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The 10 Best Reverse Image Search Apps for iPhone and Android

Search engines make it easy to find information or buy products, but what if you want to identify a picture you have? In these cases, reverse image search comes to the rescue.

This powerful feature allows you to upload an image to search instead of entering text. Let’s take a look at the best reverse image search tools available on your iPhone or Android device.

1. CamFind

CamFind is a basic yet functional reverse image search tool. The next time you want to search for an image, just open up CamFind and take a picture. Once the picture uploads, the app matches it against others on the internet and identifies the object.

After this, have a look at the available results. You can look for related images, shop for the item, watch related videos, search on the web, or go through related posts. Even better, you can set a visual reminder and share your finds with others.

Download: CamFind for iOS | Android (Free)

2. Google Lens

Google Lens initially arrived as a Pixel exclusive; the company later integrated the feature into Google Photos. Now both iOS and Android users can use Google Lens to reverse search images.

On Android, Google Lens is available as a standalone app. iOS users can access Lens within the Google Photos app. Open an image that you’ve taken and tap the Lens icon (second from the right, next to the trash icon).

Google’s visual search engine will analyze the image; the results include a link to the Google image search page.

Download: Google Photos for iOS (Free)
Download: Google Lens for Android (Free)

3. Veracity

Veracity is an intuitive visual search engine app. It lets you choose images from your Camera Roll or Photo Library, plus it can link to your Dropbox account. Veracity offers a basic image editor, but you have to pay to unlock it.

Another downside is that Veracity doesn’t come with an option to share results with others.

Download: Veracity for iOS (Free, premium version available)

4. Reverse Image Search App

Reverse Image Search App provides another minimalist reverse search engine experience. Take images from your Camera Roll or Photo Library to reverse image search via Google Image Search, Yandex Image Search, and Bing Image Search.

You can also crop, rotate images, and save them to your device for free. However, removing ads from Reverse Image Search App requires a small fee.

While this app isn’t available on Android, check out the similar Reverse Image Search for a close experience.

Download: Reverse Image Search App for iOS (Free, premium version available)
Download: Reverse Image Search for Android (Free)

5. Direct Image Search on Google

You can use Google’s direct image search in Safari or Chrome, but it’s a bit complicated. You have to request the desktop site to proceed with the search.

Follow these steps to use Google’s reverse image search function on mobile devices:

  1. Open the Google Images site in your browser.
  2. For Safari on iOS, tap on the aA button at the top-left. Choose Request Desktop Website from the menu.
    1. If you’re using Chrome on iOS, tap the Share icon at the top-right of the screen and scroll down to Request Desktop Site in the list.
  3. For Chrome on Android, tap the three-dot Menu button at the top-right and check the Desktop site box.
  4. Tap the camera icon that appears on the page.
  5. Now you can choose to either upload an image or paste a URL, just like you would on your desktop.

Check out these nifty Google Image Search tricks to master the tool.

Visit: Google Images

6. Photo Sherlock

Photo Sherlock comes with a simplified user interface. The app allows you to reverse search an image directly using your camera. If you prefer, you can also use your Camera Roll to upload pictures.

Once uploaded, you can choose to crop the image to focus on the main element. The app then fetches an image search result from Google.

Download: Photo Sherlock for iOS | Android (Free)

7. TinEye Reverse Image Search

If you don’t want to download a dedicated app, many online tools offer a reverse image search in a mobile-friendly format. TinEye is one such service that lets you search an image by URL or by sharing a file. Once uploaded, the tool crawls the web and adds images to its index.

TinEye lets you sort the results by Best Match, Most Changed, Biggest Image, Newest, and Oldest. Further, you can filter the result across top domains and collections.

Visit: TinEye

8. Reverse Photos Image Search

Reverse Photos Search is another reverse image search web tool. Like others, this one is basic and allows you to upload images from your camera, Photo Library, or other folders.

Once uploaded, the tool will hand your image off to Google Images, where it tries to find a match. This is a simple tool if you don’t want to bother with requesting the desktop Google Images site on your mobile device, but the intrusive ads are unsightly.

Visit: Reverse Photos Search

9. Baidu Image Search

As you may know, Google services are not available in China. Thus, Chinese search engine Baidu takes up the mantle in that region.

If you are in China or want to search for an image that is relevant to China, Baidu’s image search is one of the best options. As you’d expect, the website lets you take a photo or upload it from your library. Baidu also allows you to crop the image before searching.

Visit: Baidu Images

10. Yandex

Yandex is a popular search engine in Russia. Like Google, it offers an image search feature. Upload an image by tapping the camera icon on the search bar. You can also use your camera and search for an image without saving the photo to your library.

Your search results will attempt to identify text in your image and show you similar images.

Visit: Yandex Images

The Importance of Reverse Image Search

Reverse image searching is hugely helpful when you need to look up something you’ve seen but don’t know much about.

Apart from shopping and product discovery, reverse image search has many other uses. You can use it to see if photos are authentic and snuff out fake news. For more like this, we’ve also looked at some apps that help you find clothes by a picture.

Read the full article: The 10 Best Reverse Image Search Apps for iPhone and Android

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Which iPad Should You Buy? Find the Best iPad for You

When the iPad first launched in 2010, there was only one model available. Now, there are five different iPad models to choose from, each with their own benefits and drawbacks to consider.

What makes the iPad Pro different to the iPad Air? Which is the most affordable iPad? Which iPad should you buy? Let’s take a look at the lineup and help you find the best iPad for you.

Best iPad Overall: iPad Air

iPad Air iPad Air Buy Now On Amazon $361.55

The iPad Air is the Apple tablet with the broadest appeal. The iPad Air provides the right balance between value and power to suit most users. It features a 10.5-inch display and is powered by Apple’s A12 Bionic chip which was first introduced alongside the iPhone XS and XR in late 2018.

That means the Air can handle most tasks you throw at it, including demanding 3D games and resource-intensive digital audio workstations. The 10.5-inch display is large enough to provide clear benefits over a smaller smartphone display, without being so large that it’s unwieldy.

Compatibility with Apple’s Smart Keyboard attachment is a bonus for students or anyone who anticipates using their tablet for writing purposes. There’s also support for the first generation of Apple Pencil which is perfect for handwritten notes, annotating PDFs, or doodling and sketching.

There are some limitations placed on the Air that defies its broad appeal. It uses a dated chassis that first appeared when the original iPad Air was released in 2013. You can unlock it with the slightly outmoded Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and it’s only available in capacities of up to 256GB.

Anyone considering the pricier iPad Pro should first look at the iPad Air. Its A12 Bionic chip doesn’t quite meet the dizzying heights of its more expensive counterparts, but overall the iPad Air provides a tremendous amount of bang for your buck in a neat little package.

