How to wirelessly send files to iPhone from Windows 10

Wirelessly communicating with an iPhone (or an iPad) isn’t easy if you’re not using a Mac, or another Apple device. If you need to wirelessly send files to an iPhone from a non-Apple desktop system e.g., a Windows 10 PC, you might be looking at a long list of apps to buy to do the job. You don’t need to buy anything if you have VLC player installed on your iPhone. It’s a free app and you can use it to transfer any type of file from a Windows 10 PC to an iOS device. Here’s how.

Make sure the Windows 10 PC and the iPhone are both on the same WiFi network.

On the iOS device

This works for both iPhones and iPads but we’re going to demonstrate how it works for an iPhone. The process is the same for both types of devices. Install VLC player on your iPhone. Go to VLC player’s settings and under File Synchronization, enable ‘IPv6support for WiFi sharing’. Next, go to the Network tab, and enable ‘Sharing via WiFi’. Once you enable it, you’ll see an IP address below the switch. Note this down.

On Windows 10

Open any web browser of your choice and in the URL bar, enter the IP address that you noted from your iPhone. Tap Enter and you’ll see an interface for sharing files. Drag & drop the files you’d like to share on to it. Remember that you can share any type of file. You’re not limited to just sharing media files because you’re using VLC player. Wait for the transfer to complete. It will take time depending on the size of the file, and how many files you’re sending.

Accessing files on iPhone

iOS has a Files app. Open it, and go to the ‘On My iPhone’ location. Here, you’ll see a folder called VLC. Tap it and all the files that have been sent via VLC player will show up here. You can open the file in any app that supports it. You can also directly open the file from a different app if it supports opening files from other locations in which case, you should see the Files app in the action sheet.

Most apps that can open files should support opening them from the Files app. This app was added in iOS 11 and it’s been a good 2 years since it was introduced so any good app should have the ability to access files from it.

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How to back up the legacy Edge browser before updating to Chromium Edge on Windows 10

Microsoft has rebuilt Edge (again), and this time it is based on Chromium. The Chromium-based Edge is out of beta and anyone can download the stable version. There’s just one catch; once you install the new Chromium-based Edge, you will have to bid farewell to the original Microsoft Edge browser. The original browser wasn’t great. If it has been, it would have become popular but it was never complete trash. If nothing else, it has a good PDF reader. Here’s how you can back up the legacy Edge browser before updating to Chromium Edge and run the two side by side.

Note: This only works if you have NOT updated to Chromium Edge yet.

Back up legacy Edge browser

Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box. In the run box, enter the following, and tap Enter.

regedit

This will open the registry editor. Navigate to the following location.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft

Right-click the Microsoft key and select New>Key from the context menu. Give the key the following name.

EdgeUpdate

Right-click the EdgeUpdate key and select New>DWORD (32-bit) Value from the context menu. Give this value the following name.

Allowsxs

Double-click it, and set its value to 1.

That’s all you need to do.

Go ahead and download Chromium Edge, and install it.

Once installed, Chromium Edge will pin itself to the taskbar. To open the legacy Edge browser, use Windows search. It will show up as Microsoft Edge Legacy. Click it. The legacy version and the Chromium version can run side-by-side. You can still pin the legacy version to the Start menu if you use it often.

It goes without saying that the legacy version will not be updated any more. This means that while you can run the browser, for now, it will eventually have its own end of life. This will most likely start when the browser falls prey to a security vulnerability which won’t be patched since it has been discontinued. If not, a Windows 10 feature update may remove it. Edge legacy may stop shipping with newer versions of Windows 10 altogether so if you ever do a fresh install of Windows 10 after the browser has been removed, you will lose it forever.

In terms of performance, Chromium Edge is better but legacy Edge had a few things that set it apart and they are no longer available in the new browser. If nothing else, maybe Microsoft could release a stand-alone PDF viewer that is exactly like the one legacy Edge had and it won’t be missed.

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How to mute/unmute the mic with a keyboard shortcut on Windows 10

Keyboards have a dedicated key to mute sound from speakers. Keyboards that do not come with special keys still have the function(fn) row of keys which double as controls for managing media. One of those keys will be able to mute the speakers. A similar key does not exist for muting the mic. This is generally because the mic isn’t always on. It only turns on when an app accesses it and in that case, users are expected to use the mute button within the app which works but it’s not quick. You likely have to click the button with the mouse and that’s not as fast as a keyboard shortcut. Here’s how you can mute/unmute the mic with a keyboard shortcut on Windows 10.

Need to mute/unmute the mic with a keyboard shortcut on macOS? We’ve got the perfect solution.

Mute/unmute the mic with a keyboard shortcut

To mute/unmute the mic with a keyboard shortcut, we’re going to use a free app called MicMute. Download and install it. The app runs in the system tray and adds a mic icon to it. You can access the app’s settings and configure the keyboard shortcut from this icon, and it will also show you the current state of the mic. Black means the mic is Off, and red means it is On.

