How Tos

How to Disable Transparency Effects in macOS Mojave

In macOS, transparency – or more properly, translucency – is a visual effect many apps use to create a sense of depth by hinting at content residing in the background. An example of transparency is when content behind a window shows through in interface elements like menus and sidebars. It's evident in the screenshot above, for example, in which the colors of the desktop wallpaper bleed through the sidebar in the Photos app. A similar effect is sometimes used within app interface elements that are windowed, allowing window content to show through other elements like toolbars. An instance of this can be seen below, where the folders are visible through Finder's toolbar as if through frosted glass. Transparency enabled (left); transparency disabled The effect can look cool, but it can also be distracting if you're trying to focus on content, especially if you're editing photos. Fortunately, macOS lets you turn off transparency, but the way to do it isn't immediately obvious. The following steps show you how. How to Disable Transparency in macOS MojaveLaunch System Preferences from your Mac's Dock, from the Applications folder, or from the Apple menu bar ( -> System Preferences...). Select the Accessibility preference pane. In the sidebar, under Vision, click Display. Check the box next to Reduce transparency.

How to Use Your iPad as a Second Screen for Your Mac

Duet Display is an app made by former Apple engineers that allows you to use your iPad as a second screen for your Mac. In this article, we'll explain how it works and the steps you need to follow to get things up and running. Duet Display is a great way to extend your Mac's desktop and can come in especially handy when you're working away from home and want to broaden your productivity space, but don't have the luxury of a dedicated external monitor. In earlier versions of macOS, the app was hampered by changes to Apple's operating system that caused its developers no end of problems, but the latest Duet update (v2.0.3.8+) released on December 5 appears to have resolved those issues thanks to the introduction of full hardware acceleration support. We are excited to announce a breakthrough. As of macOS 10.14.2+ & duet v2.0.3.8+, Duet Display is now fully hardware accelerated, making the fastest way to turn your iPad into a second display even faster. 100% free update at https://t.co/VxaXUTgXdb pic.twitter.com/FbbuqAGF1E— Duet Display (@duetdisplay) December 5, 2018 Duet Display is actually one of two apps best known for letting users leverage their iPad as a second screen for their Mac. The other is Luna Display ($79.99), but that app uses another implementation that requires two small dongles to ensure a consistent low-latency connection. Duet Display on the other hand is a pure software solution and a lot more affordable at $9.99, which is why we've chosen to cover it here. How to Use Your iPad as a Second Screen for Your MacLaunch the App Store on

How to Disable Autoplaying Videos in the YouTube App's Home Tab

Over the next few weeks, YouTube is rolling out a new feature for its mobile app called "Autoplay on Home," which automatically plays videos that appear on your Home tab. As you scroll through your Home feed, videos will begin to play on mute with captions auto-enabled. Google claims the previously Premium-only feature is a better way to experience new content on the go, and will help you "make more informed decisions about whether you want to watch a video," but not everyone is likely to agree, especially users who have a cellular data cap. Fortunately, YouTube has provided some options to customize the app's new default behavior, which we'll mention shortly. But first, here's how you can turn off Autoplay on Home completely. How to Disable Autoplay on Home in the YouTube AppLaunch the YouTube app on your iPhone. Tap your profile icon in the upper right of the screen. Tap Settings. Tap Autoplay. Tap the Autoplay on Home toggle to turn it off.In some circumstances, Autoplay on Home may be enabled only when you're using either Wi-Fi or cellular data. If you want to adjust this behavior, follow the steps above to bring you to YouTube's Autoplay settings, and you'll find options to Use on Wi-Fi and cellular data and Use only when connected to Wi-Fi.

How to Wake Up to a Weather Forecast on Your iPhone's Lock Screen

In iOS 12, Apple has included a somewhat hidden feature that lets you see the day's weather forecast on your iPhone's Lock Screen when you check it for the first time after waking up. The feature is part of Apple's Do Not Disturb at Bedtime mode, which prevents notifications from being displayed on your iPhone's Lock Screen when you're supposed to be sleeping. Many users don't realize you can get the weather forecast to show on the Lock Screen because of the odd way that Apple has implemented the feature. Regardless, here's how to get it working. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone. Tap Do Not Disturb. Make sure the Scheduled and Bedtime buttons are toggled on so that they're both green. You can also set your sleep and wake schedule here by adjusting the From and To times. Return to the main Settings screen and tap Privacy. Tap Location Services. Tap Weather in the list of apps. Under Allow Location Access, tap Always. Exit the Settings app.With that done, next time it's time to wake up and Bedtime Mode is scheduled to go off, your iPhone will display the usual "Good morning!" message along with the day's weather, including the current temperature, weather conditions, and forecast. To make the forecast vanish from your Lock Screen, simply tap Dismiss. To switch the temperature scale between Celsius and Fahrenheit, launch the Weather app and scroll to the bottom of the weather locations list, where you'll find the option to do so. It's worth noting that once you unlock your iPhone, the weather forecast will disappear for the rest of the

