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The Touch Bar is the flagship feature for the new MacBook Pro. It’s a small touch surface that offers dynamically changing content based on the current app you’re using.
The Touch bar is simple to use, but it’s somewhat deeper than it may appear at first. In this walkthrough video, we’ll discuss 15 tips and tricks for the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar to help you get started.How to show function keys
To show the traditional F1, F2, etc. keys, simply hold the Function (fn) key in the bottom left-hand corner of the keyboard to reveal them. These keys can be revealed within any app at any time.How to always show function keys for specific apps
You can quickly show the normal function keys by pressing and holding the Function (fn) key on the keyboard. But what if there’s an app that requires you to use standard function keys often?
With this setting enabled for a specific app, function keys will be displayed by default while using that app. If you press and hold the Function key while using this app, the expanded Control Strip options on the Touch Bar will be revealed.Video walkthrough
Subscribe to 9to5Mac’s YouTube channel for the latest videosQuickly adjust brightness and volume
Instead of tapping the brightness or volume key on the Touch Bar Control Strip, simply tap, hold and drag the slider to the desired level for a quick adjustment in one fell swoop.How to customize the Touch Bar’s Control Strip Access the expanded Control Strip
Tap the chevron button to the left of the Control Strip to access an expanded list of system functions and controls.Customize the expanded Control Strip
If you tap the chevron button while in the middle of customizing the Control Strip, you’ll gain access to more system functions and controls, allowing you to customize the full expanded Control Strip.How to customize the app region of the Touch Bar for favorite apps
If a Touch Bar-enabled app supports customization, you can go to View → Customize Touch Bar while using the app to configure its key layout in the Touch Bar.How to customize the Control Strip while editing an app region
While editing an app’s Control Bar settings, you can quickly switch to editing the Control Strip just by giving it a tap.Escape key
The escape key is located in the upper left-hand corner of the Control Bar, but it doesn’t align perfectly with the hardware keyboard keys directly below it. But if you’re a touch typist, your Escape key presses will still register, even if your finger doesn’t fully make contact with the key.Sleep and wake
The Touch Bar will dim after 60 seconds, and time out completely 15 seconds later. To wake the Touch Bar, tap the Touch Bar, trackpad, or press a key on the keyboardTrackpad + Touch Bar
macOS allows you to interface with both the trackpad and the Touch Bar simultaneously. This means that you can do things like move a shape in Pixelmator while, at the same time, changing its color or the size of its border.Take screenshots of the Touch Bar
Zac provided us with an excellent how-to that shows how to create Touch Bar screenshots. To use this functionality, you’ll need to run macOS 10.12.2 Beta 3 or later. It’s now available for public beta testers.Make Siri listen
When invoking Siri via the Touch Bar, you can touch and hold the Siri key to make it listen to your commands for the duration of your touch.Persistent media scrubber
When playing media on your MacBook Pro, you’ll notice a persistent media scrubber in the Touch Bar. This scrubber is present when playing music via iTunes, Safari videos, QuickTime videos, etc. You can even use it to scrub through YouTube videos while watching via Safari.
What makes the scrubber nice is that it is always available when eligible media is playing, even if that media isn’t a part of the top-most window. No matter where you are on your Mac, you’ll see a handy media key on the left side of the Control Strip in the Touch Bar area. Simply tap that key to reveal media controls.You can use the Touch Bar on a Boot Camp Windows installation
When used with Windows, the Touch Bar will display basic controls for things like keyboard brightness, screen brightness and volume. You also get access to the Escape key and pressing and holding the physical Function (fn) key will reveal a set of 12 function keys. You won’t of course, gain any of the other dynamic benefits that the Touch Bar is known for in macOS.Conclusion
Have you been able to go hands-on with a Touch Bar-enabled MacBook Pro? If so, please share your thoughts on the experience. Be sure to watch my full video review where I share my opinions on Apple’s new MacBook Pro input method.
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The Touch Bar equipped MacBook Pro stores additional data for the Touch Bar and Touch ID sensor that is not erased by default if you format a Mac or reinstall MacOS system software. Thus, if you want to completely clear out and erase all Touch Bar data, you will need to manually intervene via a multi-step process to clear out Touch Bar specific data from those MacBook Pro models.
