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Android Won’t Connect to Windows Over ADB? Fix It in 3 Easy Steps

Is ADB not detecting your device? If Android is unable to connect over the Android Debug Bridge (ADB), fixing it only requires three basic procedures.

We’ll show you how to get it working again.

ADB Can’t Find Your Device? Here’s the Fix

Sometimes, Android USB devices won’t connect to a Windows system. Failed ADB connections usually have one root cause: bad Android USB drivers that load in place of the right ones. Windows doesn’t make it easy to remove the wrong drivers, unfortunately.

But before attempting to troubleshoot an ADB connection, you must first enable USB debugging on your phone


What Is USB Debugging Mode on Android? Here’s How to Enable It




What Is USB Debugging Mode on Android? Here’s How to Enable It

Need to allow USB Debugging on your Android? We explain how to use debugging mode for pushing commands from your PC to your phone.
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if it’s not on already. When turned on, USB debugging gives you direct access to the file system of an Android device from a desktop computer. Without debugging enabled, it’s only possible to interact with your phone’s media storage, such as the SD card or a specially formatted media directory.

If you’ve already met the requirements, fixing the problem takes about five minutes and three basic steps:

  1. Connect your Android device and PC via USB and remove the ADB drivers. Then disconnect your device.
  2. Run a USB-driver eliminating utility, such as USBDeview, to kill all unnecessary Android drivers.
  3. Install Koush’s Universal ADB Driver.

We’ll go over each step in turn. Here’s the software you need:

Download: Nirsoft USBDeview (Free)
Download: Koush’s Universal ADB Driver (Free)

Step 1: Connect Your Device and Uninstall the Current Driver

First, connect your Android device to your computer via USB. This step allows your device to display in Windows’s Device Manager. Open this by typing Device Manager into the Start menu to search for it.

This image is of the Windows 10 device manager in the Search window

Next, in the Device Manager, remove your currently displayed Android ADB driver. To remove it, right-click on the category that contains your phone—this might be LeMobile Android Device, Portable Devices, or something similar.

Under this, you’ll see the Android Composite ADB Interface driver. Right-click this to bring up the context menu, then select Uninstall.

android device inside of Windows 10 device manager

Make sure to check the box for Delete the driver software for this device.

remove bad usb drivers for adb

Now you can disconnect your Android device from your PC. Doing this prevents the same incompatible driver from loading upon reconnecting the Android device. While technically not required, we recommend doing this because it will show you the driver causing the issue, in case it somehow reloads itself.

Step 2: Remove Bad ADB Drivers

The Nirsoft USBDeview utility comes as a zipped executable. That means you must unzip it and it doesn’t require installation. This utility may show up as malware in a virus scan, but rest assured that it’s safe.

After unzipping the file, open the extracted folder and run the executable utility inside it. USBDeview displays the total number of installed USB drivers on your computer, both connected and disconnected.

Look for the colored status indicator at the far-left of the USBDeview window. There are four colors. Each represents a different status:

  • Green indicates that the device is connected and that it functions properly.
  • Pink means the device can unplug and works properly (although in reality, it may not actually work properly).
  • Red indicates a disabled USB device.
  • Gray means the device is installed, but not connected.

USBDeview elimintes drivers for USB devices in Windows

Now, remove all gray items with the words “Google”, “Linux”, “ADB”, or “Android” in the title. When troubleshooting this issue, we typically remove every item that’s not green.

Removing a device driver means that you’ll need to reinstall drives for that USB device if you want to use it again. Fortunately, most of the time Windows automatically installs USB devices, so it’s not a big deal.

Step 3: Install the Universal Driver

Koush’s Universal ADB Driver works for every Android device, no matter how niche. After installing it, you should be able to assign the right driver to your phone.

Manually Install a USB ADB Driver

To do a manual install, first run the executable package for Koush’s Universal ABD Driver you downloaded earlier, which installs the driver to your computer.

Second, plug your Android device into your PC via USB. The correct USB drivers should load. You can check by going to Device Manager in Windows as discussed earlier. If there is a different driver listed than what you saw in the first step, chances are you have the correct USB driver loaded now.

android device located in windows 10 device manager

In the Device Manager, locate the new ADB/USB driver. This will likely be under your phone’s name in the Portable Devices section, but Android devices can appear in different locations in Device Manager. You may need to check each possible device class (such as Android Phone or Samsung) in the Device Manager before you find yours.

If you can’t find it, sometimes you’ll need to check the notification shade on your Android device for additional steps. This allows you to authorize a specific computer to connect to your device beyond charging purposes.

Once you find it, right-click on your device and choose Update Driver. From the resulting menu, choose Browse my computer for driver software, then Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.

Here, you will see a list of compatible drivers. Choose one of these (starting at the top if fine). If it fails, repeat the process by going down the list to locate another driver that works.

android ADB interface in Windows 10

Install the Universal ABD Driver Instead

If you can’t get the right driver installed using the above method, you will need to perform a manual installation in order for Koush’s driver to work. Thankfully, the Device Manager lets you hand-pick a driver from your computer instead of browsing from a list.

Instead of selecting Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer in the previous step, hit the Browse button and manually find the directory where you installed Koush’s drivers.

The location in File Explorer should be something like this:

C:Program Files (x86)ClockworkModUniversal Adb Drivers

You may need to search for the folder if you don’t see it there. Once you select the right location, hit Next and Windows will install the drivers. From now on, whenever you connect your Android device with ADB enabled, Koush’s drivers will load in place of the ones that failed to work.

Finally, restart your computer and attempt to connect over ADB again. You should have success at this point.

Still Not Able to Connect to ADB?

If you still can’t connect to ADB, your device might have a deeper problem either at the firmware or hardware level. Major hardware issues include the following:

  • A damaged USB port on your computer or smartphone
  • Defective firmware on your smartphone, usually caused by a custom ROM
  • A damaged or defective charging cable

For example, I once owned a Nexus tablet that intermittently disconnected from the computer. Even after replacing the micro-USB port, the tablet continued to malfunction. The cause of disconnection turned out to be a buggy custom ROM. While custom ROMs are great for reviving old hardware, they introduce another layer of complexity that often causes issues.

There are many potential causes for a device that refuses to connect through ADB. Try various cables and ports on your computer to troubleshoot the problem. Our guide to fixing an Android phone that won’t charge


Your Android Phone Won’t Charge? Here Are 7 Fixes to Try




Your Android Phone Won’t Charge? Here Are 7 Fixes to Try

Find that your Android phone won’t charge? Follow these tips to figure out why and get it working again.
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has some tips that can also help poor connections.

EasyTether Problems: Unable to Connect by ADB

Some people who use both a Mac and Android try to share their internet connection over a USB interface using the EasyTether app. However, we don’t recommend this. The app costs money and free methods exist that are both superior and easier to use. See our guide on how to USB tether with Android


Tethering: How to Connect Mobile Internet to Your PC or Laptop




Tethering: How to Connect Mobile Internet to Your PC or Laptop

With data tethering, you can use your mobile internet on your PC, laptop, or tablet anywhere. All you need is an Android phone.
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for better ways.

For example, in newer versions of Android, Google offers native Bluetooth and USB tethering. If your phone has a dual-antenna design, you can even create a hotspot using a Wi-Fi connection.

If EasyTether (or any USB tethering app) fails, the best fix is trying to find the correct driver as outlined above. That means finding the incorrect ADB driver that Windows installed and swapping it out for something that works.

That may require additional troubleshooting steps, so we only recommend these apps for older Android devices that don’t support the latest in tethering technology.

Universally Good ADB Drivers

Now you know what to do when ADB is not working. This method of purging bad Android USB drivers and installing Koush’s drivers works for every Android device we’ve tried it on. It’s a bit ridiculous that Google never released a universal ADB driver for Android devices, despite the issues that many users continue to experience.

Now that you’ve got it set up, check out the best apps that utilize ADB on Android


6 Android ADB Apps for Powerful Features Without Root




6 Android ADB Apps for Powerful Features Without Root

Want to get more control over your Android device? Try these apps that let you use ADB functionality without rooting.
Read More

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5 iPhone Problems You Can Fix Using DFU Mode

Your iPhone isn’t impervious to problems. In fact, most of us experience at least a few issues with our iPhones throughout their lifespan. One of the strongest tools at your disposal for fixing these issues is iOS’s Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode.

DFU mode is a special iPhone state you can use to reinstall every line of software and firmware on your device. It’s the deepest possible restore for an iPhone, and is even more effective than putting it in recovery mode.

