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Whether it’s for work or personal use, having extra screen real estate opens up a world of possibilities. Regardless of the reasoning, if you connect an external monitor to your Mac computer, you can achieve more and face less limits than single-monitor setups.

In this post, we look at how to connect an external monitor to your Mac and show you how your iPad can be pressed into service. We also discuss what you’ll need before starting.

Before You Start: Find the Proper Dongles or Cables

Of course, you’ll need an external monitor at the bare minimum, thoughn the right cables or dongles will be necessary depending on the age of your Mac. A good HDMI cable is a necessity for Macs dated from around 2012, although some of these models use other connectors.

MacBooks with a built-in DisplayPort require their own compatible dongles and cables to connect to an external monitor.

A Thunderbolt cable will be necessary for any external monitor designed for a MacBook. USB-C connectors will of course need dongles to get everything hooked up.

Monitors compatible with Thunderbolt 3 are also a strong choice, as these cables will charge your laptop alongside when used as an external display. Apple has a handy guide to help you select the proper cable for your computer.

How to Connect an External Monitor to Your Mac

Assuming you have all the right cables, physically adding an external monitor is straightforward: plug it into the right port, and your monitor should mirror whatever is on your MacBook computer.

At this point, you’ll need to arrange the two displays so you can move from one screen to another. To do this, head to your “System Preferences,” either from the Apple logo in the toolbar or through a Spotlight search.

Mirror your display. This is great if you need more space without the need for multiple windows.

Use separate displays. If you uncheck the option to mirror displays, you can extend your desktop using the second monitor.

For optimal performance, the best positioning is to align the monitors the way they are physically positioned. If you have the external monitor in front of you and the MacBook to the right or left, arrange the displays that way by dragging the rectangles around until they are properly positioned.

Using the Sidecar Feature with Your iPad

An iPad might not be considered a traditional monitor, but since macOS Catalina, you’ve been able to use the Sidecar feature. This functionality enables the iPad to act as an additional display for your computer.

To make this work, you’ll need a supported macOS computer. You will also need an iPad running iOS 13 or greater. This includes the iPad Pro, the 6th generation iPad or later, the 5th-generation iPad mini, and the 3rd-generation iPad Air.

Setting up Sidecar is the same for both wireless and wired connections. Using a wired connection is as easy as using either a USB-C or Lightning cable to connect the two.

To enable Sidecar, make sure your iPad is on and near your MacBook. On the MacBook, look for the AirPlay button near the menu bar at the upper-right corner of the display.

From the drop-down menu here, you should see the iPad you wish to use as an external monitor.

In Conclusion

There’s always a reason to eke more screen space out of your setup. For some industries and applications, more space is vital. Connecting an external monitor to your Mac can extend your screen and give your projects room to breathe.

Tom Rankin

Tom Rankin is a quality content writer for WordPress, tech, and small businesses. When he’s not putting fingers to keyboard, he can be found taking photographs, writing music, playing computer games, and talking in the third-person.

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How To Copy Your Iphone Backups To An External Hdd

In this post, we’ll explain how you can copy your iPhone backup from a Mac to an external hard disk. 

Can you back up your iPhone directly to an external HDD?

No. macOS only allows you to backup contents from your iPhone to your Mac’s local storage. There’s no option to save these backups onto an external HDD directly but you can move existing backups from your Mac to your external storage at any time. Moving backups to external storage will help clear space from your Mac for future backups and other files. This way, you can store a bunch of your iPhone backups and use them to restore your device back to any of its previous states. 

Related: How to Backup iPhone on Mac

How to copy your iPhone backups to an external HDD

While macOS doesn’t offer you a way to create backups of your iPhone directly onto an external HDD, you can still copy the backups you’ve already created on your Mac and move them to another hard disk. The process involves connecting your iPhone wirelessly over Wi-Fi, finding the iPhone backup on your Mac, and then seamlessly transferring the data onto an external HDD. 

If you haven’t yet created a backup of your iPhone, the post we’ve linked below should help you get started. 

▶ How to Backup iPhone on Mac

Step 1: Pair your iPhone to Mac wirelessly

Before you can find your iPhone backup, you need to connect your iPhone to the Mac, so you can locate its backup location. While the easiest way to connect your iPhone to the Mac is via a wired connection, you may want to make it more convenient by letting the two devices stay connected over the same Wi-Fi network. We have a dedicated post (10 Ways to Pair your iPhone With Macbook) on the same, so you can follow Method #2 to connect your iPhone to the Mac wirelessly. 

To explain the steps, in brief, you can establish a wireless connection between your iPhone and Mac by first connecting them with a Lightning-to-USB cable and then opening the Finder app.

When you do that, your iPhone will show up inside the Finder app even when it’s not connected to the USB cable as long as both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. 

Step 2: Locate iPhone backup on your Mac

Once you’ve connected your iPhone to the Mac via Wi-Fi, you can now proceed to find where your iPhone backups are saved. To do that, open the Finder app on macOS. 

You’ll see a list of the iPhone backups that you’ve created on your Mac inside the Device Backups box.

A new Finder window will open showing the selected backup’s folder highlighted among other backups. You need to keep this window open for copying the contents over to external storage.  

Step 3: Move backup to external HDD

When you’ve located your iPhone backup on the Mac, moving it is as easy as copy-pasting contents from one device to another. First, connect your external HDD to the Mac using the provided cable. When the storage device is connected, open it in Finder and go to the location where you want to move the iPhone backup inside it. 

Now, in the Finder window where your iPhone backup is stored, select any number of backups that are available inside the Backup folder on your Mac.

Once selected, drag the selected content from this folder to your desired location inside your external HDD’s window. 

Your iPhone backups will now be copied over to the external storage device and you can use it in the future to restore your iPhone to a previous state.  

How to clear iPhone backups from a Mac

If you’ve copied your iPhone backup to external storage, you may no longer need to keep it stored on your Mac. By clearing it, you can not only save storage for other files but you can also create more backups on your iPhone. To clear your iPhone backups from the Mac, open the Finder app on macOS and locate your iPhone from the left sidebar under “Locations”. 

The selected iPhone backup will now be removed from your Mac. Since you’ve saved a copy of it on your external HDD, you can move its contents to the Backup folder on your Mac to restore it. 

How to move iPhone backup from external HDD to Mac

If you wish to restore your iPhone to a previous state using a backup that you copied over to an external HDD, the Finder app doesn’t let you restore it directly from the external storage. You are instead required to transfer the backup back to its original location on your Mac and then perform the restore. 

To move an iPhone backup from external storage to your Mac, connect the HDD back to your Mac and locate the backup that you copied from the Mac before.  

Once located, move the backup from the external store to this location on your Mac – ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/ by dragging and dropping the backup folder. 

If done successfully, the backup should show up inside the Finder app when you access your iPhone from the Mac.

That’s all you need to know about copying your iPhone backups to external storage. 


How To Back Up Mac To An External Hard Drive (5 Steps)

Home » Tutorials » How to Back up Mac to an External Drive with Time Machine

If you read my previous post about how to format an external drive for Mac, you know that I bought a 2TB Seagate Expansion external hard drive and managed to create two partitions on the disk — one for Mac backup purposes, and the other for personal use.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to back up your Mac data to an external drive. You should back up your Mac on a regular basis, especially if you’re planning to perform macOS updates. I did this several weeks ago while preparing my MacBook Pro for a system update.

Please note that the backup tool that I used is Time Machine, a built-in app provided by Apple. If you want to back up your Mac data without using Time Machine, there are also other third-party Mac backup software worth considering.

Where is Time Machine on Mac?

In the Preferences pane, you’ll see the Time Machine app located between “Date & Time” and “Accessibility”.

What does Time Machine Backup?

Time Machine is the easiest way to back up Mac. And the app is created and recommended by Apple. Once you have a timely backup, it’s incredibly easy to restore all or part of your data in case of accidental deletion or a hard drive crash.

So, what kind of data does Time Machine backup? Everything!

Be aware that the recovery process can only be conducted when your Mac can start up normally.

Note: the screenshots below are taken based on an older macOS. If your Mac is running a newer version of macOS, they will look slightly different but the process should be similar.

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive.

First, use the USB cable (or USB-C cable if you’re on the newest Mac model with Thunderbolt 4 ports) that comes with your external drive to connect that drive to your Mac.

Note: if your external drive can’t show up on Mac or macOS hints the drive is not supported, you’ll have to re-format it to a Mac-compatible file system before continuing the following steps.

Step 2: Select the disk for backup.

Now open Time Machine (I tell you how above) and select the disk you want to use. I have partitioned my Seagate drive into two new volumes, “Backup” and “Personal Use”, as you see from the screenshot. I chose “Backup”.

Step 3: Confirm backup (optional).

If you have used another disk for backup before, Time Machine will ask you whether you want to stop backing up to the previous disk and use the new one instead. It’s up to you. I selected “Replace”.

Step 4: Wait until the process is complete.

Now Time Machine will start to backup all your data. The progress bar gives you an estimate of how much time is left before the backup is complete.

I found it a bit inaccurate: Initially, it said “About 5 hours remaining”, but it only took two hours to finish. It’s worth noting that the remaining time may vary from case to case depending on the write speed of your external hard drive.

It says I have to wait 5 hoursAfter about an hour and a half, it says only 15 minutes remaining

Step 5: Eject your external drive and unplug it.

When the backup procedure is completed, don’t rush to disconnect your device as this could cause potential disk problems.

Final Tips

Like any other hardware device, an external hard drive will fail sooner or later. It’s best to make a copy of the data on your external drive — as they say, a “backup of your backups”!

One good option is to use cloud storage services like iDrive which I’ve been using and I really like the app because it’s super easy to use, and it also allows me to download Facebook photos automatically. Backblaze and Carbonite are also popular options in the market, though I am yet to give them a try.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of data backup these days. Without a proper backup, it’s really hard to restore data. Although you could try a third-party Mac data recovery software, chances are they won’t get all your lost data back.

The main takeaway here is to back up your Mac with Time Machine or another app, and create a second or third copy of those backups if you can.

How To Connect Your Android Phone To Gnome Desktop With Gsconnect

Linux and Android users will probably be familiar with the KDE Connect app that allows you to connect your Android phone to your Linux desktop. If you are a Gnome user, GSConnect now provides the ideal way for you to integrate your mobile devices with your desktop as an alternative to KDE Connect. GSConnect gives users a wealth of options such as sending files between the desktop and the device, syncing the clipboard for those important notes taken in a hurry, browsing files over Wi-Fi and more.

What Is GSConnect?

GSConnect is an extension that sits within the GNOME Shell and uses the KDE Connect protocols written in GJS for GNOME Shell 3.24 and above. The concept is that it allows users to avoid the KDE dependencies, although the KDE app is still required for your mobile device. Just as with solutions like Airdroid, both the GNOME device and mobile device need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network in order to work correctly. GSConnect integrates with the file manager and Chrome or Firefox through extensions.

Just as with KDE Connect, here are some of the things you can do:

Sync notifications between your GNOME Shell desktop and mobile device. You can choose to only send or receive notifications or both

Receive notifications for phone calls and SMS messages

Send/receive files or links from a GNOME Shell desktop to a mobile device and vice-versa

Display the mobile device battery level and charging state on your GNOME Shell desktop

Define local commands that can be executed by remote devices

Install GSConnect

Configure GSConnect

Once installed, it will allow you to set some options. You can access this directly through the Software Center, or you can use the small icon which appears next to the notification icons for networking, mail, the clock and the like.

The options let you tune GSConnect to your liking:

Shell changes the appearance, with sliders for Display, Show Offline Devices, Show Unpaired Devices and Show Battery Icon.

Service lets you configure whether the device is set for discovery or not and to restart the service.

Other gives you access to additional features where you can install the necessary files for Remote Filesystem, Sound Effects, Desktop Contacts or Files Integration. You can also find the extensions for Firefox and Chrome.

Pairing Devices

Once connected, you will be presented with the following screen where you can use some of the features.

Now you can connect your phone or device to your PC. Here is my Wileyfox connected with all the options specific to the device.

Matthew Muller

Matt has worked in the tech industry for many years and is now a freelance writer. His experience is within Windows, Linux, Privacy and Android.

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How To Monitor The Air Quality In Your Home

What’s in the air in your home?

These are the harmful pollutants most likely to be in the air in your home:


VOC stands for volatile organic compound. You may see the group referred to as TVOC: total volatile organic compounds. VOCs are gases, often emitted by cleaning products when they’re used. Some examples of well known VOCs are the carcinogens benzene and formaldehyde, and toluene, which is toxic.

VOCs can come from a range of sources but the ones in your home are likely to be from cleaners or disinfectants, air fresheners, cosmetics and deodorants, dry-cleaned clothing, a wood burning stove or fire, paint, varnish, adhesives or sealants.

If you’re painting or cleaning, it’s a good idea to open the windows, although this isn’t an ideal solution if you live next to a road.

Apart from a chemical smell, there’s no way to know what the VOC levels are like in your home, so you’ll need to buy an air quality monitor.

Many air purifiers will display VOC content, so if you’re about to embark on a big decorating project, you might just want to invest in one straight away. Our round up of the best air purifiers we’ve tested will help you to find the one that’s right for you.

If you’d like a dedicated monitor, we tested the Airthings Wave Plus. You can read our review to find out if it’s a good fit. Bear in mind that it doesn’t measure particulate matter. It’s available from Amazon and Airthings.  

Particulate matter

This is also known as particle pollution, PM or aerosol. Basically, it’s all the little bits floating about in the air that you might breathe in. It’s a mixture made up of solid particles and drops of liquid – dirt, dust, pollen, soot, smoke, chemicals and metals.

The concerning particles are the very small ones: those under 10 micrometres across. (For reference, a human hair is approximately 75 micrometres thick, so 10 micrometres is very tiny indeed.) 

Larger particles are usually filtered out in the nose and throat but particles of this size can make their way into your lungs and affect your heart, your respiratory system and your immune system. 

Particulate matter is one of the air pollutants that leave visible signs, although obviously you can’t see the smaller, more dangerous particles.

If you have an open fire or you live near a busy road, you will probably have a lot of particulate matter in the air in your home. Other signs to look out for are high levels of dust or soot on surfaces.  

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide occurs naturally in the air in very small amounts but in higher concentrations, it can make a room feel stuffy and stale. People may develop a headache or feel drowsy or unable to concentrate. 

If you have a new home, it may be more airtight for energy efficiency, and is more likely to have concentrated amounts of carbon dioxide in the air. You can combat high carbon dioxide levels by making sure that air can circulate around your home but if it’s an ongoing concern, you should consider buying an air quality monitor.

Carbon monoxide

Every year, 60 people in England and Wales die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have a poorly installed or maintained appliance like a cooker, a heater or a central heating boiler, or if an appliance is damaged or malfunctions, you may be at risk of poisoning from this odourless, colourless gas.

The best way to protect yourself is with a carbon monoxide detector. Fortunately, these are cheap and effective. Every household should have at least one of these, depending on the size of your home. If you’re living in rented accommodation and didn’t buy your own appliances, you should buy one right now.

If you’re in the UK, the Fireangel CO-9B carbon monoxide alarm has a 7-year life and is available from Amazon for under £20. In the US, the First Alert CO710 carbon monoxide detector has a ten-year battery and is available from Amazon for less than $30. 


Radon is a radioactive gas naturally created by the decay of small amounts of uranium in soil and rocks. It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking cigarettes.

Every area has some radon, but it’s recommended that you test for the gas if you live in an area that is more likely to be highly affected. If you’re in the UK, you can use this map from Public Health England to find out whether your area is high or low risk.

Our recommended air quality monitor, the Airthings Wave Plus, has built-in radon detection. You can read our review to find out more.


