How Tos

How to Rebuild the Spotlight Index on Your Mac

Apple has enhanced Spotlight search in macOS in recent years, with the addition of Spotlight Suggestions allowing it to tap into a variety of online data sources like weather and sports. Nevertheless, helping you find apps, documents and other files stored on your Mac is still what Spotlight does best. That's not to say its core function is infallible, however. If Spotlight can't find files that you know exist on your Mac, or if it stops prioritizing results based on your earlier searches, then it's probably a sign that your system's search index is damaged somehow. If you're experiencing odd behavior when using Spotlight, you should try rebuilding its search database index. There are Terminal commands that will do the job, but you can achieve the same result via the regular macOS user interface in just a few quick steps. Here's how. Select System Preferences... from the Apple () menu at the top left of your screen. Click the Spotlight pane. Click the Privacy tab. Click the Add (+) button. Select the folder or disk whose index you wish to re-build, then click Choose. Alternatively, drag the folder or disk into the list. We've chosen Documents in our example. In the same list, click the folder or disk that you just added and then click the Remove (-) button. Click the red traffic light button to close System Preferences.Once you've completed these steps, Spotlight will begin reindexing the contents of the folder(s) or disk(s) you chose, which may take some time and a few processor cycles. Depending on which version of macOS you're running, you

How to Customize File and Folder Icons on Your Mac

This article shows you how to change the icon of any file or folder on your Mac. Apart from adding a bit of personal style to your desktop, there are good practical reasons why you might want to do so. For example, perhaps you've dragged some folders to your Dock so that you can easily drop items into them, but you don't want to have to keep hovering your mouse over their generic blue icons to identify which is which. Carbon Folders by necramar To customize a file or folder icon, simply follow the steps below. You can use your own pictures as icons. Alternatively, there are a wealth of icon libraries hosted online, so you could try a web search for free icon pack downloads for Mac. Note: If you find icons online in the .icns format, you can drag these icon types directly onto the icon in a file or folder's Info panel, thereby skipping the Preview steps described below. Double-click the picture or icon you want to use to open it in your Mac's built-in Preview app. Choose Edit -> Select All in Preview's menu bar, or use the keyboard shortcut Command-A. Choose Edit -> Copy in Preview's menu bar, or use the keyboard shortcut Command-C. Next, right-click (or Ctrl-click) the file or folder whose icon you want to change and select Get Info from the contextual menu. Click the icon in the top left of the Info panel to select it. Choose Edit -> Paste from the menu bar, or use the keyboard shortcut Command-V. Click the red traffic light to close the Info panel, and you're done.If you want to revert a file or folder to its default icon, open its Get

How to Deauthorize Your iTunes Account on a Computer You Can No Longer Access

If you plan to give away, sell or trade in your Mac, you should de-authorize your iTunes account on the computer first, as this removes its access to content that you bought from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or App Store, including things like music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books. Apple puts a five-computer limit on an account for accessing iTunes protected content, so it's worth remembering to deauthorize before you part ways with a computer, but of course that might not always be possible. Say your Mac stops working or gets stolen, for example. What then? Fortunately, if you no longer have access to the device you want to deauthorize, you can still do so by following the steps below on another computer. The process deauthorizes all computers associated with your account, but also lets you re-authorize the devices you still own. Note that Apple lets you deauthorize all computers once per year, and the procedure on a Windows computer is the same as on a Mac. Keep reading to learn how it's done. Launch iTunes on your Mac. If you aren't signed in already, select Account -> Sign in... from iTunes' menu bar. Enter your Apple ID and password, and click Sign In. Select Account -> View My Account... from the menu bar. On the Account Information page, click the Deauthorize All button at the lower right of the Apple ID summary section. This button will only appear if you have more than one computer authorized. In the pop-up dialog window, click Deauthorize All. Click OK in the Deauthorization Complete dialog window. To re-authorize the current

