Have you explored your laptop? By that, I mean, thoroughly explore it to know the other things that it can do for you? If the answer is no, you’re in for a big surprise because your laptop can do so many other things.
Take a trip off the beaten track to some of the lesser-known features and options available to you—from expanding your screen space, to improving system security.
Let’s start. Did you know that your laptop can go dark? Yes, it can. Here’s how.
Dark mode is everywhere these days, pretty much, and Windows and macOS have joined in. Automatic dark-mode-on-a-schedule is arriving later this year in macOS Catalina, but on macOS Mojave you can enable it manually by opening System Preferences from the Apple menu, then choosing General and Dark.
Windows user? Click the settings cog on the Start menu, then select Personalization, Colors, and Dark (under the Choose your default app mode heading). These changes should affect both the operating system and the various apps running on top of it, at least in most cases.
For the gamers out there, I’m sure you already that it’s possible to stream games from your console to your laptop. The things is, your parents might not know about it. So, this is an FYI for parents out there who think their kids are always studying on their laptop.
Laptops have been able to stream games from a PS4 or Xbox One on the same wifi network for a long time (way before Google Stadia arrived).
Another awesome thing your laptop can do is that it can pin websites to the dock or taskbar.
As well as pinning apps to the dock or taskbar (delete as appropriate), you can also pin websites that you frequently visit for speedy access—a sort of upgrade to the bookmarking system already available in your browser.
Mac users can just drag down a URL from the address bar in Safari to the far right-hand side of the dock. If you’re on Windows, it’s most easily done from Microsoft Edge: Open the program’s menu then choose Pin this page to the taskbar. In the new Edge, it’s under More tools and Pin to taskbar.
Did you know that your laptop can also receive messages from your phone? Yes, it can!
This will be second nature if you own a Mac and an iPhone—all you need is the same Apple ID and the Messages app—but it’s also possible to send SMS messages from Android through the Your Phone app that’s part of Windows (search for it from the taskbar). Put the companion app on your Android device and you can read and send messages from the desktop.
If you need to send texts from Android on a Mac, the Android Messages web interface is probably your best option. When it comes to sending texts from an iPhone on a Windows laptop, you’re out of luck—but remember that WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Signal, and Telegram all have web or desktop apps.
You can also create multiple desktops on your laptop without having to buy another monitor.
You don’t need to invest in another monitor to give yourself more room in Windows or macOS, because you’ve got software options for doing this too. On macOS it’s called Spaces, and you can add one by hitting Ctrl+Up or swiping up with four fingers on the trackpad, then clicking the plus icon to the top right.
On Windows they’re just called multiple desktops, and you can add a new one by clicking the Task View button (to the right of the search box on the taskbar), then the New desktop button. Whichever platform you’re on, you can now give your open app and browser windows a bit of breathing space.
There also some animated wallpapers that you can use.
You’re not still using still, static wallpapers are you? Both Windows and macOS support dynamic, animated ones if you prefer: On macOS open the Apple menu then choose System Preferences, Desktop & Screen Saver, and Desktopphotos, then pick a Dynamic Desktop
You can also set up a DND or a Do Not Disturb mode on your laptop.
Do Not Disturb isn’t just for phones, it’s for laptops too. On Windows, click the cog icon on the Start menu, then choose System and Focus assist to configure how notifications and notification rules work—the mode itself can be launched from the Action Center (click the notification icon to the right of the taskbar to find it).
When it comes to macOS, open up the Apple menu, then choose System Preferences, Notifications, and Do Not Disturb to schedule the feature. Alternatively, hold down the Option key then click the notification icon (on the far right of the menu bar) to temporarily turn on Do Not Disturb until you turn it off again (or the clock turns midnight).
It’s also possible to annotate your screenshots with your laptop.
You’ve got a plethora of options when it comes to taking screenshots on Windows and macOS, but both Microsoft and Apple have now added annotation options to the native screengrabbing tools. Depending on what you want to do with your grabs, you might not need to use any other utility.
Copying between devices is also possible.
The humble clipboard isn’t restricted to just one device anymore. In Windows, click the settings cog on the Start menu, then go to System and Clipboard to sync your copying and pasting across multiple devices (linked by your Microsoft ID). You can also turn on the option for the clipboard to remember multiple items from here.
Over on macOS, the “Universal Clipboard” just works across every device that you’re signed into with your Apple ID—you don’t need to configure anything to get it working. Just make sure Allow Handoff is ticked under General in System Preferences (accessible from the Apple menu).
If you want a bigger screen, it’s possible to mirror your laptop to a wide screen. This is great especially if you want to want a movie.
If you want to get your Windows laptop display up on a big screen, you don’t necessarily need a cable. Open the Action Center (click the notification icon on the right of the taskbar), then choose Connect to see a list of all wireless devices supporting Miracast (like Roku dongles, for example). You can also cast the entire Windows desktop using the cast feature built into Chrome.
Over on macOS the protocol you have is AirPlay. Click the AirPlay button on the menu bar to see available Apple TVs and other compatible devices on the same network as you. Again, the Chrome browser can help here too: Click Cast from the Chrome menu, choose Cast desktop from the drop-down, and you can mirror your Mac display to any Chromecast or Chromecast-compatible screen.
The best thing that your laptop can do for you is to create text for your dictation.
To save you from typing, you can dictate text to your laptop too. On Macs, open the Apple menu then choose System Preferences, Keyboard, and Dictation to set this up. The default keyboard shortcut for turning dictation on is two presses of the Fn key, or you can choose Edit and Start Dictation from whichever app you happen to be in.
When it comes to Windows, dictation is set up through Ease of Access then Speech in Settings (click the cog icon on the Start menu to find it). Then it’s just a question of hitting Win+H whenever you want to dictate some text instead of typing it out.
There are a lot of things that your laptop can do. Hence, is the reason why your laptop becomes a trove of precious data. So, when it breaks down, chances are, you break down as well. There’s no need for you to break down.
While the breakdown of your laptop is inevitable, you can avoid a nervous breakdown by calling trained data recovery experts. They can recover data from all computer brands. So, when it comes to https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/laptop-data-recovery/, they’re the ones to call.
The blog post 11 Awesome Things You Laptop Can Do was first seen on Hard Drive Recovery Associates