Here are some iPhone problems you can fix using DFU mode.

1. Unresponsive Devices

You might think you’ve got a bricked iPhone when actually it’s suffering from firmware problems. Among other tasks, the firmware is responsible for telling your iPhone how to respond to the different buttons on your device.

When you press the Sleep/Wake button, for example, the firmware starts booting up iOS. If your iPhone doesn’t power on, it could be because the firmware isn’t responding to that button correctly.

2. Boot Loops and Failed Startups

iPhone in Boot Loop with Apple logo on Screen
Image Credit: vencav/Depositphotos

A boot loop is the term for when your iPhone can’t get past the Apple logo during startup. This happens if there’s a problem with the operating software on your device.

It’s difficult to try other troubleshooting suggestions if you can’t get past the boot screen, but you can still put your iPhone in DFU mode. This lets you reinstall the software, overwriting any errors that caused the boot loop.

3. Firmware Corruptions

A lot of people already know how to use the iPhone’s recovery mode to fix corrupt software


How to Force Restart an iPhone and Enter Recovery Mode




How to Force Restart an iPhone and Enter Recovery Mode

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, but corrupt firmware is another matter entirely. If a popup message says your iPhone firmware is corrupt, your only option is to fix it using DFU mode.

Firmware corruptions affect all manner of components in your iPhone. They can lead to anything from slow performance to bad Wi-Fi connectivity. When you reinstall the firmware via DFU mode, it fixes all kinds of problems like this.

4. Failed Software Updates

Backlit iPhone with Software Update badge
Image Credit: ifeelstock/Depositphotos

There’s a reason your iPhone doesn’t start software updates when the battery is low. If you lose power mid-update, your operating software will end up in limbo. That usually means your iPhone can’t finish updating and can’t use the previous software either.

When you use DFU mode to restore your device, it overwrites the incomplete software with fresh code, updating your iPhone to the latest version of iOS in the process.

5. Hardware-Related Issues

Your iPhone firmware tells the device how to work with different hardware components. As a result, problems that seem as though they need a physical repair can actually be the result of faulty firmware.

Some of these issues include:

  • Erratic battery life
  • Unresponsive buttons
  • A blank display that’s all white or black
  • Unpredictable touchscreen responses

Before You Put Your iPhone in DFU Mode

iPhone creating an iCloud backup
Image Credit: Afotoeu/Depositphotos

If you’re experiencing any major problems with your iPhone, there’s a good chance you can fix them using DFU mode. When you restore your iPhone with this mode, it reinstalls the software and firmware and also erases all your content. Your iPhone should be as good as new by the time it’s finished.

That said, there are a couple of risks associated with DFU mode.

Make a Backup of Your iPhone First

When you restore your iPhone using DFU mode, it erases all the content on your iPhone. You need to ensure you have a recent backup first so you don’t lose any photos, videos, messages, apps, or other personal data.

It’s not possible to back up your iPhone after you put it in DFU mode. See our iPhone backup guide


How to Back Up Your iPhone and iPad




How to Back Up Your iPhone and iPad

Wondering how to back up your iPhone? Here’s our simple guide to backing up your iPhone using either iCloud or iTunes.
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for more details on how to do it ahead of time.

Don’t Use DFU Mode on Damaged iPhones

If your iPhone is physically damaged, restoring it with DFU mode can make it totally unusable. It doesn’t matter whether you dropped your iPhone in water


How to Fix a Water-Damaged iPhone




How to Fix a Water-Damaged iPhone

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, cracked the screen, or broke the headphone port—if your device is damaged, we don’t recommend using DFU mode.

The reason for this is because DFU mode asks your iPhone to reconnect with various hardware components. If that isn’t possible due to damage, it can’t finish restoring the firmware and your iPhone is thus left unusable.

How to Put an iPhone in DFU Mode

iPhone in DFU mode connected to a computer

The process for putting your iPhone into DFU mode depend on which model iPhone you have. You’ll know you got it right if your computer recognizes the device but nothing shows up on the iPhone screen.

To start, use an Apple-certified USB cable to connect your iPhone to a computer. Once you complete the last step, if your iPhone screen stays blank, it is in DFU mode. You can follow the prompts on your computer to restore your device.

However, if you see a computer or iTunes icon on your iPhone screen, that means you put it in recovery mode instead. Reconnect your phone to your computer and repeat the instructions from step one again. It’s common to get the timing wrong when you first try it.

iPhone 8, iPhone X, and Later

  1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, followed by the Volume Down button.
  2. Press and hold the Side button.
  3. When the screen goes black, also press and hold the Volume Down button.
  4. Keep holding both buttons for five seconds, then release the Side button but keep holding the Volume Down button.
  5. Walk through the prompts on your computer.

iPhone 7

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Volume Down button.
  2. Keep holding both buttons for eight seconds, then release the Side button but keep holding the Volume Down button.
  3. Keep holding the Volume Down button until your computer recognizes your iPhone.
  4. You can now restore your device using your computer.

iPhone 6S, iPhone SE, and Earlier

  1. Press and hold the Side (or Top) button and the Home button.
  2. Keep holding both buttons for eight seconds, then release the Side (or Top) button while still holding the Home button.
  3. Keep holding the Home button until your computer recognizes the iPhone.
  4. You’re now ready to complete the restoration process.

Get Your iPhone Repaired or Fix It Yourself

After you restore your iPhone using DFU mode, you shouldn’t have any more software or firmware problems. If it didn’t work, restore your device again but don’t recover any data from a backup. Should you do this and still have issues, your iPhone needs a physical repair.

Schedule an appointment with an Apple Authorized Service Provider to find out what part needs replacing. If your iPhone is covered under Apple’s warranty, you may be entitled to a free repair. Otherwise, there are plenty of websites that show you how to repair an iPhone yourself


Learn to Fix Your Own Gadgets With Help From These 5 Sites




Learn to Fix Your Own Gadgets With Help From These 5 Sites

Need to repair your smartphone, PC, MacBook, or other hardware? You can save money and time by doing it yourself with the help of these websites.
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How Do You Fix a Windows 10 Laptop With a Wrong Battery Percentage

It’s not uncommon for a Windows 10 laptop to display the wrong battery information. This could be a fault with the battery hardware or the Windows software. We’ll show you how to fix it and get it to display the right battery charge level.

If you’ve ever found yourself with a laptop unexpectedly shutting down, even when you seemingly had enough battery left, this will help you fix the problem.

Laptop Batteries Don’t Last Forever

Not every laptop battery is created equal. A laptop battery has a set capacity, determined by the milliamp-hour (mAH). Simply put, the higher the mAH value, the more power the battery can hold. It’s common for more expensive laptops to have better batteries, but check your manufacturer’s specifications if you’re unsure.

laptop power management

The amount of time that your laptop will stay on without requiring more charge depends on how you use the laptop. Having the screen at full brightness, watching videos, and running lots of programs are all things that will drain the battery quicker.

There’s also debate around whether removing a laptop battery increases its life


Should I Remove My Laptop Battery To Increase its Life?




Should I Remove My Laptop Battery To Increase its Life?

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That said, no matter how lightly you use your laptop, the total capacity of the battery will always decrease over time. Every battery has a specific number of charge and recharge cycles. They also get affected by environmental factors like heat. Of course, no battery will last as long as it did when you bought the laptop. Typically, you’ll notice a reduction in battery run time after 18 to 24 months.

You can use battery health tools


The 6 Best Tools to Analyze Laptop Battery Health




The 6 Best Tools to Analyze Laptop Battery Health

Do you pay attention to your laptop’s battery? Here are the best tools to stay on top of your laptop’s battery life and health.
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to get a better understanding of how your battery is fairing.

Battery Time Remaining Is a Prediction

Before you read the steps below to try to sort out the battery reading provided by Windows, you should understand how it’s calculated because it might not off the mark, to begin with.

The battery time estimate provided by Windows is an estimate. It’s based upon what your laptop is currently doing and assumes it will continue doing that.

If you are watching a video, or playing a game, or doing something intensive like that, Windows won’t estimate many hours remaining.

Laptop battery charge levels

However, if you stop playing the game, decrease screen brightness, and only open a Word document, the number of hours left on the battery will shoot up.

The figure can also change without you actively doing anything, like if a program is installing updates in the background.

So, if the remaining hour count jumps around a lot, that might be normal. But if your laptop suddenly turns off at 30 percent charge, there’s a problem.

