How to install and uninstall extensions in Chrome

The Chrome Web Store has come a long way since its early days. Hardly anyone compares it to Firefox’s add-on market place any more. The extensions have also improved in quality and you will find extensions that compare to those for available to Firefox users. In fact, there have been attempts to run Chrome extensions in Firefox. If you’ve never tried an extension out, or you don’t know where to get started, you’ll be surprised to know how easy it is to install and uninstall extensions in Chrome.

By default, extensions only run in the normal browsing window. If you want to run extensions in Incognito mode, you’re going to have to enable them individually.

Install extensions

Chrome extensions are mostly available in the Chrome Web Store. You can search the store, click an extension. and click the Add to Chrome button.

The extension will show you the list of permissions that the extension needs in order to work and you want to pay attention to this list. Make sure that the extension isn’t asking for permission it doesn’t need. Once you give the extension the permissions it needs, it will install in Chrome.

Extensions install on a per-profile basis so if you have multiple Chrome profiles, the extension that you install will only be installed for the current installation.

Side-loading extensions

While most extensions are available in the Chrome web store, some aren’t. These are mostly extensions that are still under development and in some cases, they’re extensions that may not be approved in the store. You can still install them but the process is different.

Before you install an extension from outside the Chrome Web Store, make sure that it is safe. They can be malicious.

To side-load an extension, open Chrome and click the more options button at the top right. Go to More tools>Extensions. On the Extensions page, you will see a switch at the top right called Developer Mode. Turn it on.

Download the Chrome extension and then return to the Extensions page in Chrome. Click the Load Unpacked button and select the extension that you downloaded and it will be installed in Chrome. Again, it will be installed on a per-profile basis.

Uninstall extension

There are three ways to uninstall an extension. You can uninstall it from the Extensions’ page in Chrome, or you can uninstall it from the extension’s page on the Chrome Web Store. If an extension adds a button next to the URL bar, you can uninstall it from there.

To uninstall an extension from its button next to the URL bar, right-click it, and select the Remove from Chrome option. Accept the confirmation message and it will be uninstalled.

To uninstall an extension from the Extensions page, click the more options button at the top right in Chrome and go to More tools>Extensions. Scroll down the list and find the extension that you want to uninstall. When you find it, click the Remove button, and confirm that you want to remove the extension.

The third way to remove an extension is to visit its Chrome Web Store page. The Add to Chrome button that you clicked to install it will be replaced with a Remove from Chrome button. Click it, confirm that you want to remove the extension, and it will be uninstalled.

When you uninstall an extension, all its data is also removed with it.

Read How to install and uninstall extensions in Chrome by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to remove Internet Explorer from Windows 10

Internet Explorer is still around but no one cares. Not even Microsoft. It has another browser that it pushes on to Windows 10 users i.e., Edge and that browser is already being revamped. It’s highly unlikely that you use it but it may still be on your system. It’s not doing anything. Unlike Edge, there are no Windows 10 features that rely on it which is why you may want to remove Internet Explorer from Windows 10.

Remove Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer can be removed from the Control Panel. Open the Control Panel and click on Programs. On the Programs screen, click Turn Windows features on or off.

This will open a list of the Windows Features installed on your system. Go through it, and you will find Internet Explorer 11. By default, it’s going to be checked which indicates that it’s installed. Uncheck it, and click OK.

You will get an on-screen alert telling you that removing Internet Explorer 11 might break some and ask you to confirm that you want to remove it. Click Yes and it will be uninstalled. It will take a while to uninstall and once it does, you will need to restart your system. Once your system restarts, Internet Explorer will be gone.

If you ever need to get it back, for whatever reason, you can. The process is simple; open Control Panel and go to Programs. Click the same ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ option, and from the list of options, check the box next to Internet Explorer and click OK. Windows 10 will install the browser and again, you will need to restart your system for the change to be applied.

Internet Explorer 11 isn’t even the default browser on Windows 10 when you install it. It’s there because it’s always been there. It’s a part of Windows and even though Windows 10 has more users than Windows 7 now, that wasn’t always the case. A lot of websites still only work properly in this browser which is why it’s still there. No feature that Microsoft adds to Windows 10 relies on Internet Explorer to work. It either uses Cortana, or it uses Edge.

Microsoft may eventually deprecate the browser however, that may not happen soon. Deprecating a browser, particularly one that has been the stock browser on a major operating system for over fifteen years isn’t the same as deprecating the Paint app. Many users still rely on this browser. It may not be the safe or sensible thing to do but people still use it.

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How to enter BIOS Restore mode on PC

When you buy a new laptop or a desktop system, it comes with the BIOS pre-configured. You may or may not have an operating system installed but the BIOS is definitely configured before hand. For the most part, you won’t ever need to change the BIOS. You might change the settings a bit or you might perform a BIOS reset and return it to its factory settings. There are exceptions to this though. Your BIOS can be corrupted and you may need to restore it. There are two ways to restore  theBIOS but both require that you enter the BIOS restore mode. Here’s how.

