Category: iPhone Tips

How to Add Words to the iPhone’s Dictionary

You can add words to the iPhone’s spelling dictionary to prevent the iPhone’s auto-correct feature from automatically fixing them. To do this, however, you must add the words to a very unobvious place on the iPhone: in the iPhone’s “text shortcuts.” Below are step-by-step instructions on how to add words to the iPhone’s dictionary.

1. Open Settings:

2. Tap General:

General in iPhone Settings

3. Scroll down and tap Keyboard:

4. Scroll down and tap: Add New Shortcut…:

5. In the field labeled Phrase, type in the word. Do not type in anything in the Shortcut field.

6. Tap Save:

And that’s it, you’ve added a word to the iPhone’s spelling dictionary. Now the word will no longer trigger autocorrect.


  • The feature that automatically fixes the spelling of words is called Auto-Correction. You can turn the feature off in Settings–>General–>Keyboard, then swipe the Auto-Correction tab to Off.
  • You can find tons of funny (and embarrasing) auto-correct mistakes at the Damn You Auto-Correct blog.

Cool Tip: How to Add Icon Shortcuts to iPhone Settings Without Jailbreaking

*Update 3/9/2012* This tip no longer works if you update your iPhone to iOS 5.1.

Here’s an awesome tip. One of my major annoyances with iOS is having to navigate deep into the settings every time I want to turn Bluetooth on or off. But here’s a neat little trick that will let you create an icon you can tap to take you directly to your Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or other settings, and it doesn’t involve hacking, jailbreaking, or doing anything else untoward. It’s a two-part tip.

The first part relies on a set of commands (entire list below) you can type into the iPhone’s Safari browser to launch directly into a specific setting on the iPhone. You can try it yourself, simply type the following into your browser: prefs:root=WIFI to launch the WiFi settings on the iPhone.

Cool, huh? But who wants to type that in every time? Here’s where the second part of this tip comes in. You’ll need an app called Icon Project ($0.99) that lets you design webapp icons and add them to your homescreen (for iPhone beginners, webapps are essentially web bookmarks you can save to your iPhone’s home screen. Apple also calls them web clips).

Icon Project not only lets you design the icon’s graphics, colors, text, etc, you can also add links to websites. When you tap the icon, the website will launch. And that’s where the list of commands below comes in. Using the Icon Project app, where you’d normally enter a web address simply type in any of the commands below. Then, when you tap the icon, you’ll to be taken directly to that iPhone setting. Sweet trick.

*Update* For a free version of this tip (without the need for the $0.99 app), point your iPhone or iPad’s browser to this page at iPhoneZa and scroll down. Choose among the various links to easily add icons with shortcuts to iPhone settings. The only disadvantage for using the website is that you can’t use your own graphics for the icons.

Note that some users who haven’t upgraded to iOS 5 have been having some trouble with this tip.

List of Shortcuts:

About –> prefs:root=General&path=About
Accessibility –> prefs:root=General&path=ACCESSIBILITY
Airplane Mode On –> prefs:root=AIRPLANE_MODE
Auto-Lock –> prefs:root=General&path=AUTOLOCK
Brightness –> prefs:root=Brightness
Bluetooth –> prefs:root=General&path=Bluetooth
Date & Time –> prefs:root=General&path=DATE_AND_TIME
FaceTime –> prefs:root=FACETIME
General –> prefs:root=General
Keyboard –> prefs:root=General&path=Keyboard
iCloud –> prefs:root=CASTLE
iCloud Storage & Backup –> prefs:root=CASTLE&path=STORAGE_AND_BACKUP
International –> prefs:root=General&path=INTERNATIONAL
Location Services –> prefs:root=LOCATION_SERVICES
Music –> prefs:root=MUSIC
Music Equalizer –> prefs:root=MUSIC&path=EQ
Music Volume Limit –> prefs:root=MUSIC&path=VolumeLimit
Network –> prefs:root=General&path=Network
Nike + iPod –> prefs:root=NIKE_PLUS_IPOD
Notes –> prefs:root=NOTES
Notification –> prefs:root=NOTIFICATIONS_ID
Phone –> prefs:root=Phone
Photos –> prefs:root=Photos
Profile –> prefs:root=General&path=ManagedConfigurationList
Reset –> prefs:root=General&path=Reset
Safari –> prefs:root=Safari
Siri –> prefs:root=General&path=Assistant
Sounds –> prefs:root=Sounds
Software Update -> prefs:root=General&path=SOFTWARE_UPDATE_LINK
Store –> prefs:root=STORE
Twitter –> prefs:root=TWITTER
Usage –> prefs:root=General&path=USAGE
VPN –> prefs:root=General&path=Network/VPN
Wallpaper –> prefs:root=Wallpaper
Wi-Fi –> prefs:root=WIFI

