How Tos

How to Enable the Optimal Audio Codec for Your Bluetooth Headphones in macOS

How good your digital music sounds often comes down to which file format it's encoded in. Be that as it may, every Mac audio setup is only as strong as it's weakest link, and if your Bluetooth connection isn't up to scratch, even the best BT headphones will fail to deliver a decent wireless listening experience. By design, all Bluetooth devices support the low-power SBC audio compression codec as standard. Fortunately, modern Macs also support AAC (Apple's preferred iTunes codec) and aptX, which Android devices often use. These two codecs offer higher quality audio and generally lower latency than SBC, which is why most third-party wireless headphones on the market support one or the other, and sometimes both. Yet for whatever reason, despite their AAC/aptX support, some headphones fall back to the bog-standard SBC codec when connected to a Mac. This can lead to a particularly underwhelming audio experience, not to mention latency-related sync issues, which will be a distinct concern if you use your headphones while gaming or watching movies. Thankfully, it's possible to force macOS to connect to your headphones using one of the two superior codecs. In this article, we'll show you how to do so using Apple's Bluetooth Explorer utility. (And if you're comfortable opening a Terminal window, we've included a couple of commands at the end that do the same thing.) But first, it's worth checking which codecs your brand of headphones actually supports: Look for codec logos on the box, and make sure to check for references to codecs in the manual and any

How to Send an Animoji as a Sticker on Your iPhone

If you have an iPhone X, you're probably well aware of the Animoji feature within the Messages app, which is designed to let you send cute little animated videos of emoji animals that adopt your facial expressions and voice. What you might not have known, though, is that Animoji can also be used as simple stickers. You can send a still Animoji image in Messages as a reaction, or use it like other iMessage stickers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Sending a Still Animoji Sending a non-animated Animoji with a custom expression is pretty simple -- you just need to tap. Open a Messages conversation. Tap the Messages App Store icon. Choose Animoji. Pick your favorite Animoji. Make an expression. Rather than tapping the red record button, tap right on the Animoji itself. Once you've tapped on the Animoji, a still image of the expression you were making will be input into the chat bar, and you can tap on the blue arrow to send it to the person you're conversing with. Using an Animoji as a Sticker Animoji can be manipulated like any other sticker, and to do so, you're going to follow the same steps from above. Open a Messages conversation. Tap the Messages App Store icon. Choose Animoji. Pick your favorite Animoji. Make an expression. Instead of tapping, place a finger over the Animoji and drag it up into the Messages field, where it can be placed over any chat bubble, image, or sticker. While in drag mode, an Animoji behaves like any other sticker. Keep your finger on it and use pinch gestures to make it

How to Group Mac App Icons More Prominently in Your Dock

In macOS, the Dock provides convenient one-click access to your most frequently used Mac applications. The simplest way to organize docked apps is to click and drag them into your preferred place, but here we're going to show you a lesser-known trick for arranging docked items more clearly. To relate certain types of apps and add an extra visual clue to their location in the Dock, try inserting some spaces. Using this method, you could separate out other apps from, say, conversion tools that you frequently drag and drop files onto. Keep reading to learn how it's done.

How to Make Web Pages in Safari for Mac Easier to Read

In Apple's Safari web browser, there are several ways to make viewing web pages easier on the eyes. All of them involve adjusting the font size or the zoom level that Safari applies when it loads web page content, which can be helpful if you're using a small screen or a large display set at a high resolution. To increase or decrease the zoom level of both text and images when viewing web pages in Safari, press Command and the + (plus) or - (minus) keys. You can also click on View in Safari's menu bar and select Zoom In or Zoom Out. Alternatively, you can add zoom buttons to Safari's interface: Right-click (or Ctrl-click) on a space in the Safari toolbar and click Customize Toolbar.... Then drag the Zoom buttons in the dropdown to the space you just clicked on the toolbar. Click Done to finish. If you want to keep images at the same size and only adjust web page font size on the fly, press Option-Command and the + or - keys. You can also hold down the Option key and click on View in the Safari menu bar, which changes the Zoom options to Make Text Bigger and Make Text Smaller. Safari will remember your zoom and font size settings until you clear your History. To do so, click Safari in the menu bar, select Clear History..., then click the Clear History button.

