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9 months ago

I rooted my Nexus 5X for themes, and here's what I learned

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Believe it or not, I like simple.

That may not sound quite right for a themer, but I do. I well and truly do love simple. That's why I loved Motorola's phones and the Nexus approach to Android. But there are limits to what you can do in the simple sandbox, while your bootloader is locked and your phone is stock. You can replace your launcher, but you can't replace the blinding white in all the Google apps. You can't bring back that seek bar in the Play Music notification you've missed for two years. And you can't get into the nitty gritty details of choosing how your Android system looks and behaves. For that, you need complete control of your device.

And that's why I've gone back into the chaos theory that is root.

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9 months ago

How to install and set up Authy for two-factor authentication on your Android

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Using two-factor authentication is a great way to protect yourself and your data. It's also fairly easy to do once you get used to having an extra step when you first use an account on your Android. Using it on multiple devices is easy with Authy.

There are several great apps you can use on your phone to get a 2FA (that's the abbreviation for two-factor authentication and it's much easier to type) token when you need one, and if you have multiple things with a screen that may need access to 2FA codes, Authy is pretty hard to beat. After you set up an Authy account, you can install the app on all your Android devices and any computer that has the Chrome web browser and the Authy extension installed. The first thing you need to do is install the Authy app from Google Play on a phone with a working SIM card.

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9 months ago

How to recover lost Google contacts for Android

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How to recover lost Google contacts for Android

What to do when you've lost your Google contacts?

If you think you've somehow lost all of your Google contacts on your Android phone, don't sweat. The Google account associated with your Android device (that you likely set up when you set up your phone) keeps a handy backup for just such an occasion.

If your Google account is synced with your phone, then you should be able to restore a backup of all of your contacts as far back as 30 days. You'll just have to access and restore things via your computer. Here's how.

How to recover lost Google contacts for Android

You would've had to enter all of your contacts into your Gmail account for this to work. Google won't retrieve contents stored on your SIM card.

  1. Launch your web browser from the desktop, taskbar, Dock, or application folder of your computer.
  2. Navigate to your Gmail account.
  3. Click the Gmail dropdown in the upper lefthand corner of your screen.
  4. Click Contacts.

    Click Gmail. click Contacts

  5. Click More just under the search bar.
  6. Click Restore Contacts...

    Click More, click Restore Contacts...

  7. Click a time to restore to. If you click Custom you can set it to restore from as far back as 29 days, 23 hours, and 59 minutes ago.
  8. Click Restore.

    Choose a time to restore to, click Restore

  9. Pick up your Android phone.
  10. Launch Settings from your home screen, the Notification Shade, or the app drawer.
  11. Tap Accounts.
  12. Tap Google.

    Launch Settings, tap Accounts, tap Google

  13. Tap the account that your contacts are associated with if you have more than one.
  14. Tap the menu button in the top righthand corner of your screen. It's three vertical dots.
  15. Tap Sync now.

    Tap your account, tap the menu button, tap Sync now

Your phone should now sync with your Google account and the Google contacts you thought were lost from your phone should now be right back where they belong.

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9 months ago

How to back up your Android

Losing your stuff is no fun. Neither is trying to get it all back on a new phone. Here are some tips to make it easier to keep everything important backed up.

Update 27 March 2017: We've refreshed this to make sure the latest information is available and you know what you can backup from your Android and how to do it.

We keep a lot of things on our phones. We have pictures and videos, details about the people we know, schedules and important dates and more. Many of us depend on our phones to help keep track of a good part of our daily lives. With all this stuff stored in one portable place, it can be a disaster if we lose it all.

Some of us have been there — our phones were lost or stolen or broken. It's not fun to try and sort it all out on a new phone, Not fun at all. That's why it's important to try and copy everything in another place and keep a backup of your important data.

Android is a cloud-based operating system. It was designed to be connected and keep everything synchronized with a computer in a cold building somewhere electricity is cheap. Seriously, data centers are huge banks of machines that mostly exist to store things and have them ready when someone wants to see them. And Google knows all about setting up and maintaining data centers. It makes sense for Google to support and develop a cloud-based system because they are the cloud.

Android was designed from the ground up to be a cloud-based OS.

Google has built-in synchronization for your email, your contacts, your notes and just about every other service they offer. If you move to another phone, just sign in with your Google account and all your stuff is there — except not really all your stuff. We don't just use Google's app on our phones, and that's where things get a bit funky.