Best iPad for Artists: iPad Pro 12.9-Inch

iPad Pro camera setup

By virtue of the larger screen, it’s hard not to recommend the iPad Pro 12.9-inch to anyone looking at using their tablet for artistic purposes. Coupled with the second-generation Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro is a force to be reckoned with for digital artists who want to sketch, paint, and refine their ideas on a tablet.

The 2020 edition of the iPad Pro is equipped with a 10MP Ultra Wide camera, 12MP Wide lens, studio-quality mics, and a LiDAR Scanner. The latter addition is an entirely new feature for Apple’s tablet lineup. The scanner measures the distance to surrounding objects up to five meters away. Coupled with the iPad Pro’s other sensors, this allows for a more professional video and photo editing workflow, as well as improved AR performance.

But for most other users, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will likely feel a bit big. It’s too large to hold with one hand comfortably, so it’s not ideal for browsing Facebook on the couch. Its size also makes it a little harder to transport in a small bag. One of the reasons consumers turn to tablets is for their superior portability, so this is worth keeping in mind.

The brains of the operation is Apple’s A12Z Bionic processor, making the device more powerful than many Windows computers. In essence, this means the iPad Pro will be able to handle more intensive processes, though much of the extra grunt is put to use simply driving the larger display. This includes capturing and editing 4K video, for example.

When you buy an iPad Pro, you’re paying for a flagship user experience. The redesigned iPad Pro features the smallest bezel on any Apple tablet ever and also incorporates Face ID biometrics first seen on the iPhone X.

Best Workhorse iPad: iPad Pro 11-Inch

iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard

The iPad Pro 11-inch might be able to replace your laptop when coupled with the Smart Keyboard Folio. While iPadOS isn’t as powerful as macOS or Windows, the vast selection of apps available helps make up for it. The iPad Pro costs as much as a mid-range laptop—a price that doesn’t include the optional keyboard or stylus accessories.

The latest iteration of the iPad Pro is designed with iPadOS 13.04 in mind. This revision of the iPad’s operating system brings with it the ability to use a trackpad with your Apple tablet. Not only has this feature been explicitly designed for the iPad, rather than directly importing the Mac experience, but there’ll also be a new detachable keyboard—the Magic Keyboard—to go alongside the update.

While your own experience may vary, typing on the Smart Keyboard Folio is a pleasant experience. Despite sitting almost flat against the desk, the keyboard is comfortable and allows you to type at speed as a comparably-sized MacBook would. This wasn’t the case with Apple’s original 9.7-inch iPad Pro folio, which felt cramped.

Furthermore, the A12Z Bionic chip found inside the iPad Pro outshines many laptops in terms of raw power and overall system performance. You’ll have no problems editing 4K videos in iMovie, playing intensive 3D games, or using two apps side-by-side with all that power at your disposal. Fortunately, aside from the size, both the 12.9-inch and 11-inch models of the iPad Pro come equipped with the same hardware and software.

The iPad Pro has a redesigned chassis and tiny bezel. It includes Face ID for unlocking your tablet with a glance, rather than a fingerprint. It also comes in sizes of up to 1TB, compared to the iPad Air’s 256GB.

Best iPad for Tight Budgets: iPad

Seventh-generation iPadApple’s entry-level tablet is known simply as the iPad. The main attraction here is the iPad’s price; it is significantly cheaper than Apple’s other tablets. The iPad received a refresh in 2019, evolving the iconic device to its seventh generation.

The iPad comes with a 10.2-inch display and is powered by Apple’s A10 Fusion chip. This was first introduced in 2016 alongside the iPhone 7. However, despite not being a cutting edge device, the iPad is still a capable tablet for everyday tasks. It will give you no problems browsing the web, checking social media, responding to email, streaming videos and music, and even playing most games.

The seventh-generation iPad was also the first device to ship with Apple’s latest tablet-specific operating system, iPadOS. In many other respects, the iPad is similar to the iPad Air, albeit 0.07 pounds heavier. They both feature an eight-megapixel rear-facing camera and have up to 10-hour battery life. The iPad is somewhat lacking in the front-facing camera, taking 1.7-megapixel photos compared to the iPad Air’s 7-megapixel captures.

The tablet is compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil and also supports the Smart Keyboard, as well as third-party Bluetooth keyboards. While Face ID is available for iPhone and iPad Pro users, the iPad ships only with Touch ID. Like many Apple products, the iPad is available in a variety of storage capacities up to 128GB.

Best Portable iPad: iPad mini

iPad mini iPad mini Buy Now On Amazon $499.99

In March 2019, Apple updated the iPad mini line which hadn’t seen a refresh since 2015. The updated tablets feature the same A12 Bionic chip found in the iPad Air and iPhone XS. That means they’ve got enough power under the hood to chew through most apps and processes.

But the main reason to choose the iPad mini is its form factor. With a 7.9-inch display, the iPad mini can fit into a small handbag or large pocket. Its width and height resemble many hardback books, and so it makes a compelling e-reader too.

Apple’s smallest tablet fits inside the same chassis as its predecessor. There’s also a Touch ID fingerprint scanner for unlocking and making purchases. You can get the iPad mini in sizes of up to 256GB. Ultimately, the main reason to pick up a Mini is that you want a very small tablet.

Which iPad Should You Buy?

You might think the best iPad would be the most expensive; the iPad Pro. However, the iPad Air is probably the best tablet on this list. Not only is it compatible with the first generation Pencil and Smart Keyboard folio, it’s decent value too.

Whatever you buy, make sure you buy with future use in mind because Apple tablets tend to last. By far one of the most important things to consider is how much storage you need. Chose the wrong size, and you’ll be locked into a battle of creating free space on iOS.

Read the full article: Which iPad Should You Buy? Find the Best iPad for You

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The New Google Podcasts Is Available on iOS and Android

Google has launched a new version of its Podcasts app. And, for the first time ever, Google Podcasts is now available on iOS as well as Android. What’s more, across both mobile platforms, Google has redesigned the Podcasts app to make it easier to use.

Google Wants You to Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts have been around for longer than you might think. However, they have massively grown in popularity in recent years to become a medium in their own right. The two issues are choosing the best app to listen to them on, and finding new podcasts to listen to.

Google thinks it has solved both of these issues with the new version of Google Podcasts. Now available on both Android and iOS, according to The Keyword, Podcasts has been redesigned to make it easier than ever to listen to, organize, and discover podcasts.

How to Use the New Google Podcasts

The new Google Podcasts boasts three main tabs: Home, Explore, and Activity.

Home provides you with a feed of new episodes and quick access to the shows you subscribe to. Selecting an episode will reveal the topics discussed in that episode. You can then learn more about those topics by jumping over to Google Search.

new Google Podcasts app

Explore is where you’ll find new podcasts to listen to. The “For You” tab will feature new shows and episodes of shows Google thinks you’ll enjoy. To the right of that are other tabs recommending popular podcasts across a range of different categories.

Activity is where you’ll find everything you have been doing on Google Podcasts. This includes episodes you have already listened to, episodes you have queued up to listen to, which episodes you have downloaded, and which podcasts you’re subscribed to.

