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Sunday, March 13, 2016

1653. Clear iPhone or iPad Memory

When I'm using my iPhone all day, it seems to get sluggish. I use a lot of different applications. Is there some way to make the phone work better as I work with it all day?

All of the iPhone and IOS computers are good at managing memory as you use multiple applications.  Sooner or later if you're a heavy user of large applications you can fragment and use up all the memory in your phone and it can get slow. 

One alternative is just to reboot your phone but that can take a good long while and when you're on the go you don't want to spend that time clearing out the memory on your phone. 

A good alternative which I just learned about is this little trick.  Press and hold the power button until the phone gives you the option to slide to shut down.  Don't shut down.  Instead.  Press and hold the home button until your phone returns to the home screen. 
By doing these steps you'll cause your phone to reset its memory keeping a list of all the existing running applications when you double click the home button so you don't lose that information like you would if you reboot.  But the memory will be clear and your phone should run a little faster. 

So it's a quick way within ten seconds to make your phone run faster by clearing out the existing memory.  We’ll have a link to an article on our website that explains how to do this in detail.  But it's really just those two steps.

1664. Handle Missing Windows 10 Start Menu

I've been using Windows 10 for a while, and all of a sudden, clicking the Window’s icon in the lower-left corner no longer displays the normal Start menu. I've rebooted, and it doesn't come back. It's really hard to use WIndows without the start menu! Can you help me recover it?
As with most of the questions that appear here, this one clearly isn’t from a random person—it actually happened to Ken, and it happened multiple times. The first time that Windows 10 lost its Start menu, he fought with it for a few days, and then simply reformatted his hard drive and started over. That’s the real-life equivalent of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater”; in other words, extreme overkill.
The problem is when this issue occurs, and the Windows 10 Start menu disappears, all “modern” Windows 10 applications fail, as well. The Settings app, for example, is a “modern” app and it won’t run if the Start menu won’t run. (The Start menu is just a “modern” app, like the Settings app; if one doesn’t work, none of them work.) It’s next to impossible to use Windows 10 without any “modern” applications, and so you must be able to fix this problem.
Ken wasn’t alone in his suffering—a quick search online provided many questions dealing with the same problem. He found many incorrect answers, and tried them all. The second time the same problem occurred, he went in search of the correct solution (along with some unprintable comments) and luckily, hit upon the simple, yet totally unexpected and unlikely solution.
It turns out that the problem stems from a corrupted file associated with your user account (Ken proved this by creating a second user on his computer—the Start menu, and all “modern” apps, worked fine for that new user.) If you don’t care about preserving your settings and documents, you can simply create a new user, and log in as that new user from then on. Problem solved.
If, on the other hand, if you care to preserve all your settings and documents, you need to find a way to repair your own user account. The solution boils down to copying a single file from a working user account to your own account, but the steps aren’t obvious.

The solution involves setting up multiple user accounts as administrators on your computer and copying a very important single piece file from a working administrative user account to your own user account. Fixing the problem is trivial once you have the instructions, which you can find here: The steps are quite simple, but they appear complicated. If you’re nervous about taking on this task, find a computer-literate friend, or a professional. They’ll surely be able to follow the instructions and get your installation of Windows 10 working again.

1654. Best Free Security Software for Windows

I've heard that I should install security software on my Windows 10 computer, and I'm not sure which one is best. Do you have any suggestions?

You do get a free copy of Windows Defender with Windows 10 and it works fine. There are better alternatives out there and for the most part. You can get by with a free alternative. 
I've tried several different free Windows anti-virus and malware protection suites and I found a few that I like.  On some computers I use the free software from Avast A.V. A.S.T.

I read an article recently that said that an Anti-virus AVIRA is a useful and good product. 

We have an article linked on our website which describes the current, Five, Best, Free, Windows security systems.  And you probably should find one of them from that list to install on your Windows 10 computer.   This article link was pulled because there was some questionable Anti-Virus products.  