How to Enable Automatic Reader View in Safari for iOS

Safari for iOS has a nifty built-in "Reader" feature that's designed to allow Safari users to read online articles with a distraction-free design that tucks away ads and other visual clutter on supported sites. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. You can tap the Reader icon whenever you're reading through an article to activate this mode, but there's also a way to turn it on for all articles on a specific website or all supported articles on the web. Open up Safari. Navigate to a favorite website like Click on an article. In the navigation bar at the top, where it says "Reader View Available," tap and hold on the icon that looks like three lines.From here, you'll see a pop that says "Automatic Reader View," with options to either enable Automatic Reader View on the website you're currently visiting or on all websites. With this feature enabled, all articles that you click on for a specific website (or all websites if you chose that option) will be displayed in Reader View by default. You can also use Reader View on the Mac too, and your Automatic Reader preferences for Mac can be accessed by going to Preferences in the Safari Mac app and choosing "Reader" under general. You can also turn Reader on for all articles on a particular webpage by right clicking or clicking and holding on the Reader icon while visiting a website.

How to Reset Your Mac's Bluetooth Module to Fix Connection Issues

Bluetooth is what your Mac uses to connect to wireless devices like keyboards, mice, trackpads, speakers, and other peripherals. Generally, it's a reliable technology. At some point however, the chances are you'll run into difficulty establishing a Bluetooth connection with one or more of your devices. Most problems can be fixed by unpairing and repairing the Bluetooth device, changing its batteries, rebooting your Mac, or performing an SMC reset. But if none of these methods work, you can always try resetting your Mac's Bluetooth module. Here's how to do it in macOS using the hidden Bluetooth Debug menu. How to Reset Your Mac's Bluetooth Module Before proceeding, bear in mind that if your setup relies exclusively on Bluetooth for communicating with your keyboard and mouse, then you're going to temporarily lose connection to them using the following methods, so you might want to have a backup wired input device option just in case. Holding the Shift + Option (Alt) keys on your Mac's keyboard, click the Bluetooth symbol in the top-right corner of the macOS menu bar. (If you don't see it there, you need to check Show Bluetooth in menu bar in System Preferences -> Bluetooth.) Locate the revealed Debug submenu and hover your mouse cursor over it. Click Reset the Bluetooth module. Now, restart your Mac.You'll notice a couple of other potentially useful options in the Debug submenu. Factory reset all connected Apple devices does exactly what it says – forces any Apple-branded Bluetooth accessories back to the default settings they came with out of the box. It's

How to Block Nuisance Calls and Messages on Your iPhone

Unsolicited phone calls and messages can become a regular annoyance and even a cause of stress for many smartphone users these days. Thankfully, Apple provides features in iOS 11 that allow you to block nuisance calls and messages from the same number coming through to your phone, and in this article we're going to show you how to set them up. Whether it's messages from a debt collector looking for the wrong person, a random number from a foreign country that keeps calling in the middle of the night, or just someone in your contacts that you'd rather not hear from again, following the steps below should stop them from bothering you. How to Block a Recent Caller in iOS 11 If the number you want to block is a recent caller, follow these steps on your iPhone. Launch the Phone app. Tap Recents. Locate the number you want to block in the All or Missed calls list. Tap the information icon (the encircled lowercase "i") to the right of the number. Scroll down the Caller ID screen and tap Block this Caller.How to Block a Number That Messages You If you're the recipient of unwanted messages from a specific number, here's how to prevent them from coming through to your iPhone. Launch the Messages app. Navigate to the main messages list if necessary, and tap a message received from the number you want to block. Tap the information icon (the encircled lowercase "i") at the upper right of the message window. At the top of the Details screen, tap the name of the contact or the associated phone number. Scroll down the Caller ID screen if necessary and tap Block

How to Set Up Medical ID on Your iPhone

Medical ID is a built-in feature of your iPhone's Health app that gives ambulance crews and other emergency first responders fast access to potentially life-saving information about any allergies or medical conditions you have, even if your iPhone is locked. Even if you don't suffer from any health conditions, it's still worth enabling Medical ID, because it can also provide other vital information about you to emergency services, such as your blood type and who to contact in an emergency. This article shows you how to set up Medical ID in iOS 11.