This is obviously only applicable to Macs with the Touch Bar, and it’s probably only appropriate if you plan on erasing the Mac anyway, reinstalling MacOS, resetting a Mac to factory settings, or some other similar situation where you either want all personal data removed from the Mac, or you are going to be selling a Mac or transferring ownership, or even sending it in for service. Aside from those situations there is likely no need to ever delete or erase Touch Bar data on the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and attempting to do so can lead to unintended problems or data loss.How to Erase Touch ID Data on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
Want to clear out all Touch ID information and configuration data from a Mac with Touch Bar? Remember, this may cause data loss therefore only do this if you intend to erase all data on the Mac. Perform this action at your own risk.
Here’s how to erase Touch Bar data on a recently erased Mac:
Restart the Mac and immediately hold down Command + R keys to boot into Recovery Mode
At the “MacOS Utilities” screen, pull down the “Utilities” menu and choose “Terminal”
At the command line, type the following and then hit return:
Type “yes” when asked if you want to proceed
Pull down the Apple menu and choose “Restart” to reboot the Mac as usual, or proceed with other tasks like reinstalling macOS or formatting the mac if desired
Once the Mac has restarted the Touch Bar data will be removed.
As mentioned earlier, on newer Macs any remaining data on the Mac may be rendered inaccessible and therefore this should only be performed after the Mac has been reset, if at all.
And yes you must boot the Mac from Recovery Mode (or Internet Recovery) to accomplish this task, thus you may want to do it before resetting a Mac to factory default settings or performing other similar maneuvers to reinstall Mac OS or to completely erase the computer.
Note this is erasing Touch Bar data, it is NOT force refreshing Touch Bar on the Mac and thus is really not a troubleshooting step, though it’ll undoubtedly be used as one for some unusual Touch Bar situations.
For those wondering, if you try to run this command on a Mac that does not have a Touch Bar it will not work, because there is no Touch Bar. You will get an error like the following:
“xartutil: ERROR: this hardware does not support the xART recovery service”
Many Mac users likely don’t know that the Touch Bar has separate data storage that is Touch Bar specific, but Apple confirms this with an article here.
If you just upgraded to iOS 15 or got yourself a new iPhone, the tips and tricks below should help you get the most out of Apple’s latest system software.
Table of Contents1. Rearrange Home Screen Apps
iOS 14 introduced the ability to hide and unhide Home Screen pages. With iOS 15, you also get to rearrange pages in any order you want.
Just bring up the Home Screen manager (enter jiggle mode and tap the strip of dots above the Dock) and drag around the page thumbnails as you see fit. Want the first Home Screen page as your last? Not a problem!2. Delete Home Screen Pages
Rearranging aside, you can also delete Home Screen pages. Again, open the Home Screen manager and uncheck the circles under the pages you want to remove. Follow that by tapping the Minus icon to the top-left of the thumbnails.
Don’t worry. Any apps on the pages you delete will continue to show up within the App Library.3. Edit or Create Focus Profiles
iOS 15’s Focus is a fresh take on Do Not Disturb that helps improve focus based on activity. By default, you have four modes—Driving, Sleep, Personal, and Work—that you can activate via the Control Center, and you likely use them already. But what you may not know is that you can edit them or create Focus profiles from scratch.
To do that, open the Settings app and tap Focus. You can then select an existing Focus to edit it or tap Custom to create a custom Focus from scratch.
Also, don’t forget to use automation triggers to activate a Focus based on time, location, and app usage.4. Move Safari Address Bar to the Top
Safari went through several radical design changes in iOS 15. The most significant is the floating address bar at the bottom of the screen. If you don’t like that (you aren’t alone!), you can quickly go back to how things looked before.
To do that, open the Settings app and tap Safari. Then, scroll down to the Tabs section and select Single Tab.
