MacOS How To – Hide a Folder From Spotlight

Non-Searchable Folder in Spotlight

Spotlight in MacOS is a handy way to find files and folders on your Mac.  It is often faster than doing a hunt-and-peck on your hard disk or iCloud and it can return file types or folders by name or extension.  But if you have private data that you do not want searchable, it returns those files and folders in Spotlight search results too.

Fortunately in MacOS, it is very easy to stop this from happening.  Essentially, all you have to do is tell Spotlight that a folder and its contents are private and thus, not searchable.  While you could still find the file or folder if you go through Finder, it will at least be hidden from Spotlight.  In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to change the settings in Spotlight on MacOS so the folders are searchable.

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How To Set The Apple Watch Walkie-Talkie Feature to Do Not Disturb

Not Available Setting in the Walkie-Talkie Feature

One of the great new features in WatchOS 5 for the Apple Watch is Walkie-Talkie.  With a push of your Watch’s screen, you can talk in real time to a contact through your watch.  It is a handy feature, particularly when you are with your partner or family in a large venue and need to find each other.  Personally, this is going to be a well used feature this ski season with my wife and friends.

The catch with Walkie-Talkie however is that, you don’t get much warning if someone sends you a message.  That is, if someone uses the feature, you will just get the message played to you, out loud, from your Apple Watch.  That’s great while skiing on a big mountain.  That’s not so great if you are in a meeting and your partner wants to know why you left the laundry in the dryer.

Fortunately Apple has made it easy for you to quickly set yourself into a do not disturb-like mode in Walkie-Talkie on your Apple Watch and I will show you how to do that in this How To.

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How To Stop Your iPhone From Asking to Join WiFi Networks

Ask to Join WiFi Settings

One of the best and most annoying features of iOS on your iPhone is the Ask to Join WiFi setting.  It is helpful in the sense that, when you are out-and-about and on your iPhone, it will prompt you with a pop-up asking if you want to join a wireless network.  Then you can connect and save your data allowance on your mobile plan.  On the flip side of this, it can be annoying as it always seems to throw this ask to join pop-up at the worst time… like when you are trying to edit a photo or you are messaging someone.

So, the question for you is if you can live with the pop-ups to join networks or not?  If you can’t and it is more of an annoyance than a help, there is a quick and easy way to turn the feature off in the Settings of your iPhone.

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How To Disable The Notification Indicator on Your Apple Watch

Notification Settings in the Apple Watch App

One of the many handy features of the Apple Watch is notifications.  But like any smart device, there are times when notifications are distracting.  That includes the notification that you have notifications waiting!

On the Apple Watch, by default, when you have a notification, you will see a small red dot in the upper-center of the display.  For most people this is no big deal and can be ignored.  But for others, getting rid of this dot can cut down on distractions while you are working on other things.  In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to quickly and easily disable this notification dot on your Apple Watch.

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How To Force Quit Apps on Your Apple Watch

Timer App on Apple Watch

As a general statement, apps on WatchOS generally play nice.  The fact they are small in footprint and generally are limited in functionality helps with app stability and performance.  But, like any platform, there are times were apps on your Apple Watch don’t play nice.  Usually you can simply swipe them away but sometimes, a force quit is required.

Force quitting an app isn’t ideal but just like on your Mac or iPhone, it is require sometimes to get a misbehaving app to start over.  Fortunately Apple has made it easy to force an app on your Apple Watch to stop but it isn’t well documented.  That’s where this tutorial comes in for everyone.

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How To Get Your Personal Apple Data Report

Apple Data and Privacy Site

Yesterday, Apple updated their Privacy site to reflect the changes the Cupertino company has made with regards to users data and information.  Part of that update was providing, for the first time in the United States, the ability to download your personal data that Apple has stored on you.  The ability to do this also rolled out in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada and mirrors the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that is in Europe.  That regulation requires companies like Apple to allow users to not only get any data that they have stored for them, but also the ability to completely disable or delete their account.

As part of this change, Apple has made it easy to get your Apple Data Report and in this tutorial, I’ll show you where to go and how to get yours.

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How To Disable 3D Touch on Your iPhone

3D Touch Settings on iPhone

3D Touch, the ability to long press an app icon on your iPhone to get more detailed information or to perform actions, is something that seems to be a polarizing feature.  People either love it or they hate it with little middle ground.  The idea behind the feature is to allow you to get information or interact with a notification or app without actually having to open the app and then performing that interaction or function.  It is great in theory but it can also be a bit frustrating.

The frustration comes in when you are trying to select an app to move it or delete it.  That’s what turns people off to the feature.  For their part, Google with their App Shortcuts in Android seem to have this better ironed out.

Like so many things in iOS, if you want to disable 3D Touch you can certainly do it within Settings.  It just takes a bit of digging around in Settings to find it.

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How To Customize Control Center on Your iPhone

Control Center on iPhone

Control Center has grown up a lot in the past few years.  Introduced in iOS 7 back in 2013, the quick actions feature has become more detailed and customizable as iOS has continued to mature.  Not only does it give you access to the basics on your iPhone or iPad, it can now be configured to meet your needs more quickly through widgets that can be added to it.

To be clear for everyone, Control Center is accessed by swiping up on your iPhone’s Home screen or by swiping down on from the clock on your iPad in iOS 12.  By default, you can swipe up even from within an app to access it too.  Customizing of Control Center is a quick and easy process that you can do through the settings on your device.

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How To Remove Complications From Your Apple Watch

Complications List in The Apple Watch App

One of the great features of the Apple Watch are Complications.  Complications are little widgets of information that you can add to most watch faces on your Watch to give you more detailed information.   These can be standard things like Activity, Calendar and Mail but also can be from apps that you have installed on your Watch.

The problem with this, however, is that if you have a lot of complications installed and you want to customize your watch face, you have to navigate your way through them to find the one you want.  That can be a lot of swiping up and down if you have a lot of them.  Fortunately it is easy to remove complications without having to uninstall an app from your Apple Watch.

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How To Access and Use Finder Quick Actions in MacOS Mojave

Quick Actions in Finder

One of the great new features of MacOS Mojave is the new Quick Actions in Finder.  The feature, as the name suggests, allows you to quickly edit audio, image, and videos files right from within Finder without having to open up Preview or another app.  It isn’t as powerful as dedicated apps for these types of edits but if you need to do something in a hurry, it is a great way to get it done.

The trick with these new Quick Actions is that it isn’t very clear where to find them.  They are located in the Preview pane which, by default, is hidden in Finder.  Fortunately turning it on is easy and will expose the Quick Actions for you.

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