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Wordle, your favorite daily word-guessing game, is a solitary exercise, but it doesn't have to be. You can do it with us and our Wordle hints, which should make solving the daily brain-frustrater all the more palatable.
We won't give you the answer right upfront, of course. Instead, we'll walk you through our solution with key tips to solving it on your own along the way.
Get ready to solve Wordle #262 together with everything you need to shake you out of that letter-based fug.
A couple of quick reminders about how Wordle, which is owned by The New York Times, works. The game asks you to guess a five-letter word in six tries. Correct letter guesses appear as orange. Correct letters in their correct spot appear as green. Unless you play in “Hard Mode,” you don't have to use guessed letters in subsequent attempts.
If you don't need tips, you can jump directly to today's Wordle answer.
Spoiler Alert: If you do not want to know today’s Wordle answer, STOP READING IMMEDIATELY.
Tip: More letters in a single word
Never start Wordle with a double-letter word (more on that here: How to win at Wordle. ). Even if you had a dream telling you the correct answer is “FOOLS,” don't do it.
First, it's rare to guess the word on the first try (too many options), and second, you can't afford to give up valuable letter real estate. A word like “GRAND,” gives you five letter options.
Tip: Vowels and Consonants
Virtually all words have a mix of vowels, “AEIOU and sometimes Y” and consonants (all the other letters). A lot of words start with consonants like “G” but not all. Do you best, though, to mix it up. We suggest a minimum of two vowels in your first guess, but also encourage going with your first best word guess, which might only have one.
Tip: Don't panic
Zero right letters is not cause for panic. Remember, you've now ruled out five letters, three of which are key consonants. The answer possibilities have just narrowed significantly.
Tip: Always be ready with a new word
There are two moments in Wordle when it's time to consider a completely new word. The first is when you get zero letters right and the second is when you decide you need to collect more correct letters (or rule more out) to get much closer to the Wordle solution.
Tip: Don't reuse dead letters
Conjure all the letter combinations you can think of, but whatever you do, do not reuse one of those dismissed letters. You need a new word, preferably one with a nice mix of consonants and vowels from the remaining letter list.
Tip: Look for common letter combination
While we have no correct letters to choose from, the remainders are quite useful. Having “TH” opens a few tantalizing Wordle possibilities: “THEME” and “THOSE.” Just remember the loss of an “A” also cuts away far more possible words. Always focus on what you have.
Tip: When it's early, take the leap
Getting Wordle in two guesses will always be more a product of luck than skill. Do not waste more than a few minutes trying to guess the exact right Wordle answer. Step two is almost always a building block and should position you to guess in three – if you're lucky.
Tip: Really pay attention to what you have
The odds are that the second guess will give your at least two letters (or three, as you see here) to play with. Your third guess is not the place to rush it.
Tip: It really does matter where letters don't belong
The great thing about Wordle is that it really is telling you something when you get it wrong. An orange letter is both the right letter, but it's also telling you that it belongs anywhere but that space. Subsequent guesses about placement will give you more insight. Knowing where things don't belong is more than half the Wordle battle.
Tip: It's okay to double up in three
There have been many double letter word answers in Wordle, and in the third guess, trying a double letter is a worthwhile risk.
It's also a calculated one because letters and positions that have been excluded narrow the possibilities. In this case, the “T” can no longer sit at the front of the word. We know “S” is in there and it's a fairly common start letter. We've also lost the vowels “A” and “O,” which again tightens the focus on E.
Tip: Don't forget common letter combinations
We talked about “TH” above, which we lost when “H” was moved off the board. There's still an “E” and an “I.” These two letters which often appear as “IE” but not always, could sit in the middle of your word. Try out the combinations in your head.
Tip: Always make progress
Do your best to build on successes and let letter failures guide you as well. Starting over after three guesses is almost never the way to go.
Tip: Three or more correct letters means you solve offline, first
Three correct Wordle letters in the right place is your golden opportunity to solve in four. Never rush to answer. Try letter combinations in your head and on the board. Just don't hit enter until you are at least 90% certain.
Tip: Embrace the educated guess
It's always worth going through all your remaining letters to ensure they cannot fit in your open spaces. There are often two or more viable Wordle answers. In this case, because we still have “L” and “W” to choose from, “SWEEP” or “SLEEP” would work.
