How to Close Unresponsive Chromebook Apps

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Should an application become unresponsive on your Chromebook, you can either wait to see if it responds or forcefully close it with the Chrome OS Task Manager. Here’s what to do if you need to kill an unresponsive app.

How to Close Unresponsive Apps

While unresponsive apps aren’t all that common on Chrome OS in the first place, the OS isn’t immune to the issue. And with more types of apps available on Chrome OS than any other operating system out there—web apps, Android apps, and Linux apps—that creates more of an opportunity for something to go wrong. If you find yourself in that situation, here’s how to handle it.

Fire up Chrome, click the menu button, then click on More Tools > Task Manager, or press Search+Esc anywhere while using your Chromebook.

Click the More icon, then More Tools, then again on Task Manager, or press Search + Esc, to open Task Manager

RELATED: Master Chrome OS With These Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts

When the Task Manager opens, you’ll see that every currently-running app, extension, tab, and process on your Chromebook is listed. Here is where you’re able to see a process’ digital footprint and manually close anything on your Chromebook with the simple click of a button.

Locate the unresponsive process, click on it, and then click on “End Process.”

Click the unresponsive app, then click on End Process to kill the app

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How to Update Your Chromebook

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Chrome OS gets major updates every six weeks, with security patches coming more frequently. Updates are usually downloaded and installed automatically in the background, but here’s how to make sure your Chromebook is always running the latest build available.

RELATED: How Often Does Google Update Chrome?

First things first: you’ll get a notification whenever an update has been downloaded and installed, as you’ll need to restart your machine to complete the update process.

In the bottom right, click on the clock to open the system tray and notification panel. If an update is available, there will be a notification at the top of the menu—click “Restart to Update.” Easy peasy.

Make sure you save anything you’re working on before you click to restart your Chromebook. Any unsaved data could potentially be lost when your Chromebook restarts.

Click the time, then click Restart to Update

If you don’t see this notification, click the Settings cog.

Click the time, then click on the Settings cog

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How to Add Accessibility Features to Google Chrome

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If you have trouble reading text on websites, seeing specific colors, or have dyslexia, Google Chrome has accessibility features that can help. You manage them individually through various Chrome extensions available in the Web Store.

Official Google Accessibility Extensions

Google offers four official accessibility extensions that you can add to your browser from the Chrome Web Store:

  • Color Enhancer: A customizable color filter applied to webpages that improve the perception of colors for people with partial colorblindness.
  • Caret Browsing: An extension that lets you browse the text of a webpage using the arrow keys of your keyboard.
  • High ContrastChange or invert the color scheme of webpages to make it easier to read the text with the press of a button.
  • Long Description in Context MenuAdd an item to your right-click context menu that opens an image’s long description link—a special HTML attribute used by some assistive technologies to provide more information than an image’s alt-text.

To install one of these extensions, click the “Add to Chrome” button to the right of its name.

Click Add to Chrome on the extension you want to add

Read the extension’s permissions and then click “Add Extension.”

Read over the permission, then click Add Extension

After a few seconds, the extension will be installed and ready to use.

Third-Party Accessibility Extensions

If you find that the few options from Google aren’t doing it for you, the Chrome Web Store has a bunch of third-party extensions to choose from as well. Installation is the same as for official Google extensions, but they’re sorted under a different category.

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How to Keep Your Laptop On With the Lid Closed on Windows 10

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Windows 10 normally puts your laptop into low-power sleep mode when you close the lid. This can be a problem when hooking your laptop up to an external monitor. Use the Control Panel—not Windows 10’s Settings app—to change this behavior.

If you do this, be careful! Closing your laptop’s lid and throwing it in your bag while it’s still on could cause some serious problems due to poor circulation or blocking of vents. Your laptop will continue to run, wasting its battery and potentially even overheating in your bag. You’ll need to manually put your laptop to sleep, hibernate it, or shut it down using its power buttons or in the options in the Start menu rather than simply closing the lid.

To change the default behavior of Windows 10 when you close the lid, right-click the battery icon in the system tray, and then click on “Power Options.”

Right click the battery icon in the system tray, then click Power Options

If you don’t see the battery icon, click on “Show Hidden Icons” and then right-click on the battery icon—or head to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options instead.

Next, click “Choose what closing the lid does” in the pane to the left.

Click Choose What Closing the Lid Does

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How to Automate Google Sheets With Macros

Google Sheets lets you automate repetitive tasks with macros, and you can then bind them to keyboard shortcuts to execute them quickly. They work using Google Apps Script to capture your actions for later use.

RELATED: Learn How to Use Excel Macros to Automate Tedious Tasks

What are Macros?

A macro—or macroinstruction—is a specific sequence of actions that let you automate a series of steps to increase productivity. They work by recording your actions and saving them into a file that’s bound to the spreadsheet in which they were recorded.

When you record a macro in Google Sheets, it automatically creates an Apps Script with all the code to replicate your actions for you. This means you can create complex macros without knowing how to write code. The next time you run it, Sheets will do everything you did when you recorded the macro. Essentially, you’re teaching Google Sheets how to manipulate a document to your liking with a single command.

RELATED: How to Supercharge Your Google Apps with the Script Editor

Macros are a powerful feature that can do basically anything Sheets is capable of doing. Here are just a few examples of its functionality:

  • Apply formatting and styles.
  • Create completely new spreadsheets.
  • Use any Google Sheets function, toolbar, menu, or feature.

The sky is the limit.

How to Record a Macro in Google Sheets

Fire up a Google Sheet and click Tools > Macros > Record Macro.

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