You may not know this... but there are several websites and technology-related tips and tricks out there that can totally simplify your daily routine and make your life much easier in general.
For instance, Apple's charging cords for iOS devices and Macs tend to fray after a few years of wear, which means you'll have to spend money every few years to replace them (unless you don't care about them catching fire and ruining everything you own and love). Well, we know a nifty hack that'll prevent your Apple cords from fraying in the first place. We're not even kidding.
In fact, we know 52 different hacks - and every single one of them will either blow your mind or make you wonder how you ever survived this long without them. Here's another example: Want to find a direct download to any movie? Instead of using a torrent program, we know a simple Google search trick.
If you're interested in saving your Apple cords, finding direct download links to movies, and so much more, browse the list below.
Best tech life hacks
DYI cord/cable holder
LEGO mini-figs are perfectly shaped to hold your Apple lightning cords and other cables. Just stick a LEGO brick on your work desk, then attach a mini-fig, and run your cords through its hands. Yeah, you can thank us later.
Download YouTube videos
You can download any YouTube video just by typing "ss" before the "youtube" part of a video's URL link in your address bar. Here's an example for Justin Bieber's Sorry music video:
Original - www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRh_vgS2dFE
Download - www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=fRh_vgS2dFE
Not only can you choose from different file types but also any resolution up to the original quality. Just remember downloading copyrighted content from the internet is illegal.
Download audio from YouTube videos
You can download audio from any YouTube video too. Just put "listento" before the "youtube" part of a video's URL link in your address bar. Here's an example for Justin Bieber's Sorry music video:
Original - www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRh_vgS2dFE
Download - www.listentoyoutube.com/watch?v=fRh_vgS2dFE
You can even choose from different file types. Just remember downloading copyrighted content from the internet is illegal.
QR codes grant access to Wi-Fi networks
“Hey, what’s your Wi-Fi password?”
Either you have asked this or a friend has asked this of you, but now, instead of handing over your password or setting up a guest network, you can direct their attention to a QR code. Simply head to this website, then enter your Wi-Fi details, and a QR code will be generated. This QR code grants access to your Wi-Fi network.
You can print it off and then stick it anywhere in your house for a friend to scan whenever they visit.
Find 'nearby' Wikipedia pages
Ever want to know more about your neighborhood? Wikipedia has a Nearby tool that surfaces a host of different pages about places and things nearby you. Just go to this site, give your permission for it to access your location, then you’ll see a list of Wikipedia articles based on where you are located. Amazeballs.
Search YouTube without going to YouTube
Searching YouTube has never been easier than it is with this trick: when using the Google Chrome browser, you can type YouTube.com into your address bar, then hit tab, and search YouTube directly from your address bar. Gone are the days of actually going to YouTube to find something.
View a 'TV' version of YouTube from your desktop
We all love a distraction-free, clutter-free viewing experience when using the web from a desktop computer. Well, you'll be glad to know YouTube has a "TV" desktop site that lets you play videos without seeing all the junk on normal YouTube pages, such as comments. Just go here to access it.
Make a font from your handwriting
This one is for the font junkies out there... A website called Myscriptfont.com can convert your own handwriting into a typeface you can download to your computer and universally use. There are actually several different ways to convert your handwriting into font, but we think this one is among the easiest.
Shortcut for pausing a YouTube video
We think little tricks are fun, too. For instance, when you press ‘K’ while watching a video on YouTube, it will pause or play the video. How neat is that? And it works regardless of where you clicked last on the page.
Hide people on Twitter without blocking them
Twitter's mute button is a little-known trick that is severly understated. It allows you to keep following an account but hides its tweets and retweets from your timeline. It’s a simple way to rid a person from your Twitter without unfollowing them and thus offending them. They'll never know when you mute them! Just click on the cogwheel to the right of somebody’s profile, and then select mute. Easy peasy.