How to Quickly Delete Numbers in the Calculator App

There are a lot of hidden little tricks and tips for all of the native apps on the iPhone, including the Calculator app. If you're typing in numbers and make an accidental mistake, you don't need to start all the way over -- there's a simple gesture to delete a single number. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. To make the correction, simply swipe left or right on the numbers displayed at the top of the calculator to remove a single number at a time. You can do a few other things with the Calculator app. To copy a sum that you've calculated, simply press a finger over the number displayed on the calculator until the "Copy" option pops up. And in case you've never turned your iPhone to landscape mode while using the Calculator app, give it a try. You'll see a lot more functions to work

How to Set a Custom Lock Screen Message on Your Mac in Case It's Lost

You can set a custom message to appear on the lock screen of your Mac, which is super useful if you ever misplace or lose your Mac. It lets people see who the Mac belongs to as soon as it's opened up, and there's no question about ownership. You will need an administrator account to create a lock screen message on your Mac, but it's super easy to do. Click on the "" icon in the menu bar. Select System Preferences. Choose Security & Privacy. Select the "General" tab. Click on the lock icon at the bottom of the window. Enter your admin name and password. Choose "Set Lock Message..." Enter your desired message. It's useful to add contact details here, like your email address and phone number or the email address and phone number of someone who can easily get in touch with you in an emergency situation. What the lock screen message looks like when your Mac is locked. If you misplace or Mac or have it stolen, this puts your contact information front and center as soon as your Mac is opened up, so whoever has it can see who it belongs to even before you activate Lost Mode using iCloud. It's also potentially useful in an emergency if someone needs to know who you are and how to get in contact with a loved one. I'm personally always paranoid about losing my MacBook or having it taken at some location like an airport security lane, so this is a nice way to have instantly identifiable info readily

How to Grab Screenshots and Video From Apple TV Using Your Mac

Apple doesn't go out of its way to advertise the fact, but it's perfectly possible to connect a Mac to a fourth-generation Apple TV or later and grab screenshots and video output from the set-top box. In this article, we'll show you how it's done. Note that this method can't be used to record DRM-protected content off the likes of Netflix or iTunes, but it will let you capture your driving skills in Asphalt 8: Airborne, for instance, just as it will allow you to take screenshots for use in troubleshooting, training, blogging, or any other purpose. The way to connect a Mac to an Apple TV used to depend on the presence of a USB-C port on the rear of the fourth-generation set-top box to establish a wired connection. But since there's no such port on the latest fifth-generation Apple TV 4K, that's no longer an option for a growing number of users. However, thanks to macOS High Sierra and tvOS 11, it's now possible to connect your Mac wirelessly to a fourth- or fifth-generation Apple TV on the same Wi-Fi network, and you don't have to download Xcode or any other additional software to do so. Simply follow the steps below, and you should be capturing video and taking screenshots in no time.

How to Customize Your Apple Watch Workout Metrics

The ability to view live metric data is one of the most important feedback functions of any Apple Watch fitness app. In this article, we're going to show how you can easily customize the metrics that the stock Workout app shows you when you raise your wrist during exercise. Checking in on your progress during a workout is best achieved with a quick glance at your watch screen, so choosing which statistics are displayed is an important consideration if you want to minimize the amount of attention this requires. By default, Apple Watch displays things like duration, calories burned, heart rate, and distance, but you can choose to see only those that are important to you based on the type of workout you're doing. Keep reading to learn how it's done.

How to Create a Custom Ringtone Vibration on Your iPhone

You can create custom sounds and ringtones for alerts, texts, phone calls, and more on your iPhone, but did you know the same functionality exists for vibrations? Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Instead of using the set vibration patterns Apple has available, you can create your own vibrations using simple touch gestures. Here's how: Open the Settings app. Choose Sounds & Haptics. Select Ringtone, Text Tone, or another alert option from the list. Choose "Vibration" from the very top of the screen. Scroll down to "Custom." Choose "Create New Vibration." From here, you can use taps to create short vibrations and a press to create longer vibrations, varying the two to create a unique vibration pattern. Choose "Play" to test out your vibration pattern, and choose "Save" to give it a name and save it. Custom vibrations are available for all of the different native alerts on your phone, including ringtones, text tone, voicemail, mail, sent mail, calendar alerts, reminder alerts, and

How to Control and Tweak a True Tone Display on iPhone and iPad

Last year, Apple brought a display feature called True Tone to its flagship iPhone line-up for the first time, following the technology's debut in 2016 with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. True Tone works by adjusting the color temperature of a device's screen to match the surrounding ambient light, so that images on the display appear more natural and are less apt to contribute to eyestrain. If you stand in a dimly lit room illuminated by a table lamp, for instance, a True Tone display appears warmer and yellower, much like a piece of paper would in the same light. Stand outside on an overcast day, however, and the same display looks cooler and bluer, as would the same piece of paper. In this article, we'll run through how to quickly enable or disable True Tone from within Control Center as well as via the Settings app. We'll also explain how to tweak your device's color settings to help acclimatize you to True Tone's warmer extremes, which some users find too intense under certain conditions.