Calibrate Your Laptop Battery

If your laptop battery meter is displaying an incorrect figure, the most likely way to solve it is by calibrating the battery. This is where you run the battery down from a full charge to empty and then back up again.

This process won’t give your battery more power or increase its life, but will instead allow Windows to provide an accurate reading.

1. Adjust Your Power Plan

Windows 10 Power Plans

  1. To start, right click the battery icon in the taskbar. Click Power Options, then click Change when the computer sleeps from the left menu.
  2. Take note of your existing settings here because you will need to put them back later. Change all the dropdowns to Never and click Save changes.
  3. Click Change advanced power settings. Expand Battery, then expand Critical battery level. Take note of the current percentage for later. Click the On battery percentage and set it as low as possible.
  4. Expand Critical battery action and ensure that On battery is set to Hibernate. If it isn’t, click to change it.
  5. Once done, click OK to save the changes.

2. Charge Your Laptop

Plug your laptop in and charge the battery to 100 percent. You can still use your laptop when doing this.

When it gets to 100 percent, stop using the laptop and wait a couple of hours. You want the battery to cool down. It’ll also account for any extra charging that might need to happen if the 100 percent reading is inaccurate.

3. Unplug Your Laptop

Take your laptop off charge and let the battery drain. Again, you can use your laptop during this time. You need to wait until the laptop completely runs out of power and turns off. When it has, let it rest for a couple of hours.

4. Charge Your Laptop Again

Plug the laptop back into power and charge the battery to 100 percent. Go back into the Windows power plan settings, following the previous instructions, and set everything back to how it was. (Or adjust them to something new, if you want.)

The battery percentage provided by Windows should now be accurate. If it isn’t, try the other steps below.

Reinstall Battery Drivers

Your battery drivers might be missing or corrupted and therefore causing an incorrect percentage reading. Let’s reinstall them.

Press Windows key + X and click Device Manager. Expand Batteries and you should see Microsoft AC Adapter and Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery.

Windows 10 Device Manager battery drivers

Right click on Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery and click Uninstall device. Wait for this to complete.

Once done, from the top menu, click Action > Scan for hardware changes. This will reinstall the driver. Restart your computer when it’s finished.

Update Windows

Check for updates in Windows 10

You should always keep Windows up to date to keep your system protected and to benefit from the latest features.

The issue with Windows being outdated is that the battery percentage that is displayed when you hover the taskbar icon, versus the percentage that shows when you click it, is one percent different.

To ensure your laptop is running the latest version of Windows, press Windows key + I to open Settings, click Update & Security, and click Check for updates. Any available updates will automatically download and install.

Optimize Your Battery Life

Hopefully, this has helped you understand your Windows laptop battery reading and fix it if necessary.

If your laptop battery is getting old and not providing much juice, you should check out our guide on how to optimize Windows 10 for battery life


How to Optimize Windows 10 for Battery Life




How to Optimize Windows 10 for Battery Life

Battery life is a pretty important factor for mobile devices. While Windows 10 does offer new features to manage power settings, the defaults are not necessarily contributing to optimal battery life. Time to change that.
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Can’t Update Your iPhone or iPad? 8 Ways to Fix It

Having problems updating your iPhone or iPad to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS? There are a few reasons why you could be facing these issues. Don’t be disheartened, though—there’s almost certainly a solution to the problem.

Let’s look at some fixes that will help you get the latest software running on your device properly. Here’s how to fix your iPhone or iPad when it won’t let you update iOS or iPadOS.

Preliminary Tips to Fix iPhone Update Issues

Before you dive into advanced troubleshooting, it’s a good idea to check a few basics first. Don’t forget to run through these simple troubleshooting steps when your iPhone won’t update.

1. Charge Your iPhone or iPad

Your device won’t let you upgrade if you don’t have enough battery power. This is to prevent your device from turning off in the middle of an update, which can cause catastrophic damage to your phone.

Make sure you plug in your device and have plenty of charge before updating. It’s a good idea to leave it on the charger while the process runs, too.

2. Make Sure You’re Eligible to Update

iOS 13 Compatibility

Unfortunately, Apple eventually drops support for older devices, so not all iPhone and iPad models can update to the latest iOS iteration. To make sure your device can get the latest release of Apple’s mobile operating system, scroll down to the bottom of Apple’s iOS info page or iPadOS info page and look for your model.

3. Give It Some Time

When you try to update to the latest version of iOS as soon as it comes out, you might run into trouble. Apple’s servers go under heavy load when thousands of people are trying to update at once.

If you receive an error when trying to update to the latest version of iOS, try waiting for a while. You might have better luck later when the update servers aren’t under such a strain.

4. Force-Restart Your Device

restart iphone two iphones

A one-off bug can prevent you from updating your iPhone. Restarting your phone will refresh its processes and hopefully clear up any temporary glitches. Follow our guide to restarting your iPhone


How to Force Restart an iPhone and Enter Recovery Mode




How to Force Restart an iPhone and Enter Recovery Mode

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to learn the steps for your specific device.

Once you’ve done this successfully, you’ll see your screen turn black. Afterwards, an Apple logo will appear, and you’ll be greeted by your lock screen. Your device is now fully refreshed, so you can go ahead and try to update again.

5. Free Up Space

A lack of device storage a common culprit for a faulty update process. Luckily, modern versions of iOS help you free up space easily. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.

In this menu, you’ll see how much storage you have. Depending on what’s taking up space, your phone will provides a few recommendations, including:

  • Offload Unused Apps
  • Review Large Attachments
  • iCloud Photos
  • Auto-Delete Old Conversations

Offload Unused Apps deletes any apps that you rarely use. This won’t delete any of your personal data, though; only the app data itself will be deleted.

Review Large Attachments lets you see the largest photos and videos inside of Messages so you can delete them. This is often an easy way to gain a big chunk of storage, to give your iPhone a bit more room for the update.

iCloud Photos allows you to back up all your photos to iCloud. After doing this, you’re free to delete as many images as you want from your device. However, if you decide to do this, you’ll only be able to access your photos via an internet connection later on.

Auto-Delete Old Conversations has your phone clear out messages and attachments that were sent years ago in order to save space.

Once you’ve freed up some space, try the update again. Follow our ways to free up space on your iPhone


iPhone Storage Full? How to Create Free Space on iOS




iPhone Storage Full? How to Create Free Space on iOS

The “iPhone Storage Full” message hits us when we least expect it. Here are the ways to free up storage space on an iPhone.
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if you need to clear more.

6. Force Update via iTunes

itunes windows menu sync and update iphone

While most people are used to updating iOS right on their device nowadays, you can still run the update through your computer.

On Windows or macOS Mojave and earlier, you can update your iPhone through iTunes by following these steps:

  1. On Windows, download iTunes for Windows if you don’t have it already.
  2. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer with its charging cable.
  3. Open iTunes.
  4. Sync your iOS device.
  5. Click Check for update.
  6. Click Download.
  7. Once the download is finished, select Update.

Since Apple retired iTunes in macOS Catalina, you’ll need to do this through Finder instead. Connect your device to your Mac, open Finder, and click the device name on the left sidebar. This will bring you to a panel similar to the old iTunes interface, where you can follow the steps above.

After doing this, the update will install onto your device. If you have trouble, see what to do when your iPhone won’t connect to your computer


Your iPhone Won’t Connect to Your Computer? Here’s the Fix!




Your iPhone Won’t Connect to Your Computer? Here’s the Fix!

Find that your iPhone won’t connect to your computer? Here’a a troubleshooting guide to get your device connecting again.
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.

7. Reset Your Wi-Fi Settings

If you can’t update through iTunes either, the next step is to take a look at your Wi-Fi connection. A slow or unreliable Wi-Fi connection means you may not be able to update properly.

Make sure you’re connected to a strong Wi-Fi network when you try to update. It’s worth restarting your router if you haven’t done so in a while. You might also try connecting to another network and seeing if you have the same issue there.

If you can’t update on any Wi-Fi network, you can reset your device’s network settings to start fresh. Note that this will clear out all network preferences you’ve saved, so you’ll need to reconnect to all previously saved Wi-Fi networks again. This will also reset any VPN configurations you use.

To reset network settings on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Scroll down to Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your passcode and confirm you want to do this.

8. Factory Reset Your Device

If none of the above has fixed your problem, you should consider completely wiping your device. In the Reset menu mentioned above, you can either reset all settings on your device, or perform a factory reset to erase everything.

Resetting your settings probably won’t fix an update issue, but it’s worth a try if nothing else has worked:

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Open General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset all settings.
  5. Confirm with your passcode.

