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How to use iMessage: The ultimate guide

How to use iMessage: The ultimate guide

iMessage is the name of Apple’s proprietary instant messaging (IM) service that lets you send and receive free text, photo, video, and audio messages from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac to any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Not only does iMessage let you send free simple messaging service (SMS)-style and multimedia messaging service (MMS)-style messages, but also create and manage group messages, share location instantly, temporarily, or persistently, and more. Here’s everything you need to know about iMessage!

How to set up, configure, and secure iMessage

How to set up, configure, and secure iMessage

iMessage is super easy to start using right out of the box but you’ll need to configure a few things first. Whether you’re on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac you’ll only have a few steps to complete before you’ll be sending all kinds of content via iMessage. The process may be slightly different depending on what device you’re setting up so make sure to check out our guides on getting it configured.

How to turn on read receipts in iMessage

How to send Voice Memos with iMessage

Read receipts allow your contact to see whether or not you’ve viewed a message yet. While some people may consider read receipts to be a bit stalker-ish, others may find them useful for work and business situations.

How to quickly reply to an iMessage using interactive notifications

How to use quickly reply messaging in iMessage

Ever get an iMessage or text from someone while you’re in the middle of doing something? We all have and we’ve all faced the dilemma of pausing our game or interrupting another activity in order to hop into the Messages app to respond. Luckily, if you’re running iOS 8 or higher, you can respond to a message without having to close out of what you’re doing.

How to mute individual conversation threads with iMessage

How to mute individual iMessage threads

There are times when we need to receive some notifications but not others. Perhaps you’re waiting for an important text from your boss but don’t really feel like receiving notifications from others at that moment, or a certain person just won’t stop messaging you. Since Do Not Disturb extends to message threads as well, you can do just that. Simply silence the threads you don’t want notifications for and the others will continue to alert you like they normally would.

How to leave a group message with iMessage

How to leave group messages with iMessage

Sometimes muting a message thread just isn’t enough. Ever been stuck in an annoying group message you just can’t seem to get out of? We’ve all been there and wished that just deleting the thread would make the madness stop. Luckily, if you and everyone in the thread are running iOS 8 or higher, you can now leave a group message at your own discretion.

How to send photos using iMessage

How to send photos using iMessage

More often than not, your iPhone is always on you which means you probably use it to capture a lot of moments. You’ll most likely want to share them with friends and family. iMessage makes it super simple to do so and you can use it on any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. If the other person isn’t using iMessage, they’ll just receive a standard SMS (messaging rates will apply). Whether you want to share pictures from your iPhone or from iPhoto on your Mac, we can help you start sharing your images in no time.

How to quickly delete multiple images at once with iMessage

How to quickly delete images and attachments in iMessage

iMessage is a great way to share photos and videos quickly with others. Unfortunately that also means it can be a huge storage hog if you let it. So if you have threads with certain people that you know you share lots of files with, it’s a good idea to go through occasionally and clean them out. Luckily, it’s a pretty easy task if you use the attachments section of an iMessage thread.

How to send videos using iMessage

How to send videos using iMessage

iMessage works with other iOS devices and Macs to let you easily send all kinds of content without paying your carrier for a special messaging plan (data rates will still apply if you aren’t on Wi-Fi), including any videos you’ve recorded on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. iMessage is built right into the same Messages app and Share Sheet that sends SMS and MMS to your non-iPhone using friends, so you don’t have to do anything extra to use it either.

How to send photo and video selfies with iMessage

How to quickly send a photo or video selfie with iMessage

Sending a selfie photo or video from your iPhone or iPad is literally just a swish and a flick away if you’re running iOS 8 or higher. Just hold down on the camera icon and flick your photo or video away when you’re done. You can even use the same mode to quickly take photos and videos using the rear facing camera too!

How to send voice messages with iMessage

How to send a voice message with iMessage

Sometimes we can’t always type a response to an iMessage when we need to. But if you absolutely have to respond, you could always send a voice message in its place. Not only is it easy, it takes half the time that typing out a long text string would take. And the person on the other side can just raise their iPhone to their face in order to listen, it’s that easy!

