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From the Tips Box: Muting Apps in Windows 7, Data Privacy on iOS Devices, and Clutter Free YouTube and Amazon Browsing

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Once a week we round up some of the great reader tips that flood into our inbox and share them with everyone. This week we’re looking at muting individual apps in Windows 7, controlling the flow of personal data in iOS applications, and clutter free YouTube and Amazon browsing.

Mute Individual Applications in Windows 7

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Dana writes in with the following Windows 7 tip:

I don’t know about you, but it’s been ages since I opened up Window’s “Volume Mixer”. Last time I opened it, circa some time when Windowx XP was new, it wasn’t particularly useful (filled with individual volume controls for obscure audio components on my computer I didn’t even use). In Windows 7 it’s actually useful! You can pick the individual device and then pick the applications piping sound through. How is this useful? When I listen to Pandora I use it to mute the system sounds and my IM client’s alerts. It’s way easier than going into the individual apps and toggling the sound settings! Maybe this is common knowledge but I figured there had to be a lot of people like me that never bothered to look at the Volume Mixer.

Oh there are plenty of people who never look, Dana. We used Windows 7 for two years before we stumbled upon the selective-mute function. It’s totally at tip worth sharing!

Control How Your iOS Device Shares Data with Protect My Privacy

Steve writes in with a pro-privacy tip for jailbroken iOS device:

I’m sure you guys have heard about how leaky iOS apps can be with your private data. I found a great iPhone application in the Cydia store (so you’ll need a jailbroken iPhone). The app, Protect My Privacy, does two awesome things. First, it tells you whenever an app wants to share your data. That alone is pretty useful. But here’s where it gets even better, you can set up a “fake” data profile and opt to send that instead. So if the app must share the data to function, you can tell the app that you’re Abraham Lincoln or whatever you feel like. With this app you get the best of both worlds, notifications and the ability to share a fake profile.

Clever app, Steve. Definitely worth downloading if you want to keep a close eye on the data your apps are sharing (or just feel like telling everyone you’re Johnny Mnemonic.

Browse Youtube and Amazon with a Minimal Interface

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Antonio writes in with the following tip for decluttering YouTube and Amazon:

I saw the post you guys did about BookFlavor to make Amazon less cluttered. There’s a browser plugin (available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) called Clea.nr that strips away all the clutter on Amazon and YouTube automatically. I don’t know about you guys but I find the stripped down versions much more enjoyable to use.

Nice find Antonio, the two-for one effect on Amazon and YouTube is a nice feature—hopefully they’ll start adding in more sites soon!


Have a tip to share? Shoot us an email at tips@howtogeek.com and look for your tip on the front page!

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 02/23/12

Comments (6)

  1. kenedy123

    Tips Muting Apps in Windows 7, Data Privacy on iOS Devices, and Clutter Free YouTube and Amazon Browsing.

  2. Ooten Aboot

    When I open Volume Mixer I see only Speakers and System Sounds. I figured out how to mute the annoying System Sounds long ago. How do I get control of sounds in other apps? I do hafe Firefox, Chrome and iTunes installed , so that’s not the reason they don’t show up on Volume Mixer. Am I missing something in the settings for those apps?

  3. Joe

    I have the same problem. iTunes does not show. Only Speaker and system. How do I get more?

  4. OMG-look!

    OMG Look closer you guys, there’s a link right there below the mute-speaker, called “Mixer”. Click and you’ll see all of the sound-equipped applications that are running. Granted, the tipster could have explained better.

  5. Ooten Aboot

    OMG yerself, OMG-Look. No such link in my Win 7 Pro 64-bit. Maybe in Ultimate? Maybe it depends on the sound card? Whatever, there is no “link right there below the mute speaker” in the Volume Mixer window.

  6. steve

    In your task-bar, in the notifications area, at the right end of the bar…..
    there should be a speaker icon. (all versions of windows)…..
    Click on the icon…..
    Approximately 1/4″ above the icon, the word MIXER should appear…..
    Click on the word MIXER.

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