Any app published on Google Play has the ability to store your data (whether its recipes or game progress or anything else) for free inside your Google account. The problem is that many developers don't bother to use it. I've heard from some app devs that it's a trivial thing to include, while others say it's a big mess. I'll assume it depends on just what you're trying to back up. For whatever reason, it's just one of those things that many developers don't bother to include.

That means one thing to look for when choosing which apps you want to install is if they keep your data safe in case you have to move to another phone — either through Google or their own method. We covered how to set up backup through Google, so be sure to have a look if you have any questions.

How to back up through Android settings

For a lot of us, though, the shift from keeping the second copy of all our stuff on a remote computer in the cloud instead of the computer in our home isn't easy. If you're coming from an iPhone or a BlackBerry you're used to plugging your phone in and using software that came with it to copy stuff to your computer. That makes sense, too, because Apple and BlackBerry aren't cloud-first companies (though they are moving in that direction) and are just better suited for people who can't depend on the cloud as their "second" computer.

Some of the companies who make our Androids recognize this and offer a program suite you can install and connect your phone to copy your stuff locally. It's important to them to try and offer what we want and what we're used to doing. We've covered LG Bridge and Samsung Smart Switch to get you started if this is how you would rather do things.

How to use Samsung Smart Switch to back up your Galaxy phone

How to use LG Bridge with your LG phone

When it comes to our media — the things we like to see and hear, like pictures or video and music — most of us want to keep it safe somewhere in a cloud or on our own storage system as well as be able to enjoy it on all our things with a screen or speakers. It makes sense to have these types of files in multiple places, one where it stays safe and others where we can use them. A lot of companies realize this, and there are plenty of ways to store your media files and share them easily with any connected device.

Apps make it easy to backup your media, whether you created it or downloaded it.

Two of the easiest solutions are from Google and Dropbox. Google Drive — the free storage you get from Google when you sign up for an account — and Dropbox make it easy to sync across devices and platforms and also have built-in media playing capabilities. With Google Drive, the Google Photos app ties in and offers editing and other fun tools for working with pictures and video. Dropbox is a little less feature-packed, but both ways can automatically back up the memories you create with your camera. We had a look at how easy it is, so check it out if you need help getting started.

How to back up your music files to your computer or online storage

How to back up photos and video to your computer or the cloud

There is no one-click solution

As you can tell, there is no do-it-all program you can install on your computer to make a 1:1 copy of everything on your Android unless you're using a phone with an unlockable bootloader and a bit of a techie. There never will be because Google is all about the cloud. Their business model depends on users being connected — Google doesn't make money from selling phones.

A smartphone built for the cloud isn't for everyone.

Android is a cloud ecosystem, and that means it's not right for everyone. And that's OK. App developers not using Google's way of backing up data for their apps can be frustrating, but with an open system, there's not much that can be done about it and Google doesn't force developers to use cloud saves in order to publish their app. What you can do is support developers who make it easy on you by delivering a way to keep your data, and know that Google is working on ways to back things up without developers doing anything differently. It's getting better and will continue to improve so that eventually all your third-party app data is stored safely for the times when you need it.

But it's not difficult to keep all of your own stuff in place and get it all back when you move to a new phone. It just requires a bit of know-how and a few settings.

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9 months ago

How to turn off Facebook Live notifications

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We've all seen what fireworks look like. This Fourth of July, do yourself a favor and disable Facebook Live notifications.

Good news, everyone! Facebook has made it easier than ever to broadcast what you're doing, live. Bad news, everyone! Facebook has made it easier than ever to broadcast what you're doing, live. And the thing about live video is that it's pointless if nobody's watching. So Facebook makes sure that you get a notification every damn time one of your friends (or a page that you follow) goes live.

Sometimes that's great! Especially when it's the Android Central Facebook page that's doing the streaming, right?

Other times, it's downright awful. Holidays such as the Fourth of July here in the U.S. are one of those times. We've all seen fireworks before. Many of us will be out watching them, live. (Like, in-person.) So the last thing we need is 200 notifications of other people broadcasting their own fireworks experiences over relatively low resolution.

(Note that this only works from the full Facebook site, not m.facebook.com (which your phone will try to send you to), or from within the Facebook app.)

