Must-try Windows 11 customization features

Windows 11, the newest operating system from Microsoft, is a breath of fresh air for PC users. Designed to provide a personalized experience, it offers many ways to change your PC’s interface, from how windows look to how apps can be accessed. Here are some Windows 11 customization features that will give you more control over your PC settings.

Change your theme

The easiest way to customize Windows 11 is by changing your theme, including your desktop background and lock screen image. Just right-click anywhere on your desktop, then click on Personalize. This will lead you to the Personalization menu, where you can preview and choose different backgrounds and themes. You can even create new themes by using images from your gallery. You can also see more themes in the Microsoft Store by clicking “Browse more”.

Use dark mode

If light or bright colors are not your thing, Windows 11 is here to the rescue. To change your desktop’s colors, right-click on your desktop, choose Personalize, and click Colors. Then, select Dark under “Choose your default Windows mode”. This changes the colors of your taskbar and Start menu. If you want to change the color of your apps from white to black, pick Dark under “Choose your default app mode”. To restore your default settings, follow the same procedure under “Choose your default app mode” but click Light.

Create virtual desktops

Having trouble separating work files from personal files? Try creating a virtual desktop. You can do this by clicking on the Task view icon on the taskbar. This will display all your open windows. Just drag any window to the “New desktop” space on the lower part of the screen to create another desktop. Repeat the process if you want to add more windows to the new desktop. To add more virtual desktops, hover over the Task view icon and click on the + sign. To remove a virtual desktop, hover over the Task view icon and click the X button on the desktop you want to delete.

Try snap layouts

Snapping is not a new feature, but Windows 11 makes it more efficient by letting you snap any app or window wherever you are on your PC. Access snap layouts by hovering over a window’s maximize button or pressing Win + Z. You can then see which layouts are available to you, and pick the one that best suits your needs.

Reorganize your Start Menu

You can also personalize how your apps are arranged on the Start menu. For one, you can rearrange applications by dragging them anywhere around the Start menu. Or, if you won’t be using a particular application, simply right-click the tile and select Unpin from Start. On the other hand, if you want even faster access to your most-used apps, right-click on an app and choose Pin to taskbar

Disable all your notifications

Some people prefer to receive notifications, but some don’t. If you’re one of the latter and wish to never see notifications ever again, click on the gear icon on the taskbar to open Settings. Then, choose System > Notifications. From there, you can switch off whatever app notifications you don’t want popping up on your screen.

Personalize your Windows 11 PC however you like by using some or all of these options. If you want more ways to customize your device or if you need information on anything Windows 11-related, give us a call.

 

This post was originally published on this site

Not sure what to do with your new iPad? Start here

Even though Apple devices are less customizable than their Android counterparts, new iPads have dozens of settings to configure. Tackling the most important ones takes only a few minutes if you know where to start. Check out our recommendations for the top five most useful iPad settings.

Touch ID

The first thing you must change is iPadOS’s fingerprint recognition features. When configured properly, this technology not just unlocks your device, but also automatically fills in saved passwords. To configure this feature, open Settings and then tap Touch ID & Passcode (or Face ID & Passcode, if your device supports it) to record several fingerprints and configure what Touch ID can authorize.

Notifications

How embarrassing would it be if someone sent you a private message and it popped up on your iPad’s lock screen where anyone could see it? You can prevent this from happening by opening the Notifications window from within the Settings app. From there, you can change which apps are allowed to show notifications, where those notifications are displayed, and whether or not you get reminders about unread notifications.

Personalize your Control Center

Swiping down from the top right corner of an iPad’s screen opens what Apple calls the Control Center. This window allows users to access frequently used tools such as the alarm, camera, flashlight, and others. To add or remove Control Center apps, or simply rearrange them, open Settings, select Control Center > Customize Controls.

Activate Siri

Apple was the first company to introduce a consumer-grade voice assistant, and they’ve spent years improving it. You can activate Siri by long pressing the home button. Another way to activate it is to say the phrase “Hey, Siri.”

Update your Today View

Swiping to the right on your iPad’s screen opens a screen packed with personalized information. It’s called the Today View, and although it’s smart enough to create content specific to you, there are several ways to improve it.

Open the Today View and select Edit. Similar to Control Center options, this window lets you add, remove, or rearrange what the Today View displays. You can even add page segments generated by non-Apple services and apps.

Don’t fall for the misconception that Apple computers and mobile devices are too rigid to be customized. Every day, countless organizations use them to achieve specific and unique business goals. We know because we’ve seen it happen firsthand with our clients! Give us a call today if you’d like our help making similar improvements.

This post was originally published on this site

Setting up your brand-new MacBook

When setting up your new MacBook, it’s important not to rush through the setup process. Otherwise, you might miss out on several key steps that will help make you get the most out of it. Here’s a guide to setting up your MacBook, plus some useful tweaks to further improve its performance.

Go through the basics

When you first turn on your MacBook, a setup assistant will walk you through the process of configuring your computer. The assistant will prompt you to select your country and language, as well as create a user account and Apple ID, if you don’t already have one.

You’ll also be asked if you want to enable the following services:

  • FileVault – encrypts your hard drive
  • iCloud Keychain – manages passwords and Wi-Fi credentials on Apple devices
  • Find My Mac – helps track down lost Apple devices together with the Find My app
  • Touch ID – MacBook’s built-in fingerprint reader, which can be used for signing in to the device and apps, switch users, and approve Apple Pay purchases

Check for updates

Apple releases regular updates to macOS. If a new one has been released since your MacBook was built, there’s a way to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest features and patches. Simply click the Apple icon on the upper-left corner of your screen and select System Preferences. If any updates are available, install them by clicking on Update Now or More Info to see the details about the updates.