How To Play Music on HomePod When Activating HomeKit Scenes Using Siri Shortcuts

Although HomePod is available in Apple's Home app, the company's smart home speaker as of yet can't be integrated into HomeKit scenes and automations. With such a feature, users would be able to activate their favorite HomeKit scenes, alongside a specific Apple Music playlist, album, or song from their HomePod. Reddit user Running_In_Space on r/HomeKit explained recently that this is actually possible today, thanks to a helpful (and super simple to create) Siri Shortcut. With the Shortcut, you can tie any Home scene together with any Apple Music playlist. While the Shortcut is limited to playlists, you can choose from your own playlists or those created by Apple Music. In the example below, we created a holiday themed Siri Shortcut that turns on Christmas tree lights (connected to an iDevices Switch) and shuffles a holiday playlist any time we say, "Hey Siri, Merry Christmas." Also remember that you'll need an Apple Music subscription, HomeKit-enabled lights or other devices of some kind, and the updated Siri Shortcuts iOS app. How to Create the Siri Shortcut Open the iOS "Shortcuts" app Tap "Create Shortcut" In the search bar, type "Get Playlist" and add it into your Shortcut Next to Playlist, tap "Choose" and pick your desired playlist Search for "Play Music" and add it (here you can also edit settings for shuffling and/or repeating the playlist) Search for "Run Home Scene" and add it Next to Home, tap "Choose" and select your home Next to Scene, tap "Choose" and select your desired scene Before you tap "Done,"

How to Get Unique Alerts for VIP Emails Received on Your Mac

In the last installment of our regular how-to series, we showed how you can set up an iOS device to get unique alerts when emails are received from your VIP contacts. In this article, we're going to show you how to do the same thing on your Mac. In the native Mail application in macOS, the standard way of ensuring you receive new message notifications from VIPs is to go into Mail's Preferences and select VIPs in the New message notifications dropdown list. Setting up VIP alerts this way is all well and good, but it prevents you from receiving notifications for all other messages coming into your inbox. A better solution would be to set up a rule in Mail that plays a specific sound or bounces the Dock icon when a message is received and the sender is in your VIP list. Here's how to do it. How to Get a Unique Alert for VIP Emails Launch the Mail app on your Mac. Select Preferences... from the Mail menu bar. Select the Rules tab. Click Add Rule. Give your rule a name in the Description field. For If, select Any. For the first condition, select Sender is VIP from the first dropdown list. Under Perform the following actions: select Play Sound from the first dropdown list. (Another option available here is Bounce Icon in Dock.) Under Perform the following actions: choose a sound to play from the second dropdown list. Click OK. Click Apply.With the rule set up, you'll now get a unique alert for every VIP mail you receive that you'll be able to distinguish from regular new message notifications as they come

How to Receive Unique Alerts for VIP Emails on iPhone and iPad

If you use the VIP feature in the iOS Mail app then you'll already know how they can help you keep track of important messages from your key contacts amid the daily torrent of incoming emails. Keeping on top of VIP emails can be made even easier by ensuring you receive a specific sound or vibration alert whenever one comes through on your iPhone or iPad. That way you'll know if a new message justifies your immediate attention before you've even looked at your iOS device. Here's how to set them up. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Tap Mail in the list. Tap Notifications. Tap VIP. Tap Sounds. Choose a unique sound from the list or tap Vibration to select a special vibration. The default sound alert is Ding (Classic), so be sure to choose something different.With that done, the next time you receive an email from one of your VIPs, you'll get the unique notification alert and immediately know it's an important

How to Manage File Associations in macOS

In macOS, the Open With contextual menu that appears when you right-click (or Ctrl-click) on a file provides links to all the applications installed on your Mac that are associated with that file type. At the top of the list is the default app that macOS launches whenever you double-click on files that share the same suffix or extension, with other apps associated with the file type below that, and an Other... option at the bottom which lets you choose an alternative app in case the one you want to use isn't listed. You can easily change the default app associated with a particular file to something else. To do so, click Get Info in the contextual menu and select another app from the Open With: dropdown list in the file's Info pane. To use that app to open all files sharing the same extension, click the Change All... button and select Continue. Clearing the Open With Menu If you've installed a lot of applications on your Mac through the years, you may find that some apps appear in the Open With menu that really have no business being there given the kind of file you've selected. As well as unrelated apps, you may even see references to "ghost" apps that you removed from your Mac long ago. All of which results in a long and cluttered list of launch service links you won't use. Unfortunately the list isn't directly editable, but there are a couple of ways that you can clear the cruft from it. One option is to grab Titanium Software's free Onyx system utility and run a task to rebuild the Launch Services database. Alternatively, if you're comfortable