Most air quality monitors will also monitor humidity levels. However, if the air in your home is too damp, you’ll probably notice other signs, such as foggy windows, peeling or cracking paint inside, and mould growth on inner walls. If you often let clothes air dry indoors, the air in your home may be too damp. 

If you already know that damp is an issue, you could bypass an air quality monitor and go for a dehumidifier and air purifier in one. We tested and reviewed the Meaco Arete One – it’s a compact and efficient appliance with a medical grade H13 HEPA filter. You can use the air purifying function separately.

How To Connect Gopro To Laptop

The most popular action camera device right now is the GoPro. It can take both videos and pictures in extreme environments without suffering major damage. Once the content is added to the GoPro, users will want to export all photos and videos to another device, for example, a Windows PC. Now, the question is, how can we connect a GoPro to a Windows computer and siphon off all the video and picture contents with ease? Well, you should worry not because we have all the information you need to keep on the right track.

How to connect GoPro to PC

We must point out that there are two ways to collect data from your GoPro. You can either connect the device via USB or attach the SD card to your computer.

Connect the GoPro to a computer via USB

Connect the GoPros SD card to your computer

1] Connect GoPro to computer via USB

The first thing to do is to connect the GoPro to your computer. This is pretty straightforward, so let us discuss how to get it done in the easiest way possible.

Begin by pressing the Power/Mode button to boot the GoPro.

Ensure the Wi-Fi is turned off on GoPro HERO3+ and older devices.

Once done, locate the USB port on the GoPro.

The port is usually located on the side of the device.

Connect the USB to the GoPro, then connect the other end to your computer’s USB port.

If the connection is made properly, a USB icon should show up on the screen of the camera.

Now, if you want to have the GoPro automatically open the folder with your files when connected to your computer, then make use of the AutoPlay feature.

The AutoPlay feature is quite useful because it makes it possible for the user to choose what happens when a third-party device is connected to Windows. For example, you can make it so that whenever your GoPro is connected, it will automatically open the video or image folders.

Use the Auto Launch/AutoPlay feature

Let us look at how to get this done in the easiest way possible right now.

Connect your GoPro to the computer via USB.

A small pop-up will appear at the left of your screen.

Windows will now automatically connect to the GoPro.

From now on, whenever the same device is connected to your computer, it will automatically direct the user to the folder containing the files.

Read:: How to transfer files from GoPro camera to Windows PC

2] Connect the GoPro’s SD card to your PC

If you do not have a USB lying around but rather an SD card reader, then this solution is perfect.

Remove the SD card from the GoPro.

If your computer does not have a built-in SD card reader, then connect a third-party reader to the device.

From there, slide the SD card into the reader.

In just a few seconds you should now be able to view the contents on the SD card directly from your Windows 11/10 computer.

Read: Repair corrupted GoPro videos if they are not working

Change AutoPlay settings

If you are not pleased with how the AutoPlay feature is working after a period of time, then you can adjust it.

Press the Windows key + I to launch the Settings app.

Scroll down and select AutoPlay.

From there, you can change the settings to what fits your needs, or turn it off entirely.

Read: How to use GoPro as Webcam on Windows computer

Why won’t my GoPro connect to my computer?

There are several reasons why your GoPro fails to connect to your computer. The camera itself could be the problem, so if that is the case we suggest removing the battery and the SD card, then reattaching them again before connecting to the computer. Furthermore, you could try connecting the GoPro to a different computer.

Read: GoPro Camera is not recognized when plugged into a computer USB Port

Can I connect my GoPro directly to my computer?

Yes, it is possible to connect a GoPro directly to a Windows 11/10 computer. This is possible because the device comes with support for USB, so all you have to do is connect the cable to the GoPro, then plug the other end into the USB port on your computer, and that’s it. However, if you do not have the USB cable with you, you can use the memory card to get the footages. The easiest way to view and manage videos on a GoPro is to use the software known as GoPro Quik for Desktop. Once up and running, you can watch and manage MP4 and HEVC video files. Bear in mind that HEVC requires a competent graphics card to play videos smoothly.

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