Here's how to to turn off Facebook Live notifications:

  1. Go to your Facebook settings. Drill down to Settings>Notifications>On Facebook.
  2. Now choose "Edit." (Note: This link should take you directly.)
  3. Toggle "Live Videos" to OFF.

Note that this only works from the full Facebook site, not m.facebook.com (which your phone will try to send you to), or from within the Facebook app.

Alternatively, if you just want to kill Facebook Live notifications from a single person or page, you can do so from within the notifications themselves. Just long-press on the person you want to squelch, and then choose whether to dismiss that single notification, or to turn off all notifications of live videos from that person.

Unless you absolutely hate any use of Facebook Live, we might suggest not turning off these notifications permanently. While they might get annoying when you've got groups of friends all showing the same thing (and the same thing that you yourself might be doing), you might well miss something interesting other times.

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9 months ago

How to back up photos and video to your computer or the cloud

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How to back up photos and video to your computer or the cloud

How do I back up my photos and video to my computer?

You have all these awesome photos and video on your phone, but what happens when you decide to buy a new phone or your storage becomes too full to take any more? Back it all up to your computer or the cloud!

There are a couple incredibly easy-to-use apps that let you store your photos and videos in the cloud or download them to keep forever.

How to back up your photos and videos to the cloud or your computer using Google Photos

Google Photos now comes standard on many an Android phone and it's a great way to store photos on your phone or to seamlessly upload them to Google Drive. If you don't have it, it's a free download in the Google Play Store.

Once it's downloaded, you just have to allow Google Photos access to your photo and video library, tap Backup and Sync and all of the photos and video on your phone will appear for you back up, share, and even edit!

How to back up your photos and video to the cloud using Google Photos

  1. Launch Google Photos from your home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap the photo you'd like to upload to Google Drive or tap and hold a photo and select multiple photos to upload.
  3. Tap the share button at the top of the screen. It's a right-facing 'V' with dots on each point.
  4. Tap Save to Drive.

    Tap the photos you would like to back up, tap the share button, tap Save to Drive

  5. Tap Account to choose which Google account's Google Drive you want to save to.
  6. Tap Folder to select the folder within that Google Drive that you'd like to save to.
  7. Tap the folder you'd like to save to and tap Select Folder in the bottom righthand corner of your screen.
  8. Tap Save in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

    Tap account to select a Google account, tap Folder to select a folder, tap the folder you want to save to, tap Select folder, tap Save

Your photos will then be uploaded to that location in your Google Drive and you'll receive a notification when it's complete.

Google Drive gives you 15GB of storage for free, so depending on the size of the photos and video you're saving, you'll likely be able to save thousands of photos and hundreds of videos.

How to back up your photos and videos to your computer using Google Drive

Once you've saved your photos to Google Drive via Google Photos, you can download them to just about any device with an internet connection. Here's how to save them to your computer.

  1. Launch your web browser on your computer.
  2. Navigate to your Google Drive.
  3. Click the folder or photo in the list that you'd like to download.
  4. Click the more button on the upper right of your screen. It looks like three vertical dots.
  5. Click Download.

    Click the photos and video you would like to download from Google Drive, click the more button in the upper right of your screen, click Download

The photo(s) or video will now save to the downloads folder on your computer. You can do this with as many items as your computer's hard drive will hold. It may then be a good idea to transfer them to an external hard drive for safekeeping.

How to back up photos and video to the cloud or your computer using Dropbox

Dropbox is a free app that gives you up to 2GB of online storage for free. You can't go wrong with double-free! All you need to do is create an account, download the app on your phone and on your computer, and you're ready to start backing up your photos and video to both the cloud and your computer.

How to back up photos and video to the cloud using Dropbox

You'll first need to sign up for and create an account with Dropbox on your computer.

  1. Launch your web browser on your computer.
  2. Navigate to Dropbox.com.
  3. Click create an account.
  4. Enter your first name, last name, and email address into the fields. You can also choose to Sign up with Google.
  5. Click the checkbox to agree to the terms and conditions.

    Click create an account, enter your information, and click the checkbox to agree to the Dropbox terms and conditions

  6. Click Create an account.
  7. Click the Free Download button to install Dropbox on your computer.

    Click Create an account, click the Free Download button

Next, you'll want to install and set up Dropbox on your Android phone if it isn't already. Then you can upload photos and video until your folder is full! Here's how:

  1. Download the Dropbox app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Launch Dropbox from your home screen or the app drawer.
  3. Tap Sign in.
  4. Enter your email address and password.
  5. Tap Sign in.

