How to Use the Files App to Share Files and Folders

With the release of iOS 13.4 and above, you can now share files and folders using your favorite share connection. This feature is built into the Files app.

Apple engineers took a long time in releasing this feature. It’s about time. Let’s see how this is done.

This is for iPhone and iPad running iOS 13.4 or higher

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Sharing a Folder

First, launch the Files app. Navigate to the iCloud folder you would like to share. Next, press and hold the folder until a menu appears. Now, select Share. See below image:

iPhone Files 1
Selecting the Share option for a folder

Next, select Add People. Refer to below image:

iPhone Files 2
Selecting the Add People option for the folder to be shared

Now, select a share method from the options like Mail, Messages, Messenger and so on. See following image:

iPhone Files 3
Selecting the share connection for the folder

Type in your subject and message, if necessary, then select your audience. When finished, Send your message. See below image:

iPhone Files 4
Selecting the recipient(s) for sharing the folder

Change Access Rights

First, launch the Files app. Navigate to the shared iCloud folder. Next, press and hold the folder until a menu appears. Select Share then select Show People. Refer to below image:

iPhone Files 5
Accessing the Show People option

Tap a person in the list. Refer below to my list:

iPhone Files 6
Selecting the recipient(s) to change access rights

You are given two options for Permission: Can make changes and View only. You can also change Who Can Access options for the folder by selecting Only people you invite and Anyone with the link. See below image:

iPhone Files 7
Setting the access rights

There is the option to remove the user’s access, just tap Stop Sharing and tap OK. See following image:

iPhone Files 8
Cancelling the sharing

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Send a Message with Google Maps

By using Google Maps you can find the location of a restaurant, store or some other company. How about asking the business a question? In some cases, you can do so through Google Maps. If the entity supports Google Maps messaging feature, you can send a message to that company. If the company responds, you can carry on a back-and-forth conversation; like texting, but instead you are using Google Maps.

To date, this is the most unusual post I have written. Its relatively unknown to the business community. I recommend you try out my example before searching for a business in your area that uses Google Maps for messaging.

This feature is for your iOS (iPhone/iPad) or Android device or whatever smart device supports Google Maps

If you haven’t already done so, download and install Google Maps to your device.

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Search for a Business

  1. Launch Google Maps
  2. Search for a business you want to use or visit. In my example, I am searching for “Lobster House”. Refer to following image:
Google Maps 1
Search for Lobster House

If using my example, select the first entry. Refer to following screenshot:

Google Maps 2
Selecting First Entry for Lobster House

View the Overview Tab

Swipe Up below the map till you see the Overview tab, like the following image:

Google Maps 3
Overview Tab for Lobster House

If the company supports Google Maps messaging, in the center of the screen you will see a link that says “Contact us now

Type in Your Message

  1. Tap on this link
  2. Type in your message and tap the Send icon. A pertinent question might be reserving a table at a certain time instead of my example. Refer to following screen:
Google Maps 5
Messaging Lobster House

In my example of the “Lobster House”, they usually respond within a few hours. So, revisit the “Lobster House” for their reply by:

Search for Messages

  1. Searching for the business
  2. Swipe Up to view the Overview Tab
  3. Tap the 3 dots in upper right hand corner. Refer to following image:
Google Maps 6
Check for a Response

Reply to Messages

You will see the following screen. Tap on Message to view their reply. You can then reply back to the business if you need to.

Google Maps 7
The Message Screen

Whats challenging about this feature is finding a business that supports Google Maps messaging. Unfortunately, many do not. But, if a business of interest does offer messaging, you can use this feature to obtain more information about the company or perhaps, setup a reservation.

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Add a Website on Your iPhone or iPad Home Screen

If you would like to access your favorite website from your iPhone or iPad Home screen (the first page), it’s easy to do. Using Safari, we can create a shortcut icon that allows you to just tap it to launch the site. It’s a handy way to speed up your iPhone or iPad experience. Note! The following guide is for an iPhone, but the steps are similar for an iPad.

This is for iPhone/iPad

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Four Easy Steps

First, open Safari and navigate to the website you would like to appear on your Home screen. After the site has loaded, tap near the bottom of your screen. Now, make sure you can see the navigation toolbar at the bottom, then tap the Share icon (the rectangle with an up arrow). Refer to below image:

iPhone Website icon 1
Selecting the Share icon

The Share menu will appear. Swipe down thru the list, then tap Add to Home Screen. See below image:

iPhone Website icon 2
Chosing the option to add to Home screen

The menu for Add to Home Screen will appear. From this menu, give a name to the web icon using the on-screen keyboard. Next, tap Add in upper right hand corner. See following image:

iPhone Website icon 1
Assigning a name to the icon

The icon for the website will appear on your Home screen. If the first page of your Home screen is full of icons, your newly created icon will be placed in the first available page. Now, when you tap on the shortcut icon, Safari will open and load the website. Refer to below image:

iPhone Website icon 4
Your website icon on your Home screen or first available page

About the Web Shortcut Icon

The website icon we created with Safari looks and behaves like a regular app icon on the iPhone’s or iPad’s Home screen. You can rearrange it along with other apps, add it to a folder or drag it to the Dock.

You might notice that some websites have Home screen icons that seem perfectly tailored to the iPhone or iPad interface. That’s because these sites specifically created an image for this purpose. Your iPhone or iPad will generate a tiny thumbnail of the website to use as its icon.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Backup Facebook Photos and Videos

You have searched for a favorite photo or video on Facebook but are unable to locate it. Facebook has an option to backup most anything saved through its app. This would allow for easier searching instead of scrolling endlessly through Facebook posts.

You may have decided to deactivate your account for health reasons or you just want a backup. There is no such thing as “too many backups”. In my IT career, I have been “burned” by not having adequate backups resulting in lost time in recreating them.

Depending on how long you have been a Facebook user, the backup file can be quite large. If you have limited storage or on a free storage plan for your mobile device, you might consider backing up to a PC or Mac.

Using this post as a guide, I am backing up thirteen years of Facebook photos and videos on a Windows 10 PC. My backup file, in Zip format, was a 1.4 GB file.

This is for PCs, Mac, mobile devices and similar platforms using Facebook

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Accessing Facebook Settings

Launch Facebook. in the upper right hand corner, click on the Account icon. Next, click the Settings & Privacy option. See below image

Facebook Photo Backup 1
The Settings and Privacy option

Next, click on the Settings option. Refer to below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 2
The Settings option

Downloading Your Facebook Information

Then click on Your Facebook Information. See following image:

Facebook Photo Backup 3
The Facebook Information option

Next, click on Download Your Information. See below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 4
Download your information option

Selecting ONLY Photos and Videos

From here, click on Deselect All link. Then select only Photos and Videos option. From this screen there are many options on what to backup. For our purposes, we only want photos and videos. Refer to below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 5
Deselecting all, then selecting only photos and videos option

Once photos and videos have been selected and all other option are unselected, click the Create File button. See below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 6
Clicking the Create File option

Messages and Emails From Facebook

You will receive a pop-up message regarding the creation of your Facebook backup for photos and videos. Refer to below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 7
Facebook response to iyour request

Check your email that is associated with your Facebook account for the file request. See below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 8
Email from Facebook about your request

It may take several hours for Facebook to process your request. When the file is ready, you will receive an email that your file is ready. Follow the directions in the message. Refer to below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 9
Email from Facebook that your backup file is ready

Downloading Your Photos and Videos Backup

Click on the link for Download Your Information. Then, click the Available Copies tab. You should see information about your download file. Now, click the Download button. See following image:

Facebook Photo Backup 10
Download option to your Downloads folder

Facebook will ask you to enter your Password, then click Submit. See below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 11
Submitting your password

Viewing Your Downloaded Zip File via File Explorer

Your photos and videos backup file will be in your Downloads folder in Zip format. Below is a screenshot of my backup file. Notice it contains over 3000 files. Your backuped file number will depend on how often you post photos and videos and how many years on Facebook. Refer to below image:

Facebook Photo Backup 12
An example of your downloaded Facebook photos and videos file

What I would like to see is an option to select a date range for the backup instead of everything.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Protect Your Google Drive on iPhone and iPad

Storing important and or sensitive documents in Google Drive isn’t the most secure way to protect your data, but if you are, your iPhone and iPad can help keep everything safe. Let’s see how to protect this cloud storage mobile app using Face ID or Touch ID.

Your mobile device may already be setup to use Face ID or Touch ID. You may ask, why set this up for a particular app, the Google Drive? A friend may ask to see your device. What if they accessed your documents via Google Drive without your knowledge? There is nothing to stop them because you already unlocked your device. So, we are going to add another layer of protection. Of course, enabling two factor authentication for your Google account is the best way to keep prying eyes out of your cloud files.

Note! To follow this guide, you will need the Passcode for your device. The screenshots are for an iPhone.

This is for iPhone and iPad devices

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Open Google Drive

Start by opening the Google Drive app. Use Apple’s built-in Spotlight Search if you can’t find it on your Home screen. Refer to below image:

Google Drive Protect 1
Locating Google Drive app

Next, tap the Hamburger icon in upper left of the screen. See following image:

Google Drive Protect 2
The Hamburger icon

Open the Settings

From the slide out menu that appears, select the Settings option. See below image:

Google Drive Protect 3
Opening Settings

Next, tap on the Privacy Screen option. Refer to below image:

Google Drive Protect 4
Opening the Privacy Screen option

Set the Privacy Option

From here, toggle on the Privacy Screen option. See following image:

Google Drive Protect 5
Turning on the Privacy Screen option

Allow Permission

Now, your iPhone or iPad will display a pop-up box asking for permission to access Face ID or Touch ID. Tap the OK button to allow permission. Refer to below image:

Google Drive Protect 6
Allowing permission for Google Drive by Face ID

The next time you exit and reopen Google Drive, you will be presented a screen for your face or fingerprint to access your cloud storage.

Now that the Privacy Screen setting is enabled, you will see several new options to customize the feature further.

Set Privacy Screen Delay

By default, the Privacy Screen feature locks the Drive app the moment you lock your iPhone’s or iPad’s display or leave the app. If you want to add a time delay, tap on the option that corresponds to the Delay listing. See below image:

Google Drive Protect 10
Accessing Privacy Screen Delay options

You have four options to choose from:

  • Immediately (the default)
  • After 10 seconds
  • After 1 minute
  • After 10 minutes

Once you have checkmarked your selection, tap the Back arrow. By default, the Immediately option is selected and is the recommended setting. Refer to below image:

Google Drive Protect 11
Setting the Privacy Screen Delay option

Using the Passcode Method

You have the option of using your Passcode to protect your files instead of your Face ID or Touch ID. This feature offers a more secure method of accessing Google Drive.

To do this, let’s go back to the Privacy Screen settings menu, then tap the Open System Settings blue link. See following image:

Google Drive Protect 7
Opening System Settings to change access method

You are taken to the Drive’s section for your iPhone or iPad Settings menu. Here, just toggle off permission to use Face ID or Touch ID. See below image:

Google Drive Protect 8
Turning off Face ID permission

Now, the next time you open the Google Drive app,you will be required to enter your device’s lock screen Passcode. Refer to below image:

Google Drive Protect 9
Entering your Passcode to access Google Drive

You have successfully locked your Google Drive app either using your Face ID/Touch ID or your Passcode. That’s it.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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I

How to Sign a PDF on Your iPhone or iPad

You’ve received or need to send a PDF through email that must be signed and sent to the other party. If you’re working with the email on your iPhone or iPad, you can sign the document directly from your mobile device. This handy capability is possible due to the Markup feature. With iOS 13, you can use a variety of tools. In this post, we will look at the Signature Markup tool.

This is for iPhone/iPad or similar devices using iOS 13 or above

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How to Add a Signature

Follow these steps when you want to email someone a PDF from your iPhone or iPad but need to sign it before sending it.

1. Make sure the PDF is stored in a convenient location, such as OneDrive, iCloud Drive or other online service accessible from your iPhone or iPad
2. Attach the file to your email
3. Tap the attachment and select Markup from the toolbar. Refer to below image:

PDF Signature 1
Selecting the Markup option

4. Swipe down to the area where you need to sign. If not, the Signature will be placed in the middle.
5. On the Markup toolbar at the bottom, tap the “+” icon and select Signature. See below image:

PDF Signature 2
Selecting the Signature option

Drawing Your Signature

6. If you’re doing this for the first time, write your Signature via your finger tip or a stylus
7. Tap Clear if you wish to start over. See following image:

PDF Signature 3
Writing your Signature

8. When you’re satisfied with your Signature, tap Done. See below image:

PDF Signature 4
Your Signature in the document

Position Your Signature

9. Move the text box for your Signature to the right spot. You can also resize the box by dragging any of the corners. Refer to below image:

PDF Signature 5
Positioning your Signature

Email Your Signed Document

10. When the Signature is sized and positioned correctly, tap Done at the upper left corner for the new Signature. Now you are ready to send your email by tapping on the Up Arrow icon. See following image:

PDF Signature 6
Email your signed document

How to Reply With Your Signature

If you receive an attachment that you need to sign and send back to the sender, the process is similar. 

1. Tap the PDF to open it and swipe down to the area that requires your Signature
2. Tap the Markup icon in the upper right (the one that resumbles a pen tip)
3. Tap the “+” icon on the Markup toolbar at bottom righ hand corner and select Signature. Your Signature will automatically appear if you already created it via Markup.
4. Tap your Signature, position and resize it accordingly
5. When finished, tap Done
6, Tap New Message or Reply All and send the signed document back to the sender. For demonstration purposes, I just placed my Signature again, this time in lower right hand corner. Refer to below image:

PDF Signature 7
Selecting the Reply All option

7. Tap the Up Arrow icon to send your return message. See below image:

PDF Signature 8
Returing your signed document back to the sender

You have successfully adding your Signature to a PDF file, emailed the attachment and replied to the other party with your Signature.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Turn Off/On Notifications on iPhone or iPad

If you are not careful when starting new apps, you will find yourself immersed in annoying notifications. They take up your time and are somewhat hard to turn off via the Settings app. Let’s explore how to quickly disable these notifications on your iPhone or iPad.

This is for iPhone and iPad

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Turn Off Notifications

First, unlock your device to display your Home screen. On this screen, hold and swipe down from the top center of your screen to reveal your Notifications. Refer to below image:

iPhone Notifications 1
The Notifications screen

On a Notification you would like to disable, hold and swipe to the left. See following image for WordPress Beginner notification:

iPhone Notifications 2
Revealing your Notification actions

A sliding menu option will be displayed for three actions you may take. The actions are as follows:

Manage – allows you to manage future Notifications, and to disable it.

View – takes you to the app that initiated the Notification.

Clear – removes the Notification from your screen, but does not remove it.

In my example, I decided to choose the TV App. Simply tap Turn Off to disable the Notification. Tapping the Deliver Quietly option allows you to receive future Notifications without receiving a sound or vibration. Refer to below image:

iPhone Notifications 3
Turning off your Notification

A pop-up confirmation message will ask if you really want to turn off all Notifications for this app. Just tap Turn Off All Notifications. See following image:

iPhone Notifications 4
Confirming your Notification action

From now on you will no longer receive Notifications for the chosen app.

Turn On Notifications

Let’s say you want to enable Notifications for the app you just turned off or any other Notification. In my example, I am enabling the TV App which I just turned off. To do this:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Notifications
  • Scroll down until you find the app and tap it
  • Tap the Allow Notifications toggle switch. Refer to below image:
iPhone Notifications 5
Enabling your Notification for a particular app

The toggle will turn green and Settings will display other options you may want to configure. See below image:

iPhone Notifications 6
Additional Notification actions

That was fairly easy. You now know how to quickly disable and enable your apps Notification.

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Zip and UnZip Files for iPhone or iPad

The Files app got a huge upgrade with iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 and its support for external storage. One of the new things was the native support for Zip files. You’ll no longer need to download third-party apps and shuffle between different apps just to open a Zip file.

Note! The naming convention of zip or compressed, and unzip or uncompressed, are interchangeable. Your original files are left unchanged.

The main reason for compressing your photos or documents is to reduce the file size to send as an email attachment. Without the Zip capability, the file could be too large for emailing.

This is for iPhone/iPad running iOS 13 or higher

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Creating a Zip File

To compress files, you’ll first need to add them to the Files app. You can do this easily using the Share sheet feature.

In this example, we’ll walk you through the process of ziping and unziping photos from the Photos app, but it will work using any other type of document.

Note! Your original photos or documents are left unchanged. They are just being compressed to a different location.

Open the Photos app and navigate to the album containing your photos. From there, tap on the Select button in upper right hand corner and select the Photos you want to compress by tapping on them. Refer to below image:

iPhone Zip 1
Selecting photos from the Photos album to be compressed

Next, tap the Share button in lower left hand corner. See below image:

iPhone Zip 2
Selecting the Share button in bottom left hand corner

From the Share sheet, tap on the Save to Files option. See following image:

iPhone Zip 3
Selecting the Save to Files option

Choose the On My iPhone or On My iPad option. Refer to below image:

iPhone Zip 3a
Setlecting the location of your compressed photos

Here you can select an existing folder or create a new one, then tap the Save option. You will see a message at top of the screen displaying number of items, the folder name and On My iPhone or On My iPad location. See below image:

iPhone Zip 4
Selecting the folder of your compressed photos
Accessing the Files App

Navigate to the Files app and open the folder or location where you saved the photos. Then tap the Select button and select all the photos. Next, tap on the hamburger icon (the one with 3 dots) in lower right hand corner. Refer to below image:

iPhone Zip 5
Selecting all your photos and tapping the hamburger icon in lower right hand corner

In the context pop-up menu, tap on the Compress button. See below image:

iPhone Zip 6
Choosing the Compress option from the context pop-up menu

You will see a new file labeled Archive.zip in the same folder. Refer to below image:

iPhone Zip 7
Creating the default Zip file of your compressed photos
Renaming the Zip File

To rename the Zip file, tap and hold on it until the see its Context pop-up menu. See below image:

iPhone Zip 8
Selecting the Rename option

Now, tap on the Rename option and type in a new name, then tap Done. See following image:

iPhone Zip 9
Renaming the default Zip file name

Your new compressed file will now be displayed. Refer to below image:

iPhone Zip 10
Viewing your new Zip file

Now you are able to send the Zip file as an email attachment or to a service like Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive to share with others.

Choosing Another Location to Save Your Files

For future downloads, you might want to change your default storage location. The downloaded files, by default, are saved to the Downloads folder in iCloud Drive in the Files app. This is a great option if you have a paid iCloud storage plan because it allows your downloaded files to sync across all your devices. But if you’re on the free 5GB plan, you might not have space for storing large files, even if they are compressed.

Thankfully, you can change the default location to local or on-line storage. To do this on your smartdevice:

  1. Open Settings app
  2. Navigate to Safari
  3. Select Downloads
  4. Tap on the Other option to select any folder from the local storage (or from a cloud storage option). Note! The default is the Downloads folder. For our example, we are using the default location and folder. See below image:
iPhone Zip14

Selecting where to save your iPhone downloads

Unzip your File

The process of unzipping an archive in the Files app is relative easy.

Again, you’ll need the Zip file to be in the Files app. You can follow the same process we did in the previous section to add a Zip file to the Files app.

Navigate to the location where you saved the Zip file. Refer to below image:

iPhone Zip 11
Location of your saved Zip file

Tap and hold on the file name. Select the Uncompress option from the context pop-up menu. See following image:

iPhone Zip 12
Selecting the Uncompress option from the context pop-up menu

You will see a new folder with the same name as the Zip file. Tap on it to see the contents of the Zip file. Your photos are now unzipped. See below image:

iPhone Zip 13
The unzipped files

You have successfully compressed and uncompressed your photos.

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Save your PDF to iPhone or iPad

As you are browsing the web, you may come across a PDF file you want to save for later viewing. Let’s examine how to do this.

This if for Apple iPhone and iPad

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While viewing the PDF file in Safari, tap on the Share button. The Share button resembles a rectangle with an up arrow. On an iPhone, the button will be at the bottom of the screen. For an iPad, the Share button is located just to the right of the browser’s address bar. See following image for the iPhone location:

PDF Save 0
The Share icon at bottom center of the screen

Ways to Save Your File

After tapping the Share button, you will see a list of ways to share or save the file, including sending the file to others by a text message or email. Refer to below image:

PDF Save 2
Ways to share your file

Swipe down the list to find the app you want to open with. See following image:

PDF Save 4
More ways to save your file. Showing the Save to Files option

Use Built-In Apps

You may want to chose the built-in apps like Books or Files. If you want to use Books, the file will be available in the Books app. If you chose Files, then chose your save location.

Use Outside Services

Some people prefer to save their file to an outside service like Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. The choice is up to you.

My Example

For my example, I am saving the file using the Files option to the PDF folder on the iCloud Drive. Refer to below image:

PDF Save 5
Saveing the file to iCloud Drive using the PDF folder

Later, if you chose the Files app, you will see the PDF file you just downloaded; same for the Books app. See following image on my choosing the Files app:

Chosing the Files App

PDF Save 6
Getting ready to open the PDF file

As you have seen, you have a lot of choices, thanks to Apple engineers.

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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Using Zoom During the COVID-19 Outbreak

This is a summary of Zoom posts I have blogged about over the past few weeks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are working from home using Zoom for video/audio conferencing. If you take some time, you can make the video meeting a smooth experience for all participants. The host of the Zoom meeting has the responsiblity to setup and run the meeting. By exploring the following blog posts, you can achieve your goal of hosting a successful meeting, making it easy for the participants to join the video conference and keeping the Zoom troll attacks at a minimum.

This if for a PCs and Macs browsers and smartdevices that support Zoom

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Following are my blog links for a Zoom video/audio meeting:

How to Setup Contacts in Zoom

How to Record a Zoom Meeting

How to Join a Zoom Meeting Without Installing the App

How to Hide and Unhide a Zoom Video

Nine Tips to Stabilize a Zoom Meeting

Testimonials

I love you addressed nearly every frustrating feature change I have! Thanks for sharing and educating me. 

marilyn1998

I was just checking into the zoom meeting stuff. Thanks Raymond.

Debi Holcomb

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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