How to quickly share your location using iMessage

How to share your location with iMessage and iOS 8

Since iMessage is one of the easiest ways to communicate from your iPhone or iPad, it makes sense to use it for location data. As of iOS 8, you can share your location with any iMessage contact or group for a specific period of time, or indefinitely. That way people can easily get directions to your location and even send you directions on how to get somewhere, without ever even needed your actual address.

How to send contact cards using iMessage

How to send contact cards using iMessage

iMessage, and even traditional SMS makes it super simply to quickly send contact information from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. As long as you have the information listed in your iOS Contacts app, you’re always only a few taps away from sharing a vCard file (vcf) containing phone numbers, email, street addresses, and much more.

How to send map locations using iMessage

How to send map locations using iMessage

You can quickly share your location with friends, family, and colleagues using iMessage. Whether you’re lost or need someone to give you directions, or you’re waiting and want to help someone find you, iMessage is as simple as hitting the share button and sending. The person on the other end will be sent your location instantly.

How to send Voice Memos with iMessage

How to send Voice Memos with iMessage

The iPhone and iPod touch have a built-in Voice Memo app that can be handy for recording lengthy thoughts or instructions. Whether you need to dictate instructions to someone or want to share lecture notes from a class, iMessage makes it easy. Once they receive it they’ll be able to play it directly through the Messages app.

How to report iMessage spam to Apple

How to report iMessages spam to Apple

If you receive and unwanted iMessage, you can report them to Apple by sending a screenshot of the message, the sender’s email address or phone number, and the date and time that the message was received. It’s a great way to take back control of your communications!

How to block iMessage on the iPhone or iPad

How to block phone calls, FaceTime calls, and Messages from someone in iOS 7

If you’re getting harassed, spammed, stalked, or otherwise subjected to unwanted iMessages, you can block the person and preventing them from contacting you again. It’s like an infinite iPhone or iPad time out for jerks. And best of all, it’s easy to do.

How to block iMessages on the Mac

How to block a contact through iMessage and FaceTime in OS X

If you’re being stalked, spammed, pranked, or otherwise abused over iMessage, you can block that contact and prevent them from bothering you ever again, even on your Mac. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s oh-so-gratifying. If there’s an especially annoying someone you’ve been waiting to ignore, here’s how to do it!

How to turn off iMessage if you stop using your iPhone

How to deactivate iMessage before switching to BlackBerry, Android, or Windows Phone

If, for whatever reason, you stop using your iPhone and are forced to use a regular cellphone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, or Android phone, there are some steps you need to take to make sure the iPhone friends you leave behind can still reach you. iMessage works by routing iPhone-to-iPhone messages through Apple’s servers instead of sending them as actual text messages. Unfortunately, unless you tell it to stop doing this, iMessage has no way of knowing you’ve left, at least until it times out after a couple weeks, and that’s beyond frustrating. Luckily, deactivating it is easy. Here’s how!

How to fix issues with regular texts on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

How to fix issues with regular texts on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

If you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus and you can only receive blue bubble iMessages and not green bubble regular SMS messages, you aren’t alone. That’s why we have some troubleshooting steps to help you get things in working order again!

How to get more help with iMessage

If you need more help setting up, using, or trouble-shooting iMessage on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Mac, head on over to our iMessage forum and ask away!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

How to Change the iMessage Phone Number on iPhone

How to Change the iMessage Phone Number on iPhone

One of the best examples of Apple’s integration with almost all of its devices is iMessage (besides iCloud). Although iMessage is also known to go berserk often, it’s one of the most popular tools a lot of people use.

When you change your carrier, or when you change the number with the same carrier, you will have to re-register with iMessage in order to get it working with the new number. As a few people face issues in this process, we wanted to look into the right way of doing things. So here’s to all of you who’re looking to change your iMessage phone number.

