Apple Vision Pro finally gets global launch dates – and cool new visionOS 2 tricks

As part of WWDC 2024 Apple has announced a slew of updates for its hardware – with the Apple Vision Pro kicking things off with not only new features, but a release date for non-US markets (finally).

The big news is obviously that latter one. On June 28 the Apple Vision Pro is rolling out to China, Japan, and Singapore; and then two weeks later on July 12 it’ll launch in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK.

We don’t have the precise prices for the Vision Pro in these regions yet, but as soon as WWDC is over the online Apple Store should be updated with all of these details. Just be warned; you should expect this VR headset to be pricey given that its US launch price was $ 3,499 – which is around £2,788, AU$ 6349.

This is a developing story, as we learn more we'll be updating this page with the details

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Microsoft still has tricks beyond just ads and AI: Windows 11’s File Explorer set to get a slick new ‘Shared’ section

It looks like Microsoft is still making time to work on functional improvements to Windows 11, such as a recent update to File Explorer – and I’m not just talking about its enthusiasm for holistically peppering adverts all over the operating system and integrating AI into every part of it. The new development is looking to add a ‘Shared’ section into File Explorer and is currently being tested with Windows 11 beta users. 

The new File Explorer section is included as part of the Windows 11 Preview Build 22635.3640, available through the Beta Channel of the Windows Insider Program. Even if you install this preview build, the feature is disabled by default and has to be enabled using ViveTools, an open-source software that allows you to test out experimental features. 

The addition of this new section to File Explorer was discovered and shared by X user and occasional Windows leaker @PhantomOfEarth who described their experience of the upgrades that Microsoft is toying with introducing for File Explorer, including ‘fancy visuals’ for sections (even if they are empty) and the introduction of the ‘Shared’ section. 

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The first of these discoveries indicates that Microsoft is currently testing changes to the File Explorer user interface (UI), specifically three sections appearing in a sort of horizontal ribbon layout below your file folders: ‘Recent,’ ‘Favorites,’ and ‘Shared.’ Formerly (well, currently, for those of us not using a preview build of Windows 11), these appeared in a vertical list below your file folders. 

A screenshot of locating the old Task Manager using File Explorer's address bar

(Image credit: Microsoft)

How you can set up and try out the new 'Shared' section for yourself

If you’re absolutely itching to get the newly introduced ‘Shared’ section, as well as the changes to the UI, Windows Report recommends that you download ViveTool from its official GitHub page. You’ll have to install Windows 11 Preview Build 22635.3640 first, and then download ViveTool. ViveTool is a third-party app, but it’s widely used and I don’t see any immediate issues that strike me as cause for concern on its GitHub page. 

Once you’ve downloaded ViveTool, you’ll want to open Command Prompt or PowerShell, which are easiest to find by typing either one of those into the search bar in the Windows Taskbar. Then, copy and paste the following code into the window that opens: 

vivetool /enable /id:45130483

Again, this is a feature that’s currently in the testing stage; it’s not even enabled by default in the preview build, and this tracks with what users who have used it have been reporting – the new section appears to not be fully integrated into File Explorer yet and can be buggy at times. One user reported a bug that affected the whole of File Explorer, with the left-hand menu being automatically populated with copies of pinned shortcuts. 

The new section’s bugginess is probably why it’s currently disabled by default, and as Windows Report cautions, you should only enable it at your own risk. You can disable the new features and changes by modifying the ‘enable’ part of the above code to ‘disable,’ so you don’t have to panic even if you do choose to try this out and end up encountering some glitches. 

The new functionality for File Explorer seems useful, and I hope Microsoft continues to work on it to sharpen it and make it functional. It’s easy to see how a ‘Shared’ section would make it easier to collaborate with others your device is connected to. Also, these are the kinds of changes that I think users welcome, as they’re not too big, but have the potential to become part of how we use Windows in our regular routines.


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Microsoft finally teaches Copilot AI some new tricks – but is this enough to stop Windows 11 users getting impatient?

Windows 11 just received improvements in testing to make its Copilot AI more useful with implementing changes in the actual OS environment – in other words, the features that we’re all waiting for.

