Category Archives: iPhone


A Hotspot is used to connect your devices, (laptops, iPads, etc), to a wifi connection that is transmitted by your phone.  To use your phone as a hotspot you need to turn that feature on in the settings of the phone.  Most phones have the option to turn on a “Personal Hotspot” within the first page of your Settings feature.

Once that is turned on you will need to make sure your devices can “see” the hotspot.  To do so you may need to turn off and then on again the wifi on each device so that it will search for new connections.  You may also have to manage your wireless connections by removing everyone it finds which allows the device to search for new locations to connect to.  At this point it is critical the devices at least “see” the connection even it cannot connect.

If you are still unable to connect to the hotspot, but can “see” it then the issue can be resolved by disconnecting all devices currently connected, (if there are any), and then shutting off the phone completely for a couple minutes.  Restart the phone and try to connect again.  Should now work.

Pairing your iPhone

So you just upgraded to the newest smart phone. When you go to pair it with your car it will not do so. What happened?!  The example here is with an iPhone 6S and a 2013 Honda Civic.

The problem is with the phone name. In this case, the car was set up using  the old phone, (with a different iOS), called “Captain’s” iPhone. When I changed the name of the new iPhone to Andrew Sr it worked perfectly and the Bluetooth was active again!

To change the name of the iPhone, plug it in to your computer. When iTunes opens, click on the name of the phone in the upper left corner. When highlighted in blue, type in the new name of the device right over the current one. Hit enter to lock in the name. Unplug the phone, plug it back in to resync the data files with the new name. Done.

iPhone backups

The screen broke on my iPhone and need to get it replaced.  As with any service to the smart phones, you want to make sure your data is backed up prior to any work being done.  Even if iCloud is used, it is a better idea to connect your iPhone to your computer and make a backup copy so that the most up to date data is included.

Once that process is complete it is a good practice to backup the backup copy of your iPhone data.  To do this you need to know where that data is stored.  Apple places that data in a hidden location so only iTunes can restore it to your new phone or current one.  To find the iPhone data and either copy it to a backup drive, or to add it to your backup profile, go to the following:  (Win Vista, 7, 8, 10):  type %appdata% in the search bar.  Double click to open the folder found.  Navigate to applecomputer\mobilesync\backup.  The folder inside contains your backup files.  (Mac) open iTune, then preferences.  Click Devices then Control-click the backup you want and select the option to Show in Folder.  In both cases, you will need to copy that folder to your backup drive.  To add it to your current backup profile, add the folder path to the backup program.  Over the next couple days, check the backup destination folders to make sure the new data is present and recent.

How to save battery power when you really need to

The iPhone comes with a power save feature that extends the battery for times when you are not able to charge the phone.  Sporting events, gatherings, camping trips, etc are some examples where you can extend the power your phone battery has by activating “Low Power Mode.”

Go to Settings, then Battery and slide to turn on Low Power Mode.  That will stop mail fetch, refresh of apps, automatic updates and some of the visual effects.  Another option to change is the brightness of the screen.  That option is also in Settings under the option Display and Brightness.  Slide it to less than fifty percent to really save power.

When you are able to charge the phone, the Low Power Mode should deactivate, however, you will need to raise the brightness if you want to brighten your screen again.

Securing your iPhone

It’s been in the news lately.  Should Apple allow the US Government access to a phone?  Maybe both sides are correct.  In any event, securing your phone is as important today as ever and the story has gotten many people thinking about their phone security.  There are three settings you can use to really secure your phone.

First, change your passcode to a six character format rather than four.  Currently, agencies can crack a four digit code in about a day.  A six digit code would take years to crack due to the increased number of possible combinations.  To do so go to your phone Settings icon.  Click on Touch & Passcode.  Enter your current passcode.  Tap on Change Passcode and enter it again.  Then enter the new six digit passcode.

Next, scroll down the same menu and tap Erase Data.  Turn it on and after 10 unsuccessful attempts the phone will erase all data.  Caution:  if you have young children you may not want to activate this feature…  Additionally, you should write down the passcode and store it safely.

Finally, turn on the locator.  Go to Settings and tap on Privacy.  Turn on the locator feature.  Now if you lose the phone, you can locate it using online software and/or destroy the data remotely.

Permanently delete text messages on an iPhone

In an earlier Tip we discussed how to create more space on your smart phone by removing text messages you don’t need to save.  As you may know, those messages are still stored on the iPhone data base and can be found using spotlight.  To eradicate them permanently we suggest using a free utility called PhoneClean.