The choice between the two words is difficult. Going with our gut, says, “SLEEP.”
Tip: Pay attention
A dumb mistake, like missing the fact that the “P” is out and the “T” is in can cost you a turn and lead you to incorrect guess.
[Author's note: This was totally done to show you a worst-case scenario. You're welcome.]
Tip: Go with the obvious
The options here are limited to, essentially “SKEET” and “SWEET.” They both real and viable words, but “SKEET” is less common (how many people still skeet shoot?) and, well, we all know “sweet.”
Tip: No one celebrates a “solved in five”
Take the win, but perhaps don't share it.
Worlde is a fun word game, but it isn't necessarily easy. Sometimes, we need a little help. Consider me your Wordle Yoda. I want to help you solve the Wordle answer #261.
What follows is a hint-based guide that can help you get off to a good Wordle start, get unstuck, or take you all the way to an early win. How you use my hints and tips is up to you.
Wordle, which is now owned by The New York Times, asks you to guess a five-letter word in six tries. Correct letter guesses appear as orange. Correct letters in their correct spot appear as green. Unless you play in “Hard Mode,” you don't have to use guessed letters in subsequent attempts.
For those who don't want my help – just answers – you can check out today's Wordle answer. I bet, though, you return here for more of my sage guidance.
What I teach here is not the one method for every Wordle win. Instead, we'll build a toolkit. Part of your training is understanding the difference between vowels and consonants, and why certain combinations of the two make more sense (or less) than others.
I'll teach you how to look, with more of an analytical eye, at what you've gained and lost in each turn. Remember, every guess matters – even the bad ones.
Feel free to share this guidance with others – if you want them to beat you at Wordle.
Spoiler Alert: If you do not want to know today’s Wordle answer, STOP READING IMMEDIATELY.
A fresh start
Over the weekend, I only Wordled on Saturday (solved in four), trying to preserve my brain strength for a strong start today. I also learned that my wife starts her games almost the same way as I do: with a word that “just comes to me.”
She's struggled with some of the same words as I have but has been known to “solve-in-three,” more frequently than me. Perhaps she should be writing this diary.
If learned anything last week (#258 “AHEAD), it's to slow down and, relax. I can get pretty tense when solving a Wordle, especially as I try to give you a play-by-play.
The mantra for today is deep breaths.
1. Choosing the right first word
Your biggest leap will always be that first word. I can choose any five-letter word but, generally, dismiss anything with double letters, as per our guide on how to win at Wordle.
There are two goals: Get as many correct letters in the right spots as possible and miraculously guess the word on the first try. Thus far, I've never accomplished the latter.
While I want to practice patience and not leap to any word choice conclusions, I do have a start word ready to go: WEIRD. I know, why that word?
1) It popped into my head
2) It has two vowels (“E” and “I”)
3) I like the “D,” it has potential
4) I don't often try “W”
5) It's as good as any other word
2. RD is in the right place
Not terrible. It's not often I get two letters correct and in the correct position on the first guess. On the other hand, there are A LOT of words that end with “RD.”
I may have my work cut out for me.
If I decide to go with Wordle's Hard Mode restrictions (I'm not officially playing in that mode), I'd have to use “RD” in my next guess. Knowing which letters are now excluded, though – “WEI” – I might attempt a full-blown guess.
3. It's time to consider new vowels
I feel like I'm in a great position here. The two letters at the end give me a solid direction, as does the exclusion of two vowels and that “W.”
I scan my remaining letters for a couple of minutes and spot the “B.” Almost immediately a word pops into my head: BOARD. It's a good choice because it's all-new letters and even if I'm wrong, I've excluded one-to-three more letters and am in a better position for my third guess.
I hit “Enter.”
4. _OARD is nearly there
You would think having four letters in the right spot would be a golden ticket to “solved-in-three.” it should be, but there may be more than a few words that look like this: _OARD.
5. It has to start with a consonant… but which?
I quickly realize that there aren't that many options here. I try to follow my new mantra of pausing, taking a breath, and not leaping to any conclusions. I want this done in three.
The start letter must be a consonant. I have quite a few to choose from – “P,” “S,” “F,” “G,” and more. As you might've noticed, none of them work. “H” does.
I type in “HOARD” and confidently hit “Enter.”
