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.

Pro Tip: Get higher quality exports from Photos app

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Photos app does some things differently than iPhoto did.
Photos app does some things differently than iPhoto did.
Photo: Apple

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugAs a long-time iPhotos user, I’ve taken my sweet time getting to know the new Photos app on OS X – it’s got a few differences in the way it does stuff.

One of the new subtleties of Photos is how it treats exporting your pictures. There are two ways to get your images out of the Photos app, one that will give you a smaller file, and one that will preserve the higher resolution, original photo.

Here’s how to make sure you’re exporting your photos at the quality you want.

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.

How to send app crash reports to OS X Notification Center

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Crash reports don't have to interrupt your Zen.
Crash reports don't have to interrupt your Zen.
Photo: Lifehacker

OS X is about as reliable as any operating system out there, but apps still can — and do — crash. When they do, they take up the entire middle of your screen, interrupting whatever you’re doing, even if the app that crashed was running in the background.

It’s a mild annoyance, true, but it doesn’t have to be an annoyance at all. Here’s how to push crash messages to Notification Center instead of the middle of your screen.

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.