Download: Google Podcasts on iOS | Android

Other Podcasts Apps on Android and iOS

Google faces a tough time persuading iPhone users to switch from Apple Podcasts to Google Podcasts. And there are plenty of alternatives on both operating systems. So, here are the best podcast apps for Android and the best podcast apps for iOS.

While Google Podcasts is all about helping you listen to podcasts, perhaps you would prefer to record your own podcast instead. Now is as good a time as any, and all you need is an original idea in your head and the right equipment to start podcasting.

Read the full article: The New Google Podcasts Is Available on iOS and Android

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What Is My Phone’s IMEI? Here’s What You Need to Know

You may have heard your insurance company or law enforcement encourage you to record your IMEI. You might have even seen it in your phone’s settings or device packaging. What isn’t so clear is what the IMEI number is actually for.

So, what exactly is an IMEI number, and how do you find yours?

What Is an IMEI Number?

Apple iPad Air 2 IMEI Codes

The International Mobile Equipment Identity—or IMEI—is a unique numerical identifier for every mobile device.

This number helps to differentiate each device from one another. If you take your phone in for repair, they will track it using the IMEI to distinguish it from the other millions of iPhones, for example.

A standard IMEI number is a 14 digit string, with an additional 15th check digit for verifying the entire string. There is also a 16 digit variation that includes information on the device’s software version, known as the IMEISV.

Since 2004, the IMEI appears in the format AA-BBBBBB-CCCCCC-D. The sections labeled A and B are known as the Type Allocation Code (TAC). The TAC portion of the IMEI identifies the manufacturer and model of the device. For example, the Google Pixel TAC code is 35-161508, while the iPhone 6s Plus is 35-332907.

Some models have multiple TACs depending on revision, manufacturing location, and other factors. For example, the iPhone 5C had five different TAC codes.

The six C digits represent your device’s unique serial number, and the handset manufacturer defines these. The D portion of the IMEI is a check digit that ensures the IMEI meets the Allocation and Approval Guidelines. The check digit is displayed on packaging to prevent incorrect IMEI recording, but it doesn’t make up part of the documented IMEI.

While the IMEI number is undoubtedly significant, it isn’t the only regulatory requirement for your smartphone. Manufacturers have to abide by regulations for each region they want to sell their devices in. The IMEI doesn’t show that the equipment meets any of those other safety and regulation requirements.

Finding Your IMEI

iPhone X IMEI Number

There are a couple of ways you can go about finding your device’s IMEI. The most universal approach is to head to your device’s dialer app. Tap in *#06# and the IMEI will be displayed on the screen.

If you have an Android or iOS device, then the IMEI can be found under Settings too. On iOS head to Settings > General > About and the IMEI will be displayed. Copying the IMEI is as simple as tapping and holding on the number. Android devices may vary, but generally heading to Settings > About Phone should display the IMEI.

If you can’t access your device, there are other ways to find your IMEI too. The retail packaging should have a label with the IMEI displayed. If your device has a removable battery, then the IMEI is often listed underneath the battery. Many devices have the IMEI printed on the back. Others, including the iPhone 6s and above, have the IMEI inscribed on the SIM tray.

However, if you are about to purchase a new device, particularly a second-hand one, you’ll want to verify it’s status using the IMEI, too. To do this, head over to IMEI.info and enter the smartphone’s IMEI number.

This free tool will tell you a bit about the device, as well as offer you additional services like a basic blacklist check. If you want to gain even greater clarity, IMEI.info has premium services like a separate blacklist check for each major US carrier and a SIM-lock status tool.

If you’re after the information in a hurry, and don’t mind paying for it, the premium service CheckMEND offers a Device History Check for just under a dollar.

What Is an IMEI Number Used For?

The IMEI’s primary purpose is to equip your device with a unique ID number. So, in practice, the IMEI is very similar to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) used in the automotive industry. Although sometimes confused, the IMEI number is entirely separate from your SIM number and cannot be changed.

When you connect to a cell network, the provider captures both numbers to enable their service. The SIM number identifies your subscriber account, while the IMEI only identifies the device.

If your device is lost or stolen, you can contact your provider who may be able to place a block on the IMEI number, preventing it from being used to connect to the network. Your provider may also be able to contact other networks, asking them also to block the device. Once you’ve done so, you can then use built-in tools to find your phone’s location.

Law enforcement often keep records of lost and recovered phones, identified by their IMEI. Since there is no good reason to change the device’s IMEI, the practice is illegal in many regions.

While it may be illegal to change the IMEI of a device, it does happen. Thieves, in particular, will attempt to take non-blacklisted numbers and apply them to their stolen devices to make them usable again. For this reason, we recommend that you never share or post your IMEI number online, or else you may find your device cloned.

We advise against sharing personal data online more generally, too.

Have You Recorded Your IMEI?

The IMEI number is one of the most important and unique ways of identifying your device. If you haven’t already, you should locate it and take note of it right away.

Keep a record of your IMEI somewhere safe, so it’s there if you ever need it. If you are looking for a digital safe, then a password manager might even do the trick.

That said, if you’ve found or recovered someone else’s smartphone, you may be wondering how to get it back to them. In that case, you’ll want to know what to do if you find a lost or stolen iPhone.

Read the full article: What Is My Phone’s IMEI? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Clean Up Bad iPhone Photos With These 4 Decluttering Apps

If you’re snap-happy, organizing your iPhone’s camera roll can become tedious. Two tasks are especially so: comparing similar photos to select the best of the bunch, and weeding out bad photos.

Why not let a smart app make these chores quick and easy for you? Pick an iPhone photo decluttering app from the list below.

Before We Begin…

You should note a few important points before proceeding:

  1. Keep in mind that deleted photos end up in the Recently Deleted folder of the Photos app. Until you empty this folder, you won’t reclaim the space created by trashing the photos from your phone.
  2. To manually get rid of the deleted photos for good, first open the Recently Deleted folder in the Photos app. Next, tap Select at the top-right and then Delete All at the-bottom left. Your phone will automatically clear photos from this folder after they sit in it for 30 days.
    1. Note that this folder lets you recover deleted photos on your iPhone, so make sure you want to erase them permanently before doing so.
  3. It’s best to manually go through the photos and other media that an app has lined up for bulk deletion. This will ensure that you don’t lose any valuable files accidentally.
  4. You’ll need to be extra careful while deleting photos from your iCloud Photo Library. Otherwise, you might end up losing important ones from all your Apple devices and iCloud as well.

Now let’s take a look at the apps we have chosen for this task.

1. Remove Master for Camera Roll

This app lets you trash photos, Tinder-style. Once you’ve installed it, you can sift through your photos one by one, swiping left to delete a photo and swiping right to keep it. After every swipe, the next photo comes up for review automatically.