Remotely log out of Facebook
Privacy tips are always worth a mention, especially when it comes to Facebook, considering everyone and their mother uses the social network. Have you ever checked Facebook on a strange device and then realised you forgot to log out? Never fear - you can log out still, remotely. Go to the “settings” drop-down menu on your Facebook, then select “security”, and navigate to “when you’re logged in”.
From there, you can see all open sessions and and close any of them.
Get back to the Apple TV home screen...quickly!
Have you ever found yourself clicking through stuff to watch and realised you were 30 menus deep? Well, you're not alone, but instead of clicking the menu button on the remote a bunch of times to get back to the Apple TV home screen (like most people do), just long-press a single button. The menu button, actually. It's so obvious.
Now you can avoid getting the dreaded thumb-cramp.
Use Snapchat to take un-mirrored selfies
This one isn't too clever, but it's certainly useful: Everyone knows the iPhone un-mirrors your selfies, and because you're not used to seeing your face un-mirrored, you may not like your iPhone selfies. Well, there are workarounds. The simplest is with the Snapchat mobile app. It takes mirrored images, and then you can tap the down arrow after taking a selfie to save it directly to your camera roll.
You don't even have to snap the selfie after saving.
Take a selfie with your Apple headphones
Your Apple headphones double as a iPhone camera remote. To take a picture using your headphones, aim your phone, and then push the + button on the your Apple earbuds remote while the camera app is open. You can also use the play/pause button in the middle of the remote to start/stop recording video when in video mode.
Stream audio from Safari while using other apps
You can stream audio from websites (like YouTube or Soundcloud) in the background while using other mobile apps. All you have to do is play the song or video in Safari, then go to your homescreen, and swipe up from the bottom to access the Control Center. From there, press play. You'll then be free to multitask.
Use Preview to create a digital signature
If you have a digital document you have to sign, now is the time to finally use the Preview app on Mac. Instead of printing off the documenting to sign, you can open the Tools menu in Preview, then choose Annotate > Signature > Manage Signatures, and a Signature Capture dialog box will appear. Simply use your mouse to draw a signature you can save/insert into any document.
Use Spotlight search as a calculator
You'll never have to use a calculator again with this trick - so long as you own a Mac: Use command (⌘) + space to perform quick calculations in Spotlight search.
Use emoji on desktops
If you thought emoji were limited to mobile devices, think again. You can use them on desktop, too.
For Mac: Press control+command+spacebar to get the emoji menu.
For PC: Windows 7 users can paste emoji from getemoji.com, while Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users can select Touch Keyboard, and then the smiley face on the bottom left.
Quickly dial back your last caller
Want to call back the last number you dialed or received a call from? The quickest way is to hit the call button on your phone. It'll dial back their number. There's no need to access your contacts or call lists.
Never hit the period key again
Who knew you never actually have tap the period key on a smartphone? All you have to do is hit the space bar twice for a period, and the next letter will be automatically capitalised too.
Use your keyboard to scroll on webpages
This trick might be well-known, but we thought it was still worth including: Use the space bar to scroll down on any webpage. You can even hold the shift key and the space bar at the same time to scroll up.
Easily look up word definitions on your Mac
Macs have a handy shortcut that'll let you look up word definitions in a split second. To look up a definition, highlight any word you see, then press command+control+D, and a dialog box with the info will appear.
Your headphones double as a mic
Need a microphone but don't want to spend money on one? Easy.
Grab any pair of headphones lying around, then plug them into the microphone jack, and start talking. This isn’t exactly secret knowledge, but if you don't know about it, we think it'll blow your mind.
DYI cord protector
This is that hack we mentioned earlier for preventing your Apple charging cables and other cords from fraying: Grab the spring out of a ballpoint pen, then stretch it and wrap it around the part of the cord that tends to bend, and it'lll keep it straight forever, thus stopping it from wearing down over years.
Watch blocked Netflix movies
Netflix's streaming service blocks you from accessing content limited to certain countries and regions, but a free browser extension called Hola allows you to visit websites that are otherwise blocked in your country. Netflix subscribers can therefore use Hola to increase the catalogue they have access to on the web.
Quickly re-open a closed tab
If you just accidently closed out of an important tab in your browser, you can easily re-open it by pressing command+shift+t on a Mac or control+shift+t on Windows PC.
Find direct download links to music
To find a direct download link for music, search “[album or song name] -inurl:(htm|html|php|pls|txt) intitle:index.of “last modified” (mp3|wma|aac|flac)”.
It tells Google to show webpages that offer direct download links to the music you're trying to find. Here's an example for the album Straight Outta Compton:
Google search this phrase: straight outta compton -inurl:(htm|html|php|pls|txt) intitle:index.of “last modified” (mkv|mp4|avi)
Click one of the top links, such as this one, to get direct download links for the songs in the album.
Just remember downloading copyrighted content from the internet is illegal.
Find direct download links to movies
To find a direct download link to a movie, search “[movie name] -inurl:(htm|html|php|pls|txt) intitle:index.of “last modified” (mkv|mp4|avi)”.
It tells Google to show webpages that offer direct download links to the movie you're trying to find. Here's an example for A Clockwork Orange:
Google search this phrase: A Clockwork Orange -inurl:(htm|html|php|pls|txt) intitle:index.of “last modified” (mkv|mp4|avi)
Click one of the top links, such as this one, to get direct download links for the movie.
Just remember that downloading copyrighted content from the internet is illegal.
Know the best time to pee during a movie
This one is just plain funny... Download the RunPee app to your iOS, Android, or Windows device, and it'll tell you the best time to go to the bathroom while watching any movie so you won't miss an amazing scene or plot twist.
Find the cheapest place to stream a movie from
For those of you who are cable-cutters, you'll love this site: CanIStream.It tells you where any movie is available to stream - and at the lowest price too.
No internet? Play a game
When your internet connection goes out and the Google Chrome browser gives you an error page, press the spacebar to start a T-Rex game. At least you won't be bored while you wait to get online again.
Google can help you study
Whenever you need to study for an important exam in college or high school, just google “site:edu [subject] exam”, and then you’ll get links to tonnes of sample exams with solutions and everything.
Here's an example:
Google search this exact phrase: site:edu python exam
Click one of the top links, such as this one, to see a practice test.
Convert Wiki pages into books
You can render any Wikipedia page electronically in PDF, ZIM or OpenDocument format, or ordered as a printed book. This page shows you how to create a book from Wikipedia articles in four steps.
Use Siri to return a device to its owner
We've all seen dropped iPhones on the street or in a store. But did you know there is an easy way to discover who owns it? If you find a locked iPhone and Siri is still enabled, just ask Siri: “Who do you belong to?” You'll then see the owner’s name and contact information. Now go be a good samaritan.
Use Google to find your Android
Google offers an Android device manager that lets you find a lost or stolen device, but you can also Google “find my phone” to locate your Android device. Just remember you must be logged into the Google account associated with your Android.
Text mobile devices via email
Don't own a smartphone? Well, that's weird.
But anywho, you can still text mobile phones from your desktop. All you need is an email account and a person's phone number and carrier information. From there, use this site to look up the email address associated with their carrier. Just be sure to add their phone number to the address, and then you'll have an email adress for them that you can send texts to from your desktop.
Get coupon codes with Honey
Download the Honey add-on extension to your Chrome browser to instantly begin saving money. It automatically applies coupon codes during checkout at any online retailer. Woohoo!
Save money on Amazon with CamelCamelCamel
Here's another money-saving tip: If you use Amazon a lot, make sure you start taking advantage of a website called camelcamelcamel.com. Like, right now. It tracks products for you and alerts you when prices drop.
Convert YouTube videos to GIFs
Want to convert any YouTube video into a GIF? Just add “gif” before “youtube” in the URL link in your address bar. Here’s an example:
Original video - www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OVg8uov78I
GIF download - www.gifyoutube.com/watch?v=_OVg8uov78I
See if your email is involved in a data breach
Again, we love privacy tips.