All your settings are now reset. Try to update again. If it works, you’ll need to put all your settings (including app preferences, display options, and similar) back as they were.

Failing that, you can go the more extreme route and reset your device to factory defaults. Keep in mind this will erase all the data on your iPhone or iPad. Make sure you’ve backed up your iPhone


How to Back Up Your iPhone and iPad




How to Back Up Your iPhone and iPad

Wondering how to back up your iPhone? Here’s our simple guide to backing up your iPhone using either iCloud or iTunes.
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before proceeding so you don’t lose any information.

Here’s how to factory reset your device:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. Confirm with your passcode.

Your device will now revert back to its factory state. Because everything is fresh again you’ll hopefully be able to update without issue. You can restore your iPhone backup when you set up your phone after the reset.

iPhone Updating Troubles: Fixed!

It’s frustrating when your phone won’t let you update. Hopefully, one of these fixes solved your problem and you can now enjoy the latest version of iOS.

Speaking of which, after you’re finished updating, check out the best features you should try in iOS 13


The 10 Best iOS 13 Features You Should Try Out




The 10 Best iOS 13 Features You Should Try Out

Here are the best new features introduced in iOS 13 for iPhone users. There’s a lot to love about this update!
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The AirPods Pro Appear to Fix All of the Current AirPods’ Issues – Review Geek

Apple AirPods Pro
Apple

Apple unexpectedly announced AirPods Pro this morning—an upgraded and enhanced addition to the AirPods family. And they look great, especially when compared to the existing AirPods.

There’s a lot to unpack with these new headphones, but the difference is immediate as soon as you look at them. This is a dramatic departure from other Apple-branded earbuds, which have used pretty much the same non-customizable form factor since the original wired earbuds that shipped with iPhones back in the day.

And that has always been the biggest issue with AirPods too—if they don’t fit your ears, then they’re just uncomfortable. I have a set, and while they sound good, I can’t wear them for very long because they’re just uncomfortable. AirPods Pro, by contrast, look amazing because Apple is finally embracing the “let users switch the tips out” form factor that other manufacturers have been using since the dawn of time.

But there’s more to this design than just the option to swap between the three included tips—the AirPods Pro has a “fit tip test” to help users figure out which tips they should be using. It uses algorithms alongside the dual microphones in each earbud to “measure the sound level in the ear and compare it to what is coming from the speaker driver.” If the sound is accurate, then the tip is the right size. If it’s not, it will tell you that you need a different tip for a better seal. What?!

Much like the existing AirPods, the Pro units have a vent system along the top. Since these earbuds are relying on silicon tips to create a better seal than the non-Pro AirPods, this vent system is even more crucial, as it should prevent the “clogged ear” feeling that comes along with many earbuds.

It also uses these vents, along with the dual microphones, for active noise canceling, another feature that’s missing in the regular AirPods. The noise cancellation feature in AirPods Pro uses the external microphone to test ambient noise levels and “create an equivalent anti-noise that cancels out background noise before it reaches the listener’s ear.” The inner mic then removes any additional noise found. And it does all this 200 times per second. That’s neat.

AirPod Pro Exploded view
Apple

But sometimes external noise is necessary, and the Pro accommodates there with a new feature called Transparency Mode. This is precisely what it sounds like—it lets users listen to what’s going on around them. Using the mics and the vent system, the software “leaves just the right amount of noise cancelation active” while still allowing outside sounds to come through.

The AirPods Pro take audio quality to the next level with Adaptive EQ, a feature that fine-tunes mid and low frequencies according to the shape of the wearer’s ears. This, combined with the improved seal of interchangeable silicon tips, active noise canceling, and the pressure-relief vent system should make for absolutely fantastic sound quality.

Finally, there’s the case. It looks like it’s a bit bigger than the existing AirPods’ case, which makes sense as each side of the AirPods Pro is bigger. But the case—which features wireless charging, of course—also houses a bigger battery, pushing the total talk and listening time to an impressive 18 and 24 hours, respectively. Bam.

All in all, the AirPods Pro appear to be a massive upgrade to the regular AirPods in every possible way—but they’re also $50 more than the most expensive AirPods currently available. You can pre-order them today for $250 will be available starting on October 30th.

Source: Apple





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Apple’s Worst MacBook Problems (And How to Fix Them)

If you plan on getting a MacBook, research on the features and faults of Apple’s devices can go a long way in shaping your buying decision. You don’t want to purchase a new device only to find that it has a notorious problem.

But if you’ve already purchased a MacBook and notice an issue, there might be a way around it. Here are some of Apple’s biggest MacBook hardware blunders, and how to fix them if you’re affected.

1. Early Generations of the Butterfly Keyboard

When Apple launched the revamped 12-inch MacBook in 2015, it came with a noticeably different keyboard. According to the company, the redesign of the keyboard was meant to accommodate the sleek frame of the machine.

The butterfly mechanism underneath the keys certainly resulted in thinner keys than the traditional scissor mechanism. Over time, Apple implemented this design on the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models as well. At the time of writing, Apple’s machine includes the third-generation butterfly keyboard.

However, for most Mac users, the butterfly keyboard has been more of a hindrance than a help. In particular, the space bar was highly unreliable. After a period of use, it felt like it was bottoming out on the right side, with only the left side responding to a press.

Apple’s keyboard also featured several instances of sticky keys. This was a result of the shallow depth of the keys, making it easy for them to get stuck within the grooves of the board.

Even worse, the keyboard was also sensitive to dust and debris. If dust particles get under the key, you can likely expect it not to function correctly again. These problems are present from the first generation to third-generation butterfly keyboards.

If you’re dealing with a case of dust or food debris under your keyboard, make use of a toothpick to remove it. We’ve also looked at what you can do to fix a stuck MacBook keyboard


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. People who’ve had constant cases of stuck keys or a malfunctioning space bar may qualify for Apple’s Keyboard Service Program.

2. MacBook Pro SSD Failure

If you bought a 13-inch MacBook Pro between 2017 and 2018, there’s a chance you might lose your data. You may also get locked out from accessing the drive.

As it turns out, Apple had issues with its batch of SSDs for this generation of laptops. According to Apple, some of its 128GB and 256GB 13-inch Macbook Pro units had a system fault which could trigger loss of data on the SSD. Knowing the warning signs that your SSD is about to fail


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can help you safeguard against issues like this.

To check if your laptop suffers from this fault, you need to identify the MacBook Pro model you have. Only the non-Touch Bar 13-inch laptops are affected by this.

Head to Apple’s Solid State Drive Service Program page and enter your device’s serial number to see if you’re eligible. If you are, then Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will service your affected drive for free. We recommend backing up your Mac data


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immediately and going in for service as soon as possible, as you may irrecoverably lose data otherwise.

3. Delamination of Retina Display Coating

When talking about Mac missteps, it is impossible not to include the Retina display delamination. This was a problem in MacBook and MacBook Pro models manufactured from 2012 to 2017.

Apple’s Retina display is a marketing name for its high pixel density screens, which result in a clearer picture. Unfortunately, many of the MacBook models to first offer this display had faults with delamination, which occurs when a material breaks into layers.

At first, the fracture appears on the Retina display’s anti-reflective coating as smudges, until it spreads and forms a layer on the screen. When this happens, it’s much harder to use the display on your Mac.

According to Apple, impact or stress to the surface of the display can lead to this. However, people also identified that the coating applied to the Retina display was too weak. This, in turn, affects the ability of the surface to withstand stress.

There is no sure fix for the delamination of your Mac’s Retina display. At one point, Apple offered affected users replacement screens. However, this service has expired.

Unless you feel confident enough to replace the display yourself, you’re best off contacting Apple Support or an authorized service provider to look into replacement options.

4. The Touch Bar

Although some may swear by the usefulness of the Touch Bar in the MacBook Pro, this innovative feature has plenty of faults that make it a worthy addition to the list.

The Touch Bar was launched with the 2016 MacBook Pro. This strip of OLED screen, in place of the old function keys, provided dynamic controls for Mac programs. While it’s a fun feature and cool selling point in the store, it wasn’t all beneficial.

As the Touch Bar was a replacement for the function keys, the general anticipation was that it would improve efficiency. However, most found the Touch Bar more disappointing than anything.

Unlike the function keys, which were fast and responsive to instructions, the Touch Bar makes performing common actions slower. For example, adjusting brightness with a function key takes a split-second with muscle memory. In the case of the Touch Bar, you have to focus on the bar, aim your finger, and move a slider to perform the same action.