Doug especially likes Trend Micro and Malwarebytes

Certainly you don't want to go out there in the wild world of the Internet without some sort of professional Anti-virus product installed on your computer.

1652. How to sell a used computer;

I have a used computer that I think still has resale value. How do you suggest that I sell it?

I wish it was easy to sell a used computer but it's really not.  First of all you want to make sure you clear everything off of the hard drive and reset the computer back to its original state.  Maybe with a new operating system on it. 

But then when you go to sell it?  You could try to sell on eBay or Craigslist but I really suggest that you don't use those venues, because they're really full of crooks.  Trying to scam you into stealing your money. 

I have found a lot of good websites for selling used computers but not all computers have much resale value.  If you have a used computer that you picked up at a local office supply store or just on a whim you bought a computer.  It's unlikely that that commodity tablet, laptop or desktop computer has much value. 

On the other hand there are some computers that maintain their value well.  Including most Mac computers and some Windows computers like Microsoft Surface and Surface Pro.  These specialty computers maintain their values better. 

In terms of selling used electronics, is one of my favorite
sites.  And you can use it to sell laptops and phones and tablets.  I just this morning came across a website named which seems to give the best prices on used Mac computers. 
In any case.  Do look for valid, well respected websites for selling your used technology and avoided general purpose sites like eBay and Craigslist.

1665. Turn off WiFi Assist in iOS 9

I upgraded my iPhone to iOS 9, and now, all of a sudden, I'm using more data than my data plan allows each month, and I've had two large bills. I need to fix this, fast! What's going on?

You know sometimes Apple has good ideas and sometimes they have ideas that are really bad. This is one of those. Someone at Apple thought it would be a good idea to add a setting to your phone, so that if your WiFi reception is not very good, the phone should flip to using cellular data.

That might be a reasonable answer, if everyone had unlimited cellular data but just about no one does. The problem is there's a setting in IOS 9 called WiFi assist, that's on by default.

You must go turn the setting off. There's no reason I can think of that anyone would want to have this setting on. To find it go to the settings on your iPhone, look for Cellular Settings and scroll to the very bottom. There you'll find the WiFi assist setting and ensure that it's off. Once you do that, you won't flip over to using cellular data when your WiFi connection isn't as strong as it might be.

Yes you won't get the best connection. But you also won't be eating up your data plan’s "Data" so that you end up with large bills. People have ended up with huge Cellular bills because of this. Don't let it get you.

1666. Problem Step Recorder for WIndows Tech Support

I often need to provide tech support for family members using Windows. This would be a whole lot easier if there was some way for them to show me what they did that caused the problem they're having. Do you have any suggestions?

Well of course if your friends or family had online access when the problem was occurring I would suggest something like Team Viewer or Go To My P.C..  Some remote viewing application. 

But my guess is the problem here is they have the problem that occurs and they can't get online or you're not available at the time they're having the problem.  So they want to record what they did and send it to you somehow and the answer is easy in Windows 7 or later. 

There's an application built into Windows called Problem Steps Recorder or PSR.  If you start that application on the computer that's having trouble, they'll be able to record the steps they followed that caused the problem, and at the end of recording, there is an option to send you a file that contains information about the problems that they're seeing. 

They can even easily add comments as they're recording.  To make it clear what they're doing.  Check out “Problem Steps Recorder”.  Search for PSR on your Windows computer.  Run it and give it a try.  If you're providing tech support for friends or family, this Windows application might really help.

1667. Opt out of WIndows 7/8 Upgrade to Windows 10

I'm running WIndows 7, and I'm happy with that. Every single day, Windows prompts me to upgrade to WIndows 10. I probably will, at some point, but I'll do it on my own schedule. Is there some way to turn off the irritating prompts?

I've already upgraded the windows 10 so I'm not seeing these annoying prompts but I have seen them on friends computers and they certainly do get in the way.  There is a simple solution for disabling the prompts but I should warn you that the free upgrade to Windows 10 is supposed to end in July of two thousand and sixteen.  So if you're going to do the upgrade you want to think about doing it before the summer of two thousand and sixteen. 