    Tap Sign In, enter your email address and password, tap Sign In

  6. Tap the add button. It's the plus sign in the blue circle.
  7. Tap Upload photos or videos.
  8. Tap the photo(s) and video you'd like to upload to Dropbox.
  9. Tap Upload in the bottom righthand corner of your screen.

    tap the add button, tap Upload photos and videos, tap the photos and video you want to upload to Dropbox, tap Upload

Your photos and video will now be uploaded to your Dropbox folder, which you can access from just about any device with an internet connection.

How to backup photos and video to your computer using Dropbox

  1. Launch the Dropbox app on your computer or visit dropbox.com.
  2. Sign in if you're not signed in automatically.
  3. Click the photo or video you'd like to download to your computer.
  4. Click Download in the top righthand corner of your screen.

    Click the photo or video you would like to download, click Download

The photo(s) and video will now appear in your downloads folder on your computer. Now they're yours to do with as you like! If you'd really like to save them, it's probably a good idea to back them up again to an external hard drive.

If you're using the Dropbox app on your computer, you can just open the file and save it like you would any other document.

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9 months ago

How to set the default keyboard on your Android phone

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How to set default keyboard on your Android phone

Setting up a default keyboard on your Android phone is a lot easier than you think!

One amazing thing about Android phones is the plethora of customization options you have, including the option to change keyboards. There are a bunch of great keyboard apps for Android to choose from, so find the one that feels right for you.

We'll be working with the SwiftKey keyboard today to show you how to set a default keyboard on your Android phone, but the process is the same no matter which keyboard app you choose.

Note: This method applies to devices that run "stock" Android like the Google Pixel, Nexus phones, and the OnePlus 3. Your experience may be slightly different, but the general steps still apply.

  1. Download and install new keyboard.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Find and tap Languages and input.

  4. Tap on current keyboard under Keyboard & input methods.
  5. Tap on choose keyboards.
  6. Tap on the SwiftKey keyboard you would like to set as default.

  7. Read the Attention prompt that comes up on screen and tap OK if you wish to continue.
  8. Make sure the switch beside the keyboard has changed from gray to green.
  9. Go back to the main language & input screen.

  10. Tap on current keyboard again.
  11. Select the SwiftKey keyboard. This will save automatically.
  12. Make sure the keyboard is working by writing a quick message to someone.

Enjoy using your new third-party keyboard on your Android phone! If for any reason you want to go back to the stock keyboard or want to try out a different keyboard, it's the exact same process.

This article was originally published in July, 2016. It was updated in November 2016 with minor fixes.

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9 months ago

How to use LG Bridge with your LG phone

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How to use LG Bridge with your LG phone

How do I use LG Bridge with my LG phone?

LG Bridge is software available for Windows PC or Mac OS that lets you backup, restore, and update your LG phone, and transfer files wirelessly between computer and LG phone. It's easy to set up and easy to use. Here's all you need to know about using LG Bridge with your LG phone.

How to download and install LG Bridge on your computer

The following steps will get you and your computer prepared for everything LG Bridge has to offer, including backups, restorations, file transfers, and software updates.

  1. Navigate to the LG Bridge help page from your computer's web browser.
  2. Click the download link beside either Windows PC or Mac OS depending on what you use. In this case we chose Windows PC. The file will download.
  3. Click LGBridge_Setup.exe in your web browser's download bar.

    Click the download link beside either Windows PC or Mac OS. Click LGBridge_Setup.exe.

  4. Click Next.
  5. Click the checkbox beside I agree to all of the terms below.

    Click Next. Click the checkbox beside I agree to the terms below.

  6. Click Next.
  7. Click Install.

    Click Next. Click Install.

  8. Click Next when the install is complete.
  9. Click Finish.

    Click Next. Click Finish.

  10. Launch LG Bridge from your desktop or Start menu.
  11. Click LG AirDrive in the top menu.
  12. Click Sign in with Google or Sign in with a different account if you don't have a Google account. In this case we chose to sign in with Google.

    Click LG AirDrive. Click Sign in with Google or Sign in with a different account.

  13. Type your email address.
  14. Click Next.

    Type your email address. Click Next.

  15. Type your password.
  16. Click Sign in.

    Type your password. Click Sign in.