Done in three… or four
Look, I'm not gonna lie. Getting Wordle #261 in three was equal parts savvy and luck. I started off strong and had an excellent second guess. Basically, I was a letter away from getting it in the mythical two.
Time to go celebrate but not HOARD my winnings.
Every new version of Windows is met with a mixture of excitement for the new features that have been added and a sense of trepidation for the changes involved. But something all Windows users can agree on is that they want the best and fastest experience possible.
So whether you're a Windows veteran who's getting used to the new look and feel of the operating system, or a first-time user of Windows, we have gathered an essential collection of tips and tricks you need to get the most out of Windows.
Some will let you stamp your mark on Windows 11 and make it your own, others will speed up the way you use the OS. But they all have one thing in common – they improve Windows in some way.
1. Move the Start button
You will notice that the Start button and icons in the taskbar are centered – this is not something that's to everyone's liking. If you would prefer the Start button to be in the left-hand corner as it always has been, right-click an empty section of the taskbar and select Taskbar settings. Click the Taskbar behaviors section to expand it, and then select Left from the Taskbar alignment drop-down menu.
2. Enable dark mode
The option to switch to a darker color is a trend that has hit many different applications, and Windows 11 does not miss out. If you prefer darker tones, right-click an empty section of the desktop and select Personalize before clicking the Color section. From the drop-down menu labeled Choose your mode, select Dark.
3. Use Snap layouts
If you have several applications running and multiple instances of Explorer open, it can be difficult to organize the windows on the screen for easy navigation. Windows 11's Snap feature could be the solution you're looking for. Hover your cursor over the Maximize/Resize button and you can choose a layout to quickly arrange open windows. There are several to choose from, each suited for different tasks and screen sizes.
4. Hide unwanted Taskbar buttons
Next to the Start button, you will see the Task view and Widgets buttons. If you don't need these, you can hide them by right-clicking an empty section of the taskbar and selecting Taskbar settings. You can then toggle Task view and Widgets on and off. You can do the same with Search and Chat buttons.
5. Banish distractions with Focus assist
Focus Assist can be used to prevent notifications from appearing when you need to limit distractions and get on with work. Open Settings and move to the System section followed by Focus assist. If you select Alarms only, alarms are the only notifications that will disturb you. You can use the Priority only option to choose other notifications that should also be permitted, and choose times that Focus assistant should be automatically enabled.
6. Exclude Edge in Alt + Tab
You're probably used to using the Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut to switch between open applications and windows. With Windows 11, you can also include browser tabs from Edge in the Alt + Tab list for easy navigation. Open Settings and head to System > Multi-tasking, and then use the drop-down menu in the Alt + Tab section to choose Open windows only to ignore Edge tabs.
7. Make use of widgets
Widgets are mini-apps that are displayed in a small pop-up window when you click the Widgets button in the taskbar – the blue-and-white button next to the Start button. You can customize the widgets you see by clicking the button followed by your profile picture to the upper right. Click the + button next to a widget preview to add it to the display. Back at the main widget panel, unwanted widgets can be removed by clicking the x in their upper right-hand corner.
8. Start menu shortcuts
Right-click the Start button – or press Windows + X – to display a handy menu providing easy access to a number of Windows 11 components. This includes a link to Explorer, Settings, and sections of the Control Panel.
9. Enhance your sound
Whether you're listening with speakers or headphones, Windows 11 can make your audio sound better. Right-click the volume icon in the taskbar and select Sound settings. Click the arrow to the right of the audio device you are using, scroll down through the options and move the toggle labeled Enhance audio to the On position.
10. Pin frequently used apps
The apps you use most can be pinned to the taskbar or the top of the Start menu for easy access. Click the Start button, locate the shortcut for an app you use a lot, and right-click it. From the menu that appears, you can select the Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar option – whichever you prefer.
11. Customize the Start menu
There is a lot of content you can show or hide in the Start menu. Open Settings, head to Personalization > Start, and use the toggles to enable or disable recently added apps, most-used apps, and recent items. If you click Folders, you can add shortcuts to various options – like Settings, Explorer, or specific folders – using the appropriate toggles.
12. Expanded right-click menu
Windows 11 has a redesigned context menu (the one that appears when you right-click on files and folders in Explorer) and you may find that some options you are used to are missing. You can access the old-style menu by clicking Show more options at the bottom of the context menu, or by selecting a file or folder and pressing Shift + F10.