But if you just want to wait or don't ever want to do it there is a simple way to turn off the prompts.  It involves modifying the Windows registry.  Now that's not something that I would tell a normal user to do and if you're going to modify the registry you should back up your settings first, backup your entire computer first. 

It's unlikely you'll hurt anything by modifying the registry, but Doug and I agree that this is not something you want to take on lightly.  In any case it's just a few simple steps to turn off those prompts.  We have an article linked on our website will show you how to do it.  And once you've done it.  Hopefully Microsoft will just leave you alone about Windows 10.

1668. Enabling Three-Finger Drag in OS X 10.11

I recently saw a friend drag a window around on her Mac using a simple three-finger gesture, dragging across the trackpad. I can’t figure out how to make this work. I looked in to the Trackpad settings on my Mac, but there’s no option to enable this gesture. What am I missing?

This really is a cool feature.  Being able to move a window around just by dragging with three fingers on the trackpad, is very convenient and I use this feature all the time. 

But it is difficult to find especially since it used to be in the trackpad settings.  But it no longer is.  Again someone thought it would be a good idea to move the setting somewhere else.  Hiding it from anyone who thought about where it might be under trackpad settings. 

It's actually under accessibility settings.  And there, once you get to the accessibility settings.  You choose, Trackpad options.  Under trackpad options there's an option to enable dragging and once you selected.  You can choose, Three finger drag from a list of options. 

Once you've enabled that, you just hover your mouse cursor over the title bar of any window, and then with three fingers drag across the trackpad to move that window.  This saves you from having to select the window first.  It doesn't seem like a huge savings of time and effort.  But it really is quick and easy to drag windows using three fingers on the track pad. 

Just remember to look in the accessibility settings, not in trackpad settings where you might think you'd find the option.

1669. Change your Windows Computer Name

I have a computer network in my office, and my own computer has a name on that network that's just a random string of letters and numbers. Is there some way to change the name of a Windows computer so that it's recognizable on the network?

There are many reasons why you might want to change the name of your computer becasue the computer shows up in various lists around the network, and it's often nice to know which computer you're talking about. 

Changing the name of the computer is luckily pretty easy.  On a Windows computer just look at the properties of your computer.  Then there's an option to change settings.  Once you're looking at the settings, find the computer name and change it and Save it. 

Then you'll be forced to reboot your computer to make the name change active.  Once you do that you should be able to go back and look at the list of computers on your network. As an example on your network router and you'll see the correct name for your computer making it far easier to determine which computer is which on your network.

1657. Run Android Apps on Windows

I have a bunch of Android apps that I love using on my phone; is there some way to run any of those on my PC as well?

Yes you can but you should understand that Android and Windows are very different operating systems, so you can't just load up an Android application on your Windows computer and run.  It doesn't work on MAC either. 

You can however use a technique called visualization.  This allows you to run an emulator for one kind of computer as a program on another.  A company named Blue Stacks has created the emulator for Android which you can run on a Windows P.C..  To check it out, visit and download their emulator. 

Once you do that you can load up the Google Play store and load almost any Android application to run on your Windows computer.  Now you should note that lots of Android apps are available in native Windows versions. 

For example, Netflix or any other large popular Android application should have a corresponding Windows version.  

But for applications that are Android specific Blue stacks can be really useful.  There's also a version of Blue stacks that runs on a Mac.  But the current version for Windows is a later version than the current one for the Mac.

1656. Send Faxes from Your Smart Phone

I work in an industry that still uses faxes. It would be so nice if I could send faxes from my smart phone, rather than having to print a document, fire up the ancient fax machine, and feed the paper through. Is there some way to send faxes directly from documents on my phone?

As you might guess we wouldn't be posting this question here If the answer was no.  Yes you can send faxes from your smartphone.  There are several apps that work on either Android or i O. S..  But as you also might guess.  There's no free lunch. 

There's no way to turn your phone into a fax machine sending and receiving lots of faxes for free.  There are several different services that allow you to send perhaps one fax or one page for free as a trial and in an emergency that's very helpful. 