This is especially the case with the common Escape key, which can disappear with certain Touch Bar controls. Another fault is how easy it is to accidentally trigger actions by a mere brush of your fingers over the bar.

Unfortunately, unlike the other problems listed above, there is no official Apple recall or servicing for these issues. We recommend either making the Touch Bar more useful


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for you, or you can disable the Touch bar completely


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if you prefer.

Is Buying a Mac Still Worth It?

We’ve seen above that even Apple isn’t immune to hardware issues and blunders. Whether you buy an old or new Mac, there’s chance you could run into some of the problems above.

However, most other aspects of Apple’s computers are top-notch. These are relatively minor blemishes on otherwise solid computers, so you can still buy with confidence in most cases. If you have other issues with your Mac, have a look at the best free tools to fix common macOS issues


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.



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Is Snapchat Down or Not Working? Here’s How to Fix It

If you’re a frequent user of Snapchat, there will be times when Snapchat is down or not working. Perhaps you’ve been unable to sign in, or have lost the ability to send messages. Either way, we’re here to help you fix the problem when Snapchat is down or not working.

What to Do When Snapchat Is Down and Not Working

When Snapchat is down or not working, the most common questions from users are “What’s wrong with my Snapchat?” and “Why is my Snapchat not working?” If you’re unable to send and receive Snapchats, you’re probably wondering the same thing.

In this case, you can probably blame Snapchat’s servers, which means millions of other people are having the same problem. When Snapchat’s servers aren’t working properly, it’s usually because the servers are overloaded, they’re undergoing maintenance, or there’s some kind of technical error.

To check if Snapchat’s down, head to Downdetector. This site provides reliable information regarding the status of apps and websites, including Snapchat. You can quickly figure out if other users are experiencing the same problems, and you can also view an outage map.

Snapchat Downdetector Problems Chart

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do when Snapchat is down. Server errors are just one of the many things that are wrong with Snapchat


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, so you’ll just have to wait until Snapchat fixes the problem.

If You Can’t Send Messages in Snapchat

If you check Downdetector, and still find that you can’t send or receive Snapchats, then you probably have an issue with your phone or app. Try these troubleshooting tips to get your app up and running again.

1. Turn on Your Wi-Fi and Check Your Internet Connection

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you should check your internet connection. When you’re not connected to Wi-Fi or have no cellular service, you can’t send any Snapchats and none of them will load.

Check to see if you have bad service. If so, turn on your Wi-Fi or data and connect to the internet elsewhere.

2. Quit and Update Snapchat

There’s also the possibility that your app just needs to be restarted. Close and quit your app, and start it again. You can try logging out and in of Snapchat as well.

If Snapchat still doesn’t work, head to the App Store or Google Play Store to check for any updates. Your app might be out-of-date, preventing it from working properly.

3. Clear Your Snapchat Cache

Snapchat stores your data in a cache, just like almost every other app. Clearing the cache on Android


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and iOS is crucial to your phone’s performance, and the same goes for Snapchat.

Once in a while, one of the files in the cache could become corrupt. The next time Snapchat’s not working, navigate to your Snapchat app, go to your profile icon in the top-left corner of your screen, and then click the gear icon in the top-right corner.

Scroll down to Clear Cache (underneath the Account Actions heading). Click on Clear CacheContinue. You won’t have to worry about this deleting any of your memories or saved Snaps.

4. Delete Your Snapchat Conversations

Deleting Snapchat conversations may also help jumpstart your app. Before you do this, just keep in mind that this will delete any opened or unopened Snaps.

Open Snapchat, navigate to your profile, and tap the gear icon to open your settings. Scroll down to the Privacy heading, and select Clear Conversation. From there, you can click the “X” button next to your friends’ usernames to clear conversations one-by-one.

5. Restart Your Phone

If all else fails, it doesn’t hurt to try restarting your phone. Sometimes the simplest solution is the one that actually works.

If Your Snapchat Keeps Freezing

A Snapchat glitch can cause the app to freeze randomly. To solve this, just clear the cache by going to your profile, and selecting the gear icon in the top-right corner of your screen.

Once you open your settings, click Clear CacheContinue. After restarting the app, Snapchat should no longer freeze.

If Snapchat Won’t Let You Take Photos or Videos

If you open up Snapchat and see a black screen, it’s likely because you forgot to enable camera permissions for Snapchat. You can view app permissions by checking the settings on your iPhone or Android.

For Android:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Find Snapchat among the list of apps, and select it.
  3. Click Permissions, and then toggle the Camera setting on.

For iOS:

  1. Go to SettingsPrivacyCamera.
  2. This will display the list of apps that have access to your camera. Once you find Snapchat on the list, enable access to the camera.

If Your Snapchat Filters or Lenses Are Not Working

You turn on Snapchat, only to find that none of the filters and lenses work. That’s a huge annoyance, since there are a ton of Snapchat filters and lenses


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to play around with.

To fix this, make sure you have a good internet connection—the filters and lenses might not load without it. In addition to checking for an internet connection, you should also try updating and restarting your Snapchat app if needed.

Some filters also only appear when you’re in a certain location. To use geofilters, turn your location on, and ensure that you let Snapchat use your location. Follow these steps to turn your location permissions on (if you haven’t already).

For Android:

  1. Go to your Settings.
  2. Click Apps > Snapchat > Permissions.
  3. Turn the Location option on.

For iOS:

  1. Go to SettingsPrivacy > Location.
  2. Find Snapchat, and toggle the Location setting on.

If You’re Unable to Sign in to Snapchat

Among all Snapchat problems, getting locked out of your account is probably the most irritating. Upon logging out of your account, you might find that the app takes a frustratingly long time to log you back in.

In this case, Snapchat’s servers are probably down, and you’ll have to wait until Snapchat fixes the problem.

Snapchat Features All Users Should Learn

The above steps offer quick fixes for those annoying days when you encounter an error when using Snapchat. While you can’t fix Snapchat server issues, you should be able to resolve the issues that stem from your device or the app.

Once you get Snapchat working again, you should explore some of its best features. So here are the Snapchat features all users should know about


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.



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How to Fix Sound Problems in Windows 10

Microsoft Windows 10 Logo

You launch a PC game or stream a movie, but you don’t hear any sound. On the surface, there’s no apparent reason for the lack of audio. This guide shows you how to fix sound problems in Windows 10.

Unfortunately, sound issues can be tricky. Problems could merely reside in third-party software, requiring a patch. Issues could also stem from within Windows 10 itself or the underlying hardware. Possible fixes include installing new drivers, tweaking settings, or even revert to a previous restore point.

This guide begins with the easy steps and moves deeper into Windows 10 if you continue to face audio issues.

Check for Simple Fixes First

There’s nothing more embarrassing than yelling at the PC over sound issues stemming from an unintentional press of the microphone’s mute button.

First, verify that the sound isn’t muted on the PC end. If your keyboard has volume controls, press a key or turn a slider to see if the on-screen volume bar raises and lowers. You can also bring up the taskbar to examine the “speaker” icon parked next to the system clock.

As shown below, an “X” next to the virtual speaker icon means your audio is muted. Simply click the speaker button to expand the volume panel.

Windows 10 Muted Sound

Next, click the speaker icon to the left of the slider to unmute.

Windows 10 Muted Sound Part 2

You should also verify that the sound isn’t muted or turned down on the hardware end. For instance, your speakers may have volume buttons, or they may be accidentally unplugged from the PC or power outlet.

Likewise, your headset or microphone may include in-line volume dials that are turned down, or they may just be unplugged from the PC.

The example below shows a Logitech headset’s in-line controls for sound (dial) and a built-in microphone (toggle).

In-Line Volume Controls

Another simple fix is to verify that the problem isn’t related to a specific app or program installed on your computer. There may be something wrong with the app or program itself that needs patching or audio is turned down or muted from within.

This example shows muted audio on YouTube.

YouTube Volume Control

Other fixes you can try include installing all Windows 10 updates or restarting your PC.

Restart Windows 10

Verify the Default Audio Device

Generally, you should only have one installed audio device. However, the list stacks up once you begin piling on external devices like the HTC Vive, a wireless Xbox controller, a headset, and so on.

There may be situations where you switch from a headset to a laptop’s built-in speakers, but Windows 10 still outputs audio through your disconnected headset.

You can verify the default audio device in one of two ways: from the taskbar or through the Control Panel.

The Taskbar Route

Click on the “speaker” icon next to the system clock. You’ll see a name listed above the volume pop-up panel. Click the name to reveal a pop-up list labeled “Select Playback Device” and choose a different audio device until you hear a sound.

