How to Disable Google from Tracking You

Whereever you go, Goggle is tracking you, especially Google Maps, and archives that activity in your Google Timeline. It is both a blessing and a curse. It can take you down memory lane, but as a curse, it leaves the door wide open to your privacy.

With Timeline, Google Maps can show where you are going and where you have been. Even photos taken and uploaded to Google Photos can reveal your location. You can also share your location in realtime on your smartphone.

If you prefer to keep your location private, you can remove your location history and stop Google from following you.

This feature is for your iOS (iPhone/iPad), Android device, Windows 10 or whatever smart device supports Google

Stop Activity and Location Tracking

  • Open your Google browser
  • Log into your account at myaccount.google.com
  • Select Data & personalization
  • You can disable what Google can tract and collect from you by managing your Activity controls. To stop tracking, click on the Title and toggle the switch to off. See below image:
Google Tracking 1
Google Activity controls

Warning! Turning off these Activity controls will effect the use of their features.

Delete your Activities

Your activities are kept until you manually delete them (the default). You have the option of deleting all data for the past 18 months or past 3 months.

  • Navigate to your Google account at myaccount.google.com
  • Select Data & personalization>Web & App Activity>Manage Activity>Choose to delete automatically. See below image:
Google Tracking 2
Google Deletion process
  • Select the 18 or 3 month option
  • Tap Next. See below image:
Google Tracking 3
Google selection of how long to keep your activity
  • Google will show you what is about to be deleted
  • Tap Confirm at the bottom of your screen. See below image:
Google Tracking 9
Google confirmation of your activity deletion
  • Also, you can delete a particular day’s browsing activity by taping the Trash icon next to the day. Refer to second image above.

To select a custom range, an hour or a date:

  • Tap the Menu icon located next to My Activity
  • Select Delete activity by. See below image:
Google Tracking 4
Google custom deletion
  • Choose one of the following options. See below image:
Goo5le Tracking 6
Google selecting your custom deletion
  • There are other privacy settings you can explore such as Location Services under Settings>Privacy and Security>Location>Location. A set of apps that use Location Services can be toggled on or off. See the following screen:
Google Tracking 8
Google Location Services to turn on or off

Warning! Turning off these Apps Location Services will effect the use of their features.

Go Incognito

The best and easist way to “hide” your browsing is to set the Incognito Mode. This feature allows you to browse without Google compiling history, cookies, site data or form information. Google has extended the feature to Maps and YouTube. Maps will stop tracking your location history; YouTube will no longer track your search and view history.

  • Launch Google
  • Tap the More icon in bottom right hand corner (the 3 dots)
  • Tap Turn on incognito. See below image:
Google Tracking 10
Google setting for Incognito Mode

You will see the following screen:

Google Tracking 7
Google Incognito Mode turned on

To turn off Incognito Mode:

  • Launch Google
  • Tap the More icon in the bottom right hand corner (the 3 dots)
  • Tap In incognito mode
  • Tap Turn off incognito. Refer to following image:
Google Tracking 7
Google Incognito Mode turned off

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

Want to Fix Your Crooked iPhone Photos?

Your photos are off center and you want to fix one or more. The Apple iOS 13 photo editor can straighten a photo. But what if you want more control over the photo. I am going to introduce to you to a free third party app called Snapseed from Google.

This is for iOS devices iPhone and iPad

  • Either take a crooked photo or select one that you want to fix. See my following crooked photo:
iPhone Crocked Photo Cropped 1
My crooked iPhone photo

Cropping the Photo

  • Tap the Edit button
  • Tap the Crop button at the bottom of the screen

The photo will be automatically crop and the perspective will be changed. Sometimes, this is enough. If so, just click Done and your finished. In my case, I had to use the Straighten tool to rotate the photo then I clicked Done. Notice I rotated the photo a -18. Refer to below image for my result:

iPhone Crocked Photo Cropped 3
Editing with iPhone photo editor

If you are using iOS 13+, head over to the App Store to download and install the free program Snapseed. Once installed:

The Snapseed Tools

  • Open your crooked photo in Snapseed
  • Click on Tools at the bottom of the screen. You will see the following image:
iPhone Crocked Photo Cropped 5
Snapseed tool set

As you will notice, there are lots of tools to chose from for your photo.

  • Click on the Perspective icon. You can tilt up or down, rotate right or left, scale the photo or free hand the perspective. Refer to my below image:
iPhone Crocked Photo Cropped 6
Using the Snapseed Perspective tool

The app is super sensitive to your touch, much more precise than the built in iPhone photo editor. As you move the perspective, the app will automatically fill in the edges. Check out all the other tools you can use for photo editing. Once you are finished, click Done. Notice at the top of the screen the Straighten is precise to the hundreds of a percent. See the below image:

Phone Crocked Photo Cropped 7
Final image with Snapseed. This photo was cropped showing white edges

Saving Your Photo

  • Tap on the Checkmark icon in the lower right of your screen
  • Tap on Export. You will see the following image:
iPhone Crocked Photo Cropped 8
Saving your photo
  • Tap on Save to save your changes or Save a copy to preserve your original photo. You are now finished.

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

Why Auto Logging Out of Apps Should Be Required

This is for iOS, Android, Mac and PC devices

We all have our favorite smart device apps. This would include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit and others. What happens when you turn off your device, power off or shutdown? These apps are still active and readily available when your device is turned back on.

These apps offer you convenient access by keeping you logged in. When you log into a financial institution, say Bank of America or Morgan Stanley, you are logged out within two minutes of no activity.

Our favorite apps should do the same. By staying logged in, the apps are more subjective to hacks by others.

Of course, by logging out, means you have to reenter a UserID, Password and Passcode, if using Two Factor Authentication, to gain access. And that can be a pain but it’s worth it.

If you are selling or disposing a smart device, you should log out all apps. Also, you may consider erasing all data and/or resetting your device. Only do this if you no longer need the device.

I would like the app industry to follow the same logging out protocol as financial entities. What do you think? Please take the one question survey.

Leave a Comment

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

How to Transfer iPhone Contacts to Windows 10

Have you ever wanted to share your iPhone contacts with your Windows 10 PC? I have wanted to do this for a year. It used to work but my PC went “south” last year. I finally did some research and came up with this post for you to implement. You can share your smart device contacts through Apple’s iCloud service. To use this service, your contacts must be synced with iCloud. So, lets get started.

This is for iPhone or iPad and Windows 10 operating system

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Its usually located on your home screen. Your screen should look similar to the following image:
Win 10 Contacts Settings
My iPhone home screen
  • Tap your name at the top of the screen. See following screenshot:
Win 10 Contacts Profile
My iPhone Settings screen

Syncing Contacts

  • Tap iCloud
  • Verify that your Contacts is being synced. Either the toggle switch will be green or you will see iCloud storage being used like the below image. If not, tap the toggle button to enable the process and sync your contacts.
Win 10 Contacts Storage
My iPhone iCloud Storage screen
  • On your Windows 10 PC, log in to iCloud website with your Apple ID and Password
  • Click on the Contacts applet. See following screenshot:
Win 10 iCloud Contacts
iCloud applets on Windows 10 PC screen

Selecting/Exporting Contacts

  • Select a Contact from your list. See the following image for my selection of Chris Dow:
Win 10 iCloud Selection
iCloud Contacts screen
  • Click the small gear icon at the bottom left corner
  • Select Export vCard. Refer to following screenshot:
Win 10 iCloud Export
Selecting and Exporting an iCloud Contact screen

You can select more than one contact by selecting a single name and using the “Shift” key to select the last contact. There is an option to Create Group at the bottom right for your multiple contact selection.

Note! It is best to export just one contact. Although you can select multiple contacts, only one contact data (the first one selected) is exported, especially for Outlook.

By default, the exported VCF file is placed in your PC Downloads folder.

  • Open your File Explore and find the VCF file. Refer to following image:
Win 10 iCloud Downloads
File Explorer Downloads folder screen with Chris Dow VCF file

Using Your VCF File

  • Right click on the VCF file and select Open
  • Select where you want to install your contact(s). You have several choices, like Outlook, the People app and Windows Contacts
  • Select your choice and click OK

Your choice will open for your review.

  • For Outlook, click the Save & Close option to complete the export. See following screen::
Win 10 iCloud Outlook
Exported VCF file from iCloud to Microsoft Outlook in Windows 10 screen

That’s it. You are done.

Enable iCloud Contacts Sharing

BUT WAIT, I want to share all my Contacts via iCloud to my Windows 10 PC, not just a few. You can use iCloud for Windows to synchronize your contacts and other data between your iOS device and Outlook. Lets get started.

This works with the following variations of Outlook:

Outlook for Office 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010

  • Download and install iCloud for Windows.
  • After installation, launch the iCloud app and sign in with your Apple ID and Password. Your screen should look like the below image:
Win 10 Outlook iCloud Screen
iCloud for Windows screenshot
  • Select the option to sync Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks. You can select other options to sync from this screen.
  • Click Apply
  • Click Close

Once the setup has finished, launch Outlook. Your iCloud email, contacts and calendars should now be synchronizing with Outlook.

  • To verify, in Outlook, open a new email. In the Address Book drop down box, select iCloud like the image below:
Win 10 Outlook iCloud Names
Windows 10 iCloud contacts screen
  • You should see ALL your iCloud contacts
  • Close Outlook

If you are experiencing problems please click here for Apple help.

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

How to Log Out All Devices in Twitter

Are you concerned someone may have access to your Twitter account? Do you know what devices are logged in? What if you moving to a new device; have you logged out of Twitter on the old device?

Your smart device keeps you logged in to such apps as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Messenger, Microsoft and others. Each app has a feature to log out all devices. We want to explore logging out all devices for Twitter. Just follow these steps.

This is for iPhone or iPad and Twitter

Your Profile Screen

  • Tap your profile photo or swipe left to right. You will see the following image:
Twitter Log Out Profile
Twitter Log Out Profile screenshot

Your Settings Screen

  • Tap on Settings and privacy. You will see the following screen:
Twitter Log Out Settings
Twitter Log Out Settings screenshot

Your Account Screen

  • Tap on Account. Following is a screenshot:
Twitter Log Out Account
Twitter Log Out Account screenshot

Your Sessions Screen

  • Tap on Apps and sessions. You will see the following screen:
Twitter Log Out Devices
Twitter Log Out Devices screenshot

Your Log Out Screen

  • Your devices that have access to your account is displayed. Tap on Log out all other sessions. You will see the following screen:
Twitter Log Out All Sessions
Twitter Log Out All Sessions screenshot
  • Tap Log out

That’s it. You are done. You now will have to log back in to use Twitter.

Your Two Factor Authentication Screen

To make your Twitter account more secure, you may want to setup Two-factor authentication. This is on the third screen in this post, under the Account option. Just tap on Security and you will see the following screen:

Twitter Log Out Two-Factor Authentication
Twitter Log Out Two-Factor Authentication screenshot
  • Select Two-factor authentication, choose one of three options displayed on your screen and follow its directions.

I recommend setting up Two-factor authentication whenever the option is available.

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

Four Notable iOS 13 Features

Apple has yet to make a big deal about their new operating system. In fact, some of these new features are hidden or have changed from their last update. I am going to discuss four new features; Battery Optimization, Update All, Rearranging Apps and Sharing Photo Location. You may want to check these out.

Apple unveils a new iPhone every year. Along with it comes a new mobile operating system (iOS), in this case iOS 13+. These features work on iPhones back to 6S and SE. If you have a 6 or 5s, you are stuck with iOS 12 variations.

This is for iPhone, iPad and Mac or any other device using iOS 13

Battery Optimization Feature

The first new feature I want to address is “Battery Optimization“. Its best to use for overnight charging. This feature learns how you charge your battery and sets up a routine of charging your phone to 80% until the time right before it knows you will wake up, at which point it will finish charging to 100%.

To set up, go to Settings>Battery>Battery Health and turn on Optimized Battery Charging. Once enabled, the slider control will be lit in green. Below is a screenshot:

Optimized Battery Charging
Optimized Battery Charging screenshot

Where is the Update All Feature?

The second feature is somewhat tricky. I don’t know why Apple took something so simple in their previous iOS and made this feature difficult. I assume they want you to rely on automatic updates. The feature is “Update All Apps“. In the new iOS, this feature seems to be missing, but we will get it back. This feature is for those who don’t want to wait for automatic updates.

First, lets go ahead and setup “Automatic Downloads“. To setup, go to Settings>iTunes & App Store>Cellular Data. To enable this feature, turn on the Automatic Downloads. The slider control will be lit in green. We are doing this in case you forget to manually update your apps.

Now, lets get the Update All feature back. Go to the App Store app and click on your profile at the top (it should have a small photo of you). Your screen will look like the below screenshot:

Updated Recently screenshot
Updated Recently screenshot

Your will notice the Updated Recently section followed by your iPhone Apps. To get the Update All feature, swipe down on the screen. Your screen will look as follows:

Update All screenshot
Update All screenshot

Notice the Update All feature magically appears IF you have pending updates. You can click this link to update all apps or manually update an app by clicking on its Update button.

Rearranging Apps Has Been Modified

The third feature is for Rearranging Apps. When you press and hold an app, a popup menu appears. These popups are different for each app. To get the “wiggles” for dragging an app to a different location or to create a folder by dragging apps on top of each other, continue to press and hold and the wiggles will appear. Even though the app icon may be hidden by the popup menu, just continue to press and hold. Tap Done at the top of the screen when finished.

A New Privacy Option for Photos

The last feature I want to mention is about a privacy option for photos. From the Photo app, select any number of photos you plan to share. Click the Share icon at the bottom. But before you share, click Options at the top; you will get the option to include location data or not. By removing the location data it makes it a lot harder for someone to track the location of the photo(s). Below is a screenshot of including the Location. To turn off, disable the Location slider control (the control will no longer be lit).

Location data for photos screenshot
Location data for photos screenshot

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry.Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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I love you addressed nearly every frustrating feature change I have! Thanks for sharing and educating me. 

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