How to Change the iMessage Phone Number on iPhone

1. Turn off iMessage: The first thing you need to do is to turn OFF iMessage. To do this:

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll down and tap on Messages
  • Switch OFF iMessage

The reason you’re turning OFF iMessage is so as to re-send an SMS activation for iMessage which tells Apple your new number.

2. Power down and wait: Usually, people jump to step #3 from here and it works. But for a good measure, power down your device and wait 5-10 mins before proceeding to the next step.

3. Edit your phone number detail: Once you’ve rebooted the iPhone after step #3, check if Phone number details on your iPhone reflect the new number. They usually do but just to be sure.

Go to Settings → Phone and make sure “My Number”  reflects your new number. If not, edit this.

Also, make sure the time & date settings in your iPhone are set to automatic. (they can be found in Settings → General → Date & Time)

4. Turn On iMessage again: Now, just head over to the Messages settings and turn on iMessage.

  • This should usually send an SMS to Apple’s servers. (it happens in the background).
  • iMessage should be activated now for the new number. How to check this? Next step.

5. Check ‘Send & Receive As’

In the “Send & Receive as” field, you should see your new number ticked and grayed out. If this field is empty or has your old number, it means the process did not go as expected and you’ll need to repeat it.

If it shows your new number, you’re set.

There are a bunch of issues surrounding iMessage and you can check out our troubleshooting guide here.  Once you’ve changed your iMessage number, you might want to reset things on other devices also (although it should work just fine and automatically since iMessage works over the cloud). Nevertheless, if you’re setting up iMessage on multiple devices, be sure to check this tutorial.

iOS and OS X: Link your phone number and Apple ID for use with FaceTime and iMessage – Apple Support

Use iMessage and FaceTime with multiple devices

Learn how to set up iMessage on multiple devices. The same steps apply when you set up FaceTime.

  1. Sign in to an Apple ID on your iPhone. You will see all addresses verified with the account.
  2. Tap an address to enable it on the device. The telephone number will be dimmed when you view these settings on an iPhone.
  3. If you don’t want to use iMessage with your iPhone telephone number, tap Settings > Messages and turn iMessage off.

  4. You can sign in to the same Apple ID on another device. These images show the iMessage settings on an iPad and OS X using the same Apple ID.


    OS X:

    After signing in to the Apple ID on another device, the iPhone will receive a notification. The notifications below explain that you used the Apple ID and phone number with iMessage on a MacBook Pro. You will receive a notification for every address or phone number you enable on each additional device.

Unlink a phone number

To remove a phone number from an Apple ID, sign out of FaceTime and Messages on your iPhone:

  • Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. Tap your Apple ID, then tap Sign Out.
  • Settings > FaceTime. Tap your Apple ID, then tap Sign Out.

This should remove your phone number from other devices using the same Apple ID with FaceTime and Messages. If the phone number is still available on other devices after you sign out of FaceTime and iMessage on the iPhone, you may need to sign out of iMessage and FaceTime on all your devices, then sign in to FaceTime and Messages again on devices you want to use.

Note: If you no longer have access to the iPhone that is using the number you want to remove, reset your Apple ID password.

Troubleshooting Apple Music: The Ultimate Guide

Troubleshooting Apple Music: The Ultimate Guide

Running into trouble with Apple Music, iCloud Music Library, or iTunes Match? You’ve come to the right place.

While Apple’s music subscription services offer a lot of great features—streaming songs from your library or the Apple Music collection on any device, or rocking out to Beats 1—they have some quirks, too. If you’ve run into a problem with Apple Music, iTunes Match, or iCloud Music Library, we’ve probably found a fix for it—and we’ve assembled all those fixes here in our troubleshooting guide.

Subscriptions and data | iTunes Match and DRM | iCloud Music Library | Find your music

Subscriptions and data

Want to try Apple Music but don’t want to be charged on September 30? Here’s how to turn off the automatic subscription renewal.