How to Perform a Quick Website Search in Safari

There are several ways to search the web in Apple's Safari browser. In this article, we're going to highlight a way of searching specific websites using a lesser-known Safari feature called Quick Website Search. The option is designed to work with sites that have a built-in search field, like the one you can find at the top of the main page at MacRumors.com. Here's how it works. Let's say you want to look up articles on MacRumors that mention device benchmarks. You might do this by typing "macrumors benchmarks" into Safari's address bar to get results from whichever search engine the browser is configured to use. If you're a bit more search savvy, you might even type "site: macrumors.com benchmarks" to limit the search to MacRumors. But ideally you'd just navigate to MacRumors.com and use the search field provided at the top of the page. If you take the latter option and Quick Website Search is enabled, Safari will remember that you've used the MacRumors search field and offer to use it again in future searches that include the website's name. For example, if you typed "macrumors" followed by "deals" directly into Safari's address bar, you could tap the option Search macrumors.com for "deals" in the suggestions box, as shown above, and you'd get instant results from MacRumors' own on-site search function. How to Enable Quick Website Search in iOS The functionality of Quick Website Search depends on how a given site implements its search field, but we've found that it works with most popular websites that offer them, so it's worth making sure you have the

How to Call Someone and Put Them on Speaker Without Picking up Your iPhone

Next time you find yourself with your hands full and you want to make a call on your iPhone – or even if you're in bed and your phone's just out of reach – don't forget that you can get Siri to start a speakerphone call for you, handsfree. All you need to do beforehand is make sure that your iPhone is set up to listen for the "Hey Siri" voice command. You can check this by following the steps below: Enable the "Hey Siri" Command on Your iPhoneLaunch the Settings app on your iPhone. Tap Siri & Search in the list. At the top of the screen, check that the Listen for "Hey Siri" slider is toggled to the green ON position.With that done, you don't even have to pick up your iPhone to speak to someone on speakerphone. Simply say "Hey Siri, call [name] on speaker," and you'll be chatting in no time. What if the person you want to call isn't in your contacts list? No problem – just dictate the number to Siri instead: "Hey Siri, call [number] on speaker." Remember this quick tip the next time you want to make a call and you might just save yourself some

How to Use the Magnifier Feature on iPhone and iPad

Apple includes an accessibility feature in iOS that's useful if you have a visual impairment, but can even come in handy if your eyes are simply tired or you're struggling to read something like small print, especially in poor light. It's called the Magnifier, and has several advantages over just opening up the camera app and zooming in to get a better look at something. Enabling it is easy: Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, navigate to General -> Accessibility -> Magnifier, and toggle on the Magnifier switch. After that, all you need to do to use it is triple-click the Side button (or Home button, depending on your device). You can also add it to the Control Center by going to Settings -> Control Center -> Customize Controls, and tapping the green plus button next to Magnifier. When you launch Magnifier, you'll see a camera-like interface at the bottom of the screen, but with some unique features. The slider controls the magnification of the scene in the lens frame, while the button at the bottom left turns on the flashlight so you can illuminate it. The padlock button next to that locks the focus. Tapping the big button in the center freezes the image (a frozen image is indicated by a yellow ring around the button), allowing you to move your phone around freely and still look at the image. You can also use the magnification slider to zoom in and out of the frozen image. Note that when you freeze an image in the Magnifier, it isn't saved to your photo album. But if you want to save the entire image, you can. Simply tap and

How to Use Your Mac's Media Keys to Adjust Speaker Volume on a DisplayPort, HDMI, or Thunderbolt Monitor

If you connect your Mac to an external display, you may find that the Mac's on-screen and keyboard volume controls are disabled. That's because HDMI, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt connections carry a fixed volume digital audio signal, so the external device (in this case, a monitor) controls the sound level. This can be frustrating if the volume controls on your external display are concealed in the bezel or buried in a fiddly on-screen menu. Fortunately, it is possible to re-enable your Mac's native volume controls and use them to adjust the sound level coming out of your monitor's speakers. The steps below show how it's done, although you will need administrator privileges to follow them.

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