Don’t worry if you delete any photos accidentally. You can rescue them from the Trash folder. To do this, first visit the appropriate section by tapping on the trash icon at the top-left. Next, deselect the photos you want to recover and exit the Trash folder by tapping the X button at the top-left. You’ll then see a prompt to cancel the delete action. Tap Yes to proceed.

Remember, any photos you leave selected will be erased. If any of them happens to be the master image of their set, you can still recover that photo from the Recently Deleted folder of the Photos app.

If you want to remove ads, select photos by month, or mark photos as favorites, you’ll need to pay for the premium version of the app.

Remove Master is not the only app that takes a swipe-based approach to photo deletion. PhotoTrash ($1) and Cleen Photos (Free) are a couple of alternatives you can explore.

Love the whole swipe-left/swipe-right approach to apps? Try the Tinder experience for email, jobs, food, and more.

Download: Remove Master for Camera Roll (Free, premium version available)

2. Remo

Remo is a great way to delete duplicate photos from your iPhone.

After scanning your photo library, Remo lines up all exact duplicates in one tab and all similar photos in another tab. In both tabs, you can mark an entire set of duplicates/similar images for deletion in one go.

Don’t worry that you might end up dumping all photos in a set unintentionally. Remo will stop you from doing that with an error message. The app allows you select/deselect photos individually and also preview them before deletion.

In the case of similar images, you might want to optimize the threshold for how closely Remo matches such photos. To do this, head to the app’s settings.

If you want a free, simple app to remove duplicates and similar pictures in bulk, install Remo. It’s just a pity that it’s not as accurate as Gemini Photos, the next app on our list.

Download: Remo (Free)

3. Gemini Photos

Wondering if Gemini Photos has anything to do with the duplicate file finder Mac app Gemini? Yes, it does. MacPaw, the developer of Gemini, decided to clean up your iPhone’s camera roll as well with Gemini Photos.

The iPhone app automatically selects the bad photos cluttering up your phone and serves them up for review. You’ll see everything from blurry photos and duplicates to screenshots and photos with text. Whether you want to follow the app’s recommendation and trash these photos in bulk or keep any of them is up to you.

You’ll also find sets of similar photos and a “keep” recommendation by the app for the best photo in a set. However, this feature is available only with a free trial for the first three days after you install the app. After that, you’ll need a paid subscription for it.

What about the photos that don’t fall under any of Gemini’s preset categories? You can declutter them one by one from the Other folder. All you need to do is swipe down to delete a photo or swipe up to retain it.

Want to leave certain photos out of future scans? No problem. You can add them to the app’s Ignore List. With Gemini Photos, you can also delete your whole photo library in one shot.

Download: Gemini Photos (Free, subscription available)

4. Bulk Delete

bulk delete app

Bulk Delete allows you to select photos with a swipe and delete them in bulk. But that’s no big deal, since the Photos app lets you do the same.

Unlike Photos, though, Bulk Delete:

  • Makes it easier to distinguish between selected and unselected photos
  • Lets you delete your entire photo library if you wish to start from scratch

The real benefit of the app is time-based deletion. With this feature, you can choose to delete all photos taken in the last hour, or in the last 30 days, for example.

Download: Bulk Delete ($0.99)

Banish the Clutter From Your iPhone Photos

You stand to gain quite a bit of free space on your phone once you’re done deleting all the chaff from your camera roll.

Sure, you can always use the built-in iPhone features to manage your photos. But with the help of the apps above, you might even enjoy the process.

Read the full article: Clean Up Bad iPhone Photos With These 4 Decluttering Apps

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AirDrop Not Working? Fix It Fast With These Tips

AirDrop is supposed to make it easy to transfer data from one Apple device to another. It does so using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to create an encrypted communications channel. But unfortunately, AirDrop is far from perfect and doesn’t always work the way it’s meant to.

If you’ve ever questioned why AirDrop isn’t working on your iPhone or Mac, we have help for you. Below, you’ll find everything you can do to fix AirDrop.

AirDrop Requirements for Apple Devices

First, you need to check that your device is actually compatible with AirDrop. Sometimes Apple’s requirements change, but at the time of writing, you can use AirDrop with:

  • Any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 7 or later
  • Any Mac introduced after 2011 (excluding the 2012 Mac Pro) running OS X Yosemite or later

If your device is compatible, make sure you know how to use AirDrop properly.

Apple used to allow Mac-to-Mac AirDrop transfers between older machines as well. If your Mac is running macOS High Sierra or earlier, you may still be able to AirDrop with the following Macs:

  • MacBook or MacBook Pro (from late 2008 onwards)
  • Mac Pro or iMac (from early 2009 onwards, with an AirPort Extreme)
  • Mac Mini (from 2010 onwards)
  • MacBook Air (from late 2010 onwards)

If you can’t find one of these older Macs using AirDrop, click on Don’t see who you’re looking for? and select Search for an Older Mac. Apple removed this option in macOS Catalina.

Search for an Older Mac popup window in AirDrop for Mac

Troubleshooting Tips for When AirDrop Isn’t Working

There are lots of problems you might encounter when AirDrop isn’t working. You might find that your devices aren’t showing up in the AirDrop sharing window, you can’t send files to devices that do appear, or you can’t find certain files after someone else sent them to you.

We can’t tell you exactly why AirDrop isn’t working on your Mac or iPhone. But we can show you how to fix any AirDrop problem with the troubleshooting tips below.

1. Update the Operating System

Apple frequently releases new updates to iOS, iPadOS, and macOS that are designed to fix software bugs. If AirDrop isn’t working, install the latest updates for your devices as they may fix it.

On an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Software Update. On a Mac, open the Apple menu and go to System Preferences > Software Update.

Checking for iOS Software Updates in iPhone Settings

2. Restart Both Devices

This is a classic troubleshooting tip because it’s so effective. Restarting your iPhone, iPad, or Mac might be all you need to get AirDrop working again. And it only takes a moment to try it.

3. Turn Off AirDrop Restrictions

If AirDrop isn’t showing up on your iOS device at all, you might have blocked it in your Content & Privacy Restrictions, which you’ll find under Settings > Screen Time. Take a look at the Allowed Apps section and make sure AirDrop is turned on.

You may need to enter a Screen Time passcode to make changes.

4. Disable Personal Hotspot on Your iPhone

Both AirDrop and Personal Hotspot utilize your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, so you can’t use them at the same time. Go to Settings > Personal Hotspot on your iOS device to turn off that feature, then try using AirDrop again.

5. Turn Off Do Not Disturb Mode

Your device might not receive transfer requests from AirDrop because Do Not Disturb is turned on.

Open Control Center and tap the moon icon to turn it off on your iPhone or iPad. On a Mac, click the Notification Center icon in the top-right of the menu bar and scroll down to reveal a Do Not Disturb toggle.

Do Not Disturb option in Mac Notification Center

6. Restart Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on Both Devices

A particularly useful solution if AirDrop is not working is to disable and re-enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Using your iPhone or iPad, open Control Center again and tap the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons to turn them off and on.