Apple Music offers two different plans for its users—a $9.99 individual plan and a $14.99 family plan that supports up to six Family Sharing accounts (or devices connected concurrently on one account).

If you started on one plan but want to switch mid-subscription, or want to leave a Family sub-account to start off on your own, here’s how to go about it. Don’t worry: From my testing, you shouldn’t lose your Apple Music library, likes, or data when switching between accounts.

Family plans seem to be a big point of confusion surrounding the Apple Music launch. How do you set it up? What log ins do you need? What do families share? After digging through Reddit threads, Twitter, and Apple’s support documentation, here’s what you need to know.

With access to millions of songs, Beats 1’s live streaming radio, and your own tracks uploaded to iCloud Music Library, it’s pretty easily to run up a big cellular data bill on your iPhone or iPad while enjoying Apple Music. If you’re worried about running out of data this month, here are a few tweaks and fixes you can try.

iTunes Match, matched tracks, and DRM

Yes, Apple Music has a DRM component. Yes, it sucks, but it’s similar to every other streaming service. No, it does not overwrite the files on your Mac to make all your music DRM-laden. For those Googling in a panic, here’s the deal.

Whether you’re having trouble getting your iTunes Library to match tracks with the iTunes catalog, or you just bought Match and aren’t sure how to turn it on when you have Apple Music activated, here’s a quick fix to get you on the iTunes Match path.

With Apple Music introducing a new form of DRM for its streaming catalog and songs you’ve re-downloaded from your library, it’s easy to get nervous over which songs on your Mac are yours. Here’s a quick tip for seeing which is which.

Until iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan arrive in the fall, users are limited to just 25,000 non-purchased-from-iTunes songs in their iCloud Music Library. If you have more local tracks than that, though, don’t panic: You can still use iCloud Music Library. Here’s how to go about doing it.

If you had an iTunes Match subscription and ran into iCloud Music Library errors where your tracks were showing up as matching to the DRM-encumbered Apple Music catalog, looks like Apple has a fix for you in the form of iTunes 12.2.1.

iCloud Music Library

Apple Music and iTunes Match both offer access to iCloud Music Library, an uploading-and-matching service that lets you access all your Mac’s songs from up to 10 of your devices.

If you’d prefer not to use iCloud Music Library as part of your Apple Music subscription, however, here’s how to go about it.

Are there songs from your collection that got matched to the wrong Apple Music or iTunes Match track? Wrong album art? iTunes 4010 errors? If you’ve run into any of these, Apple’s cloud copy of your music might need to get dumped and resynchronized.

If you’ve got tracks that don’t seem to want to talk with iCloud, but you don’t necessarily want or need to reboot your entire iCloud Music Library, here’s how to fix it.

Whether Apple’s music services are hanging up on you while trying to sync, or your music isn’t showing up on your iPhone or iPad, here are some steps you can take to try and remedy your issue.

If you just updated to iOS 8.4 and Apple Music and are now getting an error stating “Cloud Music Library can’t be enabled”, you’re not alone. Here’s how you can get it to work… eventually.

Find music in your collection

Apple Music’s “Add to Library” button makes it devilishly easy to collect new music, which is awesome for listening to new tunes. But what about finding those songs? Here’s a quick couple of Smart Playlists you can make in iTunes on your Mac that will collect anything you’ve downloaded from Apple Music or downloaded recently.

If you’re using iTunes Match or Apple Music, you get all your Mac’s music on all your devices, including secondary Macs. If you’re not sure what songs you’ve downloaded locally versus what songs are being stored in iCloud Music Library, here’s a quick way to check.

Whether you’re not going to be connected to the internet, worried about cellular data usage, or you just want to see what music you have stored locally on your iPhone or iPad, here’s a quick and easy way to view those tracks (as well as how to remove them if you no longer want them stored on your device).

Still running into problems?

If these articles didn’t help fix your problem, don’t despair—let us know about it in the comments and we’ll look into it. If it’s something we can’t find a solution for, you can also contact Apple Support about your issue, or check out Apple’s Apple Music support guide.

