges for more space.
In the United States, prices for more iCloud storage space start at 99 cents a month for 50 gigabytes. (Music and video purchases you make from the iTunes Store are also stored in your iCloud account so you can download them again, but are not counted against your iCloud space allowance.)
As Apple notes on its support page about managing your iCloud space, “If you run out of iCloud storage, your device won’t back up to iCloud, new photos and videos won’t upload to iCloud Photo Library, and iCloud Drive, other iCloud apps and your text messages won’t stay up to date across your devices. And you can’t send or receive emails with your iCloud email address.”
Deleting old mail and file attachments, photos and videos you no longer need, and outdated files from your iCloud drive can help reclaim some of that space. For those with a large-capacity iPad or iPhone that is consuming a lot of iCloud space with backups, you can switch your device backup to iTunes on your Mac or PC.
When looking for an alternative service, first figure out how you are currently consuming your available iCloud space. If you are using iCloud for everything — or just for things like iCloud mail, photos and iWork documents — you will need to find services that can replicate those storage functions.
Several options have their own iOS apps, automatic photo backup and free starter accounts. These include Google Drive, which gives you 15 gigabytes of space to share among Google Photos backup, Gmail and file storage. If you do not care for Google, free Dropbox accounts start with two gigabytes of storage space and free accounts from Box and MediaFirestart with 10 gigabytes of storage.
Microsoft’s basic OneDrive service provides five gigabytes of free storage unless you have additional space that came with an Office 365 account. The Amazon Drive service offers five gigabytes free, and Amazon Prime members get unlimited photo storage.
Once you decide on a new online storage locker, download your documents, photos and other files you have backed up on iCloud, and then upload them to your new service.
The Bedtime feature, introduced with iOS 10 in 2016, is more of a planning and reminder app to nudge you in and out of bed. You can keep track of the sleep periods you scheduled, but the tool doesn’t specifically log how much sleep you get each night or the movement during that sleep.
To use Bedtime, you first need to set it up. On the iPhone’s home screen, open the Clock app and tap the Bedtime icon at the bottom of the screen. Tap the Get Started button.
The app guides you through setting up your weekly sleep schedule, including the time to set your workday wake-up alarm, the days of the week you need the alarm and how many hours of sleep you’d ideally like to get each night. You can also set an alert to pop up when it is time to go to bed, and choose a relatively soothing sound like chirping birds, a gentle piano rhythm or peaceful instrumental music as your alarm.
Tap the Sleep Analysis chart or More History to open the iOS Health app, where you can see charts of your sleep schedule. The Recommended Apps list at the bottom of the Health screen lists third-party programs that do more precise sleep tracking or that work with sleep-monitor devices. Apple’s iOS 12 update, due this fall, can dim and quiet the iPhone during Bedtime hours.