On a Mac, click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and select Turn Wi-Fi off to turn it off, then enable it again. Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth to restart Bluetooth.

7. Change Your AirDrop Visibility Settings

AirDrop gives you three visibility options: Everyone, Contacts Only, or Receiving Off. If your device isn’t showing up in AirDrop, try switching to each of these options to fix it. Just be careful of NSFW AirDrop attempts if you leave it on Everyone.

On a Mac, open Finder and select AirDrop from the sidebar. Open the dropdown menu where it says Allow me to be discovered by to choose a different option.

On an iPhone or iPad, open Control Center, then tap and hold in the top-left section to reveal an AirDrop button. Use this to choose different options.

8. Prepare Both Devices to Receive an AirDrop Request

Sometimes it helps to prepare your device for incoming AirDrop transfers, making it more likely to show up on someone else’s device. Unlock your iPhone or iPad and leave it on the Home screen to prepare it. For a Mac, open a new Finder window and select AirDrop from the sidebar.

9. Use AirDrop From a Third Apple Device

This isn’t an option for everyone, but if you have a spare Apple device, you should try using that to connect over AirDrop. Usually, if your iPhone or Mac shows up on this new device, it suddenly appears on the original device as well.

Multiple Devices in AirDrop share sheet

10. Send a Single File Instead of Multiple

AirDrop lets you share many different kinds of files at the same time. But if AirDrop isn’t working on your iPhone or Mac, you might want to simplify matters by sending a single file at a time instead.

AirDrop files automatically open in a relevant app. For instance, images open in the Photos app. But multiple file types don’t always open in the same app, which might explain why the AirDrop transfer failed.

11. Check the Downloads Folder for Missing Files

If AirDrop sent a file to your device but you can’t find it, take a look in the Downloads folder. On an iPhone, open the Files app and look for a Downloads folder in iCloud Drive. On a Mac, you can usually find the Downloads folder next to the Trash in the Dock.

Mac Dock showing Downloads stack

12. Turn Off Your VPN for AirDrop to Work

Some users found that AirDrop didn’t work until they turned off the VPN on their iPhone or Mac. You might need to do this in the VPN app or in your device settings.

On an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > VPN to do this. And on a Mac, go to System Preferences > Network and select your VPN from the sidebar.

13. Open Your Mac’s Firewall to More Connections

The firewall on your Mac might be set to block all incoming connections, which often includes new AirDrop transfers. You’ll need to loosen these restrictions from System Preferences if AirDrop still isn’t working.

Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall. Click the padlock and enter your administrator password to unlock changes. Then open the Firewall Options window and uncheck the option to Block all incoming connections.

Block all incoming connections checkbox in Mac Firewall preferences

14. Sign Into Your Apple ID Account Again

On an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > [Your Name] > Sign Out. Choose the data to keep on your device, then confirm you want to Sign Out. After signing out, return to Settings to sign in to your Apple ID again.

On a Mac, go to System Preferences > Apple ID > Overview to sign out. Once again, choose the data to keep on your device and confirm you want to Sign Out. Once the sign out is complete, sign in from the same page and try using AirDrop again.

15. Reset the Network Settings on Your iPhone

You can reset the network settings on an iPhone or iPad to fix all kinds of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth problems, including problems with AirDrop not working. When you reset these settings, your device forgets any Wi-Fi passwords you’ve saved, so you’ll have to reconnect to trusted networks again.

If you still want to go ahead with it, go to Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset Network Settings. Hopefully, AirDrop starts working again after the reset.

Reset Network Settings confirmation popup on iPhone

If AirDrop Still Isn’t Working

Until Apple makes AirDrop more reliable, you might have better luck using an alternative transfer method instead. Ironically, one of the best AirDrop alternatives is Apple’s own iCloud Drive. Simply upload files to iCloud from one device, then you can download them from another.

Managing files with iCloud Drive isn’t as quick as using AirDrop, because you need to upload and download files instead of transferring them directly. But when AirDrop isn’t working, iCloud Drive is the next best option.

Read the full article: AirDrop Not Working? Fix It Fast With These Tips

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The 5 Best Alternatives to Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator is a useful app for keeping track of your two-factor authentication (2FA) keys, but it’s by no means the only one. If you feel it lacks a few key features, or you want something more open-source, there are other authenticators available to suit your needs.

Let’s take a look at some Google Authenticator alternatives, and why you might want one to begin with.

Why Replace Google Authenticator?

Google has tried to dip a toe into niches such as social media and gaming, with the latter getting a less-than-stellar score in our Google Stadia review. Google Authenticator, on the other hand, has over 10 million downloads to date, making it one of the most popular 2FA authenticators for Android.

While it is popular, it’s not perfect. Google Authenticator doesn’t ask you to verify your identity when you open the app. It also doesn’t hide the codes away when you open the app: every code is visible from the get-go. This makes it dangerous if someone gets a hold of your unlocked phone, as they can mess with your codes without issue.

Google Authenticator also doesn’t have any backup or phone transfer features. You can tell this is a problem by looking through some of the negative reviews for the app.

Some people have lost their phones and were locked out of their accounts. Others want to transfer the authenticator over to a new phone, only to find that Google Authenticator doesn’t support this.

As you can see, there’s plenty of reason to look for a Google Authenticator alternative. So, let’s break down five of the best, and how they improve upon Google’s formula.

1. Authy

Authy has positioned itself as a top rival to Google Authenticator. Right off the bat, it offers to back up all of your saved accounts, in case you have to wipe the phone or change phones. It does this by encrypting the information and storing it in the cloud.

Authy also distinguishes itself by offering a desktop app, as well as the smartphone version. This means you don’t need to be continuously tied to your phone for codes; instead, you can get your codes directly from your desktop. This is even more useful if you don’t have a smartphone or tablet.

It offers passcode protection, so no-one can just casually access your codes. As such, if someone gets hold of your unlocked phone, they still have the app’s passcode protection to break into before they can see your 2FA codes.

Blacking out any screenshots taken means Authy can stop malicious agents from snapping images of your codes. This may seem like overkill, but as we covered in our ways to protect yourself against keyloggers, malware can take snapshots of your screen to read your data.

Authy describes its aim as finding a solution to “a complex problem—killing passwords.” Whether that will happen or not, nobody knows. As for the case of Authy vs. Google Authenticator, however, Authy is a clear winner.

Download: Authy for Android | iOS (Free)

2. HENNGE OTP

The HENNGE OTP website

HENNGE OTP also offers its users passcode protection to prevent casual snooping The app is compatible with all of the popular services—Google, Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, Evernote, and WordPress, to name a few.

The only limitation to this app though is that it is only available for iOS, so Android users are out of luck. If you are an iOS user and want something simple without many bells and whistles, it’s worth trying this app for yourself.