Windows 10 Select Playback Device

If none of those work, move on to the “Run the Troubleshooter” step.

The Control Panel Route

Hit the Windows key, type “Control Panel” in the taskbar’s search field, and select the Control Panel desktop app in the results. Next, select “Hardware and Sound” on the main Control Panel menu, followed by “Sound” on the next panel.

Hardware and Sound Control Panel

The Sound pop-up window appears on the screen. Make sure your audio device is set as default. If not, single-click on the device listing to select and then click the “Set Default” button. Next, click the “OK” button to finish.

Sound Set Default Device

Run the Troubleshooter

Windows 10 offers a built-in troubleshooter that scans the system and offers potential fixes.

Press the Windows key, type “Audio” in the taskbar’s search field, and select “Find and Fix Problems with Playing Sound” in the results. This opens a troubleshooter in the Control Panel.

Find and Fix Audio Problems

You can also access this troubleshooter by going to Start > Settings > System > Sound > Troubleshoot.

After the troubleshooter scans for audio devices, select the device you want to troubleshoot and click the “Next” button.

Select Audio Device to Troubleshoot

Windows 10 scans for issues. Follow any available directions to resolve your audio problems.

Reboot the Audio Services

Tap the Windows key, type “Services” in the taskbar’s search field, and select the Services desktop app in the results.

Launch Windows 10 Services

In the Services window, you’ll need to restart three services:

  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
  • Windows Audio
  • Windows Audio Endpoint Builder

For each service, single-click to select, right-click to open the service’s menu, and then select the “Restart” option. If “Restart” is greyed out, try the “Refresh” option instead.

Restart Audio Services

Turn Off Audio Enhancements

These “enhancements” provided by audio hardware vendors and Microsoft aim to deliver the best experience possible. However, they could be the underlying issue.

Type “Control Panel” in the taskbar’s search field and select the resulting Control Panel desktop app.

Find and Launch Control Panel

Select “Hardware and Sound” on the main Control Panel menu, followed by “Sound” on the next panel.

Hardware and Sound Control Panel

Select your audio device listed under the “Playback” tab and right-click to open a menu. Select the “Properties” option at the bottom.

Sound Panel Audio Device Properties

Once the Speakers / Headphones Properties window appears, click on the “Enhancements” tab. Check the box next to “Disable All Sound Effects” (or “Disable All Enhancements”). Confirm the change by clicking the “OK” button.

Windows 10 Disable Sound Effects

If this doesn’t work, you may not have the right audio device set as the default. Follow the Control Panel route instructions to set your default audio device. If that still doesn’t work, move on to the next step.

Change Audio Format

The current audio format may not work correctly with your PC’s hardware. To see if this is the case, type “Control Panel” in the taskbar’s search field and select the resulting Control Panel desktop app.

Find and Launch Control Panel

Select “Hardware and Sound” on the main Control Panel menu, followed by “Sound” on the next panel.

Hardware and Sound Control Panel

Select your audio device listed under the Playback tab and right-click to open a menu. Select the “Properties” option at the bottom.

Sound Panel Audio Device Properties

Once the Speakers / Headphones Properties window appears, click on the “Advanced” tab. A drop-down menu appears in the “Default Format” section. Select a different format and click the “Test” button to see if a different format works. If it does, click the “Apply” button, followed by the “OK” button.

Windows 10 Change Audio Format

If changing the audio format doesn’t work, move on to updating your audio driver.

Update the Driver

There are two ways to update your audio driver. Many pre-built PCs from Dell, HP, and more install a “command center” application that scans your device and installs updated drivers.

For instance, Alienware PCs ship with SupportAssist that scans for outdated drivers, hardware issues, and so on. Run these applications to check for driver updates.

The second approach is to update the driver through Device Manager manually. To begin, right-click on the Start button and select “Device Manager” on the pop-up menu.

Windows 10 Open Device Manager

Select and expand the “Sound, video, and game controllers” entry to list all available audio devices. Click once on your primary device—this example uses Realtek Audio—then right-click to open a pop-up menu. Select the “Update Driver” option.

Windows 10 Update Audio Driver

Select “Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software” in the following window.

Windows 10 Auto Search for Drivers

Alternatively, you could search the sound card manufacturer’s website for new drivers and download them to your PC. If you take that route, choose the “Browse My Computer for Driver Software” option instead. Simply direct Windows 10 to the download location.

Windows 10 Browse for Drivers

Another “Browse My Computer for Driver Software” option is to install compatible drivers from a list. Thus, instead of entering a download location, click the “Let Me Pick from a List of Available Drivers on My Computer” option.

Windows 10 Let Me Pick From a List

Make sure the “Show compatible hardware” box is checked and select one of the listed drivers in the following window. Click the “Next” button to finish.

Windows 10 Select Driver from List

Uninstall and Reinstall Your Audio Device

Remove your audio device altogether and let Windows 10 detect and reinstall the appropriate driver.

Right-click on the Start button and then select “Device Manager” on the context menu.

Windows 10 Open Device Manager

Once Device Manager appears on your screen, select and expand the “Sound, Video, and Game Controllers” entry. Click once on your primary device—this example uses Realtek Audio—then right-click to open a pop-up menu. Select the “Uninstall Device” option and reboot your PC.

Windows 10 Uninstall Audio Device

Windows 10 should reinstall the appropriate audio driver after the reboot. To check, return to the Device Manager and see if your audio device appears under “Sound, Video, and Game Controllers.”

If it’s not there, single-click to select the category followed by a right-click to open a pop-up menu. Select the menu’s “Scan for Hardware Changes” option.

Scan for Hardware Changes

If your audio device still doesn’t appear, you likely have hardware issues a driver update/refresh can’t address.

Perform a System Restore

Lastly, if all else fails, hope that Windows 10 created a restore point before your sound issues began.

Type “Restore” in the taskbar’s search field and select “Create a Restore Point” in the results.

Windows 10 Create Restore Point

Click the “System Restore” button on the following System Properties window to launch the service.

Windows 10 Start System Restore

A System Restore window appears on the screen. Click the “Next” button to continue.

System Restore Next Button

In the next step, click the box next to “Show More Restore Points” and select a restore point dated before you began experiencing audio issues. Click the “Next” button to continue.

Windows 10 Select Restore Point

Click the “Finish” button, and Windows 10 will proceed to restore your PC.

Windows 10 Confirm Restore Point





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AirDrop Not Working? Here’s How to Fix It

A hand holding an iPhone with the AirDrop settings menu open.
Aleksey Khilko/Shutterstock

AirDrop lets you send files, photos, and other data between iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Like all wireless tech, though, AirDrop can be temperamental. And getting devices to “see” each other can sometimes be a challenge. Here’s how to troubleshoot common AirDrop problems.

What Is AirDrop?

AirDrop is Apple’s proprietary method of sending files or data locally between two devices. The devices initially connect over Bluetooth, with Wi-Fi doing much of the heavy lifting when it comes to file transfers.

The feature was first introduced on Macs in 2008. It expanded to iOS devices with the rollout of iOS 7 in 2013. AirDrop is excellent when it works, but if you have older hardware, you’re more likely to experience issues. Visibility issues are the most common problem people have with AirDrop—sometimes, the recipient doesn’t show up, no matter how hard you try.

This is one of the reasons Apple introduced the new U1 chip with ultra-wideband technology for the iPhone 11. The U1 is designed to improve device discoverability and eliminate the issues that have plagued AirDrop for years. It will be a while before the majority of people have such a chip in their device, though. For now, we’re stuck trying to get AirDrop to work the old-fashioned way.

We’ve split these tips between Mac and iOS devices, as you can use different methods on each platform. If you want to use AirDrop between an iPhone or iPad, and a Mac, be sure to check out both sections for relevant tips.

Can My Mac or iOS Device Use AirDrop?

AirDrop is compatible with the following Mac computers:

  • MacBook Pro (late 2008 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (late 2010 or newer)
  • MacBook (late 2008 or newer)
  • iMac (early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac mini (mid-2010 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (early 2009 with AirPort Extreme or newer)

AirDrop is compatible with iOS devices that:

  • Run iOS 7 or later
  • Have a Lightning port

Despite this extensive compatibility, the older your device, the more likely you are to have issues with AirDrop.

Troubleshooting AirDrop on a Mac

There are more tricks to getting AirDrop working on a Mac than there are for an iOS device. This is because, on a Mac, you have access to the Terminal, more settings you can adjust, and the ability to delete files from system folders.

