Face Unlock is one of the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL’s flagship features. But if the facial recognition is a form of biometric security you’re uncomfortable with, you can delete your face data right off the phone. Here’s how.
Start by jumping into the Settings menu. The easiest way to do this is by swiping down twice on the home screen until the quick tiles are exposed. From there, tap on the gear icon.
Alternatively, you can swipe up on the home screen to open the app drawer. Scroll down and select the “Settings” app.
Next, tap on the “Security” option.
Finally, locate and tap on the “Face Unlock” button. To proceed, you’ll need to enter your screen lock, whether that be a password, PIN, or pattern.
In the Face Unlock menu, scroll to the bottom of the page and tap on the “Delete Face Data” button.
The Google Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL will verify you want to disable Face Unlock. Confirm that you want to remove your face data by tapping the “Delete” button.
With the data deleted, Face Unlock will be disabled on your phone. The screen lock will remain in place, ensuring your device stays secure.
Tab Hover Cards in Google Chrome help you discern tabs from one another when you have numerous pages open. The feature is enabled by default, but if you don’t like it, the pop-up card can easily be disabled using a Chrome flag.
Starting with Chrome 78, Tab Hover Cards will appear when you rest the mouse cursor over a tab. The hovercard is essentially a larger preview box that now shows the title and URL of the page.
To disable the cards when you mouse-over a tab, you have to use an experimental flag in Chrome. When you enable/disable anything from chrome://flags, you use unfinished features that haven’t been tested on all devices and can sometimes misbehave. You’ll potentially run into a few bugs, so be careful when you play around with some of the available flags.
To get started, fire up Chrome, type chrome://flags into the Omnibox, press the “Enter” key, and then type “Tab Hover Cards” in the search bar.
Alternatively, you can paste chrome://flags/#tab-hover-cards into the Omnibox, and then press the “Enter” key to go directly to the flag.
Next, click the drop-down box next to the “Tab Hover Cards” flag and then select the “Disabled” option.
For changes to take effect, you must restart Chrome. Click the blue “Relaunch Now” button at the bottom of the page.
With that, after the web browser restarts, Tab Hover Cards are no longer a part of Google Chrome. If you want to re-enable the feature, just head back to the flag and set it back to the “Default” option.
Your iPhone or iPad will prompt you about this after the upgrade. You’ll see an “Improve Siri & Dictation” screen. If you select “Share Audio Recordings,” your device will share your recordings with Apple, and they may be listened to by humans to help improve Siri.
How to Disable Siri History Collection
To find these options, head to Settings > Privacy > Analytics & Improvements. You’ll find the Analytics & Improvements option at the bottom of the Privacy screen.
Ensure the “Improve Siri & Dictation” option here is toggled off. If it’s on, your iPhone or iPad will share clips of your voice with Apple.
With this option disabled, Apple won’t store or review audio of future interactions from this device. To delete audio of older interactions from Apple’s servers, you’ll have to use the below option as well.
If you have multiple devices—for example, an iPhone and an iPad—disabling Improve Siri & Dictation on one won’t disabled it on the other. You’ll have to toggle this option separately on each device you use.
How to Delete Your Siri History
To delete the history from Apple’s servers, head to Settings > Siri & Search > Siri & Dictation History.
Tap the “Delete Siri & Dictation History” to delete all the stored Siri interactions from Apple’s servers.
Assuming you’ve disabled history collection and deleted the history, Apple won’t store or listen to your Siri and dictation history.
As the options explain, this also deletes interactions with the iPhone keyboard’s dictation feature and prevents Apple representatives from listening to them.
One of the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL’s key features is its 90Hz display. But if you’re trying to save battery life, you can turn off the high refresh rate. Here’s how to keep the phone’s screen at 60 Hz.
How to Disable the 90Hz Display
To begin, swipe down on your home screen twice to move past the notification shade and into the quick tiles section. Tap on the gear icon to open the Settings menu.
Alternatively, you can swipe up from the home screen to open the app drawer. From there, locate and select the “Settings” app.
Scroll down and tap on the “Display” option.
Select the “Advanced” button to expand the menu.
Locate and tap on the “Smooth Display” option.
Select the toggle next to “Smooth Display” to disable the 90Hz display. As the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will be locked at 60 Hz, you should experience a slightly better battery life.