13. Clear the decks
You can use the keyboard shortcut Windows + D to minimize all open windows but there is another option. Open Settings, go to System > Multi-tasking and move the Title bar window shake toggle to On. Now, when you click the title bar of an open window, keep the left mouse button pressed, and shake from side to side, all windows except the selected one will be minimized.
14. Handy Settings shortcut
There are lots of handy keyboard shortcuts to learn in Windows 11, but one of the most useful for anyone who is frequently changing settings is Windows + I. Pressing this key combination will open the Settings app.
15. Custom screenshots
You probably know that you can take a screenshot of what you see in front of you by pressing Print Screen and then pasting the contents of the clipboard into your favorite image editor. But if you press Windows + Shift + S, you'll launch the Snipping Tool app, which can be used to take a screengrab of just a portion of your desktop or any open window.
16. Quickly launch pinned apps
If you have shortcuts pinned in the taskbar, you already have an easy way to launch your most frequently used apps. But you can also press Windows + 1 to launch the app whose icon is in the first position, Windows + 2 to open the second, and so on.
You can even press multiple numbers at once to launch two or more apps simultaneously – pressing Windows + 3 + 4 will launch the apps whose shortcuts are third and fourth in the taskbar, for instance.
17. Type faster with Voice typing
If you want to input text a little faster, you could try talking to your computer instead of using the keyboard. Press Windows + H to launch Voice typing which you can then use to dictate text rather than typing it out by hand.
18. Check battery usage
If you're on a laptop, you will probably want to maximize the life of your battery. When you're away from a power source, you can check which apps are eating up the most battery by opening Settings and heading to System > Power & battery.
Click View detailed info next to the handy graph of battery usage and you will see a list of battery-hungry apps. You can close down any that are unnecessary or manage their background activity via the three-dot menu next to the app's entry in the list.
19. Use virtual desktops
It is easy to run out of space on your desktop, or get lost in a sea of windows – and this is where virtual desktops can help. Click the Task View button next to the Start button and then click New desktop to create a new virtual workspace. You can use this – and any more you create – just like your normal desktop. Switch between them by holding Windows + Ctrl and pressing the left or right arrow key.
20. Customize Quick Settings
Click the Network/Volume/Power button in the taskbar, and you'll see Quick Settings which gives easy access to key options and settings. You can remove items you don't need or add new ones that are missing by clicking the pencil button, then click the 'unpin' button next to an unwanted item, or hit Add to choose more.
- Our pick of the best Windows laptops in 2022 so far
We love our Macs, and we also love finding new things to do with them. Whether it’s using your iPad as a second screen, AirDropping funny things to family members, or finding faster ways to do everyday things, we’ve never met a Mac tip we didn’t like. And in this guide, we’re going to share our favorites with you.
Although the screenshots here were taken in macOS Monterey, all of our tips work on multiple versions of macOS – so if you’re using a relatively recent model, your Mac’s covered too.
1. Do conversions in Spotlight
Since High Sierra, Spotlight has been able to do unit conversions such as converting dollar values into British pounds, or kilograms into pounds. For example, type ‘$ 1,000 in GBP’ to convert dollars to Sterling.
2. Summon Siri
Press and hold Command+Space bar or click the Siri button in the Dock or menu bar and you have the same Siri service you’re used to on your iPhone. In addition to familiar tasks such as telling you the weather forecast, you can also ask Siri to locate specific files, toggle system functions or launch apps.
3. Run Windows
Intel Macs can run Windows natively via Boot Camp, but you can also use a virtualization app such as VMWare Fusion, VirtualBox or Parallels Desktop to run Windows apps on your Mac desktop – and now you can do it on M1 Macs too.
4. Use shortcuts for screenshots
Need a screengrab? Command+Shift+3 takes a full screen (or if you have multiple monitors, multiple full screens), while Command+Shift+4 enables you to capture a selection or, if you hit the spacebar, the window you click on. To capture the Touch Bar hit Command+Shift+6.
5. Show or hide the menu bar
You can auto-hide the menu bar just as you can with the Dock. The options live in System Preferences > Dock & menu bar.