Let’s get started!

Update macOS

The "Software Update" pane in macOS.

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: you should keep your device up to date if you want to minimize software issues. AirDrop is temperamental at the best of times, so if your Mac is running an outdated version of macOS, and you’re trying to send files to your brand-new iPhone 11, that might be the problem.

First, back up your Mac with Time Machine, and then head to System Preferences > Software Update and install all available updates. If you’re not running the latest version of macOS, open the App Store, search for “macOS,” and then download it for free.

Open AirDrop in Finder

The "AirDrop" pane in Finder.

According to Apple, if your Mac runs OS X Mavericks or earlier, you have to open Finder and click on AirDrop in the sidebar to transfer files. Apple doesn’t stipulate this requirement for later versions of macOS, but we’ve had better results when we open the AirDrop window before starting a transfer.

Set Your Mac’s Visibility to “Everyone”

The "Allow Me To Be Discovered By:" drop-down menu.

If you have trouble sending files to a Mac, adjust the visibility under Finder > AirDrop. At the bottom of the screen, click the arrow next to “Allow Me to Be Discovered By:” and select “Everyone” from the drop-down menu.

If you select “Contacts Only,” make sure the other party’s contact details appear in your Contacts app. Apple doesn’t specify which particular piece of information it uses to identify a contact, but an email address linked to an Apple ID is a solid choice.

Sometimes, the “Contacts Only” option doesn’t work properly—even when email addresses and phone numbers are present. For best results, make sure both parties appear in each other’s Contacts apps.

Disable Do Not Disturb

The "Today" tab in "Notification Center."

Do Not Disturb mode interferes with AirDrop because it makes your Mac invisible to other devices. To disable it, open “Notification Center” (the icon in the top-right corner of your screen), click the “Today” tab, scroll up, and then toggle-Off “Do Not Disturb.”

Search for an Older Mac

The "Search for an Older Mac" option in AirDrop.

Older Macs use a legacy implementation of AirDrop that isn’t compatible with the latest iOS devices. You can use a modern Mac to send files to an older Mac, but you first have to tell AirDrop to search for the older Mac. If your Mac was manufactured pre-2012, this method might work for you.

First, make sure the older Mac is visible, and the AirDrop window is open and ready to receive. On your newer Mac, head to Finder and click “AirDrop” in the sidebar. Click “Don’t See Who You’re Looking for?” at the bottom of the window, and then click “Search for an Older Mac.”

Connect to the Same Wi-Fi Network

Apple explicitly states that both devices do not have to share the same Wi-Fi network for AirDrop to work. However, our own experience suggests that when devices share a network, the results are much better. If possible, connect both devices to the same network, and then try again.

Disable “Block All Incoming Connections”

The "Block All Incoming Connections" checkbox in the "Security & Privacy" pane.

If you use the firewall that comes with macOS, it might be blocking incoming connections, too. To prevent AirDrop transfers from failing, you should disable this setting. You don’t have to stop using the firewall to do this.

Head to System Preferences > Security & Privacy, and then click the “Firewall” tab. If the Firewall is set to “Off,” you can move on to the next tip.

If the Firewall is on, click the lock in the bottom-left corner of the window, and then type your admin password (or use Touch ID, or your Apple Watch, if possible).

Next, click “Firewall Options.” In the window that opens, make sure the checkbox next to “Block All Incoming Connections” is unchecked. Click “OK” to save your changes, and then try again.

Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Manually

The "Turn Bluetooth Off" option.

Sometimes, you just have to turn it off and on again. To do this with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, click the relevant icon in the menu bar at the top-right of the screen. After you turn off both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, turn them back on, and then try again.

Kill Bluetooth with a Terminal Command

If that doesn’t work, you can try to kill your Mac’s Bluetooth service, instead. This essentially forces the service to restart, and can potentially solve visibility and transfer issues, too.

To do this, open a new Terminal window, and then type (or paste):

sudo pkill blued

Press Enter, type your admin password (or authorize via Touch ID or Apple Watch,) and then press Enter again. The service restarts immediately and kills any other Bluetooth connections you have open. You can now try to use AirDrop again.

Reset All Bluetooth Connections

Click "Move to Bin" to delete the "com.apple.Bluetooth.plist" file.

This is the nuclear option, but many people have had success with it so it might be worth a shot. Your Mac stores known Bluetooth connections in a single file. If you delete that file, you force your Mac to make new connections, and it will potentially clear up any issues. It might also fix problems with any Bluetooth devices that don’t pair or act erratically.

First, click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, and then select “Turn Bluetooth Off.” Open a Finder window, and then select Go > Go to Folder in the menu bar.

Type (or paste) the following, and then hit Enter:

/Library/Preferences/

Find the file “com.apple.Bluetooth.plist” and delete it. You can use the search bar, just make sure you click “Preferences” at the top of the Finder window. Now, turn on Bluetooth again and see if AirDrop works.

Remember to re-pair your Bluetooth devices after you try this tip.

Restart Your Mac

The "Restart Your Mac" dialog.

As always, the most effective way to solve AirDrop issues is to restart your Mac and try again. It’s not convenient, though—especially if you’re in the middle of something. We recommend you experiment with the previous tips first to see if any of them work with your particular hardware; it might prevent you from having the same issue in the future.

Other Mac AirDrop Troubleshooting Tips

Still having AirDrop problems? There are a few other things you might want to try:

  • Restart your network equipment.
  • Reset your Mac’s PRAM and SMC.
  • Sign out of your Apple ID under System Preferences, and then sign in again.
  • Reinstall macOS to restore your device to an “as new” state.

Solving AirDrop Problems on an iOS Device

Due to the closed nature of the operating system, iOS devices don’t have quite as many troubleshooting avenues open to them. Fortunately, there are a few tips that have worked for us.

Update iOS

The "Software Update" menu on iOS.

Just like macOS, iOS receives regular updates. To give yourself the best chance at AirDrop success, make sure you’re using the latest version of iOS. Head to Settings > General > Software Update and install any available updates.

Make Sure Your iOS Device Is Visible

The AirDrop visibility menu in iOS.

You can change your iOS device visibility in Control Center. To access Control Center on an iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. If you have an iPhone X or later, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen.

Press and hold the panel that contains the Airplane Mode and Wi-Fi symbols until a new panel appears. Tap “AirDrop” to set the visibility. For best results, tap “Everyone.”

If you select the “Contacts Only” option, the person you share with also has to be in your Contacts app (or the Phone app under the Contacts tab). For best results with this method, make sure the other party’s linked Apple ID appears in the relevant contact.

Since “Contacts Only” is temperamental, we recommend you switch this option to “Everyone” for transfers, and then change to “Receiving Off” if you don’t want to be bombarded by strangers.

Make Sure Your iPhone Is Awake and Unlocked

Your iPhone needs to be awake to be visible to other AirDrop devices. AirDrop requests will appear as notifications on your lock screen when your device is locked. For best results, make sure your device is awake, unlocked, and ready to receive.

Disable Do Not Disturb

If Do Not Disturb mode is enabled on your iOS device, you won’t be able to receive AirDrop requests. To disable Do Not Disturb mode, go to Settings > Do Not Disturb. You can also toggle the Do Not Disturb icon (it looks like a moon) in Control Center.

Disable Personal Hotspot

The "Personal Hotspot" toggle on iOS.

You cannot use AirDrop if you have a Personal Hotspot connected. To quickly disable Personal Hotspot, open Control Center, tap and hold the panel with the Wi-Fi symbol in it, and then toggle-Off “Personal Hotspot.”

Receive Different File Types Separately

When you receive a file via AirDrop, it opens immediately in the relevant app. This sometimes causes issues if you try to send multiple filetypes in one transfer.

Split up your transfers by filetype before you send them via AirDrop to an iOS device and see if this solves the issue.

Kill Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode enabled in Control Center on iOS.

A favorite tip is to kill all your device’s radios with Airplane Mode. Toggling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth isn’t enough because, when you disable Wi-Fi in Control Center, it only disconnects you from the current network. To reset all services, open Control Center, enable Airplane Mode, and then wait about 10 seconds. Disable Airplane Mode and try again.

Note that Airplane Mode saves your last-known configuration. If you turn on Airplane Mode, and then manually re-enable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, Airplane Mode will remember this next time. Make sure you disable both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi before you try this tip.

Restart Your iOS Device

When in doubt, turn it off and back on. This will likely resolve your AirDrop issues (at least temporarily), although it’s not always the most convenient option.

