Why is My Menu Not Showing Up on My Phone?

Ever wonder why your phone’s menu doesn’t seem to agree with what you’re seeing on TV? It could be that the TV and phone are using different data sources—and you might not even know it! Learn more about how digital menus work, and how to make sure they show up the same on your TV screen, mobile device, and computer.

Data Source

Unless you’ve got a super-powered phone, your screen won’t be able to display an accurate picture of what’s on your computer’s hard drive and what apps are available for download. This is because the information is saved digitally (on a hard drive) rather than in the real world (on paper or plastic).

To ensure everything matches up, your phone connects to the internet using a connection known as “high-speed internet access” (HSIA). This is usually offered by your phone carrier or internet service provider (ISP).

When you log on to the internet using your phone, you’re connected to a server known as a “cloud server”. The cloud server stores all your information (such as email, documents, and webpages you’ve created) that can be accessed from any computer or phone. Your ISP provides you with a unique “cloud account” and unique “cloud password” which can be used to access your information from anywhere.

The Difference Between Cloud and Local Storage

If you’ve ever opened up the storage space on your phone, you’ll see several folders — “Documents”, “Downloads”, “Music”, and “Video” are the most common. These are for storing local content: pictures, videos, and music files that you’ve downloaded. You can think of these as storage locations for temporarily keeping content while you use the device.

If you want to download and install apps or games, you’ll have to go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to do so. These are online marketplaces where you can find and download apps and games. When you download an app or game, you’re storing it in a folder called “Downloads”.

Your phone also has a special folder called “Documents' — this is where apps (such as email programs), documents, and webpages are stored. If you want to create a new document, you’ll have to go to “Documents” — not “Favorites” or “Desktop.” Your phone also keeps a record of the websites you visit on the internet. This information is stored in a special folder called “Web History”. You can view your web history on your phone by going to “My Web Pages” — then click on the “History” tab.

Why Is My Phone’s Menu Always Out of Date?

If you look at your phone’s menu at any time, you’ll see that the store’s information is always out of date. The reason for this is that your phone’s menu is tied to a specific data source: the “favorites” — or “most-recently-used” — of a file stored on your hard drive called “favorites.rdf”. This file is updated whenever your phone is connected to the internet using HSIA — but it can take a while for all the updates to be reflected on your phone’s menu.

Updating The Favorites File

To ensure that your phone’s menu is always “fresh”, you need to “refresh” its information by connecting your phone to the internet and doing a quick search (using the search bar at the top).

This process, which is called an “internet search”, searches for updates (new items, price changes, etc) to the “favorites” file — which in turn updates your phone’s menu.

Is It Really Necessary to Use the Search Bar To Find My Menu?

When you first set up your phone, the internet search feature was probably one of the things that you were asked to try out. You’d be surprised how often this feature is still required to update your phone’s menu when connected to the internet. Sometimes it can take several searches (or a few minutes) to find what you’re looking for.

This is why you should always have the “favorites” file (which stores your phone’s menu) open whenever you’re connected to the internet — so you can easily update the information whenever you want. You should also check out the “favorites” file’s “History” tab to see what sites you’ve recently been to.

More Than Meets The Eye

Even if you never use the internet search feature on your phone, you’re still using the “favorites” file to keep your phone’s menu up-to-date. This is because the “favorites” file is more than just a place to store your phone’s menu — it’s also a place to store your “reading habits” (the books, articles, blogs, and videos you’ve been exploring).

To see this, navigate to “My Web Pages” — then click on the “History” tab. You’ll see a list of all the books, blogs, and videos you’ve been exploring. When you click on a history entry, you’ll see the title and a few words about the item along with a small image next to it. This is the “readers’ table of contents” for that item.

If you want, you can add keywords (such as the name of a book, blog piece, or course) to your queries so you can find those items easily. For example, if you’re searching for “self-help” and click on the “self-help” entry in the history list, you’ll be taken to the website for that topic.

Sync The Favorites File

If you use several devices (such as a PC and a smartphone) to access the internet, you’ll want to make sure that your phone’s menu information is always kept up-to-date. This can be painful if you’ve been using a PC to access the web and the PC’s “favorites” file is out of date, causing information to be lost on click — particularly if you use drop down menus heavily.

To prevent this, you can “sync” the “favorites” file across all your devices. To do this, navigate to “Settings” on your phone and select “Apps” — then “Documents” — and finally “Favorites.”.

On the next screen, you’ll see a list of apps that can be used to sync the “favorites” file. You can either install one of these apps or use a tool like Dropbox (free for personal use) to synchronize the file.