6. Use exotic characters
In addition to the accent keyboard shortcut (Option+E before OS X 10.7 or press and hold the letter on later macOS versions) you can bring up a menu of emoji and other characters. In the most recent macOS versions you’ll usually find it within an app’s Edit menu, labeled Emoji & Symbols; on older Macs, it’s called Special Characters.
7. Sign PDFs in Mail
If you’re emailed a PDF to sign, you don't have to worry about printing it, signing it and scanning it back in: you can sign it right in Mail. Drag a PDF into the email you’re sending and hover over it – at the top-right you’ll see a little button appear. Click it and you get a range of Markup options, including one for signing documents. You can add your signature by either holding up a signed piece of paper to the webcam on your Mac (it does a fantastic job of cutting it out of the background) or by drawing it on the trackpad.
8. Annotate PDFs and images
Preview is an incredibly powerful tool. Beyond letting you, well, preview PDFs and images, Preview allows for a ton of annotations that are compatible with Adobe Acrobat – widely used by Windows users and many companies – making it easy to share annotated documents with colleagues, regardless of the platform they use.
Make sure the Edit Toolbar is visible (under the View menu) and you'll see options for drawing shapes, arrows, speech and thought bubbles, and more.
9. Crop, resize and tweak images
To crop an image in Preview, draw a selection with the regular Rectangular Selection tool then either hit Command+K or got to Tools > Crop. Alternatively, show the Edit Toolbar and make a more complex selection either with the Instant Alpha tool or the Smart Lasso.
10. Batch-rename files
In Yosemite onwards, you can simply select a group of files and choose ‘Rename’ from the right-click contextual menu or the drop-down button marked with a cog icon in Finder windows. Once you hit ‘Rename,’ you get the option of adding text, replacing text, or applying a format such as a name and an automatically incrementing counter.
11. Use Split Screen view
If you’re still on macOS Mojave or older, you can hold down a left-click on an app's green maximize button on the top-left corner, then drag it to your preferred position on the left-hand or right-hand side of the display.
If you have macOS Catalina or later, left-click and hold on the app window’s green maximize button to see a drop-down menu with the options ‘Enter Full Screen,’ ‘Tile Window to Left of Screen,’ or ‘Tile Window to Right of Screen.’ If you have a secondary screen this menu will also give you the option to move the active window to that screen.
12. Connect a camera with Image Capture
Image Capture enables you to import all of your camera’s photos at once to the folder of your choosing, or better yet, you can pick and choose which photos to store on your Mac while deciding whether to keep or delete the originals one by one.
What’s more, you can connect wirelessly to a scanner to import scanned documents or photos to your preferred directory. You can also link your camera to any macOS application that you want. So if you want Photoshop to open every time you connect your iPhone, Image Capture can be configured to make that happen.
Your Mac, your way
13. Change file and folder icons
Right-click the file or folder whose icon you want to copy, select ‘Get Info’ and copy the preview image. Now, right-click the file or folder whose icon you want to change, select ‘Get Info,’ click on its icon and press Control+V to paste it.
14. Use Shortcuts for speed
Apple brought Shortcuts to the Mac in macOS Monterey, and it’s a great way of automating common tasks. You can build your own from the Starter Shortcuts included, plus there’s a great gallery of shortcuts you can download.
15. Make keyboard macros
In System Preferences > Keyboard > Text you can create shortcuts that insert entire blocks of text and emoji. We use this feature for signatures, emoji strings and even document skeleton structures.
16. Tame notifications with Focus
The new macOS Focus (System Preferences > Notifications & Focus) enables you to create different scenarios and change what, and who, can send you notifications when you’re in it. So, for example, you might have a work focus and a personal focus, with different settings for each.
17. Change the default format for screenshots
If you want to save your screenshots as JPEGs, open Terminal and type ‘defaults write com.apple.screencapture type JPG’ then hit Enter. The change will go into effect once you restart your Mac.
18. Edit the sidebar
You can customize the Finder sidebar by dragging folders onto it. You can also toggle items by opening Finder’s preferences and clicking the Sidebar tab.
19. Change your Mac’s name
You can change the name that appears on other connected devices, and other people’s AirDrop, in System Preferences > Sharing > Computer Name.
20. Open apps automatically at login
Right-click an app in the Dock and select Options > Open At Login.
Sharing is caring
21. Add a guest account to your Mac
If you want to let others use your Mac without seeing any of your stuff, create a Guest account in System Preferences > Users & Groups. When your guest logs out, all information and files in their account are erased.