All the apps out there that support faxing have a fee based service so that you can pay them, either in advance or per fax to send faxes from your phone.  Each service also supplies the ability to receive faxes on your phone.  In each case the faxes go through some fax server out there in the cloud somewhere and they come to you or get sent to those fax servers through an e-mail service.  

We have a link on our website that describes various services you can try.  For both Android and I O. S..  And they all seem to work.  I've tried at least one of them on I O.S.  And it worked well.  Check it out on our website.

1655. Limit Apps Posting to Your Facebook Wall

We got this question from Graham: I know I shouldn't do this, but I used my Facebook credentials to log into various online games and other applications. I've noticed that these applications are posting on my wall, indicating progress in the games and so on. I need this to stop. Do I need to stop playing the games, or can I limit what these apps post on my Facebook wall?

Although we often do get questions from people in the real world this question actually is a lie.  It didn't happen to Graham it happened to me.  And of course when I told Doug about this he throttled me and suggested that perhaps I was stupid for logging into a game using my Facebook credentials at all and doing so was a violation of all sorts of security risks. 

In any case I did it.  And lots of people do it because for example in Candy Crush, which I admit to playing at the gym while I'm on the elliptical.  It's the only way to keep track of your current session settings.  So every time I log into Facebook I see my current status on Candy Crush.  And I'm not sure I want people to know I'm playing Candy Crush while I'm at the gym. 

The answer is simple however although Facebook, in general is not your friend.  In this case it does offer the ability to limit which applications can post what to your Facebook wall.  To do that you go to the settings on Facebook and control which apps have access to which features as they work with your Facebook credentials.  We have an article linked on our website which shows you how to limit what Facebook can do.  And of course this came about because I was looking for some way to limit what Facebook could do on my own personal wall.  If you're checking my Facebook wall hopefully it will no longer indicate which level of Candy Crush I'm currently playing.

1677. Start Watching a YouTube Video at a Specific Position

I recently sent a link to a YouTube video to a friend. I wanted the friend to start watching at a specific point in the video, and told her so. Is there some way to include that information in the link I sent, so that the video starts playing right where I wanted my friend to start watching?

There are a number of ways to copy a video U.R.L. and send it to a friend, and include the time information in that U.R.L.. 

Now normally when I'm sending a video link to a friend I just take the U.R.L. that I see in the U.R.L.  Bar in the browser copy it to the clipboard and paste it into an e-mail. 

But if you want to send the time code as well you have to do it slightly differently.  Instead right click on the video itself and you'll see in the context menu an item that says "Copy video U.R.L. at current time".  When you do that it copies to the clipboard a U.R.L. that includes the time code information.  So when you paste it into an e-mail and a friend opens that email and clicks on the link they'll start playing the video at the time you had selected. 

It's a simple solution and it works really well. Just you have to change the way you copy the video U.R.L.. Instead of copying it from the U.R.L. bar, right click instead.

1679. Choosing a Bad Password

I keep hearing that it's important to choose a "good" password, but it's unclear to me what constitutes a good password. How can I know if my password is a good or a bad password?

We've gone on over and over the years about how one should use a password manager to ensure that you don't repeat passwords from one site to another, and I'm sure maybe one person in the world actually does this. 

We try but it's difficult to succeed.  But the fact is there are many passwords that are super popular and you should never consider using them.  We have a link on our website to one list of such passwords including the most popular - one two three four five six.  The second most popular, the word "password".  I like the one - "Let me in".  It's a great password.  Don't use it.  Don't use any of the popular passwords. 

Instead you want to mixture of upper and lower case letters numbers and symbols, if your website accepts symbols.  In addition many websites and programs allow you to include spaces in your passwords.  So that you can include phrases.  Not just single words.  Making it more difficult for a password hacker to get into your account. 

Whatever you do, make sure you don't use any of that passwords we post on our website, and come up with creative solutions for creating pass phrases.  Instead of passwords.

