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Fix iPhone problems with notifications, Siri suggest, fingerprint … and more

Your iPhone is more than just any old smartphone. It’s a full user experience that encompasses the phone’s design, features and functions. But no gadget is perfect, and even your beloved iPhone can be a little annoying at times.

Perhaps you’re getting notifications you don’t find useful. Maybe your fingerprint reader is giving you fits. You might still be mourning the loss of the Home button. There are ways to make all of these situations better.

Instead of just living with the iPhone foibles that are bugging you, it’s time to fix the small annoyances to make your smartphone experience that much better.

Turn off Siri Suggestions

Apple has worked hard to integrate Siri more deeply with the iPhone experience, and one of the ways it shows up is through Siri Suggestions on your lock screen, in apps, or in Search. These suggestions might recommend items to order at a coffee shop you frequent or a way to perform a task. If you don’t find these ideas useful, you can turn them off.

There are two ways to approach this. For a blanket solution, head to Settings, tap on Siri & Search and look for the Siri Suggestions section. Here, you can toggle suggestions off for Search, Look Up and Lock Screen. You can turn them all off, or just some of them.

If you would rather just turn off Siri Suggestions for certain apps, then look down in the same Settings section and tap on the name of an app. You will then see a toggle switch for Siri & Suggestions, or just for whether or not it shows up on the lock screen.

Click or tap here to learn how to tackle some common iTunes problems.

Get your fingerprint to work right

While Apple is phasing out Touch ID fingerprint recognition on its newest phones, there are still plenty of older iPhones that use the technology. You’re tapping and tapping and tapping on your iPhone fingerprint reader and you’re not getting your phone to unlock. This is a common complaint with quite a few possible causes.

For starters, make sure your fingertip isn’t wet and that the reader is clean. A lint-free cloth can help you remove dirt and debris.

Next, you may need to practice your aim a little. Beware of jostling your finger around or tapping too quickly. For even more troubleshooting suggestions, check out our Komando guide to making your iPhone fingerprint reader work every time.

Turn off Screen Time

Apple introduced its Screen Time digital well-being feature as a convenient way for people to track how much they’re using their iOS gadgets. It’s meant to encourage healthy technology behaviors, but not everyone appreciates getting a regular weekly report on their screen usage habits. It also might not make sense for you if you share your iPhone with family members, or if you already have your iPhone use under control.

You can turn off Screen Time by heading into Settings and tapping on Screen Time. At the bottom of this screen, you will see “Turn Off Screen Time” in red. Tap on it. Apple may issue you a warning along the lines of “Screen time will no longer be reported, and all limits, downtime settings, and content and privacy restrictions will be turned off.” If that sounds fine, then tap on the red Turn Off Screen Time text.

Add a Home button to replace the one you lost

Apple has been steadfastly moving away from having a physical home button on its iPhones, but some users just can’t quite get over its loss. You can still cling to a remnant of the past by using a virtual home button. This can also be a workaround for older phones with home buttons that are no longer responding properly.

Open Settings, tap on General, and then on Accessibility. Tap on AssistiveTouch and turn the toggle switch to green. Now look under Custom Action. Tap on Single-Tap and select the Home option. You should see a transparent square icon with a lighter-colored circle in the middle. This is your custom button. A single tap on it will take you to your Home screen. You can slide the button around and relocate it to a convenient spot on your phone.

The virtual button isn’t a perfect replacement for the old Home button, but it can do the job if you really miss having that physical button to touch.

Quiet the keyboard clicks

Here’s a minor annoyance that plagues many mobile devices: keyboard clicks. You’re typing away and you hear click, click, click as you’re tapping. You could mute your iPhone, or you could quash those clicks completely with a quick Settings adjustment.

Open Settings and tap on Sounds. Hit the toggle switch next to Keyboard Clicks to quiet your iPhone and keep it from bothering you or the people around you.

Most iPhone aggravations you bump into will have an easy fix, so go ahead and make a few changes and enjoy your favorite smartphone even more.

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