22. Get Wi-Fi passwords you can’t remember
If you ever find yourself in an unfamiliar place, or you’ve just forgotten your Wi-Fi password, you can use Keychain Access on your Mac to find it. The process is straightforward: open Keychain Access by searching for it in Spotlight, search the name of the connection, and double-click the iCloud Keychain corresponding to the SSID you’re looking for. Tap ‘Show Password’ and enter your Keychain passcode.
23. Share anything with anyone
The Share Sheet in Finder windows, Safari and apps such as Maps and Notes is customizable: go to System Preferences > Extensions > Share Menu to personalize yours.
24. View someone’s screen remotely
One easy way to view someone else’s screen or control their Mac over the internet – which is invaluable if you’re trying to help a relative troubleshoot their computer problems – is to launch Screen Sharing by searching for it with Spotlight then entering the Apple ID of the person you’re trying to contact. If you or they don’t know it, just have them look in the iCloud pane of System Preferences. And, while you’re in that screen, make sure they have ‘Screen Sharing’ enabled in the Sharing pane of System Preferences.
25. Share your media with other devices
Go to System Preferences > Sharing > Media Sharing and enable ‘Home Sharing.’ This enables you to share your media library with all devices signed in with your Apple ID.
26. Send SMS messages and more from your Mac
The Messages app can access your iPhone SMS texts so you can also send and receive SMS texts from your Mac. Simply go into your iPhone’s Settings > Messages and select your Mac in Text Message Forwarding.
27. Share purchases with your family
Up to six people in the same family can share purchases through the macOS Family Sharing feature.
28. Use your iPad as a secondary Mac display
In Big Sur or later, go to Control Center > Display and choose your iPad from the ‘Connect To’ section; in Catalina, you’ll use the AirPlay icon instead. Your iPad will then act as a separate display. To change to screen mirroring go back into Display or AirPlay and choose the mirror option.
29. Throw files from your Mac
Provided AirDrop is turned on on the destination device, you can AirDrop a file to it by right-clicking on your Mac and choosing Share > AirDrop.
30. Rename group chats in Messages
From OS X Yosemite onwards, you can name group chats by clicking Details at the top-right, then typing a name at the top.
31. Share a printer between multiple Macs
Go to System Preferences > Sharing and check the ‘Printer Sharing’ service. This will bring up a screen where you can select the printer to share and specify who can use it, if necessary. Once this is set up, any Mac on the network can access that printer from the print dialog, though the Mac to which the printer is connected must be turned on.
32. Use Screen Time with your family
In System Preferences > Family Sharing, scroll down until you see ‘Screen Time.’ This enables you to set time and app limits for family members, so, for example, you can limit gaming time but not educational apps. You can use it for you too if you’re trying to break your social media habit.
33. Email massive files
From Yosemite onwards, Mail will upload really big files to the cloud and send the recipient a link, rather than a file that may be too big for their mailbox. You can send files up to 5GB with a total storage limit of 1TB. Files are deleted after 30 days.
34. Decide what to share about yourself
In Contacts' Preferences, click on the vCard tab and check ‘Enable private me card.’ Now, when you go to your Me card in Contacts – you might have to define one first – and click Edit, you get a series of checkboxes next to each field to show whether it would be included when you share a card.
Sound and vision
35. Adjust audio volume in smaller increments
When you use the volume up and down keys on your Mac's keyboard the difference between one tap and the next can be pretty big – especially if you're driving some meaty external speakers. Hold down Option+Shift as you tap those keys, though, and the increments become much smaller.
36. Record your iPhone or iPad’s screen
Connect the iOS device to your Mac using its cable, then launch QuickTime Player. Choose ‘New Movie Recording’ from the File menu and then, if it's not already selected for you, select your connected iOS device as the camera source from the drop-down menu next to the record button. Choose if you want to record sound (either from a built-in or external mic or the audio the iOS device itself is producing) from the same drop-down menu and then click the record button.
37. Change audio settings from the menu bar
Hold down Option and click the volume adjuster in the menu bar (or press one of the volume buttons on your keyboard). This will bring up a list of audio inputs and outputs. You can then select the one you want.