1680. Reset Lost Windows 7 Password

I recently found myself completely unable to log into my WIndows 7 computer. It's as if someone changed the password and neglected to tell me. Is there any way I can reset the password if I can't log into the computer?

This tip came from an actual problem we had to solve recently where a Windows 7 computer turned up but that you simply couldn't logon to, given the very simple password that the user had always used. 

We tried everything we could and couldn't log in.  We don't know what went wrong.  But the solution, although it took a few steps wasn't terribly difficult.  It wasn't one that I'd recommend an end user try because it involves fiddling around with the command line and tools that you wouldn't normally use.  But we did end up solving the problem. 

We've included a link on our website to the article we found that helped us solve the problem and it worked one hundred percent.  We were able to reset the computer's password back to what the user thought it should be with no ill effects of any kind.  It's nice that we were able to help this user, but it does point out an interesting security problem, and that is on Windows and any personal computer, if a thief is able to touch your computer it's possible for them given enough time and effort to break into your computer and get your data. 

This is a good reason to ensure that you have good passwords on all your accounts, and that you have a good backup of your computer at all times.  Remember if someone can touch your computer most likely with enough effort they can break into it.

1681. Make Windows Easier to See

I just bought a laptop with a super high-resolution screen, and I have a hard time reading the fonts on screen. Do I need to return the laptop, or is there something I can do to make it easier to read?

This is a common problem as screen resolutions on laptops go up. Representing text on screen uses the dots of the screen itself. Little dots that represent items on the screen and the more dots there are the smaller the text appears.
It's easy to fix the problem by making text on the screen use more dots to display itself. That is you are increasing the dots per inch involved in displaying that text. So the normal text might be set to display one hundred percent of its normal size. You can alter that in Windows to be another size.

Depending on your version of Windows there's different ways of doing this, but in Windows 10 you can go to the Run box, type Display, look at the display settings and set the text to be either One hundred percent, One hundred twenty or one hundred fifty percent. And if none of those works for you, you can also choose a custom font size, and make it as big or small as you like.

You may need to reboot your computer after changing that text or font size, but once you do the font should be bigger. If you need everything to be bigger, you can do one of two different things. You can set the screen resolution to be lower. So the lower the screen resolution the bigger things appear on the screen or you can use the magnifying glass application to magnify just portions of the screen. For more information, check out the article on our website.

1676. Right-click to Create Files in a Folder

I moved from Windows to a Mac recently, and one feature I really miss is the ability to right-click in a folder, and create a new file in that folder. I often need to create text files this way. Is there any way to do this on a Mac?

Like many of the questions we have on this show this question came from me.  Moving to the Mac a few years back I was flummoxed by the fact that I couldn't right click in a folder and create a new text file.  This is something I did all the time in Windows and it made me nuts that I couldn't do it on the Mac. 

I looked for various solutions.  I found half way solutions that involve using scripting and automation and none of them seem to work for me.  Recently I came across an application called New File Menu.  Will have a link to it on our website.  Using that application in one tiny step that is required for set up involving enabling it to interact with Finder. 

You can right click in any folder and create any kind of file you want.  It will automatically open the file for your editing if you like.  So if you often make Excel files for example you can right click in a folder and create a new workbook and then start working on it immediately and the file will be stored in that folder.  It makes it easy to create new files on the fly.  I'm using it all the time now for creating text files as I work in finder on the Mac.

New File Menu:

1678. Change the Default Browser Application on Mac

I'm new to the Mac, and I'm an experienced Google Chrome user. I'd prefer that clicking links in emails would open Chrome, rather than Safari. How can I set up my computer so that Chrome is the default browser application?

If you want to ensure that Chrome is your default browser on the Mac.  It's a really simple change to make.  First of all, you need to ensure that you have Chrome installed.  Once you've got that,  open the System Preferences application and the general pane.  There you'll find an option for the default web browser.  Select Chrome from the list.  And you're all done.

1684. Arrange Multiple Mailboxes in iOS

On my iPhone, I have multiple email accounts: one for Gmail, one for Hotmail, and one for I would like to control the order in which they display on my phone. In addition, I have multiple folders in some accounts and would like them to display as if they were mailboxes, at the top level in the Mail app. Is there any way to control the display of these mailboxes in the IOS Mail application?
The Mail application in iOS is quite flexible, and it can do all you request, and more. First, let’s step back: I’m guessing that a lot of readers didn’t even realize that the Mail app supported multiple concurrent email accounts. I’m guessing a lot of readers might not realize that one can even have multiple email accounts: Doug and Ken each have quite a few, for various parts of their lives (work, personal, outside activities, and so on), and it’s a common behavior.
Note: Some of the steps and features that follow require a modern version of iOS—we have iOS 9 installed, and we can only refer to that particular version.
In iOS, you can add as many email accounts as you like by opening the Settings app, and selecting Mail, Contacts and Calendars. Select Add Account, and you can specify the specifics for (in iOS 9, at least) iCloud, Exchange, Google, Yahoo, AOL and email accounts. If your email doesn’t meet any of these basic types, you can select Other to supply the details for your particular mail servers.
Once you have specified all your email accounts, iOS Mail displays them in the order you added them, which may not meet your needs. In the Mail application, you’ll see a list of mailboxes. Select the Edit link in the upper-right corner, and you’ll be able to select or deselect any existing mailbox (effectively showing or hiding the particular mailbox in the Mail app). In addition, you can tap and hold the three gray lines next to any mailbox, and drag the mailbox up or down in the list—this step controls the order in which the mailboxes appear in the list.
If you want to treat a folder within a mailbox as a top-level mailbox, while you’re editing mailboxes, select the Add Mailbox… link at the bottom of the list. This allows you to select a top-level mailbox, and then a folder within that mailbox. Click Done twice, and now your folder appears in the list of mailboxes at the top level. You can show or hide it, or move it around in the list, just like any other top-level mailbox. (You’ll also find other useful “virtual” mailboxes in the list, like Today, Flagged, Unread, and more. Select any of these to display it, and see what information it contains.)

The iOS Mailbox app is highly configurable. It doesn’t have all the “bells and whistles” you might find in other third-party applications, but it does its job and does it well. For more information, check out the article here:

1685. Custom iPhone Vibration Notifications

Like a good citizen of the world, I have set my phone to vibrate when someone calls me, so that it doesn't make much noise during meetings. (Yes, I know I could turn off notifications altogether, but that's not really an option during the work day.) I would love it if there was some way to set up a different vibration alert for specific people, so I could tell if it was a call from a family member, for example, as opposed to a sales call. Is there some way to do this?
You can definitely do this, both on Android and iOS. Android devices do this in varying ways, depending on the specific version and features you have installed, so we'll just suggest a quick online search for "custom vibration alert Android" for instructions for your device.
On iOS, starting with iOS 5, you can easily create custom vibration alerts. Just as you can create custom ringtones, you can create custom vibration patterns, store them on your phone, assign them a name, and then assign the alert to incoming calls from specific people or groups. The article here provides detailed instructions: Once you have created the custom vibration alert, you can select the alert for any contact by editing the contact, and selecting the new alert from the list of available vibrations.

Given this configuration, when your phone rings/vibrates while you're in a meeting, you'll be able to tell specifically who's calling! (If you're really clever, you'll tap out the person's name in Morse code as the vibration alert. That won't be distracting or anything...)

1686. General iPhone Tips

Tim wrote in and asked "I got a new iPhone" and I know it can do a lot more things than I am asking of it. Is there somewhere I can go to find out a list of tips and make good use of more of its features?

Of course there is and there are many web sites that will give you great features. Simply do a search of "iPhone features" or "Android features (with the phone make/model)".

Sadly if I did more reasearch on this tip earlier I would have save a lot of angst when driving the other night. It was dark, cold, raing and generally ugly weather and I was in a hilly area. I was lost but couldn't admit it, but finally I pulled out my iPhone and went to the Navigation options and used Maps. Luckley it found me and started to give me directions on how to get home. But every time I looked at the phone and then outside I might as well have looked at the sun and then outside.