Other aspects of Safari are also customizable. For example, you can tap the Edit button within the Start Page to add and remove sections (such as Favorites, Privacy Report, and Reading List) or change the background image.5. Pull to Refresh in Safari
With Safari in iOS 15, manually reloading pages is now a breeze. Just swipe down and release. Done!6. Copy Text From Photos
In iOS 15, your iPhone is smart enough to detect text in photos. Apple calls the functionality Live Text. Just double-tap a word within an image, and you get to select it (as well as surrounding text) similar to regular text. You can then copy and paste the text into any app.
With iOS 15’s data detectors, Live Text also lets you perform quick actions such as placing a phone call or adding a contact to your address book. To make things better, you can even interact with text in the camera’s viewfinder. Pretty cool, right?7. Scan Text into Text Fields
iOS 15 also lets you scan text into any text field. Just tap on a text field and pick the Scan Text option. You can then point the camera’s viewfinder at the text you want to insert, and iOS will automatically fill in the field. You can edit the text afterward.8. Set Up Notification Summaries
Do you hate having to wade through lots of notifications? iOS 15 helps you by distilling notifications from the most important apps on your iPhone.9. Chat With Anyone Using FaceTime
With iOS 15, friends and contacts with non-Apple gear can easily participate in FaceTime calls. Just send them a link, and they should be able to join via any desktop or mobile web browser. Just tap that Create Link button on FaceTime to get started.10. Use Siri Offline
The next time you lose internet connectivity, don’t forget to keep using Siri. It now works offline for queries that don’t require data fetching from online sources. Because of that, it’s also significantly faster.
Learn how to set up and configure Siri on iPhone if you haven’t already.11. Translate Text Anywhere
In iOS 15, you don’t have to use the stock Translate app to translate text from other apps. Instead, you get to do that natively within any app! So, for example, if you want to translate a message in the Messages app, simply long-press and tap Translate. You can also translate select portions of text in Safari.12. Use iCloud Private Relay
If you pay for iCloud storage, iOS 15 automatically upgrades you to iCloud+. Chief among its perks is the ability to mask your IP address and encrypt data using a feature called iCloud Private Relay.13. Check Image Details in Photos App
Ever felt the need to check an image’s metadata? Apple’s latest system software makes that ridiculously easy, unlike previous iOS iterations where you had to rely on third-party apps.
Just swipe up an image in the Photos app to check out the details. You can also tap Adjust to change the image’s time and location if you want.14. Hide Your Email
When subscribing to websites and services, you don’t have to risk giving away your email ID. Instead, you can create a random email that then forwards messages to the address tied to your Apple ID. It’s straightforward to set up and use.15. Use Tag and Smart Folders in Notes
When using the Notes app on iPhone, iOS 15 lets you insert tags into your notes. You will find a new Tags section within the Notes app’s main screen that then helps you filter notes by tags. That makes managing notes incredibly easier, so don’t forget to use them.
Tags aside, Notes also supports Smart Folders. These are essentially folders that continuously update themselves based on predefined tags. Tap the New Folder icon on the screen’s bottom-left and select New Smart Folder to create your first Smart Folder.16. Use Tags and Smart Lists in Reminders
Like with Notes, the iOS 15 version of the Reminders app also lets you add tags to your to-dos. It even introduces Smart Lists that filter tasks by tags and other criteria—Date, Time, Location, etc. Just tap the Make into Smart List option while creating a new list to get started.17. Receive Separation Alerts
If you use multiple Apple devices, you can set up the Find My app to notify you if you leave any behind—e.g., your iPad. First, open the Find My app and tap Devices. Then, select a device, tap Notify When left Behind, and turn on the switch next to Notify When Left Behind.