  17. Click Allow.
  18. Set your birth date.

    Click Allow. Set your birth date.

  19. Click Save.
  20. Click the circle beside Terms of Use so that a checkmark appears.

    Click Save. Click the circle beside Terms of Use.

  21. Click Agree.
  22. Click OK.

    Click Agree. Click OK.

How to back up your LG phone using LG Bridge

  1. Connect your LG phone to your computer with a USB cable.
  2. On your phone, swipe down from the top of the home screen.
  3. Tap the USB notification.

    Swipe down from the top of the home screen. Tap the USB notification.

  4. Tap File transfer.
  5. Tap Just once.

    Tap File transfer. Tap Just once.

  6. On your computer launch LG Bridge from your desktop or Start menu. Your phone will connect to your computer through LG Bridge.
  7. Click LG Backup in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.

    Launch LG Bridge. Click LG Backup in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.

  8. Click Back up.
  9. Click the checkboxes beside anything you want to back up.

    Click Back up. Click the checkboxes beside anything you want to back up.

  10. Click Start when you are ready to back up your phone.
  11. Click OK. Your phone will begin the back up process.

    Click Start when you're ready to back up your phone. Click OK.

How to restore your LG phone using LG Bridge

  1. Connect your LG phone to your computer with a USB cable.
  2. On your phone, swipe down from the top of the home screen.
  3. Tap the USB notification.

    Swipe down from the top of the home screen. Tap the USB notification.

  4. Tap File transfer.
  5. Tap Just once.

    Tap File transfer. Tap Just once.

  6. On your computer launch LG Bridge from your desktop or Start menu. Your phone will connect automatically to your computer through LG Bridge.
  7. Click LG Backup in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.
  8. Click Restore.

    Click LG Backup in the top menu of the LG Bridge window. Click Restore.

  9. Click the backup that you'd like use to restore your phone.
  10. Click Next. Your files will be prepared for a restoration.

    Click a backup with which you'd like to restore your phone. Click Next.

  11. Click Start.
  12. Click OK. Your files will be restored.

    Click Start. Click OK.

How to update your LG phone's software using LG Bridge

  1. Connect your LG phone to your computer with a USB cable.
  2. On your phone, swipe down from the top of the home screen.
  3. Tap the USB notification.

    Swipe down from the top of the home screen. Tap the USB notification.

  4. Tap File transfer.
  5. Tap Just once. Your phone will connect to your computer through LG Bridge.

    Tap File transfer. Tap Just once.

  6. On your computer launch LG Bridge from your desktop or Start menu. Your phone will connect automatically to your computer through LG Bridge.
  7. Click Software update in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.
  8. Click Software update. LG Bridge will automatically check the software version of your phone.

    Click Software update in the top menu of the LG Bridge window. Click Software update.

Our phone is up to date so we unfortunately can't show you any further steps. If your phone is out of date, just follow the on-screen steps to update your software.

How to wirelessly transfer files between your LG Phone and computer using LG Bridge

Make sure LG Bridge is running on your computer before beginning these steps. Also note that LG AirDrive, the feature that lets you transfer files wirelessly, isn't available on all LG phones and cannot be downloaded.

  1. On your LG phone tap the Settings icon on your home screen or in the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Networks tab.
  3. Tap Share & connect.

    Tap the Networks tab. Tap Share and connect.

  4. Swipe up in the Share & connect menu.
  5. Tap LG AirDrive.
  6. Tap Sign in.

    Swipe up in the Share and connect menu. Tap LG AirDrive. Tap Sign in.

  7. Tap Sign in with Google or Sign in with another account depending on what you signed in with in LG Bridge on your computer. In this case we sign in with Google.
  8. Tap Allow.
  9. Tap your account or Add account if your account is not listed. In this case we chose Add account.

    Tap Sign in with Google or Sign in with another account. Tap Allow. Tap your account or Add account.

  10. Enter your email address.
  11. Tap Next.
  12. Type your password.

    Enter your email address. Tap Next. Type your password.

  13. Tap Next.
  14. Tap Accept.

    Tap Next. Tap Accept.

  15. On your computer click LG AirDrive in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.
  16. Click Connect. Your computer will search for your phone and will connect automatically.

    Click LG AirDrive in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.Click Connect.

  17. Click View files. A new window will open.
  18. Double-click Internal storage.

    Click View files. Double-click Internal storage.