How to Get Siri to Play a Daily News Digest

If you own an Alexa smart device, you'll likely have used the "What's new?" or "What's happening?" voice command to hear your daily news briefing, which can be customized to include your own interests. Siri has a similar feature that uses the Podcasts app to bring you a daily news digest, which you can also customize to an extent. It can be invoked on HomePod, Apple Watch, and any iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.2.5 or later. There are a couple of things to note before using Siri's news brief feature. The last time we checked, it was limited to users based in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, and it isn't available on Siri for Mac, regardless of where you're based. With those caveats in mind, here's how to get it working. To get a news briefing on your Apple device, say "Hey Siri, tell me the news." Alternatively, on an iOS device, hold down the Home button or Side button and say "Tell me the news" or "Play the news." On iPhone and iPad, tap Open Podcasts to launch the Podcasts app and see which news show is currently playing or to pause the episode. You can also control audio playback from the Control Center. To change Siri's default news source, you can say "Switch to Sky News" or "Switch to Washington News," for example. To hear a one-off news brief from a different source, you can say "Play news from NPR" or "Play news from Fox News," for example. To hear a news brief for a specific topic, you can say "Play business news" or "Play sports news," for example. To hear a topical news brief from a specific source, you can say "Play business news from

How to Let a Contact Bypass iOS 12's Do Not Disturb Mode Without Adding Them to Your Favorites List

In iOS 12, Do Not Disturb mode conveniently allows you to silence all calls, alerts, and notifications on iPhone or iPad for a given period and reduce the potential for unnecessary distractions. Aside from new time-limited options in iOS 12's Control Center, Do Not Disturb can be turned on and scheduled ahead of time by going to Settings -> Do Not Disturb. Among these settings, there's also an Allow Calls From option for which you can choose Everyone, No One, or Favorites. Given these last three choices, it would seem fair to assume that the only way to let specific contacts get through to you when Do Not Disturb is on, is to add them to your Favorites list. However, there's another way to let a contact bypass Do Not Disturb mode, and it has nothing to do with enabling the Repeated Calls option. In fact, the little-known feature described below is arguably more powerful, since it lets you receive only text messages from that contact, or only phone calls from them (or both, if you wish) for just as long as the feature is enabled. Keep reading to learn how it's done. Launch the Contacts app on your iPhone. Tap a contact in the list. Tap Edit. If you want to let calls come through from this contact when Do Not Disturb mode is active, tap Ringtone and then on the next screen toggle the Emergency Bypass switch to the green ON position. Tap Done to return to the Contact card.Similarly, if you want to let text messages come through from the contact, tap Text Tone and then enable Emergency Bypass on the next screen. Tap Done to return to the Contact

How to Use Apple's Live Listen Feature With AirPods in iOS 12

Since 2014, Apple has included a feature in iOS called Live Listen that allows an iPhone or iPad to serve as a remote microphone for an MFI-compatible hearing aid. When Apple released iOS 12 in September, it added Live Listen support for AirPods, making it possible to use your iOS device as a directional mic and have the audio relayed to Apple's wireless earphones. As an accessibility feature, the idea behind Live Listen is for it to be used by people who are hard of hearing or need extra help separating voices in a loud environment, but it can be useful in other ways, too. If you're on a family vacation, for instance, you could use your iPhone or iPad as a makeshift baby monitor for when the baby's napping and you're in another room with the TV on. All you'd need to do is put the iOS device near the baby's crib and wear a single AirPod, which should have a strong enough Bluetooth range to allow you to listen in from afar. Live Listen will work even when other audio is being played on your iPhone or iPad – so you could listen to a podcast, say, and still be keeping tabs on the baby. Just note that whatever it is that you're listening to will switch to mono output to match the Live Listen stream, and the AirPods' tap gestures will be disabled for as long as the feature is active. Live Listen is easy to set up and use once you know how. The following steps show you how it's done on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 12. How to Set Up Live Listen on iPhone and iPadLaunch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Tap Control Center. Tap Customize Controls

