Tech Tip – How To Speed Up Your Phone Charging

If you are finding that your phone is getting slow at charging, here are some of the possible causes and solutions:

– Incompatible or faulty accessories, such as power brick, USB cable, or charging pad/mat (for wireless charging). Choosing a charger or brick with higher amperage e.g., a power brick with 2 to 3 amps could help speed up charging, as could making sure that you are using an authentic charging (USB) cable that is in good condition. Using a different USB cable and power adapter could be a good first try at solving the problem.

– Wireless charging slowing things down. Wireless charging tends to be slower than cable charging, so consider switching back to traditional adapter & USB cable charging (bearing in mind the point made above).

– Damage to or dirt in the charger port on the phone (where the cable plugs in). If there’s dirt, use a wooden toothpick or a soft brush to clean it out. If it is broken, a technician, perhaps recommended by your local phone shop can fix it for you.

– Background apps using power. To stop this happening (Android), use Settings > Battery> Battery Usage to find the apps and disable their background battery usage. Select the app and tap Background restriction. For iPhones or iPads, go to Settings > Battery and tap Show Activity.

– An old or defective battery. To check an iPhone or iPad’s battery capacity, use Settings > Battery > Battery Health and if the Maximum Capacity is 80 per cent or lower, this may be a sign that the battery needs replacing.

– Using the phone while charging. This should be avoided because it causes the phone to charge more slowly, raises battery temperature, and increases the chances of fraying the charging cable.

Tech Tip – Adjust The Sound For Specific Apps

If you would like to have better control of the volume levels of individual apps that you have open on Windows 10 this can easily be done via the settings (Sound) section and the hidden ‘Volume Mixer’. Here’s how:

Using (Sound) Settings

– Click on the Start button and select ‘Settings’ or type settings into the search field next to the Start button.

– Select ‘Settings’ > ‘System’ > ‘Sound’.

– Scroll down (right-hand pane) to ‘Advanced sound options’ and select ‘App Volume and device preferences. Here you can adjust the master volume and the volume of the apps that you have open and systems sounds as a percentage of the master volume.

Using The volume Mixer

– Right-mouse click over the sound symbol (speaker) on the taskbar.

– Select ‘Open Volume Mixer’. Any apps that are open and are making a sound will be visible in the volume mixer.

– Slide the volume sliders to adjust the volume output, or you can choose to mute apps completely.

Tech Tip – How To Wipe Your Phone Or Laptop Before Selling It

If you would like to sell a phone, laptop, tablet, or other device, but would like to know how to completely wipe it first, here’s how:

Firstly, make sure you’ve backed up things like your photos, other important files, and WhatsApp chats. Next:

Windows Laptops

– Type “Reset” into the Start search box and select “Reset this PC”. If this option doesn’t show, look in “Settings” under the “Recovery” tab.

– To wipe all storage drives, on the next page, click “Change Settings” and change the Data Erasure slider to “On”.

MacBooks and Macs

– Reset the system and press the Command + R keys together to load the recovery menu.

– Select “Disk Utility” (the system drives will be displayed).

– Right-click and select Delete on each applicable drive apart from the MacOS install partition.

– Return to the Recovery menu or reset and use the Command+R shortcut from a fresh start-up, and select Install MacOS.

Google Chromebooks

– Press Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and “R” together from the login screen to bring up the “Powerwash” box, or, from “Settings”, select “Advanced” and scroll down to “Powerwash”.

iPhones and iPads

– Go to the “Settings” menu, then the General sub-menu.

– Use the Reset option, and the “Erase All Content and Settings” control. To do this, you will need to use your Apple ID password.
Android Phones and Tablets

– Go to the “System” part of “Settings” and find ‘Reset Options’.

– Choose “Erase All Data” (Factory Reset), or similar and follow the prompts. You will need your unlock PIN.

Tech Tip – Open All Tabs At Once

If you’re using Microsoft’s Edge browser, a handy organising feature means that you can easily get a full, instant view of every window you have open and quickly tab between them. Here’s how:

– Press Alt + Tab.

– Holding down Alt, click Tab to move between the windows and to select the one you want.

– To configure you’re the settings or turn off the feature, go to Settings > System > Multitasking, and see the dropdown menu for options of what Alt + Tab can do.