Copilot has a pretty limited repertoire in terms of what the AI can do for manipulating Windows settings (as opposed to its standard tricks in terms of replying to queries, image creation and so forth).

However, the bag of settings tricks just got considerably heavier, with a raft of additions having just been made to preview build 26058 of Windows 11 (in the Canary and Dev testing channels).

That build was actually released a week ago, but Microsoft just ushered in these extra improvements as Neowin noticed.

So, what can Copilot do for you now? There are a number of important accessibility changes, so for example the AI can be instructed to turn on Narrator or Live Captions, or voice functionality (Voice Access or typing).

And you can get Copilot to take out the trash (empty the Recycle Bin), turn on battery saver mode, or even tell you the IP address of your device.

Here’s the full list of the new capabilities of Copilot when it comes to engaging with Windows settings:

  • Ask for available wireless networks
  • Ask for system or device information
  • Ask for battery information
  • Ask to clean storage
  • Ask to empty Recycle Bin
  • Ask to toggle Battery Saver
  • Ask to show startup apps
  • Ask for your IP address
  • Ask for system, device, or storage information

And the new accessibility features are as follows:

  • Ask to turn on Narrator
  • Ask to open Voice Access
  • Ask to turn on Magnifier
  • Ask to change text size
  • Ask to start Live Captions
  • Ask to turn on high-contrast
  • Ask to start voice typing

This expands on Copilot’s existing powers to tweaks settings, which already includes taking a screenshot, or changing between the dark and light themes, for example.

Analysis: Expansion pack

There are 16 new abilities introduced in testing here, which should be coming through to the finished version of Windows 11 soon enough. That more than doubles the existing abilities of Copilot at the moment – there are just 12 ways to operate Windows 11 settings via the AI right now – so it’s a welcome expansion.

At the same time, progress on this front feels rather sluggish, given that Copilot and more broadly AI is such a major focus for Microsoft, ever since Bing Chat burst onto the scene about a year ago.

Windows 11 users were sold Copilot partly on its features related to operating various settings and modes easily and conveniently, rather than having to dive into a search deep in the Settings app (or hunting elsewhere in the interface). And thus far, not a lot of capabilities have been added, really.

We’re hoping Microsoft will get its foot to the floor on this side of the Copilot experience later this year, with the Windows 11 24H2 update, but for now, a doubling of numbers is at least a sign of some decent forward momentum.

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Windows 11’s next big update could arrive in February 2024, packing some nifty features – but it might miss some tricks too

Windows 11 could be getting its next feature drop early in 2024, courtesy of what will be the fifth ‘Moment’ update for the operating system.

As you’re likely aware by now, a Moment is the name given to smaller feature updates that arrive outside of the big annual upgrade Microsoft pushes out for Windows 11 (which was 23H2 this year).

And we just heard from Windows Central (Zac Bowden) that Moment 5 should arrive in February (indeed its alternative name is the ‘February 2024 Moment’).

That said, the catch is that this will be the initial preview release, late in the month, so the full version of the Moment 5 update won’t actually arrive until March. On the second Tuesday of the month if the typical release cadence of Microsoft’s cumulative updates is adhered to – which would make the date to mark in your diary March 12.

What will this update pack in the way of new features? Well, don’t get your hopes up for anything too exciting, as we’re told this will be a more minor release compared to some of the previous Moments.

Even so, there will be a healthy dollop of tweaks and additions, and one smart piece of functionality is targeted at stylus users – namely the ability to write directly into text fields with their pen (something Microsoft has promised will eventually be an OS-wide capability in Windows).

Voice Access is also receiving some laudable attention, including support for multiple monitors, and powerful new voice shortcuts. The latter are customizable commands allowing for the opening of files, folders, or pasting a section of boilerplate text, for example (and they can be chained together for multiple steps).

Microsoft is set to make a bunch of minor tweaks – some of which are useful, like giving Notepad a character count, and being able to rename devices with the Nearby Share feature, to make them more easily identifiable at a glance (‘Darren’s PC’ for example) – but some of the work elsewhere is purely about complying with European regulations.