How to Force 90Hz Refresh Rate
If you’re not worried about battery life and want the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL to always run at 90Hz, you force the better-looking display. We don’t recommend this as it will run down your battery faster.
Before you can access the option to force the higher refresh rate, you have to enable Developer Options. To do this, swipe down on your display twice to access the quick settings tiles. Tap on the gear icon to open the Settings menu. Alternatively, open the “Setting” app from the app drawer.
Scroll down to the bottom of the menu and select the “About Phone” option.
Locate the “Build Number” item at the bottom of the page and rapidly tap on it. After a couple of seconds, you will be asked to authenticate yourself using the lock screen passcode (password, PIN, etc.).
Now that the setting is enabled hit the back button and select the “System” option.
Scroll down and tap on “Advanced” to expand the full menu.
Locate and select the “Developer Options” button.
Either use the search tool to locate “Force 90Hz Refresh Rate” or scroll down and tap on the option within the “Debugging” section.
Select the toggle next to “Force 90Hz Refresh Rate” to turn the feature off.
Again, we don’t recommend you for the 90Hz refresh rate. Almost everyone that has used the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL has commented on the phone’s poor battery life. Forcing the higher refresh rate will make the device die faster than usual.
Notifications on your phone can be a pain, especially for insignificant apps. It’s a good idea to block notifications, especially at work. Studies have found that notifications ruin your concentration, even if it’s a small beep. In fact, it’s as disruptive as actually using your phone.
Here’s how to turn off notifications on Android altogether, or stop notifications for select apps. Note that these steps are based on a phone with stock Android 8 Oreo. The menus and instructions may vary slightly depending on your device and Android version.
How to Turn Off Notifications on Android
Android has a built-in option to turn off notifications, or only allow certain contacts to call or text. It’s called Do Not Disturb, and you can find it in Settings. We’ll look at how to switch it on and customize Do Not Disturb settings.
There are also options to block notifications from specific apps. You can do all of this without third-party apps.
Before you dive in, remember that some notifications are important and necessary. Thus, you probably don’t want to turn off all notifications. But while you do need to see an important text, you probably don’t need to know that Amazon has a sale on kitchen items today.
Use these tools to stop unwanted notifications and reclaim your attention.
How to Activate Do Not Disturb on Android
The best way to activate Do Not Disturb and turn off notifications on Android is through the pull-down Quick Settings menu:
Pull down the top bar on your phone, and pull it down once more to show the Quick Settings menu. You can also pull down once using two fingers to jump right to this menu.
Find and tap Do not disturb.
You have three options:
Total silence: Blocks all sounds and vibrations.
Alarms only: Blocks everything except alarms.
Priority only: Blocks everything except alarms, reminders, events, and important callers. You can customize this option, which we’ll examine in the next section.
Under the mode you choose, set how long you want to activate Do Not Disturb. Set it on a timer for an hour or more, or until you manually switch it off.
How to Customize Do Not Disturb on Android
Android lets you customize Do Not Disturb preferences through the Settings menu. You can also set it up to turn on automatically based on calendar events or clock times. To change this:
Go to Settings > Sound > Do Not Disturb preferences.
Tap to Priority only allows. Here, switch the toggles as you see fit. You can switch off reminders and events and choose who can call or message you: no one, anyone, contacts only, or starred contacts only.
Next, look at Block visual disturbances. Here, you can choose to prevent notifications showing when the screen is on, or prevent notifications from turning on the screen.
Finally, head to Automatic rules > Add more > Event/Time rule and set up a new rule. Here, you can set Do Not Disturb to activate based on certain events on your calendar or at certain time or day. You can choose from the same three modes: Priority only, Alarms only, or Total silence.
How to Turn Off Notifications From Any App in Android
Depending on the version of Android you’re running, there are two ways to easily stop notifications from a particular app.
First, you can go through Settings to customize notifications. This method works on everything from Android 5 Lollipop up through Android 10.
Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > App notifications.
Here, you’ll see a list of all apps installed on your Android device. Scroll and tap any app whose notifications you want to customize.
Next a list of all types of notifications the app can send will appear. Toggle each type of notification on or off as desired.