You can now drag and drop files between your computer and your phone.

Your connections

What do you use to back up, restore, and update your LG phone? Will you use LG Bridge now that it's been explained here? Let us know in the comments section below!

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9 months ago

How to use Samsung Smart Switch to back up your Galaxy phone

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How to use Samsung Smart Switch to backup your Galaxy phone

How do I back up my data on my Samsung Galaxy device?

Looking for a reliable way to back up the data on your Samsung Galaxy phone? Look no further than Samsung's Smart Switch application.

Simply download the application onto your computer, connect your phone, and before too long you'll have everything backed up in case you need to transfer your data to a new phone, or restore your phone to an older state.

How to install Samsung Smart Switch on your computer

We'll show you the process for installation on Windows, but it's a pretty standard installation process on Mac as well.

  1. Navigate to the Samsung Smart Switch support website.
  2. Click on the download link for Windows or Mac — whichever system you're using. For this how-to, we're using Windows
  3. Click to launch the downloaded .exe file (.dmg on Mac).

    Go to the Samsung Smart Switch website

  4. Click the two check boxes to verify that you accept the terms of the licence agreement.

  5. Click Next.

    Click the two check boxes to verify that you accept the terms of the licence agreement, then click next.

  6. Click Finish once the installation process is complete. Smart Switch will then launch by default.

    The installation process will run. Click Finish once it has completed. Smart Switch will then launch by default.

Now that we've installed Samsung Smart Switch, let's set it up to connect to your Samsung Galaxy phone.

How to setup Samsung Smart Switch for the first time

Once you've installed the Smart Switch application, you'll need to get it synced up with your phone.

  1. Launch the Samsung Smart Switch application after installation or from the desktop icon on your computer.
  2. Connect your phone to your computer via USB cable to get started. The program should instantly recognize when it's connected. You may be prompted to allow USB file transfers on your phone.

    Launch the Smart Switch application after installation. Next, connect your device to get started. The program should instantly recognize once it's connected, and you may be prompted to allow USB transfers on your phone.

  3. Switching over to your phone, unlock and swipe down from the top to pull down the notification shade.

  4. Tap the notification for other USB options.
  5. Tap the Transferring media files option.

    On your phone, swipe down from the top to pull down the notification shade. Tap the notification for other USB options, then tap the option to use USB for transferring media files.

Switching back over to the computer, your phone should now be connected in the Smart Switch application.

How to back up your phone data with Samsung Smart Switch

Once you've launched the Smart Switch application and have your phone connected, backing up your data is as easy as pie.

  1. Launch the Smart Switch app on your computer.
  2. Click Backup.
  3. You'll be required to allow access permissions on your phone.

    Click Backup. You then may be prompted to allow access permissions on your phone.

  4. Pick up your phone.
  5. Tap Allow.

    On your phone, tap Allow. Then switch back to your computer and your data will begin backing up to your PC.

  6. Once the backup is complete, you get a breakdown of all the data that was successfully backed up. Click OK to finish.

    Once the backup is complete, you'll get a breakdown of the backed up data. Click OK to finish.

How to restore your phone from a previous backup using Samsung Smart Switch

If it's time to upgrade to a new Samsung phone or something has gone wrong, requiring you to restore your data, it's super easy if you've got an existing Smart Switch backup.

  1. Launch Samsung Smart Switch on your computer and connect your phone via USB.
  2. Click Restore.

    Launch Samsung Smart Switch on your computer and connect your phone via USB. Click Restore.

  3. Click Select a different backup if you want to restore from an eariler backup, otherwise click Restore now.
  4. You will be prompted to allow access permissions on your phone.

    Smart Switch will load up the most recent backup by default. Click Select a different backup if you want to restore from an earlier backup, otherwise click Restore Now. You will then be prompted to allow access permissions on your phone.

  5. Switching focus to your phone, tap Allow to continue the restore process
  6. Once the restore process is complete, you'll get a breakdown of the data that's been restored. Click OK to finish the restore.

    Switch over to your phone and tap Allow to continue the restore process. Once the restore process is completed, you'll get a breakdown of the data that's been restored on the Smart Switch application. Click OK to finish the restore.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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9 months ago

Using your Chromebook with an external monitor, mouse and keyboard

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Chromebook with large monitor

Let's turn that Chromebook into a bigger work (or fun) station.

