Benefit from My Folly with these 3 Simple Tips for iPhone & Mac

In addition to the things I do for TMO, I also keep a personal blog. My blog mostly consists of tips for beginners and I enter things as I learn them or someone asks me a question. Sometimes things will go from a TMO column to the blog or from the blog to a column or only appear in one place. It just depends on what seems hot.

Some things garner so much interest that it seems prudent to cover them in both places, so that is what I am doing in this column. I put together three simple tips—two for iPhone and one for Mac—that I am hoping will allow you to benefit from the lessons of my own folly.

The first item in today's column in particular was of great interest and I get responses to it almost every day. Most tech savvy iPhone users probably take this one for granted, but judging by the response I got, there are lots of us who will find it useful.

The All Time Hottest Entry, With The Most Comments - Why Won’t My iPhone 5 Ring?

Here is what I wrote.

Ya know, some days you just feel like a doofus. There is not much you can do about it but go with the flow. Yesterday was my turn. Learn from my day and get a free pass on your own.

My iPhone 5 would not ring. It was set to ring in the system preferences. It would vibrate just fine, but the ring sound (in this case, the opening bars of Willie Nelson’s song "Texas") would not sound. I fiddled around with the settings, etc. because when it comes to the iPhone fiddling around is about the limit of my skill set. The sound worked perfectly on any game that offered sound. I could dictate with no problem and have it read back to me. So I gave in and asked one of my kids what I was doing wrong. I hate it when that happens.

It took all of, I don’t know, 2 seconds to solve it. I had to move a control indicator.

iPhone 5 ringer mute button

That little lever above the two volume control buttons is a mute button. If it looks like the image above then your ringer sound is on. If you see orange in that area, your ring volume—including your alerts—is off. This allows you to quickly turn off your ringer when you are somewhere where it is not appropriate for your phone to ring.

Incidentally, it will look a little different on other iPhone models, but the principle applies to the entire product line.

Since I frequently switch out phone cases as I am reviewing them for TMO, it is easy for me to push this lever without knowing it. (Official Excuse for Doofus Act).

The Blog Entry With The Most Hits In The Past Two Years

Here is what I wrote.

Do you know how to delete videos or movies from your iPhone?  It’s really hard to find any directions.  A few days ago I tried to sync my iPhone 4S and I got a message that it wouldn’t sync because it was too full.  What?

I don’t keep that much on my phone, says I.  I looked, and sure enough it was completely full.  I finally discovered the cause was a TV show I purchased to watch using my Apple TV.  Unfortunately for me, I used my phone to make the purchase and all the shows had also downloaded to my phone.

Note to self, don’t do that anymore.

So I think, no big deal, I’ll delete them all.  Ha!  Two hours later I finally found a little tidbit that gave me a hint.  It’s real easy—if you know how.

Open the video app on your phone and you will see any videos, shows, or movies you have stored.  For each one, put your finger over the area where the show is detailed and swipe your finger right to left.  If you're like me, it may take more than one try.  When you do it correctly, a red delete box will appear and you can tap that to delete the show.

Deleting movies or videos from an iPhone

That’s all it takes.

This entry resulted in a very helpful comment from a reader: If you haven't watched the video, swipe-to-delete won't work.

The Entry That I Want To Share Because It’s Such An Easy Mistake To Make

Here is what I wrote.

It was heart attack city for about an hour this afternoon. A 103 page, very complicated Pages document that I last opened three days ago wouldn't open this afternoon. Every time I clicked on it, I got something weird.

The document's file name was:  Part 1, Part A pages. When I clicked on it, I saw that it had been renamed: Part 1, Part A pages.cpgz. When I double clicked to open it, nothing happened. Nothing.

Albert Einstein said (something like) the definition of insane was doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I went insane seven times. Then I called AppleCare.

Can you tell what I did wrong?

There is a period missing between "A" and "pages" in the file name. The title of the document should have been Part 1, Part A.pages. As soon as I added the period I got my document back. When I double clicked on it now, it opened in Pages just like it was supposed to.

Here's the important part: this happened because I changed the name of the document and wasn't careful. This is an easy mistake to make, so be careful. 

Hopefully, these tips will help you benefit from my folly.