Download: HENNGE OTP for iOS (Free)

3. Sound Login Authenticator

If you want to try something a little more unique, why not log in through sound? No more typing in those pesky codes; just have your phone make a noise, and you’re all signed in.

As is evident by the name of the app, this app relies on sound to generate the one-time codes. It takes a bit of initial setup; you need the app on your phone and the browser extension (Chrome, Firefox, or Opera). Your PC should also have a microphone (we’re dealing with audio, remember?).

When you want to log in, you point your phone to the PC microphone and tap the account on the smartphone screen that you want to access. The app will give off a short ringtone, which transmits the temporary code to the browser extension. This pre-fills the code into the website you’re trying to log into.

As such, this removes the need to quickly type in a 2FA code under a time limit. If you’re a slow typist and need something more comfortable than entering a six-digit code, you may find reprieve with Sound Login.

Download: Sound Login Authenticator for Android | iOS (Free)

4. FreeOTP

The FreeOTP website

If you’re a privacy advocate, you won’t want to touch any 2FA token generator that isn’t open-source. Fortunately, there are apps out there that respect your privacy and use an open-source base, so you can feel confident that companies aren’t harvesting your data.

FreeOTP is developed by Red Hat, an open-source developer that appeared in 1993. You can quickly add a generator with the QR code scanner, or enter your details manually. The app is very lightweight and straightforward, making FreeOTP a fantastic choice if you want a token generator you can trust and nothing more.

Download: FreeOTP for Android | iOS (Free)

5. andOTP

The andOTP logo

If you like the idea of an open-source token generator, but you don’t like FreeOTP’s lack of features, try andOTP instead. It keeps the trustworthy open-source base but adds a heap of useful features on top.

For instance, andOTP can backup your code generators on a server, with different levels of encryption available. You can change the theme if you’re a fan of dark mode. You can lock andOTP behind a password or a PIN code, meaning someone who picks up your phone doesn’t have access to all your codes without being challenged.

Finally, the app has the aptly-named “panic trigger.” If you think your phone is compromised, you can send the app a panic trigger. You can choose what the app does with this trigger; it can either wipe every account, reset the app to default settings, or both.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, andOTP is only available for Android. As such, iOS users who want an open-source solution can stick with FreeOTP for the time being.

Dowload: andOTP for Android (Free)

Choosing Powerful Alternatives to Google

Google Authenticator has a huge number of downloads, but it’s by no means the best. If you’re looking for password-secured app access, backups, and open-source code, you’ll have better luck with the best Google Authenticator alternatives available.

If you’re ready to cut the cord completely, be sure to check out the alternatives to Google Search, News, Docs, and more.

Read the full article: The 5 Best Alternatives to Google Authenticator

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The 7 Best Apps and Sites to Check Air Quality Anywhere

The air you breathe every day is more toxic than ever as pollution levels continue to rise across the globe. Whether you’re going out for a run or leaving for work, it’s wise to keep tabs on your neighborhood’s air quality so you can take precautions if needed.

Here are the best air quality apps and services that will help you, whether you’re on your computer or phone.

How Is Air Quality Measured?

Several factors determine an area’s air quality. Together, those elements combine to form a near-universal metric called the Air Quality Index (AQI). The AQI for a specific location depends on characteristics like the time, how concentrated the pollutants are, and what kind of pollutants are in the air.

Since there’s a time factor involved, AQI is typically grouped into ranges. Each of those ranges is assigned a descriptor, color code, and standardized public health advisory like Poor, Unhealthy, and others.

Best Air Quality Index Apps for Android and iOS

Let’s first look at the best apps to check air quality on your mobile device while on the go.

1. AirVisual

AirVisual is one of the most comprehensive AQI apps for Android and iOS. In addition to letting you see quality levels, AirVisual offers a range of other features.

One of these is health recommendations, through which the app shows steps you can take to avoid getting sick. These include wearing a mask, closing your windows, or avoiding cycling.

AirVisual can send you alerts when the AQI fluctuates, which you can use as a widget on Android. Plus, you can view an overview of the entire globe to check how other cities compare to yours. To share on social networks, you can take a picture and apply the AirVisual filter on it. This adds details such as the AQI and location onto the image.

Download: AirVisual for Android | iOS (Free)

2. Plume Air Report

Plume is an air pollution checking app for users who want to adjust their outdoor activity sessions based on air quality. It has a sleek interface that shows exactly when you should, for instance, take your dog for a walk. There’s a timeline at the bottom half of the app and a visual at the top that displays the air quality, temperature, and other data.

Tap the upper section to reveal further details such as particle concentration, the best day of the year for air quality, and more. You can even select an activity beforehand and Plume will tell you the best times for it. Like AirVisual, Plume also offers a social image tool, periodic alerts, and a world view.

Download: Plume Air Report for Android | iOS (Free)

3. Sh**t! I Smoke

This little tool takes a unique approach compared to other air quality checking apps. Instead of throwing up the usual array of numbers, Sh**t! I Smoke shows the cigarette equivalent of the air you breathe.

For example, it might say “Shoot! You’ll smoke 2.7 cigarettes today” rather than simply telling you the AQI levels. You can still check those specific metrics by selecting More Details, though. To augment the experience, the app even plays a smoke animation on the right edge of the screen.

Download: Sh**t! I Smoke for Android | iOS (Free)

4. How to Check Air Quality on macOS

Air Mac Menu Bar App

If you want to stay on top of air quality updates while working on a Mac, try an app called Air. It’s a straightforward Mac utility that shows your ZIP code’s air quality in the menu bar. Air automatically determines your location and functions perfectly out of the box.

Plus, its background in the menu bar even adapts to the conditions, such as showing bright red for unhealthy environments. Apart from this, you don’t have many options except for manually choosing a ZIP code. At the time of writing, Air only works in the United States.

Download: Air for macOS (Free)

5. Check Air Quality on a Windows PC

Airqualiter Windows App

On Windows, the best air quality app is Airqualiter. It’s a standard AQI app that displays all the information you’d expect. You can add multiple cities, browse the world view, plan your days with hourly forecasts, and more.

Download: Airqualiter for Windows (Free)

6. Check Air Quality From Your Browser

check air quality in browser

If you don’t want to install a dedicated AQI measurement app, you can check air quality from your browser too. There are a lot of websites that offer a similar set of features without installing anything.

Two you should try are BreezoMeter and Aqicn. Both of them provide largely accurate results. As it turns out, Aqicn actually stems from a social enterprise project called The World Air Quality Index Project.

Visit: BreezoMeter
Visit: Aqicn

7. Get an Air Monitor

For people who live in a highly polluted city, buying an air monitor might be the best option. It offers the most accurate readings and updates by the minute. In addition, you can pair them with a phone to check the quality from wherever you are.

Our review of the Plume Labs Flow 2 found it to be a quality device, so it’s worth a look. For even more options, our guide to the best smart air quality monitors will help you decide which is right for your space.