Well Tip # 12 at the blog site I was using said

11. On the iPad/iPhone: Did you know that a) you can add more apps to the home row and b) you can add folders to it?

Inverting your colors will turn the screen black and the text white for less eye strain.Go to Settings > General > Accessibility. Turn on “Invert Colors.”

How about:

2. If you put your phone on airplane mode, it will charge twice as fast.


13. When ending a sentence, instead of typing a period and then a space, just tap the space bar twice.

Since I am the world's worst typyst these tips and more have saved me time and money. When you have an extra 15 minutes do some basic web searching for tips to make your mobile device easier to use.

Or go to

1687. Sync Mac Contacts with iPhone

How can I sync contacts with mac and iPhone but without using an email account. I don't use Google Apps or Office 365 and my email server doesn't support the sync.

This is a problem with many older email services especially those free services that comes with your ISP.

These instructions apply only if you use OS X v.10.8.5 or earlier. 

Sync contacts and other info with iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad

  1. Connect your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to your computer and select your device.
  2. Click the Info button and select the items you want to sync.
  3. Click Apply.
For newer OS versions use iCloud.

1. How to Sync Contacts from iPhone 4s/5/5s/6/6s to Mac via iCloud

Step 1. On your iPhone, tap Settings > iCloud > Sign in with your Apple ID > Find Contacts option here and toggle it to ON.
Step 2. On your Mac, if you haven't enabled your iCloud on Mac, you should set it up first. Go to System Preferences > Find and open iCloud > Sign in with your Apple ID > Select Contacts to enable it. After then, all your iPhone contacts are synced to your Mac via iCloud.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

1683. Send Text Messages as Email

Although I don't lecture people about texting vs. emailing, texting is better for "on the fly things" and emailing is better for "I need a record" of things. I have a bunch of text messages that I need to email. I need to find a way to do this.

Cellular carriers work very hard to isolate text messages from emails. Most people think text data is more private and is not kept on any server. But they keep information about the sender and in many cases the actual data for up to seven years. But if you "need a record" you can get your text messages to your email system.

If I get a text message I may want to send this message to either my own email account or to someone elses email account. not a phone number @txt.att.ent or

Sending a text to another persons email is easy as long as your service plan allows MMS messages(MultiMedia Message Service vs. SMS Short Message Service) . Simply put the email address in the TO field instead of the phone number and send the text. You can test this on your phone easily but you will have to send it to an address that is not linked to your phone number or it will appear as a text.

If you want to have all your text messages sent to your email inbox, try these steps.

For Android:
google_androidThere are a number of different ways to forward all your texts and receive them in your email inbox, but the easiest method for Android users is to download and install the SMS to Email app from Google Play. Just enter your forwarding information.

For iPhone:
appleTo get all your incoming texts sent to your email inbox, go to Settings>Messages>Receive At and then choose Add An Email at the bottom. Enter the address you’d like texts to be forwarded to. You’re done.

1682. Watch out for Viral Tips that Can Hurt Your Device

I saw a news article explaining that there was this email going around to set their phones date to a specific date and by doing so something special was going to happen. And the fact is when people set their phone to that date it "bricks" their phone. 

Clearly we have a problem here. How do we avoid problems like this and what can they do about it right now?

Setting your IOS Devices set date to a certain date will in fact cause the phone to turn into a "brick" as Ken said. So don't even try to do this. Hopefully by the time you hear or read this tip Apple will have this issue fixed and you will not be able to do it.  

The important point of this tip is to remind you that your computers and other electonic devices like phones and tablets are important tools in our lives and listening to people suggest doing things that have no real purpose is foolish.

So we strongly recommend considering what the person is suggesting you do and why. Is this someone you can trust? Is it something that makes sense? Even if it is, give things some thought and do some research. Your phone is just that a very smart phone and an import tool in your life. Do not just try things because it sounds like it is something to do. And if your friend has done this to you, get the $500.00 from your friend and use that money to find new friends.