One of the most wonderful things about Chromebooks is how simple they are — you don't have to buy additional accessories to make them work, they just do most of what people want out of the box. But perhaps you have additional needs ... like using a larger external screen, necessitating having an external keyboard and mouse in the process.

Sound like something you need to do? Well it's not tough to figure out, actually — we're going to lay out a handful of tips for getting your Chromebook up and running with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse.

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9 months ago

How to keep your phone looking good inside a case

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I know it's not always a popular position, but I love me a good case.

A quality phone case adds grip, style, and color; it protects my handset even as it shows off the craftsmanship of the device. And a good case doesn't necessarily mean shelling out for an Otterbox or a Trident. A good case is a case that offers the right mix of protection, comfort, grip, and style for the user's situation. Regardless which case you own, be it a Spigen Neo Hybrid case, a Cruzerlite Bugdroid TPU case, or something in between, I've got news for you:

Most of you are using your case wrong.

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9 months ago

How to factory reset the Galaxy Note 5

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How to factory reset the Galaxy Note 5

How do I factory reset my Galaxy Note 5? This is how.

Factory resetting your Galaxy Note 5 can solve several problems. Maybe it was bogged down by a ton of apps and you'd like a fresh start. Maybe you installed an update and something went wrong — you shut your phone off and now it won't boot. Selling your phone? A factory reset is basically mandatory! Whatever your reason for factory resetting your Note 5, here are the steps to complete the process using both the settings menu and using physical buttons when your phone is turned off.

WARNING: This will completely erase your data off the phone. If you haven't backed up your contacts and pictures and documents and anything else (preferably in the cloud, but absolutely somewhere else), you will be sorry you didn't do so. Consider yourself warned.

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10 months ago

Best roaming plans for Canadians travelling to the U.S.

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Here are the best ways to save money when taking your phone to the U.S.!

Millions of Canadians visit the U.S. every year and, with nearly every pocket protecting a smartphone and its data plan, they increasingly want to maintain the same quality of service they have at home. Thankfully, roaming options have not only proliferated over the past few years but, due to competition at home and abroad, plans have become significantly cheaper.

Here are the best ones.

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10 months ago

Best roaming plans for Canadians travelling to Europe

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Planning a trip to Europe? Here are your best options for roaming while taking in the sights, the sounds — or the Seine!

Whether you want to get in some skiing, go backpacking, or hit the winding — and sometimes high-velocity — roads, Europe is an amazing travel destination for Canadians. Roaming in countries like France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom can be expensive if you don't know which options to choose. Be smart with these great roaming services.

KnowRoaming

KnowRoaming has created a sticker that, using a special tool included in the box, adheres to the underside of a regular SIM card. Once the now-double SIM gets put back of your iPhone or Android Phone, the magic begins. With its free iOS or Android apps, KnowRoaming acts both as a director of information, determining which SIM card needs to be used depending on the phone's location, and as a full-service MVNO in nearly every country in Europe.

For $7.99 USD per day, KnowRoaming offers unlimited roaming data in a number of European countries, including France, Germany, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Portugal, Netherlands and more.

Better, it can also automatically forward a Canadian number to its European equivalent, giving KnowRoaming customers the option of making and receiving calls as they would back home.

What to know: KnowRoaming is smart: it assigns a local number whenever it enters a new country, and its excellent iOS or Android apps track call, text and data usage. 3G-only (for now).

Unlocked iPhone or Android Phone needed

See at KnowRoaming

Roamer

Technically, Roamer is an Android app that intelligently forwards your home number to a European equivalent so you can make and receive calls as you would back in Canada. But a little-known side of the business is the Roamer SIM — a single card that connects to the best local carriers in 118 countries, including many in Europe.

While prices are slightly higher than they are on KnowRoaming, it is still significantly cheaper than many roaming plans purchased from a Canadian carrier. To wit, traveling to France offers the following:

  • 1 day / €5 / 50MB
  • 7 days / €15 / 300MB
  • 7 days / €25 / 1GB
  • 14 days / €50 / 1GB

The beauty of Roamer SIM is that the company delivers to Canadian (or U.S.) addresses, which means it can be configured prior to leaving. Simply put the SIM in your Android phone and enable it once on the ground in Europe.

What to know: Roamer assigns a local number for every country visited, and usage can be tracked with the free Android app. Phone calls and texts are extra, but still cheap. First 25MB of data is free.