Breathe in Cleaner and Safer Air

With pollution levels soaring, it’s likely none of these websites and apps brought you good news. To stand the crummy air and avoid getting sick all the time, it’s wise to know what the air is like so you can make the best decisions for your health.

Speaking of air-related devices, make sure to watch out for common air conditioner mistakes to avoid during hot days.

Read the full article: The 7 Best Apps and Sites to Check Air Quality Anywhere

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Is Your iPhone Volume Not Working Like It Should? Try This

Why is your iPhone volume so low? How can you increase the volume on your iPhone or iPad? There’s often a quick fix if you’re struggling to turn up the sound on your device. Sometimes, there’s a bigger problem with the hardware.

Whether you’re listening to audiobooks and music, or concerned about missing your alarm, low volume on an iPhone can be a real headache. Here are some simple tips for boosting your smartphone’s volume.

Note: High volumes can damage your ears, so take care when using the tricks below.

iPhone Volume Not Working: Software Fixes

Let’s first check through some of the basic areas that are easy to overlook. Software should be the first area you test because if these fixes don’t work, there’s likely a bigger problem with your hardware.

Is Your iPhone on Silent or Turned Down?

Annoyed by that shutter noise when taking a photo? You probably set your phone to Silent by moving the little switch at the top-left of your iPhone. If it’s closer to the screen, the volume is on. If it’s near the back of your device (showing orange), your phone’s muted.

This shouldn’t affect music, but it will affect your iPhone alarm volume.

Just below the Silent switch, you’ll find the Volume buttons, which adjust sounds for videos and music in increments. This also works if you’re trying to increase ringer volume.

If the buttons don’t change anything, go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics, then check that Change with Buttons is turned on. Alternatively, you can alter the volume via the Control Center by swiping down from the top-right of your screen (iPhone X and later). On older devices, you can access Control Center by swiping upwards from the bottom.

There’s also an option to limit the maximum volume, along with a toggle to set this in accordance with EU regulations (found on iPhones in applicable regions). Go to Settings > Music > Volume Limit and you can set the maximum possible volume.

Are You Connected to Bluetooth?

What if there’s no problem with your speakers at all? You might instead be connected to another device.

You’d likely notice if the music you’re trying to play on your iPhone is actually being sent to a Bluetooth speaker. However, you might not if you use wireless earphones like Apple’s AirPods. This could also be the case if you use an Apple TV or if you’ve connected your phone to your vehicle’s audio system.

To test this, swipe to access your Control Center as mentioned above and turn off Bluetooth. Otherwise, go to Settings > Bluetooth, where you can also check which devices you’re connected to. Disconnect as needed, then try playing your music or video again.

Is Your iPhone Set to Do Not Disturb Mode?

Do Not Disturb stops interruptions while you’re busy or asleep: notifications won’t appear and calls won’t ring. You might’ve activated it and forgotten to turn it off.

Head to Settings > Do Not Disturb and check to make sure it’s disabled. Otherwise, you can also check via Control Center—Do Not Disturb is represented by the half-moon symbol.

Will a Soft Reset Solve Volume Problems?

The classic advice of turning your computer off and on again when an issue arises is a great way of fixing problems on your iPhone too.

Attempting a force-restart on your iPhone could clear your device of any minor software issues. Don’t worry; you won’t lose any personal data through restarting.

Is Your iPhone Up-to-Date?

You might have an old version of iOS installed. While this shouldn’t cause sound complications, it’s always worth keeping your phone updated to iron out potential problems. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to see if a new iOS version is available.

If the problem lies in an app—for example, volume everywhere on your iPhone except when using a specific app—check whether there’s an update to install via the App Store. If not, you could contact the developer and ask for advice.

iPhone Volume Not Working: Hardware Solutions

Don’t panic if one of the above fixes didn’t solve your volume problem. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make an appointment with Apple. Sometimes, you can fix it yourself.

We advise great care when attempting to fix your smartphone. Don’t take your device apart if you don’t know what you’re doing. But if you’re lucky, you won’t need to anyway.

Have You Got a Loose Connection?

iPhone volume not working Loose Connection

A loose connections sounds like a major issue, and it can be. Fortunately, in some circumstances, it’s incredibly easy to set right, especially if you have an older device.

Simply apply a bit of pressure to the bottom-right corner of your phone. Put your thumb to the right of the Home button, with your index finger in the same position on the back, and gently squeeze. You’ll need to maintain this for about 20 seconds, then release. If a connector is loose within your phone, this action can reposition it.

You may need to take off your phone case if you use one, although it will depend on the thickness. You’ll definitely need to remove a shatter-proof model, but a thinner plastic shell shouldn’t interfere.

Some people say that this same method worked for them by applying pressure (or merely tapping on the phone) near the Volume buttons. If you do this, however, be careful not to damage the screen.

Is Your Phone Stuck in Headphone Mode?

This largely affects older iPhones with headphone jacks, but newer models can still be affected by dirt in the charging port.

If your iPhone thinks earphones are attached, it will play music through a non-existent connection. Adjust the volume using the side buttons; the screen will tell you if it’s apparently being routed through another speaker.

If you use AirPods, the Bluetooth solution above should fix it. Otherwise, shine a light in the headphone jack. You might see some blockage. But since this debris can be tiny, you could have an issue even if you don’t see anything.

Try to insert headphones or a charging cable, then remove them. Do this a few times and test the volume again. Doing so could dislodge any dirt inside.

how to clean your headphone port jack smartphone

Use a soft lens cloth to gently clean the jack area. You can also use a dry cotton swab, cotton ball, or toothbrush to lightly rub around the edge of the small recess. Don’t press anything into recesses because you may push dirt further inside. You can apply a little rubbing alcohol to the cotton beforehand. However, avoid other liquids as these can cause further damage.

Even small amounts of sweat can trick your phone into thinking headphones are connected. Sadly, if these tricks don’t help—and you’re not experienced enough to deconstruct your device—you’ll need to visit Apple for professional help.

How to Increase Volume on iPhone

Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with your phone. Some just want music and alarms to play as loudly as possible. In other cases, your iPhone volume may sound muffled.

Toggle the Equalizer To Make Your iPhone Music Louder

This mainly works for music, but you might notice an improvement for videos too.

Head to Settings > Music > EQ. This is Off by default, but you can use it to accentuate certain sounds when listening to songs. Try switching it to Late Night. The mode compresses Dynamic Range, inverting audio so loud noises are reduced and quieter tones are amplified.

The difference isn’t massive, and will depend on the tracks you’re listening to. It can also cause music to sound somewhat distorted. Nonetheless, you’ll often hear a boost in volume, particularly when listening through earphones.

Prop Up Your iPhone to Amplify Sounds

Increasing volume isn’t always about tech. It can also involve where you place your device to amplify vibrations.

smartphone airpods idevice

Propping it upside-down, so the speakers face upwards, can improve effectiveness. Cupping your hand around them can do the same—after all, that’s how our ears work!