Don’t forget to set up a safe location for each device by tapping New Location under the Notify Ne, Except At section.18. Use Tab Groups in Safari
If you already have several tabs open, tap the New Tab Group from xx Tabs option to add them instantly to a new group.19. Live Translate in Translate App
iOS 15’s Translate app comes with a significant upgrade to Conversation mode. It performs translations automatically without you or the other person tapping the Microphone icon all the time. Select the More icon (three dots) within the Conversation tab and tap Auto Translate to activate the functionality.20. Auto-Fill Verification Codes
Your iPhone’s built-in password manager lets you conveniently auto-fill passwords. But things aren’t as seamless with sites that require additional authentication. Thankfully, with iOS 15, you can autofill verification codes as well.21. Skip Silence in Voice Memos
Voice recordings with long pauses can be annoying. Thankfully, you get to skip those parts automatically with the Voice Memos app in iOS 15. Just tap the Options icon beneath any recording and turn on the switch next to Skip Silence.22. Drag and Drop System-Wide
iOS 15 lets you drag items system-wide on the iPhone desktop-style. So, for example, if you want to copy a photo to an email draft, just drag it with a finger, switch apps with another finger, open the draft, and release it!23. Zoom Stuff With Magnifier
You don’t have to dig around for your magnifying glasses anymore whenever you want to look at something tiny. iOS 15 comes with a new Magnifier app that lets you quickly zoom in on stuff. Of course, the iPhone enhances the image digitally, so expect things to be a bit blurry.24. Use Spotlight on the Lock Screen
With iOS 15, you don’t have to enter the Home Screen to start using Spotlight. Instead, just swipe down the Lock Screen to invoke it immediately. That makes searching for and opening apps, websites, and files even faster.25. Drag and Drop Apps from Spotlight
Moving apps between multiple Home Screen pages can be tedious. That’s where iOS 15’s Spotlight proves to be helpful. Just search for an app and drag it out into the Home Screen.26. Change App Text Size
In iOS 15, you can change an app’s text size. To do that, open the Settings app and go to Control Center. Then, add the Text Size control to the Control Center.
You can then use the Text Size control to manage the text size while viewing any app. Simply long-press the control and use the slider to adjust the text. Then, drag the slider from All Apps to [App Name] Only.27. Temporary iCloud Storage
If you’re about to upgrade to a new iPhone, iOS 15 makes the migration process more accessible by having you upload all data to iCloud without having to pay for the extra storage. You can then use the backup to set up the new iPhone within 21 days. Quite generous of Apple, right?Keep Digging Around
Google has pushed out a brand new streaming dongle—the Chromecast with Google TV. This new gadget was designed to be a one-stop solution for all your audio and video streaming needs, and it’s part Chromecast, part Android TV, with an extra layer of Google TV on top.
If you’ve never heard of it before, you’re not alone. Google TV is a more modern interface for Android TV, and acts as a second skin in the same way that Samsung and OnePlus have a customized version of Android on their mobile devices.
Google TV will also replace the Google Play Movies & TV app on Android and iOS. This means users will have one uniform video interface across all your devices, so you can access Google’s library, plus services like Netflix and Hulu, in the same place. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is—Google is now taking the same approach Apple did with Apple TV.
With this refreshed version of Android TV on board, the new Chromecast dongle can do more than its predecessors—it can run its own apps and sync its own content rather than relying on your phone, and it has its own separate remote.
Sit back, relax, and you’ll find there are plenty of cool features to explore with this new gadget.1. Install all of your apps
One of the ways Google TV improves on Android TV is bringing together movies and shows from across all the streaming services you’re signed up to, so you’ll see a mix of them in your recommendations and search results.
For this to work well though, you’ll need to install and sign into all of the apps you subscribe to. Scroll along the top navigation bar until you reach the Apps screen, then scroll through the categories or run a search for a particular app.
If you select a film or show that’s available on more than one of your streaming apps, Google TV gives you a choice in the Ways to watch button—you might be able to stream a film on Netflix, for example, or buy it directly from Google to watch whenever you want.2. Build up your watchlist
Your personal watchlist can be a helpful way to keep track of everything you want to watch across all of your streaming services. Select a title from anywhere in the Google TV interface, then choose Watchlist on the next screen to add it to your list.
Google allows this watchlist to follow you across devices, so when you search for a movie or TV show on the main Google search engine online, you’ll see a Watchlist option in the pane on the right. Anything you add from the web gets synced back to the watchlist on Google TV.3. Improve your recommendations
The best part? No more autoplay trailers. Google
Google TV throws up plenty of suggestions for stuff that it thinks you’ll like based on what you’ve watched in the past. To improve them, open up the listing page for a movie or show, then scroll right to the thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons to tell Google what you thought of it.
