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How to erase GPS data from cellphone photos

Q: I have some photos I copied from my phone to my Windows 10 PC for cropping and editing on a bigger screen. Is there a way to remove the GPS coordinates in the picture files before I post them online?

A: When you take a photo, the phone’s camera can record all kinds of technical details about the image, which are stored in the file’s EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data. Along with any location information embedded by a phone or camera, the EXIF data can include the date and time it was taken, the camera’s settings and the model of camera used.

To erase the location information from the picture, you just need to delete it from the photo’s EXIF data – which is not difficult to do in Windows. To get started, right click on one of the picture files you want to scrub and choose Properties from the contextual menu.

When the Properties box opens, select the Details tab. At the bottom of the box, click the link for Remove Properties and Personal Information. In the Remove Properties box that appears, you can choose to create a copy of the photo that wipes as much information as possible from the file. Or you can use the original file and delete data selectively.

If you stick with the original file, go down the list of properties in the box and select the information you want to remove from the file. Click the OK button when you are finished.

Repeat the process for each photo you want to edit. If you have a large number of pictures to change, third-party EXIF-editing programs may speed things up. BatchPurifier for Windows is one such app. Mac users can find similar software, like Exif Remover and other data-stripping tools available online.

Make Your Phone Easier to Read

Q: Is it possible to make the text on my smartphone bigger so that I can read emails more easily?

A: The major smartphone platforms include settings that can make the devices simpler to use for people who require bigger text, the ability to zoom, high-contrast displays, audio cues and narration or assistance with the touch screen. In recent versions of the Android and iOS systems, these controls are kept in the Accessibility settings. (Last month, Apple even announced a new Accessibility website to guide users on the assistive features of its products; Google has a similar section on its own site.)

On an iPhone running iOS 10, open the Settings icon, select General and then choose Accessibility. In the Vision section of the settings, tap the On button next to Larger Text. On the next screen, turn on Larger Accessibility Sizes and use the slider to adjust the type.

The text size may not change for some apps, but you should see the new size in native iOS apps like Mail, Messages, Contacts and Calendar. If you find the iOS system font too spindly for comfortable reading, the Accessibility settings also offer a Bold Text option.

On an Android 7.0 device, open the Settings icon and select Accessibility. Tap Font Size and use the slider on the screen to select your preferred size. The Accessibility area’s Display Size controls let you similarly adjust the size of items on the screen.

Android software that has been customized by hardware makers and wireless carriers may have slightly different steps for selecting larger type, and older versions of Android have a Large Text button you can use to increase the size of the screen type. (The Google Chrome browser for Android has its own type-scaling controls in the app’s Accessibility settings.)

For those using Windows Phone 10 handsets, visit the Ease of Access area of the Settings for similar controls.

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