Unlocked iPhone or Android Phone needed

See at Roamer

Buy a local SIM

This option may seem obvious, but it's also the most onerous. Many Western European countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, and France have a number of core carriers, such as Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange, along with dozens of MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) that resell access to those core networks.

Most of the core carriers and MVNOs offer prepaid access, and are some of the least expensive ways to get a local number and cheap data in a foreign country.

There are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing a local SIM card in a European country:

  • European networks use different wireless bands than Canadian and U.S. carriers. Most carriers in Western Europe use a combination of 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 Mhz, so make sure that you check your unlocked Android phone for compatibility.
  • Many prepaid SIM cards require activation through SMS or a web-based portal, and by default use the local language. Make sure when purchasing, you get the store clerk to activate the SIM, or ask how to change the default language to one of your choice.
  • Make sure that, should you need more data, you have a way to do so without requiring a European credit card. This is especially important if you plan on moving from a big city to more rural areas where topping up at a store is not possible.
  • If you're going to be moving between countries, ask when purchasing whether the carrier has European roaming options. Some carriers have deals with other networks that make it cheap, or free, to roam on partner networks in neighbouring or nearby countries.

What to know: Discover the best networks in the country you're visiting with this helpful European roaming Wiki.

Unlocked iPhone or Android phone needed

Use your own SIM card

In recent years, Canadian carriers have become more serious about European roaming. Spurred by Rogers' Roam Like Home, today all three major Canadian carriers offer cheap or discounted European roaming packages.

Rogers Roam Like Home

The OG roaming package, Rogers Roam Like Home charges customers $10 per day, up to a maximum of 10 days or $100 per billing cycle, to access their Share Everything plan in most European countries.

Say, for example, you have a Share Everything plan (all of which include unlimited calls and texts) with 2.5GB of monthly data. In any Roam Like Home-supported country, your smartphone will tap into that data allotment while roaming. There are no separate data buckets or fees. After 10 days of travel, that $10 daily fee is waived.

What to know: Overage fees still apply after 10 days of travel, so be careful about using too much data while abroad, and download the MyRogers app to stay on top of data usage. Enroll by texting travel to 222.

See at Rogers

Bell

Bell recently expanded its Roam Better service to include dozens of countries around the world, including many in Europe.

Similar to its U.S.-based roaming option, Roam Better allows travellers to spend a set amount per day — in this case, $10 — for unlimited calls and texts in that country, plus 100MB of data. Unlike Roam Like Home, Roam Better doesn't eat into a customer's existing domestic data bucket. On the other hand, it can get pricey, since 100MB is easy to chew through while loading maps and learning about the city.

What to know: After 100MB is used, Bell automatically sends a text message asking whether you want to opt-in to another 100MB of data for $10. Data expires at 11:59pm Eastern Time regardless of where you're roaming, so be careful; most European countries are between five and eight hours ahead of EST, which means the count will reset in the early hours of the morning. Enroll by texting ROAM to 7626.

See at Bell

Telus bundles

Telus hasn't extended its Easy Roam product to Europe just yet, so travellers to the continent are best to look elsewhere. Bundles include:

  • Europe Combo Pass $50: 50 minutes, 150 texts, 150MB
  • Europe Combo Pass $85: 75 minutes, 300 texts, 750MB
  • Europe Combo Pass $150: 200 minutes, unlimited texts, 1.5GB

All passes are valid for 30 days.

What to know: Because Telus doesn't offer a European equivalent of US Easy Roam, it's very important to either get a bundle before leaving, or turn off roaming completely. Pay-per-use rates for Europe are exorbitant, at $1.50 per call minute, $0.60 per text, and $5.00 per MB data.

See at Telus

Your turn!

Is your carrier not listed? Check with them to see if they have inexpensive daily, weekly, or monthly European travel bundles. Have roaming experiences or tips to share? Leave them in in the comments!

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10 months ago

How to reinstall the software on your Chromebook

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You can reinstall a fresh version of the operating system on your Chromebook with an easy-to-use tool and a USB stick or SD card.

If you see the "Chrome OS is missing or damaged" error when you start up your Chromebook, you'll need to reinstall the operating system. This isn't normally an issue, but if you were fiddling with the partitioning or trying to install another operating system like Ubuntu, you might see it. It's fairly easy to fix as long as you have another computer running the Chrome browser (or another Chromebook) with internet access and a USB drive or SD card.

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