Note the Watched it? button as well—if you tell Google TV you’ve watched something, you won’t see it in your recommendations for what to watch next.4. Search with your voice
The Chromecast with Google TV comes with voice controls for accessing Google Assistant and finding new stuff to watch. Long press on the Assistant button on the remote (the one with colored spots), and speak out your search requests—ask for movies with Tom Hanks in them, funny American sitcoms, or movies from the 1960s.
If you can think of a query, the Google TV interface can probably understand it. If you need more help running a search, the filters at the top of the screen can help you narrow down the results further, and you’ll be able to see titles by genre or by date, for example.5. Carry on Chromecasting
All the focus on Google TV might make you forget that your new streaming dongle is still a Chromecast. But you can definitely still use your phone, tablet, or laptop to beam movies, music, and TV shows over to a bigger screen.6. Make the most of your remote
The Chromecast with Google TV is the first Chromecast to come with its own remote control, so you should learn how to use it. Open Settings by selecting your account profile picture (top right), then choose Display and sound, and enable HDMI-CEC so your TV turns on and off at the same time as the Chromecast dongle.
Your TV will need to support the feature, and you’ll also need to turn it on in your TV’s settings, but most sets now come with HDMI-CEC support and have it enabled by default. You might see it called something different, though—Samsung calls it Anynet+ for example, and Sony calls it Bravia Sync—but make sure to check your TV’s instructions if you’re not sure.
From the same settings panel, choose Remotes & accessories, then Set up remote buttons. That way, your Chromecast remote will also be able to control the volume level on your TV and switch TV inputs if needed.7. Rearrange the home screen
You’ll find a list of your installed apps on both the For you and Apps screens (selected at the top of the interface), but you don’t have to settle for the default order Google TV puts them in.
To move your favorite apps to the front of the list for easier access, highlight an app, then long press on the select button on the remote (in the center of the circle). You’ll then be able to choose Move and reposition the app.
When you copy or cut or move data, it is held temporarily in an invisible portion of memory. This is called the ClipBoard. The clipboard enables applications to transfer data or between applications or within an application. Windows XP had chúng tôi , referred to as the Clipboard Viewer or the ClipBook Viewer, which could be used to see what was saved on your clipboard. If you try to search for this exe file in Windows 11/10/8/7, you will be unable to find clipbrd.exe.How to open the Windows Clipboard
Well, one might wonder how they can access the Windows clipboard. Well, the answer to this is you cannot – but you can open the Clipboard History panel now, though. The Clipboard is a built-in function and only allows you to copy-paste a single value, be it texts or images. Every time you copy another value, the old one gets overwritten. Moreover, the Clipboard is also reset every time your PC reboots. It’s worth mentioning that you could view the clipboard in Windows XP and Windows Vista, but the functionality didn’t make it to Windows 11/10.
Read: How to use New and Improved Clipboard in Windows 11.A simple way to clear your clipboard?
Most of us end using the clipboard to copy-paste passwords/passphrases or even private keys. While this is not dangerous per say, not erasing your clipboard is not a safe practice. It is quite possible that someone might access your clipboard and get hold of the Clipboard history.
The best way to clear your clipboard history is to overwrite it. You can simply copy some gibberish text. Alternatively, you can also copy an image from a website.
But wait – there is another way! You can create a Desktop shortcut that will help you clear the clipboard.How to share your Clipboard Content?
What if you want to share the clipboard content? One way to do this is to copy-paste and use a messaging service or even an email. But that is simply a tedious thing to do. The best way is to use Team Viewer in order to access the Clipboard on your PC. This will also be useful when you want to access your clipboard remotely. The prerequisite for this to work is that both the PCs have to be turned on and of course they should be running Windows.
Open the Remote Desktop Connection by going to the Start Menu. Once opened head over to Local Resources. In this window, you will see a Tick box against “Clipboard.” Make sure the box is ticked. Now connect the same to the remote network.How to copy text in Plaintext formatting?