For finer control, tap a notification type and you can change its sound, vibration, and other settings. You can also toggle the main switch to block all notifications from that app.
Some apps have extra notifications in their app settings. This is indicated by the Additional settings in the app button. Tap it to access the app’s settings, and customize further notifications there. Obviously, what you see depends on the app.
Second, you can change an app’s notifications settings when it sends you a notification. Like the above, this works on Android 5 Lollipop through Android 10:
When you see a notification, long-press on it or swipe it slightly to either side to reveal a settings cog icon and a clock icon.
Tap the settings cog icon to be taken directly to that app in the App notifications menu.
From here, follow steps 3 and 4 from the first method.
Note: The clock icon you revealed is a Snooze button. It does not turn off or disable notifications. Instead, this lets you temporarily stop notifications from that app for a set amount of time.
How to Turn Off Notifications on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to 4.4 KitKat
If you have an older Android phone that can’t run Lollipop, don’t worry. You can still block notifications on your device without much fuss, as long as you are running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or newer:
Go to Settings > Apps.
Tap the app for which you want to stop unwanted notifications.
Uncheck the box for Show notifications.
How to Turn Off Notifications on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or Older
, most apps have updated to support custom notification options for different types of alerts. However, some still only have an all-or-nothing option.
If you don’t see the notification options you want, it might be worth reaching out to the developer and asking to add this functionality to the app.
Do More With Android Notifications
You can turn off annoying notifications that just pester you, as well as use these utilities to make Android notifications more efficient. By setting custom ringtones and alerts for the various notification channels, you can make them better than ever before.
Windows is the most targeted operating system on the planet. That means you should fortify your PC’s defenses to stay safe both online and offline. This guide shows you how to enable or disable Secure Sign-In for Windows 10.
Secure Sign-In is an additional component on the Windows 10 login screen. It doesn’t prevent anyone from accessing your PC if they have your credentials. Instead, Windows 10 removes the login fields until you type a string of keys. After that, enter your password or PIN as usual.
This feature aims to thwart malware. Malicious code could reside in the background and spoof the Windows 10 login screen to capture your credentials. Because apps and programs typically don’t have access to the Ctrl+At+Del command, you can bypass the fake login screen by using Secure Sign-In that’s activated by typing this three-key command.
Enable or Disable Using the Netplwiz Command
To start, launch the Run command by pressing the “Windows” and “R” keys simultaneously (Windows+R). A small pop-up window will appear. Type “netplwiz” (without quotes) in the text field and then click the “OK” button (or press the Enter key) to continue.
Alternatively, you can access the User Accounts panel by typing “netplwiz” into the taskbar’s search field and selecting the resulting Run command.
The User Accounts panel will appear onscreen. Click the “Advanced” tab (if it’s not loaded by default). Locate the “Require Users to Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete” option listed under “Secure Sign-In.” Check to enable or uncheck to disable.
Click the “Apply” button and then the “OK” button to finish.
Enable or Disable Using the Local Security Policy
Here’s another method that’s somewhat busier than following the User Accounts instructions. Use this method if you want to take the scenic route but avoid the Windows registry.
Launch the Run command by pressing the “Windows” and “R” keys simultaneously (Windows+R). A small pop-up window appears. Type “secpol.msc” (without quotes) in the text field and then click the “OK” button (or press the Enter key) to continue.
Like before, you can also access the Local Security Policy panel by typing “secpol.msc” into the taskbar’s search field and selecting the resulting desktop app.
In the Local Policy Window, expand “Local Policies” listed on the left and select the “Security Options” subfolder underneath. Next, scroll down on the right and double-click the “Interactive Logon: Do Not Require CTRL+ALT+DEL” entry.
The entry’s Properties panel appears onscreen with the “Local Security Setting” tab displayed by default. Click a radio button to enable or disable this feature. Finish by clicking the “Apply” button and then the “OK” button.
Enable or Disable Using the Registry
If you want to take the hardcore route, why not edit the registry? Remember, tread lightly: Any changes you make could cause system instability. This option is for experienced individuals who enjoy digging deep into Windows.
Launch the Run command by pressing the “Windows” and “R” keys simultaneously (Windows+R). A small pop-up window will appear. Type “regedit” (without quotes) in the text field and then click the “OK” button (or press the Enter key) to continue.