How to Set Up Out-of-Office Replies in Apple Mail and iCloud Mail

Apple's native Mail application in macOS lacks a specific option for enabling out-of-office replies, but there is another way you can set them up on a Mac, and that's with Rules. It's worth bearing in mind at the outset that your Mac needs to be powered on for this out-of-office method to work. That's because Apple Mail rules are only applied locally to incoming emails, and aren't active on the server side. If you're looking for a longer term out-of-office solution, you'll want to check out Vacation mode in iCloud Mail, which we cover in the second part of this tutorial. Click this link to jump there now.

How to Control the Behavior of Screenshot Shortcuts in macOS

There are several ways you can take screenshots on a Mac. Preview offers the option from its File menu. There's also a little screen capture app in the macOS Utilities folder called Grab. But the simplest and most common method is to use your Mac's built-in shortcut key combinations. Taking a screenshot is as easy as hitting Shift-Command-3 to capture the whole screen, or Shift-Command-4 to capture a portion of the screen using the mouse cursor as a crosshair selection tool (a tap of the spacebar also turns it into a camera for capturing windows). If you tack the Control key onto either of these shortcuts, macOS copies the captured image to the clipboard, which is useful if you want to paste it into an application that can edit or view images. Otherwise, screenshots taken using key shortcuts are saved straight to your desktop. If you'd like to change that default save location to somewhere different, simply follow the steps below. You can also change the default file format that the screenshots are saved in by following these steps. The last section of this article offers some tips for taking more control of your screenshot selections, so be sure to check those out too.

How to Take Control of Apple News Alerts in iOS 11

Apple News is the built-in news app for iOS 11 that aggregates and curates stories and topics from a variety of third-party news sources. The service is only available in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. at the time of writing, so not all new iPhones and iPads will come with the stock app installed. Apple News aims to offer a cleanly presented and personalized news service that caters to your tastes and interests, although one of its default behaviors is to spit out alerts from sources that you may or may not be interested in. Apple News refers to news sources in the app as "channels", and here we are going to run through two ways to control the alerts you receive from them.

How to Set Up and Use Accessibility Shortcut in iOS 11

Apple includes a raft of accessibility options in iOS 11 to meet the various needs of its users, allowing them to customize their iPhone and iPad interface in several helpful ways. To make these features quicker to access, Apple also includes an Accessibility Shortcut feature in iOS 11 that, once set up, can be invoked using a triple click of the Home button (or Side button on iPhone X). This shortcut feature is ideal for users who could benefit from fast access to a customized menu of accessibility options. It's also a great solution if you just want a quick way to control a single accessibility mode, like Smart Invert for example, which remains the closest thing we have to an official "Dark Mode" in iOS 11. Here we'll show you how to set up Accessibility Shortcut for either use case.

How to Update macOS Using a Simple Terminal Command

If you're sick of waiting for the progress bar to complete every time you reboot after a macOS software update, then you'll be pleased to learn there's another way to update your Mac that could potentially reduce your downtime. The process involves a simple Terminal command, and allows you to continue using your Mac as the update downloads and the initial software installation takes place in the background. In our tests, we found that this method was capable of shaving off several minutes of idle time during installation restarts, but that the time-saving depends on the machine and the update in question. Users with older Macs in particular will likely appreciate this tip, as it saves having to fire up the Mac App Store altogether, which can be slow-going and sometimes even downright unresponsive. Read on to find out how it's done.

How to Use Control Center's Apple TV Remote in iOS 11

In iOS 11, it's possible to add an Apple TV Remote interface to the Control Center that will allow you to quickly navigate and control playback on your 4K Apple TV or fourth-generation Apple TV using your iPhone or iPad. It's a great solution if you just can't get on with Apple's Siri Remote, and doesn't require you to install an app. In this article, we'll show you how to set up the Apple TV Remote on your iOS device and explain how to use it once you've done so. Remember, if you own a second- or third-generation Apple TV, you can still use your iOS device as a remote, but you'll need to download the dedicated Apple TV Remote app from the App Store. Before continuing, make sure that your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is updated to iOS 11: Open the Settings app, tap General -> About, and look for the version number. If you need to update, tap back to Settings, select Software Update, and follow the onscreen instructions, then meet us back here when installation is complete.