Turning it off and back on – Is that the Magic Bullet?

Maybe your dad was right after all

All of us have gotten the advice at some point. When your electronic devices are acting up, simply turn the thing off – wait a few moments – and then turn it back on again. It’s amazing how universal that action can be to solve a world of electronic problems. But why is that? Why does that work so well so often?

A House of Cards

When you first turn on your Mac, iPhone, or cable modem, it’s like you begin to stack playing cards, one on top of the other. The longer the device is powered on, the taller and the more unstable the stack can become. The longer your gear is on, the further away it gets from optimum operating mode. And the more likely that performance will lag and stability will wane, even to the point of the device “freezing” or “crashing.” Turning it off and back on has the effect of starting over with your stack of cards. That’s the point at which the programming for your device is in the most “known” state. This potentially makes your device more unstable, and it upps the likelihood that unexpected behaviors will show up.

Putting your Mac laptop to sleep does not reset the system. I generally recommend either shutting down or restarting your Mac every other week for sure. If you have a desktop Mac that is always powered on, you can go to System Preferences:Energy Saver and set a weekly time for the Mac to restart itself. You can also create a weekly recurring calendar event to remind you to do a quick restart of your Mac.

As to iPhones and iPads, they seem to remain stable for months at a time (until they aren’t). Since a restart of an iOS device takes less than 2 minutes, I recommend doing that at least quarterly, or even once a month if you want to really stay on top of things. You can either press and hold the external power button to restart it, or go to Settings:General:Shut Down instead.

What Else Can I Do?

If your Mac is still exhibiting strange behavior, you could initiate a Safe Boot (instructions are here). When your web browser gets erratic, you can clear your browser’s cache, or run Malwarebytes. If your Mac or iOS device is still acting strange, you can upgrade to its maximum operating system. On the Mac, you’ll find that at Apple menu:System Preferences:Software Update, and on iOS devices, you’ll find it under Settings:General:Software Update.

Help Mr. Wizard!

We are here and happy to help you keep all of your Apple devices running smoothly and as fast as possible. Contact us if you would like some help!

How to Use Your Phone as a Hotspot

A Personal Hotspot lets you share the cellular data connection of your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular) when you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi network.

Set up Personal Hotspot

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot or Settings > Personal Hotspot.
  2. Tap the slider next to Allow Others to Join.

If you don’t see the option for Personal Hotspot, contact your carrier to make sure that you can use Personal Hotspot with your plan.

Connect to Personal Hotspot with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB

You can connect to a Personal Hotspot using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB. And with iOS 13 or later, devices that are connected to a Personal Hotspot will stay connected, even if the screen is locked, so those devices will still get notifications and messages.

Here are some tips for using each method.

When you connect a device to your Personal Hotspot, the status bar turns blue and shows how many devices have joined. The number of devices that can join your Personal Hotspot at one time depends on your carrier and iPhone model. If other devices have joined your Personal Hotspot using Wi-Fi, you can use only cellular data to connect to the Internet from the host device.

Use these steps to connect:

iPhone hotspot image

Wi-Fi

On the device that you want to connect to, go to Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot or Settings > Personal Hotspot and make sure that it’s on. Then verify the Wi-Fi password and name of the phone. Stay on this screen until you’ve connected your other device to the Wi-Fi network.

On the device that you want to connect, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and look for your iPhone or iPad in the list. Then tap the Wi-Fi network to join. If asked, enter the password for your Personal Hotspot.

Bluetooth

To make sure that your iPhone or iPad is discoverable, go to Settings > Bluetooth and stay on that screen. Then on your Mac or PC, follow the manufacturer directions to set up a Bluetooth network connection. Learn more about using Personal Hotspot with Bluetooth.

Personal Hotspot supports Bluetooth connections with Mac, PC, and other third-party devices. To connect another iOS device, use Wi-Fi.

USB

Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes on your Mac or PC. Then connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer with the USB cable that came with your device. If you see an alert that says tap “Trust This Computer?” tap Trust.

Learn more about connecting a device to your iPhone or iPad’s Personal Hotspot.

Share a mobile connection by hotspot or tethering on Android

You can use your phone’s mobile data to connect another phone, tablet, or computer to the internet. Sharing a connection this way is called tethering or using a hotspot. Some phones can share Wi-Fi connection by tethering.

Most Android phones can share mobile data by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB.

Important: Some mobile carriers limit or charge extra for tethering. We recommend checking with your carrier.Important: Some of these steps work only on Android 9 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Turn on your hotspot

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Tap Hotspot .
    • If you don’t find Hotspot , at the bottom left, tap Edit  and drag Hotspot  into your Quick Settings.

Connect another device to your phone’s hotspot

  1. On the other device, open that device’s list of Wi-Fi options.
  2. Pick your phone’s hotspot name.
  3. Enter your phone’s hotspot password.
  4. Click Connect.

