The most useful tip I’ve come across in ages

By | March 4, 2024

This week I want to share a pretty simple tip that I find really handy when a company or a website asks me for a code that it sends to my smartphone.

You’re probably familiar with the scenario – you’re trying to log in to an account, or pay for something online, and after you type in your password or your card details, they send you a code via text message or email for you to type in, to prove that you’re really you.

Now if you’re doing this on a computer, you can easily go and grab your smartphone, or open your email app, without leaving the page that’s asking for a code.  But if you’re trying to login or pay for something on your smartphone or tablet, as soon as you switch to your email or messages app, there’s a chance that you’ll lose the page asking for the code, which can be extremely irritating.

So how to avoid this problem?  Well, when the text or email with the code arrives, you’ll get a notification about it, and usually the code is visible in that notification.  And although it might disappear off the top of the screen fairly quickly, it’ll be waiting in your notification centre for you.

The best thing to do is wait for the text or email to arrive, let the notification pop up and then disappear, and then swipe down from the very top of the screen.  This opens your notification centre over the top of the current page, so you can read the code, then you swipe upwards on the notifications so you can type it in the box.

Or if you have a newer iPhone, there’s an even cleverer feature, where if you wait for the code message to arrive, you can just tap in the box and the code will appear at the top of your keyboard.  It’ll say something like “from messages: 123456” – you can just tap on that and it fills in the code for you.  It’s a pretty simple feature that just makes life that bit easier.

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