Vodafone Ninja tech tips

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Top tech tips from our Ninjas

Our Ninjas train to anticipate your tech needs. Here’s some top tips to get you sorted.

How to reset an Android phone
There are 2 forms of reset.

A “soft” reset is basically a power off/power on reboot which doesn’t delete any essential data from your device.

A “hard” reset will completely wipe all content from your device with no ability to recover the lost information.

If you’re prepared to wipe all data from your device, a hard reset for your Android is as simple as holding down the Power button and tapping Volume Up.

From here, you'll see the Android system recovery menu appear at the top of your screen.

Select wipe data/factory reset with the volume keys, then tap the Power button to activate it.

Select Yes, erase all user data with the volume buttons, tap Power and you’re done.

This method may not work for all devices – please refer to your device manufacturer’s user manual if this process does not work.

How to close apps on Android
Having 23 apps open at the same time is the digital version of a messy desk. But don’t fear, it’s easy to close them, and it’ll probably speed up your phone.

  1. Start by pressing the Recent Apps button in the "virtual taskbar" at the bottom of the screen (it looks like two overlaid rectangles – it’s next to the Back and Home buttons).
  2. A list containing all the apps you've recently launched should appear running in the background.
  3. To close a task, just place your finger on it, swipe it off the screen and that’s it – app closed.
  4. But the fastest way to close an app is the “close all” button

Most devices running a version of Android newer than 4.0 will have a button that allows you to view and manage recently-opened apps at almost any time.
This method may not work for all devices. Please refer to your device manufacturer’s user manual if this process does not work.

How to turn safe mode off
Safe mode can be a gem for troubleshooting problems and for keeping your phone from crashing but if you’ve accidentally started your phone in safe mode it can be a real pain.

Simply follow these tips to turn it off:

  1. Make sure your phone is not connected to a charger.
  2. Turn your phone off.
  3. Wait 5 seconds and turn your phone on.
  4. Check for the issue and continue troubleshooting if it isn't resolved.
  5. If the device starts in Safe mode, then uninstall all recently downloaded apps.
  6. Wipe the cache partition.

This method may not work for all devices. Please refer to your device manufacturer’s user manual if this process does not work.
How do I install the My Vodafone app on Android?
The My Vodafone app is the easiest way to manage your account and usage. It can also be used to top up other prepay users (great for parents), and it comes pre-installed on every Android device Vodafone sells so check that it’s not already on your phone before looking for it on Google Play Store.

If you do need to install My Vodafone, it’s as simple to install as it is to use.

  1. Tap the Apps icon in the bottom-right of the home screen.
  2. Swipe left and right until you find the Play Store icon.
  3. Tap the magnifying glass in the top-right of screen, type in My Vodafone, and tap the magnifying glass in the bottom right. 3 steps. Easy.

Once your free My Vodafone app is installed and registered, you can view your balance and usage, make bill payments or prepay top ups – all from within the secure app.
Standard Data download usage/rates will apply.

What does STORAGE ALMOST FULL mean, and how do I fix it?
Uh oh, storage almost full… If you get this message it’s probably time to start managing your storage – you’ll be amazed at the space you can create.

Modern versions of Android have a Storage pane that will show you exactly what’s taking up storage space on your device. To find this, open the Settings screen, tap Storage and you can see how much space is used up by apps and their data, pictures and videos, audio files, downloads, cached data, and other files.

You can add additional storage by installing a MicroSD Memory Card or signing up to Cloud Storage options such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft Onedrive. You can remove content by backing up to a computer, and you can check the age of your device. If it’s old, a newer device will give you a lot more storage.

How to CLEAR HISTORY on Android
Clearing your history is like taking out the trash, but way easier.

To erase your private data in Chrome, simply tap the menu button, tap Settings in the menu, then tap the Privacy option. From the Privacy screen, tap the Clear Browsing Data option at the top-right corner of your screen. Select the types of data you want to clear and tap the Clear button. Done.

This method may not work for all devices and different browsers will have a slightly different process. Please refer to your device manufacturer’s user manual if this process does not work.

How to charge your Android more efficiently
Keep finding yourself low on juice? Try these three tips.

  1. Always use the charger and cable that came with your phone or an approved charger.
  2. Charge frequently for smaller top ups.
  3. Don’t leave your phone plugged in overnight

How do I turn background data off to save data?
There’s nothing worse than apps you’re not using sneakily draining your data. But don’t worry, it’s an easy fix.

  1. Open Settings on your device.
  2. Locate and tap Data usage.
  3. Locate the app you want to prevent using your data in the background.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the app list.
  5. Tap to enable Restrict background data

How do I download Apps on my Android?
What’s an Android without great apps? Here’s how to get them:

  1. Tap the Apps icon in the bottom-right of your home screen.
  2. Swipe left and right until you find the Play Store icon.
  3. Tap the magnifying glass in the top-right.
  4. Type in the name of the app you’re after.
  5. Tap the magnifying glass in the bottom right

How do I change or remove Voicemail?
This is easy. Just call 777 and follow the IVR voice prompts

Standard calling rates apply.

How do I restart an iPhone?

Whether you want to restart, restore, or clear out the trash, we’ve got you covered!

To restart your iPhone

Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears.

Drag the slider to turn your device completely off.

After the device turns off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again until you see the Apple logo.

To force restart your iPhone

You should force restart your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as a last resort, and only if it's not responding. Follow these steps to force restart your device:

  • On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons for at least ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo
  • On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for at least ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo

How do I back up my iPhone?

Backing up your iPhone is always a smart idea, and it’ll only take a few clicks or taps. This way you’ll have a copy of your information to use in case your device is ever replaced, lost, or damaged.

  1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Tap Settings, then scroll down and tap iCloud.
  3. Scroll down, tap Backup, and make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.
  4. Tap Back Up Now. Stay connected to your Wi-Fi network until the process completes.
  5. Make sure that the backup finished: Tap Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, then select your device. The backup should appear in the details with the time and backup size.

Automatically back up with iCloud Backup

To let iCloud automatically back up your device each day, here's what you need to do:

  1. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on in Settings > iCloud > Backup
  2. Connect your device to a power source
  3. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network
  4. Make sure that your device's screen is locked
  5. Check that you have enough available space in iCloud for the backup

How to install My Vodafone app and check my account balance

The My Vodafone app is the easiest way to manage your account and usage, it can also be used to top up other prepay users (great for parents) and it’s as simple to install as it is to use.

  1. Tap App Store.
  2. Tap Search. Key in the name My Vodafone app.
  3. Tap on the app. Tap INSTALL.

Once installed and registered, you can view your balance, usage and make bill payments or prepay top ups ­– all within the secure app.

How to sync iPhone to iTunes to put music on phone

It’s a great feeling being all synced up. Here’s how to get your favourite tunes on your iPhone and other devices.

Get your music collection on all of your devices

You can share your music collection across all of your devices in several ways. Learn more about your options below.

If you’re an Apple Music member

You can access your music using iCloud Music Library on all of your devices automatically if you're signed in to the same account on all of your devices. You don’t have to manually sync your songs, albums, and playlists.

Learn how to turn on iCloud Music Library if you're an Apple Music member. After you turn on iCloud Music Library, you can find all of your music in the My Music tab of iTunes on your Mac or PC, or in the Music app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android phone. Apple Music members can stream their music on any of their devices.
If you're not sure if you have an Apple Music membership,open Settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Tap Music, then look under the Library section. If you don't see iCloud Music Library, you don't have a membership.

If you bought your entire music collection from the iTunes Store

You can download your past purchases from any device. After you redownload your songs or albums, you can find them in the My Music tab of iTunes on your Mac or PC, or in the Music app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

If some or all of your music collection is from sources other than the iTunes Store

You can sync your devices manually using iTunes. When you sync manually, your songs, albums, and playlists copy from one device to another. For example, syncing your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with your computer copies any selected music from iTunes on your computer to your iOS device (if it's not already there). Your music collection stores locally on all of your devices.

Learn how to use USB to sync the music on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes on your computer. When you sync with USB, you can choose to sync your entire music library or only selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres.

Alternatively, you can join Apple Music to play all of your songs, albums, and playlists on all of your devices. When you’re a member, all of the music you already have lives alongside the entire Apple Music library, and you can download music to any of your devices to listen to offline. Apple Music members don't have to manually sync. Learn more about the benefits of Apple Music.

How to maximise your iPhone battery life

Keep finding yourself low on juice? Work your way through these simple tips.

Update to the latest software

Always make sure your device is using the latest version of iOS.

If you are using iOS 5 or later, see if you need an update. Go to Settings > General > Software Update

If an update is available, you can plug your device into a power source and update wirelessly or plug it into your computer and update with the latest version of iTunes

Learn more about updating iOS

Optimise your settings

There are two simple ways you can preserve battery life — no matter how you use your device: adjust your screen brightness and use Wi-Fi.

Dim the screen or turn on Auto-Brightness to extend battery life.

To dim, swipe up from the bottom of any screen to open Control Center and drag the Brightness slider to the left

Auto-Brightness adjusts your screen to lighting conditions automatically. To activate it, go to Settings > Display & Brightness and set Auto-Brightness to On

When you use your device to access data, a Wi-Fi connection uses less power than a cellular network — so keep Wi-Fi on at all times. There are two ways to turn on Wi-Fi:

Swipe up to open Control Center, tap the Wi-Fi icon, and log in to a Wi-Fi network

Go to Settings > Wi-Fi to access a Wi-Fi network

Enable Low Power Mode

Introduced with iOS 9, Low Power Mode is an easy way to extend the battery life of your iPhone when it starts to get low. Your iPhone lets you know when your battery level goes down to 20%, and again at 10%, and lets you turn on Low Power Mode with one tap. Or you can enable it by going to Settings > Battery. Low Power Mode reduces display brightness, optimises device performance, and minimises system animations. Apps including Mail will not download content in the background, and features like AirDrop, iCloud sync, and Continuity will be disabled. You can still use key functions like making and receiving phone calls, email, and messages, accessing the Internet, and more. And when your phone charges up again, Low Power Mode automatically switches off.

View Battery Usage information

iOS 9 is designed to be the most battery-efficient iOS ever. And it gives you more precise ways to manage your device’s battery life, because you can see the proportion of your battery used by each app (unless the device is charging). To view your usage, go to Settings > Battery.

Here are the messages you may see listed below the apps you’ve been using:

Background Activity. This indicates that the battery was used by the app while it was in the background — that is, while you were using another app.

To improve battery life, you can turn off the feature that allows apps to refresh in the background. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and set the switch to Off.

If the Mail app lists Background Activity, you can choose to fetch data manually or increase the fetch interval. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data.

Location and Background Location. This indicates that the app is using location services.

You can optimise your battery life by turning off Location Services for the app. Turn off in Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

In Location Services, you can see each app listed with its permission setting. Apps that recently used location services have an indicator next to the on/off switch.

Home & Lock Screen. This indicates that the Home screen or Lock screen was displayed on your device. For example, the display was awakened by pressing the Home button or by a notification.

If an app frequently wakes your display with notifications, you can turn off push notifications for the app in Settings > Notifications. Tap App and set Allow Notifications to Off.

No Cell Coverage and Low Signal. This indicates that either you are in a poor cell coverage area and your iOS device is searching for a better signal or that you’ve used your device in low-signal conditions, which has affected your battery life.

You can optimise your battery life by turning on Airplane mode. Swipe up to open Control Center and tap the Airplane mode icon. Note that you cannot make or receive calls while in Airplane mode.

Plug in and power on your computer to charge your device.

Make sure your computer is plugged in and powered on when you’re using it to charge your iOS device via USB. If your device is connected to a computer that’s turned off or is in sleep or standby mode, your device’s battery may drain. Note that iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS cannot be charged with a FireWire power adapter or FireWire-based car charger.

How to manage your photo and video storage on your iPhone

Got some embarrassing selfies that have got to go? Or just need to save space? Learn how photos and videos use your iPhone storage, ways to save space, and how to upgrade your iCloud storage if you’re running out.

The photos, music, apps, and other content that you use and enjoy on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch take up space on your device’s storage capacity. And your device can fill up quickly depending on the size of its storage capacity and how much content you have. If you see a message that your storage is full, you can free up space by managing your photo and video storage.

Check to see how much storage you have

You can see how much storage you have left on your device and in iCloud, and which apps use the most space.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Storage & iCloud Usage.

Storage shows how much space you have left on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. And iCloud shows you how much space you have left in the cloud and if you need to upgrade your storage plan.

Store your photos and videos in iCloud

Your photos and videos are stored on your device in their original, high-resolution version. This means that they use a lot of space on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. With iCloud Photo Library, you can make more space available on your device and have your entire collection, everywhere you go.

Get started with iCloud Photo Library:

  1. Tap Settings > iCloud > Photos.
  2. Turn on iCloud Photo Library.
  3. Select Optimise iPhone Storage to make more space on your device.

With Optimise Storage, smaller, space-saving photos and videos are kept on your device while all of your original, full-resolution versions are stored in iCloud. And as long as you have enough space in iCloud, you can store as many photos and videos as you want.

How to use Airdrop with your iPhone

It’s easy to share your pics, vids and more with Airdrop.

First things first, make sure it’s on:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Control Center.
  2. Tap AirDrop.
  3. Choose one of these options:

Off: Turns off AirDrop.Contacts Only: Only your contacts can see your device.
Everyone: All nearby iOS devices using AirDrop can see your device.

Now start sharing:

You can share content from apps such as Photos, Safari, Contacts, and more.

Tap the content you want to share. Then tap Share (Share icon). Depending on the app, you might be able to select other items to share. Next, tap the name of a nearby AirDrop user or the Apple device.

The other user will receive an alert with a preview of the content you want to share, and can either accept or decline. If the other user accepts, they'll get the content in the app you sent it from. For example, photos will appear in the Photos app and websites will open in Safari.

Note: If you're sharing Contacts Only and can't find a nearby user, check that both of you are signed in to iCloud. If you still can't find a nearby user, consider setting AirDrop to Everyone. You might also need to turn off Personal Hotspot on one or both devices.

What speed should I expect from my plan?
Although there's a tonne of other factors, your broadband speed depends mostly on your connection type.

There’s ADSL, VDSL, HFC and Fibre. ADSL and VDSL are delivered over copper lines, just like your home phone line. They're very simple to connect: just plug in your modem. If you are downloading, streaming or gaming a lot, the faster VDSL connection may be a smart option.

Ultra Fast Fibre and Ultra Fast Cable broadband types are for those who want the fastest broadband with multiple users in the household. The Ultra Fast Fibre uses fibre optic cables. Ultra Fast Cable also uses fibre optic cables in conjunction with coaxial cables and it is available in Christchurch, Wellington and Kapiti.Here’s what speeds to expect from the three connections:

  • ADSL: Download speed of 9-15 mbps and upload speed of 1-2mbps
  • VDSL: Download speed of 15-35 mbps and upload speed of 8 – 9 mbps
  • Ultra Fast Fibre: up to 30/10 mbps, up to 100/20 mbps, up to 200/20 mbps
  • Ultra Fast Cable: up to 15/1 mbps, up to 50/2 mbps, up to 100/10 mbps

What can I do about my speed?
There’s a bit of a checklist here, but don’t worry, even doing half of these will probably make your browsing and downloading a whole lot speedier.

Make sure you have the right connection for your home

If you’ve got a full house of internet users, or even just a couple of particularly data-hungry occupants, you might be overloading your connection. Ultra Fast Fibre or Ultra Fast Cable Broadband are worth looking into. The lightning fast speed allows more people to stream, download and game at the same time.To check if you can get Fibre or Cable in your area, use our address check.

Try adding Wi-Fi Access points

If your internet is slower in certain areas of the house, look into Wi-Fi Access points (APs), which boost Wi-Fi signal where it is weak or non-existent.

For best performance, look for APs with:

  • 5Ghz capability.
  • External antennas.
  • 3x3 antenna setup or MIMO aerials.
  • Beam forming.

These can be purchased from your local tech store. Consider our Mesh Wi-Fi system.

Check out your modem

Give your modem a restart and quick check. To restart, turn the power off at the wall, and wait 10 seconds before flicking it back on again. Then ensure that your DSL light is lit, and that the HTML cable is securely plugged into the splitter. Your modem should also be in a central place, up high.

Upgrade your modem

If your modem is a few years old, or you’re having to restart it a lot, it’s probably time for a new one. Talk to us about the best device for your broadband plan and home.

Check your broadband filters

Check that broadband filters (also known as 'line filters') are installed on all your phone jack points that have phones, answerphones, fax machines, health alarms etc. connected.