Apple Watch – Apple Support

Update the software on your Apple Watch – Apple Support

Update the software on your Apple Watch

Use your iPhone to update the software on your Apple Watch.

Before you begin

To update the software on your Apple Watch, you’ll need to:

  • Make sure your Apple Watch has at least a 50 percent charge.
  • Connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi.
  • Keep your iPhone next to your Apple Watch to make sure they’re in range.

Update your Apple Watch

  1. Connect your Apple Watch to power, and keep it on the charger until the update is complete.
  2. On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app and tap My Watch > General > Software Update.
    My Watch tab in Apple Watch App on iPhone
  3. If asked for your iPhone passcode or Apple Watch passcode, enter the passcodes. 
  4. Wait for the Apple logo with progress bar to appear. When the update finishes, your Apple Watch will restart.
     Software update in progress
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Set up your Apple Watch

Set up your Apple Watch

To get started with your Apple Watch, pair and sync it with your iPhone.

     Set up and pair your Apple Watch

Before you begin

  • To use your Apple Watch, you’ll need to pair it with an iPhone 5 or later running iOS 8.2 or later. You can pair one Apple Watch to your iPhone at a time.
  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth and make sure Bluetooth is on.
  • Make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network.
  • Turn on your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button next to the Digital Crown until you see the Apple logo.
  • Make sure both devices are charged, and keep them close together as you pair and sync them.

Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

Then tap a language on your Apple Watch. You can scroll through the list by rotating the Digital Crown or swiping the screen.

Pair your devices.

Tap Start Pairing on your Apple Watch and again on your iPhone. A pairing animation should appear on your Apple Watch.

Hold your iPhone over the pairing animation on your Apple Watch.

Center the watch face in the onscreen viewfinder on your iPhone until a message says Your Apple Watch is Paired.

If you don’t see the pairing animation or if your iPhone doesn’t read it, you can follow steps to pair your devices manually.

Line up Apple Watch in iPhone viewfinder during set up

Set up and pick a wrist.

On your iPhone, tap Set Up as New. If you’ve set up once before, you can tap Restore from Backup on your iPhone and follow onscreen steps to get to the Wrist Preference screen. Pick a wrist by tapping Left or Right on your iPhone. Then read terms and conditions and tap Agree to continue.

Enter your Apple ID password.

You’ll need to sign in with your Apple ID password to enjoy features like Digital Touch, Apple Pay and Handoff.

Review your settings.

Your iPhone settings for Usage and Diagnostics, Location Services, and Siri will transfer to your Apple Watch, and the other way around. So if you change the settings of these services, those changes will apply to both of your devices.

Make a Passcode.

On your iPhone, choose whether to make a passcode for your Apple Watch. You’ll need a Passcode for features like Apple Pay.

If you tap Create a Passcode or Add a Long Passcode on your iPhone, you’ll be asked to make a personal code using your Apple Watch. Then decide whether your Apple Watch will unlock with your iPhone.

Make a passcode for Apple Watch during set up

Sync your apps.

Tap Install All to sync iPhone apps that work with Apple Watch. Only apps that are compatible with Apple Watch will sync. Tap Choose Later to sync only basic information like Mail, Contacts, and Messages.

Your iPhone and Apple Watch will begin to sync. The length of this process varies depending on the amount of data you’re syncing. Keep your devices close together until you hear a chime and feel a gentle tapping sensation from your Apple Watch.

Install All iPhone apps to your Apple Watch or Choose Later to install manually

If you need to pair your devices manually

After you’ve put on Apple Watch, chosen a language, and tapped Start Pairing on both devices, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Pair Apple Watch Manually on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the info icon   on your Apple Watch. Your device’s name should show up on the watch face.
  3. On your iPhone, tap the device name that matches the one you see on your Apple Watch display.
  4. A six-digit code will appear on your Apple Watch. Enter that code on your iPhone to pair the two devices. Then follow steps to Set Up.

