Tips for iPhone, Mac Folder Icons, Browser Privacy

Delete Items From iPhone Video App

Do you know how to delete videos or movies from your iPhone?  It’s really hard to find any directions.  A few days ago I tried to sync my iPhone 4S and I got a message that it wouldn’t sync because it was too full.  What?

I don’t keep that much on my phone, says I.  I looked, and sure enough it was completely full.  I finally discovered the cause was a TV show that I purchased to watch using my Apple TV.  Unfortunately for my storage capabilities, I used my phone to make the purchase and all the shows had downloaded to my phone.

Note to self: don’t do that anymore.

So I think, no big deal, I’ll delete them all.  Ha!  Two hours later I finally found a little tidbit online that gave me a hint.  It’s real easy — if you know how.

Open the video app on your phone and you will see any videos or shows or movies you have stored.  For each one, put your finger over the area where the show is detailed and swipe your finger right to left.  If it doesn’t work the first time, just do it again, because when you do it correctly a red delete box will appear and you can tap that to delete the show.

Delete iPhone videos

That’s all it takes.

Change Folder and Document Icons

I received an email recently from a reader wanting to know how to change the looks of the folders on her desktop. She explained that she usually has about twenty folders going at once because of her responsibilities and she wants to be able to find the one she needs faster than reading all the titles.

Being a member of that same club, I understand completely. It’s been a long time since I addressed this, so here is a refresher on this topic.

Sample folder and document icons

In these examples I have replaced a generic folder with a cat icon, another with a different style folder icon, and a third with a image from my iPhoto files. The next two are document files. The TextEdit is the draft of this column, marked with the TMO column icon and the last is a Pages document which is part of a series of training documents that I create for our local Mac user group. Every column I write has the same icon so I can always find one with a glance. Same for the training documents. Saves me so much time when hunting for something. I should also note that this works on any document or folder.

The process for each situation is exactly the same and it is quick and simple.

Find an image that you want to use. There are a lot of icons available, and you can use images of your own if you want, too, like I did above. You can also use images you find on the Internet (assuming that copyrights on the image allow you to do so). For instance, you can find images using Google by enter your topic and mages. So if you want dogs you could enter dogs images. 

If you want to individualize your folders there are thousands of free folder icons available. To find them search for folder icons mac.

Here are links to a couple of sites you can check out. 

Save your chosen image(s) to your desktop. Note: Not everything on the Internet is free for you to use. Some images are copyrighted and others are commercial images that are available for sale. You bear responsibility for how you use what you find, and if you see that an image you want isn’t available for you to use freely, find something else. There are millions of images out there that are free for you to use.

Once you find an image you want, here’s how to use for your folder or file icon:

The Steps

Step 1. Find an image that you want to use. If it’s on the Internet, save it to your desktop by right-clicking on it and choosing “Save Image to the Desktop.” If it’s already on your hard drive, say in your Pictures folder, open up the folder that it’s in and select it.

Save image to desktop

Step 2. Open the image you saved to your desktop and copy it. When you double click it, it should open in Preview. Go to your Edit menu and “Select All,” or simply use the Command-A keyboard short cut. Then go back to your Edit menu and select “Copy,” or use the Command-C shortcut.

Copy selected icon


Step 3. Right-click on the folder or icon you want to modify. Select Get Info.


Get info

Step 4. When the Get Info window opens click once on the tiny app or folder icon in the top left corner. Once you click on it, a blue halo will appear around it.

Blue halo indicates icon has been selected

Step 7. Paste the image you “Copied” earlier by selecting “Paste” from the Edit menu or using the Command-V keyboard shortcut. The new image you selected will replace the original.

Last step

Note that you can go back to the original icon simply by clicking until the halo appears and clicking delete. This will this folder or file icon back to the OS X system default. You can replace icons as frequently as you wish.

Keep Browsers From Tracking All The Places You Visit On The Internet

The Internet is free and we all demand that it remain so, but nothing is really free. One way that money is garnered is by companies monitoring the places you visit on the Internet and then creating a profile of you, so that advertisements can be sent your way.

There is a way to stop this.

Select Safari → Preferences → Advanced and put a check in the box next to “Show Develop menu in menu bar”. 

Add Develop to your menu bar

The word Develop will now appear as an additional item in the Safari Menu Bar. Select it and you will see several items. Most of them will be of no interest because this tool is really designed for app developers, but the one you want to activate is “Send Do Not Track HTTP Header”.

The Develop menu


This can make a big difference in protecting your privacy. They can’t track you anymore once you do this, though it is always possible that some sites or services out there won’t play by the rules.

This is my current crop of tips. Hope you find them useful. If you have any questions appropriate to beginners, don’t hesitate to ask them.