Placing your phone on a conducive surface helps. Noise reaches further when the vibrations can travel through wood or metal, for instance. The latter will especially amplify acoustics. Conversely, don’t use an absorbent surface like paper.

iPhone Volume Still Too Low? Download iPhone Volume Booster Apps

If nothing else works, try a third-party app. Equalizer allows you to customize your playlists to bring out certain elements in music. In much the same way that Late Night works, increasing the bass or vocals means you can tune into your favorite parts easily.

However, some features require payment, and it doesn’t currently work with Apple Music as its developers are locked out of the company’s API. Still, it remains useful, should all else fail.

Your iPhone Volume, Now Loud and Clear

If your iPhone volume is still low or non-existent, it’s time to book an appointment with Apple support. In most cases, though, you shouldn’t be too worried about troubles with your iPhone volume not working. They’re usually caused by a simple oversight.

If you think your volume issues are caused by your hardware, see our troubleshooting guide to help fix your iPhone speakers.

Read the full article: Is Your iPhone Volume Not Working Like It Should? Try This

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Is Your iPhone Home Button Not Working? 5 Quick Fixes to Try

Any number of issues can result in your iPhone Home button not working. If your device is under warranty, your best option to get it fixed is taking it to the nearest Apple Store. Otherwise, we’ll look at quick fixes you can use to repair it yourself.

Before we start, we should clarify that these fixes work with every model of iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has a Home button. Whether you have an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 8, if the Home button isn’t working you can use the tips below to fix it.

1. Add an AssistiveTouch Home Button to the Screen

There are lots of hidden accessibility features on your iPhone. One of these is a perfect workaround to let you keep using your iPhone when the Home button isn’t working. It’s called AssistiveTouch, which Apple designed for people who struggle using physical buttons.

You can turn on AssistiveTouch from Settings to add a software-based Home button to your iPhone screen. It doesn’t fix your Home button, but it does let you keep using your iPhone without a working Home button.

Here’s how to add a Home button to your iPhone screen with AssistiveTouch:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch. On older versions of iOS, you need to go to Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch instead.
    1. If you can’t exit your current app to access Settings, restart your iPhone to go to the Home screen.
  2. Turn on the toggle for AssistiveTouch. You should see a semi-transparent button appear on your screen. Tap it to reveal a popup menu, then tap Home to simulate pressing the Home button.
  3. Drag and drop the AssistiveTouch button to move it around your iPhone screen so it doesn’t get in the way. You can also use Siri to turn it off and on when you need it.

It’s worth taking a moment to customize the AssistiveTouch options from Settings to make it as useful as possible. If you only use it as a Home button, you can even make that the only option so you don’t need to open a popup menu anymore.

2. “Recalibrate” the Home Button

Slide to power off prompt on iphone

We’ve used “recalibrate” in quotes here because this is not an official term. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a definitive source for this trick, but it’s effective at fixing iPhone Home buttons nonetheless.

Again, you can use this trick to fix the Home button on any applicable device. The worst that could happen is that your Home button still doesn’t work after you try it.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Launch any stock app that came pre-installed on your device. For example, you might open Notes, Calendar, Reminders, or Photos.
  2. Now press and hold the Sleep/Wake or Power button on your iPhone until the Slide to power off prompt appears.
  3. Don’t power off your iPhone. Instead, press and hold the Home button for around 10 seconds until the prompt disappears and the app quits.

That’s it. This fix should work for physical Home buttons that aren’t working on the iPhone 6S and earlier, as well as the touch-based Home buttons on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8.

If “recalibrating” didn’t fix your Home button, try repeating the process several times. Some users have reported that their Home button started working after three or four attempts.

3. Restore the Firmware on Your iPhone

iPhone restore window from Finder

This one isn’t a quick method, but it still might be the quickest way to get your iPhone Home button working. A lot of Home button problems come down to a fault in the software or firmware on your iPhone. You can fix these issues for free by restoring the device using DFU mode.

When you do this, it erases all the data from your iPhone. So you should make sure you’ve got a recent iPhone backup first.

You also need to set aside at least an hour. Restoring your device with DFU mode rewrites every bit of the software and firmware. Sometimes, this takes a while.

Follow the instructions in our guide to restoring your iPhone using DFU mode. If that doesn’t work, you know your Home button definitely has a hardware problem. One of the other tips below can still help you fix it, though.

4. Clean the Home Button Using Isopropyl Alcohol

Cleaning iPhone Home button with microfiber cloth

As you use the Home button throughout the life of your iPhone, it’s likely to collect a buildup of dirt and grime. That filth might clog the mechanism, which could explain why the Home button stopped working.

Unfortunately, this tip can’t help if your iPhone 7 or iPhone 8 Home button isn’t working, because those devices don’t feature a mechanical button.

Here’s the proper way to clean the Home button on your iPhone:

  1. Start off by wiping the Home button using a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
  2. If that doesn’t work, lightly dampen the cloth with 98-99 percent isopropyl alcohol. This evaporates in the air, so it shouldn’t cause damage to your iPhone components.
  3. Rub the alcohol over the Home button while repeatedly clicking it. As you click the Home button, the alcohol should work its way inside to loosen any dirt.

5. Use Your Charger to Press Against the Home Button

iPhone 6S with pressure on charging cable

The Home button connects to other components inside your iPhone using a fragile cable near the charging port. Some people have fixed their Home button by applying a small amount of pressure in this area, presumably because it reconnected the cable.

Of course, you need to be incredibly careful when trying this. You don’t want to break anything inside your iPhone. You also need to be careful you don’t snap the Lightning or 30-pin connector off inside the charging port, which can be almost impossible to remove.

Follow these simple steps to try it:

  1. Insert the charging cable that came with your iPhone.
  2. Gently press on the back of the connector, close to the bottom of your iPhone, as though you’re pushing it toward the Home button.
  3. Keep that pressure while you click the Home button a couple of times.

You should find that this fixes the Home button on your iPhone for a few weeks or more. However, you’ll probably need to get the Home button on your iPhone replaced eventually. With an iPhone 7 or later, you can’t replace the Home button, so you may need a replacement device instead.

Find Out How to Replace the Home Button Yourself

iFixit Repair Guides home screen

If your iPhone is less than a year old, it might still be covered by Apple’s one-year warranty. That means you can make an appointment at the Genius Bar in your nearest Apple Store to have them repair your Home button for free.

Unfortunately, most iPhones with a physical Home button are more than a year old. But you can still pay for a repair from Apple or a third-party service provider.

That said, it’s usually cheaper to repair it yourself. There are lots of sites that show you how to repair your gadgets. Some of them even sell all the parts and tools you need for a particular repair. Just be careful you don’t miss a step and make the issue worse!

Read the full article: Is Your iPhone Home Button Not Working? 5 Quick Fixes to Try