Specifically, these changes are bound up in compliance, and destined for the European Economic Area (EEA). They include the choice to uninstall the Edge browser from Windows 11, as well as the ability to strip Bing out of the taskbar search box (and instead have web results piped through from an alternative, like Google).

Enabling HDR in Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Analysis: March of progress

Unfortunately, Windows 11 users outside of the EEA won’t get those latter options, but they will benefit from another move to let the user uninstall a larger number of default apps – like Photos, for example.

Furthermore, Microsoft is introducing an option to specify that the widgets panel contains just widgets, with users being able to remove the news feed. Interestingly, we’re also told that Microsoft will make it possible for other third-party services to be integrated into the panel – so you could infuse the widget board with Google news, if you wanted to.

These widget-related possibilities are coming for everyone, fortunately, not just the EEA – and we can keep our fingers crossed that the other mentioned Europe-bound changes will be rolled out more widely, too. Plenty of folks would like the ability to declutter Windows 11 a bit more by getting rid of Edge, no doubt.

Of course, we must bear in mind that these changes are all rumors, though we’ve seen all the mentioned features going through testing of late, so all of this makes sense. The release date of February (for preview) and March is the nugget of info that needs more salt applied, but Bowden is one of the more reliable sources out there for info from Microsoft. It’s always possible that an intended timeframe might slip a bit, mind.

From what we’ve heard, this could be the last Moment update before the next-gen version of Windows is launched later in 2024. Whether that will be Windows 12, or something else (Windows AI?), or if Microsoft might stick with Windows 11 (making the upgrade version 24H2), we don’t yet know, but the theory is this might be the last Moment before that next big move arrives.

As per another of Bowden’s recent rumors, Microsoft is supposedly set to switch away from Moments, releasing fewer of these updates going forward, and making more changes and feature additions in the big annual upgrade. (And yes – in short, this is returning more to the way things used to be).

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Photoshop’s new AI-powered tricks will fix your biggest mistakes

Adobe Photoshop has been the gold standard in photo editing for over three decades, so it was only a matter of time until it embraced the tricks seen in the best AI art generators – and it's now done just that in the form of a new tool called Generative Fill.

The new tool, which lets you extend images or add objects to them using text prompts, certainly isn't the first AI-powered feature we've seen in Photoshop. Generative Fill is also a user-friendly development of existing Adobe tools, like Content Aware Fill, but it's also one of the most significant new Photoshop features we’ve seen for years.

That’s because it leans on the power of Adobe Firefly, the company’s new generative AI engine, to help you fix big compositional mistakes or completely reinvent an image’s contents. In Adobe’s demos, images in portrait orientation are instantly turned into ones in landscape – with Photoshop simply inventing the sides of the photo based on the original image.

While some of those examples are quite subtle, others have a very obvious art aesthetic. For example, a photo of a corgi is turned into one with very obviously fake bubbles and a van in the background. 

Adobe clearly sees Generative Fill as a tool for both beginners and pros, but the new text-to-image prompt box is certainly a useful touch for those who don’t know Photoshop’s existing tools. You can use this to add small details to an image or completely change its background – in another demo, a deer is moved from its forest background to a city thanks to the prompt ‘wet alley at night’.

Of course, none of this will be new to fans of Midjourney or Dall-E, which have helped spark this year’s boom in text-to-image generation. 

But Adobe is keen to stress that AI tools like Generative Fill model have only been trained on Adobe Stock images, openly-licensed content, and public domain content where the copyright has expired. This means they can be used for commercial use without the threat of class-action lawsuits from artists who claim some AI models have stolen their work.

While Generative Fill is only rolling out to the full Photoshop app in the “second half of 2023”, there are a couple of ways you can try it out now. First, it’s available in Photoshop’s desktop beta app, which you can get by going to the Creative Cloud desktop app, choosing Beta apps in the left sidebar, then installing it from there.

The feature is also available as a module within the web-only Adobe Firefly, which was also recently added to Google Bard. To use Firefly in Bard, you can simply write your image request (for example, 'make an image of a unicorn and a cake at a kid's party') and it'll do the rest. What a time to be alive. 