How to Make a Group FaceTime Call on iOS 12

Back in June at WWDC, Apple introduced iOS 12 with a long-awaited Group FaceTime feature that's designed to let you chat with up to 32 people at one time using a unique tiled interface that's new to FaceTime. Apple ultimately removed Group FaceTime from the public iOS 12.0 release, but it's back in iOS 12.1, which was released on October 30 during Apple's New York event. Group FaceTime is relatively easy to use, but it may not be immediately obvious how a call is initiated nor how all of the group chat options work, which is why we've taken an in-depth look at the new feature. To use Group FaceTime, all participants must have iOS 12 installed. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Placing a Call There are two ways to initiate a Group FaceTime call, using the FaceTime app or the Messages app. FaceTime App Open up the FaceTime app Tap on the "+" button in the upper right hand corner. In the "To" field, type a name and tap it. Type another name. Continue typing in all of the names of the participants who you want to chat with. When ready to place the call, tap on either the audio or the video option and participants will receive a popup letting them know that you want to FaceTime with them. Messages App Open up an existing multi-person conversation or create a new iMessage chat thread. At the top, where the names of the chat participants are listed, tap to bring up a menu bar. Choose the "FaceTime" option to transition from a text-based conversation to a video or audio call. The Messages FaceTime interface

How to Batch Convert Images Using macOS Preview

There are many third-party apps available for Mac that will batch convert images for you (Permute is one example). And then there's Preview, the powerful file viewer that's built into macOS. Preview will happily convert several images for you in one go. If you have lots of photos on your Mac in Apple's HEIC format, for instance, you can use Preview to quickly convert them to the more accessible JPEG format. In fact, what's not obvious to many users is that Preview is capable of converting files in 18 different image formats, including the following: GIF HEIC ICNS JPEG JEPG-2000 KTX Microsoft BMP Microsoft Icon OpenEXR PBM/PGM/PPM PDF PNG PVRTC Photoshop PostScript QuickTime Movie TGA TIFF The secret to accessing all of the available format export options in Preview is with the Option (⌥) key. Keep reading to learn how it's done. How to Batch Convert Images in PreviewIn a Finder window, hold down the Command (⌘) key and individually click all the images you want to convert; if they're grouped together consecutively, hold down Shift and click the first and then the last file, and all of them will be selected. Double-click one of the selected images to open them all in Preview. If Preview isn't your default image viewer, right-click (Ctrl-click) instead and choose Open With -> Preview from the dropdown menu. Click inside the Preview sidebar. (if it's not showing, click the View Menu button and select Thumbnails.) Alternatively, if you're using the Contact Sheet view, drag a box over all the images to select them. Select Edit

How to Migrate Your Notes From Evernote to Apple Notes

Apple's stock Notes app has come a long way since it first appeared on Mac, with password protection, tables, and document scanning being just a few of the top features it has gained in recent years. These and other improvements offer compelling reasons to migrate from a rival note-taking platform, especially if you've been paying for the privilege. Evernote users in particular may feel they now have extra motivation to make the switch. Last month, rumors that Evernote was struggling to keep afloat were bolstered by reports of a flurry of key departures at the company, with one source even claiming the company was in a "death spiral" because of its inability to attract new users. Whatever your reasons for migrating platforms, you can do so by following these simple steps. Note that the export file that Evernote spits out will also work with other note-taking apps like OneNote and Bear, which offer similar import options to the Apple Notes method described below. How to Migrate From Evernote to Apple Notes Launch Evernote on your Mac. In the sidebar, click All Notes. Select Edit -> Select All from the menu bar. Select File -> Export Notes... from the menu bar. In the Save dialog, make sure Evernote XML (.enex) is selected in the Format dropdown and give the export file an identifiable name. Click Save. Launch Apple's Notes app. Select File -> Import to Notes from the menu bar. Navigate to the .enex file that you just exported from Evernote. Check the box next to Preserve folder structure on import if needed, and then click Import. Click Im

