Windows Phone Tips and Tricks

When browsing on your phone you may notice images can be quite blurry or distorted. This is because your network provider is compressing the images before they are downloaded on to your device.

Unfortunately there is no way to override this, but if you have a Wi-Fi connection nearby, then you can turn that on. This will mean that all image downloads come through the Wi-Fi connection, rather than your carrier, and the images should appear normally.

If you would like to project the content of your phone’s screen to your PC or TV to show off photos or videos to your friends, then this is how to do it.

Project to TV – First you will need a TV that supports Wireless Miracast technology, although many modern Smart TV will support this. First you should go to Settings – System – Project My Screen. If you have problems with this then press Advanced and then Fix. You may also want to check that your TV has the latest software version installed.

Project to PC – Some PCs will also support this, but if they don’t then you can still connect your Phone to your PC via a USB cable and Microsoft’s Project My Screen App from the Microsoft website. This can be found here. Further instructions can also be found on this page.

If you would like your phone to read out text to you, then you can use an accessibility option by going to Settings – Ease Of Access. Once this is enabled your phone will narrate text that is displayed on the screen.

This feature is currently only available in some countries, however if you go to Settings – Region and select the United States, then this will work for you. It will however read things out with US style currency and dates.

Losing your phone or having it stolen is everyone’s worst nightmare, but Windows Phone comes with a feature called Find My Phone.

To set this feature up, go to Settings – Find My Phone. Once setup you can use this system to send Apps, Lock, Ring, or Erase from your phone by going to You can also use it to push the phone’s location so you can try to locate it.

A useful feature called Word Flow is now built in to Windows Phone devices.

This is similar to the Swype App which allows you to drag your finger from letter to letter to form a word, rather than typing each one. It does take some getting used to, but many users consider this a quicker way to type.

A recent addition to Windows Phone is what’s called Wi-Fi sense which allows you to share your trusted Wi-Fi networks with your friends on Facebook, Outlook, Skype etc. They must also use a recent version of Windows Phone however.

The feature allows you to share your Wi-Fi credentials with your contacts although they won’t actually see the password.

To enable Wi-Fi Sense then go to Settings – Wi-Fi and scroll down where you will find it.

Sometimes, especially if you’re going abroad, you will want to save maps to view when your phone is offline.

This isn’t an obvious feature to find, but you should go to Settings – Applications – Maps – Download Maps.

From here you can download whole regions, countries or continents to your phone for viewing when you don’t have a data connection. Be warned that this can take up a lot of storage space however. For example the whole of the UK might take around 500Mb of storage space.

Not every one wants to have their Apps automatically updated. Some prefer to be able to choose, especially when the Apps can take quite some time and data to download.

To disable this automatic settings (which is the default from Windows Phone 8.1), then go to your App Store – Settings and untick Update apps automatically.

The phone’s Browser is designed to use as much of the phone’s screen as possible, however this means the status bar is usually hidden.

To quickly view the status bar with Time, Battery Indicator and Signal Strength, quickly press More (ƒ?Ý) or the Address Bar. This will show the bar. Alternatively you can press and hold the More button and drag it up slightly to reveal the status bar. Drag it down again to discard it.

If you have a number of apps open and you want to close some of them, then the best way to do this is to long press the phone’s back button. Then press the X icon next to each app, or simply swipe the app downwards.