Analysis: Photoshop battles its new AI rivals

A corgi dog running through a puddle below bubbles

Some of the effects created by the Firefly-powered Generative Fill are more clearly AI-generated. (Image credit: Adobe)

Like Google, Adobe is a giant incumbent that's under attack from AI upstarts like OpenAI and Midjourney. While Firefly and Photoshop's Generative Fill aren't doing things we haven't seen before, they are doing them in a measured way that sidesteps any copyright issues and helps maintains its reputation.

Photoshop's embrace of generative AI also brings these tools fully into the mainstream. The image editor may not be the dominant force it was before the likes of Canva, Affinity Photo and GIMP arrived to offer more affordable alternatives, but it remains one of the best photo editors around and certainly one of the most widely used.

From Adobe's early demos, it looks like Generative Fill is in its early days and produces mixed results, depending on your tastes. In some images, the effects are subtle and realistic, while in others – particularly images where large parts of entirely AI-generated – the results are clearly AI-generated and may not date very well.

Still, the arrival of Generative AI alongside other new features like the Remove Tool –another development of the Photoshop's existing ability to let you eliminate unwanted objects – is only a good thing for those who aren't familiar with the app's sometimes arcane interface. 

And it's another step towards the AI tools, like DragGAN, that will completely change photography as we know it.        

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9 hidden iOS tricks that every iPhone user should know

Apple’s iOS has come a long way from its iPhoneOS starting point, and all of the best iPhones have built on the operating system’s initial promise. Steve Jobs demonstrated the power of the iPhone in 2007 with a huge on-stage Starbucks order, and the platform has grown year after year with each update adding new features.

Multitasking, the notification and Control Center, and even the App Store, were all added to the iPhone after its first iteration, and that rapid pace of innovation can make it hard to keep up with new features.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of useful features you may have missed. Some are accessibility options, some need to be enabled, and others are just waiting to be used. All of them, though, will make your iPhone experience better.

1. Use a cursor to select text

iOS tips and tricks

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

Texting is a way of life, but it’s still surprisingly cumbersome even at the best of times. If you’ve ever had an errant word added by autocorrect but not spotted it until you’ve written a few dozen words more, this tip is for you.

Sure, you can hold your finger to the text to jump to it, but this can occasionally lead to highlighting an entire word or sentence. For more granular control, we’d recommend the following:

  • Hold your finger or thumb at the bottom of your screen, underneath the keyboard.
  • This will grey out the keyboard, and turn it into a trackpad until you raise your finger or thumb.

Hey presto, easy text selection!

2. Create text snippets

iOS tips and tricks

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

Text snippets are popular for macOS power users, but you can achieve the same result with your iPhone. Better yet, it doesn’t require any third-party software.

Text snippets are ideal shortcuts for copying in certain phrases you’ve pre-registered. If you’re dealing with a client via iMessage, for example, you may want to send a standardized response. With text replacement, you can create a block of text to be posted whenever you type a phrase.

  • Open Settings, then head to General, then Keyboard.
  • Pick Text Replacement and you’ll be able to create new replacements, and the words required to trigger them.

In our example, you can see that typing 'omw' brings up 'On my way!', but there are plenty of places where this would be useful. You can also set emoji to appear when you type, which feels pleasantly nostalgic in a way you just don’t get from the emoji picker.

3. Enable the scientific calculator

iOS tips and tricks

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

The iPad may not feature a calculator, but the iPhone does. The trouble is, it can feel a tad limiting outside of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – at least until you find a new perspective.

Turning your iPhone to the side with the calculator app open will enable the scientific calculator. This adds brackets, square roots, cos/sin/tan options, and the ever-handy π command, among plenty of others.

4. Enable an additional ‘button’

iOS tips and tricks

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

While intended as an accessibility feature, the iPhone’s ‘back tap’ button is handy for power users looking for additional input for their device.

  • Go to Settings, then Accessibility, then Touch.
  • Select Back Tap and you’ll be presented with plenty of options.

You can use this in a number of ways, such as triggering the App Switcher, snapping a quick screenshot, or opening Spotlight search from anywhere on your device. There are also double and triple tap options, meaning you can set multiple functions for it.