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OS X Yosemite and trim support: What is it and should you use it?

OS X Yosemite and trim support: What is it and should you use it?

If you’ve upgraded your Mac with a third-party solid state drive, a new Terminal command in 10.10.4 may improve performance.

OS X Yosemite has been updated to version 10.10.4 and with it Apple has surfaced a trim command in Terminal. Trim enables more efficient “garbage collection” on Macs equipped with some third-party solid state drives (SSDs). Not all SSDs are created equal, though, and that raises some issues to consider before you pull the trim trigger.

Let me point out right off the top that if you’re using a Mac with built-in SSD storage, none of this applies to you. Trim support in 10.10.4 is only relevant to Macs with upgraded third-party SSD. And even then, trim may only be relevant to a subset of those Macs.

“Trimming” is a technique used by operating systems to do “garbage collection” on an solid state disk. Trimming enables the SSD to consolidate blocks of flash memory to make sure performance remains high. Without garbage collection, an SSD can slow down over time as more data is written to the drive.

If you bought your Mac with an SSD factory-installed by Apple, you don’t have to worry. First party SSDs do their own garbage collection, so no changes are necessary for those systems. Third-party SSDs equipped with SandForce controllers, like the ones sold by Other World Computing (OWC), don’t need any help, either.

With Mavericks and previous OS X releases, some Mac users who had upgraded their computers with third-party SSDs used Trim Enabler and other tools to get trim support to work on their drives. That went away with the release of Yosemite, which enforced a new security measure called “kext signing.” Kernel extensions, or kexts, are system drivers. Kext signing makes sure system drivers stay unaltered to prevent potential security problems. Unfortunately, this meant that utilities which altered the way SSD drivers work stopped working on Yosemite.

While kext signing is still Yosemite’s law of the land, 10.10.4 introduces a new “trimforce” command that enables trim on SSDs. OS X 10.10.4’s new “trimforce” command is entered through the Terminal:

sudo trimforce enable

The operating system barks back a long and potentially scary message about how using trimforce may cause “unintended data loss or data corruption” before turning it on.

The problem is that not all SSDs implement trim support the same way, and some models from some manufacturers appear to have very buggy trim implementations all together.

So why did Apple enable this? Well, it looks like this is an early implementation of something we expected in El Capitan, but many newer third-party SSDs don’t have any trouble with trim support and will benefit from it, so it’s a net positive.

Again, if you’re using a Mac equipped with a factory-installed SSD or one that uses an SSD that has a SandForce controller, this doesn’t apply. If you’re using a third-party SSD, use this command at your own risk. I’d strongly recommend checking with user support forums and any other online resources for your SSD maker before enabling trimforce on your Mac, and whatever you do, back up early and often.

How To Access The WiFi Scanner In Mac OS X Yosemite – Let’s Talk Tech


Changing your WiFi channel can be the difference between a stable connection for your devices, and a connection that makes you want to pull your hair out.

Mac OS X Yosemite already has a WiFi scanner to help you find the best WiFi channel, but like in OS X Mavericks, Apple have made it sort of tricky to find.

Here’s how to find the WiFi scanner in OS X Yosemite:

Step 1: Open Wireless Diagnostics

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 16.37.42

Hover over the WiFi icon in your OS X menu bar, hold down the Option key ⌥ (next to the CTRL key) and click the icon. This will show you a secret dropdown menu where you’ll find Open Wireless Diagnostics — click on that.

Step 2: Open “Scan” Window

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 16.38.33

Once you’ve opened up the Wireless Diagnostics window, head over to the top left of your menu bar and click on Window, then Scan.

Step 3: Find The Best WiFi Channel For You

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 16.38.54

After opening up the Scan window, you’ll find a summary of the wireless networks in range. On the left pane, you’ll find a breakdown of the wireless channels you’re currently using, and the recommended channels you should be using.

Now you’ll need to log into your router via your web browser, and adjust the wireless channel there.

Good luck, and let me know down in the comments if this article helped!