Choose a default browser

Safari is the default browser on Apple devices, and many users prefer it over other browsers for several reasons. But if you don’t like Safari, you can easily change your default browser to Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox. Simply go to System Preferences > General and select the browser of your choice.

Configure the Dock

The Dock is used to launch and switch between applications on macOS devices. By default, it’s located at the bottom of the screen, but you can move it to the left or right by going to System Preferences > Dock. Under “Position on screen,” choose Left or Right.

You can also make room on the Dock for the apps that you frequently use. To add an app to the Dock, open it and right-click on its icon in the Dock. From the menu that appears, go to Option > Keep in Dock. To remove apps that you don’t need from the Dock, click on its icon and drag it to the desktop until “Remove” appears above the icon.

Set up Siri

Apple’s virtual assistant is enabled by default on your MacBook, but if you prefer not to use it, go to System Preferences > Siri and uncheck the box for “Enable Ask Siri.” You could also switch Voice Feedback to Off if you want to mute Siri and get responses to your queries as text displayed on your screen.

If you do decide to keep Siri around, you can choose a language and voice for your assistant as well as the apps Siri can learn from and make suggestions. You can also customize a keyboard shortcut to activate Siri.

Flip the scrolling direction

By default, moving two fingers down a MacBook’s trackpad makes the view scroll down an open document or website on your screen. You can change your trackpad’s scrolling direction so that the same gesture makes the view scroll up. Go to System Preferences > Trackpad, and under the Scroll & Zoom tab, uncheck “Scroll direction: Natural.”

Set your screen to lock automatically

Keep unauthorized users out of your MacBook by setting the screen to lock automatically after the system has been idle for a while. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. Under the “Require password…after sleep or screen saver begins” option, select “immediately” from the drop-down menu.

Download and install iOS apps

The latest crop of MacBooks run on Apple’s M1 chip — this means that MacBooks and iOS devices now share the same processor architecture. This allows you to install and use compatible iOS apps on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac Mini.

To download iPhone and iPad apps onto your MacBook, go to the Mac App Store. Note that not all apps in the store are macOS-compatible, but developers are working on optimizing their apps for MacBooks, which means it may only be a matter of time before your favorite iOS apps become available for your new computer.

Got questions about your MacBook or other Apple devices? Get the answers you need and more from our experts. Give us a call today.

This post was originally published on this site

Setting up your brand-new MacBook

When setting up your new MacBook, it’s important not to rush through the setup process. Otherwise, you might miss out on several key steps that will help make you get the most out of it. Here’s a guide to setting up your MacBook, plus some useful tweaks to further improve its performance.

Go through the basics

When you first turn on your MacBook, a setup assistant will walk you through the process of configuring your computer. The assistant will prompt you to select your country and language, as well as create a user account and Apple ID, if you don’t already have one.

You’ll also be asked if you want to enable the following services:

  • FileVault – encrypts your hard drive
  • iCloud Keychain – manages passwords and Wi-Fi credentials on Apple devices
  • Find My Mac – helps track down lost Apple devices together with the Find My app
  • Touch ID – MacBook’s built-in fingerprint reader, which can be used for signing in to the device and apps, switch users, and approve Apple Pay purchases

Check for updates

Apple releases regular updates to macOS. If a new one has been released since your MacBook was built, there’s a way to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest features and patches. Simply click the Apple icon on the upper-left corner of your screen and select System Preferences. If any updates are available, install them by clicking on Update Now or More Info to see the details about the updates.

Choose a default browser

Safari is the default browser on Apple devices, and many users prefer it over other browsers for several reasons. But if you don’t like Safari, you can easily change your default browser to Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox. Simply go to System Preferences > General and select the browser of your choice.

Configure the Dock

The Dock is used to launch and switch between applications on macOS devices. By default, it’s located at the bottom of the screen, but you can move it to the left or right by going to System Preferences > Dock. Under “Position on screen,” choose Left or Right.

You can also make room on the Dock for the apps that you frequently use. To add an app to the Dock, open it and right-click on its icon in the Dock. From the menu that appears, go to Option > Keep in Dock. To remove apps that you don’t need from the Dock, click on its icon and drag it to the desktop until “Remove” appears above the icon.

Set up Siri

Apple’s virtual assistant is enabled by default on your MacBook, but if you prefer not to use it, go to System Preferences > Siri and uncheck the box for “Enable Ask Siri.” You could also switch Voice Feedback to Off if you want to mute Siri and get responses to your queries as text displayed on your screen.

If you do decide to keep Siri around, you can choose a language and voice for your assistant as well as the apps Siri can learn from and make suggestions. You can also customize a keyboard shortcut to activate Siri.

Flip the scrolling direction

By default, moving two fingers down a MacBook’s trackpad makes the view scroll down an open document or website on your screen. You can change your trackpad’s scrolling direction so that the same gesture makes the view scroll up. Go to System Preferences > Trackpad, and under the Scroll & Zoom tab, uncheck “Scroll direction: Natural.”

Set your screen to lock automatically

Keep unauthorized users out of your MacBook by setting the screen to lock automatically after the system has been idle for a while. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. Under the “Require password…after sleep or screen saver begins” option, select “immediately” from the drop-down menu.

Download and install iOS apps

The latest crop of MacBooks run on Apple’s M1 chip — this means that MacBooks and iOS devices now share the same processor architecture. This allows you to install and use compatible iOS apps on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac Mini.

To download iPhone and iPad apps onto your MacBook, go to the Mac App Store. Note that not all apps in the store are macOS-compatible, but developers are working on optimizing their apps for MacBooks, which means it may only be a matter of time before your favorite iOS apps become available for your new computer.

Got questions about your MacBook or other Apple devices? Get the answers you need and more from our experts. Give us a call today.

This post was originally published on this site