So, we were delighted to hear about a website called HaveIBeenPwned.com. It checks if your email has been compromised in a data breach.
Easily close any online account
It's sometimes super annoying to close online accounts, as services will bury the option under settings and help menus. Well, say hello to a website called AccountKiller.com. It gives step-by-step guides on how to delete online accounts from popular websites.
Find the perfect username
Want to check whether a username is taken or available on popular sites? Just use Namechk.com. It even checks domain names.
Browse safely by checking sites first
Before visiting a suspicious site, Google “safebrowsing: [website name]”, and then select the link to this site to see a 90-day history of malware attempts on the site. Here's an example:
Google search this exact phrase: safebrowsing: Pocket-lint
Click the one for Google's Safe Browsing tool, and you should see this.
Go to bed at the ideal time
If you're an insomniac, you'll love a website called sleepyti.me. It helps you to calculate the best time to go to bed and wake up for optimal sleep. The idea is that waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle leaves you feeling tired and groggy, but waking up in between cycles keeps you refreshed and alert.
This site does the math for you - so you can wake up between cycles.
Determine how long a book will take to read
Those of you who are super efficient would probably like to know how long it'll take you to get through a specific book before you sit down to start reading it. Well, a website called HowLongToReadThis.com actually estimates time required to read any book. And it's very accurate, in our tests anyway.
Watch age-restricted YouTube videos without logging in
There is a way to watch any age-restricted YouTube video without signing into your account. Just add “nsfw” before “youtube” in the URL link in your address bar.
Here's an example:
Original video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LZM3_wp2ps
Non-restricted version: www.nsfwyoutube.com/watch?v=6LZM3_wp2ps
Turn your browser into a notepad
Need to write down something quickly?
You can open a notepad in your browser. Just type “data:text/html, ” into the address bar. Unfortunately, remembering what to enter probably takes just as much time as it would to open a note-taking app. But it's still a fun hack.
Compare the nutritional values of food
The health freaks out there will certainly love this trick: Google search “[food] vs [food]” to compare nutritional values between any two foods. We tried it with orange vs apple, for instance, and got this.
Unmask your password
When visiting a login page of any website, you can view masked passwords with a simple hack. Just right-click the password box, and then select "Inspect Element" to bring up the developer console. Find the line that starts with "input type=password", then change the word "password" to "text", and you will see your password.
This is handy hack should you think you're accidentally typing in a password wrong several times and want to check how you're typing it in the password field.
Add private channels to your Roku
Did you know there are unofficial channels you can install to your Roku player?
Private channels are not displayed publicly because they might have adult content, still be in beta, or maybe they're an unofficial third-party channel for a service without an app. You won’t find them when you browse the channel store, so you'll need to install them with a code or link.
Private channels can be added through the Roku website. Sign into your Roku account, then go to the My Account page, and select Add a Private Channelunder Manage Account. You can then enter the channel access code and select "Add Channel". You can find private channels to add through sites like channelstore.roku.com, RokuGuide.com, StreamFree.tv, and RokuChannels.tv.
Use WhatsApp on the web
WhatsApp isn't limited to your mobile phone.
There's a web app that syncs everything from your phone. If you have the Chrome browser installed on your computer, go to the WhatsApp Web page, scan the QR code, and follow the instructions for your phone. The web app doesn't work for iOS devices, but for all others, it'll serve up chats and alerts on your computer.
Get more colours to doodle with in Snapchat
You can snap a photo or video while on this screen, and then you can tap the Doodle icon (pencil symbol) in the top-right corner to access a colour picker in the form of a sliding rainbow bar.
Use your finger to select a colour, and then simply start drawing on your snap. If you want to access an additional colour palette, which many users are unaware about, including the colours white and black, drag your finger down from the slider, across the bottom, and back up.