Siri Shortcut: Text an emergency contact if you have an accident

If you’re ever in an accident, the aftermath is a lot to deal with. You might be hurt, or you might have to deal with law enforcement. In either case, you should have a quick way to let an emergency contact know that you’ve been in an accident. A Siri Shortcut called ‘I got in a wreck’ does just that. It will text an emergency contact your current location, as well as your battery percentage and send along any medical information you configure within the shortcut.

I got in a wreck

You can import I got in a wreck from this link. The shortcut is saved to iCloud so when you import it to Shortcuts and run it, you won’t be prompted for confirmation to run it.

When you import I got in a wreck, you have to set up two things; your emergency contact numbers, and any medical information you want to include. It doesn’t automatically pick your emergency contacts nor does it get anything from your Medical ID.

Once you’ve set these two things up, the import will be complete. You can run the shortcut from the Shortcuts app, from its widget, or by telling Siri, I got in a wreck.

You will have to manually send the message. The shortcut will compose everything for you, including inputting the name of the contact you want to send the message to however, you still have to tap the send button. Once the message has been sent, it will also give you the option to call 911 or call your emergency contact.

If you do not reside in the US, and you intend to use this shortcut for emergencies, you should edit the actions and replace 911 with the number for emergency services in your country. If your country’s emergency services can receive texts about road accidents, or other types of emergencies, consider adding them as an emergency contact when you set the shortcut up.

I got in a wreck requires access to your location which means you must allow Shortcuts to access your location if you want to be able to share it. Location is sent in the form of longitude and latitude coordinates. Your contact will need to figure out how to open them. It’s simple enough; enter the two coordinates separated by a single comma in a maps app like Google Maps and it will pin point the exact location.

The shortcut is built for road accidents however, if you’re prone to medical emergencies, you can modify the text that is sent to let an emergency contact know you’ve had an episode. Also, don’t use this as a joke.

Read Siri Shortcut: Text an emergency contact if you have an accident by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to change folder icon colors on Windows 10

Windows 10 doesn’t let you customize folder icons out of the box. It also doesn’t let you add color tags like macOS does. If you want to change folder icon colors, you have to turn to third-party apps to do so. FolderPainter is a free app that lets you change folder icon colors. The app doesn’t give you a full color spectrum to pick colors from because that would only lead to clutter. You get a reasonable number of color presets to choose from.

Change folder icon colors

Download and run FolderPainter. When you run the app’s EXE, you’re given two options to enable. For our purpose, you need only enable the ‘Use Shift Key to Display Context Menu’ option, and click the ‘Add to Menu’ button.

Once you’ve added the option to the context menu, hold down the Shift key and right-click the folder you want to change the folder icon color for. The context menu will show a ‘Change Folder icon’ option with a sub-menu that lets you select the color of the folder icon. You have twelve colors to choose from, and you can reset it to its default color if you want.

The color ought to change right away however, if it doesn’t, right-click and select Refresh from the context menu. The new folder icon will be reflected in the File Explorer, as well as in any save or open dialog boxes.

FolderPainter doesn’t need to run constantly which means that it won’t drag your system down. Windows 10 won’t have any trouble displaying the folder icon’s color however, you won’t be able to group folders by color. The context menu on Windows 10 simply doesn’t have that option and it isn’t added simply because you now have folder icons that are different colors.

If you want to remove the app’s options from the context menu, you need to run it again. Run the app’s EXE and then click the Uninstall button. It will remove all the options added to the context menu, and it will return your folder icon color back to the default yellow.

Since the app’s options only appear when you hold down the Shift key, it isn’t going to clutter the context menu, and more importantly, if someone happens to access your system it won’t be easy to discover how to reset or change the color set for your folder icons.

While the app is mostly harmless, you should remove it before you update Windows 10 to a major feature update as apps like this tend to cause problems with the update.

Read How to change folder icon colors on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to improve mouse pointer visibility on Windows 10

The cursor on Windows 10 isn’t anything fascinating. It’s not context aware and if you use a dark wallpaper, or you’re using the dark theme on Windows 10 1809, you might lose it more often than if you weren’t. It’s all the more difficult to find if you’re using a word processor or even a simple text editor. If you want to improve mouse pointer visibility without installing third-party apps, you should look at the ease of access settings that Windows 10 has.

Improve mouse pointer visibility

Open the Settings app and go to the Ease of Access group of settings.

In the Ease of Access group of settings, go to the Cursor and pointer size tab. Here, you can change how the mouse pointer interacts with the contents of your screen and the size of the cursor. The slider you see under ‘Change cursor thickness’ will allow you to change how thick the caret character is.

Below this, you can change the default color of the cursor. You can set it to white, or black but the third option, which changes the cursor color depending on the element behind it is the best option if you have a vision impairment. If your cursor is over a lighter element, the cursor will turn black making it easier to see. If the cursor is positioned over a darker element on the screen, it will turn white.