You can also access the Registry Editor by typing “regedit” into the taskbar’s search field and selecting the resulting desktop app.
In the Registry Editor, expand the following folders in this order:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > CurrentVersion
In the CurrentVersion folder, select the “Winlogon” entry to show its settings in the panel on the right. Double-click the “DisableCad” entry to edit its values.
In the “Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value” pop-up box, change the Value Data with one of these values:
Click the “OK” button to finish. Restart your PC to save the settings.
Note: If you don’t see a “DisableCad” entry in the “Winlogon” settings, right-click on “Winlogon,” select “New” in the pop-up menu, and then click “DWORD (32-bit) Value” in the next list. Name this new DWORD as “DisableCAD” (without the quotes) and change its value.
Roku TVs are now displaying pop-up advertisements over commercials on live TV. Whether you’re watching cable TV or free OTA channels via an antenna, you’ll see an occasional Roku advertisement above a commercial. Here’s how to disable them.
These ads were first spotted by Cord Cutters News. An advertisement promoting “Ghost Town” on the Roku Channel, a program sponsored by GEICO, appeared over a GEICO commercial while watching live TV. The ads appear to be part of the Roku OS 9.2 update.
The good news is that these only appear during commercial breaks. If an advertiser has partnered with Roku, that advertiser can display an interactive pop-up advertisement over the normal commercial. These ads will only appear when commercials are already playing on your TV.
If you don’t want to see these advertisements, you can disable them. To do so, head to Settings > Privacy > Smart TV Experience and disable the “Use info from TV inputs” feature on your Roku TV.
This will also disable suggestions like “More Ways to Watch,” which uses Automated Content Recognition (ACR) to analyze what you’re watching and recommend additional episodes of the show on streaming services as well as similar shows and movies you may be interested in watching.
These advertisements are only available on Roku TVs at the moment. If you have a TCL Roku TV or a Roku TV made by another manufacturer, this affects you.
If you just have a standard Roku stick or streaming box, you won’t see these ads or the option to disable the “Use info from TV inputs” feature.
Early Apple Wach models lacked one significant feature: an always-on display. That changed with the Series 5, which includes a low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) display. The option shouldn’t affect the Apple Watch’s battery life, but here’s how to turn it off.
Disable It from the Apple Watch
Start by pressing the Apple Watch’s digital crown.
Locate and tap on the “Settings” app. The icon looks like a gear.
Scroll down and then select “Display & Brightness.”
Tap on the “Always On” option.
Tap on the toggle next to “Always On” to turn the feature off.
Alternatively, you can leave the always-on display enabled and toggle on “Hide Sensitive Complications.” This setting won’t turn off the Apple Watch’s display, but it will keep any private information from showing when the screen isn’t completely awake.
Disable It from the Watch App on iPhone
You can also disable the Apple Watch’s always-on display through the “Watch” app on your iPhone. To do this, open the “Watch” app from your homescreen. To locate it, use Apple’s Spotlight search to find the app.
Scroll down and then select “Display & Brightness.”
Tap on “Always On.”
Select the toggle next to “Always On” to disable the Apple Watch’s always-on display.
Again, you can toggle on the “Hide Sensitive Complications” option if you want the Apple Watch not to display private information when the screen isn’t fully awake.
Windows laptops often let you tap one or more fingers on the touchpad or trackpad to click. If this gets in your way, you can disable it—or enable it if it’s not working.
Different Laptops Have the Option in Different Places
Generally, you can tap with one finger to left-click and tap with two fingers to right-click. This option is relatively easy to enable and disable, although it’s in different places depending on the touchpad hardware your laptop manufacturer included and how they configured it. If you disable tap-to-click, you can still click by depressing the trackpad or pressing the buttons on it.
Many modern Windows laptops have Precision Touchpads. If your laptop does, you can configure tap-to-click and other touchpad settings directly in Windows 10’s Settings app.
How to Disable or Enable Tap to Click
To check whether these features are available on your PC, head to Settings > Devices > Touchpad. (You can quickly open the Settings app by pressing Windows+i on your keyboard.)