The app has some useful features e.g., it can mute the mic immediately when it starts, it can list the detected audio input devices, and it has a ‘Push to talk’ mode where the mic only works if a button is held down.

To configure the shortcut to mute/unmute the mic, right-click the app’s icon in the system tray and select ‘Setup shortcut’. A small window will open. Click inside it and tap the key or keys you want to use to mute/unmute the mic. The app can detect ordinary keys on a keyboard, and it can also work with special keys on the keyboard. I was able to bind the speaker mute/unmute button on my keyboard to this app and when I tap it, it now mutes and unmutes the speakers and the mic at the same time.

Each time the mic is muted or unmuted, you get a desktop alert. If you don’t want to get the alerts, you can disable them from the app’s settings. If you like the app, you should probably set it to run at startup.

This app has not been updated since 2015 but it works flawlessly on Windows 10 1909.

Windows 10 shows a mic icon in the system tray when an app is accessing the mic and the icon could have been more functional. If you click it, it doesn’t mute the mic. Instead, it opens the Settings app to the mic settings which, while useful, could have been best left as a context menu function.

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How to manage brightness for multiple monitors from the system tray on Windows 10

Working with multiple monitors is often complicated and you likely end up installing several apps in an attempt to make it easier to manage windows between them. Windows 10 makes it fairly easy to work with multiple monitors but when it comes to something as basic as managing brightness, you’ll find that it often fails to work with external monitors. There are quite a few utilities that let you control the brightness of an external monitor but Twinkle Tray is exceptional. It’s not just for an external monitor; it’s for all monitors. Think of the volume mixer on Windows 10, but for monitors. Here’s how it works.

Manager brightness for multiple monitors

Install Twinkle Tray from the Microsoft Store. The app runs in the system tray. Click the app icon and you will see brightness sliders for each monitor that’s connected to your system. You can change the brightness for all of them and, if you click the link button, you can make sure the brightness levels are synced between all your monitors. The crescent button will let you turn off all your displays.

If you go into the app’s settings, you will able to set a minimum and maximum brightness level for each monitor.

There are lots of apps that can control not just the brightness but also the contrast and saturation for multiple monitors, especially external ones. Twinkle Tray can only manage the brightness but it’s really easy to use and that’s the hook. The app takes a split second to update the brightness but it’s not that big a deal.

Twinkle Tray supports both the dark and light theme and you can set it to follow the same theme as the system one, or set a different theme for it.¬† If you like the app, it’s a good idea to allow it to run at startup. There’s a switch in the app’s settings that allow you to run it at startup.

The app changes the actual brightness of monitors, it does not change it cosmetically i.e., by adding a faux shade to the screen. The contrast does not change so with external monitors, the screen may not look right if you change the brightness drastically.

Windows 10 is great with multiple monitors but it could be better. This is a fairly basic feature that it should support especially considering that Windows is a popular gaming platform and gamers generally tend to use more than one monitor.

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How to download YouTube videos on Windows 10

YouTube doesn’t like it when you download videos off the platform but sometimes, it’s the only way to watch a video offline. YouTube actively works to block apps that can download videos from it which is why it’s often best to use a desktop solution. Here’s how you can download YouTube videos on Windows 10.

We’re going to use a free app called Youtube Multi Downloader. The app can download a video as both MP4 (video format) and as MP3 (audio format). The MP4 and MP3 formats are common so the file you get can be played easily enough on Windows 10, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. On all five platforms, the stock media players will do the trick when you want to play an MP4 or MP3 file.

Download YouTube videos

Download Youtube Multi Downloader, install, and run the app. The app can download multiple YouTube videos at once. All you need is the link to the video. For multiple videos, enter one link per-line in the URL field.

To select whether the video is downloaded as a video or an audio file, open the ‘Save as’ dropdown. With audio files, you can select either the MP3 or the AAC format, and choose the quality of the audio file. With video files, you can only select the MP4 format and pick the resolution. The app uses FFMPEG to encode videos so the quality is excellent.

Select where the downloaded file will be saved, and click Start Download. The download can take some time depending on the length of the video, and the quality you’re downloading it in.

The downloaded file will not include subtitles unless they are hardcoded into the video. Similarly, any annotations on the video and all links on it will not be downloaded.

A word about plagiarism

YouTube does not want users to download its content in order to fight plagiarism. If you need to view a YouTube video offline and downloading it is your only option, make sure you do not use it for anything illegal or unethical. Reuploading the same video, as it is or with minor edits to remove watermarks etc. is plagiarism. If the content isn’t yours, don’t pretend like it is. The best case is the video is taken down, the worst case is the original uploader may suffer a penalty because the YouTube algorithm isn’t the smartest when it comes to dealing with copyright claims.

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