You can also change the pointer size though there are only three sizes to choose from.

This should improve cursor visibility however, if it doesn’t, you still have more options to help improve it. Return to the main Settings app interface, and go to the Devices group of settings. Select the Mouse tab, and at the bottom, or somewhere along the right, you will see ‘Additional mouse settings’. Click it.

This is where you can set a custom cursor. If the default colors and sizes aren’t enough, you can find high contrast cursors online that will help with visual impairments. It might take a while before you find a good set with a complete or mostly complete set of images for the cursor. We should also warn you that cursors, at one point, were used to customize desktops for the fun of it. They included things like pointers with a star trail or constantly blinking characters. At the time, they also carried viruses so when you download and install custom cursors, make sure they’re safe to use.

Read How to improve mouse pointer visibility on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to lock Windows 10 when you close your laptop lid

When you close your laptop lid, your system can do one of three things; sleep, hibernate, or shutdown. All three options put your system in an ‘Off’ or similar state. The fourth option is that closing your lid does nothing. If you need to lock Windows 10 when you close your laptop lid, you’re going to need a third party app called Lid Lock.

Lock Windows 10

Lid Lock is free but it seems the developer’s website is down and you cannot download the app directly from them. Instead, you have to turn to software repositories. Softpedia has a copy that’s safe for use so go ahead and download the app from there.

The app runs in the system tray and adds a padlock icon to it. It has no configurable settings whatsoever. You can set it to start when you boot Windows 10, but that’s all there is to set up.

Close your laptop lid and your system will be locked. It will not enter sleep or hibernate mode, and it won’t shut down either. When you open your lid again, you will see the login screen where you will have to enter your PIN or password.

Now, locking your PC isn’t difficult. You can lock it with the Win+L keyboard shortcut and it will lock just fine. The reason you might want to lock Windows 10 when you close your laptop lid is because it’s faster and maybe, if for any reason, you need to slam your laptop lid closed you know it will result in your system locking and not going to sleep. Also, Windows 10 doesn’t have a great track record of coming out of sleep. It takes pretty long and on occasion something breaks and can only be fixed if you restart your system.

Windows 10 also lets you configure what happens when you press the power button but again the options don’t include locking your system. You can press the power button to put your system to sleep, shut it down, or use it to turn off your display.

Since we’re talking laptops here, it is worth mentioning that not all laptop keyboards have two Win keys, one on each side of the space bar, few laptops do and that makes it a bit more difficult to execute the Win+L keyboard shortcut. This is why closing the laptop lid is easier and maybe even a little intuitive for when you need to leave your desk or leave your desk quickly.

Read How to lock Windows 10 when you close your laptop lid by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to take time delayed screenshots with Snip and Sketch On Windows 10

If you’ve managed to get the Windows 10 October 2018 i.e., 1809 update, you no longer have the Snipping tool at your disposal. It’s been replaced by the Snip and Sketch tool that you can use from the Action Center or via the PrintScreen key on your keyboard. When you launch Snip and Sketch via either of these methods, the app opens in snipping mode but it is in fact a stand alone app that can, like the Snipping tool, take time delayed screenshots. Here’s how.

Time delayed screenshots with Snip and Sketch

If you want to take time delayed screenshots with Snip and Sketch, you need to open the app from the Apps List on the Start Menu. If  Windows Search works on your system, you can also search for this app and open it.

Click the dropdown arrow next to the New button, and from the menu that opens, select the delayed screenshot interval. You can only pick either 3 or 10 seconds.

During the delay period, you want to set your screen up for the screenshot that you want to take. Once the time delay elapses, you will get the little bar you see in the screenshot below. This is where you can choose either a full screen screen, free hand, or rectangle screenshot.

Obviously you’re wondering what will happen to whatever it is you’ve set up on your screen for the screenshot if you have to interact with a different app. Normally, this means you’re trying to screenshot an item that will likely disappear so rest assured that before the tool presents the screenshot options, it will freeze everything on its screen, as is, and you can take your screenshot.

That’s about it. The tool will open the screenshot in the Snip and Sketch tool. You can annotate it, or draw on it, and then save the file to PNG format. It doesn’t seem to support JPEG which is odd but you can convert it with an app like IrfanView or even Paint.

We should remind you that even though you have the Snip and Sketch tool, you can still use the PrintScreen button and the Win+PrintScreen keyboard shortcut to take screenshots. Much like how the Snipping tool didn’t take over screenshots completely, the Snip and Sketch tool doesn’t force you to use it. You can also install third-party screenshot tools and they will be able to use the PrintScreen key to take screenshots.

Read How to take time delayed screenshots with Snip and Sketch On Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter