How to keep stalkers from tracking you on Instagram

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Who's tracking your Instagram movements?
Who's tracking your Instagram movements?
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Anyone can tap your profile in Instagram and see where you were when you took your snapshots. Creeped out, yet?

Every time you take a picture for Instagram, the photo-sharing app keeps track of where you are by default. Here’s how to remove the location data automatically added to your snaps and keep stalkers from tracking you on Instagram.

Never miss your BFF’s precious Instagrams again

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Find out when your pals post before anyone else.
Find out when your pals post before anyone else.
Photo: YashilG/Pixabay

Avid Instagram users like to know when new photos show up on the social media platform so they can be the first to like, respond, or even comment on their favorite Instagrammer’s pictures.

You can do the same thing by turning on notifications for a specific user, letting you know exactly when your buddies post to Instagram.

Here’s how to enable this cool hidden feature.

How to represent your town with custom Snapchat geofilters

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Your bedroom probably doesn't count as a
Your bedroom probably doesn't count as a "location."
Photo: Maurizio Pesce/FlickrCC

If you’re looking to show a little local pride in Snapchat, the company made it pretty easy to make and upload your own so that you (and anyone else who’s in that location) can swipe right and show off a custom geofilter.

All you need is a graphics program like Illustrator, Photoshop, or (my favorite) Pixelmator, a little bit of time, and you can represent your town with a custom Snapchat geofilter.

Here’s how.

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.

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

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.

iOS tip: The weird way to find keywords in a webpage

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Find what you want in mobile Safari.
Find what you want in mobile Safari.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Sometimes I’m browsing a site like Cult of Mac on my iPhone and I’m looking for something specific, like a story about encryption, for example. Instead of swiping down the page and hoping I see the story I’m looking for, I want to just search for it.

When you’re on your Mac, it’s super easy to find something like this: simply hit Command-F, type in the text string you’re looking for, and Safari (or any other web browser on the Mac, really) will find them all in the web page you’re on, highlighting them for you.

But what about finding stuff when browsing the web on your iPhone? There’s no Command-key on the built-in keyboard, so how do you search your favorite web page to find keywords?

Turns out, there are two ways to do it, which is kind of odd.

Pro Tip: Set your Mac to perpetual Do Not Disturb mode

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So many birthdays, man.
So many birthdays, man.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Pro_Tip_Cult_of_MacNotification Center on OS X seems like a great idea, most of the time, until you get a ton of notifications about things you really don’t care about all at once. You’ve got to click all the little “close” boxes, or click and drag the Notification banners to the right. It can be downright disconcerting.

You can turn on Do Not Disturb for 24 hours, after which it’ll default back to “Disturb.” You can hack your way in and turn off the feature altogether, but then you wouldn’t be able to see any Notifications, ever.

If you want the best of both worlds–Notifications that you can open the Center to see but that don’t pop onto your screen all the time–check out this cool tip.