How to maximize your El Capitan windows without going full screen

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Don't let OS X windows take over your whole screen.
Don't let OS X windows take over your whole screen.
Photo: Luke Chesser / Unsplash

It used to be that if you wanted to zoom any window on your Mac to see as much of the content inside it as possible, you’d hit OS X’s green button in the upper left of the window.

As of OS X Yosemite, the green button turned into a “full screen” trigger, zooming any window out to completely fill your Mac’s monitor.

If you hate that behavior, here’s an easy way to get the original zoom feature without the full screen.

How to find out which Mac apps are using your location

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Find out when your Mac is looking at your location data.
Find out when your Mac is looking at your location data.
Photo: Apple

As our digital lives converge across mobile and desktop devices like our iPhones and Macbooks, we rely on them knowing where we are at any given time. Safari suggestions, for example, count on knowing your location, as do any Maps searches or such.

You might want to know when your Location data is being used, however, for privacy reason. If you enable the Location Services menu bar, you’ll be able to see when any app is accessing your private location data, making it more possible to lock down any sources you don’t want using it.

Here’s how to get that menu bar notice working.

Apple hides beautiful Retina wallpapers on ‘Something New’ website

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Perfect for an iPhone, right?
Perfect for an iPhone, right?
Photo: Jake Sargeant/Apple

If you’re looking for some amazing new Retina-display-quality images to wallpaper your Mac, iPhone or iPad, you might want to head over to Apple’s “Start Something New” campaign web page.

The sub-site — part of an ongoing advertising campaign highlighting how creative you can get with Apple products — has a bunch of amazing images that zoom around when you mouse a cursor across them.

Here’s how to get them to spruce up your device.

App Store app acting weird? Try this quick fix

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You'll want to find these.
You'll want to find these.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Twitter user and developer Peter Steinberger shouted out to the Twitterverse when his App Store app kept showing an app that needed an update, but would never actually update, even with an iPhone restart.

He got a reply from Zachary Drayer, a mobile developer himself, on how to get the App Store to force refresh.

It’s totally nonintuitive, but utterly cool, and you can do it on your Apple Watch and iTunes app as well. Here’s what to do if you’re in the same situation.

How to set up all your shiny new Apple gear

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No matter what Apple gear you got (or gave), we're here to help.
No matter what Apple gear you got (or gave), we're here to help.
Photo: Pixabay

This time of the year typically means gifts, both giving and receiving them. Surely some of you have gotten a brand new Macbook, iMac, iPhone or iPad (Pro, anyone?).

If so, you might be looking at a lovely morning playing with your shiny new toys. But where to start? What essential tweaks, software tricks and necessary little tips do you need to make sure they’re set up the right way?

Well, we’ve got your back, with roundups to help you easily set up your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, iPad (Pro, Air 2 or mini), Apple Watch or new Apple TV the right way. Here’s the list of setup guides to get you up and running with your brand new Apple gear.