It is very common for us to copy things like quotes or other content to use it in our works. For instance, we at TheWindowsClub copy quotes from the Microsoft folks. However, most of the time we end up copying the formatting and this is sure to mess up things. Now, this is where a nifty little utility called Pure Text will come in handy.
With Pure Text you can copy the article without the rich formatting including bold, italics, underlining, tables, and other embedded objects. So what this utility does is that it removes all sorts of formatting. You can download Pure Text from the homepage.
If you are looking for a feature-rich clipboard manager, you want to take a look at these free Clipboard Manager software for Windows. They let you do a lot more!
Read next:How to use the Cloud Clipboard feature in Windows.
No, the new MacBook (and its single USB-C) isn’t for everyone
More controversial than the keyboard, more divisive than the battery life: the thing that’s causing the greatest number of arguments about the new Retina MacBook is its paucity of ports. A single USB-C on the left side of the notebook isn’t, as Vincent observed in our own review of the 2024 MacBook, a deal breaker, but not everyone is quite so ready to be convinced. It’s a legitimate concern, even if in the grand history of tech it’s not a new one.
Apple’s minimalism is partly a side-effect of trying to build the skinniest, most power-sipping laptop possible, and another part “Grand Scheme” thinking. Sure, a second USB-C – a technology which can handle not only data, but hook up displays and even charge the MacBook – would’ve been a nice addition, but that’s just how the Cupertino designers and engineers made it.
So, you live with it, or you buy something else.
Living with it involves dongles and adapters, at least during the transition period. I’m not so worried about cost per-se – since USB-C is an industry-wide standard, not something any one company controls, I don’t have concerns of price-gouging – and I think that the standardization means we’ll see faster adoption than, say, Lightning or even Thunderbolt.
Dongles may not be the most elegant aspect of mobile computing, but in many ways they’re unavoidable. I currently carry around a 15-inch MacBook Pro, and always have a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter in my bag: sure, most of the time WiFi is sufficient, but there’ll occasionally be a point where a wired connection is faster, more practical, or simply the only option.
Am I ready to do the same for the outgoing USB port? At first glance it’s hard to imagine, though when I really think about it, there’s a limited number of things I’m found commonly plugging in. USB sticks and an SD card from my camera are probably the most frequent.
On the desktop, meanwhile, I rely on an iMac rather than plugging my MacBook Pro into an external monitor. Dropbox and other cloud services keep all of my files up to date across both machines. If I use a mouse, it’s Bluetooth not wired.
Most galling then, personally speaking, is the fact that Apple doesn’t include even the USB-C to USB adapter in the box. That seems a little miserly, to ask an extra $19 on top of a $1,299+ laptop, when it’s frankly impossible to imagine any MacBook buyer not needing to plug at least one old-school USB device in.
After all, right now there’s no such thing as a USB to Lightning cable, so even Apple’s own phones and tablets need a dongle if you’re not content with a wireless link.
Am I a niche user considering a laptop made for niche users? Certainly. For me, a dongle or two in my bag is preferable to a heavier computer overall. I’m not saying that’ll be the case for you, but I can weigh the compromises involved and decide that, like giving up on optical media, I’m at a place where I can make the leap to USB-C and all that entails.
Make no mistake, though, this is the direction Apple is headed, and other products will only fall in line in future. Just as earlier Macs did away with optical drives, and slimmed the number of ports down in favor of multifunctional ones like USB, so the chase for “one socket to rule them all” is almost certain to spread across the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and onto the desktop.
Is the new MacBook the laptop for you? Possibly not if, as Vincent pointed out, you have a bag or desk full of legacy devices you want to hook up. The lessons Apple learns from it will proliferate through the Mac range, though; USB-C specifically is meanwhile showing up on machines from other manufacturers already, so even if you’re not an OS X fan it’ll be something you need to consider eventually.
Early adoption isn’t for everybody. Neither is it always headache or compromise free. It’s the reason why the new MacBook sits alongside – rather than replacing – the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro: some people will buy it, but nowhere near every Mac lover. Happily, a little patience and many more will get to enjoy the fruits of Apple’s research.
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