BIOS Restore mode

As mentioned, there are two methods for restoring the BIOS. You can restore it from the recovery partition on your system if it supports it, or you can create a restore disk and restore from it. In either case, booting to your BIOS will not do the trick. You will have to enter BIOS restore mode.

Before you enter BIOS restore mode, make sure that you system is connected to a reliable power source. If you’re entering BIOS restore mode on a laptop, remove the battery and connect the power charger.

Next, you need to turn your system on but before that, you need to tap and hold the keys that tell your system to enter BIOS restore mode. These keys differ based on your system’s manufacturer. The list below should help.

HP: Win + B

Dell: Ctrl + Esc

Acer: FN + Esc

Lenovo: Fn + R

Hold down these keys, and tap and hold the power button for 5 – 10 seconds.  Release the power key when your system turns on and soon you should see the restore screen which will look nothing like the normal BIOS screen that you get. Release the other keys you’re holding down and follow the on-screen instructions or interact with the options it presents to you to restore BIOS.

You can also restore BIOS from your desktop if you’re able to boot to it. Normally, the need to restore BIOS arises when a system won’t boot properly, or at all. If you are able to get to a desktop, or you’re able to run a live OS from a disk, you can use it to restore BIOS. It’s easier that way however, the method will differ based on your system. Some PC manufacturers provide an app that can be burned or copied to a USB disk and used to restore BIOS. You an also find third-party utilities that take the hassle out of the process but you will still need to know how to enter BOS restore mode if you go with a disk.

Read How to enter BIOS Restore mode on PC by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to get more items on the jump list on Windows 10

When you right-click an app icon on the taskbar, you get a list of actions that you can perform and a list of recent files or locations that you visited in the app. The options shown in this list, known as the jump list, differ based on the app. File Explorer will show you recent folders or drives but Chrome will show you recent/frequent websites. What they both have in common is the number of items they can show in this list of recent items which is 6. If you need more items on the jump list, you can get them by editing the Windows registry.

More items on jump list

To add more items on the jump list, you need to edit the Windows registry which means you need admin rights on your system.

Open the run box with the Win+R keyboard shortcut. In the run box, type ‘regedit’ and tap enter. If you’re not the admin user, you will need to authenticate with the admin username and password to continue. Once the registry is open, navigate to the following location;

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

There should be a key called JumpListItems_Maximum in the panel on the right. If the key isn’t there, you’re going to have to create it yourself.

To create the key, right-click the Advanced key and select New>DWORD (32-bit) value. Name it JumpListItems_Maximum.

Now that you have the key, double-click it and set its value to anything above 10. Close the registry editor and restart File Explorer.

To restart File Explorer, open the Task Manager and look for Windows Explorer on the Processes tab. Select it, and click the Restart button at the bottom right. Once File Explorer restarts, right-click an app and you will see more options in the jump list than you normally do.

For some apps, this change may only be applied after you’ve accessed additional items/files/locations after making the change to the registry. This is because the app may not be storing additional items since it cannot display them. File Explorer will start showing them right away because it does keep track of your recently visited locations. The same goes for most Microsoft apps such the Office apps, or the stock Windows apps like Notepad or Photos.

If an app doesn’t support jump lists, then this change in the registry will not add it. Jump lists are supported by most apps but there will always be exceptions. The stock Windows UWP apps support them though you will find that not many third-party UWP apps do.

Read How to get more items on the jump list on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to select a window on mouse hover on Windows 10

Windows 10 has ease of access settings that can help improve how you work. One such setting allows you to automatically select a window on mouse hover. It basically lets you skip the first click you have to make to bring an app to the front and lets you interact with it directly. Here’s how you can enable it.

Select window on mouse hover

Open the Control Panel and go to the Ease of Access group of settings.

On the Ease of Access page, select the ‘Change how your mouse works’ option.

On the next page, enable the ‘Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse’ option under ‘Make it easier to manage windows’.

Click Apply and close the Control Panel.

How it works

This feature works for windows that you can see on your screen. Windows that you have minimized cannot be activated by hovering the mouse cursor over them. You cannot activate a window by hovering the mouse cursor over its taskbar preview window.

This works for apps that are pinned side by side, or for apps that are open on different monitors. Normally, when you have apps pinned side by side or on different monitors, you have to first click on an app to select it. After that, you can interact with it. The first click will always be for selecting the app.

With this feature enabled, simply moving your mouse over a window will ‘select’ it. You can click anywhere on the app e.g. on a button for opening a file, and the click will be recognized.

This option exponentially improves working with multiple monitor set ups. I personally find it annoying to have to select an app on a different monitor first before I can interact with. Often I forget that that’s what I have to do so this option is pretty useful.

The mouse cursor selects the app but that doesn’t mean you’re bound to interact with it via the mouse. If you’ve, for example, moved your mouse over the Netflix app, you can tap the space bar to play/pause it. This works even if apps are open in full screen mode on a different screen.

This particular setting isn’t available in the Settings app on Windows 10 even though it too has an Ease of Access group of settings which is why it’s possible that not many people know about it. I personally think it should be in the multitasking tab.

Read How to select a window on mouse hover on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter