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Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL tips and tricks

Got a new Microsoft Lumia 950 or Microsoft Lumia 950 XL and want to get the most out of it? Here’s our tips n’ tricks guide to the best features found on these premium Windows 10 mobiles.

Lumia 950 tip one: Get to know your Notification Center

One of the most important parts of your Windows 10 phone is the Notification Center. You can drag this down with one finger from the top of your Lumia 950’s screen at any time, even when you’re in an app.

One of the biggest uses of the Notification Center is reminding you of any waiting messages and other bits that demand your attention. These appear in the form of a list and you can either deal with them individually by giving them a tap or simply wipe the lot by tapping ‘Clear all’.

The Notification Center also gives you quick access to your main settings. Pull it down and you’ll see WiFi, Bluetooth and Rotation Lock buttons at the very top. You can either tap each one to toggle them on or off, or long press one to open up the full settings.

Lumia 950 tip two: Personalise your Windows 10 desktop

Head to the Windows 10 settings (you can do this by pulling down the Notification Center and tapping ‘All settings’), then tap ‘Personalisation’. From here you can head to ‘Start’ to change your Lumia 950’s wallpaper to anything you like, including a photo you’ve recently taken. Just tap the ‘Browse’ button and select your chosen photo from your album.

Back in the Personalisation menu, you can also head to ‘Colours’ to change the colour of your tiles and toggle between dark and light backgrounds. And if you go to ‘Lock screen’ instead, you can change the background pic on your lock screen as well as choose a widget to display. So for instance, you could display the local weather, or any unread messages.

Lumia 950 tip three: Be secure, set up a phone PIN or iris recognition

It’s important to set up a password or PIN on your new Lumia 950 or 950 XL, to protect your email account and personal data in case you ever lose your phone.

To set up a PIN, head to the Lumia 950’s Settings menu and then tap ‘Accounts’. Head to ‘Sign-in options’ and then underneath PIN, tap the ‘Add’ button. Simply confirm your Microsoft password if prompted and then choose a 4-digit PIN, which you’ll be prompted to enter every time you unlock your phone.

You can also set up Windows Hello if you hate remembering PINs, which unlocks your Lumia by checking your iris with the front-facing camera instead. Just tap ‘Set up’ beneath Windows Hello and follow the instructions to get started.

Lumia 950 tip four: Download more apps

Once you’re signed in with your Microsoft account (which can be set up via Settings > Accounts > Your email and accounts), you can download apps from Microsoft’s online store.

Head to the ‘Store’ app and you can check out the latest app charts and game charts, separated into the best free apps, best paid apps and so on. Quite a lot of apps are free to download, but beware; some involve ‘in-app purchases’ to unlock the best features. This means you’ll have to pay up through the app itself.

Lumia 950 tip five: Let Cortana into your life

Cortana is the handy Windows 10 virtual assistant that comes built into your Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL phone. She’s quite a versatile and friendly assistant, who can not only remind you to do stuff but also search the web for you and highlight content that she thinks will interest you.

To turn on Cortana, simply head to the Cortana app on your Lumia phone and you’ll see the option to activate her (if she isn’t already active). Tapping on the app also flashes up the latest news headlines that match your interests, and allows you to command Cortana to do stuff with your voice.

Lumia 950 tip six: Backup and share your files

Microsoft’s OneDrive service allows you to easily backup your important files, including photos taken on the Lumia 950 and 950 XL’s camera, for free. These files are then stored in the cloud, so can be accessed from other Windows devices and shared with friends and family.

First up, you need to be signed in with your Microsoft account for OneDrive to work. Then, just head to the OneDrive app on the Lumia phone and your service will be activated. You can now see everything stored on your OneDrive account, which if you’ve just got started will be very little indeed.

Lumia 950 handheld

You can manage your OneDrive auto-upload settings from other apps. So for instance, head to the Photos app and go to the Settings, then scroll down to ‘Manage OneDrive upload settings’. You can then change ‘Camera upload’ to ‘on’, and choose whether videos are also uploaded automatically. If you keep ‘Upload on metered connections’ set to off, then you won’t waste valuable data – your stuff will only be uploaded when you’re connected to WiFi.

Lumia 950 tip seven: Replace laptops with Continuum

Continuum is one of the most unique and awesome features of Windows 10, allowing you to turn your Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL phone into a desktop computer when you’re out and about.

Check out our complete guide to Continuum to see what it is and how to use it.

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