How to Control Apple TV Using Your Apple Watch

The Siri Remote that comes with the Apple TV certainly has its critics. Some users find the glass Touch surface over-sensitive in the way it registers directional taps and swipes, which can make navigating onscreen menus a slalom-like experience where you're constantly having to correct for overshoot. Not only that, the minimalist design of the Siri Remote isn't very tactile and there's no button backlighting, which means once you've dimmed the lights it's almost impossible to know whether you're even holding it the right way round. Thankfully, there are alternative (and easier) ways to control your Apple TV. One solution is to use your iPhone, which we've written about previously. Another is to use an Apple Watch. Here's how it's done. How to Link Your Apple Watch to your Apple TV The steps below assume your Apple Watch is running watchOS 5 and that your Apple TV has tvOS 12 installed. Before you start, make sure your Apple TV and Apple Watch are on the same Wi-Fi network. To do this on Apple TV, launch the Settings app and navigate to Network -> Wi-Fi. Similarly on Apple Watch, launch the Settings app and tap Wi-Fi. Make sure you're in the same room as your Apple TV, your Apple TV is on, and you can see the screen on your TV output. On your Apple Watch, launch the Remote app. Tap Add Device. On your Apple Watch, enter the passcode that appears on your Apple TV's display.You should now see the Remote interface for controlling your Apple TV on your Apple Watch screen. How to Control Apple TV Using Your Apple Watch Swipe up, down, left, or

How to Use Text Clippings in macOS

In macOS, a Text Clipping is a selection of text that you've dragged from an application to another location on your Mac, where it becomes a unique kind of standalone file. The relatively little-known feature has been around since at least Mac OS 9, and it offers a convenient way to save out pieces of text from pretty much anywhere for later use in another app or document. To create a Text Clipping, simply highlight any piece of text and drag it with your mouse to your Desktop or an open Finder window. This saves the highlighted text – including any rich text formatting – as a .textclipping file named after the first few words of text that you selected, but you can easily rename it to make it more identifiable. To use the selected text in another file like a Pages document, drag the Text Clipping into the open document and the text will be automatically pasted wherever the cursor is located. You can paste the clipping in the same way into all sorts of open files and apps, including browser search engines, Mail compose windows, Xcode projects, and more. To quickly view the contents of a Text Clipping, simply select the file and invoke Quick Look with a tap of the spacebar. You can also double-click a Text Clipping to view the text in a dedicated window, and even highlight and copy (Command-C) just a snippet of the text from this window for pasting elsewhere. Text clippings can speed up many repetitive tasks, making things like reusing email/letter templates and code snippets a cinch. If clippings become indispensable to your workflow,

How to View the Desktop Version of a Website on Your iPhone and iPad

Most popular websites these days come in both desktop and mobile versions, with the latter rendering content in a more responsive fashion for a consistent browsing experience across a variety of tablet and smartphone screens. Mobile-friendly websites are often stripped down and streamlined for easier navigation, with the result that some full-page content isn't displayed at all – and even when it is, finding that content can sometimes be a chore, especially if you're used to the desktop version of a site. Recognizing this, Apple has had the foresight to let you bypass mobile versions of websites and view original desktop versions on its mobile devices instead. To request a desktop site on your iPhone and iPad, simply follow these steps. Launch Safari on your iOS device and navigate to the website in question. Long press the Reload button in the far right of the address bar. On iPhone, tap Request Desktop Site at the bottom of the screen. On iPad, the same option appears in the dropdown menu below the Reload button. Note that you can also access this option by tapping the Share button (the square with an arrow pointing out) and selecting Request Desktop Site from the third row of the Share Sheet. With that done, Safari should remember your preference for that particular website and load the desktop version the next time you visit

How to Scan Documents With Your iPhone in Three Quick Steps

The document scanning feature found in Apple's stock Notes app is a great way to digitize all sorts of print-based content, from letters and receipts to recipes and photos. If you often make a digital record of paper in this way, you'll be familiar with the typical steps involved: unlock your device, launch the Notes app from the Home screen, create a new note, tap the "+" button, choose Scan Documents, then line up the document you want to shoot and save. It's not immediately obvious, but there is a way to cut out several of these steps and make scanning a document a much quicker process, which is great news if you tend to scan things several times a day. First, you'll want to add Notes to the Control Center, like so: Launch the Settings app. Tap Control Center. In the More Controls list, tap the green "+" button next to the Notes entry. Now that's set up, you can get to the document scanning screen in fewer steps, as described below. How to Scan Documents in Three Quick Steps Launch Control Center from the Lock screen: On iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen; on iPhone X/XS/XR, swipe down from the upper right "ear". Hard press (or long press) the Notes icon. Tap Scan Document and allow Face ID to automatically authenticate you (If you're using an iPhone with Touch ID, place your finger on the Home screen to unlock.) You're now ready to scan your document and save it as a note. Don't forget, if you want to generate a PDF of the scan as soon as it's been saved as a note, simply tap the Share Sheet icon (the box with an arrow