Tech Tip – Organising Files Using ‘Libraries’

If you would like a quick and easy way to bring all relevant files from different drives into one virtual folder that you can search at one time, use the Windows 10 ‘Libraries’ feature. Here’s how:

– Go to/open File Explorer.

– If ‘Libraries’ isn’t listed e.g., under ‘This PC’, right mouse click in the navigation pane and click ‘Show Libraries’.

– To create your own library, double click on ‘Libraries’ and right mouse click > New > Library. There are also four default libraries that are already in user account.

– Click on the new Library folder you’ve created and, top left, click on the ‘Manage Library’ folder icon.

– You can then click on the ‘Add’ and ‘Remove’ buttons to organise your virtual Libraries.

Tech Tip – Autofill and Sync Passwords

If you’re a Microsoft Windows user and you’d like to avoid the hassle of remembering and typing your passwords across devices and platforms, Autofill can do it for you as it is now being rolled out with the Microsoft Authenticator app, and as an Autofill extension on Google Chrome. Here’s how to use it:

Autofill will store your passwords under your Microsoft account. The Microsoft Authenticator App is available from Google Play and the Apple App Stores.  Here’s how to use it:

– Open the Microsoft Authenticator app.

– Sign-in on the Passwords tab with your Microsoft account.  Your passwords stored on Edge will then sync to the Authenticator app.

– To have a secure way to your Microsoft Edge passwords when you’re browsing on Google Chrome, go to the Chrome Webstore and get the Microsoft Autofill Extension.

– The Authenticator app also lets you import passwords as a .csv file.

Tech Tip – Continuing Where You Left Off With Edge

If you would like to preserve all your browser tabs and reopen them the next time you restart Microsoft Edge e.g. if you’ve had to restart your machine while browsing, here’s how:

– Open Edge, click on the 3 dots (top right) and select ‘Settings’.

– Click “On startup” in the sidebar.

– Select “Continue where you left off.”

– Close the “Settings” tab. The next time Edge is closed and restarted your tabs will be where you left them.

– To always open the same pages every time you open Edge, go to “Settings, “On startup”, and choose “Open a specific page or pages”.  From here you can choose which page will be displayed whenever you open Edge.

Tech Tip – Restoring Previous Versions Using File History

If you’d like to restore a previous version of a file in Windows 10 you can do this using File History.  Here’s how:

Firstly, to enable File History:

-Go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Update & Security’ and in the left-hand-side menu, click on ‘Backup’.

-Under ‘Add a Drive’, if no dive is listed you will need to add a drive option e.g., external storage connected to a USB port.

-Select that drive and the ‘Automatically back up my files’.  This will enable File History and will toggle to ‘On’. This can be toggled to ‘off’ when not required.

-The ‘More Options’ link below the toggle/slider allows you to select when you want your back-ups to occur, which folders you’d like to back up and it allows you to select backup to a different drive.

To Restore old versions:

– Restoring previous versions of files can now happen by opening File Explorer, finding file or folder you wish to restore, right-clicking on the file or folder, then selecting the Restore previous versions option.

Previous versions will be displayed in a list. Select the version to restore, select the Open button at the bottom or to restore it, select Restore.

Tech Tip – PDFs From Almost Anything

PDFs are really useful files for sharing and printing and one good thing about Windows 10 is that it enables you to make a pdf out of almost anything.  Here’s how:

– From any Windows 10 app, use the Print command.

– In the Print dialogue box, select Microsoft Print to PDF as the destination printer. 

– Adjust the other option to suit e.g., orientation, virtual page size.

– Select Print, specify the name and location of the final document and then click Start to create the pdf.

Tech Tip – Colour Filters

If you’re having trouble seeing what’s on the screen, Windows 10 allows you to apply a colour filter which changes the screen’s colour palette and can help you distinguish between things that differ only by colour. Here’s how to use it:

– Select Start  > Settings  > Ease of Access > Color filters.

– Switch on the toggle under Turn on colour filters.

– Select a colour filter from the menu. Try each filter to see which one suits you best.

– To get to colour filter settings in previous versions of Windows 10, select Start  > Settings  > Ease of Access > Color & high contrast.