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Your complete guide to Google+

If strong privacy options, the absence of FarmVille, and a fresh set of friends sound good to you, you've probably signed up for Google+. Here you'll find out best tips, guides, and tweaks for mastering Google+.

Editors' note: This blog was originally published on July 28, 2011.

If strong privacy options, the absence of FarmVille, and a fresh set of friends sound good to you, you've probably signed up for Google+.

Google+ has opened its doors to the public, allowing anyone to visit and immediately open a new account.

Once you've settled into Google+, browse our handy collection of tips including the essentials, profile tweaks, and a few guides for moving your photos from other social networks (like Instagram and Facebook) swiftly into Google+.

Learn the basics

Seven Google+ essentials
Learn how to tag friends, format text, edit photos, share directly to Facebook and Twitter, send direct messages, use permalinks, and let friends e-mail you directly from your profile.

How to tweak your Google+ profile
Make sure your profile is up to snuff. We show you how to customize privacy settings, display photos, link to favorites sites, and more.

How to delete your Google+ account
If you've tried it but just aren't impressed, we'll show you how to delete your Google+ content without affecting your other Google services.

Back up your Google+ account
Download all your Google+ data, including your stream, profile, contacts, and circles, for offline availability and security in case of tampering.

Manage your photos

How to move your Facebook photos to Google+
If you're ditching Facebook for Google+, don't leave your memories behind. We show you how to transfer your Facebook photos to Google+.

Quickly import all Instagram photos into Google+
Follow this easy guide to importing your Instagram photos onto your profile.

Share your Google+ photos using a Creative Commons license
Creative Commons licensing lets you protect your images (and other stuff) from strangers who might take advantage of them for financial gain. Google+ makes it incredibly easy to share your photos using CC licensing. Here's how to get started.

Know your privacy

How to block or ignore someone on Google+
Notifications from strangers and comments from trolls are enough to scare you away from Google+. Luckily, there are a couple new options to keep them away.

Customize your privacy on Google+
Make sure you're not oversharing, or revealing personal information on Google's new social network. We show you how to lock in the right privacy settings.


Get Google+ notifications on your Windows desktop
This desktop app can keep you from spending all day looking at your Web browser for notifications from your friends.

Integrate your Facebook and Google+ streams
For many people, one of the main obstacles to getting started with Google+ is that it adds one more thing to check. SGPlus is a Chrome extension that lets you see your Facebook and Twitter feeds on Google+, and lets you post to either from within G+.

Keep the Google bar at the top of any Web site
Conveniently access your Google+ notifications and settings as you browse the Web.

How to create a Google+ vanity URL
Unlike other social networking services, Google+ doesn't let you create your own personal URL. Follow this guide to create your own short URL for sharing with friends.