How to Enable and Disable Critical Alerts in iOS 12

In iOS 12, Apple added several new ways for users to control how and when they receive app notifications, including the ability to group notifications and change their behavior on the fly with Instant Tuning. A lesser known feature in this subset of options is called Critical Alerts. So what are they exactly? The idea behind Critical Alerts is that if specific apps have crucial information that shouldn't be ignored – notifications related to health, home security, or public safety, for example – then you'll be alerted regardless of your other device settings. To that end, Critical Alerts override the Do Not Disturb feature if you have it enabled on your iPhone or iPad, and will even arrive with an audio alert when your device is muted. Naturally, the Critical Alerts feature is going to have limited use – you'd only want appropriate apps to have access to it (think glucose monitoring or weather warning apps) which is why Apple requires that developers apply for an entitlement to support them. For that reason, there aren't a whole lot of apps that support these alerts just yet, but if you do come across one that advertises Critical Alerts, you still get to choose whether to enable them or not. Here's how. How to Disable or Enable Critical Alerts in iOS 12Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Tap Notifications. Select the app from the list that you want to enable/disable Critical Alerts for. Toggle the Critical Alerts switch on/off.

How to Request a Copy of Your Apple ID Account Data

Apple now allows its customers to download a copy of their personally identifiable data from Apple apps and services. This can include purchase or app usage history, Apple Music and Game Center statistics, marketing history, AppleCare support history, and any data stored on Apple servers, including the likes of calendars, photos, and documents. This article outlines the steps you need to take to request a copy of your data from Apple. As of writing, the service is available to customers in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. If you live in a country or region that's not listed above, you can still contact Apple to request a copy of your data. Apple promises to fulfill all data requests within seven days. Bear in mind that the size of the data download depends on the items that you choose to include (iCloud Photo Libraries can be several gigabytes, for example), but Apple will divide it into multiple files to make the download more manageable.

How to View Folder Sizes on Your Mac Using Finder

When you use Finder's List view to work with files on your Mac, a glance at the Size column tells you the size of each file, but when it comes to folders in the list, Finder just shows a couple of dashes instead. Finder skips showing folder sizes because calculating them takes time – if several folders contained thousands of files, working out the total size would likely slow down your Mac. So while omitting this information can get annoying, it does ensure file browsing in Finder stays snappy. But what if you want to use List view and still keep an eye on the size of a handful of folders in a specific location – in Documents, for instance, or in a directory synced to a cloud storage service? It might not be obvious, but thankfully it is possible to make Finder calculate folder size when navigating items as a list. To do so, open the folder in question, select View -> Show View Options from the menu bar or press the keys Command-J, and check Calculate All Sizes. Finder will now remember your viewing preference for that particular location only. If you're looking for a more global solution for keeping tabs on folder sizes that will work in any Finder view mode, you might consider enabling the Preview panel. To do this, open a Finder window and select the menu bar option View -> Show Preview, or press the keys Shift-Command-P. In the Preview panel, the size of the selected folder always appears immediately below the folder name. If this is the only folder information you want to see in the Preview panel, you can select the menu bar option View ->

How to Use the Preview Loupe Tool in macOS

All of Apple's Macs come with Preview, the powerful file viewer that's built into macOS. Preview is the default app that opens up whenever you double-click an image or a PDF, and features several annotation tools for you to use when working with these file types. The most obvious and oft-used markup tools include things like arrows, lines, ovals, rectangles, and text, but in this article we're highlighting what is arguably one of the more under-appreciated of Preview's annotation options: the Loupe tool. The Loupe tool is useful if you want to zoom in on certain areas in an image or document for the purposes of clarity or to bring attention to something in particular. You can access the Loupe tool by selecting Tools -> Annotate -> Loupe from the Preview menu bar, or by enabling the Markup toolbar and then clicking the bottom right icon in the Shape menu. Once you've added a loupe to your image, you can easily increase or decrease its magnification level by dragging the green circle along the loupe's circumference. Similarly using your mouse, drag the blue circle outwards or towards the center of the loupe to expand or contract the area of magnification. You can add multiple loupes to the same image or document, and even have them overlap to zoom in on an area that's already magnified. Additionally, if you arrange two loupes so that one is stacked on top of or behind the other, you can right-click (or Ctrl-click) them to rearrange their order using the contextual menu options Bring Forward, Bring to Front, Send Backward and Send to Back.

How to Enter DFU Mode on iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR When Recovery Mode Doesn't Work

With the launch of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X last year, Apple made some changes to the way a forced restart is performed and also to the way the devices are put into DFU mode. These changes remain in place for Apple's latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR devices. A forced restart can be used if an iPhone is freezing, throwing up errors, or has stopped responding completely. DFU mode (standing for Device Firmware Update) on the other hand restores an iPhone if a restart or standard Recovery Mode doesn't solve the problem you're experiencing. How to Enter DFU Mode on iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 DFU mode lets the device interface with iTunes, update the firmware, and restore the OS without automatically installing the last downloaded version. It's useful for installing older versions of iOS if a beta persistently hangs your phone, or if a jailbreak goes bad. How to Enable DFU Mode Before following the steps below, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer. Turn on your iPhone if it isn't already. Connect it to your computer using a Lightning to USB cable. Launch iTunes on your computer, and check that your iPhone appears in the list of devices. On your iPhone, press the Volume Up button immediately followed by the Volume Down button. Next, press and hold the Side button (or power button) until your iPhone's screen turns black. Release the Side button and then hold down both the Side button and Volume Down button together for approximately five seconds. Now release the Side button, but continue to press

How to Take Burst Photos on iPhone and iPad

Burst Mode refers to when the camera on your iOS device captures a series of photos in rapid succession, at a rate of ten frames per second. It's a great way to shoot an action scene or an unexpected event, since you're always more likely to end up with the picture you were aiming for. For instance, the picture below was taken when the sun came out momentarily from behind the clouds to throw light on the beautiful yellow ocher leaves of a tree. Burst Mode made it possible to shoot the whole event and then save out the one shot that captured the tree at its most vivid during its brief illumination. To take a photo in Burst Mode, launch the Camera app from the Lock Screen – if your device is unlocked, select the Camera app from the Home screen or slide the Control Center into view and launch it from there. Once you have a shot in frame, tap and hold the shutter button at the bottom of the Camera interface for the duration of the scene that you're trying to capture. Notice the counter increase at the bottom of the frame for as long as you hold down the shutter. This indicates how many shots are being captured in the current burst. Simply take your finger off the shutter when you want to end the burst of shots. When you take a series of burst photos, they automatically appear in the Photo app under the Album name Bursts. You'll also find them in your main Photo Library as well as the Moments section found in the Photos tab. Here's how to view your burst photos and pick out the best images from them for safe keeping. How to View Burst Photos Launch the Photos

How to Take a Screenshot on Your Mac

In macOS Mojave, Apple has introduced a screen capture interface that unifies the screenshot and screen recording features on Mac, making accessing them easier from one place. A new floating palette brings the traditional Mac screen capture functions together under a single menu. You can access it by hitting Command-Shift-5. Let's take a closer look at what's on offer. The three buttons to the left of the first menu divider provide you with options to take a screenshot of the entire screen, a selected window, or a selected portion of the screen. Note that the keyboard shortcuts for these actions still function as before in macOS. 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). Meanwhile, on the right of the palette's first divider are two buttons to begin a screen recording – taking in the whole screen or just a portion of the action. These actions were previously only accessible in the macOS Grab utility. If you choose to capture a window, hover your mouse cursor over it: The window will be highlighted and your cursor will change to a camera. Simply click your mouse button to take the capture. If you're capturing a selected portion of the screen, use the mouse cursor crosshairs to select the area you want to capture. When you take a screen recording, a button will appear in the menu bar for you to click when you're ready to end