Reset Network Settings

The "Reset Network Settings" option on iOS.

We haven’t tried this, so we can’t attest to its success rate, but if you have chronic AirDrop issues, you might want to give it a try. This resets all known Wi-Fi networks, and VPN, APN, and Cellular settings to their default values. You’ll have to reconnect to all of your Wi-Fi networks afterward.

If it’s worth it to you, head to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Use iCloud Instead of AirDrop

iCloud Drive is Apple’s cloud storage medium. It’s hardly the most robust cloud storage service out there, but it’s integrated into every iOS and macOS device, so it’s a good alternative to AirDrop.

There are limitations, though. Whereas AirDrop is designed for local file transfers, iCloud is an online storage medium. You have to connect to the internet, and if you need to upload or download large files, it might be inconvenient (or impossible).

If you want to give iCloud a shot, read on, and we’ll walk you through it.

Send Files or Images on iOS

To upload files to iCloud Drive:

  1. Select the files or images you want to send, and then tap the Share button.
  2. Scroll down to “Save to Files.”
  3. Select a destination (or create a new folder), and then tap “Save.”

Your files will be sent to iCloud immediately over the internet. If your connection is slow, you might have to wait a while before they show up on other devices.

Receive Files or Images on iOS

To retrieve files you uploaded to iCloud Drive on iOS:

  1. Launch the Files app.
  2. Navigate to the folder in which you saved your files or images.
  3. Access your files.

Send Files or Images on a Mac

On a Mac, the process uses Finder, as it does for all iCloud Drive interactions. To send files or images:

  1. Launch Finder and click “iCloud Drive” in the sidebar.
  2. Select (or create) a folder to upload your files to.
  3. Drag and drop (or copy and paste) your files into the folder, and then wait for them to upload.

You should see the status of the upload beneath the file you’re uploading.

Receive Files or Images on a Mac

To retrieve files from iCloud Drive on a Mac:

  1. Launch Finder and click “iCloud Drive” in the sidebar.
  2. Navigate to the folder in which you saved your files or images.
  3. Access your files.

If the files haven’t finished downloading, double-click them. When they open, you can prioritize the download.

AirDrop Improvements

With the addition of the U1 chip to the latest iPhones, it’s clear Apple is aware of the issues that plague device discoverability. While the applications of the U1 chip go far beyond local file transfers, it’s a notable step forward for local wireless device-to-device file transfers.

We expect to see the U1 and similar chips in future Apple hardware.

RELATED: What Is Ultra Wideband, and Why Is It In the iPhone 11?





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6 Free Web Apps to Break Instagram Restrictions and Fix Annoyances 

There is so much more to Instagram than posting a picture and getting some likes. These free web apps show how to make the best use of the social network by doing things that Instagram won’t let you.

Instagram often feels unnecessarily restrictive in how one can use it. Thankfully, a few developers are bypassing these annoyances with simple apps. So here are a few ways to write well-formatted captions, browse someone’s top posts, or download any post or story.

1. Instaloadgram (Web): AI-Generate Hashtags, Data Export, and Downloads

Instaloadgram is an Instagram tools to download posts, generate hashtags with AI, and export data

Instaloadgram is a combination of three tools for Instagram users. It lets you download any content from a profile, it can export data to a spreadsheet, and it can auto-generate smart hashtags.

  1. Downloading: Instaloadgram is the best download tool for Instagram stories, videos, or photos. Load any public profile to see the latest Stories that are still active, as well as all their posts. Everything has a quick link to download and save it to your hard drive.
  2. Exporting: You can export data (comments, likes, followers, posts from an account, posts from a hashtag) about any account easily into a spreadsheet to open in Excel. The first 100 entries are free, but you’ll have to pay for more data points.
  3. AI Hashtags: Upload an image from your hard drive to Instaloadgram, and its smart AI will “see” the image to generate hashtags. Hashtags are based on current trends so that you don’t have to do the hard yards. You can copy all hashtags to the clipboard in one click.

Instaloadgram is a virtual Swiss Army knife of useful apps for Instagram users. It’s also cool that it isn’t a subscription-based program because Instagram often bans such apps. You’re only paying for data export, and that too as per the use case.

2. dgram.xyz (Web): All-in-One Instagram Photo, Video, IGTV Downloader

dgram.xyz is an easy way to download Instagram photos, videos, display pictures, and IGTV

If Instaloadgram is overkill for your needs, bookmark dgram.xyz to save or download individual Instagram media. This web app downloads any photo, video, IGTV clip, or a user’s full-size display picture. It doesn’t work with Stories on Instagram.

Just copy the link (on any photo or video, tap the Three-dot menu icon > Copy link) and paste it into the box at dgram. You’ll see a preview, and an option to download the HD file.

Of course, dgram is best for downloading other people’s Instagram content. If you’re only concerned about the things you uploaded on the social network, then there are other ways to download and save all your Instagram images


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easily.

3. Zine (Web): Free Way to Turn Instagram Feed Into a Website

Zine is the simplest way to turn your Instagram feed into a website

If you’re a photographer or an influencer who primarily uses Instagram for your portfolio, check out Zine. It’s the easiest way to turn any Instagram feed into a website, without any coding, and it’s completely free.

Sign in with your Instagram login, and Zine will fetch the pictures and videos from your account. Customize how you want your website to look by choosing a layout, a font, and the color. You can preview them before making it final.

Once you’re done, you’ll get a free account at the URL “<yourusername>.zine.press” (without the quotes), which even non-Instagram users can check out. The app also lets you upgrade to use your own custom domain name for $7 per month.

Currently, Zine does not import Instagram Stories, so this will be a portfolio of pictures and videos only.

4. Caption Writer (Web): Write Beautifully Formatted Captions

Igor Samokhovets' Caption Writer

It’s strange that Instagram is such a great app, but it won’t let you compose well-formatted captions. Till the social network fixes it, here’s an easy workaround from developer Igor Samohovets.

The web-based Caption Writer works on both desktop and mobile. Write a caption with whitespaces. emojis, and numbered lists. The character count at the top ensures you don’t exceed the 2200 character limit. Similarly, a hashtag limiter counts down from the maximum 30 hashtags.

Once you’ve composed your caption, tap the Copy button, head to Instagram, and paste it there. Next time you want to use Caption Writer again, tap Clear to restart. There’s no need to sign in or download anything, it’s a free and awesome nifty tool.

Note: In case Samohovets takes down Caption Writer, try Pretty Captions to write formatted Instagram captions. It doesn’t have the character or hashtag countdowns, but it works well.

5. Top 100 Posts (Web): Browse Any Account’s Top 100 Posts

Top 100 Posts shows any Instagram account's top posts by engangement, likes, or comments

Instagram doesn’t make it easy to browse. When you discover a new user on Instagram, you can check their feed only chronologically. There’s no quick way to see their most popular or most viewed posts. That’s where Top 100 Posts comes in.

Key in the username of any Instagram public profile, or browse through the suggestions for sports brands, tech brands, top users, etc. In a few seconds, Top 100 Posts will show that account’s best photos and videos (excluding Stories).

You can sort those top posts by engagement, the number of likes it got, or the number of comments on that post. The app also has a quick-link to download and save the image.

This is one of the coolest ways to browse Instagram accounts, especially those of influencers or popular brands. You’re also more likely to see personal pictures this way, rather than an endorsement.

6. Linkfru (Web): Create Cool Links for Instagram Bio

Linkfru lets you add multiple links to Instagram bio

Instagram users can only add one link in their bio. With Linkfru, you can use that one link to lead a user to more cool links.

The free Linkfru account creates a custom page for you, with three links that look like buttons. You can customize the text and the URL, as well as the look of your page. Apart from these three links, you can create custom Pages.

Each Linkfru Page has a lot more information than a button. You can add a banner image or a YouTube video that can be played in the page, as well as a headline, a description, and a link. Your users are likely to stay longer in your Linkfru bio if you use videos smartly.

The free account restricts you to three links and three Pages. The premium accounts (starting at $14 per month) include unlimited links and Pages, as well as analytics and insights into user behavior.

Linkfru is only one of several services that offer cool ways to add links to Instagram posts


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. Others offer more links in the free package, but the Pages feature makes Linkfru worth checking out.

The Hidden Features of Instagram

The apps in this article are all about circumventing Instagram’s restrictions. But there are also some cool features in Instagram that you probably aren’t aware of. Check out these 15 things you didn’t know you could do on Instagram


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.



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