Under Taps, enable or disable the “Tap with a single finger to single-click,” “Tap with two fingers to right-click,” and “Tap twice and drag to multi-select” options. The exact options available will depend on your PC. But, if you don’t see them, your PC doesn’t have a Precision Touchpad, and these options must be configured elsewhere.
If you don’t see the options here, you can likely click “Additional settings” under Related Settings on the Touchpad settings pane.
This will generally open your touchpad’s settings panel in the old Mouse Properties window.
On an HP laptop with a Synaptics touchpad, it took us to the “ClickPad Settings” pane. We could click “ClickPad Settings” to access the touchpad’s settings.
(You can also find these options by heading to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Mouse and looking for the touchpad options your laptop’s touchpad drivers added to this window. This is where you’ll find them on Windows 7 PCs.)
We could then entirely disable “Tapping,” or disable “Two-Finger Tap,” “Three-Finger Tap,” or “Four-Finger Tap.” Finally, we could save the settings by clicking “OK” twice.
Again, the exact options available, as well as the name of any settings here, will depend on your laptop manufacturer, how it configured your touchpad, and the drivers it used. While many laptops have Synaptics touchpads and will look similar to this, some have ELAN trackpads.
In some cases, some laptops may not even offer an option that lets you disable tap-to-click. However, most laptops do offer this option.
Windows 10, by default, sends everything you search for in the Start Menu to their servers to give you results from Bing search—so you better make sure that you don’t type anything private into your own PC’s Start Menu. Or, you could just disable the Bing integration in the Start Menu.
Update: We now have a new solution that works in modern versions of Windows 10! We tested this method with both Windows 10’s October 2018 Update and the May 2019 Update. It works in both.
It’s worth noting that Android’s default search and even iOS will also send your search results to their servers to try and get more relevant results—but somehow it seems different when you’re on your personal computer in your house trying to search through your personal files.
We’re definitely glad that they included a way to easily disable the web integration—it’s just worth noting that if you want to use Cortana, you don’t have any choice in whether the Start Menu uses Bing, so you’re going to have to disable Cortana to disable the web integration.
How to Disable Bing Integration in the Start Menu
You must edit the Windows registry to disable web searches in the Start menu.
Here’s our standard warning: The Registry Editor is a powerful tool and making the wrong change can make your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a straightforward change and, if you follow the instructions, you should be fine. But if you’ve never used it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor. We always recommend backing up your Registry (and your computer) before making changes.
To start, open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit”. Double-click the “Registry Editor” shortcut that appears (or press Enter) and click Yes to the UAC prompt.
In the Registry Editor use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:
Right-click the Search icon and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value BingSearchEnabled.
Double-click the new BingSearchEnabled value to open its properties dialog. The number in the “Value data” box should already be 0—just ensure it’s still 0. Click OK to continue.
Below BingSearchEnabled, you should see CortanaConsent. Double-click this value to open its properties dialog. Change its “Value Data” box to “0”.
If you don’t see CortanaConsent, create it by following the same steps you used to create BingSearchEnabled.
You can close the Registry Editor now. If you search your start menu, you should now see only local results. If the change doesn’t take effect immediately, restart your PC.
If you want web search results back, all you have to do is open the Registry Editor and change the BingSearchEnabled and CortanaConsent values back to 1.
Download Our One-Click Registry Change
If you’re not comfortable making Registry changes yourself, we’ve created two downloadable files you can use. One file disables web searching from the Start Menu, and the other file will re-enable web searches. Both are included in the following zip file, and each just functions by changing the values we demonstrated how to change above. Double-click the one you want and click through the prompts. The change should be immediate—if it isn’t and you still see Bing results in your Start menu, restart your PC.
Luckily Bing is really easy to disable, and you’ll just need to get to the Cortana search settings screen — the easiest way to do this is to type “cortana settings” into the Start Menu and choose the “Cortana & Search settings” item.
If you want to disable the Bing integration, you’re going to also have to disable Cortana — so flip that switch to Off.
Now that you’ve disabled Cortana, the rest of the dialog will change and you’ll see an option for “Search online and include web results”, which you are going to want to disable as well — this is how you actually disable Bing from the Start Menu.
And now when you search for anything, it’s going to only search your own PC.
Notice how clean it is now — and it says “Search my stuff” instead of “Search the web”.