With the app, you can also make icons for calling or texting (or iMessaging) your favorite contacts. You can use any image on your iPhone for the icon. For example, you could create an icon with the face of your sweetheart that, with one tap, allows you to dial their number.

How to Add Text Shortcuts on the iPhone and iPad

A text shortcut is a new time-saving feature on the iPhone that allows you to type just a few characters and turn them into much larger words and phrases. By default, Apple has provided one default shortcut: omw, which expands into on my way. To view it, simply type omw anywhere you can type text on the iPhone, then tap the spacebar. Shortcuts can be useful for quickly inserting email signatures, unusual words not found in the iPhone’s dictionary, or common long phrases you use, like “Love you Snookums Snookums.”

You can easily add your own text shortcuts. Below are step-by-step instructions on how.

1. Open Settings:

2. Tap General:

General in iPhone Settings

3. Scroll down and tap Keyboard:

4. Scroll down and tap: Add New Shortcut…:

5. Type in the phrase and its corresponding shortcut:

6. Tap Save:

Notes and Tips:

  • Shortcuts work system wide on the iPhone, so anywhere you can type in text, you can use shortcuts.
  • Unfortunately, there are no line breaks for text shortcuts. The text can only expand into one continuous line.
  • For your shortcuts, try to use unusual combinations of letters, like aaz, to prevent accidental use of shortcuts. But also try to create shortcuts that will help you remember them. For example, if you wanted a shortcut for John Smith Jr. III, you might create the acronym jsj, which uses the first letter of each word.
  • Entering in a phrase without a shortcut is a way to add words to the iPhone’s dictionary. This is actually Apple’s official method for adding words to the iPhone’s dictionary. You’ll note, when creating a shortcut, the word Optional appears in faint gray text in the Shortcut field.
  • You can use emoji with shortcuts too.

How to Force the iPhone to Shut Down and Restart

There may be times when the iPhone suddenly freezes or its screen goes dark with the power still on. Don’t panic or run to the Apple Store quite yet, simply force a shutdown and restart it. To do this, hold down both the sleep and the home buttons for several seconds until you see the Apple logo appear.

Tip: How to Force an App to Quit on the iPhone/iPad

If an iPhone/iPad app freezes or becomes stuck, you can force that app to quit with two steps:

1. Press and hold down the iPhone sleep button until Slide to Power Off appears:

2. Press and hold the home button until the app quits:

This method will completely shutdown the app and clear the app’s saved state from the iPhone’s memory. When the app quits, you should be taken back to the iPhone’s home screen.


  • If you double-click to bring up the iPhone’s app switcher bar, you’ll note that the forced-quit app’s icon still appears in the list of apps (it will appear first in the list). However, if you tap the app to launch, it will launch a fresh version of the app—in other words, it won’t launch the app from its previously saved state.
  • If you want to close the app in the app switcher bar too, simply hold your finger on the icon until it starts wiggling, then tap the red circle with the white minus sign in it.

Tip: How to Rename Your iPhone or iPad

Your iPhone has a name. You’ll see it in iTunes in the left sidebar when the iPhone/iPad is connected. You may not remember, but you gave it that name when you originally set up your iPhone/iPad. You’re not stuck with it though, it can be changed right on the iPhone itself or in iTunes. The following are step-by-step instructions on changing your iPhone’s name, both on the iPhone and in iTunes.

How to Change Your Device’s Name on the iPhone/iPad:

1. Open Settings:

2. Tap General:

3. Tap About:

4. Tap Name and enter in a new one:

How to Change Your Device’s Name in iTunes:

Changing your iPhone/iPad’s name in iTunes is even easier. Here’s how.

1. Connect the iPhone/iPad to iTunes either by the USB cable or through Wi-Fi Synching:

2. Double click on your device’s name in the left sidebar and enter in a new name:


  • Make sure to give your device a unique name. The more iPhones, iPads, iPods, and AppleTVs you connect to your computer’s iTunes, the more confusing your sidebar could get. I like to include the type and generation of the device in its name, ie, Alan’s iPhone 4, to help avoid confusion.

How to Add a Pause to Telephone Numbers on the iPhone

You can easily add pauses to phone numbers on the iPhone for those times when you need to dial into automated phone systems or use calling cards. It’s pretty simple, just hold your finger on the * key until you see a comma appear in the phone number. Each comma equals a 2-second pause.

Please note that you can’t begin a phone number with a pause, there must be a least 1 number in the phone number before you can add a pause.

How to Quickly Add All U.S. Holidays to the iPhone or iPad’s Calendar

There’s no need to enter holidays into the iPhone’s calendar one by one. There’s a much easier way. In fact, if you’re reading this on an iPhone or iPad, simply tap this link to add all US Holidays to your calendar. If you’d rather do it manually, below are step-by-step instructions on adding US Holidays to your iPhone calendar. Also see the Notes section at the end of this post for more useful calendars.

1. Open Settings:

2. Scroll down and tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars:

3. Tap Add Account:

4. Scroll down and tap Other:

5. Tap Add Subscribed Calendar:

6. Next to Server, type in

7. Tap Next:

8. Tap Save:

That’s it. Now launch the Calendar app and flip through it to see the US Holidays.


  • You can find and add more calendars to your iPhone at
  • Subscribed calendars are read only—you can’t edit the events or add new ones.
  • Many Internet companies have compatible calendar-subscription services, including Google and Yahoo.

Basics: How to Delete Individual or Multiple Text Messages on the iPhone

It’s now possible to delete individual text messages on the iPhone (previously to iOS 5, you had to delete whole conversations). Below are step-by-step instructions on how to delete individual or multiple text messages at the same time on the iPhone.

1. Open the Messages app:

2. Tap Edit in the top right corner:

3. Tap the circles next to messages you want to delete. A red circle with a white checkmark will appear next to messages selected for deletion:

4. Tap Delete:


  • You can also delete entire conversations at once. Here’s how: If you’re in a specific conversation, tap Messages in the top left corner to take you to the conversations view. Now tap Edit in the top left corner. Tap the red and white circle that appears next to the various conversations, the tap Delete.
  • You can also forward specific text messages to other contacts as well. In a conversation, hit Edit in the top right corner, tap the circle next to the message you want to forward, tap Forward in the bottom right, choose a contact and hit Send.

Tip: How To Activate Emoji on the iPhone

iPhone users no longer have to resort to tricks to activate emoji (the colorful icons most popularly used in text messages). They can now be turned on easily enough with a simple swipe of the finger. Here’s how:

1. Open Settings:

2. Tap General:

General in iPhone Settings

3. Scroll down and tap Keyboard:

4. Tap International Keyboards:

5. Tap Add New Keyboard:

6. Scroll down and tap Emoji:

Now you’re able to access the emoji keyboard. But how do you bring that keyboard up? Here’s how.

How to Access the Emoji Keyboard

1. A new globe icon will now appear at the bottom left of your keyboard. Tap it:

2. You should now see the emoji keyboard. Tap away to enter the cute little icons!:

3. Extra tip: Please note that for some types of emoji, there are several pages of graphics. Swipe to the left to access them:

Notes and Tidbits:

  • Extra tip #2: You can use emoji to label your iPhone folders. For example, if you put all your restaurant apps into a folder, you could label it with the hamburger emoji.
  • Emoji are activated on Japanese iPhones by default.
  • It used to be that emoji on iPhones sold in the United States and elsewhere could only be activated through complicated tricks via third-party apps. With iOS 5, they are now easily activated via the iPhone’s settings.
  • The blog Narratives in Emoji tells stories using just emoji.