The program is free, (there is a Pro version available), and installs in seconds.  You should always backup your data on the iPhone to your computer and in a folder that will not sync with your device later on, and thereby putting all the data back on to the smart phone.  Create a folder on the desktop, (right click, new and then folder).  Name it iPhone data.  Now start PhoneClean.  Follow the prompts to clean your device.

Once you are comfortable with the data left on the device, delete the folder you created earlier or leave it as permanent storage or an archive.

Creating space on an iPhone

No matter how much space you have on your iPhone, it seems not enough.  You can increase your available space on the iPhone and increase personal privacy at the same time.

Text messages may not seem like an area of data storage that would take up a lot of space.  When you consider how many texts you have sent and how many people you have texted with, you can begin to understand how much space can be taken up by text.  There is an easy solution to the text issue.

Most smart phones have the capability to remove unwanted data.  This example will use the iPhone 6/6s as the example.  There are three options to choose from:  (Note:  IOS updates may change these instructions slightly)

 Delete Multiple Messages from iPhone 6/6s within the Messages App:

  1. Go to Messages app from the home screen.
  2. Tap “Edit” button on the top-left.
  3. Select the messages you want to delete.
  4. Click the Trash Can icon on the bottom-right to delete multiple message.

Delete a Specific Message of One Person from iPhone 6/6s:

  1. Enter the conversation that has the messages you want to delete.
  2. Tap and hold on a message until the menu pops up. Then tap More.
  3. Next to each message, a small circle will appear.
  4. Tap the circle next to the messages you want to delete, tap the Trash Can icon on the bottom-left to delete the individual messages.

Delete Old Messages from iPhone 6/6s in Settings App:

  1. Go to “Settings” app from the homepage.
  2. Go to “Messages”.
  3. Scroll down to “Message History”. There are three options: 30 Days, 1 Year, and Forever. You can choose to delete all messages older than 30 days, or all messages older than a year old.
  4. Confirm that you want to delete the old messages and attachments by clicking the “Delete” button.

iPhone App Updates

When you try to update your apps on the iPhone none seem to do so. Using the iPhone 5S as the example, here are the steps to try.

  • Make sure you are logged into your Apple account successfully.
  • Make sure you have Restrictions turned off. Go to Settings, General and scroll down to Restrictions.  If you see the option to Disable Restrictions, tap it.
  • Make sure you are connected to Wifi.
  • Try updating using a different WiFi connection.
  • Make sure you have at least 1 Gb of free space on your iPhone.
  • Try restarting the device.
  • Connect your iPhone to the computer and run the updates using iTunes.

The option to update using iTunes is what worked for me.  Sync your iPhone to iTunes before running the updates.  Disconnect the iPhone from the computer.  In iTunes, go to the App Store Home page. (If it is not there, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the link AppStore under the heading Explore).  At the top of the screen click on My iPhone Apps.  Then click Updates.  Once the Apps are updated.  Connect your iPhone to the computer and sync.  Your phone should now have the updates installed.

iPhone Reset

The iPhone wants to update the iOS.  You authorize it to do so.  After completion, (it takes approx. 30 minutes), the phone will not boot up.  All you get is a picture of iTunes and a plug indicating you need to plug it into the authorized computer you have always used.

This issue is caused by a corrupted download.  The update for the iOS corrupted your current iOS rendering it unusable.  The only option is to reset the iPhone to factory settings, with the new software installed.  What happens to all your data?

When you plug the phone into your authorized computer, the iTunes software opens up with the option to Reset the iPhone.  Before doing that, make sure you have a backup of your data so you can reinstall it after the reset is complete.  To find that data, go to c:\users\(your name)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobilSync\Backup.  Look at the dates to the right of the folders.  Look for the latest one and verify it is accessible.  Open the folder. Although you will not be able to see any of the data, if you can see the files, then it is accessible.  Note:  if you are using Windows XP, navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup.

Close out of the folder and proceed with the restore if you are satisfied with the date of the backup.  Once complete, the iPhone will restart and reappear in iTunes.  The option to continue will appear with two selections.  Pick the one that will restore your data from a backup.  It should already have your latest backup listed, (light gray lettering).  If you want to use a different backup, click the down arrow and select the desired folder.  Continue with the process.

When complete, you will need to reinstate your passcode, if you had one, and reinsert your iTunes account information, if you had an account.  We then suggest opening your backup program and adding the backup folder you just used to the profile so your phone data is part of the backup plan.