5. Use your camera’s 'Burst Mode'

iOS tips and tricks

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

Your iPhone’s camera is plenty powerful enough, but there’s one trick you may have missed: Burst Mode. Burst mode, as the name suggests, takes a series of rapid-fire images in one press which means your iPhone can capture a series of action shots.

It’s ideal for pets and excitable toddlers, letting you go back and look at your pictures after the event and pick out the best ones. It’s easy to access, too. Just slide the Shutter button (the one you use to take photos) to the left when you’re in the Camera app.

You can also head into Settings, then Camera, and toggle Use Volume Up for Burst to allow your volume rocker to trigger Burst mode – just hold it when you’re taking an image.

6. Scan documents using the camera

Your iPhone’s camera can double as a very respectable document scanner, and while Live Text means you can extract text from images, it’s entirely possible to digitize an entire document. Because it’s buried in the Notes app, though, you may not have spotted how to do it.

  • Open Notes, then tap the camera icon, then Scan Documents.
  • Highlight your document and it should automatically save. You can also manually take a scan with the shutter button.

Once the scan is saved, you can sign it, too, or just share it via any email or messaging app. It’s not got the same level of quality as a bespoke scanner, but it’s not far off, and will certainly do in a pinch.

Not convinced? Be sure to check our list of the best document scanning apps.

7. Use your camera flash as a notification

iOS tips and tricks

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

One final camera trick, which is a little different. As an accessibility feature, you can trigger your iPhone’s camera flash to go off when you receive a notification, providing a more visual way of knowing someone is calling or messaging.

  • Head into Settings, then Accessibility.
  • In the Audio/Visual section there’s an option for ‘LED Flash for Alerts’.

You can also trigger it to only work when your phone is on silent, which is ideal if you’d prefer your phone not to vibrate on a desk.

8. Master Control Center

iOS tips and tricks

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

Introduced as part of iOS 7 all the way back in 2013, Control Center has moved from the bottom of the screen to the top as the years have gone by, and it has a lot more utility than you may be aware of.

While Apple doesn’t offer Force Touch these days, you can long-press on Control Center icons to get additional options.

Through this, you can enable Spatial Audio with compatible earphones, pick a Focus mode, get a better look at what’s playing on your audio app, or even go two layers deep – the quadrant with Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile signal can be expanded to allow you to easily select a Wi-Fi access point, for example.

9. Recognize any song with Shazam in the Control Center

iOS tips and tricks

(Image credit: Apple / TechRadar)

Remember Shazam? The music recognition service was purchased by Apple in 2018 and remains a great way to identify whatever song is playing – whether you’re in a store, at a party, or just missed the name on the radio.

While Shazam has an app, you can also add it to your iPhone’s Control Center for easy access.

  • Open Settings, then enter Control Center and tap the Plus button next to Music Recognition to add it.

Now, whenever you hear a great song playing, you can pull down from Control Center and hit the Shazam icon to find out what’s playing. If you’re on Apple Music, it’ll even give you the option to add the track to your library.

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20 tips and tricks for Windows 11

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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

20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

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.

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55 Mac tips, tricks, troubleshooters and time-savers

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.

Spotlight currency conversion dialog

(Image credit: Future)

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. 

Mac System Preferences dialog

(Image credit: Future)

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. 

Screen shot showing a selection of macOS emoji

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing options for annotating PDFs in Preview

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screenshot showing Batch Rename options

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing macOS Keyboard text options

(Image credit: Future)

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 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.

Screen shot showing macOS sidebar options

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing macOS Guest User options

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing Share menu options for extensions

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing macOS Family sharing options

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing macOS share menu with Airdrop selected

(Image credit: Future)

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.

screen shot showing macOS Screen Time notification

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing macOS vCard options

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing macOS audio output settings

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Everyday improvements

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

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.

Screen show showing macOS options for searching websites in safari

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing macOS wi-fi hotspot settings

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing macOS menu search feature

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Screen shot showing macOS Paste and Match Style menu option selected

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Troubleshooting tips

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.

Screen show showing macOS saved passwords list

(Image credit: Future)

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’.

Screen shot showing macOS Activity Monitor window

(Image credit: Future)

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.

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