38. Stream to other devices with AirPlay
For basic AirPlay output from Apple Music and TV you just need to click its symbol – the rectangle with the triangle cutting into it – and choose where you want to send the music. If you want all your system audio to come from the speakers, not just music, hold Option and press a volume control key to open the Sound preferences. Here you can choose an output (or use the menu bar tip we already mentioned).
If you have an Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible TV, the AirPlay icon will appear automatically in the menu bar or Control Center. To start mirroring your screen, select it and click on the name of your Apple TV or smart TV.
39. Make the most of iCloud Drive
In High Sierra or later, anything you store on the desktop or in your Documents folder can be synced with iCloud Drive. We’ve found that invaluable because we keep current documents on the desktop – so with no effort they’re available in Files on iPhone and iPad as well as on iCloud.com.
40. Search within websites
If you’ve visited a site on your Mac, Safari can search within it – so if you type ‘Amazon Mac’ you’ll see an option to search your usual Amazon site for the keyword Mac. Click that to see the results.
41. Close open tabs on other devices
In Safari, click the icon that looks like two overlapping squares (or choose Show All Tabs from the View menu) and you'll see all the open tabs on all your devices. Hover over each one and you'll see a close button you can click. Note that the arrival of Tab Groups appears to have broken this feature in macOS Monterey.
42. Use your iPhone to get online
To begin, go to the Personal Hotspot option in the iPhone's Settings menu, and turn it on. If you want to connect over Wi-Fi, find the Wi-Fi network created by the iPhone in your Mac's Wi-Fi options, select it, and enter the password shown in the iPhone.
43. Print to the next available printer
In System Preferences > Print & Fax (or Printers & Scanners on recent versions of macOS), you can select multiple printers and create a Printer Pool.
You can then select this Pool from the print dialogue in apps instead of the individual printers. If one printer is in use, your Mac will automatically send the document to one that's free instead – no waiting!
44. Cover your tracks in Safari
You can remove some or all of your browsing history in Safari by opening History and clicking on the Clear History button. This can delete the last hour, the last day, the last two days, or all history not just on your Mac but on other devices signed into your iCloud account too.
45. Find menu items fast with Help
Some apps have massive menus, so if you can’t remember where the particular command you need is just click Help and type the option you’re looking for.
46. Control resizing with your keyboard
Hold down Option when you resize a window and it’ll resize both sides equally. Hold down Shift instead and the window resizes proportionally to the opposite edge. Hold down both to resize the window proportionally around its center.
47. Move background windows
Want to move a window without bringing it to the front? Hold down Command and then you can drag it.
48. Paste text without the formatting
To paste text without any formatting, press Option+Shift at the same time as Command+V.
49. Change the refresh rate for an external display
In System Preferences, select Displays and then Option-click on Scaled. You’ll now see a drop-down with options to change the monitor’s refresh rate.
50. Use the same external drive for Mac and PC
In Disk Utility, divide the drive into two volumes and format the one you want to use with a Windows PC as ExFAT. You can then reformat that in Windows as NTFS to get the best data speeds.
51. Find forgotten passwords in Safari
Safari stores the passwords not just from your Mac, but from your iPhone and iPad too. You can access them by going to Safari > Preferences > Passwords. It’ll also warn you if any of your passwords have been compromised and need to be changed.
52. Cure an insomniac Mac
Ever since OS X Yosemite, you can go to View > Column when you’re on Activity Monitor’s CPU tab to show a column of processes that are preventing sleep. Click this column header to sort by it, and you can easily find which apps are keeping your Mac awake, then quit them if necessary.
53. Troubleshoot apps with Activity Monitor
Launch Activity Monitor to see current processes and the resources they take up. The columns show you things such as the CPU usage of a process or the RAM it's taking up. If there's a process that's hogging resources and you're confident it's not needed, you can end it by selecting it and clicking ‘Quit Process’.
54. Make sure Spotlight isn’t skipping anything important
If Spotlight isn’t finding files you know are there, the folder or category that they’re in may be excluded from its indexing. You can check in System Preferences > Spotlight: unchecked categories don’t show up in search results. Click on Privacy to see any excluded drives or folders.
55. Back up your Mac
Ever since OS X 10.5, Apple has made it easy to back up using Time Machine. Ideally, you should be doing other things to back up data as well, but at the very least use Time Machine.
- Check out our in-depth macOS 12 Monterey review