If you don’t want your hotspot to require a password:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Touch and hold Hotspot .
  3. Under “Security,” tap None.

Tip: You can share your phone’s mobile data with up to 10 other devices via a Wi-Fi hotspot.

It’s all too much, can I get some help?

Why, yes, we are here to help. Contact Us and we will get you set up!

How to set up a Legacy Contact on iOS

What is Apple’s Digital Legacy program?

Apple’s Digital Legacy program is a way for someone that you choose to access your digital information stored in your Apple account after you die.

So much of our important data is stored in digital form — like photos, messages, contacts, email, notes, and more. For Apple users, that info is locked away behind an Apple ID password. If the account owner, rightly, hasn’t shared the password, then loved ones will be unable to access any of that information once they are no longer around.

Instead of being left in the lurch, Digital Legacy allows users to name select friends or family members as Legacy Contacts who can request a copy of their data in the event of their death.

How to add a Legacy Contact on iOS

Here’s how to do it on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 15.2 or later.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap your name.
  3. Tap Password & Security.
  1. Tap Legacy Contact.
  2. Tap Add Legacy Contact. A dialog box will explain the Digital Legacy feature. 
  3. Tap Add Legacy Contact once more to proceed and you’ll be prompted to use Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode to continue.
  1. If you use Family Sharing, you’ll be presented with a list of family members from which to pick. Tap their name and hit Next. Alternatively, tap Choose Someone Else to add someone from your Contacts. 
  2. Tap Continue.
  3. Once you’ve selected the person, you may need to choose their primary email as the mode of contact.

One Final Step

By default, a Legacy Contact assignment only lasts for three years, and then it goes away. We recommend also making a Calendar appointment for yourself for 3 years from the date you set this up (with a name like “Reassign Legacy Contact iOS” or similar).

Best to Be Prepared

Life is unpredictable. That’s why it’s a good idea to set up some Legacy Contacts so that your important information can be accessed by the friends and family members you choose.

Apple’s Digital Legacy feature is the best iPhone implementation we’ve seen for this sort of information sharing and, once set up, you can go on with one less thing to worry about. It doesn’t solve all of the problems of estate planning, but it’s a good place to start.

But Wait: Can’t You Do It For Me?

Why yes – that’s what we’re here for. Contact Us and we will set it up for you!

(Excerpted from a longer article from iMore.com.)

Why You Should Update Your Medical ID in Health

It’s been seven years since Apple introduced the Medical ID on your iPhone, and if you still haven’t set it up, here’s how you do it — and why you should. The Health app on your iPhone was introduced in 2014. It is where you can enter your Medical ID details — and that’s the kind of… Continue Reading

How to Enable COVID-19 Exposure Notifications on iPhone

(Update10/30/20: Half a million Colorado residents have already enabled notifications.) Apple and Google have joined forces to help governments and health authorities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. They have released the first version of their exposure notification software for both iOS and Android devices. The State of Colorado just announced their participation as… Continue Reading

Can I Do Dictation on My Mac? Yes!

Most everyone is familiar with how to do dictation on an iPhone by activating the microphone within the keyboard and/or using Siri. This has your phone interpret your speech and turn that into text, as if typing on the keyboard. But did you know you can do the same thing with your Mac? It’s true!… Continue Reading

How to Clear Your Mac’s Browser Cache

Your browser cache is responsible for storing the data of previously viewed websites. While the purpose behind the cache is for quicker loading times of the sites you visit, it can work against you over time. Clearing your cache might not be completely necessary, nor need to be done often. However, clearing your browser’s cache… Continue Reading

How to Use Apple Mail Drop to Send Large Files

How to Use Apple Mail Drop to Send Large Files

Don’t you wish there was an easy way to send large email attachments that didn’t require registration, passwords or codes? If you have an iCloud account, you’re already set. Mail Drop is a feature that lets you send large files, up to 5GB, via iCloud. This is a handy feature for people who may be… Continue Reading

How to Whitelist a Domain in Mac OS X Mail

Have you noticed that some emails from your favorite domain are ending up in your Junk box lately? The spam filter in Apple’s Mail app is effective at catching junk mail, while still allowing mail from known senders to reach your inbox. However, this only applies to individual senders and those in your Contacts; it does… Continue Reading

How to navigate the Genius Bar at the Apple Store

The “Genius Bar” name may do a disservice to everyday Apple users, scaring them away from fixing their own devices and implying only a “genius” can troubleshoot them. But sometimes, going to the Genius Bar makes sense—especially if your phone or Mac is still under warranty and you can get it fixed for free. The… Continue Reading

Troubleshooting, small business networks,
Macs, iPads, and printers
Device syncing, backups,
passwords and email accounts
OS and app optimization and updates, and
preventive maintenance