Look at getting a splitter

If you have a home alarm, look at getting a splitter (like a master filter) installed. This splits the broadband connection from the alarm system so that they don’t interfere with each other. Splitters also come in handy if you have more than 5 phone jack points in your house. You can also run an isolation test to determine if you need a splitter. To do this, disconnect all of your devices, then test your modem in different jack points. If there’s a difference in speed, we’d recommend getting a splitter. It’s easy to get one installed, just chat to our broadband specialists.

Don't use long extension cords

Using long or poor quality extension cords between your modem and its jack point can slow broadband speed. Also check to make sure that furniture isn’t on top of the cord, that people aren’t walking across it regularly, and that none of your pets have had a nibble. Ideally, your modem should have a single short cable connecting it to the jack point (or filter).

Move appliances away from your modem

Ensuring that home appliances like your TV, stereo, lighting, microwave, baby monitor, fish tank, cordless phone, fridge and washing machine are at least 2 metres away from your wireless modem reduces the chance of interference.

Regularly test your modem speed

You can check your connection speed at any time with our easy broadband speed test

Update your software regularly

Your modem or broadband connection may not be the cause of slow speed. Make sure your PC, laptop and tablet devices are running the latest operating systems.

Viruses and adware can also drastically slow down your connection speed. If you don’t have any security software, talk to us about the best way to protect your devices from viruses.

How do I check my internet usage?
The easiest way is to install our handy little app on your phone.

The My Vodafone app allows you to keep track of your internet usage from your mobile.

If you don’t have it already, download it from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play store (Android).

Alternatively, log into the Vodafone website and click on ‘usage data’.

How do I fix a bad Wi-Fi signal?
Believe it or not, it could be the stuff in your house that’s weakening your Wi-Fi signal. Don’t worry though, we can help you catch the offenders.

A bad Wi-Fi signal is often due to interference from other appliances or structures around your home. There are plenty of things that can get in the way of your signal:

  • Thick walls
  • Mirrors
  • TVs
  • Microwaves
  • Cordless telephones
  • Fish tanks
  • Baby monitors
  • Aluminium ladders
  • Steel framing

Once you’ve identified watch-outs in your home, make sure you place your modem in a central location, away from interfering devices and structures. Although keeping your modem out of sight may look tidy, this can greatly affect its performance.
If you’re still experiencing interference, try unplugging each device in your home, then check for an improvement in your broadband performance. This will identify any problem devices, which you could then consider relocating. Also look out for patterns in bad signal eg. when the microwave is running.

A Vodafone Sure Signal device (used to boost your mobile coverage) can also cause interference if not kept more than 1.5m away from your modem.

How can I extend my Wi Fi connection?
Only getting Wi-Fi at one end of your couch? There’s two ways around this one extend the connection wirelessly, or use cables.

Use range extenders

These create an instant internet connection in any room the Wi-Fi signal cannot reach – even those tricky spots.

For best performance, look for extenders with:

  • 5Ghz capability
  • External antennas
  • 3x3 antenna setup
  • Beam forming

These can be purchased from your local tech store. Consider our WiFi Booster

Can the devices I am using affect my broadband performance?
Wi-FI comes in two frequencies (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz), and they’re both handy for different devices.

2.4GHz has greater range and smaller throughput, while 5Ghz has a smaller range but greater throughput. All devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets) can connect to the 2.4GHz frequency.

Where older devices may only operate on 2.4Ghz, newer devices are designed to also operate on the 5GHz frequency, and will reselect between the two frequencies as appropriate. If your device is picking up a 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequency, opt for the 5Ghz frequency for performance.

How can I get the fastest speed at my home?
It’s dead easy to find out what type of broadband is available at your home (ADSL, VDSL, Fibre or Cable).

Simply type your address into our broadband address checker.
How can I keep my Wi-Fi secure?
The more connected we become, the more important it is to ensure our personal information is kept safe. Wi-Fi security comes down to setting a smart password, that isn’t obvious, or easily guessed. You should also consider who you share your password with, and change it regularly.

How do I change my broadband password?
All you need to know for this one is your IP address, which you can find on the back of your modem.

Then login to your modem by typing your IP address (usually into an internet browser. Next, select “Wireless” or “WLan”. From here you can change the network name (SSID) and your password.

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